'..to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025..' - Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 (no replies)        
'..The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany and India announced similar plans ahead of 2030.'

- Chloe Farand, France will 'ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040', July 6, 2017

'..Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.'

'Britain will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 as part of a bid to clean up the country's air.

The decision to phase out the internal combustion engine heralds a new era of low-emission technologies with major implications for the auto industry, society and the environment.

"We can't carry on with diesel and petrol cars," U.K. environment secretary Michael Gove told the BBC on Wednesday. "There is no alternative to embracing new technology."

Gove said the government's air quality plan, which is set to be officially announced later on Wednesday, was needed because gasoline and diesel engines contribute to health problems, "accelerate climate change, do damage to the planet and the next generation."

Roughly 40,000 deaths in Britain each year are attributable to outdoor air pollution, according to a study published last year by the Royal College of Physicians. Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.

The timeline for ending sales of internal combustion engines mirrors one proposed in early July by France. President Emmanuel Macron has given the auto industry the same deadline to make the switch to cleaner tech.

"We are quite rightly in a position of global leadership when it comes to shaping new technology," Gove said.

- Charles Riley, Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040, July 26, 2017


'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

'..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.'

(Global) - '..a revolutionary shift to net zero emissions by 2080..'

'Thorium reactor: cleaner, safer and sustainable nuclear energy within sight'

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

'..to develop a series of electric and hybrid aircraft..'

The "CityTree" - 'Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.'

          Android OS – perhaps time for a new phone?        

From the moment Google announced its Android OS for mobile phones it quite appealed to me. I’m currently quite happy with my Nokia N95 8GB, but still… 😉 The HTC Magic, currently available over here in Norway is not quite my style though… I prefer my phones to be black! 😉 I also want a
+ Read More

The post Android OS – perhaps time for a new phone? appeared first on the web log of Evert.

          RE[5]: USD vs. EUR        
Yeah, here in Norway the VAT is a staggering 25%, so the price of the cheapest iMac is $1380USD. Still I would classify that in the "cheap" range...
          Sky opens up great Norwegian ocean-cruise possibilities        
  Norway — In the heart of the Midnight Sun, one day after the Summer Solstice and on the eve of its 20th anniversary, Viking Cruises officially welcomed its third ocean-going cruise ship into its fleet. The 930-guest Viking Sky […]
          All aboard! This sail-to-ski voyage across Norway is what dreams are made of        

The usual commute to a ski hill consists of cramming in the car with your best friends before dawn, sipping a hot coffee from the gas station, blasting the defroster and hoping the engine heats things up quickly. But that wasn’t the case for the folks on this recent sail-to-ski voyage across Norway. Navigating from […]

The post All aboard! This sail-to-ski voyage across Norway is what dreams are made of appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

          Freeride World Tour athlete wants you to visit his home nestled among Norway’s beautiful fjords        

Freeride World Tour athlete Wille Lindberg didn’t realize how much his life would change when he first arrived in Jondal, Norway in May 2016. “I was a bit tired of [competing],” recalls Lindberg, a Lange and Dynastar sponsored athlete with multiple podium appearances during his five years on the global circuit, “I wanted to approach […]

The post Freeride World Tour athlete wants you to visit his home nestled among Norway’s beautiful fjords appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

          Volunteer: Research Expedition in Norway!!        


We are currently searching for 7 research assistants to join boat based expeditions in Norway.

Best Explorer (www.bestexpeditions.net)

Aims of the expedition and itinerary

The aim of this expedition is to conduct a survey during which we will collect data on marine mammal distribution along the North coast of Norway. Data will be used by several students working currently on their PhD and Master´s thesis in Whale Safari Andenes, Norway. This expedition is organized in collaboration with La Isla de los Delfines (www.laisladelosdelfines.com). 

We will sail out from Tromsø harbor, and during 7 days of navigation we will pass through the areas of high concentration of cetaceans along the coast of the Vesterålen and Lofoten islands, like the Bleik Canyon, a key feeding ground for sperm whales. In the area we might also encounter killer whales, Atlantic white-sided dolphins, white beaked dolphins, pilot whales, porpoises, fin whales, minke whales and humpback whales. We will conduct visual and acoustic surveys, and work on the photo identification of sperm whales and killer whales. We will spend the night at a different harbor each day, allowing us to explore the wild coasts of these islands.

The itinerary is subjected to weather conditions, as sometimes the sea state may oblige us to stay on land. In this case, additional activities will be proposed.

·         16th – 24th June 2011
·         19th – 27th September 2011

The boat and life on board

Best Explorer is a 15 m long sailing boat that has been used for sailing across remote areas in Northern Norway and the Arctic during the past years. It has a capacity for 12 persons and is perfectly equipped to conduct research surveys.

More info: www.bestexpeditions.net

The boat is equipped with 3 showers and a full kitchen. As space might be limited, we recommend bringing reduced luggage.

Participant requirements and duties

Participants will help during the survey in effort and marine mammal data collection and analysis. During the expedition we will expend cca 10h a day working on the survey. Participants will learn how to design surveys and data sheets, use GPS, recognize marine mammal species, gather behavior data, individual identification of cetaceans and sailing skills among other tasks.

We will enjoy local nature and landscapes through excursions the rest of the time, the midnight sun in June, and northern lights in September.

During the expedition, participants will be provided with lectures about marine mammals, cetaceans and training in research techniques. A boat safety lecture will be also arranged on the first day of the expedition.
Anyone with an interest in getting actively involved in marine mammal research can join the expedition. Though no prior experience in the marine mammal field is necessary, it will be considered a plus

The applicants should be aware of the weather conditions on the Norwegian sea, which can sometimes be rough, so we discourage people who suffer from seasickness to apply.

Applicants will be accepted on a first come – first served basis. 

Participation fee

Unfortunately, the budget of this project is very limited, so there is a fee of 1500 euros per participant strictly to cover the boat expenses. 

The fee includes travel insurance, accommodation on board in 3-4 persons cabins, and boat expenses (e.g: rental fee, crew salary, oil, harbor fees). Food expenses will not be covered, but we will keep these expenses low by arranging community meals. 

As the participation fee only covers boat expenses calculated on the basis of 7 participants, we need to fill all the assistant positions for the expedition to take place.

The payment can be done by 30th April and it can be done through installement, but please consult me beforehand for this way of payment. However, a part of the fee (300 euros) must be paid in advance (before 31st March) to book the placement. This fee will be returned if the participant communicates refusal of the placement before 31st March.

For more information and application, please contact:

Marta Acosta
Whale Safari Andenes

          Volunteering: Alaska!        
Petersburg Marine Mammal Center Internship Opportunity - 2010

Located in Petersburg, Alaska´s Little Norway, this project takes place on Mitkof Island in the heart of the Tongass National Forest. Petersburg is also known as the Whale Research Capital of Alaska because of the many world-renown marine mammal researchers who use Petersburg as a base of operation.

PMMC is a non-profit organization formed in 1998 to assist research efforts and be a depository for information on research and sightings of marine mammals in Southeast Alaska. We have a small center located in the Viking Travel Building which is on Main Street in downtown Petersburg. The center is manned by interns during the summer months and the Board of Directors carries out the functions of PMMC year-round.

This intern program allows students the opportunity to earn college credit while learning about marine mammals and serving the public. Individuals not in a college program, but with a strong interest and good background in marine mammals are also invited to participate by showing strong professional or life goals with marine mammal interpretation. Indoor exhibits, including an interactive computer kiosk, focus on marine mammal life history and distribution. Two interns will be working at the Center staggered shifts for six days out a week where the work includes, but is not limited to:

- Staff the Center during open hours. Manage operations, sales and petty cash.

- Interpret Alaska marine mammal information for Center visitors and public.
- Assist and help coordinate where possible with researchers using center.
- Prepare/deliver Alaska marine mammal presentations to visitors and small groups.
- Facilitate community outreach and public education of Alaska marine mammals.

Project Duration

Two 8-10 week Intern positions are available beginning mid-June through August 31st.


The volunteer will be accommodated in Forest Service housing near the center of town, making it easy to access to the community and to the Center. The room is shared so both interns must be of the same gender.

Internship Requirements

- must be in an internship program through an accredited university or demonstrate a strong interest and background in marine mammals
- physically fit

- desire to gain skills in the environmental education field
- interested in working with visitors
- possess an interest in working on small projects for the Center
- possess a positive attitude!


This is currently an uncompensated internship (other than the housing provided).

Application Process and Deadline

To apply please download a PDF application from our website

Applications deadline is February 28th, 2010 and successful applicant(s) will be notified by March 15th, 2010.

Jeff Reynolds

          Lessons from Norway        
For the last two weeks, the wife and I took a vacation to beautiful Norway to see the fjords and the North Cape, effectively the northernmost point in Europe. It was a visit though to the Norwegian Petroleum Museum in Stavanger that inspired this post.

The discovery of oil in the waters off Norway in 1969 completely changed the Norwegian economy, changing the way of life from a difficult agriculture and fishing society to a more comfortable oil-based economy. The museum had a surprisingly good introductory movie "Oil Kid" describes the challenging relationship of a man with his father who drew a comfortable life as an oil worker. Oil may have made Norway complacent as it lags behind its Scandinavian neighbors in non-oil based technological innovation.

The Norwegian government declared that the oil belonged to the people and created a fund that now totals nearly a trillion US dollars, over $150,000 per Norwegian citizen. Nevertheless as the price of oil remains low, Norway risks challenges as a country reliant on its production.

Norway now aims to be energy-neutral in the near future with extensive hydropower and wind mills. Norway has the highest percentage of electric cars of any country. The tiny town of Eidfjord, population about 1000, has a Tesla charging station. Odd to see this from a major oil exporter.

As computer scientists we have "struck oil," also leading a revolutionary change to our economy with its winners and losers. In fifty years will we look back and regret what we have wrought? 

          Norway, you are one beautiful place to ski        

While many folks out there ski-tour to access untouched, untamed backcountry terrain, they also do it the sake of serenity. Getting out in the wild, enjoying the company of a select crew and, last but not least, taking in magnificent views is what it’s really all about. And, upon watching this video, we’re pretty certain […]

The post Norway, you are one beautiful place to ski appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

          Ã˜ystein BrÃ¥ten and his homies are shredding Norway to smithereens        

Spring has sprung in Norway, which means Øystein BrÃ¥ten and his squad—Knut Fineid, PK Hunder, Ferdinand Dahl, Thomas Trads and Petter Ulsletten—are rippin’ slushy park laps at Trysil. There are some smooth moves between these skiin’ Scandinavians, no doubt. ALSO WATCH: You’ve never seen someone ski quite like Pär “Peyben” Hägglund

The post Øystein Bråten and his homies are shredding Norway to smithereens appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.

          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
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          Norway Looking to Lead in Customer Experience & Engagement        
Norway’s longest running IT conference , IT-tinget concluded yesterday in the beautiful town of Tonsberg about an hour south of Oslo. The event has been running for 31 years now and is organized and run by Cisco’s partner Evry. This years theme is “#UserIsKing” , and Cisco hosted a special Retail Break out session along […]
          [news] Grudge Match: China vs. Europe + "It's Malaysia Time ..."        
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Dateline: China
This week marks the debut of my bi-weekly (or so) column for the AlwaysOn Network, Silicon Valley's premier online social networking venue (and unofficially linked to Silicon Valley's premier in person social networking venue, the Churchill Club; I'm a member of both).  I will be sharing "Letter from China" columnist duties with Paul Waide, the head of Pacific Epoch, a Shanghai-based boutique consultancy that advises hedge funds on alternative investments in China.  My first column is on Shanghai and a couple/few forthcoming columns will examine cultural differences between Chinese Nationals, Chinese-Americans and Anglo-Americans, especially within the context of IT and IT marketing.  I will post my AlwaysOn "Letter from China" columns to this blog/e-newsletter, although please be advised that my intended audience are readers based in Silicon Valley.
Grudge Match: China vs. Europe
Staying on topic, I'd like to make a comment about a recent "Grudge Match" on the AlwaysOn Network.  See the item marked "Grudge Match" for 08.05.04 (5 August 2004) at http://www.alwayson-network.com/polling/index.php .
In the referenced "Grudge Match," China was pitted against Europe.  China received 45% of the votes in contrast to Europe's 55%.  Frankly, I'm surprised that China did so well.  I've found that the AO "Grudge Match" results tend to indicate sentiment more so than reality.  For example, a recent match pitted SpaceShipOne against NASA and SSO absolutely clobbered NASA (besides, perhaps most of the votes for NASA came from either Ames or the Blue Cube).  Of course, SSO is a high school science experiment compared to what NASA is doing, but I believe the results accurately reflect sentiment. 
But what is amazing (to me, at least) is that China was pitted against Europe in the first place!  Let's face it, this is a rather goofy "grudge match."  For Europe to include First World nations such as Germany, France, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark (yes, some countries are intentionally left out) -- and to compare the collective whole of First World Europe (a.k.a. "Western Europe") to China is absurd.  If this was First World Europe vs. China circa 2020, okay.  But TODAY?  Yet, the sentiment indicator showed a strong vote in favor of China.  Europe "won," but barely.
I propose the following "grudge match":  China vs. "Eastern Europe" (i.e., the former Soviet Bloc).  Look, if China can do so well against Europe as a whole (including First World Europe), I'm sure China would absolutely kick Second World Europe's butt!!  And a China "grudge match" against Eastern Europe more accurately reflects current "history."
But even this is a bit misleading.  The real "grudge match" is this:  China + India vs. Second World Europe.  And given this choice, only someone stranded on Mars for the past decade might choose Second World Europe.  Yet, this is the real so-called "grudge match."  First World Europe is in descent, to be sure, but it's descending from a high altitude.  It will take at least a decade or two for China (and/or India) to truly match First World Europe.  But China ALREADY is superior to Second World Europe.  And don't rant about NATO and EU memberships; this is simply window dressing.  Then combine China with India versus Second World Europe, playing into my "Golden Triangle" theme, i.e., it's all about the U.S., India and China.  This is where the action is, ESPECIALLY in IT.
"It's Malaysia Time ..."
I must be getting punchy since I'm borrowing a theme from a beer commercial, but it seems that Malaysia is experiencing its 15 minutes of fame.  The Philippines has recently been "hot," and several articles of late have been touting Malaysia (see, for example, an article which appeared in Space Daily).  Frankly, I'm getting tired of all this nonsense.  Look, when it comes to ITO (IT outsourcing) in East Asia, there are just two choices, i.e., India and China.  And, it's not really a competition; both have their strengths and weaknesses.  A few crumbs to Singers (Singapore), maybe even a few crumbs to the Kiwis (New Zealand).  The Philippines deserves notice, albeit passing notice, and Malaysia might be okay for some BPO.  But ITO?  Come on, give me a break!!  See my Furl archive for more links.
The only thing I recently found interesting regarding Malaysia was an article on Satyam's IT boot camp in Malaysia.  This isn't really unique, after all, IBM has been doing this sort of thing for decades.  So does HP.  Kind of like training plus a bit of brainwashing, but the brainwashing is acceptable since it includes political survival skills -- and said skills are essential, especially in F500 corporations.  But I like the idea of SI (systems integrator)-based training:  This way SIs can focus on "real" versus theoretically perceived needs.
IT Tidbits
Which certifications have the best ROI (return on investment)?  Playing off the idea of SI-based training, which are the most important certifications?  Well, Cisco leads with three out of the top five, although Microsoft picks up a couple of "wins" when looking at fastest-growing ROI, with RedHat and Oracle getting one win each.  SIs in China may also want to benchmark how much U.S. employees are paid given a certain certification, e.g., Microsoft DBAs receive an annual average salary of US$80,600.  Think about how much SIs in China pay for a certified Microsoft DBA.  For example, what do they get paid in Jinan -- or even in Dalian?  Compare this to US$80,600.  Spot any opportunities?  See http://tinyurl.com/3nvpz and http://tinyurl.com/6r2s5 .
ITO in the news.  Two particularly noteworthy items.  First, ITO got Slashdotted.  The Slashdot links are worth a review.  Probably some good insight into what American software engineers are thinking and feeling.  The second is a review of Lou Dobbs' new book on ITO and BPO.  Mr. Dobbs is a well-respected host on CNN; his views shouldn't be taken lightly.  A couple of excerpts from the review:
"GE, as Dobbs makes clear in abundant detail, is only one of many companies outsourcing high-tech and professional jobs to India and other parts of the world where wage expectations are lower.  Among the others spotlighted by Dobbs for outsourcing jobs to India, the Philippines, Romania, Ireland, Poland and other countries are IBM, SAS Institute, Intel, Microsoft, Perot Systems, Apple, Computer Associates, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Sun Microsystems."  My comment:  Romania is the Changsha of Third World Europe, i.e., their programmers are about as cheap as programmers come.
"'India can provide our software; China can provide our toys; Sri Lanka can make our clothes; Japan make our cars.  But at some point we have to ask, what will we export?  At what will Americans work?  And for what kind of wages?  No one I've asked in government, business or academia has been able to answer those questions,' Dobbs writes."  See the review in the Tallahassee Democrat or my Furl link .
So-called infrastructure vendors beat out app vendors in terms of their ability to meet expected ROI and TCO (total cost of ownership) levels.  I don't really like the way infrastructure and application vendors are defined in this article and related survey, but top honors go to IBM and Microsoft.  There's a lot being written between the lines, but in general this plays into my "build-to-a-stack" strategy, albeit Oracle is left behind.  See http://tinyurl.com/3tpjo .
Speaking of Microsoft ...  A good, quick review of the various IBUs (independent business units) at Microsoft.  (See http://tinyurl.com/5rjtk .)  For a take on MBS, see http://tinyurl.com/6k4dp .
New marketing technologies.  Interesting article from the premier issue of CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).  There are two ways to view this:  1) which marketing technologies can be used by SIs in China for their own marketing endeavors, and 2) which marketing technologies will likely be adopted by retailers, e-commerce sites, financial institutions and numerous other sectors -- and which in house skills does an SI in China need to implement these new technologies (all of which are IT-related)?  See http://tinyurl.com/57wvp .
Looking for partners in the utility computing space?  For a start, try the top 25 vendors.  (See http://tinyurl.com/48s9j .)  Yankee gives a quick look at utility computing ROI (see http://tinyurl.com/5fw88 ).  HP chimes in with their take, too (see http://tinyurl.com/58mhg ; it's a PDF).
The battle of the SI globals.  Two related articles both based on the same Forrester report.  (See http://tinyurl.com/6tfrn and http://tinyurl.com/5tljq .)  Issues being considered include scalability (i.e., handling US$100+ million accounts), the need for broad offerings (e.g., strategy consulting) and expanding geographical presence (hey, where is EDS in China?).   "(T)he (Forrester) study finds that Infosys and Wipro have melded together a mix of CMMI, P-CMM, Six Sigma and ISO 9000 to create a culture focused on consistent and repeatable processes and value-added tools."  For China's SIs, mostly food for thought -- and a bit of dreaming.
... and how to battle the globals.  The article was a bit silly, after all, G2000 firms joining forces to battle Accenture or Infosys doesn't really fit the notion of smaller firms joining forces.  But I believe that they're on the right track and that a myriad of partnerships will be formed to most effectively capture new business and battle the globals.  However, ISVs (independent software vendors) have to walk a very fine line.  SIs need to carefully consider ISV responses and existing alliances.  See http://tinyurl.com/7xj82 .
"Infosys to set up second outsourcing facility in China."  The article states that Infosys is running out of space in their Pudong facility and that they're scouting for additional digs.  Come on, guys, running out of space?  There's not enough space in the Shanghai Pudong Software Park?  I don't think so ...  The reality is that Infosys needs to find lower cost developers.  As my column on Shanghai for AO's "Letter from China" notes, developers in Shanghai are a bit pricey compared to other places in China.  Infosys China is primarily servicing their global customers in China and looking for high-end integration within the domestic market.  However, this is a tough nut to crack and Infosys will need another development center to lower their overall costs -- and this is why they are looking for additional space IN ANOTHER CITY.  The idea that they're running out of space in the SPSP is ridiculous.  (I've been to their Shanghai digs ...)  See http://tinyurl.com/6nz8d .
Zensar gets broader press coverage.  Kind of like watching a meme, a couple of non-Indian IT trades have picked up the Zensar/Broadengate announcement.  See http://tinyurl.com/65afx and http://tinyurl.com/3jh2r .
"Rethinking the business case for Java."  A good article.  Hmmm ... maybe not much of a case, eh?    Hey, I'm still a believer.  See http://tinyurl.com/5hbcn .  Of course, Java programming ain't what it used to be ...
"The selling of SOA."  Two-part series in Line56.  SUPERB!!  (I prefer the singular to the plural, i.e., "architecture" versus "architectures"; personal preference.)  Reviews various viewpoints on SOA.  See http://tinyurl.com/6xqdn and http://tinyurl.com/6tw9o .
Urls update.  Expect to see lots and lots of stuff on software engineering and development.  Great stuff, too!!  Later this week.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China
http://www.itestrategies.com (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x)
http://tinyurl.com/2r3pa (access to blog content archives in China)
http://tinyurl.com/2azkh (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW)
http://tinyurl.com/2hg2e (AvantGo channel)
To automatically subscribe click on http://tinyurl.com/388yf .

          Melody Rose Christmas        
We are getting ready for Christmas and thought we’d let you know, we’ve updated our last posting dates for you here. LAST CHRISTMAS POSTING DATES   UK – Dec 21st 2016 or 22nd Dec 2016 for Express Delivery Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg – December 16th 2016 USA/Canada/Finland for Christmas 2016 – 15th Dec […]
          Canada’s UN vote against Palestinian statehood only empowers extremists        


This article initially appeared in the Toronto Star (December 2, 2012). The original article can be found by clicking on the title below.

Canada’s UN vote against Palestinian statehood only empowers extremists

“This resolution will not advance the cause of peace or spur a return to negotiations. On the contrary, this unilateral step will harden positions and raise unrealistic expectations while doing nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinian people.”
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird delivered this message in a strident speech from the podium of the UN General Assembly before the historic Thursday vote that affirmed Palestine statehood. But in the end his words failed to resonate with the rest of world, quite literally, as Canada found itself stranded in opposition to the resolution with a hodgepodge of Pacific island nations and Israel’s stalwart ally the United States (and, for whatever reason, the Czech Republic). The final vote was 138 countries in favour, 41 abstentions and 9 against, the latter representing only 5 per cent of the world’s population.

It wasn’t always this way. Canada traditionally played a much more even-handed role in the conflict, realizing the need to support both Israel’s security and Palestinian aspirations for statehood. But over the last decade Canadian policy on the Middle East conflict has become increasingly one-sided in its affinity for Israel. At the UN, Baird asserted that the resolution did not serve the interests of peace. Yet rather than promoting peace, the lonely Canadian UN vote only empowered extremists on both sides and could contribute to increased violence.

The push for recognition at the world body was the culmination of an effort that was launched roughly two years ago by the Palestinians, led by President Mahmoud Abbas. In his speech in New York, Abbas reiterated that this initiative was intended not to “delegitimize” Israel but instead to “affirm the legitimacy” of Palestine. The campaign is one of only a few non-violent forms of activism left in the Palestinian arsenal to achieve a two-state solution.

After more than 64 years of dispossession and 45 years of occupation, Abbas and the Palestinian leadership viewed the UN vote as a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. That message resonated not just with countries that Prime Minister Stephen Harper could dismiss but also with democratic nations such as Norway, Spain, France, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Italy — not really a motley crew of rogue states.

It would be easy to ignore the significance of the Canadian vote. After all, it’s hardly news that under Harper Canadian policy has lacked balance. But today the Holy Land finds itself at a seminal inflection point, where there is a greater tolerance for intransigence on both sides. Coming out of the crisis in Gaza, where residents suffered massive casualties and destruction, Abbas was viewed as a weak, irrelevant figure. His invisibility, combined with changes in the wider region, has meant that the profile of Hamas has been raised. During the recent conflict, leading political officials from the Arab world met with senior Hamas figures in Gaza for the first time in five years.

Beyond this, among the Palestinian community, commitment to a two-state solution has been waning. It is no longer viewed as tenable given the growing encroachment of settlements in the West Bank. Leading activists have started to reintroduce the democratic solution that promotes one state in which there is universal suffrage, as in the South Africa model. For them, Abbas’s UN initiative was dead on arrival, regardless of whether it received support.

Against this backdrop, the Canadian government’s message is that this last-gasp support for a two-state solution and a peaceful Palestinian movement toward that end is “utterly regrettable.” Not only that, the government has also intimated it will review its aid to the Palestinian Authority.
There should be no illusions about what this means. Palestinians — after many decades of waiting — are looking for realistic traction toward self-determination. If the peaceful avenues leading to that end are closed, it will leave only the extremist approach. Hamas will point out that Gaza doesn’t have any Israeli settlements, that their kidnapping of Israeli Gilad Shalit led to the release of Palestinian prisoners, and that Arab states are recognizing their leadership. And then they will ask: What has President Abbas done for you lately?

Beyond the question of whether Canada is on the wrong side of history, which hardly seems debatable, it now appears to be empowering violence and extremism. How can you support Palestinian statehood and a two-state solution and inexplicably oppose that very reality, claiming it is not conducive to peace? That cognitive dissonance should stimulate a deep examination of Canadian policy — there is a lot more at stake here than just a UN vote.


          ONE JUMP - Teaser        

Bindings adjusted, boots feel right, fists bumped, dropping in 3…2…1…

Once you leave the lip of that first jump it’s over, nothing will ever be the same. A new lust for life and distain for gravity is embedded deep inside you, if it hadn’t already been there before. All it takes is ONE JUMP and everything changes.

The late season jump session is a time honored tradition in snowboarding, from goliath hips to rhythm lines that span entire parks. Ståle Sandbech, Alek Østreng and Jeff Hopkins spent their seasons abiding by this lust for air time. They live in a world sustained by time spent off the ground, tweaking and twisting every variation and spin combination. Light years away from the competition circuit the desire for weightlessness guides their riding and powers them off the lip time and time again.

ONE JUMP is the story of style over spins; a one day session to master grabs and all rotations. Three riders to remind us all of just how comfortable snowboarding can look in the air.

Ståle Sandbech, Alek Østreng and Jeff Hopkins drop-in 9/9/15.

Cast: Rome Snowboards and IANTMACY

Tags: Rome SDS, Rome Snowboards, Snowboarding, One Jump, Norway, Stale Sandbech, Alek Ostreng, Jeff Hopkins, Teaser, Jump, Adventure, Travel, Snowboarder Mag and RK1

          Welcome to the Pro Team Len Jørgensen        

Len, Lenny P, Party Powers, L. Jorgs, who exactly is this Len Jørgensen character?

Anyone familiar with Rome video projects over the last three years is aware of the way Len snowboards; entertaining doesn’t even begin to cover it. Style has always been the focus of Len’s riding and it’s he has set himself apart by crushing park laps in RK1 videos and producing full parts in the streets. Len has cut his teeth linking urban lines, wall rides, and high-consequence rails all while maintaining his signature touch of having fun.

It’s hard not to remember his antics on camera but when it comes to urban riding, Len is all business with an eye for creative spots and a list of un-replicatable tricks; making a name for himself by doing things his way.

Growing up just a few blocks away from Ståle Sandbech and Alek Østreng it’s hard to think that at some point he wouldn’t be at the same level as the rest of RK1.

Simply put, Len Jørgensen’s snowboarding is creative, fun to watch and badass. Rome is proud to move this one-man Norwegian party rocket, up to the Pro Team!

Welcome to the big leagues Lenny Powers.

Cast: Rome Snowboards

Tags: Rome SDS, Len Jorgensen, Rome Snowboards, RK1, Norway. Lenny P, Pro Team, Snowboarding and Snowboard

          Welcome to the Pro Team Alek Østreng        

We at the Rome SDS are stoked to announce Alek Østreng as the newest member of the pro team!

With this addition, the SDS adds a rider with a snowboarding resume that demands attention. With years of filming full parts, competing in 5-star events and constantly producing online edits with RK1, it’s clear that Alek’s riding speaks for itself. His stoke for snowboarding is undeniable and shared with his close friends and RK1 members, Len Jørgensen and Ståle Sandbech.

“We always dreamed about being on the same team and now it’s finally happened!” -Ståle Sandbech.

So crack a beer and join everyone at the Rome Snowboard Design Syndicate as we cheers to welcoming Alek Østreng to our team!

Here’s to a great addition to the Rome family!

Cast: Rome Snowboards and IANTMACY

Tags: Alek Østreng, Rome SDS, Team, RK1, Norway, Rome Snowboards, Welcome, RK1 Snowboarding and Snowboarding

          Gone Fishing        

Ahh fishing. A timeless activity centered around capturing illusive aquatic creatures.

What summer vacation is complete without it? Certainly not Find Snowboarding: NORWAY.

Once the boys arrived in Norway they wasted no time getting after it. Turns out Thomas is a master fisherman!

Check out FInd Snowboarding: NORWAY Full Film to get the full story!

Cast: Rome Snowboards

Tags: Find Snowboarding, Rome SDS, Fishing, Thomas Delfino, Fish Tacos, Adventure, Fiske and Norway

          Follow Cam        


Join Stale, Len and Toni for a few runs as they rip Fonna's park during the making of Find Snowboarding: Norway!

Cast: Rome Snowboards

          Find Snowboarding: NORWAY- Adventure and Beyond        

Generally speaking road trips have pretty clear objectives, get from point A to point B with minimum pitstops. This is not your typical road trip.

Starting in Munich Will Lavigne and Thomas Delfino headed north with a final destination of Fogelfonna glacier in Norway. Cliff jumping, river surfing, skating every time the car stopped even a quick session at a snow dome along the way.

Once they arrived at Fogelfonna it was on. Stale Sandbech, Len Jorgensen and Toni Kerkela were ready to show us what Fogelfonna had to offer. A road trip to meet up with your crew and shred an awesome summer set-up? That's what snowboarding is all about.

Find Snowboarding: NORWAY Full Film premiers 10.23.14 on Transworld Snowboarding's website.

Cast: Rome Snowboards

Tags: Find Snowboarding, Rome SDS, Norway, Will Lavigne, Thomas Delfino, Len Jorgensen, Toni Kerkela, Travel, Adventure, Road Trip, Stale and Sandbech

          Find Snowboarding: NORWAY        

When Find Snowboarding was first conceptualized, there was no idea of how exactly it would end. The only thing certain was that each trip would be centered on adventure, travel and unique elements of snowboarding.

The alien streets of Kazakhstan showed an unseen part of the world, ripe with snowboard possibility. The wind-tattered Aleutians taught the value of preparation and patience. The open, long-standing glaciers of Norway… well that's a different story.

To truly finish off this project, Will Lavigne and Thomas Delfino hit the open roads of Europe on a journey from Munich to Oslo. From there they met up with Stale Sandbech, Toni Kerkelä and Len Jorgensen to hit the Fonna glacier.

From Kazakhstan to Alaska to Norway, Find Snowboarding is a celebration of all things that are pure and good about snowboarding; traveling, the adventure, the sensation, having fun with your friends and exploring the possibilities of being strapped in.

Find Snowboarding: NORWAY is the story of snowboarders traveling to go snowboarding. Once you put your deck down, strap in and take that heel-side carve it doesn't matter where it is because at that point snowboarding has been found.

So enjoy the last full film from the Rome Snowboards Find Snowboarding project and get stoked because snowboarding is the shit.

Cast: Rome Snowboards

Tags: Stale Sandbech, Toni Kerkela, Thomas Delfino, Len Jorgensen, Will Lavigne, Norway, Find Snowboarding, Rome Snowboards, Rome SDS, TransWorld and Snowboards

          Find Snowboarding: NORWAY- The Boys are Back in Town        

For the third Find Snowboarding trip we set-out on a European road trip with a destination of Norway. Summer road trips are a time honored tradition so we knew we had to make this one for the ages.

Starting with Thomas Delfino and Will Lavigne in Munich the boys hit the road headed north. River surfing, riding a snow dome in Bispingen, skating Hamburg, camping on the beaches in Sweden under the midnight sun and eventually making their way to Folgefonna to shred with Stale Sandbech, Toni Kerkela and Len Jorgensen.

This is the tale of that road trip, the camaraderie, adventure, excitement and the unforgettable snowboarding that happens each summer at the Folgefonna glacier.

FInd Snowboarding: NORWAY Full Film premiers 10.23.14 on Transworld Snowboarding's website.

Cast: Rome Snowboards

Tags: Find Snowboarding, Rome SDS, Norway, Will Lavigne, Thomas Delfino, Stale Sandbech, Len Jorgensen, Toni Kerkela, Adventure, Travel, Skateboarding and Road Trip

          A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Viergut        
In 1981, eleven-year-old Saba Hafezi watches as her mother and twin sister, Mahtab, board a plane to America, leaving her in a seaside village in northern Iran. Though she is certain of what she saw, Saba's broken father and colorful slew of surrogate grandmothers claim that Mahtab is dead and that Saba should forget about her troublesome mother; nevertheless, there are others who attribute Saba's belief in her sister's survival to “twin-sense” and relish the possibility that Mahtab might still be alive. Over the next seventeen years, Saba immerses herself in illegal western books, movies, and magazines, and weaves an exquisite parallel American life for her twin sister, one that mirrors her own in bizarre and unlikely ways—and rivals the fates of Ivy-League western shahs—a life that the bookish Saba too might have lived if she'd been allowed to get on that plane.

Beginning with small tokens of adolescence and moving to larger coincidences of unrequited love, the violent consequences of forced marriage to a much older man, and motherhood, Mahtab’s hazier American story keeps pace with her sister like a shadow. Mahtab loses a lover when Saba does. Mahtab finds unexpected wealth in the same way as Saba. But whereas Saba’s story has all the grit and brutality of real life in post-revolution Iran, Mahtab’s is like an American television show as imagined under an Iranian storyteller’s blanket, always returning power and control to the heroine’s hands.

A TEASPOON OF EARTH AND SEA uses strong, colorful characters, a unique narrative voice, and rural eastern storytelling techniques with western-style prose to convey a sense of mystery and a compelling message about identity and being the mistress of one's own fate while living and battling within the fantasy of our other "selves." The bittersweet ending leaves the reader wondering if it matters at all where life takes us or why. Maybe the soul is unchanging and—as the old saying goes—life is written in the veins.

[Riverhead (World English) 2012; Edizioni Piemme (Italy) 2012; Rocco (Brazil) 2012; De Bezige Bij (Netherlands) 2012; Editions Calmann-Levy (France) 2012; Gyldendal (Norway) 2012; Damm (Sweden) 2012; Mare (Germany) 2012; Grup (Turkey) 2012; Modern Press (China) 2012; Wydawnictwo Otwarte (Poland) 2012; Thaning & Appel (Denmark)].

About the author
Dina N. Viergutz was born to a controversial family of doctors and poets in Iran in 1979 and lived and traveled there throughout the Iran-Iraq war. Having escaped the country on the day of her mother’s intended execution, Dina spent some years in Europe before moving to the United States. She speaks three languages and recently became a citizen of France (dual with U.S.), and has spent the last three years living in Paris and Amsterdam with her husband where she researched and wrote A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea. She is a graduate of Princeton and holds two masters degrees from Harvard, and she has just been accepted to the Iowa Writers Workshop beginning in the fall 2011. She has done an array of work, including leading strategic projects for Saks Fifth Avenue and McKinsey in New York City. As a Zuckerman Fellow at Harvard, she has discussed public policy with world leaders, and as a Teaching Fellow and keynote speaker (also at Harvard) she gave speeches to audiences of hundreds before she turned thirty.

picture taken from http://apps.facebook.com/facebookshelf/people/1700632880

           Interesting My Citadel sinkhole of one botnet shows me 100 pourcents infections are in Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Germany        
2012-09-06 19:14:06 - Kleissner : Interesting My Citadel sinkhole of one botnet shows me 100 pourcents infections are in Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Germany
          Europe Forecast: Hot in the south - Thundery central areas, Aug 10 - 10:13        

Staying hot in southern Europe with thunderstorms in central areas Thursday Dry weather continues across Iberia - hot in south-west Spain and Portugal. Slack low pressure over western Europe brings cool and unsettled weather - areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms for France, the Low Countries and Germany, although the Riviera and also Brittany may escape dry. Thundery rain too for the Alps, and a few showers possible for northern-central Italy. Hot and dry for southern Italy, Greece and areas near the Black Sea. Scorching temperatures for the Balkan states, Hungary and Slovakia, also south-eastern Poland, topping 40C. A risk of severe thunderstorms developing and spreading from Austria to the Czech Republic and also across southern Poland. Areas of thundery rain for the Baltic states and Finland, whilst southern Scandinavia should stay dry.

Friday Fine and dry across Portugal and Spain today, feeling hot too. More hot and dry weather in the Balearics and the hot weather persists over Italy. Greece and Turkey will be remaining dry with more sunshine and staying hot. Fine with sunny spells in western France although the risk of some thunderstorms developing in the east. Sunny spells and an odd shower in the Low Countries. Heavy showers across Germany and Poland some of this heavy. Austria, Hungary and Switzerland will have thunderstorms. Fair for Denmark with sunny spells here. Fair for the Baltic States with sunny spells here. Staying dry in Finland with more sunny spells. Remaining fair across Sweden whilst some rain arrives in western Norway.

          Watch: Al Jazeera Interviews Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange        
Al Jazeera interviews Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Meanwhile, Norway's main business newspaper Aftenposten today became the only media outlet to obtain all 250,000+ Wikileaks cables. What it will do with them is unclear: Aftenposten news editor Ole Erik Almlid told Dagens Naerings: "We're free to do what we want with these documents … We're free to […]
          What's Cooking?        
This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Chow Down: E-lectrified and Keep It Real: E-lectrified badges.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Learn about your food - where it comes from, how it's made, and the history of how and why we started to eat what we eat - with some of these informative documentaries.

This film shows how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history by exploring the natural history of four plants -the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato - and the corresponding human desires - sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. This two-hour documentary begins in Michael Pollan's garden, and roams the world, from the fields of Iowa to the apple forests of Kazakhstan, from a medical marijuana hot house to the tulip markets of Amsterdam.

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."

Discusses the enduring appeal of soul food, and presents an overview of its history, covering its roots in Western Africa, its incarnation in the American South, and the role it plays in the health crisis in the African American community.

In-depth investigation into unlabeled genetically-modified foods which have become increasingly prevalent in grocery stores. Unravels the complex web of market and political forces that are changing the nature of what we eat.

Also available in: e-video

The drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Take an enthralling journey into the human relationship to food as you travel the world discovering fascinating food lore and culture of all regions and eras-as an eye-opening lesson in history as well as a unique window on what we eat today.

Also available in: e-video

Explores how large corporations and government agencies control agriculture and food processing, and how those practices affect human, environmental, and economic health.

Also available in: e-video

American food is in a state of crisis. Obesity and diabetes are on the rise, food costs are skyrocketing, family farms are in decline, and our agricultural environment is in jeopardy. Explore a thriving local food movement as our world becomes a more flavorless, disconnected, and dangerous place to eat.

Also available in: e-video

Every year in America we throw away 96 billion pounds of food - 263 million pounds a day. Inspired by a curiosity about society's careless habit of sending good, edible food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles' supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars worth of good, edible food - resulting in an eye-opening documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action.

Also available in: e-video

From rooftop farmers to backyard beekeepers, Americans are growing food like never before. Growing Cities goes coast to coast to tell the stories of these intrepid urban farmers, activists, and everyday city-dwellers who are challenging the way this country feeds itself. From those growing in backyards to make ends meet to educators teaching kids to eat healthier, viewers find that urban farming is about much more than simply good food.

Also available in: e-video

Examines the possibility of eliminating diseases like heart disease and diabetes through a plant-based diet.

This chronicles what director Lathe Poland learned after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He sought to find out why he got sick, because he didn't fit the classic picture of an adult onset diabetes sufferer. He quickly learned that much of what he knew about healthy eating was based on myths or fifty-year-old science. He searches out why Americas modern food culture is killing us. The upside? There is a lot that can be done!.

An A-to-Z encyclopedia of Raw Food, perfect for beginners and Raw Food enthusiasts.

How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? These and other questions take director Seifert on a journey from his family's table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what's on your plate?

Looks at some of the scientific aspects of food, including the chemistry involved in cooking a turkey, the nutritional benefits of cooking, and how taste works.

When a marketing executive for a huge burger chain finds a nasty secret ingredient in their burger recipe, he goes to the ranches and slaughterhouses of Colorado to investigate and finds that the truth is sometimes difficult to swallow.

Also available in: e-video

Americans' right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

Narrated by Katie Couric, the film blows the lid off everything that was known about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public. Exposing the hidden truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, it follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of 'exercise and eat right' is not ringing true for millions of people.

Frontline investigates the dangerous pathogens in meat, particularly in chicken.

          Stitching faux or real for The Paper Shelter and Happy National Day to Norway!!!        
Time for a new challenge over at The Paper Shelter, Thanks to all that played along with us last time. For this week the challenge is stitching faux or real, just use those marker pens or a sewing machine of some kind and play along.

Here's my card for the challenge:

and a little closer for details:

Our Prize:

My recipe
white bazill
DP from Authentique
Flowers from WOC
Lace from Live and Love crafts
Diecuts: Go Kreate, Marianne Design, Die Namics
vintage photo D.I
Sentiment from Whimsy Stamps
pearls from stash

Spring Girl is coloured with my promarkers. Details will be in tomorrow. Now I am off to celebrate our National Day.

Now I hope I've inspired you to have a look into our challenge blog to see what my fabby teamies have made for this challenge. 

Crafty Gals Corner: Add flowers
Inspiration Destination: AG
Penny's Paper Crafty: AG
Crafty Creations: AG
Creative Inspirations: AG
I Love promarkers: Girls birthday
Digi Choosday: AG
Crafting from the heart: AG
Artistic Inspirations: AG
Glitter N' Sparkle: One for the ladies
Crafting when we can: Bright and beautiful
613 Avenue: AG
Pile it on: Animal
Classic Designteam: AG
Crafts Galore Encore: AG
Star Stamps: Special lady
Love to craft: AG
World Wide Open DT: AG

          A music post: music from the arctic, Norway, Australia, Scotland, and Finland        

I suppose I haven't posted any music lately. I've been listening to a lot of stuff though, here are some things on repeat:

The Ugandan Parliament in Kampala decided to give immediate attention to poor infrastructures in the whole of East African Region. ‘The poor infrastructure in the region needed immediate attention and the problem of infrastructure in East Africa is a matter of survival, especially electricity, the roads and railway” uganda safari company said the Uganda president.

He went a head and told Parliament that the UPDF had set up an engineering brigade with capacity to carry out engineering tasks, including building infrastructure.
We shall use them to build the railway. I talked to the army engineers and they said it is okay,” he disclosed.

Museveni emphasized that if the colonialists used rudimentary tools to construct the railway line used in East Africa today, the army was in a better position with better technology. This idea was supported by other East African presidents through which the Railway line passes. Mr. Odinga did not see the need for the study estimated to cost Sh800 million with Kenya’s contributing over Sh600 million. His view was shared by the Uganda minister for Works and Transport John Nasasira.gorilla safaris in uganda “We are not here for fun or mere drama. We know that Kenya is strategically placed to serve as the transport hub for the region.” The Permanent Meeting (PM) called for the delegations from the two countries to show the will and power to undertake the project saying it will help interconnect the Eastern Africa region.

The views from other East African delegates show unity and joint effort towards the rebuilding programmes of the Uganda Railway. gorilla safaris in rwanda

The EALA, led by its speaker, Abdirahin Abdi, is holding the 3rd meeting of the 2nd assembly in Kampala from February 7 to 19.
It is expected to pass resolutions on the East African Community Tourism Bill 2008, the Election Bill 2008 and Lake Victoria Basin Commission Bill 2007.

The opening was attended by Ugandan MPs, who occupied the opposition side of the House as Museveni appealed to the EAC partners to look into the issue of energy as a major factor in the development of the region.
Additionally,gorilla safari rwanda the Uganda president said electricity power generation was so low that it could not sustain development in the region.
He said the US generates 14,000 kilowatts per hour, while African countries generate only 12 kilowatts per hour.
Museveni explained that Uganda faced resistance from developments partners in developing power dams. He, however, assured the country that even without foreign aid; Uganda could build its own power stations.

“We are now aiming at generating about 17,000 megawatts in the next 15 years. This will give us 3,000 kilowatts per hour,” he said. ssese island safari
Museveni reiterated the need to fast-track the East African federation, so that the member states have a position by 2012.
“I am glad that there is compromise on this issue, but more needs to be done to ensure it is implemented.”

He urged member states to facilitate their citizens to process their goods and add value to them before putting them on the expanded regional market that includes Southern Sudan, DR Congo and the south africa safari Central African Republic.
He said Uganda had responded to the increased demand by producing more. “We got a bumper harvest of maize. As a result, prices have now come down,” he said.
“We need to deal with storage and processing of maize, so that the farmers don’t have to sell desperately at the time of plenty. This may force them to exit maize growing,” gorilla trekking uganda yet in the tourism sectors farmers are the major suppliers of agriculture products and if prices of the products are too low, that will lead to low production in Agriculture hence leading to low supply of Agriculture products to the tourism sector.

The ministries of finance and agriculture have devised means of how they can solve the problem in order to ensure constant supply of Agriculture products to the entire country sector. Said the president.
Abdi hailed the political leadership in the region for agreeing on the common market protocol.
He lauded Museveni for the effort to improve household incomes through modern agriculture and education.

More so, there are comments from the public listeners which can add value to the Government proposal of rebuilding the Uganda Railway and also ease travel movements for tourists from one country to the other and from one destination to the other. In terms of railway technology, the government should not go the British way but the French one. The French have the best and most efficient railway transport system in the world.uganda safaris adventures For example in some cities Lyon and Marseille are connected by the TGV (High velocity trains). Marseille which is about 780 km from Paris is only 3hrs. Imagine traveling from Mombasa to Kampala at that speed? So Mr. Government is advised to get the best technology around and not be blinded by colonial fidelity. bwindi gorilla trek The British are "out" when it comes to trains.

This can make travel very easy and it can reduce traffic congestion since there other transport alternatives which move at the same pace like others. Therefore for any person traveling or hopping to visit East Africa, transport shouldn’t be your worry.

Norway to support Eco-Tourism sites Conservation in Uganda trough Tree planting. masai mara safari

It is a surprising fact that Uganda has excellent growing conditions to support commercial tree growth. With good management and the adoption of intensive silvicultural practices, growth rates can match the best in the world and timber plantations can offer a solid return on investment. queen elizabeth safari This is due to the reason that Uganda has substantial areas of land suitable for timber plantations as shown by the silvicultural map of Uganda. This land is either in CFRs or is privately owned land. Long-term leases for tree planting are available in many CFRs: the first licenses for tree planting were issued by the NFA in mid 2005. Potential investors must realize, however, that the areas are more suited to pines than Eucalypts, being in hotter, drier areas. gorilla safaris in bwindi

Additionally, it was estimated that on average in Uganda it will cost around Ushs1.5 M per hectare (US$ 730) to establish a plantation. This cost covers all expected costs up to canopy closure (i.e. when the trees canopies in adjacent rows touch and shade out the ground vegetation) - which is around 3 years with Pinus caribaea, gorilla trekking bwindi 1-2 years with E. grandis. Costs will differ significantly on different sites and also depending on the supervision and level of skills of the labour. Other factors that can influence establishment costs are the scale of the planting, the level of mechanizations and the timing and frequency of key operations especially weeding. Within less than two years private planters learning quickly learning from their mistakes and they have real improved in the tree planting field.

However, due to the Uganda potential of planting trees the Norwegian Private Forest Growers (NORSKOG) has signed a partnership with the Uganda Timber Growers Association (UTGA) to support commercial timber growing with the aim of protecting forests which will conserve the natural beauty of Uganda hence promoting the Uganda’s Tourism Sector as the conservation saying goes “leave nothing, bwindi gorilla tracking safari uganda Touch nothing when you visit a destination.

The partnership was signed by NORSKOG director Arne Rora and the UTGA chairman, Robert Nabanyumya in Mpigi on Friday.
Rora said that the partnership was aimed at developing UTGA for the provision of services to the private and public sectors for sustainable management and utilization of plantation forests.

According to Nabanyumya, the association’s objective is to make quality products that are acceptable on the international market.
He also added on and said the association supplied improved seedlings to its members and lobbied for information, experience on tree growing, and advocacy for better land tenure security.

During the function, Norwegian ambassador Bjorg Leite said Uganda, being part of the global warming regions, needed to encourage more timber growers to protect forests.
“People can use this project to earn some money,” she added.kenya uganda safari

Leite lamented that more than half of Uganda’s forests had been cleared thus affecting climate, tourism and wildlife. There fore, the tourism industry is likely to benefit a lot from this partnership since it promotes conservation for eco-tourism sites like National parks and forest reserves. fishing safari uganda

          Nobel – Peace at Any Price TV Series        
Nobel TV Series about Norwegian Special Forces in Afghanistan - Trailer and Title Sequence clip. Related posts: Birkebeinerne – First Trailer Nobel Peace Prize 17th May Parade Day

Click on the title to read more at My Little Norway.
          Norway Takes Down Facebook’s Censorship        
During the last few weeks Norwegians have been purposely uploading the famous Napalm Girl picture to facebook fully knowing the social media giant will take it down. The uploads were in revolt to facebook’s censorship. The image in question is a 1972 Pulitzer Prize-winning photo from AP...

Click on the title to read more at My Little Norway.
          Watch Norway Being Built – In Minecraft        
NRK, Norway's public TV network and inventor of the phenomenon "Slow TV", is taking us into the digital realm with a 12-hour live streaming of a special Minecraft building project. Related posts: The Coastal Liner – Minute by Minute Watch THOR – The Glam Rock Musical LIVE! Hurricane...

Click on the title to read more at My Little Norway.
          Norwegian Grilling Hot Dogs        
The grilling hot dog (grillpølser) is iconic in Norwegian culture. The 17. May, Norway's National Day, is the biggest pølsefest day of the year. Related posts: Food for the Dogs Farmor’s Kitchen Bear Necessities

Click on the title to read more at My Little Norway.
          Oslo in December        
Merry Christmas from Oslo! We are in the capital for a few days and got this photo of the Parliament building from the top of a Ferris wheel. Related posts: Oslo Dressed for Christmas Christmas Streets in Oslo 2011 Oslo’s Opera House

Click on the title to read more at My Little Norway.
          Cyclisme - Arctic Race - Dylan Teuns domine la première étape de l'Arctic Race of Norway        
Dylan Teuns (BMC) a remporté la première étape de l'Arctic Race of...
          Comment on How To Make Money Online Fast And Easy by Northgtabeast        
hmm, i like this ebay thing, but i live in the north of norway, mabey the shiping cost will kill that one for me?
          WW Eve, Noah, Moses And Jesus Do?        


Apple Logo With the latest Apple craze sweeping the country and the world I am convinced the original biblical sin from Genesis is still being committed everyday.




apple-iphone-4-1 Are you sure he said you could not have the new Apple iPhone 4? Come on try it, take it home to your man. I promise he’ll love you for it. I'll even make a slippery deal especially for you. What have you got to lose?




Poor Eve, Rihana, Minnie, Michelle, Marge, Hillary, Amy. What's a girl suppose to do?

Adam,Chris, Mickey, Obama, Homer, Bill, Bubba you really have to check this Apple iPhone 4 out, it is so, so good! Here, do an app with me.


Given God's command today, I am convinced Noah would fly over to Norway, probably on Delta and meet up with the good people at Aker Yard located in Oslo.





Picture 056


Builders of the world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean Oasis Of The Seas, I am told they would cut “The First Love Boat Captain” and “Cruise Industry Founder”, one heck of a deal!


bellagio_buffet Imagine how fat Noah, his family and the animals would be after forty days of cruising with twenty four hour a day buffets. I am jealous. 






Fat-Animals I swear Shem and Ham (Noah’s sons) made me do it. I was never this fat before the cruise.








Moses, Moses, put down those tablets. Have you not heard?


9062382_sb Here's what I would do if I were you.

Break out your AT& T Blackberry.







twitter Save your back, tweet everyone and they will follow us on twitter!




Al%20Gore-AWW-001474Now Moses, I can't help you if you and The Man keep setting fires to everything. You guys are destroying the environment and Al Gore is going to be very, very upset with you.





Best Buy As far as you keep getting lost, Best Buy has a great sale on a Garmin GPS.




Garmin GPS Would you like to buy one? There is even a mail in rebate and the GPS can tell you where the nearest “Mana” restaurant is located.



Monster-boa-040209 Look dude, I would not pick up that boa. You are going to end up with another huge backache and I forgot my Alleve.




Eve 001 From Aquafina to Zephyrhills with Evian and Publix in between. What would JC do today if he needed a little Cabernet or Zinfandel?





I think he would opt for a mix of Evian and Publix. Unlike me, I know he has a thing for serving his friends the good stuff like Evian first and saving the cheaper stuff for later when they are feeling good about themselves.


Boones Farm Since most of my friends live in low places. Boones Farm Strawberry Hill or a Miller Lite Six Pack would do just fine.





Eve 002


KFC As for supper, would JC go with an all you can eat Chinese Buffet for $6.95 or a 12 Piece Disciple minus one KFC Traitor Meal Special? Thanks, a lot Judas! Will that be Original or Extra Crispy?







Times have changed but still tough decisions have to be made in a crazy sinful world. What would you do?


          The Cannabis Culture Awards 2012 – opening the debate about cannabis        
Cannabis Culture Award winner 2012 Thorvald Stoltenberg: ‘Hope is almost as important as life itself’ During a festive and moving ceremony, the Cannabis Culture Awards 2012 were awarded on April 26th in Amsterdam. Two former statesmen, Mr. Thorvald Stoltenberg, former minister of Defense of Norway and Mr. Dries van Agt, former Prime minister of the […]
          Norway’s former Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg to receive Cannabis Culture Award 2012 in the Netherlands        
Amsterdam, 26 April 2012. Norway’s Former Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg receives the award on behalf of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Other winners are: Dr. Lester Grinspoon (extraordinary Professor of Psychiatry of the Harvard Medical School) and Dr. Frederick Polak (one of the most experienced and respected Dutch psychiatrists in the area of drug […]
          Stunning longboarding in the mountains of Norway        

Ishtar X Tussilago is a short film by Maceo Frost starring downhill longboard rider Ishtar Backlund in the epic mountains of Norway. Combined with a magical soundtrack from Swedish rock band Tussilago, the film is a glimpse into the profound feeling of believing in yourself and living one’s greatest dreams.

          Comment on Testimonials by Thierry Pottier        
Dear Myro team. I has been Myro customer for more than 5 years. Very good service and excellent quality. Regards Thierry pottier TP electronics Norway
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 05-20-2014 with Tonja Loendorf        

Sly And The Family Stone- Dance To The Music - Sly And The Family Stone Anthology
Sly And The Family Stone- Babies Making Babies - Sly And The Family Stone Anthology
The Velvet Underground- I Cant Stand It - Andy Warhol
Holy Wave- Do You Feel It - Relax
- voicebreak -
Mike Donovan- New Fieldhand Bop - Wot
Joy Wellboy- Before The Sunrise - Yorokobis Mantra Deluxe Version
Guy Davis- My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble - Juba Dance
Jimmy Vivino The Black Italians- Soulful Dress - 13 Live
- voicebreak -
The Speakers- Oda A La Gente Mediocre - En El Maravilloso Mundo De Ingeson
Tom Tom Club- Time To Bounce - The Good The Bad And The Funky
Aster Aweke- Yedi Gosh my Guy - Kabu
- voicebreak -
PEREZ PRADO- Mambo No 5 - Mondo Mambo
Desi Arnaz And His Orchestra- Babalu - Babalu
- voicebreak -
Cave- Sweaty Fingers - Threace
Punch Brothers- This Is The Song Good Luck - Antifogmatic
Cass McCombs- Big Wheel - Big Wheel And Others
Fifth Veil- Prairies To Canyons - Lanterns
The Hoax- Hipslicker - Big City Blues
John Primer Bob Corritore- Harmonica Joyride - Knockin Around These Blues
- voicebreak -
Grizzly Bear- Will Calls Marfa Demo - Shields BSides
Yuna- Falling - Nocturnal
Four Tet- Beth Orton Carmella Four Tet Remix - Remixes
Mogwai- Danphe And The Brain - The Hawk Is Howling
Brian Eno With Rick Holland- Bless This Space - Drums Between The Bells
- voicebreak -
Casey Neill The Norway Rats- Hollow Bones - All You Pretty Vandals
WIMME- Eallima Barut - Cugu
Hedningarna- Ukkonen Thunder God - Karelia Visa
- voicebreak -
Peabody Trio Violaine Melanon Thomas Kraines Seth Knopp- Excursions II Very Lyrical Gentle - Shulamit Ran

playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/20/playlistDate/2014-05-20
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 11-20-2013 with Stephen Whitehead        

Cave- Silver Headband - Threace
The Head And The Heart- Shake - Lets Be Still
Anoushka Shankar- River Pulse - Traces Of You
Bare Mutants- Nothing Is Gold - The Affliction
King Khan The Shrines- Thorn In Her Pride - Idle No More
Coke Weed- Anklet - Back To Soft
- voicebreak -
Femi Kuti- The World Is Changing - No Place For My Dream
The Poets Of Rhythm- More Mess On My Thing - Practice What You Preach
Ha Ha Tonka- Staring At The End Of Our Lives - Lessons
AkronFamily- Way Up - Sub Verses
Grooms- Completely - Infinity Caller
- voicebreak -
Causa Sui- Homage - Euporie Tide
The Stranger- Spiral Of Decline - Watching Dead Empires In Decay
Juana Molina- Eras - Wed 21
- Ocean Waves - PDX Pop Now 2013 Compilation
Thao The Get Down Stay Down- The Feeling Kind - The Feeling Kind EP
- voicebreak -
Elephant Revival- Rogue River - These Changing Skies
Rokia Traor- Tuit Tuit - Beautiful Africa
Cass McCombs- Big Wheel - Big Wheel And Others
La Yegros- Trocitos De Madera - Viene De Mi
Jack Lawrence- St Annes ReelWhistling Rufus - Arthels Guitar
West Water Outlaws- Come On - Real Killer
- voicebreak -
Laura Veirs- Ikaria - Warp And Weft
Beats Antique- Charons Crossing - A Thousand Faces Act 1
- New Son - PDX Pop Now 2013 Compilation
Breathe Owl Breathe- Ferns Move - Passage Of Pegasus
Farm- Let That Boy Boogie - Farm
Casey Neill The Norway Rats- All You Pretty Vandals - All You Pretty Vandals
- voicebreak -
Vijay Iyer Mike Ladd- Capacity LynnBronx - Holding It Down The Veterans Dreams Project feat Maurice Decaul Lynn Hill
Volcano Choir- Tiderays - Repave
Son Lux- Lost It To Trying - Lanterns
Obits- Besetchet - Bed Bugs
- voicebreak -

playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2013-11-20
          Incontenibile Dylan Teuns: sua la prima tappa dell’Arctic Race of Norway, 3° Pasqualon        

Dylan Teuns non si ferma più. Il belga del BMC Racing Team, dopo aver ottenuto cinque successi nelle ultime due settimane, si è imposto anche sul primo traguardo dell’Arctic Race of Norway. A Narvik, sede d’arrivo della prima delle quattro frazioni della prova scandinava, il belga ha preceduto di 2″ il gruppo, regolato dal norvegese […]

L'articolo Incontenibile Dylan Teuns: sua la prima tappa dell’Arctic Race of Norway, 3° Pasqualon proviene da Cicloweb.

          Comment on Some Words by Magnus Alvestad        
I seem to remember that the first drunken gamers episode I listened to had some kind of weird alien sex that someone had sent in for a competition. After that I've been listening to almost every episode. The last years I've especially been enjoying your beer talk segments, as well as the more in-depth music episodes. But more then anything, it's been the uncensored sincerity that's run through all of your topics. I heard about your loss before I listened to the last episode, and it was really sad to know that I was listening to Hilden's heartfelt laughter for the last time. I've never met him, or any of you, in person, but you've been in my ear for years, and I'll miss him. Magnus, from Norway
          Re: My First Flight with DJI Mavic Pro in Singapore (video)        

I am still flying it, and had travelled with it. Here is a footage from Norway: https://www.youtube.com/wat...

It is light and foldable. Easy to carry around. With kids around, safety is a concern as the blades are spinning at high speed. Do take note of various rules/regulations in the countries you intended to fly the drone with.

          Syrian refugee regional plan remains 91% underfunded: UN        

Geneva: Two UN organisations on Tuesday warned of low funding for their ongoing support operations for Syrian refugees.

A statement released by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Geneva said of a $4.63 billion pledge made in January, only $433 million or nine per cent funding has so far been achieved, Efe news reported.

"The situation is getting desperate," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees in a statement. "we are already seeing children who aren`t able to go to school, families who cannot access adequate shelter or provide for their basic needs."

The statement coincided with a gathering of world players in Brussels for the Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region.

As the Syrian conflict entered its seventh year, there were over five million Syrian refugees living in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, in addition to those who have made the dangerous journey to Europe and farther.

The statement said that overall, some 13.5 million people were in need of assistance, including 6.3 million within Syria itself.

The UN statement said that "without additional funding, all areas of assistance will be curtailed this year. Food and cash assistance will be reduced or cut by mid-year, challenging stability and security in the region."

The note also warned that with most Syrian refugees falling below national poverty lines, families would face the impossible choice of taking their children out of school, adding to the half a million children already missing out on education.

The international conference slated for Tuesday and Wednesday in Brussels is co-presided by the European Union, the UN, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar and the UK.

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          India slips one position in Human Development Index rank to 131, Norway No.1        

New York: India came down by one slot and was ranked 131st among 188 countries on Human Development Index (HDI) 2016 released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

India fell under the "medium human development category" and its HDI, at 0.624, was behind Sri Lanka and the Maldives in South Asia.

Sri Lanka and the Maldives were ranked 73 and 105 respectively and figure in the "high human development" section.

India was placed behind countries like Gabon (109), Egypt (111), Indonesia (113), South Africa (119) and Iraq (121) among others. The report lists a total of 188 countries.

China occupies the 90th spot. Bhutan is at 132, Bangladesh 139, Nepal 144 and Pakistan is at 147.

Devised and launched in 1990, HDI is a statistic which ranks countries into four tiers of human development on the basis of indicators like life expectancy, education and per capita income.

A higher lifespan, higher level of education and higher GDP per capita results in a country scoring higher HDI.

The top three countries in HDI were Norway (0.949), Australia (0.939) and Switzerland (0.939).

"Identifying those who have been left out of the progress in human development and mapping their locations are essential for useful advocacy and effective policymaking," according to the report.

"Such mapping can help development activists demand action and guide policymakers in formulating and implementing policies to improve the well-being of marginalised and vulnerable people," it added.

The report said gender equality and women`s empowerment were fundamental dimensions of human development.

However, globally, women have a lower HDI than men, despite having higher life expectancy at birth, said the report.

South Asia`s Gender Development Index (GDI) is the lowest.

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India slips one position in Human Development Index rank to 131, Norway No.1

India slips one position in Human Development Index rank to 131, Norway No.1
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          UNDP's Human Development Index: Top 10 countries        

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Monday declared its report on the Human Development Index (HDI) which ranked India at 130, an improvement of 5 positions from its previous ranking.

The report, compiled on the basis of estimates for 2014, ranked Norway at the top.

ALSO READ: India ranks 130th in Human Development Index: UNDP

So, which countries are in the top 10? Check out the list below.

  • Norway (1)
  • Australia (2)
  • Switzerland (4)
  • Netherlands (4)
  • United States (5)
  • Germany (6)
  • New Zealand (7)
  • Canada (8)
  • Singapore (9)
  • Denmark (10)
  • India (130)
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UNDP's Human Development Index: Top 10 countries

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          3D Art: Hummingbird        
3d art hakeem rafai hummingbird3D Art by Hakeem Rafai, Norway.
          Harrison on Religon        

After years of interviewing hundreds of believers of more than a dozen religions around the world, Guy P. Harrison has written a book entitled 50 reasons people give for believing in a god (1) in which he strives to be a kinder and gentler religious skeptic than the so-called "new atheists." (2) Harrison writes:

This (book) is a respectful reply to the friendly people around the world who shared with me their reasons for believing... My fifty replies to common justifications for belief can be read as friendly chats designed to do nothing more than stimulate critical thinking. (p. 14)

Let's take a look at three of the reasons which believers gave Harrison and his replies.

Firstly, believers say, it is obvious that god exists. After all, god is everywhere, god made everything, god answers prayers, and god runs the universe. But how can god's existence be so obvious, Harrison asks, when you consider that between 500 million and 750 million people on our planet are non-believers and that 93% of the elite scientists in the United States are non-believers? And how do you explain that beliefs about god in the two largest religions – Christianity and Islam – contradict one another? Christians insist that Jesus is god and the Bible is god's revelation while Muslims insist that Allah is god and the Koran is god's revelation. (3) (pp. 17-22)

Secondly, believers claim that "Society would fall apart without religion." (p. 295) If this is true, Harrison replies, then we would expect to find the least religious nations to be "bastions of crime, poverty and disease" and the most religious ones to be "models of societal health" but this isn't the case. He cites reports by the United Nations and research by social scientists which show that indicators of societal health are highest in the least religious nations and lowest in the most religious ones. The most secular nations – Sweden, Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada – lead the world in life expectancy, adult literacy, per-capita income, educational attainment, and the status of women, and have the lowest rates of homicides, AIDS, and HIV. By contrast, the worst performing nations on these same indicators are among the most religious ones. (pp. 295-301)

Thirdly, believers say that the age of their religion is evidence of its merit. "A lie or a mistake," they declare, "could not have endured for so long." (p. 303) The problem with this justification, Harrison argues, is that many religions are old and many are not. If age is pivotal, he notes, we should all be Hindus because Hinduism is at least 6,000 years old and has roots in prehistory, and we should abandon "relatively young religions" such as Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, and Scientology. (pp. 303-307)

During his travels and interviews, Harrison made important discoveries. One is that, when it comes to religion, comparison shopping is non-existent. Nearly all believers follow the religion of their parents and their geographical region. Another is that most followers of a given religion have little or no knowledge of other religions. (4)

It remains to be seen whether Harrison's 50 reasons will spur the self-assessment and critical thinking that he hopes for in religious circles. That aside, the book is a helpful and informative guide to the deeply felt convictions of believers around the world and one observer's measured response to them.


  1.  Prometheus Books, 2008, p. 14. Future references to this book are by page number.
  2. The "new atheists" include Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens. Many readers, both religious and non-religious, have judged their work to be arrogant, dismissive, and insulting. For instance, see John F. Haught, God and the New Atheism, Westminister John Knox Press, 2008, and Chris Hedges, I Don't Believe in Atheists, Free Press, 2008.
  3. Harrison also notes that half the world's population rejects both Jesus and Allah.
  4. Harrison also mentions a third, namely, most believers rely on faith and have little interest in formulating or evaluating arguments. (p. 13)

© 2012 Tom Shipka

          A Lesson from Scandinavia        
  • During the years 2005 and 2006, American sociologist Phil Zuckerman spent fourteen months in Denmark and Sweden to study these two societies. In a recent book, he reports these findings: (1)
  • Denmark and Sweden have among the lowest rates of violent crime in the world. (pp. 28-29) (2)
  • Denmark and Sweden have the lowest rates of HIV and AIDS in the world. (p. 27)
  • Sweden is third and Denmark is fifth in the world in economic competitiveness. (p. 27)
  • On gender equality, Denmark is second and Sweden is third in the world. (p. 27)
  • On access to the Internet, Sweden is third and Denmark is fourth in the world. (p. 28)
  • Denmark and Sweden are tied for the lowest infant mortality rates in the world with Norway, Iceland, Japan, and Singapore. (p. 26)
  • Denmark and Sweden are tied for first place with the Netherlands in the health and safety of children. (p. 26)
  • Denmark ranks fourth and Sweden ranks eighth in the world in the standard of living. (p. 27)
  • Political corruption is virtually non-existent in Denmark and Sweden. (p. 28)
  • Denmark and Sweden are tied for first in the world in a recent international study of social justice (p. 30) (3), and
  • Denmark ranks second and Sweden ranks third in the world in financial aid to poor nations. (p. 29)

Thus, according to Zuckerman, Danes and Swedes are among the most contented and generous people on the planet. But that's not all that Zuckerman has to report about these two nations. Remarkably, he notes, two of the most prosperous societies in the world are also two of the least religious. (4) Indeed, a huge majority in both countries are atheists or agnostics. Only 24% of Danes and 16% of Swedes believe in a personal God compared to more than 90% in the United States. (p. 24) Only 18% of Danes and 33% of Swedes believe in heaven compared to 80% of Americans. Only 10% of Danes and Swedes believe in hell compared to 75% of Americans. (p. 11, pp. 24-25) This is the lowest rate of belief in hell in the entire world! (p. 25) Next, only 7% of Danes and 3% of Swedes believe that the Bible is the literal word of God compared to 33% in the United States. (p. 25) Further, Danes and Swedes have the lowest church attendance in the world with only 3% of Danes and 7% of Swedes attending regularly. (p. 25, p. 162) (5) Also, only 8% of Danes and 15% of Swedes consider it important for a politician to believe in God compared to 64% of Americans who do (p. 12), and contrary to public and private practice in America, very few Danes and Swedes pray. (p. 2) Finally, more than 80% of Danes and Swedes accept evolution while less than half our population does. (p. 10) (6)

Professor Zuckerman sees an important lesson for us in his study of Denmark and Sweden. Contrary to what we've heard from "certain outspoken conservative Christians" (7), the sociologist suggests, a secular society need not be a scene of violence and depravity. (p. 4, pp. 17-18) Denmark and Sweden, he says, are not only "impressive models of societal health" (p. 17) but living proof that humans can survive and prosper without religion. (pp. 55-56) (8)


  1. Zuckerman reports his findings in Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment, New York University Press, 2008. All references hereinafter are to page numbers of this book.
  2. For instance, in Aarhus, Denmark, a city of 250,000 residents, there was a total of one murder in 2004. (p. 6)
  3. This study was done by a German group of social scientists associated with an institute called Hans-Bocker Stiftung. (p. 30) Denmark and Sweden are not without problems, however. Taxes are high, there is social friction due to recent waves of immigration, children eat too much candy, rates of bicycle thefts are high, fertility rates are low, and alcohol consumption is high. (p. 34)
  4. Other irreligious societies are the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Estonia, France, Japan, Bulgaria, Norway, England, Scotland, Wales, Hungary, and Belgium. (p. 25) Zuckerman points out that in all of these relatively secular societies the citizens freely gravitated from a religious to an irreligious perspective unlike North Korea, the former Soviet Union, China, and Albania where the governments attempted to impose secularism on the citizens. Zuckerman says that forced secularism doesn't work. See pp. 20-22.
  5. Paradoxically, despite the fact that most Danes and Swedes are atheists or agnostics and don't attend church regularly, 83% of Danes and 80% of Swedes continue voluntarily to pay a tax to the National Church, which is Lutheran (p. 112), and many hold traditional events such as weddings, baptisms, confirmations, and funerals in church. Zuckerman says that Danes and Swedes, while rejecting the supernatural dimensions of Christianity - Jesus performed miracles, Jesus was God, Jesus rose from the dead, the Bible is God's revelation, the Genesis account of creation is accurate, there is an afterlife with a heaven and a hell, etc. – maintain a "cultural religion" similar to many Jews. (pp. 153-155) Oddly, in Denmark a person may be a pastor and an atheist. (p. 154)
  6. Despite the fact that Danes and Swedes are irreligious, they are not hostile to religion, they shun serious discussions of it, they deem a person's views about religion a private matter, and many non-believers dislike being labeled an atheist because they take the term to imply hostility to religion. Further, many non-believers self-identify as "Christians." When one asks them what it means to be a Christian, they say it means being kind, helping people who need help, not hurting others, etc. As a rule they reject the supernatural components. See Chapter 8, "Cultural Religion," pp. 150-166. Also, see pp. 97-109.
  7. Zuckerman lists the following examples of Christian conservatives who claim that a society that is irreligious will fail: Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Schlesinger, William Bennett, Rush Limbaugh, and Paul Weyrich. (p. 4, pp. 17-18)
  8. American fundamentalists will no doubt object to Zuckerman's strongly favorable evaluation of Denmark and Sweden by noting that in these countries abortion has been legal for more than thirty years, prostitution is legal, and homosexuality is tolerated.

© 2008 Tom Shipka

          The Colonization of Memory        
The Norse Primstav Calendar

Hyperrhiz has just published The Colonization of Memory, the documentation of a collaborative writing piece I participated in during April, 2011 while I was in Bergen, Norway.  The experiment was led by Mark Marino, who helped us develop a location-based walking-writing system which borrowed several ideas from exquisite_code.  The other writers were Amrita Kaur, Eduardo Navas, Margaux Pezier, Scott Rettberg, Morten Sorreime, Martin Swartling, Patricia Tomaszek and Rob Wittig.

          Interview of Eugene Cecil LaFond by Brian Shoemaker        
Interview of Eugene Cecil LaFond by Brian Shoemaker LaFond, Eugene Cecil, 1909- Eugene La Fond was born in eastern Washington of French-Canadian extraction. He was inspired by his grandfather, Godfrey La Fond, who panned for gold in Alaska under trying circumstances, and worked for many years as a fisherman on the high seas. His father continued the maritime tradition, and once sailed to Japan and China. La Fond was raised near the ocean in San Diego, and after graduation from San Diego State University pursued graduate studies at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He married his wife, Katherine, in 1935. At Scripps, La Fond was hired to perform various tasks, including drafting, photography, computing, and oceanography, while working on his PhD. He made many cruises on the Scripps, a fishing vessel converted to oceanography, and its successor, the E.W. Scripps. During WWII he worked at the Radio and Sound Laboratory at Point Loma, a division of Scripps. His main job was to collect all the bathythermograph observations in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, and to prepare charts giving the expected acoustic, or radar, range at particular locations for both summer and winter. Considerable data on temperature and depth had been collected, and after the war La Fond returned to Scripps to analyze it further. Soon he was offered and accepted a position with the Navy Electronic Laboratory. There he headed the Structures Section, an office that studied the structures of oceans. One of his first assignments at NEL was to participate in atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. The Navy wanted to learn where the radioactive water would go after the bomb tests. La Fond took Nansen casts and BT observations to get the water structure. These were used to calculate the dynamic height and flow of the water and confirmed that there is an undercurrent at the equator. La Fond was the first person to go on the still hot atoll after the blast to collect water at different areas and depths to find out where the maximum radioactivity was. This was dangerous work; one of his friends, John Lyman, an oceanographer, got too much radioactivity and died. In 1947, La Fond made his first trip to the Arctic aboard the USS Nereus, a submarine tender. The ship visited the Pribilofs, the Aleutians, Kodiak, and Kotzebue Sound. Admiral John McCain, in charge of the entire Pacific theatre, was aboard. La Fond was chief scientist; members of his research team included Walter Munk, Graham Marks, and Fred Root. They took BT Nansen casts, bottom samples, plankton net hauls, and took depth measurements across the Bering Sea. His second Arctic cruise, also to the Bering Sea, was on the USS Cedarwood, a joint effort with the Canadians. La Fond and Dr. Jack Tully were co-leaders of the research team. As before, measurements were taken of ocean currents. A specific project was to measure a big eddy in the Chukchi Sea at the point it converged with the north flowing current from the Bering Sea. Several land stops were made, including to the bay at Teller to replenish the ship’s fresh water supply. They also bought various trade items from Eskimos. His third cruise, in 1950, was aboard the icebreaker, the USS Burton Island. It did similar research but was able to penetrate further north into the ice. On a helicopter flight a polar bear was shot, brought back to ship, cooked and eaten. La Fond did not approve, but reported polar bear tasted like sweet veal. La Fond’s next trip was aboard the atomic submarine, the USS Skate, commanded by Lt. Commander John Nicholson, later an Admiral. They were joined by a second submarine, the USS Nautilus. Traveling under the ice they arrived at the North Pole, and continued on to Greenland, Spitzbergen, and Bergen, Norway, and Belgium. They recorded water depths, current speed and direction, the thickness of the ice, and the light intensity, and surfaced nine times in polynas, areas of open sea surrounded by ice. Once they surfaced only a few miles from the North Pole. This trip, his fourth, was his last visit to the Arctic. In his subsequent career he participated in expeditions to the South China Sea, and the Indian Ocean. His wife, Katherine, was an active participant on these trips, and she adds some personal comments about their life together and some of their joint travels. She kept some of the records of several expeditions. At the time of the interview they had been married 65 years. Major Topics: Oceanographic research in 4 Arctic Expeditions in the 1950’s Bikini Atoll atomic tests Sailing to the North Pole and beyond in the Skate, an atomic submarine Personal reflections from Katherine La Fond, wife of Eugene La Fond, Katherine, pp. 40-52 Lyman, John, oceanographer, died of radiation from Bikini Atoll, p. 9 Lyon, Waldo, head of the Navy Electronics Laboratory, pp. 8, 9-10, 22-23 McCain, Admiral John, pp. 12-13 Moberg, Eric, Assistant Director of Scripps, pp. 5-6 Munk, Walter, Electronic Laboratory, pp. 13-14 Nicholson, John, submarine commander, p. 27 Sverdrup, Harald, Director of Scripps, pp. 7 Vaughn, T. Wayland, Director of Scripps, pp. 6-7
          Interview of Colin Bull by Brian Shoemaker        
Interview of Colin Bull by Brian Shoemaker Bull, Colin Dr. Bull was born in Birmingham, England, grew up in Herefordshire, and became a U.S. citizen in mid-1970s. When he was young, Dr. Bull read books regarding on Antarctic expeditions such as “South with Scott,” by Evans and “Mid-Ice” by Georgi on Wegener Greenland Expedition, which impressed him deeply. Dr. Bull attributes his interest in the polar regions to his association with Scott Expedition members – Fritz Loewe, Georgi and Sorge. Dr. Bull received his PhD at Birmingham University in Condensed Matter Physics in 1951. Dr. Bull went on his first polar expedition to Spitsbergen in 1951 under Sir Raymond Priestley’s patronage. He also volunteered for the British North Greenland Expedition led by Commander C. J. W. Simpson between 1952 and 1954. During this period, he, Mike Banks and Taffy Oakley attempted to measure the thickness of the ice by gravity in the areas of St. John’s Fjord in Prince Charles Foreland. They traversed North Greenland for their magnetic recording, and he calls it “the slowest traverse of Greenland on record.” When he came back to England, he lectured about the expedition and edited a book on the subject, which eventually became Venture to the Arctic, published by Penguin. A couple of books about the expedition were written by the members: North Ice by the leader Simpson and High Arctic by Mike Banks. He also went on the expedition to Norway to the Austerdalsbrae Glacier in 1955, and then 1958-1959, South Victoria Land, and 1960-1961, Sukkertoppen. In 1963-64, he went to Byrd Station and participated on the traverse out to the Whitmore Mountains. In 1956 he married. Shortly afterward, he departed for New Zealand in order to take a lecturer position at Wellington University. Upon his arrival, Dr. Bull organized the Victoria University of Wellington Antarctica Expedition. The members of the first New Zealand Antarctica expedition of 1958-1959 led by Dr. Bull included Peter Webb, Barrie McKelvey, and Dick Barwick. Their research was conducted in the Dry Valleys near McMurdo. Dr. Bull named the Wright Valley after Sir Charles Seymour Wright of the Scott Expedition. Bull Pass, the McKelvey Valley, Webb Glacier and the Barwick Valley were named by this expedition. While in New Zealand he made a concerted effort to take women researchers to Antarctica, but without success. Dr. Bull organized a follow-on expedition for the 1959-60 season that included a woman research member named Dawn Rodley. The U.S. Navy refused to fly her to the Dry Valleys, however. This was probably the first effort to include a woman researcher in a modern Antarctic Expedition. In March 1961 Dr. Bull took a position as visiting professor at the Institute of Polar Studies, The Ohio State University. The position became permanent and he worked at OSU for the following 25 years. He was Director of the Institute from 1965 to 1969. He then became Chairman of the Department of Geology, and then in 1972, he became Dean of Mathematics and Physical Sciences and served on many polar boards and study groups since that time. Dr. Bull helped write the proposal to the family of Richard E. Byrd in 1972 requesting that they archive his papers at Ohio State. He promised to change the name of the Institute of Polar Studies to the Byrd Polar Research Center if they did. The family accepted and BPRC is today an established national institution. Dr. Bull sponsored many scientific expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic during this period. He is especially proud that he sponsored 14 researchers for their doctorates and imported many other high quality researchers to Ohio State. In 1969 he sponsored the first female field expedition to the Antarctic led by Dr. Lois Jones and including Kay Lindsay, Eileen McSaveney and Terry Tickhill. He has been on most polar boards including the Polar Research board, and was also Chairman of the SCAR Working Group on Glaciology. He retired in 1986 moved to Bainbridge Island Washington where he is active in the polar tourist business and collecting and selling books from the Polar Regions. He has since made eight trips to Antarctica with tourist groups. Major Topics 1. British North Greenland Expedition led by Commander C. J. W. Simpson between 1952 and 1954 2. Wright Valley and Sukkertoppen Ice Cap 3. The first female field expedition to the Antarctic 4. SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) 5. INSTAAR 6. IAATO — International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators Key Individuals Mentioned 1. Frank Debenham, physiographer on Scott’s Last Expedition and first Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, p.1 2. Herbert Ponting, photographer on Scott’s Last Expedition, p.2 3. Wilson, zoologist and artist on Scott’s Last Expedition, p.2 4. Stan Paterson, surveyor in Greenland, p.2 5. Hal Lister p.2, 15 6. Fritz Loewe, p.3, 4, 28, 29 7. Georgi, p.3, 4 8. Sorge, p.3, 4 9. Raymond Priestley, vice-chancellor of Birmingham University, p.5, 6, 19 10. Lancelot Fleming, p.8 11. Commander C. J. W. Simpson, p.8, 13 12. Taffy (Jack) Oakley, p.10 13. Roy Homard, went on Bunny Fuchs’s Transantarctic Expedition, p.11 14. Gillian Bull (Dr. Bull’s wife), p.14, 26, 27, 54 15. Bunny Fuchs, p.11. 14 16. Barrie McKelvey, p.15, 16 17. Peter Webb, p.15, 16 18. Dick Barwick, p.16, 20 19. Bob Nichols, p.21, 22 20. Bob Dawson, p.22 21. Ron Balham, p. 22 22. Ralph Wheeler, p.23 23. Ted Thorne, p.23 24. Bob Clark, p.23 25. Dufek, p.24, 25. 26. Tyree, p.24, 25 27. Dawn Rodley, later became Dawn Beck, p. 23, 24, 25, 26 28. Dick Goldthwait, p.26, 27, 30, 49, 52, 54 29. David Elliot, p.30, 49, 50, 51 30. John Mercer, p.31, 49 31. Kaye Everett, p.31, 49, 54 32. Mainly Mort, p.31, 32, 38, 40, 51 33. Tom Jones, p.31 34. Lois Jones, p. 38, 39, 41 35. George Llano, p.31, 32 36. Lonnie Thompson, p.32, 37 37. Ian Whillans, p.33 38. Gerry Holdsworth, p.33, 34 39. Cedo Marangunic, Chilean who came from Santiago to work with Dr. Bull on the Sherman Glacier, p.33, 36 40. Wayne Hamilton, p.35, 36 41. Olav Orheim, Head of the Norwegian Polar Institute, p.36, 37, 42 42. Ann Davey, p.37, 38 43. Almut Iken, p.38 44. Kay Lindsey, p.39, 41 45. Eileen McSavenney, p.39, 41 46. Terry Tickhill, p.39 47. Paul Dalrymple, p.40, 41 48. Kelly Welsh, p.41 49. Jim Zumberge, p.43 50. Larry Gould, p.43, 52, 57 51. John Heap, p.49
          Song of the Week | Anna of the North – Lovers        
Photo credit: Jonathan Vivaas Kise The latest WFMO X Music Savage Show “Song of the Week” spotlight is focused on the beautiful country of Norway and shines directly on the amazing new single, “Lovers,” the title-track from Oslo duo Anna of the North’s upcoming debut LP, out September 8th via Different Recordings. Anna of the North is Anna Lotterud and […]
          Kleppmelk – A Norwegian Dish Dating To The Viking Age        

Kleppmelk is a traditional Norwegian dish specific mostly to the regions of Trøndelag (central Norway) and Nord-Norge (northern Norway). It is a soup that consists of solid small doughs softened in milk. It is safe to assume that this culinary treat dates to the Viking period as the modern Norwegian word ‘klepp’ was derived from...

The post Kleppmelk – A Norwegian Dish Dating To The Viking Age appeared first on The Dockyards.

          The History Of Sweden Throughout The Eventful Viking Period        

In the time of the Viking Age Sweden was fragmented into many petty kingdoms (also known as earldoms) ruled each by a local chieftain, although, according to semi-legendary history, there might have been renowned monarchs who ruled parts of the realms of what is now Sweden (along with Denmark and Norway) such as Ragnar Lothbrok...

The post The History Of Sweden Throughout The Eventful Viking Period appeared first on The Dockyards.

          Could There Have Actually Been Finns Among The Vikings?        

Very much unlike the cases of early medieval Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands, documentation regarding the Viking Age in Finland is very scarce. Possibly with the exception of the Åland Islands (an autonomous Swedish-speaking archipelago situated in the Gulf of Bothnia, Baltic Sea), there is little information on how the Viking period...

The post Could There Have Actually Been Finns Among The Vikings? appeared first on The Dockyards.

          RUB1379 Team Norway        

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          Sparrow sized drone        
Yes cameras are getting smaller but what about the drones?  There’s no standard set for the size or design of drones, and the Army plans to use that to its advantage. Introducing the Black Hornet Nano.   I’s a a micro drone, designed by a firm in Norway called Prox Dynamics. This helicopter drone is small enough to […]
          War Prisons in early 1800s        
I am researching my wife's ancestor from Kristiansand, Norway. Soren Thomasen Natvig was born Oct. 23, 1777. I find him last in 1815 when his wife died in that city.

I have found two books online talking about his son Thomas Sorensen Natvig. And those books simply state that the father (Soren) died in an English war prison. I would assume that would have been about 1818.

Anyone have something you can help me with? I would sure love to find a record of his death -- maybe in some old English records.

Ken Johnson
          Views from Dunkirk        

Nearly half a century ago, a new fashion swept the historical profession.  Rather than focus on the “great men”—or would-be great men—of history, the decision-makers who initiated, fought, won and lost wars, or passed laws, or ran for office, many historians argued for examining the experience of ordinary—or marginalized—men and women, whom they argued had been neglected in the past.  It took time for this new idea to spread outside the academy.  In the early 1990s, Ken Burns met with a group of professional historians after the screening of his first great documentary on the Civil War, and they took him to task severely for his traditional approach.  His subsequent work has increasingly reflected their criticism.  Now, however, this view of history has become mainstream in much of the press and in the media—and it is very much on display in Christopher Nolan’s new film, Dunkirk.  One way to illustrate this is to look at what Nolan left out—the political and military context of the events he shows on the screen.

When the Second World War in Europe began in September 1940, the British and French expected a long struggle, and most Americans expected the British and French to prevail.  The French invested huge sums in the Maginot Line, a system of fortifications along the Franco-German border (but not along the Franco-Belgian border), and thought themselves secure from attack.  Neither side wanted to begin a bombing campaign against the other, and for seven months, through April, both sides built up their forces without any fighting.  By May, about three million German soldiers faced two million French and about 400,000 British troops.  (Today, the entire army of the United States numbers less than half a million.)  In early April, the Germans struck north, not west, invading Denmark and Norway.  That catastrophe brought down the government of Neville Chamberlain in Britain, and Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in early May. Then, on May 10, they invaded neutral Holland and Belgium. On May 14, backed by dive bombers, the Germans crossed the Meuse River at Sedan, very near the intersection of Belgium, Germany, and France.

Having broken through, German tank forces and motorized troops advanced with unprecedented speed. They reached the English Channel at the mouth of the Somme by May 21, just one week after their breakthrough. That divided most of the French Army to the South from some French forces and the entire British Expeditionary Force to the North.  Within a few days, further German advances forced the British and French into a small pocket around Dunkirk.  Suddenly, the fate of western civilization hung in the balance.

For seven years, since 1933, Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany had established a new totalitarian form of government in the heart of Europe, based upon the idea of Aryan racial supremacy.  Hitler, Mussolini in Italy, and Franco in Spain had declared that liberal democracy was dead, and that they were leading Europe into a new future.  By the last week of May their hopes seemed on the point of realization.  Nothing, it seemed, could stand in the way of German forces.  France was collapsing, and the entire British Army was likely to be captured. The allies, meanwhile, had been unable to cope with the German air force.  Most of the world expected the British either to suffer invasion or make peace within a few weeks, and across the Atlantic, as I showed in my last book, the US government began to think seriously about how to defend the western hemisphere against the victorious Axis. The world faced one of the great turning points of modern history.

That is the background to the organization of the evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk of which Christopher Nolan’s film gives us a glimpse.  I use that word on purpose.  Although one character reports, correctly, that more than 300,000 men were evacuated, at no time did Nolan attempt to set up a scene on the beach or in the water that would give a true idea of the scale of the operation.  We spend a lot of time with Mark Rylance’s small boat, but it was only one of 700 that the Royal Navy requisitioned—and most of them were not manned by their owners, but by naval personnel. I thought the shots of troops on the beach gave the impression that thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of men, at most, were involved—not hundreds of thousands.  Nor was there any real sense of the battle French troops were waging just outside the city to keep the Germans out.

According to Nolan, this was not accidental, but purposeful.  “Dunkirk is not a war film,” Nolan says. “It's a survival story and first and foremost a suspense film. So while there is a high level of intensity to it, it does not necessarily concern itself with the bloody aspects of combat, which have been so well done in so many films. . . The only question I was interested in was: Will they get out of it? Will they be killed by the next bomb while trying to join the mole? Or will they be crushed by a boat while crossing?"  In another interview, Nolan says,    "I knew I didn’t want to make a film that could be dismissed as old-fashioned, something that wasn’t relevant to today’s audiences," he elaborates. "What that ruled out for me immediately was getting bogged down in the politics of the situation.”—that is, that the future of the world was at stake. “We don’t have generals in rooms pushing things around on maps. We don’t see Churchill. We barely glimpse the enemy. It’s a survival story. I wanted to go through the experience with the characters."

The evacuation succeeded largely because the Royal Air Force mostly kept the Luftwaffe out of the skies over Dunkirk.  That allowed Churchill to promise Britain and the world that Britain could fight on and survive until help came from the New World.  That is why democracy, not totalitarianism, has ruled the western world for the last 72 years.

Born in 1970, Christopher Nolan may understand that he owes his whole life and career to Churchill, and Roosevelt who rallied their peoples and to the admirals and generals who commanded the forces that defeated Hitler--but he chose not to put any such understanding into his film.  More importantly, he does not seem to understand that the allies won the war precisely because the soldiers and sailors and airmen in his film were not thinking only about whether they personally might survive.  They knew that they might not, but they believed that they were fighting for things that justified their sacrifice—and they were right.  The question now before us is whether we can preserve the civilization that we inherited without finding leaders who can rally us behind a common cause, and without reviving some spirit of sacrifice for the common good.  That is something that films could help us do.

          5 Norwegian schools shift exams for Bieber concert        
Five schools in western Norway have rescheduled their midterm exams to allow students to attend upcoming Justin Bieber concerts in the capital, the country's Ministry of Education and Research said Wednesday.
          The Cam Sham? Rule One Of Politics Is Never Trust A Tory        
If Cameron was expecting favourable headlines this morning regarding his so-called negotiations then he will be sorely disappointed. Dubbed a "Cam sham" the tone of the coverage illustrated by the front pages above has been savage and rightly so. Cameron's so-called negotiations have been exposed for the nonsense they currently are.

As EUReferendum superbly dissects, despite Cameron's boast there are "substantial changes", there are no economic safeguards, no migrant safeguards, no end to "ever closer union" and no red card. Economic safeguards, ever closer union and red cards all require treaty change, a treaty which so far has every sign of having been put on hold. Cameron's migrant safeguards amount to little more than the UK having permission to ask the EU Commission for permission. I presume the Commission's permission will be delivered to Cameron "by fax".

Yet it could still get even worse for Cameron. Lost Leonardo notes that these non fundamental reforms "may not even be the end of Mr Cameron’s humiliation. The proposals now have to be assessed and picked over by the 27 other EU Member States, which may raise further objections in the upcoming European Council meeting, later this month".

Initially this leaves us rather optimistic that a referendum can be won. Without any kind of 'meaningful reform', and I use the term loosely, the polls have long suggested that the leavers will win.

But and there is a very significant but and it's one which leaves us distinctly uneasy. From experience and from studying the 1975 referendum there were certain expectations of Cameron's strategy. Substantial reform of course was never on the cards and so our anticipation of a deal was low, but delivered with plenty of spin.

In addition we expected plenty of theatre (preferably during late 2017 when the UK holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of Ministers), expectation management and the last minute reform rabbit out of the hat. All helped along by a "Pauline conversion" by the so-called right wing press such as the Mail who have always supported EU membership while not making it obvious. No where was this more apparent than over media reports of Cameron's phantom veto - which never happened.

We also have to consider that Cameron is being advised by the Civil Service, EU bureaucrats and other countries such as the United States, none of whom we should underestimate particularly as they all have vested interests in us staying in.

Yet despite that Cameron doesn't even seem to have managed to reach the very low bar he set himself, has left himself open to humiliation and instead of a last minute attempt at a big white rabbit has allowed the internet to have five months to completely ridicule his plans before a June referendum (if he is planning one).

Further concerns come to the fore when Boris Johnson, arch Europhile, suggests that "David Cameron 'made the best out of a bad job' as he refuses to praise EU deal".

Are we being played? Experience most certainly suggests we are. This appears too easy. Too good to be true. Is the ground being laid for something bigger.

Undoubtedly it could be that Cameron has made a complete pig's ear of this referendum and the negotiations. Cameron's form on the matter so far suggests this is perfectly possible.

Yet...we have to remember rule one of politics applies....never ever trust a Tory.
          Saved by the Dolphins        
(Artist credit:  Christian Lassen)

I don't think it is anthropomorphizing when us cetacean lovers fight for the rights of these mammals.  One can argue that might be part of it, but the other part is pretty simple, at least to me.  Dolphins, for example, have repeatedly shown empathy and compassion for not only themselves and the members of their pods, but for other species as well.  Stories abound from centuries upon centuries before we were born about dolphins rescuing people or animals in distress in the sea.

I hope I am not engaging in any copyright infringement here, but I really want to share some examples from Diana Reiss's book, The Dolphin in the Mirror.

One high profile occasion occurred with Elian Gonazalez.  I'm sure most people remember him.  At the time, he was a six year old boy fleeing Cuba with his mother back in 2000 and had survived for two days in the Caribbean lying on an inner tube after his boat sank.  His mother had unfortunately gone down with the boat.  Two fishermen who plucked Elian from the sea said there were dolphins circling the boy on his tube.  And Elian himself told reporters that dolphins surrounded him and would push him back up onto the mini raft when he was losing strength and slipping off.  The boy claimed that the only time he felt safe was when the dolphins appeared.

Diana Reiss went on to share a couple of other stories of people who were rescued by dolphins when the Asian tsunami hit and another story from a woman in Greece.  One family wondered if the dolphins had special sensory systems that warned of impending disaster because suddenly they had a pod of dolphins circling their craft who proceeded to push the boat to shore.  Then the tsunami hit.  The family was convinced that the dolphins saved them.     The woman from Greece called Diana Reiss and claimed dolphins saved her life too.  She shared she would go swimming often, and she would see dolphins, but they wouldn't come near her.  But on one occasion she got into trouble and thought she was going to drown.  She felt a nudge and she was being pushed rapidly towards shore.  The dolphin saved her life.

Another story happened off the coast of Venezuela near Isla de Margarita.  A man, Tony Salazar was on a sailboat with his brother participating in a Regatta in June 1997.  The seas were choppy and it was quite windy, Salazar fell overboard.  Because the boat was moving so fast, it disappeared quickly from view.  He thought he was going to die, and after a half hour of struggling, he was suddenly surrounded by dolphins.    His boat crew were searching frantically for him and zig zagging all over the place.  They noticed a pair of dolphins would approach them, swim off, return, swim off, and finally the crew realized the dolphins were trying to tell them something.  So they followed the dolphins who led them to Salazar who was rescued.

Maybe some of you remember there was a story in the news last summer about an Irish fisherman who had drowned and when his body was found, a pod of dolphins had been keeping a constant vigil around him. Article here:  Dolphins Maintain Vigil for Drowned Fisherman in Australia

There are numerous other stories out there documented.  Just do a keyword search with your favorite search engine.

Countries like Japan put a high emphasis on science to back up their reasons for why they kill cetaceans.   I'd love to know WHY they do not take into consideration all the scientific studies and research that has taken place for years now about cetacean intelligence and their emotional intelligence as well.  What is it going to take to get people like this to accept and finally acknowledge that cetaceans are in a class deserving of rights and protection?  It just doesn't seem right to me to hear them spout off about all sorts of justifications for doing what they do and yet ignore all the mounting evidence out there that gives them solid, logical, reasonable, and SCIENTIFIC reasons to NOT kill them.

For a lengthy but very interesting reading related to this, check out: Culture, Politics, and Japanese Whaling.

This same argument applies to the Faroe Islands (who claim killing the pilot whales is a matter of local tradition and pride as the most common reason I hear) and Norway, for giving the same excuses of culture and tradition to kill whales.

Many people see whales as majestic and magical creatures whose haunting songs evoke a multitude of emotions in people.  Many people see Dolphins often as extensions of themselves given their playfulness, joy, intelligence, and compassion.   We feel an unexplainable spiritual and primitive connection with them.  And many who have made eye contact with a whale or a dolphin swear they are in the presence of an alien or otherworldly intelligence.

One doesn't need science to explain feelings.  It just is.  It's like trying to have someone explain God exists but can't prove it.  You just know it.  You just feel it.  It's about faith and knowing deep in your soul.

So maybe we can't argue with the cetacean killers with emotions.  But we can with science.  The proof is out there.  We have to keep presenting it to them.  We have to try to get International laws changed to protect these species. And we need to continue to have faith, belief, and hope that our fights will one day soon result in victories and that the songs, clicks, and whistles from our friends will finally be heard and more than that, truly listened to.

They are always saving us.  It's long past time for the world to return the favor and to save them.

          The Power of People        

Yesterday I mentioned that Amazon had been allowing for the sale of whale meat on their site.  Environmental Investigation Agency brought this to the public's attention and all hell broke loose.  Amazon's Facebook page was overwhelmed by hundreds of people posting on their wall in protest, among numerous other places and numerous other news reports.  The word spread like wildfire and it appears the power of the people has spoken and Amazon listened.

Amazon has yet to release an official statement saying anything.  But just hours after I found out about it myself and joined the chorus of other protesters on their Facebook page, all whale meat products were quietly removed from Amazon's site. 

Australia was the first to report this last night / this morning at:  Amazon Backs Down

If only activism was this easy in everything else :-) 

A few days ago, Norway announced it was resuming whaling and set a quota for this year at 1,286 minke whales.  I wonder if Sea Shepherd will head over to Norway next to try to cut into this quota?  One can only hope.

Ric O'Barry of Save Japan Dolphins needs your help.  Please check out his latest post here: Letter From Taiji Whale Museum.   Sign the petition and please take a moment to email WAZA and ask them to release these two dolphins in the world's smallest dolphin tank.

Hong Kong Airlines is profiting from the sale of Taiji dolphins by transporting them on their planes.  See here:  Misery of the Dolphins in Flying Coffins.  There is a petition urging Hong Kong Airlines to please stop this practice.   It's never been easier being an armchair activist - please take a few minutes and make your voice heard too.

If you are a PBS supporter / viewer, you may already know this, but in case you don't ... Nature is showing a special on whales and dolphins starting tonight called Ocean Giants.  There will be repeated airings at various times so be sure to check your local listings.

BP continues to profit enormously despite last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the people living in that area continue to suffer.  Gotta love how the oil companies get richer and make certain politicians richer while millions of folks are suffering needlessly because of their stupidity.

A lot of discussion is currently taking place about giving cetaceans equal rights and recognizing them as non-human persons with basic rights such as life, freedom, and well-being.   One article here:  Dolphins Deserve Rights

I have to take issue with this quote: 

“I sometimes wonder whether we’ve got our priorities mixed up when we treat animals and the environment with more respect than human beings,” Paul Schratz said. “There are billions of people around the world who deserve our attention.”

One of the problems I personally see with humanity is our ego and misplaced sense of superiority.  All life is interconnected on this planet.  All beings deserve respect and humane treatment. I find it highly hypocritical and anti-compassionate to think that humans rule the earth and are far more worthy of life and liberty than non-human species.  Why is it that way?  Because we say so? 

I'm reminded of this wise Native American saying: 

Honor the sacred.
Honor the Earth, our Mother.
Honor the Elders.
Honor all with whom we
share the Earth:-
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds,
winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers,
plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.

~ Native American Elder ~

Far too many humans seem to know squat about living in harmony with nature and other species and treating all life with balance and respect.  It's no wonder our planet is so messed up.  It's not the mammals in the sea or the wildlife on the land that is causing all this misery, it's US!   Our oceans would be abundant with enough fish for everyone, both human and non, if we'd find that balance and use everything sustainably, humanely, and with respect.  We have the power people.  Please don't give up the fight.  

"If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth - beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals - would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?"  ~Attributed to George Bernard Shaw

          EU Referendum: EEA Ruled by Fax? Iceland Said No        

It does seem rather revealing that, David Cameron has opted to make his case against UK membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) - the so-called Norway option - in Iceland, which is also a member of the EEA.

The EEA would allow us to have access to the Single Market without "ever closer union, but crucially as Flexcit demonstrates membership would not be the end game but merely part of a six stage process to facilitate an orderly exit and allow the UK to rejoin the global community without EU constraints or baggage.

That neither the Vote Leave campaign nor the Leave.EU campaign (nor indeed UKIP), thus far the only two candidates for official designation, have officially adopted such a position of the Norway option leaves us wondering why the Prime Minister would go to such lengths to discredit the option.

It can only leave us with the conclusion that the option posses a significant threat to the pro-EU movement. It negates the economic argument, leaving only politics and "ever closer union" which leaves them vulnerably exposed. And with this it does indicate that the ideas behind Flexcit, the only definitive exit plan on the table which helps us leave the EU, is gaining traction.

It appears rather ironic that Cameron will attempt to argue against EEA membership in Iceland, which has a population of around 313,000 people; a country which boasts fewer people than the London Borough of Croydon (363,000). A country which has, as we have noted before, said no to the EU.

Iceland was involved with one of biggest rejections of the EU there has ever been by an EEA member over the collapse of Icesave.

Yet as has been typical of our membership of the EU, it has been based from the outset on deception and quite frankly lies, a deception necessary as the true nature of the project cannot be conveyed candidly by politicians to the British people as they would rightly reject it. The true nature of which the EU itself readily acknowledges.

And so it proves with the Norway option which allows us a "stepping stone" out. Inaccurately dismissed as "ruled by fax" (perhaps the use of the term fax is an indication of the backward looking nature of EU supporters - the world's moved on) Norway has in reality more say than the UK over Single Market rules, particularly via global regulatory bodies such as UNECE. Not forgetting also that EEA members have a veto over EU single market rules as per the video above.

Here we see that Mr Brexit does a comprehensive job of demolishing the "Norway has no say meme", for example:
Norway and the other EFTA countries have more influence over the rules and regulations that are turned into laws. In fact, they actually get two bites of the cherry in influencing their shape. As a non-EU country, Norway represents itself on the world stage. Unlike every EU member state, Norway has seats on the international bodies where rules are developed and decided, before being handed down to the EU to implement. EU member states are not allowed to represent themselves, the insists on having a single position for all 28 member states, which is a generally a diluted, compromise position.

But then as members of the EEA (single market) the EU consults Norway and the other EFTA countries on the measures to be implemented, giving them an opportunity to influence the shape of the implementation. So Norway has more than just a say, it also gets to shape the rules from the outset and again at implementation. This gives Norway far more influence than any EU member state.
With the deception of associate membership now out in the open, and the danger which Cameron et al faces over the Norway Option combined with Flexcit, it's only our own side that can stop us now.
          Special Idiots        
(Artist credit: junefeier @ Deviant Art)

Yesterday was another dark day in Taiji, Japan.  25 striped dolphins were slaughtered mercilessly and without remorse.  While global awareness of this has increased at an amazing rate over the last few years, there are moments when I wonder if we'll ever see the end of this.  Not just in Taiji, but in the killing of pilot whales in Denmark, whaling in Japan, Norway, Iceland, etal, and other places too numerous to mention.

I recently learned about Diana Reiss, the author of The Dolphin in the Mirror and one of the founders of the website Act for Dolphins.  I've requested The Dolphin in the Mirror from my local library and based on what I've heard, it comes highly recommended among several of my dolphin friends.

I also found an article about her here:  Studying the Big-Brained Dolphin

I find it highly encouraging that more scientists are jumping on board in support of cetaceans and even supporting the notion that these mammals deserve human rights recognition. One such opinion piece I found is here:  Whales are People Too

Even some notable experts in Japan are speaking up more against whaling and one such example is this pdf pamphlet now available in English online that was published last June 2011.  You can find that here:  Research Whaling? 

One highly suspected culprit in why so many whales and dolphins around the world are stranding themselves lies in the military use of sonar.  Will suing the military make a difference?  I don't know.  But I'm heartened by the efforts of so many compassionate souls out there bringing this to every one's attention:  Groups Sue Over Navy Sonar Impacts on Marine Mammals

Another example of people coming together to speak up and to protect these mammals is A Voice of the Orcas.  This site was put together by a group of former Sea World trainers who are now making their voices heard on what really goes on at Sea World.  Please help spread the word on this.

Here's some good news!  As you know, Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has not only been active in helping to protect whales, sea turtles, sharks, and dolphins, he's also been instrumental in making people aware of the harp seal cull up in Canada.  Many other organizations and people who've been involved in this deserve all the kudos and credit in the world as well.  It's been a battle that's raged for over 40 years.  According to this article by Paul Watson, it appears these slaughters are finally coming to an end.  You can read his commentary on this here:  The Canadian Seal Hunt is Dead! 

It takes a special class and level of idiocy to not give a shit about what you're doing when you're out on the water in a boat or on a jet ski.  Some people thought it would be a great deal of fun to terrorize a pod of dolphins (with babies) with their jet skis down in Hobart, Australia.   Their self proclaimed ignorance that they were bothering a pod of dolphins is no excuse.  Boating requires one to be mindful and watchful of where you're going and to be careful to not disturb the wildlife.  That's just common sense.

Here's an interesting site that has a page full of varying whale and dolphin links dating back a few years.  Dolphin and Whale News

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." ~ Ansel Adams ~

          Loving Life Enough to Save it.        
Artist credit:  Eva M. Sakmar-Sullivan

"We are at the beginning of that path that can lead humankind to humanity." ~ Sviatoslav Zbeelin, Russian environmentalist ~

Some of the words attributed to the Aquarian Age that's upon is are:  altruistic, humane, enlightenment, consciousness, truth, compassion, spirituality, and love.  That doesn't mean these have not existed.  I simply believe they will become more the norm and we'll see a more commonly held belief that we each have a responsibility, it not a moral duty, to treat ourselves and all species humanely and with respect.

Over the years, Japan has earned a well deserved reputation for being whale and dolphin killers with little regard and with a stubborn defensive stance in claiming to protect their cultural rights to hunt them.  They also seem to have little regard for the exploitation of the fisheries industry and seem to have a short term mind set versus considering the long term consequences of their actions.  So instead of accepting responsibility that they have played a role in the depletion of various species of fish in the sea, they blame the dolphins and the whales for the lack of said fish in the sea. This makes little sense to me personally.  Cetaceans need the fish and plants in the oceans for their own survival.  Japan claims the same.  So going to war against the dolphins and whales only makes sense to them.

Obviously, Japan is a seafood nation.  But their practices and choices are currently not sustainable.  But they are not the only country guilty of this.  Denmark, for instance, continues to slaughter pilot whales.  Norway as well.  And the USA is complicit in this hypocrisy.

I'm not trying to be judgmental here.  However, it deeply concerns me that with our planet teetering ever closer to the point of no return, that we have yet to set a course for sustainability and a mutually beneficial human/species relationship.

I'm reminded of this Cree prophecy that I've shared here in the past:

When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.

Are the times changing?  Based on this article from the Japan Times, it gives me some hope:  Wars Over Whaling

It's the first article from inside of Japan that I can personally recall as being the most level headed and articulate.

And this article offers up a solution to end whaling:  Save the whales .. going once

I especially like this line:  "To see a whale up close, or to hear its song, is to recognize the presence of an alien intelligence."

If you want a reminder of why we all need to show more gratitude for the gifts our Earth give us every second of every day, please re-read my previous blog post Fly Away.

"Will humanity love life enough to save it?" ~ E. O. Wilson ~

I remain hopeful ... 



          [Vidéo] Social Media Revolution        

Une vidéo superbement réalisée... et qui amène à la réflexion sur les réseaux sociaux comme twitter ou facebook....

Is social media a fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution? Welcome to the World of Socialnomics

Je vous préviens, vous allez avoir votre dose de statistiques pour la semaine par contre :)

   *   By 2010, Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers -- 96 percent of them have joined a social network.
   * Social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity on the Web.
   * One out of eight couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media.
   * Years to reach 50 millions users: Radio, 38 years; TV, 13 years; Internet, 4 years; iPod, 3 years. Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine months; iPhone applications hit 1 billion in nine months.
   * If Facebook were a country, it would be the world's fourth largest, between the United States and Indonesia.
   * Yet, some sources say China's QZone is larger, with more than 300 million using their services (Facebook's ban in China plays into this).
   * ComScore indicates that Russia has the most engaged social media audience, with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month -- Vkontakte.ru is the number one social network.
   * A 2009 U.S. Department of Education study revealed that, on average, online students outperformed those receiving face-to-face instruction.
   * One in six higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum.
   * Eighty percent of companies use LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees.
   * The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55- to 65-year-old females.
   * Ashton Kutcher and Ellen DeGeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway, and Panama.
   * Eighty percent of Twitter usage is on mobile devices. People update anywhere, anytime. Imagine what that means for bad customer experiences!
   * Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé. Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen in 2009.
   * What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook...
   * YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
   * Wikipedia has more than 13 million articles. Some studies show it's more accurate than Encyclopædia Britannica. Seventy-eight percent of these articles are non-English.
   * There are more than 200,000,000 blogs.
   * Fifty-four percent of bloggers post content or tweet daily.
   * Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth.
   * If you were paid $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia, you would earn $156.23 per hour.
   * Facebook users translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than two weeks and cost Facebook $0.
   * Twenty-five percent of search results for the world's top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
   * Thirty-four percent of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.
   * People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them.
   * Seventy-eight percent of consumers trust peer recommendations.
   * Only 14 percent trust advertisements.
   * Only 18 percent of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI.
   * Ninety percent of TiVo users skip ads.
   * Hulu has grown from 63 million total streams in April 2008 to 373 million in April 2009.
   * Twenty-five percent of Americans in the past month said they watched a short video on their phone.
   * According to Jeff Bezos, 35 percent of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available.
   * Twenty-four of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because we no longer search for the news -- the news finds us.
   * In the near future, we won't search for products and services; they will find us via social media.
   * More than 1.5 million pieces of content (Web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook daily.
   * Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy -- listening first, selling second.
   * Successful companies in social media act more like party planners, aggregators, and content providers than traditional advertisers.

          The Humpbacks are here again!        

          Zoom H6 Review: in field and post        
The new Zoom H6 has been awaited and proper tests of noise levels have been asked for around different forums on web. I received my H6 this weekend and have managed to make a few trials with my Telinga PIP 3.5mm-input microphone.

The H6 is larger, heavier and more bulky than the old H4n! But it seems to be more solid and feels really nice and stable in use. I've done a few ambient recording early in the morning close to the sea, and in birch forest for woodpeckers invading us in the moment. All recording are made outside the town of Tromsø, Straumsbukta on the island of Kvaløya, Northern Norway.

I use Audacity for filtering and converting to MP3s and finds it very useful for my use!

The quality on bare files I tested by laying my parabolic mic in the bed with 2 thick douvets  (ab. 15 cm) over, so it should be reasonable quiet :) I then made a recording and adjusting the input level from 10 to 7. Listen to the file on Sound Cloud.

I also made some recordings out in nature to get some real grip of its capablities, listen to this Great Spotted Woodpecker and the Willow tit on XENO-CANTO

The battery life seems to much better that the H4n and found it easy to connect a 5V iPhone/Android spare battery as a Power supply. (See also my blog how to do this for H4n) For H6 it is much easier as you use the original USB/USB-Mini-cable. So I think the quality of recordings are good, but I did not like some of the changes compared to the H4n and this came as a surprize to me.

In the MENU you can choose to name files as a Date-time or a Zoom+Number (ZOOM0001,..)
And that workes fine, I prefer to name them with date and time to keep track of when (and where) I made the recording. But then the first surprize occurs!

All files you record are stored within a NEW folder within the top folder. And they are named with numbers NOT with Date+time.

So that means even you have chosen to name your files with Date-time it will occur as 0001,0002 in the folder01 as shown here. So to find out when you recorded the file you have to open each and every one of them. When you open the f.ex. ZOOM0017-folder it looks like this:

Even here the Wav-file is not named with Date+time!
(NB! I have chosen to make an optional filtered -12dB COPY  that is named _BU), the one named ZOOM0017_LR is the "original" recording - BUT the Wav-filename does not contain anything about time and date! That you will find in a small project-file .hprj So why is this a problem for me?

When I open the file and search through it for birds recorded, I will make exports of scenes or singel species. When I choose to save this as MP3 or Wav it will suggest filename as seen below. This is to plundersome and not a good way of handling files!

File ZOOM0007 opened in Audacity, Meadow pipit and young gull appears in the sonogram. THe noise
in the bottom of the sonogram is a large ship passing in the fjord and NOT noise from preamp or mic.
SO ZOOM-guys when you read this, next firmware update you correct this so the files within the folder is named as originally set in the MENU , BY DATE & TIME  as it was on the old H4n !! 
Filename suggested is ZOOM0007_LR and if I like to change I have to do it manually like shown in the example 130922-103614+ species name. It should have this nameing in the first hand!

  • I should also mention another funny bit, the headphones are monitoring the sound from the mics even if you are NOT recording, as long as you have the mics set for (touch L & R for the PIP-mic/X/Ys). This can be troublesome in field as you walk around listening to all the walking/scratching/branches++, and to turn off this sound you have to turn off the mics! So to start recording you have to turn on the chosen mics and then the Red Recording-knob once. This is really difficult in dark conditions!
  • In the old H4n the sound only was monitored when you touched the Record once and started recording the second time you touched the button.
  • Another stupid issue is that if you touch one of the XLR-inputs and you have no mic connected the H6 will make an empty soundfile Wav-format in the folder! This fills your SD-card with empty files and takes time to open the folders and delete - delete..

          Hornøya - Seabird Paradise        
Hornøya near the town of Vardø, Norway is an island located as far East you can get in Norway  and Western Europe (70.4N 31.2E), actually it's on the same longitude as Istanbul in Turkey or Kairo in Egypt. The seabird colonies on Hornøya is close to the Barents Sea and is rich of fish. This makes a perfect setting for the birds dependent of fish during breding season, and creates life for 10 thousands of gulls, auks and cormorants. Also predators as White-tailed Eagle and Gyr Falcon finds their food here in this seabird haven. The tourist office in Vardø is selling tickets for your boattrip to enter this fantastic Nature reserve on the footsteps of the Varangerfjord and the Barents Sea.
See more photos of seabirds at : Tromsofoto.net Tromsofoto seabirds
Species you will/could encounter are:
Common Eider
Steller's Eider

Herring gull

Greater Black-backed gull
Brünnichs guillemot

Black guillemot
Meadow pipit
Red-throated pipit
Common redpoll
Arctic redpoll
White-tailed Eagle
Gyr Falcon + + +

Hornøya near Vardø is a Seabird Paradise!

Brünnich's Guillemot - POLARLOMVI, Vardø

Razorbill -ALKE

Guillemot - LOMVI


White-tailed Seaeagle - HAVØRN



Common Eider - ÆRFUGL

          Urban passerines - urbane smÃ¥fugl        
Went for a few days to southern most part of Norway - Lista to visit friends and do some birding. Came home with some nice memories in the bag.
Equipment: 7D, 300/2.8L IS + 1.4x

Buskskvett - Whinchat Saxicola rubetra

Steinskvett - Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

Løvsanger på Lista Willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
          Germany & Norway formally join Netherlands & Luxembourg to operate pooled fleet of NATO-owned A330 MRTT tankers        
Madrid -  Germany and Norway officially joined the European/NATO program to acquire Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft along with Netherlands and Luxembourg. The two nations committed to participating in the project through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at NATO HQ in Brussels today. Known as the Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) the programme was initiated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in 2012. Europe’s organization for the management o...
          Novair receives its 1st A321neo        
Swedish charter airline Novair, has taken delivery of its first A321neo on lease from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The A321neo will join Novair’s existing Airbus fleet of two A320 Family aircraft. The aircraft is equipped with comfortable 18 inch wide seats in a single class 221 passenger layout. Powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, the A321neo will be based in Stockholm and operate charter flights from Sweden, Denmark and Norway to destinations in southern Europe and Egypt. The A320neo...
          Carolyn Schnurer Folkloric Dresses - 1955        
Carolyn Schnurer was well known for basing entire collections on the fabrics and ethnic traditions of the countries she visited on her world travels.  For the spring of 1955, she featured a collection based on the folk lore of Norway with fabric prints and design elements inspired by Norwegian traditions.  The fabrics here are Everglaze cottons by Ameritex for Schnurer.  Schnurer also designed the co-ordinating jewelry.

Above:  Swimsuit with buttoned straps and little pockets, sold for $18.95 in 1955 (about $167.00 in today's dollar.)
Sun dress with the same buttoned straps and pleats at the hem, sold for $29.95 in 1955 (about $264.00 in today's dollar.)

Darling dress with suspender detail, gathered cap sleeves and pleats at the hem.  Sold for $29.95 in 1955 (about $264.00 in today's dollar.)

Photos from a 2-page ad for Carolyn Schnurer and Ameritex Fabrics, featured in Harper's Bazaar, 1955.

           The Institute of Ruin         
Shepley, Alec and Dutton, Steve (2013) The Institute of Ruin. In: Sensuous Knowledge 7, 23-25 January 2013, Kunsthgskolen/National Institute for the Arts, Bergen, Norway.
           Open access, humanities activism and scholar agency: re-imagining our future         
Eve, Martin Paul (2013) Open access, humanities activism and scholar agency: re-imagining our future. In: Fremtiden er åpen!, 25th September 2013, Bergen, Norway.
           An exploration of design thinking across educational domains         
Cusens, Demelza and Byrd, Hugh (2013) An exploration of design thinking across educational domains. In: Design Learning for Tomorrow: Design Education from Kindergarten to PhD , 14-17th May, Oslo, Norway.
          Brexit: An opportunity that could be wrecked by politicians        
So the UK votes to leave and the PM decides to leave, but not now.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer hides, and beyond the Bank of England printing a few billion, nothing else happens.

The EU has already decided to play tough and has its own position, which is essentially "fuck off, the walls are going up, deal with it".  Although Germany is being much more nuanced.

The Conservative Party has to find a new leader, and from that a new Cabinet and a policy on negotiations.  Labour meanwhile is going the same way.  It is likely a new Conservative leader/PM will call a General Election on a manifesto of leading the UK into a new open, free-trading world with a new free trading relationship with the EU.   Leaving the EU requires the UK to initiate it formally, which the EU is begging for, but the Government would rather delay because it changes its bargaining position.

Yet that could be problematic, not least because a key plank of those fighting to leave the EU is to end free movement of people with the EU, and all countries in the EU Single Market (including non-EU Norway and Iceland) all have signed up to free movement, and even non Single Market Switzerland has, although it does have extensive restrictions on new residents having access to any government provided services.

Meanwhile, leftwing nationalists have jumped on an opportunity.  Sinn Fein wants a referendum on Irish unification, but the Northern Ireland First Minister has said no.  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is flailing about wanting a second referendum on independence, but wont discuss:

1. The EU only lets non-members join, not current members split into joining and non-joining;
2. Joining the EU means joining the Euro;
3. 90% of Scottish trade is with the UK, Scotland in the EU would mean any EU trade barriers with the UK also apply to Scottish trade with the rest of the UK.

Spain, showing it really hasn't turned as far from Francoism as it would have liked, is demanding co-sovereignty over Gibraltar.

Meanwhile, the young leftwing social justice warrior types (Generation SnowFlake some have called them, for their "safe spaces", being "triggered" by hurt feelings and constantly protesting about what is offended) feel "betrayed" about the old "ruining their futures".  However, the truth is that the majority of the young didn't care enough to vote as revealed by Sky News below.

Whinging about democracy when it doesn't go your way, whilst embracing it otherwise, is beyond the pale, as are some of the hate filled attacks on older votes coming from those whose own identity politics is supposed to decry hate speech.  The truth being that the so-called liberal leftwing anti-hate, anti-violence activists are full of hate and quite happily embrace violence to get their "own way".  It's emotion laden petulance, of the kind you would have only seen from the fringes of the far-right and conspiracy theorists had the vote gone to Remain. 

So what should happen now? (notwithstanding who the PM and Government is)

1. The Government should announce the key planks of a new relationship with the EU around trade, investment, movement of people and co-operation, that it seeks to adopt.  It should clarify to the entire country that it is not going to be a UK of isolationism, but one of openness.

2. The Government should make it clear to all EU passport holders in the UK that no-one will be deported, except under existing arrangements for threats to national security or criminals.  No EU residents need fear this, nor will their property be affected or businesses, and if anyone threatens them they should go to the Police.

3. The PM should make it clear that there will be no referendum on Scottish independence this side of Brexit, but that the Government will consult with the Scottish government and parliament on the deal it seeks with the EU.  It is precipitous to talk about Scottish independence until Scotland sees the new deal negotiated with the EU.

4. The PM should make it clear that there will be no referendum on Northern Ireland joining Ireland unless the preconditions of the Good Friday Agreement are met, but that equally it cannot happen until the new deal with the EU is negotiated AND negotiations are concluded with the Republic of Ireland.

5. The PM should go to Dublin and discuss the future relationship and reassure that no border controls will be reinstated.

6. The PM should go to Germany and talk, extensively, about how to make this work, and then go to all other EU Member State capitals, and the EFTA Member States too. 

7.  The Government should go to the WTO to discussing reviving membership.

8. The PM should visit USA, China, Japan and other trading partners and say that it wants to have open, freer trading relationships and the UK will be open for business and people.

9. Finally, the PM should make it clear that there wont be a second referendum on membership and that those who want to claim it is unfair, that this is democracy and the task now is to bring the country together and work for a new relationship with the EU and the world that demonstrably proves the claims of the Remain activists wrong.

Oh and ignore Nicola Sturgeon.  The Scottish Parliament can't "veto" the British Government any more than Lambeth Borough Council can stop the UK having nuclear weapons.

          EU truths and untruths        
With the UK now voting as to whether it remains in the EU or stirs up what has been described as "the biggest change in European politics since the fall of the Berlin Wall" (although the war in Yugoslavia and the first genocide since the Nazis ought to come close), I thought I'd run through some of the claims of both sides that are intellectually dishonest.


3 million jobs are linked to trade with the EU: Well yes, but then nobody is saying trade with the EU will end and nobody campaigning to leave wants inferior trading conditions.  The European Free Trade Association provides free trade with the EU, with Switzerland, Norway and Iceland all members.  The idea that leaving the EU means 3 millions jobs are at risk is a gross exaggeration.   However, if the EU is bloody minded and puts up tariff barriers equivalent to what it does for the rest of the world. it is a 4% average tariff on UK trade to the EU, which is negative for jobs, but hardly a huge risk. 

If the UK leaves the EU, you might need a visa to visit the EU: Nonsense.  You don't need a visa to visit the EU from the US, Canada, Australia, NZ or any of the EFTA member states.  What would change is having the right to live there.  Given those wanting to leave mostly want to end the free movement of people, that could be a concern for some. 

Leaving the EU will create a recession: No it wont.  The worst estimates are a small reduction in economic growth, but the long run estimates are a 6% long term slowing of growth if the UK gets the most inferior trading conditions likely with the EU (and assuming the UK has no free trade agreements with any other countries, like the US, Japan and China).  It also assumes the UK does not cut any EU regulation out at all.  In short, the Treasury estimates used by the Government of a recession are based on leaving the EU, and not taking advantage of the new freedom to trade and freedom to relieve the economy of EU Directives that impose costs on growth.

The EU means food, petrol, flights, energy and mobile phone charges are lower: Unmitigated rubbish, quite the opposite.  The EU Common Agricultural Policy inflates the price of food in the EU by 17% over market prices.  The EU legally requires all Member States to tax petrol by at least around 32p/l (but the UK government taxes it at 80% more than that).  The Single Aviation Market goes beyond the EU, with many non-EU countries as participants.  Norwegian Airlines has grown rapidly in the past couple of years, expanding long haul flights between the UK and US.  Norway is not in the EU. The EU inflates energy prices, by requiring minimum levels of taxation on gas and electricity bills, and imposing renewable energy obligations on member states.  Yes mobile roaming in the EU is lower than it would have been had the EU not enforced it, but it's clear EU protectionism and "normalisation" of regulations imposes costs on consumers. 

The £10 billion paid into the EU is "returned' many times over: No it's not.  What is returned is free trade, which should never be at the cost of paying for farming subsidies or infrastructure investment in other countries.  Leaving the EU doesn't mean an end to trading with the EU. 

The EU has 50 trade agreements we lose access to:  Many of which are with micro-states/territories, like San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Guernsey.  The only significant economies with deals are Mexico, South Africa and South Korea.  The UK could readily negotiate during the transition deals easily as good or better, as the main forces for protectionism in trade are the likes of France.

Staying in means reform:  That's highly unlikely.  David Cameron couldn't even get all the reforms he asked for with a threat of Brexit (which clearly the EU saw through as being unlikely), why would it happen after a vote to Remain?  The UK holds 9% of the MEP seats in the European Parliament, and although it is a significant contributor, reform is sclerotic.  The EU hasn't significantly cut back any of its activities and always finds new ones.  It is a political project of integration, and shows little sign of ever caring what is thought of it.

David Cameron's deal means unemployed EU migrants can be deported:  No, they can't. EU citizens can't be deported from Member States unless they are a threat to national security or criminals.  


Leaving the EU will fix the immigration "problem":  Assuming the problem is too many immigrant, and the failure of the Government to cut annual immigration to less than 100,000 people, leaving the EU will enable the UK to ration EU immigration like it does for non-EU.  However, non- EU immigration is already over 150,000 per annum.  Nobody is saying Brexit means deporting immigrants (thankfully).  Most concerns over immigration are perceptions about access to taxpayer provided services, and more often than not reflect the bankruptcy of the world's biggest health bureaucracy, which is treated as a religion never to be reformed (NHS), the bizarre legal obligation of all local authorities to ensure anyone who lives in the UK has housing (including rooms in hotels paid for by taxpayers), the open access to compulsory education and the sclerotic way the UK restrains supply of housing and roads.   Leaving the EU wont solve any of that, but then those wanting to stay in the EU are also devoid of responses to what are more fundamental problems.  

Turkey is joining soon: No it's not.  Notwithstanding David Cameron's hypocrisy over the issue, it is difficult to see Cyprus accepting Turkey until there is settlement over northern Cyprus, or Greece accepting Turkey until Turkey secures its southern borders with Syria and Iraq.  However, Serbia, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia and Albania will all likely be members within 10 years.

Money saved will be spent on the NHS:  Well the half that is a rebate and is current subsidies wont change, although there is a chance to make some serious saving there.  The rest?  Well it can go on many things, but there is a case for simply cutting the deficit by £10 billion a year.  After all, despite George Osborne's platitudes, the UK government is still overspending.  What happens with the money is up to the government.  The Leave campaign is not the government.  Yes leaving the EU wont save £350 million a week, more like half that, but the rebate is not set in a treaty, and the spending 

UK will be drawn into the Euro and ever closer union: The UK has a treaty opt-out of the Euro and has to agree to treaties for ever closer union, but it wont mean it doesn't face the costs of ever closer union.  That will depend on future negotiations.

The UK can get trade access as good as the Single Market without free movement of people:  This is unlikely, simply because it would mean the Single Market is undermined and would be a massive backtracking of the principles of the EU.  Signing up to EFTA or the EEA will mean some compromise on this.

          NZ Herald wrong about EU referendum        
The NZ Herald has decided that it thinks the UK should stay in the EU, but its editorial on the issue is  woeful, it misses the point and is dotted with errors.  There is nothing in the editorial about the key problems with EU membership, around how EU laws are developed undemocratically (introduced by the European Council, MEPs can't introduce legislation), how the EU is inordinately wasteful including on policies that harm New Zealand's economy (including the Common Agricultural Policy) and harm developing countries.  Nothing about the protectionism of the EU slowing the ability of the UK to trade freely with growing economies in Asia and Latin America.  

New Zealand has full control over its trade policy, its domestic regulations and immigration policy, but the UK does not have the same at all.

It's not true that no country has ever left the EU, Greenland did.  Now that's not anything remotely on the scale of the UK.  Of course, neither did the NZ Herald point out that Switzerland, Norway and Iceland all have thrived outside the EU.  The EU is not Europe as much as it likes to think that it is.  

It's true that Brexit could encourage a break up of the EU, but is that necessarily a bad thing? An unwieldy arrogant technocratic organisation that failed miserably to deal with the refugee crisis, was paralysed by the breakup of Yugoslavia, unable to agree on acting until the US intervened to stop Serbia deporting Kosovan Albanians.  The spectre that European countries will wage war on each other when they have functioning liberal democracies with extensive trade and travel with each other. 

Yet the Herald editorial paints the picture that Brexit somehow increases the chance of Russia invading the EU? Why?  NATO provides the security guarantee for its members, it isn't weakened by the UK leaving the EU - at all.  Why would it matter?

The claim that Scotland will leave the UK after a Brexit vote is also rather fatuous.  Polls on Scottish independence still say 55% would vote to stay in the UK, and there is little reason why the UK Government would hold another referendum on Scottish independence.  It's highly presumptive to think Brexit means Scottish independence.

Finally, yes it is immigration that is motivating many voters to want to leave the EU, but not immigration from outside the EU, it is concern that free movement will overcrowd the country, keep down wages and overwhelm government provided services. 

However, for me, it is because the EU is a sclerotic unaccountable project that keeps the UK in chains, it also subsidises unfair competition to New Zealand producers in world markets and restricts sales of many NZ products into the EU.

          Libertarian position on the EU Referendum        
On 23rd June, the UK will vote on whether to remain in or leave the EU.  I'm voting to leave the EU, and believe that, on balance, those who believe in individual liberty including free trade should strongly support leaving the EU.

Bizarrely, Prime Minister David Cameron, having campaigned for a referendum, is now claiming that a vote for the UK to leave would trigger recession, economic catastrophe and even risk future war.  He’s been asked why he bothered putting the UK through such a risk, particularly since only months ago he said the UK would “do ok”.    Now both the Tory Government, most of the Labour Party and virtually all Liberal Democrats, Scottish and Welsh Nationalists and the Greens are all campaigning to remain in the EU, whereas the campaign to leave is led by Boris Johnson,  Michael Gove, nearly half of Conservative MPs, a handful of Labour MPs and UKIP.

The two main planks of the Remain camp are first that leaving the EU Single Market would damage the economy, and they cite many economists, the IMF, World Bank and OECD who all support this, along with some major business leaders and companies.  The second claim is that leaving the EU “lessens Britain” and isolates it, and means the UK loses influence. 

The Leave campaign has a few key messages.  One is that it will save £350m a week from not contributing to the EU (although that excludes receipts from EU programmes to the UK and Thatcher’s rebate, which could be removed at any time).  Secondly, is that leaving the EU will return sovereignty to the British Government, rather than the EU, which passes laws, even if all British MEPs oppose them, imposing them on the UK.  Thirdly, is concern that immigration cannot be effectively controlled whilst there is free movement and full rights for all EU citizens to reside in the UK.

For a libertarian, the EU referendum does mean a trade off.   Indeed, the only two elements of the EU that are pro-freedom are the single market and free movement of people.

EU Membership does provide a single market of over 550 million people, for goods if not for services.  However, it is a customs union that is highly protectionist, and has for decades been one of the biggest objectors to global free trade in agriculture and in many services at the WTO, particularly because France is consistently resistant to trade liberalisation.   Much is made of the EU signing “trade deals” with other countries, but it rarely includes services and never includes agriculture.   Nick Clegg likes to describe the many years and reams of paper needed for the EU to reach trade agreements with the likes of Canada, as if this is the norm (and a burden the UK would have to bear with other countries if outside the EU).  Yet this is quite unnecessary.  New Zealand and Australia agreed on free trade (CER) in less than four years, with a relatively simple agreement.  The only reason free trade agreements become complex is when one of the parties wants exemptions – not actually wanting free trade. 

The second libertarian element of the EU is the free movement of people.  The ability to cross borders virtually unimpeded is of significant value, but it is unconditional.  No EU Member states have the ability to shut out other EU citizens if they have been convicted of any serious offences.   I am not from the camp that believes that free movement within the EU is inherently bad, but I do believe countries should be able to exclude foreign nationals who are proven violent criminals.  The UK's immigration problems are in part, its own fault.  Its health system is the world's biggest civilian bureaucracy that makes feeble attempts to restrict non-national usage and asks nothing of users in terms of financial contributions.  Anyone with legal residency in the UK has access to the welfare state (including generous tax credits for low income workers and child benefits), to taxpayer funded education for their children and access to publicly subsidised housing (indeed there is a "legal right" to housing in the UK, paid for by others).   

In short, the UK has a welfare state edifice that is attractive to migrants with low skills, especially coming from much poorer countries with inferior health, education and housing provision.   If it wants to reduce immigration, it ought to look in the mirror.

Furthermore, as journalist Rod Liddle said at a Spectator hosted event on June 13th, eastern Europeans don't pose an existential threat to western civilisation or to the values of individual freedom that give cause to be concerned about Islamism.  As much as some are concerned about Polish migration to Britain, they integrate, they embrace the values of a developed Western liberal democracy, they set up businesses, they are not demanding media not offend them with threats of violence. Notwithstanding the distortions caused by the UK's wider welfare state, I am not concerned about migration from eastern European, as long as prudent measures are made to exclude convicted violent criminals.

However, the freedom of movement and freedom of trade within the single market do not, for me, outweigh what's wrong with the EU:

- It is a massive exercise in regulation and legal control on almost all areas of the economy.  The EU has over 10,000 Directives on anything from standards for fruit and vegetables, to blowtorches, to light bulbs, to employment.  It is a huge corporatist system that imposes major compliance costs on businesses, restricting new entry and restraining innovation.  Most explicitly, the EU has prohibited the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture, ensuring that research and development of GM technology outside laboratories is based in the US and Asia, not Europe.

- Its budget is dominated by the protectionist racket known as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).  The CAP inflates the price of food for Europeans by heavily restricting imports from more efficient producers from many countries, including New Zealand, and subsidises overproduction in Europe which is then exported undermining market prices in other countries including poor producers in developing countries.  The CAP impoverishes farmers in poor countries, whilst the EU engages in pious virtue signalling about how much it cares about inequality.  The CAP itself isn't even equal in Europe, as it would have gone bankrupt had eastern European producers been subsidised at the same rates as those in western Europe, so perversely farmers in the EU's poorest countries (e.g. Bulgaria) receive subsidies one-third lower than those in its richest countries (e.g. Luxembourg).

- The EU takes £10 billion a year of British taxpayers' money more than it returns (and most of what it returns is to prop up farmers, to fund research projects or pious regional development projects).  That is money currently borrowed from future taxpayers.  It should end to help balance the budget.  The ludicrous idea that this is the "price for accessing the single market" is absurd.  Free trade does not need to be accompanied by massive subsidy schemes for small parts of the EU economy or politically motivated infrastructure, research or vanity projects (such as Galileo - the EU's complete duplication of the US GPS system, under the nonsensical basis that the US might "shut it down one day").  Furthermore, the majority of EU Member States are not net contributors, and until the past three years neither was France (primarily because it takes so much back in subsidies to prop up its 19th century farming sector).

- The EU is fundamentally authoritarian in instinct, having contempt for the democratically expressed choices of EU Member State voters (the EU President recently said that certain political parties would "not be allowed" to have power if they won elections in EU Member States, such as the Freedom Party in Austria).  The EU's utter failure to provide any discipline on spending in some Euro-member states and contempt for popular revolt at the resulting economic collapse reflects its distance from the concerns of Europeans.  Notably, it has taken few steps to address Hungary's creeping authoritarianism as its government subverts much of its media to support its own propaganda.

- Members of the European Parliament have no powers at all to introduce new legislation including legislation to abolish existing Directives.  Only the European Council can introduce draft legislation into the European Parliament, and the Council is comprised of people appointed by Member State Governments.  The closest the EU gets to accountability is that MEPs can vote to oppose the passage of draft directives, but none can propose their own new legislation.

- The European Commission budget has been found to be materially in error every year for the past 18 years, most recently by 3.9%, or around €5 billion.  This is in part because of the complexities of its spending programs there is considerable scope for fraud and mistake.  Never mind, the EU just keeps asking for more money.

- The EU never cuts its budget, ever.  Every year it asks for more and more, it never ceases to undertake any functions, it never seeks to hand back powers to Member States.  It grows inexorably.  Ten years ago it didn't have a common Foreign Policy, it is now discussing haviuniong an EU Army.  Bear in mind this growth continues in spite of it telling the likes of Greece and Spain that they need to cut spending to balance their budgets.

- The EU falsely claims it is responsible for peace in Europe amongst its Member States, ignoring not only the role of NATO in deterring war with the Soviet Union, but also the more fundamental principle that liberal democracies don't go to war with each other.  The EU got in the way of addressing the war in the Balkans in the 1990s as it opposed letting the Bosnian Muslims arm themselves to respond to the Serbian ultra-nationalist genocide being led by Radovan Karadzic, it has been divided over Ukraine.

- The EU attracts mediocre political appointees to have considerable power over us all.  The UK supplied the second Foreign Minister, Catherine Ashton, a Labour Party member, unionist and former peer (i.e. never elected) who had no foreign policy background.  Failed UK Labour Leader Neil Kinnock built a long career for himself and his family in the EU.  

- The EU has attacked free speech by requiring Google to remove content from searches that EU citizens specifically request as being the "right to be forgotten" .  More recently it has sought to have a common approach to "hate speech", including a call to restrict "disrespectful public discourse".  Fuck off you arseholes.

- The EU project's ultimate end game is a European superstate with power over taxation, national budgets and a massive programme to "harmonise" the regulation of all industries and sectors as one.  This superstate will not be interested in reducing what it does, granting more freedoms to its citizens and reducing its burden on taxpayers, rather the contrary.

Supporters of the Vote Leave campaign have produced this movie below, which is being freely distributed.

I have already cast my postal vote to leave and no, I don't take the views of President Obama, John Key, the IMF, World Bank,  UN Secretary General or others into account.  I don't expect any government or any international organisation to risk their own trade and relationships with the world's largest economy (the EU) by supporting the UK leaving.   Most bizarrely, it is odd that President Obama would ask the UK to stay in a political union that the US itself would never bind itself to even if it could, given the US itself refuses to sign up to many international treaties because it doesn't want its sovereignty restrained.

However, let's be very clear what leaving the UK does not mean:

The campaign to leave the EU is not led by those who want the UK to be isolated and protectionist: Unlike the opposition to the UK's original EEC Membership in 1975, those who lead the campaign to leave the EU now are not primarily socialists who feel threatened by foreign competition.  They are advocates of free and open trade with the rest of the world.   They are dominated by concerns that UK's national sovereignty is eroded by the EU and that the EU is wasteful, sclerotic, inefficient and dismissive of individual freedoms and people's concerns about it.

Leaving the EU is not "ending co-operation": Over 160 countries in the world co-operate on a vast number of matters.   Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are not in the EU, all trade freely with it and work with it and each other and other states, without being tied to the EU project.

Leaving the EU is not racist:  By illiberal-leftwing standards, the EU itself may be deemed racist with its trade policy that harnesses protectionism and European taxpayers' money to harm producers in developing countries.  Those advocating for Brexit want an immigration policy that does not favour EU citizens from non-EU citizens, which would appear to be anything but racist.

Leaving the EU is not "leaving" or "turning our back on Europe":  The EU is not Europe, it is a political-customs union project.  The UK has been at the heart of advocating values of freedom, civil liberties, liberal democracy, rule of law and separation of powers in Europe for much longer than any other countries in Europe.  It is understandable why some countries with recent totalitarian pasts would see the EU as a project that may enable them to move on from unspeakable horrors and oppression, but the UK does not have such a path.  UK outside the EU would trade, travel and work closely with European countries, with continued migration and investment, it simply wouldn't be shackled to how the EU wants Europeans to interact.

Leaving the EU is not seeking a return to a "golden age": Far from it, it is seeking to regain full sovereignty over UK laws to create a more dynamic, outward looking Britain that isn't dependent on the EU for freer trade with the rest of the world.  No one harks back to Empire, some say Brexit will enable trading relationship with the Commonwealth to be revitalised, but few see a future of self-sufficiency and exclusion.

So I have voted to Leave.  I know if it happens, the pound will drop, the FTSE100 will drop and there will be panic.  I also know that there are strong calls for Brexit to mean a significant toughening of immigration policy, which I largely oppose.  I also know there is chance the UK will be blocked from the single market for some time, as the EU and major EU Member States seek to punish the UK for leaving, rather than look at themselves as to why that might be.

However, I am also hopeful and optimistic that the world's 5th largest economy can be more outward looking, can liberalise its economy, can reprioritise its net contribution to the EU by cutting its budget deficit and replacing the subsidy programmes it receives now and phase them out.  I am hopeful that the UK can show the EU that it should be more dynamic, open and prosperous, stimulating the sort of reforms EU Member States desperately need.  I am also hopeful that the charlatan, the PR spin doctor Prime Minister, David Cameron, can finally retire, and the UK can have a government that doesn't look like the Labour Party stayed in power after 2010.

          Fenomena Alami Keseimbangan Batu Terbaik di Dunia        
Fenomena Alami Balancing Rocks

Balancing Rock (Keseimbangan Batu) adalah salah satu keajaiban tertua di planet ini. Batu berdiri antara stabilitas & gravitasi. Batu tersebut seperti beristirahat di bebatuan lain untuk mencapai keseimbangan. Pada kenyataannya, kedudukan batuan tersebut terlihat seperti tidak mungkin mencapai keseimbangan. Mungkin, waktu, iklim & erosi dapat memberikan jawaban.

Sebuah balancing rock, juga disebut batu seimbang atau batu genting, adalah formasi geologi alami menampilkan sebuah batu, kadang-kadang ukuran besar, bertumpu pada batu lainnya, dari batuan dasar sampai glasial. Beberapa formasi yang dikenal dengan nama ini tampak pada keseimbangannya, tetapi sebenarnya batuan tersebut terhubung ke batuan dasar sebagai alasnya. Tidak ada definisi ilmiah terhadap fenomena ini.

Berikut ini Keseimbangan Batu Alami Terbaik di Dunia.

Devils Marbles (Australia)

Fenomena Alami Keseimbangan Batu

Daerah ini terletak dekat Wauchope, sekitar 114 km sebelah selatan dari Tennant Creek, di Northern Territory. Situs ini dikenal sebagai Karlu Karlu oleh penduduk tanah Aborigin yang tradisional. ‘Devils Marbles' atau 'Karlu Karlu' dengan ukurannya yang besar, batu-batu granit bulat, beberapa sangat spektakuler, adalah pemandangan yang luar biasa. Kelompok batuan ini tersebar, termasuk banyak batu keseimbangan terdapat di lembah.

Balancing Rock near Digby (Canada)

Batu ini merupakan bagian dari Gunung kolumnar batu basalt sebelah utara yang membentuk tebing di sepanjang St. Mary Bay dan Teluk Fundy.

Fenomena Alami Keseimbangan Batu Terbaik di Dunia

Gunung Utara terbuat dari Triassic basalt yang merupakan batu keras, batu vulkanik yang berat, kadang-kadang ditemukan dalam bentuk kolom. Kolom ini akhirnya terkikis dan jatuh ke laut. Untuk beberapa alas an, batu yang satu ini telah berdiri tegak selama lebih dari 200 tahun.

Idol Rock at Brimham Rocks (England)

Fenomena Alami Keseimbangan Batu Terbaik

The Rocks Brimham adalah formasi batu keseimbangan yang terletak di Brimham Moor di North Yorkshire, Inggris. Batu-batu berdiri pada ketinggian hampir 30 meter di daerah yang dimiliki oleh National Trust yang merupakan bagian dari Daerah Nidderdale dan merupakan keindahan keseimbangan batu yang luar biasa.

Ada banyak variasi formasi batuan, yang sebagian besar telah mencapai bentuk yang menakjubkan. Banyak formasi telah diberi nama, meskipun beberapa imajinasi diperlukan dengan sudut pandang yang benar. Contohnya adalah The Sphinx, The Watchdog, The Camel, Turtle dan The Dancing Bear.

Kjeragbolten Balancing Rock(Norway)

Keseimbangan Batu Alami Terbaik

Kjeragbolten adalah batu besar yang berukuran sekitar 5 meter kubik, terjepit ke dalam jurang di tepi gunung Kjerag di Lysefjorden, Norwegia. Blok batu ini tertahan di ketinggian sekitar 984 meter di atas jurang yang dalam. Meskipun penampilannya yang sangat mengesankan, namun dapat mudah diakses dengan berjalan kaki tanpa peralatan khusus.

Chiremba Balancing Rocks (Zimbabwe)

Chiremba Balancing Rocks, Keseimbangan Batu Alami

Batu Keseimbangan Chiremba terletak 13 km sebelah tenggara dari Harare di Epworth. Meskipun batu keseimbangan aneh banyak ditemukan di Zimbabwe, yang satu ini menjadi terkenal. Satu pengelompokan batuan yang mengesankan, bebatuan tua ini terbuat dari granit kuno dan berumur jutaan tahun sampai ke posisi sekarang terlihat secara lahiriah.

Peyro Clabado, Sidobre (France)

Peyro Clabado, Keseimbangan Batu Di Dunia

Peyro Clabado (Nailed Rock) mungkin yang paling terkenal dari batu-batu besar granit terkikis dan formasi batuan yang membentuk Sidobre, dalam istilah Perancis. Batuan diperkirakan berumur 300 juta tahun dari gunung tua yang menjulang di wilayah Eropa Barat. Batuan keras dan padat seperti granit, batu yang mempunyai berat sekitar 780-ton melakukan tindakan menyeimbangkan dengan indah.

Omak Lake Balancing Rock (USA)

Omak Lake Balancing Rock, Keseimbangan Batu Terbaik

Omak Rock, juga dikenal sebagai Balance Rock, adalah batu keseimbangan yang terletak di Indian Reservation Colville, yang merupakan bagian dari Omak, Washington, sebuah kota di wilayah Okanogan dari Amerika Serikat.

Terletak dekat Danau Omak pada jarak 1.340 kaki (410 m), Batu memiliki bobot sekitar 40 ton, dan komposisinya adalah granit. Menurut Suku konfederasi dari Reservation Colville, batu berfungsi sebagai simbol kesempurnaan alam.

Steamboat Rock (USA)

Steamboat Rock, Keseimbangan Batu

Steamboat Rock, Keseimbangan Batu Terbaik

Steamboat Balanced Rock adalah salah satu formasi batuan yang popular. Berumur sekitar lebih dari 60 juta tahun yang lalu, bentuknya saat ini terbentuk ketika lapisan, lembut bagian bawah terkikis jauh lebih cepat daripada batu pasir keras di atas. Batu ini memiliki berat sekitar 700 ton.

          David Harvey telling it like it is at the Urban Reform Tent, January 29, 2009, World Social Forum, Belem        
"I'm delighted to be here, but first of all I'd like to apologize for
speaking English which is the language of international imperialism. I
hope that what I have to say is sufficiently anti-imperialist that you
people will forgive me. (applause)

I am very grateful for this invitation because I learn a great deal from the social movements. I've come here to learn and to listen and
therefore I am already finding this a great educational experience
because as Karl Marx once put it there is always the big question of who will educate the educators.

I have been working for some time on the idea of the Right to the City.
I take it that Right to the City means the right of all of us to create
cities that meet human needs, our needs. The right to the city is not
the right to have - and I'll use an English expression - crumbs from the rich mans table. We should all have the same rights to further construct the different kinds of cities that we want to exist.

The right to the city is not simply the right to what already exists in
the city but the right to make the city into something radically
different. When I look at history I see that cities have been managed by capital more than by people. So in this struggle for the right to the city there is going to be a struggle against capital.

I want to talk a little bit now about the history of the relationship
between capital and city building and ask the question: Why is it that
capital manages to exercise so much rights over the city? And why is it
that popular forces are relatively weak against that power? And I'd also like to talk about how, actually, the way capital works in cities is one of its weaknesses. So at this time I think the struggle for the right to the city is at the center of the struggle against capital. We have now - as you all know - a financial crisis of capitalism. If you look at recent history you will find that over the last 30 years there have been many financial crises. Somebody did a calculation and said that since 1970 there have been 378 financial crisis in the world. Between 1945 and 1970 there were only 56 financial crises. So capital has been producing many financial crises over the last 30 to 40 years. And what is interesting is that many of these financial crises have a basis in urbanization. At the end of the 1980s the Japanese economy crashed and it crashed around property and land speculation. In 1987 in the United States there was a huge crisis in which hundreds of banks went bankrupt and it was all about housing and property development speculation. In the 1970s there was a big, world-wide crises in property markets. And I could go on and on giving you examples of financial crises that are urban based. My guess is that half of the financial crises over the last 30 years are urban property based. The origins of this crisis in the United States came from something called the sub prime mortgage crises. I call this not a sub prime mortgage crisis but an urban crisis.

This is what happened. In the 1990s there came about a problem of
surplus money with nowhere to go. Capitalism is a system that always
produces surpluses. You can think of it this way: the capitalist wakes
up in the morning and he goes into the market with a certain amount of
money and buys labor and means of production. He puts those elements to
work and produces a commodity and sells it for more money than he began
with. So at the end of the day the capitalist has more than he had at
the beginning of the day. And the big question is what does he do with
the more that he's picked up? Now if he were like you and me he would
probably go out and have a good time and spend it. But capitalism is not like that. There are competitive forces that push him to reinvest part of his capital in new developments. In the history of capitalism there has been a 3% rate of growth since 1750. Now a 3% growth rate means that you have to find outlets for capital. So capitalism is always faced with what I call a capital surplus absorption problem. Where can I find a profitable outlet to apply my capital? Now back in 1750 the whole world was open for that question. And at that time the total value of the global economy was $135 billion in goods and services. By the time you get to 1950 there is $4 Trillion in circulation and you have to find outlets for 3% of $4 trillion. By the time you get to the year 2000 you have $42 trillion in circulation. Around now its probably $50 Trillion. In another 25 years at 3% rate of growth it will be $100 trillion. What this means is that there is an increasing difficulty in finding profitable outlets for the surplus capital. This situation can be presented in another way. When capitalism was essentially what was going on in Manchester and a few other places in the World, a 3% growth rate posed no problem. Now we have to put a 3% rate of growth on everything that is happening in China, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, much of Latin America and North America and there is a huge, huge problem. Now capitalists, when they have money, have a choice as to how they reinvest it. You can invest in new production. An argument for making the rich richer is that they will reinvest in production and that this will generate employment and a better standard of living for the people. But
since 1970 they have invested less and less in new production. They have invested in buying assets, stock shares, property rights, intellectual property rights and of course property. So since 1970, more and more money has gone into financial assets and when the capitalist class starts buying assets the value of the assets increases. So they start to make money out of the increase in the value of their assets. So property prices go up and up and up. And this does not make for a better city it makes for a more expensive city. Furthermore, to the degree that they want to build condominiums and affluent housing they have to drive poor people off their land. They have to take away our right to the city. So that in New York City I find it very difficult to live in Manhattan, and I am a reasonably well paid professor. The mass of the population that actually works in the city cannot afford to live in the city because property prices have gone up and up and up and up. In other words the people's right to the city has been taken away. Sometimes it has been taken away through actions of the market, sometimes its been taken away by government action expelling people from where they live, sometimes it has been taken away by illegal means, violence, setting fire to a
building. There was a period where one part of New York City had fire
after fire after fire.

So what this does is to create a situation where the rich can increasingly take over the whole domination of the city. And they have
to do that because this is the only way they can use their surplus
capital. And at some point however there is also the incentive for this
process of city building to go down to the poorer people. The financial
institutions lend to the property developers to get them to develop
large areas of the city. You have the developers but then the problem is who do the developers sell their properties too? If working class
incomes were increasing then maybe you could sell to the working class.
But since the 1970s the policies of neoliberalism have been about wage
repression. In the United States real wages haven't risen since 1970, so you have a situation where real wages are constant but property prices are going up. So where is the demand for the houses going to come from? The answer was you invite the working classes into the debt environment. And what we see is that household debt in the United States has gone from about $40,000 per household to over $120,000 per household in the last 20 years. The financial institutions knock on the doors of working class people and say, "we have a good deal for you. You borrow money from us and you can become a homeowner, and don't worry, if at some point you can't pay your debt the housing prices are going to go up so everything is fine".

So more and more low income people were bought into the debt environment. But then about two years ago property prices started to
come down. The gap between what working class people could afford and
what the debt was was too big. Suddenly you had a foreclosure wave going through many American cities. But as usually happens with something of this kind there is an uneven geographical development of that wave. The first wave hit very low income communities in many of the older cities in the United States. There is a wonderful map that you can see on the BBC website of the foreclosures in the city of Cleveland. And what you see is a dot map of the foreclosures that is highly concentrated in certain areas of he city. There is a map beside it which shows a distribution of the African American population, and the two maps correspond. What this means is that this was robbery of a low income African American population. This has been the biggest loss of assets for low income populations in the United States that there has ever been. 2 Million people have lost their homes. And at that very moment when that was happening the bonuses paid out on Wall street were coming to over $30 Billion - that is the extra money that is paid to the bankers for their work. So $30 billion ends up on Wall Street which has effectively been taken from low income neighborhoods. There is talk about this in the United States as a financial Katrina because as you remember Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans differentially and it was the low income black population that got left behind and many of them died. The rich protected their right to the city but the poor essentially lost theirs. In Florida, California and the American South West the pattern was different. It was very much out on the periphery of the cities. And there a lot of money was being lent to the building groups and the developers. They were building housing way out, 30 miles outside of Tuscon and Los Angeles and they couldn't find anybody to sell to so they actually went for a white population that did not like living near immigrants and blacks in the central cities. What this then led to was a situation that happened a year ago when the high gas prices made it very difficult for communities. Many of the people had difficulties paying their debt and so we find a foreclosure wave which is happening in the suburbs and is manly white in places like Florida, Arizona and California. Meanwhile what Wall Street had done is to take all of these risky mortgages and to package them in strange financial instruments. You take all of the mortgages from a particular place and put them into
a pot and then sell shares of that pot to somebody else. The result is
that the whole of the mortgage financial market has globalized. And you
sell pieces of ownership to mortgages to people in Norway or Germany or
the Gulf or whatever. Everybody was told that these mortgages and these
financial instruments were as safe as houses. They turned out not to be
safe and we then had the big crisis which keeps going and going and
going. My argument is that if this crisis is basically a crisis of
urbanization then the solution should be urbanization of a different
sort and this is where the struggle for the right to the city becomes
crucial because we have the opportunity to do something different.

But I am often asked if this crisis is the end of neoliberalism.. My
answer is "no" if you look at what is being proposed in Washington and
London. One of the basic principles that was set up in the 1970s is that state power should protect financial institutions at all costs. And there is a conflict between the well being of financial institutions and the well being of people you chose the well being of the financial institutions. This is the principle that was worked out in New York City in the mid 1970s, and was first defined internationally in Mexico it threatened to go bankrupt in 1982. If Mexico had gone bankrupt it would have destroyed the New York investment banks. So the United States Treasury and the International Monetary Fund combined to help Mexico not go bankrupt. In other words they lent the money to Mexico to pay off the New York bankers. But in so doing they mandated austerity for the Mexican population. In other words they protected the banks and destroyed the people. This has been the standard practice in the International Monetary Fund ever since. Now if you look at the response to the crisis in the United States and Britain, what they have done in effect is to bail out the banks. $700 billion to the banks in the United States. They have done nothing whatsoever to protect the homeowners who have lost their houses. So it is the same principal that we are seeing at work - protect the financial institutions and fuck the people. What we should have done is to take the $700 billion and create an urban redevelopment bank to save all of those neighborhoods that were being destroyed and reconstruct cities more out of popular demand. Interestingly if we had done that then a lot of the crisis would have disappeared because there would be no foreclosed mortgages. Meanwhile we need to organize an anti-eviction movement and we have seen some of that going on in Boston and some other cities. But at this historical moment in the United States there is a sense that popular mobilization is restricted because the election of Obama was a priority. Many people hope that Obama will do something different, unfortunately his economic advisors are exactly those who organized this whole problem in the first place. I doubt that Obama will be as progressive as Lula. You will have to wait a little bit before I think social movements will begin to go in motion. We need a national movement of Urban Reform like you have here.
We need to build a militancy in the way that you have done here. We need in fact to begin to exercise our right to the city. And at some point we'll have to reverse this whole way in which the financial institutions are given priority over us. We have to ask the question what is more important, the value of the banks or the value of humanity. The banking system should serve the people, not live off the people. And the only way in which at some point we are really going to be able to exert the right to the city is that we have to take command of the capitalist surplus absorption problem. We have to socialize the capital surplus. We have to use it to meet social needs . We have to get out of the problem of 3% accumulation forever. We are now at a point where 3% growth rate forever is going to exert such tremendous environmental costs, its going to exert tremendous pressure on social situations that we are going to go from one financial crisis to another. If we come out of this financial crisis in the way they want there will be another financial crisis 5 years from now. So its come to the point when its no longer a matter of accepting what Margaret Thatcher said, that "there is no alternative", and we say that there has to be an alternative. There has to be an alternative to capitalism in general. And we can begin to approach that alternative by perceiving the right to the city as a popular and international demand and I hope that we can all join together in that mission. Thank you very much."
          Satyricon Frontman Discusses Next Album, Record Label Situation + His Wine Business (VIDEO INTERVIEW)        
At last weekend's Inferno Festival in Oslo, Norway, hometown heroes Satyricon treated the capacity crowd to a two-hour set which featured songs going all the way back to the early '90s. After a brief touring hiatus while Satyricon were locked away in the studio working on new material, Inferno Festival was a triumphant return for the influential black metallers... Continue reading…
          ÐšÑ€Ð°ÑÐ¸Ð²Ñ‹Ð¹ жакет        

Это цитата сообщения olganorway Оригинальное сообщениеНеобыкновенный жилет от дизайнера Shiri Mor

431 (500x391, 58Kb)

Необыкновенный жилет от дизайнера Shiri Mor (из журнала Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2012, перевод с английского языка) связан спицами  Ð¸Ð· толстой пряжи и украшен воланом из мохера. На спинке жилета выполнен роскошный кельтский орнамент. Спереди связана коса, которая расходится по V-образному вырезу. Связать жилет Ð½Ð° первый взгляд трудно, но подробное описание и четкая схема помогут справиться с работой даже не очень опытным вязальщицам.

Размеры жилета: XS (S, M); бюст: 78.5 (84, 91.5) см; длина (без волана): 53 (54.5, 57) см.

Чтобы связать жилет потребуется: 4 (5, 6) мотков пряжи Rowan Fibers Big Wool (100% шерсть, 80 м/100 г) темно-серого цвета (нить А); 1 моток ленточной  Ð¿Ñ€ÑÐ¶Ð¸ Rowan Kidsilk Creation (70% мохер, 30% шелк, 10 м/50 г) серо-дымчатого цвета (нить В); спицы 8 мм и 5 мм; вспомогательная спица для вязания кос; маркеры и держатели для петель.

Плотность вязания: 10 п. и 15 р. = 10х10 см спицами 8 мм (нитью А).

Сокращения используемые в описании и в схеме:

M1R= добавить 1 лиц. п. из протяжки: левой спицей, движением позади протяжки и Ð¿Ð¾Ð´ нее,  Ð¿Ð¾Ð´Ð½ÑÑ‚ÑŒ дополнительную петлю, которую провязать лицевой за Ð¿ÐµÑ€ÐµÐ´Ð½ÑŽÑŽ стенку;

M1L = добавить 1 лиц. п. из протяжки:  Ð»ÐµÐ²Ð¾Ð¹ спицей,  Ð´Ð²Ð¸Ð¶ÐµÐ½Ð¸ÐµÐ¼ перед протяжкой и Ð¿Ð¾Ð´ нее, поднять дополнительную петлю, которую провязать лицевой за Ð·Ð°Ð´Ð½ÑŽÑŽ стенку;

M1изн  = добавить 1 изн. п. из протяжки: поднять дополнительную п. движением перед протяжкой и под нее, которую провязать изнаночной за заднюю стенку;

4-п RC = снять 2 п. на вспом. спицу за работой, 2 лиц., 2 лиц. со вспом. спицы;

4-п LС = снять 2 п. на вспом. спицу переж работой, 2 лиц., 2 лиц. со вспом. спицы;

4-п RPC = снять 2 п. на вспом. спицу за работой, 2 лиц., 2 изн. со вспом. спицы;

4-п LPC = снять 2 п. на вспом. спицу перед работой, 2 изн., 2 лиц. со вспом. спицы;

5-п RPC = снять 3 п. на вспом. спицу за работой, 2 лиц., перенести 3 п. обратно на левую спицу, затем снять 2 п. на вспом. спицу перед работой, 1 изн. с левой спицы, 2 лиц. со вспом. спицы;

6-п RC = снять 3 п. на вспом. спицу за работой, 3 лиц., 3 лиц. со вспом. спицы;

6-п LS = снять 3 п. на вспом. спицу перед работой, 3 лиц., 3 лиц. со вспом. спицы;

из 1 п 5 = M1R, [1 лиц., накид, 1 лиц.] из 1 п., M1L;

из 5 п 1 = снять 3 п. как изн. на правую спицу, *протянуть 2-ю п. через 1-ю п. на правой спице, перенести её обратно на левую спицу *, снять эту п. обратно на правую спицу (повторить от * до* еще раз), 1 изн.

Схема кельтского узора



Набрать на спицы 8 мм нитью А 39 (41, 45) п. и вязать 2 ряда лицевыми петлями. Затем [1 ряд изнаночными, 1 ряд лицевыми] повторить 1 (1, 2) раза. Далее вязать распределив петли ряда следующим образом:

1-й (ЛР): 10 (11, 13) изн., поместить маркер, далее вязать 1-й ряд по схеме 1 (на 19-ти  Ð¿ÐµÑ‚Ð»ÑÑ…), поместить маркер, затем 10 (11, 13) изн.;

2-й (ИР): лицевые до маркера, маркер, 2-й р. по схеме 1, маркер, лицевые до конца ряда.

Продолжить подобным образом и вязать 1 раз с 1-го по 40 ряд схемы, затем с 17-го по 40-й ряд схемы, далее с 41-го по 48-й ряд схемы. Вязать еще 12 рядов изнаночной гладью.

Одновременно с этим, для приталивания убавить 2 раза по 1 п. с обеих сторон в каждом 4-м лиц. ряду следующим образом: 2 изн., 2 изн. вместе, далее петли по рисунку до последних 4-х п.: 2 изн. вместе, 2 изн. Далее вязать ровно 11 рядов, после чего прибавить с обеих сторон по 1 п. 2 раза в каждом 4-м лиц. ряду так: 3 изн., M1 изн, далее петли по рисунку до последних 3-х п.: М1 изн, 3 изн. Затем вязать ровно еще 11 рядов = 34 (34, 35.5) см от начла работы.

Закрыть для пройм 2 п. в начале 2-х след. рядов. Продолжить убавления в след лиц. ряду: 2 изн., 2 изн. вместе, далее петли рисунка до последних 4-х п.: 2 изн. вместе, 2 изн. Повторить ряд с убавками каждый другой ряд еще 1 (1, 2) раз. Вязать пройму прямо на 31 (33, 35) п. изнаночной гладью 15 (16.5, 18) см, затем выполнить плечевой скос и вырез горловины:

След. лиц. р.: 12 (13, 14) изн., присоединить 2-й моток и закрыть центральные 7 п., закончить  Ð¸Ð·Ð½Ð°Ð½Ð¾Ñ‡Ð½Ñ‹Ð¼Ð¸ до конца ряда. Довязать обе стороны одновременно. Закрыть 3 п. с каждой стороны выреза 2 раза. Затем закрыть оставшиеся 6 (7, 8) п. плеча с каждой стороны.


На спицы 8 мм набрать 39 (41, 45) п. и вязать следующим обрразом:

1-й (ЛР): лицевые петли;

2-й (ИР): 17 (18, 20) лиц., 5 изн., 17 (18, 20) лиц.;

3-й (ЛР) прибавочный: 17 (18, 20) изн., 1 лиц., [М1лиц., 1 лиц.] повторить 4 раза, 17 (18, 20) лиц. = 43 (45, 49) п.;

4-й (ИР): 17 (18, 20) лиц., 9 изн., 17 (18, 20) лиц.

Дальше распределить петли ряда для вязания центральной косы по схеме 2:

1-й (ЛР): 17 (18, 20) изн., 1-й р. косы по схеме 2 (= 9 п.), далее 17 (18, 20) изн.

Вязать таким образом еще 13 (13, 15) рядов. Одновременно с этим убавить для приталивания как для спинки в след. ряду по 1 п. с каждой стороны, затем в след. 4-м ряду по 1 п. с обеих сторон еще раз. Далее вязать ровно 11 р. В след. ряду прибавить по 1 п. с обеих сторон как для спинки 1 раз, затем в след. 4-м ряду по 1 п. с каждой стороны еще раз = 43 (45, 49) п. Продолжить ровно до проймы. Затем разделить работу на две части для формирования V-образного выреза следующим образом:

Левая сторона:

1-й (ЛР): зкрыть 2 п. (для проймы), 13 (14, 16) изн., 2 изн. вместе, M1R, 3 лиц., 1 изн., 1 лиц., повернуть работу и перенести оставшиеся петли на держатель (для правой стороны);

2-й (ИР): снять 1 п., 1 лиц., 4 изн., далее лиц. до конца ряда;

3-й (ЛР): 2 изн., 2 изн. вместе, далее изн. до последних 8-ми п.: 2 изн. вместе, 4-п RC по схеме 3, 1 изн., 1 лиц.;

4-й (ИР): вязать как 2-й р.;

5-й и 6-й р.: повторить 3-й и 4-й р.;

7-й (ЛР).: изнаночные до последних 8-ми п.: 2 изн. вместе, далее по рисунку до конца ряда;

8-й (ИР): вязать как 2-й р.;

9-й (ЛР): 2 изн., 2 изн. вместе 0 (0, 1) раз, далее изн. до последних 6-ти п. которые вязать по рисунку;

10-й (ИР): вязать как 2-й р.

Продолжать подобным образом и убавить 1 п. для V-образного выреза в след. 4-м р. еще раз = 14 (15, 16) п. Далее вязать по рисунку пока пройма не достигнет 15 (16.5, 18) см (ориентируйтесь на спинку). Затем закрыть со стороны проймы 6 (7, 8) п. Дальше вязать только жгут на оставшихся 8-ми петлях, пока он не достигнет центра выреза спинки. Отложить петли на держатель.

Правая сторона:

1-й (ЛР): снять 1 п., М1 изн., 3 лиц., М1L, 2 изн. вместе, далее изн. до конца ряда.

Далее вязать правую сторону симметрично левой выполняя жгут 4-п LC по схеме 4.

Выкройка жилета


Слегка отпарить детали. Выполнить плечевые швы. Пришить жгуты к вырезу и сшить оставшиеся петли между собой в центре спинки.

С лицевой стороны на спицы 8 мм нитью А набрать лицевыми по краю проймы 42 (46, 50) п. и вязать 2 ряда резинкой 1х1 (1 лиц., 1 изн.). Закрыть петли по рисунку. Выполнить боковые швы.


Метод, которым вяжется волан, используют для изготовления шарфов. Для примера посмотрите фото как это делается (ЖМИТЕ ФОТО ЗДЕСЬ).

Для изготовления волана используется мохеровая ленточная пряжа (фото 1) и спицы 5 мм. Расправить отрезок пряжи, свернуть начало ленты в два раза (фото 2) и нанизать на спицу (фото 3), затем еще раз в обратную сторону вытяну 2 петли (фото 4). Ввести правую спицу в 1-ю п., затем расправить примерно 5 см ленты (фото 5) и набросить край на спицу (фото 6), вытянуть через первую петлю (фото 7) = петля на правой спице (фото 8). Затем снова ввести правую спицу в петлю на левой спице (фото 9), расправить ленту (фото 10) и правой спицей вытянуть через петлю ( фото 11). Перенести 2 полученные петли обратно на левую спицу (фото 12) и повторять манипуляции оставив от всего мотка небольшой отрезок. Не затягивать петли. Выполнять работу свободно. Закончить так: 2 п. перенести на правую спицу (фото 13), левую спицу ввести во 2-ю п. (фото 14) и протянуть через неё 1-ю п. (фото 15). Остаток ленты протянуть через оставшуюся петлю (фото 16). Слегка затянуть полученный отрезок (фто 17). В итоге должен получиться волан, но гораздо свободнее, чем тот, что показан на фото 18.

Пришить волан к жилету, начиная от центра спинки, затем вдоль передней косы и V-образному вырезу с жгутами, далее по нижнему краю жгутов по спинке и симметрично вниз... Закончить на спинке (смотрите фото).


          Satyricon Will be Taking Off From the Road in 2010        
He may look ominous and scary, but Satyricon's namesake, Satyr, is really quite polite and pleasant. We spoke to him after midnight in his native Norway, but he insisted he's not a nocturnal night owl, up till all hours... Continue reading…
          ZeeVee and ATEA create interconnected campus at Norway’s top university        

Boston, June 21 2017

ZeeVee and ATEA create interconnected campus at Norway’s top university

Boston,June 13, 2017, ZeeVee, Inc. a global manufacturer of video and signal distribution technology and leading Norwegian system integrator ATEA today announced a successful project to create a fully interconnected AV suite of lecture rooms and teaching laboratories in a new building at Norway’s largest university, the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU) in Trondheim. The installation also allows content to be streamed live to its campuses at Gjøvik and Ålesund, which are 40 and 30 miles away respectively.


With 40,000 students, NTNU is Norway’s premier institution for educating engineers. NTNU has ambitious expansion plans, and opened Akrinn, a new building for technology education at Kalvskinnet in January. Further new buildings are planned at all three campuses. Using 150 ZeeVee ZyPer 4K encoders and decoders, ATEA has equipped the lecture rooms and classrooms at Kalvskinnet with a state of the art video distribution system that transmits uncompressed 4K and UHD content over an Ethernet network with zero latency. Each of the 12 lecture theatres in the site is equipped with cameras and screens, allowing content to be shared between them instantly and at will. The workshops and teaching laboratories on the site are similarly interconnected. The rooms with ZeeVee ZyPer4K hardware also have Skype for Business and IP based video conferencing systems allowing content to be shared with the campuses at Gjøvik and Ålesund.


Commenting, Christian Brondbo of ATEA said, “When we assessed the University’s requirements at the bid stage we saw immediately that an IP based solution was required.  The project is commissioned and managed by the IT team at the NTNU and they welcomed an AV over IP solution using standard hardware. The network backbone at the site was just 1Gbps and we needed 10Gbps to support uncompressed 4K so there was no question that a dedicated network would be required. Using ZeeVee ZyPer hardware, we are able to build the network using standard Ethernet components, which the IT department are very used to working with and managing.”


Adding a dedicated set of network cables to the building as it was fitted out was straightforward and economic. The dedicated IP network for the AV transmission not only ensures sufficient bandwidth is always available for the high level of AV traffic without compromising other services, but also enhances security. The network is constructed using standard Cisco Nexus 5624 Ethernet switches and Cat 6A cables. The switches are configured with 24 10Gbps ports, plus six 40Gbps QSFP fiber ports. The network has a capacity of 80Gbps between switches, and delivers signals between rooms with a latency of no more than 20-30 microseconds. 


Jostein Arve Grytdal, Campus Development NTNU at NTNU added, “The content distribution network created by ATEA and ZeeVee is easy to manage and popular with users. The management panel allows us to quickly and easily configure the installation – for example opening an additional lecture theatre almost instantly should an event overflow. The interconnected network just opens up so many possibilities for us. For example, we now record lectures for uploading to the student portal, and in the future it may even be possible to allow students to join lectures from home if they choose to. Lecturers also have a lot of flexibility in terms of content that they can access during their presentations. For example, a video conference can be introduced with an authority elsewhere, live or recorded broadcast footage can be added and so on.”


He continued, “We are already planning stage 2, in which the ATEA and ZeeVee network is extended to a further new building which is currently under construction and is expected to open in December 2017. Fiber cables laid under the street will join the two sites, which from an AV perspective can then act as one.”


Kim Levy Arntzen, IT engineer at NTNU concluded, “We are particularly positive about the fact that, using ZeeVee 4K encoders and decoders, uncompressed AV signals can be distributed across an entirely standard Ethernet network. It is always a concern if a network delivering critical services relies on non-standard or proprietary technologies, supported by a single vendor or limited vendor base.”


Christian Brondbo of ATEA added, “Selecting a vendor to support a critical part of a project for a key customer is always a challenging decision. We had no hesitation in specifying ZeeVee. They were very reliable and committed to finding a solution for any challenges that we encountered. ZeeVee even provided a technician to help us configure the network switches.”


Photo caption: ZeeVee powered screens at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway


About ZeeVee
ZeeVee is a global manufacturer of video and signal distribution technology for the ProAV and IT marketplace. As the only manufacturer today that can deliver multimedia content over coax, fiber, and CATx, ZeeVee has transformed the digital video industry with its award-winning, HD to Ultra-HD/4K solutions. The company offers a variety of innovative, cost effective and easy to install distribution platforms. ZeeVee is installed in thousands of facilities worldwide where there is a need to transport HD/UHD content from multiple sources to multiple displays over long distances. For additional information please visit www.zeevee.com


Press contact:
Peter van der Sluijs
Neesham PR

+44 1296 628180

          ZeeVee has added Leteng as a distributor in Norway.        

July 7, 2016

London, July 7, 2016 ZeeVee, Inc. (Zv) a global manufacturer of video and signal distribution technology, announced today that it has added Leteng as a distributor of both its AV over IP and AV over RF solutions in Norway.



“Leteng is an excellent addition to our distributor network in Europe because they have the right mix of AV and IT expertise along with market knowledge to grow our presence in Norway,” said Rob Muddiman, Director of EMEA Sales. “Leteng has been successfully distributing professional AV products in Norway for over 30 years and they see tremendous potential for all of our AV over IP solutions in the region into many vertical markets. “

“We believe the days of proprietary switched video distribution equipment are numbered and ZeeVee’s ZyPer4k offers a robust solution to take our customers into the future,” said Øyvind Jacobsen, marketing manager, Leteng. “The industry is moving towards IP-based solutions in video distribution and the ZeeVee products will position us for success in AV over IP here in Norway,” he added. p>

Leteng will have access and stock to the full line of ZyPer products in their region. The ZyPer4K is the only solution today that switches and distributes uncompressed Ultra-HD (4K) video, audio and RS232/IR control signals leveraging off-the-shelf 10Gb Ethernet switching products. These products offer end customers the ability to future proof their investment with technologies that will scale with their business from SD to Ultra-HD/4k and beyond.


For additional information please visit www.zeevee.com
Please contact: Tricia Hawkins
Bob Gold & Associates

          Maker Continues Laplander Culture with Sami Knives        

Roman Kislitsyn grew up in Apatity in the Murmansk region of northwestern Russia. Close to Norway, parts of the area also include the lands of the Sami people (in the past referred to as Lapps or Laplanders) which traverse the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the northern and coastal regions of Finland, Sweden and Norway. Roman and others in his family are geologists so he spent much of his childhood […]

The post Maker Continues Laplander Culture with Sami Knives appeared first on Blade Magazine.

          Blood vessels prove you are you who you say you are         
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Researchers at NTNU in Gjøvik, Norway, have developed a prototype for a sensor that can scan and record both your fingerprint and the flow of blood in the veins in your fingers. The sensor prototype is small and easy to use, and has the potential to effect big changes in airport safety and border crossings. It will enable authentication to be both fast and secure. Photo: Kenneth Kalsnes

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          Color your own Real Estate's "Stained Glass" music video; new US dates!        


Real Estate have shared an immersive new music video for “Stained Glass” – the second video to be released from their latest album In Mind out now. Directed by Craig Allen, the interactive experience allows fans to color and share their own animated kaleidoscope-like video, creating something unique and experimental. Watch the band’s own color creation below and create your own here: stainedglassvideo.com

In addition to the video release, Real Estate has announced a headlining tour this fall. The band’s expansive tour this spring resulted in their biggest shows to date, including sold out stops at D.C.’s 9:30 Club, The Vic Theatre in Chicago, a 2-night stand at NYC’s Brooklyn Steel + more. The fall tour will feature performances at iconic venues such as The Theatre at The Ace Hotel in Los Angeles and First Avenue in Minneapolis. Presale begins on Monday, May 22 with code “STAINEDGLASS”, with tickets officially on sale May 25. See full tour dates below.

Allen says of the video: “We were collectively excited by making a video that the band could create with their fans rather than for them. I've always been excited to find new ways of making content and this video is a fun—dare I say therapeutic—thing to play with, where you actually get to feel like you accomplish something at the end. That's what is exciting to all of us and we're extremely proud of what we've been able to create with the help of the fabulous MediaMonks team.”

A limited edition 7” for “Stained Glass” backed with an exclusive track, the instrumental "Two Part, Part Two”, is also available to purchase now from Real Estate’s store. Much like its video counterpart, each 7” is a one of kind mix of colors.

The band recently performed another In Mind's first single “Darling” on Conan, which has earned widespread praise from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the NY Times, SPIN, Vice, Salon + more. Watch the performance and revisit the orignial music video, directed by Weird Days, below.

Real Estate 2017 Tour Dates:

Jun 13 – Roundhouse – London, UK #
Jun 14 – Le Café De La Danse – Paris, France #
Jun 15 – Orangerie – Brussels, Belgium #
Jun 16 – Best Kept Secret Festival – Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands
Jun 18 – Lido – Berlin, Germany #
Jun 19 – Molotow – Hamburg, Germany #
Jun 20 – Pumpehuset – Copenhagen West, Denmark #
Jun 21 – Debaser Strand – Stockholm, Sweden #
Jun 23 – Piknik I Parken – Oslo, Norway #
Jun 27 – Cambridge Junction – Cambridge, UK #
Jun 28 – O2 Ritz – Manchester, UK #
Jun 30 –Vida Festival – Barcelona, Spain
Jul 14 – Forecastle Festival – Louisville, KY
Jul 15-16 – Cobblestone Live – Buffalo, NY
Jul 21 – Splendour in the Grass - Byron Bay NSW, Australia
Jul 22 – The Croxton Bandroom – Thornbury, Australia
Jul 25 – The Edinburgh Castle Hotel – Adelaide, Australia
Jul 27 – The Metro Theatre – Sydney, Australia
Jul 30 – Fuji Rock Festival – Yuzawa, Japan
Aug 11-13 – Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA
Aug 12-13 – Traveler’s Rest Festival – Missoula MT
Aug 25-26 – Huichica East Festival – Pine Plains, NY
Aug 31-Sept 3 – End of the Road Festival – North Dorset District, UK
Sept 1-3 – Electric Picnic Festival – Kilmacthomas, Ireland
Sept 1-2 – Electric Fields Festival – Dumfries, UK
Oct 19 – SoHO Music Club – Santa Barbara, CA*
Oct 20 – Theatre at Ace Hotel – Los Angeles, CA*
Oct 22 – Lost Lake Festival – Phoenix, AZ
Oct 23 – Observatory – Santa Ana, CA*
Oct 24 – Music Box – San Diego, CA*
Oct 26 – Loma Vista Gardens – Big Sur, CA*
Oct 28 – Jub Jub’s – Reno, NV*
Oct 30 – Fox Theater – Boulder, CO*
Nov 1 – The Slowdown – Omaha, NE*
Nov 2 – Castle Theater – Bloomington, IL*
Nov 3 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN*
Nov 4 – Englert Theater – Iowa City, IA*
Nov 5 – Turner Hall Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI*

# w/ Spinning Coin
* w/ Lucy Dacus 

I got my passport! And – equally as important – I have located and rubber-banded to it, the one-before-last, which contains the vital rubber stamp “Given leave to enter the United Kingdom for an indefinite period.” They don’t hand those out like sweeties any more. I don’t know what would happen if I tried to get back to Drummond Place without it, and don’t intend to find out.

Helen (anon) (comment yesterday) – that was a good idea, to list the places I wanted to visit, and see what Google came up with. Lerwick, Norway, Faroes, Iceland. There are indeed several interesting cruises .  I even found one that included a knitting cruise, but it seemed to think that 1500 passengers made it a small ship. (Not all knitters, of course.) I’m certainly not going to add my voice, and money, to big-ship-cruising.

I’ve signed up to hear what Gudrun and Mary Jane are offering next year, and also Amy Detjen. You’re right, Mary Lou, that my driving-home-from-Greece hopes for this year preclude Rhinebeck. Which is a distinct shame.

My difficulty is not just that I’m about to turn 84, but that I’m weak. I hope that will pass, to some extent. But that’s why an initial adventure with family at hand to support, is a good idea.

I’m getting a bit bored with tennis, and indeed with the sewn bind-off. Three more matches. Federer and Williams have simply got to win: the two oldest players in the tournament, I think. Venus was magnificent yesterday, and the British Girl, in today’s newspapers, is suddenly somewhat more Australian than she was yesterday.

We’ve heard from Susan Crawford. She hopes to have the Vintage Shetland Project book ready to go to the printers in “early autumn” and to us six weeks later. I’ll believe it when I see it. It would be gloomily interesting to collect all her reports from the two years (for such it now is) since she solicited crowd-funding. I’m pretty sure, although I’m not going to look it up, that when she was first diagnosed with cancer, late last year, she planned to publish the book as then scheduled, but said that she wouldn’t be able to take part in the post-publication publicity.

Cancer sort of takes over everything, but it is worth remembering that we had had major delays before the diagnosis. She was at EYF in March, 2016, selling autographed bookplates to put in your book when you got it. I was already cross, having hoped to have mine by November, 2015, and didn’t seek her out. 

          Nintendo Wii will come with Opera browser        

Nintendo's next-generation Wii video game console will feature the Opera browser, Opera Software announced on Wednesday.

Wii users will browse the Internet using their consoles, navigating sites via the new Wii remote controller, a two-handed, motion-sensitive system that allows players to mimic actions on-screen with the movement of their hands.

"For our Wii console launch in 2006, we required a browser that was fast and secure, with support for the latest standards, including AJAX," said Genyo Takeda, senior managing director and general manager of Nintendo's Integrated Research & Development Division.

Earlier this year, Oslo, Norway-based Opera and Nintendo announced a partnership to deliver a version of the Opera browser for Nintendo's DS handheld. The Nintendo DS browser is scheduled for release in Japan this summer.

The Wii, expected to come out in the fourth quarter of this year, will go head-to-head with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3.

          Streams of Mercy - Lauraine Snelling         
Streams of Mercy
Lauraine Snelling
Bethany House Publishers, Oct 6 2015, $14.99
ISBN: 9780764211065

In 1907 accompanied by her children (Melissa, Joseph and Gilbert), Widow Anji Baard Moen visits her kind in-laws in Norway, who beg her to stay with them.  Instead Anji and her kids return to Blessing, North Dakota.  Anji balances being a supermom with teaching Norwegian history once a week to high school students and writing articles for the Blessing Gazette.

The circus comes to town by train, but proves not to be a joy when they bring diphtheria with them.  Dr. Bjorklund and Dr. Jeffers invoke strict health measures to keep the disease from turning into an epidemic.  When the paper’s publisher Thorliff becomes ill, Anji takes over running it.  Newcomer Minister Thomas Devlin provides carpentry services to the townsfolk and courts the widow; while healing Thorliff wishes he acted first.

The third Song of Blessing historical (see A Harvest Of Hope and To Everything A Season) is a tremendous early twentieth century Northern Great Plains inspirational drama that once again transports readers to a different bygone era (a trademark of Lauraine Snelling).  Life in small-town North Dakota during a terrible disease outbreak grips the audience, but it is Anji and several other caring folks who bring a personal touch to the captivating storyline; she in particular wonders what God prefers she choose between two caring men who both want her and her children in their respective lives.

Harriet Klausner

          Bondhusvatnet | Phantom 4 Pro        

Shot on the Phantom 4 pro.
Location: Bondhusvatnet, Norway.

Cast: Tomas Aamli

Tags: dron, dji, 4, pro, phantom, ice, nature, norway, landscape, hordaland, glacier and drone

          People for the Norwegian Way        
has announced details of their New Utøya project, ‘a strategy for re-establishing a political camp on the island of Utøya. "Our ambition has been to reflect and reinforce values such as commitment, solidarity, diversity and democracy, both through form and function. In short we have done this by establishing a small village with small streets, belfry and a town square on the very top of the island. The village consists of many small units that together ad up to a bigger community: A symbol of unity and diversity." say the project leaders, Erlend Blakstad Haffner and Håkon Matre Aasarød, who won the Iakov Chernikov International Prize in 2010. The 22 July Fund of the Worker's Youth League raised $68 million to build the memorial to the 69 victims of Anders Behring Breivik's attack on the island. Via Things Magazine.
          Contracts for Static and Mobile Camouflage Systems        
Defence and security company Saab has, under a joint procurement process with Denmark and Norway, signed framework agreements with the respective countries for the supply of static and mobile camouflage systems to their armed forces. The agreements allow the two countries to place orders for camouflage systems over a four year contract period. For years, the armed forces of Denmark and Norway have been using Saab’s Barracuda advanced camouflage systems, in both static and mobile versi...
          Gorgeousness from Virginia        

Thank you, Julie!!! I really wish you could smell the coffee that Julie sent which I opened this morning. It smells and tastes incredible!! The coffee is named after a favourite teacher in the town.

What a wonderful package: beautiful handpainted Cascade sock yarn which I've never tried before; Junior Mints (there may not be very many left now); Mini Eggs which we're going to taste test with the British ones; beloved wonderful Bugles; a gorgeous mug from Washington and Lee University which I drank my coffee out of this morning.

It all came in this amazing coffee bag which Julie had made herself out of recycled coffee bags - complete with little stitch markers.

Thank you so much Julie! Also, thanks to Eva who is our swap partner in Norway (hopefully she will get hers soon since I mailed it about 10 days ago!) Thanks also to our hostesses for organizing the swap. I'm so lucky!!!!
          Comment on The Gems of Oslo: “Why Is Everybody Naked?”—Visit the Powerful Sculptures in Oslo’s Vigeland Park by Our Adventures in Norway. Vigeland and Munch | The Adventures of the Madills        
[…] in Oslo before we head out on the train tomorrow to Bergen. First on the list is walking to the The Vigeland Park it  is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single […]
          Comment on Welcome to Biblo Tøyen: Norway’s First Youth-Only Library for kids ages 10 to 15. Adults not allowed! by admin        
So nice :) Thank you and welcome, Agapi!
          Comment on Welcome to Biblo Tøyen: Norway’s First Youth-Only Library for kids ages 10 to 15. Adults not allowed! by Agapi        
i am amazed, congratulations for a very fresh "up side down" idea. Librarian from Greece. Hope to visit one day...
          Comment on Welcome to Biblo Tøyen: Norway’s First Youth-Only Library for kids ages 10 to 15. Adults not allowed! by Meanwhile in Scandinavia: Fall 2016 | Peter Alsbjers blogg        
[…] Norway: Welcome to Biblo Tøyen: Norway’s First Youth-Only Library for kids ages 10 to 15. Adults not allowed! […]
          Comment on Are you a beer lover? TheOsloBook set out to find the most innovative and exciting breweries in Oslo, Norway! by admin        
This is great, Sean. We will check all these brands as well! Are you a beer expert or a beer lover?
          Comment on Are you a beer lover? TheOsloBook set out to find the most innovative and exciting breweries in Oslo, Norway! by Case        
Where are Crow, Schous, Nydalen??? Far more interesting stuff coming from them these days, oh and since they all started.
          The *sweet* taste of success        

I want a log cabin.

A modest Norwegian log cabin of course, heaven forfend none of those plush Alpine chalets. Just a quaint log cabin with a few basic amenities: workable kitchen, a fireplace and a sauna. Moose antlers to grace the front door, a polar bear rug on the floor and a few choice pieces of vintage Norwegian furniture to lend the cabin authenticity. There will be books scattered all over the place, and comics, lots of old comics. Under-floor cable heating installed throughout the cabin will mean I can scamper around barefoot from sauna to kitchen, foregoing the thermal and fleece socks I've been wearing all winter back in London. A requisite fat sofa will sit in front of a window with a magnificent panoramic view of the local fjord, the surrounding forest and the little woodpecker nest hidden in the nearest tree.

In this cabin I'll retreat from the world, read books and comics, drink aquavit, and take in the breathtaking vista of my fatherland, all whilst having exceptionally warm feet.

There's only one problem.

In order not to be lynched by the locals I need to ski. It's no good retreating to a cabin in Norway and not ski. Norwegians are fierce ski enthusiasts and some wise scribe once irritatingly claimed we Norwegians are all born on skis, suggesting we're pre-destined to be superhuman skiers. My parents met when dad was a ski instructor in Breckenridge and mama johansen was a voluptuous snowbunny, so I had no choice but to ski from a young age:

Snowbunny junior ca.1984

But there is a grain of truth in the notion that we're born to ski: one of my earliest memories is of dad holding me carefully as we skied slowly down gentle slopes in Oslo. From the age of five I was racing both cross-country and downhill in the local Tomm Murstad ski school. It was practically the law. Back in the '80s there were no plump Norwegian children playing on their playstations. We were all skiing six months of the year, eating wholesome sandwiches, fruit and the requisite kvikk-lunsj (akin to a kit-kat but somehow cannily marketed as an essential foodstuff for skiers). It was the Norwegian Ideal and a perfect parenting strategy: expose children to crisp winter air all day and total exhaustion will render us sweet and placid.

Living on top of a mountain in Oslo, our house was near a ski jump called Holmenkollen where the winter olympics were held in 1952. As I was musing on the abovementtioned log cabin fantasy I discovered the beloved Holmenkollen ski jump of my childhood had recently been renovated:

Yowzers. The world's fastest ski jump on your door step. Times have changed.

While I watched the winter games last week it occurred to me how spoilt we are in Norway: you walk out the door, put on your skis and simply set off into the wilderness for a day's cross-country, or head for the nearest slope to go downhill. The easy access to nature and great ski terrain is a constant reminder of how achingly beautiful Norway really is, thus making die-hard patriots of us all. Despite my better instincts I get pangs of nostalgia when I think of Nordmarka, the national park behind our house, and of course Holmenkollen.

Being contrarian I decided at a young age that downhill was for adrenaline junkies, and adrenaline junkies who are co-ordinated at that. With cross-country you have time to absorb your surroundings and it also means you're less likely to ski into a tree, as I was prone to with downhill. As you might imagine, this didn't go down so well with the parents. Dad's visions of my becoming an olympic downhill champion were shattered, and to this day he still ribs me about my dislike of downhill. Sadly I haven't skied cross-country with any regularity since moving to the UK ten years ago. For shame!

Norway goes bananas during the winter olympics, and as I watched the games I found myself thinking the following:

1) I need a log cabin

2) I need to swallow my fear and start downhill skiing again

3) why the frack is Norway always doing do well in the winter olympics?

Canada with their 14 gold medals may have reigned supreme on home soil, but Norway had its moments of owning the podium, matching that sporting colossus the U.S. with 9 gold medals. We're talking about a nation of 4.7 million people versus 300 million in the U.S.

For a time last week the most read article on the Wall Street Journal was one which asked the same question, what lay behind Norway's success in the games? I suspect the reason it was WSJ's most-read feature that day was 4.7 million Norwegians were clicking on it.

Pondering this question I wondered if it might be related to diet. Not the celebrated Nordic Diet, but something specific to Norway. Could it be the large volume of fish we eat? If that were the case, Japan, Iceland, Spain and other piscine-loving nations would surely do just as well as Norway in the winter games. No, that couldn't be it. What about our love of smoked fish and cured meat? A lot of top Norwegian skiers come from the west Norwegian town of Voss, where the local tradition is to serve smoked sheep heads to guests.

No, this wasn't it either. Icelanders eat things like sheep buried in the ground and other weird cured meat. They hardly gained a medal in the winter games.

Then suddenly...Eureka! It struck me as I was nibbling a slice of this:

It must be our geitost, or goat's cheese!

Lest you think this is any old white goat's cheese, it's known in Norwegian as brunost, or brown cheese. Made from pasteurised goat's whey mixed with either goats' or cows' milk, this cheese is cooked in large vats over a long period until the lactic sugars in the milk start to caramelise. During the slow cooking process, excess liquid evaporates and the cheese turns brown and firm. It's ready to eat and requires no maturation. Think dulce de leche with a salty twist. It's sweet and savoury cheese, with the consistency of firm yet creamy fudge.

The most popular variety of geitost in Norway is actually Gudbrandsdalsost which has the right balance of goat and cow's milk, but you can get pungent, artisan versions that are made from unpasteurised goat's milk, such as this Slow Food one from Undredal, a village near my grandparents' farm that we used to visit when I was growing up. Today the artisan brown cheese appeals, but as a kid I found it too intense, and I remember watching my grandmother cook with it. Oh yes, brown cheese as you might have guessed is full of umami, making it an excellent flavour-enhancer in sauces and stews.

Divisive as Marmite, you either love or hate this cheese, and I'll admit it's an acquired taste, but every child in Norway grows up eating brown cheese sandwiches as part of their school lunchpack. Nothing tastes better on freshly baked wholemeal bread than a pat of butter and a couple of thin slices of brunost. The ski queen equivalent you find over here is powdery and crumbly compared to the real stuff back in Norway.

As brown cheese is something of an acquired taste, babies are often weaned on Prim, a spreadable buttery version of brown cheese that isn't cooked as long as the firm cheese version. It's a sort of nutritious caramel:

Forget being born on skis, we're born with the taste of this cheese in our mouths. Everyone in Norway eats it. At the Lillehammer winter olympics in '94, then prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland was asked why Norway did so well despite being such a small country, and she replied in all earnest "It is typical Norwegian to be good" to howls of laughter from my father, who to this day still quotes Brundtland's nugget of jingoism.

Sorry Gro, it's not typically Norwegian to be good, it's typically Norwegian to eat mounds of brown cheese. It's our secret to olympic success, I promise you.

And now I'd better stop musing on log cabins, skiing and cheese. Time to start plotting how to acquire that log cabin, find a hot ski instructor to re-introduce me to the joys of downhill, and make myself a sweet brown cheese sandwich for lunch... ;-)


photo credits:

Top photo of Aksel Svindal CBC Canada,
Second photo of Marit Bjoergen www.morethanthegames.co.uk
Third photo: my parents
Fourth photo of the new Holmenkollen www.dezeen.com
Fifth photo of ekte geitost www.cheesestorebh.com
Bottom photo of synnove prim http://www.flickr.com/photos/synnovefinden/3680517551/

          Mac n' Cheese baby!        

"To soothe the inner beast or quell the pain of a broken heart, make macaroni and cheese"

-Marlena Spieler Macaroni and Cheese (2006)

Whenever someone mentions mac n' cheese, or what you preposition-averse Brits call macaroni cheese, I do a little dance. There are few things more delicious in life than the union of starch and cheese, and done properly, this is comfort food of the highest order. So when Fiona Beckett, author of Fiona Beckett's Cheese Course announced on her blog The Cheeselover she was running The Ultimate Macaroni Cheese Challenge after Christmas I thought hot diggity dog, I am entering this competition or else.

Except I was beset by swine flu. And then when I returned to London the elements conspired once again and I was bedridden for the first two weeks of the new year. My body did not appreciate returning from a balmy 25 degrees in the Canaries and the warm embrace of my parents to arctic winds and snow back here in the Big Smoke. Paradoxically for someone who lived 15 years in Norway I don't really love the cold except when temperatures drop to -5 degrees celsius and the air is dry and crisp. Idiosyncratic, I know.

At any rate, I didn't recover in time to enter by Fiona's stated deadline of January 18th and promptly forgot all about the mac n' cheese challenge, but discovered the literary joys of Raymond Chandler and Stieg Larsson so all was not lost while I was ill.

I was happily ploughing my way through brilliant books the last two weeks whilst recovering from flu when I realised Fiona's deadline had been extended til 11:59pm January 24th. Today.

Gulp! So off I traipsed to Neal's Yard Dairy in Covent Garden yesterday morning contemplating the world, well contemplating cheese after deciding on entering the 'Best Use of Artisanal Cheese' category in Fiona's competition. It was a no-brainer; I'm obsessed by cheese and was even quoted in the Telegraph as being a cheese anthropologist, something for which I have to confess is not actually a discipline of anthropology. Though it damn well should be, the world of cheese is a fascinating one! You learn more from a person talking about cheese than you ever will discussing Foucault or Bourdieu in seminars.

But that's another story.

So I wanted to enter this competition with the express intention of celebrating the best of British artisanal cheese. I may only be 1/4 British but it's enough to stir my patriotic loins when it comes to British cheese. These Isles have some of the finest cheeses in the world and compared to the moribund French artisan cheese industry, British cheesemakers are storming ahead of their continental peers. Artisan cheese here is in robust health and that is excellent news.

In I went to Neal's Yard and stated my intentions, much to the bemusement to Charlie, one of the fellas working there who was extremely patient with my request. I said I was hoping to marry some of my favourite unpasteurised artisanal cheeses: Gorwydd Caerphilly, Montgomery's Cheddar and Stichelton in this mac n' cheese experiment. And out I came with Gorwydd Caerphilly, Montgomery's Cheddar, Stichelton and a Wensleydale which Charlie thought would work well in the cheese sauce. I also snaffled 12 oz. Neal's Yard creme fraiche at an eyewatering £4.40 for the cheese sauce and a new cheese called Danegold to try for lunch one day next week. A jar of pepper jelly sauce concluded my puchases for the day and I skipped back to Bloomsbury, warning my Man that he'd better be in the mood for mac n' cheese.

Thankfully my better half is a cheese man so he didn't need persuading, though much like young Charlie of Neal's Yard, he was somewhat bemused by my fixation on creating an artisanal mac n' cheese dish. What happened to using good old cheddar they probably wondered.

Anyway, without further ado here's the recipe I created and let me warn you - it's exceptionally cheesy. The combination of Caerphilly and Wensleydale with the creme fraiche sauce is the perfect base for the more robust Stichelton crumbled haphazardly on top with the final flourish of Montgomery cheddar generously scattered to cover the dish before allowing the mac n' cheese to bubble and ooze and crisp up in the oven. We both hoovered up indecent portions of the stuff, along with salad as a digestif. You'll need greens of some description to digest the mac n' cheese whether you're using hefty artisanal cheeses or not.

Recipe for the Ultimate Artisanal Cheese Mac n' Cheese/Macaroni Cheese January 2010:

Neal's Yard creme fraiche


Gorwydd Caerphilly

Montgomery's Cheddar


(This technically serves 4, but be prepared to fight over it)

250g macaroni
75g Wensleydale
100g Gorwydd Caerphilly
100g Stichelton
100g Montgomery's Cheddar
250g creme fraiche
150ml single cream
1/2 clove garlic
salt & pepper
worcestershire sauce (optional)

This recipe is basically a hybrid of Heston Blumenthal's and queen of mac n' cheese Marlena Spieler's recipes, the former a Gratin of Macaroni from Heston's Family Food whereas Marlena's is the quintessential yankee doodle dandee Mac n' Cheese from her book titled - appropriately enough - Macaroni & Cheese. I wanted to make this with creme fraiche for extra tanginess and opted to forego a roux-based sauce in favour of this dairy bombshell of a dish. Do not scrimp on the creme fraiche or the cheese. What the heck is the point of eating this dish if it's not oozing with cheesy goodness?!


Preheat the oven to 190 C/Gas Mark 5/375 F

Bring salted water in a saucepan to a boil, add macaroni and boil til al dente (5 minutes should do the trick). Run cold water over the macaroni - soba noodle style - when you've drained the cooking water to stop the pasta from getting too claggy and continuing to cook.

Coarsely grate the cheddar on a plate and crumble the stichelton next to it. Set aside. Finely grate the wensleydale and caerphilly and in a small saucepan heat the creme fraiche and single cream. Take off the heat when the cream starts to bubble, and add the wensleydale and caerphilly, stirring to distribute both cheeses and allow the sauce to thicken. Season to taste.

Rub the inside of the roasting dish with the half clove of garlic. Mix the cheesy sauce with the pasta, pour into the dish and sprinkle with stichelton. Finally top with montgomerys and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Drizzle with worcestershire sauce for that welsh rarebit (rabbit?) effect, not strictly necessary but the slight sweetness and umami effect of the worcester sauce doesn't harm the dish.

What do you reckon - have I done British artisanal cheese justice?
          The Vikings are coming!        

Hagar the Horrible and his merry band of Vikings (photo courtesy of King Features Syndicate)

Having seen Henning Mankell - author of the popular detective series Wallander - speak last night about his novels and his Swedish detective hero Kurt Wallander I was intrigued by the question someone in the audience posed about the 'gloomy' nature of Scandinavians. Musing on this question over my morning porridge today I asked myself how gloomy are we Scandis really? Yes, the suicide rate is famously high in Nordic countries (no doubt higher in Iceland since those banking cowboys bankrupted the country) but when I think of the fifteen years I lived in Norway my lasting impression of Norwegians and other Scandis is not one of gloom.

The weather can be gloomy, yes. And Scandinavians can seem reserved, austere and frankly a bit odd. My aunts in Norway certainly evince some demented behaviour but that's because they're vain ageing models and can't accept they are now wrinkly. I don't think it's a coincidence that said aunts have been on numerous diets for the past thirty years, and certainly the exclusion of butter from their lives is a likely cause of their lunacy. But I shall save that for my next blog post on the virtues of butter ;)

There's no doubt Scandinavians and our Nordic brethren the Finns and Icelanders are peculiar. Eccentric even. I suspect, as many do, it has something to do with the lack of daylight in winter and then an overdose of it in the summer. Leads to some imbalances in the system.

Seriously though, we Northern Europeans - along with the Japanese - have the longest lifespans on the planet, the highest standard of living and are top of the countries donating aid to help developing countries. And yet other than a vague image of gloom and doom and the idea that Scandinavians are quite virtuous citizens, most Brits I know haven't got the foggiest what goes on in Scandinavia, or for that matter, what the food is like.

So it was with some excitement this time last year when I discovered Danish chef and food writer Trina Hahnemann had published The Scandinavian Cookbook (Quadrille). Finally, a book that transported me back to Scandinavia through beautiful, evocative photography and unfussy recipes using seasonal produce, game and a LOT of fish, my favourite food. Trina's cinnamon bun recipe has been tried and tested a dozen times in the past year and she is a very very good recipe writer, an accolade true cooks will appreciate.

But perhaps before I go on I should confess my aversion to diet books. Between the crazy dieting aunts and the fact that I can still wear the same clothes as I did back in the '90's (yes snort away, I accept this is unfair!) I've never been too bothered with my weight. I walk a lot, go skiing when I can, swim in the summer and generally keep quite active throughout the year. In fact there have been phases when I've been less active and it shows - my mood becomes unpredictable, I become listless and grumpy and no amount of prozac will lift me from my oxygen-deprived slump. The cure is always fresh air and gentle exercise. Scandinavians are famous for our love of the outdoors and I reckon that has an effect on our health. Who needs the gym? So I choose to ignore fad diets, taking the long view that it's more important to enjoy your food and avoid excess as much as possible whilst getting outdoors as much as possible. Yes, that makes me quite dull. And yes I own a thermos. Hardly the spirit of the vikings I grant you! For that you'll have to meet Papa Johansen.

Anyway. Having enjoyed Trina Hahnemann's The Scandinavian Cookbook so much over the past year I was curious to see if her follow-up The Nordic Diet would match its predecessor for tasty dishes and evocative photos. And of course, dispel my snottiness about the word 'diet'.

(Quadrille 2010)

Thankfully Trina isn't the hectoring kind. There is no counting of calories in the Nordic Diet and as a concept it's more about adopting the habits of healthy eating, eating as much fresh fish, game, fruit and veg as possible, avoiding processed and refined food and balancing meals so you have a variety of health-boosting ingredients throughout the day. Cut down your sugar intake. That is a major health imperative, one which I sometimes forget. Refined sugar is the source of more chronic health problems such as diabetes, obesity and even cancer than we realise.

Recipes in the Nordic Diet are pared-back and easy to follow, in keeping with a distinctly modern Scandinavian ethos that regards too much fuss or embellishment as a vice.

I like this book, despite my initial scepticism about the 'diet' word in the title ;)

Arguably the most important point Trina makes in her introduction to the Nordic diet - aside from the key point that our food choices have ecological consequences - is that eating meals together, whether with family, friends or strangers is essential to a good quality of life. My Mother insisted on this when I was growing up and it was one of the reasons she never sent her errant daughter to a boarding school. Sitting down to eat a meal together every night was non-negotiable, and my parents included me from a young age in their dinner parties. This probably explains my middle-aged sensibilities!

Commensality is essential to social bonding, you don't need a food anthropologist telling you that, and I hope Trina's message that sitting down regularly with family and/or friends to eat together, discussing what's going on in each other's lives and the state of the world, laughing, crying, commiserating, arguing and telling stories together. If a reader of the Nordic Diet who thinks she or he doesn't have the time to cook and sit down for a proper meal anymore is convinced of the merits of cooking a meal from scratch and enjoying good Nordic food then that's a Very Good Thing.

So the fundamentals of the Nordic Diet include:

* Balanced meals with an emphasis on whole grains and seasonal vegetables
* Home-cooking with fresh ingredients, including home-baked bread
* Eating less
* Eating fish twice a week at least
* Eating game, chicken or meat only 3 times a week at most
* Taking time to eat with friends and family on a daily basis

(my italics)

If you still need persuading that Nordic food is the way to go then let me assure you Trina's recipes are packed with punchy, robust flavours. There is nothing bland about this book, the flavours work and you won't get bored eating food such as:

* rye and beer porridge
* spelt pancakes with blueberries
* mussel soup with potatoes and leek
* smørrebrød with salmon tartare
* beetroot burgers with barley salad
* monkfish cheeks, fennel and mash with dill and spring onion
* mackerel with baked rhubarb and cabbage
* goose breast with apples and celeriac salad
* venison meatballs with baked root veg
* elderberry soup with rye bread croutons
* spelt bread with rhubarb and strawberry jam

You get my point - Trina's recipes rock, they are nutritious and delicious and won't leave you feeling deprived or reaching for a cheap chocolate and yo-yo-ing in your weight. I've long been convinced of the virtues of spelt and rye, two grains Trina bakes a lot with. If you can, start switching from plain wheat flour to spelt, rye, oats and barley - you'll be doing your digestive system and overall health a huge favour.

I'd say the only thing I would have liked to have seen more of in this book is recipes for cured and smoked meats and fish, a staple in the traditional Nordic diet. Perhaps these would have been too intimidating for most British home cooks? If you're interested in making your own gravadlax though, Trina provides a reliable recipe in the Scandinavian Cookbook. As a final caveat to my otherwise two thumbs up for the Nordic Diet is Trina's assertion that one should use low-fat yoghurt or skimmed milk in her recipes but I'll get to that in my next blog post, they don't call me the full-fat dairy queen for nothing...

Overall, at £12.00 (and currently a bargainous £6.49 on Amazon) The Nordic Diet is a great investment. Nothing gloomy about this diet I'd say ;)

On that note, I'm looking forward to seeing Trina again tonight at a dinner she is co-hosting with the good people of Madsen. As we say in the Northerm climes, velbekomme!

With thanks to Quadrille for sending a review copy of the Nordic Diet
          Reason # 1 to be excited about 2010: The renaissance of artisan food in Britain        

The School of Artisan Food (SAF) in a newly renovated 19th century fire station on the Welbeck Estate (photo courtesy SAF)

Breadmaking class at the school (photo courtesy SAF)

Freshly baked bread in the classroom (my photo, beautiful eh?)

I want this oven, sadly it would take up my entire Bloomsbury kitchen (same classroom as above)

Wood-fired oven for bread baking, toasty to stand next to during this cold snap I imagine

Spik and span classroom kitchen - check out the marble surfaces!

Delicious SAF sausages and homemade buns

A big block of Stichelton - who needs canapes when you can have cheese?

Ray Smith butcher of River Cottage fame who teaches charcuterie and butchery at SAF

When Camilla Barnard of cereal company Rude Health and I trekked up one frosty November's day to the opening of the School of Artisan Food we were both struck by

a) how good the SAF sausages were

b) how perfect a big block of stichelton was in lieu of canapes

c) how much tweed was in attendance (and what magnificent tweed it was)


d) how conspicuous the absence of London food writers, bloggers and journalists was

While I love nothing more than a good artisanal sausage and we both thoroughly enjoyed our day trip to SAF, I couldn't help think metropolitan foodies had missed a trick in not attending the opening.

My adopted homeland has a food heritage we should all be proud of, and I hope 2010 will prove to be the year British artisan food gets the credit it deserves. Central to the burgeoning renaissance of British artisan food will be the School of Artisan Food, a new project which Harry West my SOAS anthropology tutor is principal academic advisor of. Harry asked me to teach at the school when the diploma programme starts this September - a daunting task! - and I'll be doing my PhD fieldwork on the state of artisan bread in this country so I am embedded and therefore totally biased. Objectivity is certainly not part of my DNA when it comes to artisan food!

Why does a school of artisan food matter? I've had more than a few snide remarks from those who claim to love food that SAF sounds as if it will merely cater to posh twits with a seemingly unhealthy interest in posh twit (ie. artisan) food. Or give bored, rich housewives something to do in between painting their nails and bleeding their banker husbands' accounts dry. In a country still lamentably obsessed with class, an interest in food is curiously frowned upon - even by those who ostensibly love good food.

Suffice to say the mind boggled when I first arrived in 1999 to study in a country so class-fixated and snotty about food. I grew up spending summers foraging and fishing whilst helping my grandparents on their farm in western Norway. My parents firmly believe good food and commensality is essential to health and happiness, not to mention a good quality of life. It was inculcated in me from an early age that proper food is a right, not a privilege.

That's why the School of Artisan Food is so exciting: the first not-for-profit school of its kind in Europe which will teach the practical skills of baking, brewing, cheesemaking and butchery alongside business and management courses essential to creating a viable artisan food business. The academic component of SAF's diploma will give meaning and context to the artisan food world by teaching the history of industrialisation of food, terroir in the 21st century and food anthropology, amongst other subjects; luminaries from the food world such as Randolph Hodgson of Neal's Yard Dairy are involved in SAF, along with master baker Emmanuel Hadjandreou and butchery supremo Ray Smith from the River Cottage. This is not a school for romantics, but for those with fierce ambition and - excuse the pun - a real hunger for success in the artisan food business.

Whilst the diploma is a rigorous vocational degree that will train the artisans of the future in both the practical and academic skills they need, SAF also offers short courses such as the fundamentals of cheesemaking, basic brewing, game in a day, butchery and baking techniques, etc. The short courses are perfect for those of you keen beans who want to delve a little deeper into your favourite food subject but can't necessarily take the time off to do a full diploma. Go on, forget the expensive gym membership - spend your money on a mould and maturation course!

You don't have to be a nerdy fermentophile like me to be excited about this, though if you still have doubts check out Rose Prince's article on SAF in the Telegraph from last summer here, the Guardian dispatched Emma Sturgess to join a breadmaking class at SAF in the autumn, which you can read about here and finally if you remain unconvinced the New York Times features SAF in this piece "British Artisanal Food Gains New Champions"

As I've always maintained, what the world needs is more bakers, not bankers. Get thee up to SAF and find out for yourself why!


The School of Artisan Food
Lower Motor Yard
S80 3LR

Email: info@schoolofartisanfood.org

Phone: 01909 532171

Nearest train station: Retford (on the London King's Cross-Leeds line) train journey takes ca. 1 hr 40 minutes
          A booklover's wishlist for Christmas        

Friends and family have stopped giving me cookbooks

As you enter our Bloomsbury living room you can see why: a flimsy IKEA bookcase groans under the weight of hundreds of cookbooks - well our demented boiler is gurgling like a gremlin at the moment but that's another story - the flat seems to be tilting precariously to one side under the weight of so many books.

Some are blatant food "porn" purchases from days when I didn't know any better, others are more conventional glossy cookbooks nestled in between the Elizabeth David classics and battered old baking books replete with indecipherable doodles. Inspirational tomes such as Olivier Roellinger's Seafood book and Heston's Big Fat Duck Cookbook are there to remind me that being creative is no bad thing, and I have yet to really sink my teeth into McGee on Food and Cooking in a systematic way, save his chapter on dairy.

But seriously, does a girl really need hundreds of cookbooks? I'm more than a little embarrassed by my bulging cookbook collection and perversely found myself calculating how many pairs of killer heels I could have bought in lieu of all those snazzy cookbooks. After all, a girl can never have too many shoes.

So in order to save you and your family or friends from accumulating quite so many cookbooks - and to save all that money for buying pretty shoes in the new year sales! - I've compiled a Christmas wishlist for bookish food fiends; a list that sprang out of friends asking me from time to time which books I would recommend from my cookbook collection.

For the purpose of this exercise I enlisted my pal Will Knightley - a rogue foodie with a penchant for martinis - to help whittle down the books. It's not a definitive list, We've left off some notable culinary giants and included a few unusual books which might appeal to a foodnerd who is interested in learning more about the history and anthropology of food. There are also a few recommendations for food magazines and journals that would make fine Christmas gifts for a fussy foodie.

I'd be curious to know which books are your favourite ones to cook from, which have proved inspirational, and which ones looked promising but ultimately failed to live up to expectations. Needless to say I'm on a self-imposed ban from buying any more books and if anything a cull is long overdue. Still...there are invariably gaps in my collection so please let me know in a comment below which food/cookery books you'd add to this list :-)

The cookbooks:

Fiona Beckett's Cheese Course (Ryland, Peters & Small)

Perhaps this should have been called 'The Joy of Cheese' as it's a caseophile's delight. I've worked with Fiona for two years and recently wrote my MA thesis on the anthropology of cheese so I'm completely biased, but I genuinely love this book. You learn how cheese is made, examples of the different types of cheese and how to taste and compare them. Fiona being the doyenne of food and wine matching you get a comprehensive cheese and wine matching guide, and also alternatives such as cider, beer, port and whisky to name a few. I could really have used the tip about not matching red wine to oozing Epoisses the other night, and Fiona explains in detail why red wine - a traditional match for cheese as a whole - can be a minefield when paired with many cheese varieties. There are suggestions for seasonal cheese plates and recipes to keep even the greediest of cheeselovers happy.

Try the tartiflette, the buckwheat galettes with parma ham and emmental, and the stichelton steak with winter salad of onions and roquette. If you're a real curd nerd check out Fiona's Cheeselover blog for updates on cheese finds, and her 'Ultimate Mac n' Cheese Challenge' which kicks off December 28th

Moro East by Sam & Sam Clark (Ebury Books)

Fans of the restaurant Moro will love this book which extends east to Levantine shores via their East End allotment. The recipes are clearly written and easy to follow. What more can I say - buy this book along with the two original Moro cookbooks and you won't be disappointed. Up there with the Scandinavian Cookbook and Ottolenghi as my everyday favourites.

Risotto with Nettles: A memoir with food
by Anna del Conte (Chatto & Windus)

This is the food memoir of 2009. Del Conte shares stories from her childhood in Milan, giving the recipes she cites at the start of each chapter meaning and context through a tightly-written narrative. Her style of writing is self-effacing and ever so slightly patrician, a legacy of her Milanese roots I suspect and what fascinates me about her story is del Conte's liminality as a child raised in Mussolini's Italy and her transition to an adult who married and settled in Britain - she evinces both Italian (or rather Milanese) and British characteristics in her writing yet in some ways is rootless...

Any book that opens with a chapter on Toscanini and La Scala will appeal to the cultured Italophile foodie; a real gem of a memoir.

The Scandinavian Cookbook by Trina Hahnemann (Quadrille)

One of the best cookbooks published in recent years. Beautiful photography couples with clear, easy-to-follow recipes and the best cinnamon bun recipe this side of Copenhagen. Trina's evocative book sends me straight back to my Scandinavian roots and I can't think of a better introduction to the seasonal cooking of game, fish, fruit, veg grains and aquavit (kidding, aquavit is not a foodstuff) of where I grew up. A book I never tire of.

Look out for Trina's Nordic Diet book - due to be released in January - of which I'll be giving a sneak preview here very soon. If you're curious about Trina's recipes and Scandinavian food in general I did a menu earlier this year based on her book which includes a fabulous gravlaks or gravadlax recipe.

Game: A Cookbook
by Trish Hilferty & Tom Norrington-Davies (Absolute Press)

Anyone who knows me will tell you I have a penchant for game, and I instantly fell in love with this book when it arrived last month. The fact that it's co-authored by Tom Norrington-Davies, head chef and co-owner of Great Queen Street, one of my favourite restaurants, adds to its 'must-have' appeal.

Recipes that stand out:

* confited pheasant with fennel and satsuma salad

* potroast mallard, quince and star anise

* rabbit braised with prunes and beer

In sum, a brilliant, modern cookbook on game - buy this for a bona fide foodie and they'll love you forever

Snowflakes and Schnapps by Jane Lawson (Murdoch Books)

This book has proved curiously divisive. Will and I love it, other foodlovers aren't convinced.

Jane Lawson seems detached from the recipes and there has been criticism of the broad geographical layout spanning Scandinavia, Germany and Eastern Europe. Frankly that's what appeals to me - there is a common thread of cooking throughout cold Northern European countries: hearty, ribsticking fare with dishes such as beer cooked bratwurst, which is what gets me cooking on a cold winter's day. I was born in Germany and my first word was most likely "wurst" so I'm totally biased - a book with sausage recipes is always going to send my into nostalgic daydreaming mode! The liquorice lamb appeals to the Scandi in me and I love Lawson's baking recipes - reminiscent of the ones I grew up with in Norway. Great recipes and gorgeous photography make this a winner. Buy this book for the Northern European who loves to ski and eats carbs and meat with gusto!

A Very Honest Cook by Stephen Markwick and Fiona Beckett (Culinaria Press)

More of a magazine or journal than a hefty cookbook and therein lies the appeal of 'A Very Honest Cook'. I'd hazard a guess that this slimline book of a few choice recipes from Stephen Markwick of Culinaria fame might prove to be a publishing model for 2010. When I met Stephen and his wife Judy at Abergavenny food festival earlier this year everything Fiona had told me about Stephen was spot-on: he's a self-deprecating cook who represents the best of British cuisine. With a foreword by Simon Hopkinson that praises the 'stylish simplicity' of Stephen's cooking, and clear, concise recipes this is a book I'll be cooking often from and can't wait to visit Bristol again so I can sample Stephen's provencal fish soup, loin of venison with celeriac and potato mash and honeyed parsnips... and a devilishly good treacle tart ;-)

The Songs of Sapa by Luke Nguyen (Murdoch Books)

Will claims this is the book for gap-year kids who read 'The Beach' on their travels throughout Asia during the '90s. I did neither of those things yet I love this book, perhaps because Vietnam is on my list of places to visit. This book transports you to Nguyen's home country with sumptuous recipes and fantastic photography. Recipes such as Hanoi beef noodle soup, roast pork and crisp snapper just work. The only drawback is the book is a tome of the coffee-table variety thus slightly tricky to place in the kitchen while cooking, but still - a book worth owning.

Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (Ebury)

My favourite deli in London and a cookbook that is high up on my list of favourites. The partnership between Israeli Yotam Ottolenghi and Palestinian Sami Tamimi works on so many levels: the delis are an aesthete's delight with their white backdrop and an array of colourful food tempting you in. I spent a day in the Upper Street branch of Ottolenghi as part of my Leiths training and witnessed first-hand the care and attention Ottolenghi chefs take in creating both pastries and savoury food. It may be expensive but the food at Ottolenghi is worth every penny.

Buy this book for the foodlover who is curious about the Middle East and loves eating at Ottolenghi's delis.

The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden (Penguin)

Not a recent publication but this should be on every serious foodlover's bookshelf. Roden's vivid account of the Jewish diaspora, enriched with stories of her own life and comprehensive descriptions of Ashkenazi and Sephardic cooking is a classic. The recipes are foolproof and delicious.

Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey (Ebury)

A confession: I have a real soft spot for Rick Stein. Perhaps it's his love of seafood, or his gentle, ambling manner when he's cooking. I was fortunate enough to work as a stagiere in his Seafood restaurant down in Padstow when I was training at Leiths and loved every minute of my stage there, learning more about seafood in a week working for Stein's band of merry chefs than I did anywhere else. Stein's most recent book represents the best recipes of countries such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia. Every recipe is enticing and foolproof and somehow captures the rich diversity of food across Asia; this is the book for the globetrotting gourmet who loves telling stories and cooks with confidence and flair!

Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A Young (Kyle Cathie)

Quite simply the best chocolate book of 2009. Paul trained under Marco Pierre White and I've posted on this blog before about his dedication to the crafting of chocolate because that's exactly what he is - a craftsman. His shop in Camden Passage is one of the few chocolate shops in London which is suffused with the scent of chocolate as everything is hand-crafted on site.

The book is comprehensive and teaches you how to buy chocolate, what types of beans there are and the methods of tempering and how to make a truffle (an art in itself). There are tips on how to combine flavours with different types of chocolate and recipes such as:

* chocolate water biscuits for cheese

* passionfruit and coconut truffles (two of my favourite ingredients!)

* blackcurrant and liquorice truffles (ditto)

* chocolate, ginger and cardamom tea bread

* hot chocolate and basil fondants

A perfect gift for chocoholics, especially if they can't get to Paul's two stores in Camden Passage and Threadneedle Street this Christmas

What to Eat Now More Please! by Valentine Warner (Octopus)

Having met Valentine Warner through the lovely people at Peter's Yard I can vouch that he's utterly charming and a real cook's cook. This is the book to buy girls. Boys don't really get the appeal of Valentine so make sure you save this for your sister, cousin, girlfriend or foxy aunt.

Recipes that appeal:

* barbecued bavette steak with anchovies, red wine and garlic (is there a better combination of ingredients?)

* coconut lamb

* gravadlax: having seem Valentine make this at Abrgavenny food festival earlier this year I can attest to this recipe's deliciousness. Plus Valentine looked a bit like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets when he waved bunches of dill above his head

* prawn tangiers: I made this over the summer and it's now a firm favourite

* baby courgettes and chanterelles with basil: simple, clean flavours with not much fuss. Perfect.

Larousse Gastronomique (Hamlyn)

Everyone should own a copy of Larousse. It is the bible of cooking technique and classical French cuisine. Enough said.

McGee on Food and Cooking by Harold McGee (Scribner)

I love McGee's chapter on dairy, you might love his chapter on the four food molecules - every serious cook worth his or her salt should have McGee's encyclopedic masterpiece on their shelves. Failing that at least read his Curious Cook musings on food science ;-)

Coco: 10 world-leading masters choose 100 contemporary chefs (Phaidon)

This is the most zeitgeisty book of 2009, and what a tome it is. Chosen by gastronomic big guns Ferran Adria, Mario Batali, Rene Redzepi, Alice Waters, Jacky Yu, Gordon Ramsay, Fergus Henderson, Shannon Bennett, Alain Ducasse, and Yoshihiro Murata the hundred chefs featured in Coco are all fascinating in their own right. Some have commented on the title and I have to admit 'Coco' does strike me as an odd choice for this book, albeit a catchy one.

No matter, the book is a feast for the eyes and is the book to buy your serious gourmet friend or relative who has a keen interest in sampling the cooking of the hottest chefs today. When I first read about Coco in the Evening Standard earlier this year I was thrilled to see some of my favourite chefs such as Anthony Demetre of Arbutus and Wild Honey fame featured alongside Theo Randall and Skye Gangell. When Gastrogeek invited a few fellow food bloggers to join her and the team from Phaidon and Sauce PR for a Coco Gourmet Gallop around Maze, Theo Randall and Launceston Place last month I nearly fell off my chair at the itinerary for the gallop. We were treated to a fantastic evening of decadence, sampling the recipes each chef had included in the book. You can read brilliant reviews of the gourmet gallop from Gastrogeek herself, Dan of Essex Eating and Dan of the blog FoodUrchin amongst others including twitter's funniest food blogger Mimi of Meemalee's Kitchen who concluded: the Coco gourmet gallop was worth missing the last train for (and she did!)

A few snaps from the night:

Theo Randall's wood-roasted Cornish monkfish with parsley, capers, roseval potatoes, globe artichokes and prosciutto di Parma - a humdinger of a dish. Full of flavour and culinary skill. Theo himself came out to speak to us which was much appreciated by all of us attending the gallop

Tristan Welch's dessert platter (along with several huge tarte tartins) was the best dessert experience I've had since being left with the dessert trolly at Guy Savoy a 3-star michelin restaurant in Paris. Tristan and his staff looked after us with immense generosity, and like Theo Randall, took the time to speak to us about their cooking and Launceston Place. An epic way to end an epic gourmet gallop...

The books on food but not necessarily cookery:

Tsukiji by Theodore Bestor (University of California Press)

Harvard anthropologist Theodore Bestor has twenty years of ethnographic fieldwork in Japan under bis belt. The man knows Japan and he writes well which are two key features in the appeal of this book about Tokyo's legendary fish market Tsukiji. One for the food anthropologist, or someone who loves big fish and the ocean in general.

Hungry City by Carolyn Steel (Random House)

A lecturer in architecture at Cambridge, Steel is a formidable speaker and passionate advocate of how food shapes cities. Not one for the glossy food porn admiring reader, but one for serious foodies with a sense of history, an interest in the development of cities and architecture. Check out her Hungry City site for an idea of what the book is all about.

The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir by Amy Trubek (University of California Press)

Trubek asks why terroir and place matter. You may be wondering why the question even matters and if so I suggest you read Trubek's Taste of Place, an accessible and informative account of why terroir is important: we live in a highly connected world in which food is subjected to the forces of globalization like any other industry. Place becomes a powerful symbol of cultural and national roots, not to mention identity. Terroir evokes authenticity, particularly in wine, but increasingly now in food such as cheese and Trubek's book is for those who are bored by cookbooks and want something profound to sink their teeth into over the Christmas holiday.

Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham

For the foodie who cares about evolution, anthropology and understanding how cooking makes us human, this is the book to buy them for Christmas. Wrangham has a breezy style of writing virtually unseen in academia and his argument is elegant and provocative in equal measure. Brilliant. By far the most interesting anthropology book I've read in years.

Magazine/Journal Subscriptions to get discerning foodies:

Fire & Knives

Brand-spanking new food journal from editor extraordinaire Tim Hayward. Great writing, great photography, great design. Looks like a small book which makes it ideal for popping in your handbag. At a bargainous £20 per year for a subscription this is the gift to give the foodlover who has all the cookbooks they need.

The Art of Eating

Edward Behr's pared-back style of writing is true to his Vermont background and I can't wait for The Art of Eating to arrive by post every few months. Excellent pieces on real food, unfussy and spot-on in its analysis. You should see the cheese collection. Another one for the foodie who has everything and loves that New England salt-of-the-earth way of seeing the world.

美味しんぼ or Oishinbo (The Gourmet)

What can I say? if you know someone who loves Japanese food this is the publication for them. The ultimate 'foodnerd' gift this Christmas!

* an addendum: one book I completely forgot about is Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and Other Stories and thank you to Helen aka Food Stories for reminding me about Hopkinson's other brilliant book Week in Week Out both books of which I own and love. Roast chicken had slipped down behind the bookcase and the latter I haven't used much recently but shall revisit when I return from the Canaries after Christmas. Add both to the neverending list of must-have books ;-)
          Scandi Christmas stall at Covent Garden: Part II        

Niamh aka Eat Like A Girl and I larking around at Covent Garden on Thursday - photo courtesy of Lucy Pope

Re-arranging cinnamon buns with Lucy Pope - photo courtesy of A Forkful of Spaghetti

The Scandi Christmas baking spread...photo courtesy of A Forkful of Spaghetti

So market day at Covent Garden came and went, and what fun it was. The gods provided with sunshine and a balmy 10 degrees celsius throughout the afternoon, and I was lucky to share a stall with the lovely Niamh - also known affectionately as the "pork mistress" for her mighty pork sandwiches with lashings of the BEST crunchy crackling in all of WC1! Niamh's a dab hand at this market melarkee as she's been manning a stall twice a week since the summer and her pork sandwiches fast became a staple lunchtime treat for those who work nearby Covent Garden this autumn and I can see why - having sampled her fare I'm now a pork sandwich addict

We had lots of visitors throughout the day, both punters looking around the market on a Thursday afternoon and friends and food bloggers who came down to support us by saying hello, and of course to sample the food! Niamh very kindly proffered a glass of prosecco mid-afternoon and we chatted throughout the afternoon, marvelling at the friendly visitors and the occasional cheeky passesrby - you see the extremes of human nature at a market Niamh said and I completely agree, fascinating stuff to an anthropologist. Believe it or not, someone asked Niamh if she did 2 for 1 on her sandwiches, and when I put out samples of cakes mid-afternoon two modellesque girls came round not once or twice but five times to nibble on samples. The cheek! Having two crazy aunts in Norway who used to model let me repeat my maxim in life here:

"Never trust a model as beauty corrupts the brain"

Anyway, it was a brilliant day and I wish I could do it again next week as Niamh was such fun to pal around with. From Tuesday though I'm off to Lanzarote for yuletide holiday frolics with my Ma and Pa so any reprises down at Covent Garden will have to wait til 2010

Below are recipes from the most popular cakes and biscuits of the day, if you have any specific queries about them drop me an email or leave a comment

Happy holidays to you all :-)

Let's start with the three chocolatey cakes:

tropisk aroma or spiced chocolate marble cake with nutmeg and cinnamon. The nutmeg dominates and with a coffee-chocolate icing I this is a firm family favourite which keeps up to a week and can be frozen if need be for future cake scoffing



250g refined spelt flour
250g golden caster sugar
150g butter, softened
2 medium eggs
120 ml whole milk with 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp strong coffee or espresso
pinch salt

Filling and icing:

200g icing sugar
200g butter, softened
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp coffee powder (depends how much coffee you like)
pinch salt


Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly oil 23cm round cake tin and fit the bottom with baking parchment

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar til pale and fluffy (circa 5-8 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time along with a spoonful of flour to stop the mixture splitting, whisking after each egg to incorporate it into the mixture. Add the spices, remainder of flour and alternate this with the milk and coffee to create a thick cake batter

Take 1/3 of the cake mixture and place in a smaller bowl, add the cocoa powder and stir through until the mixture looks even

Place half the plain mixture at the bottom of the cake tin, then layer the chocolate mixture on top. Cover with the remaining half of plain mixture and using a fork, swirl through the two mixtures to create a marbled effect. Bake on the middle shelf for 35-40 minutes. The cake is done when a skewer is inserted and no wet mixture remains on the skewer

While the cake cools on a wire rack, make the filling: cream the butter whilst adding the icing sugar, coffee and cocoa powders, and vanilla extract, taste as you go along as icing is subjective - some like it very buttery, others intensely sweet. I like a balance of butter, sugar and chocolate/coffee myself

When the cake is completely cool, spread the icing all over. Sprinkle extra cocoa powder on top if you like a cocoa hit or simply leave it plain. Savour with a cup of tea or coffee

Cardamom-Chocolate Cake

There was a run on this cake, definitely a hit with both punters on the day and food bloggers who came down to visit Niamh and I. Cardamom and chocolate is a match made in heaven - grind the cardamom pods yourself if you have the time and inclination, I like to coarsely grind them so you get a few small seeds of cardamom rather than fine powder. The occasional cardamom crunch when eating this cake is an unexpected treat I find. This recipe is an adaptation of Nigella's dense chocolate loaf in 'How to be a domestic goddess' but I've substituted plain flour for spelt and reduced the sugar and syrup quantities and upped the chocolate


250g softened butter
350g dark muscovado sugar (light will do fine)
250g refined spelt flour
150g dark chocolate, melted
2 heaping tbsp cocoa powder
2 medium eggs
200ml boiling water
1 shot espresso or strong coffee
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1-2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 190 C. Lightly oil a 23 x 13 x 7 cm loaf tin

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time along with a spoonful of flour to stop the mixture splitting. Add the melted chocolate and incorporate fully before adding coffee, cocoa powder, flour, the boiling water, cardamom, bicarb and salt. It should be a thick liquid batter

Pour this into the prepared loaf tin and bake on the middle oven shelf at 190 C for the first 1/2 hour, then reduce the oven temp to 170 C and bake the cake for a further 15 minutes. The cake will rise, but once you remove it from the oven it will shrink slightly and look like it collapses. This is normal.

Cool on a wire rack. Needless to say this is great on its own but also good with a dollop of creme fraiche on the side. As Nigella says, this is like gingerbread in that it improves as it ages so worth making up in double batches if you can

Gingerbread with lemon icing

another Nigella classic. What can I say, the woman can bake

It's worth making this in double batches, it's VERY popular!


300g spelt flour
150g butter
125g dark muscovado sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1 tsp cinnamon (and I add 1/2 tsp clove, 1/2 nutmeg)
250ml milk
2 eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda mixed with 2 tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp salt


200g icing sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2-3 tbsp lemon juice


Preheat oven to 170 C. Lightly oil a 30 x 20 x 5 cm rectangular cake tin

In a large saucepan melt the butter, sugar, syrup, treacle, spices, ginger. Add the milk, eggs, bicarb off the heat.

Add the liquid to the flour in a large bowl and beat well until the mixture looks even.

Pour into cake tin and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour

As the cake is cooling, make the icing:

sift icing sugar in a bowl, whisking in the lemon juice and zest. The icing should be thick not runny so don't add too much liquid...

spread over cooled gingerbread with a palette knife and leave to set before cutting slices. Keeps for a good couple of weeks if you can resist eating it in one go

Kokosmakroner or coconut macaroons

these mallowy macaroons are dead-easy to make and the coconut acts as a humectant so they stay soft for ages. Dip in melted dark chocolate for that 'bounty' effect or eat plain as they're moreish on their own


4 egg whites
180g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
250g shredded coconut


Meringue the egg whites and sugar til stiff peak, then fold in the coconut. Bake at 170 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes and allow to dry on a wire rack before eating

Almond Raisin Cake with Manzanilla Sherry

Manzanilla may seem an odd choice for cake as it's bone dry, but I love that ozone savouryness to Manzanilla and had half a bottle languishing in the fridge so I thought I'd bake a sherry-fied cake with it. Thanks to A Forkful of Spaghetti for tweeting me a recipe! This is my version:


200g raisins
200g manzanilla sherry
150ml plain yoghurt
150ml melted butter
150g light muscovado sugar
3 medium eggs
150g spelt flour
100g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt


preheat oven to 180 C. Lightly oil a 20cm round cake tin. Whisk the eggs and sugar til pale and fluffy. Add the melted butter, the yoghurt, flour, almonds, salt and raising agents to the mixture and combine til evenly incorporated. Fold in the raisins, adding some of the sherry too if you fancy :-)

Spoon the cake mixture into the cake tin and bake on the middle oven shelf for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Drizzle with icing sugar, or skewer the cake a few times and use up the remaining sherry liquid to pickle the cake...

Needless to say, great with a glass of sherry

lefse or potato pancake - cheat's version available at Scandinavian Kitchen

This is usually served with a cup of coffee in Norway and a childhood favourite of mine. I love lefse, which is a soft potato-wheat pancake filled with cinnamon buttercream and folded like a book.

For 10 lefse you'll need 5 sheets of the pre-fab stuff you get at the Scandinavian Kitchen plus:

150g butter
100g creme fraiche
150g icing sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Cream the butter til pale then add the creme fraiche, whisking til its incorporated and add cinnamon, sugar, salt. Taste to see if it's right for you - remember the potato-wheat lefse is quite bland. Place a dollop of mixture on a sheet of lefse, spread evenly and then fold in the sides. Keep in an airtight container
          Sugar & Spice - A Scandi Christmas Stall in Covent Garden 10.12.09        

Traditional Christmas biscuits from Baker Brun - bakery in Bergen where Papa Scandilicious grew up

In recent years three of my flatmates have each declared Christmas to be their favourite season for food. And I can see why - all the roast meat, the sprouts (yes I love sprouts), the mince pies, the brandy butter, mulled wine - or in my case as I'm Germanic at heart - glühwein...

In Norway we always had smoked lamb ribs which were steamed over birchwood and water for a day, served with creamy and buttery mashed swede (not a pun I promise), steamed potatoes and carrots. It was simple country fare and utterly repellant to anyone who hadn't grown up in Norway. My English grandmother tried it once and came away convinved my Mother had married a barbarian. Well, the volume of aquavit consumed during a Norwegian Christmas meal certainly lends credence to her conviction but I love juleribbe and frankly think the simplicity of it is more in keeping with what Christmas is all about. Forget 14 types of vegetables to go with a roast bird, this meal is as low-maintenance as cooking gets. My Mother loved it as she didn't have to slave over a stove for an entire day and I like the fact that juleribbe harks back to Viking days when smoked meat was a vital foodstuff for survival

Anyway as a child my parents always dispatched me to Bergen for the requisite pre-Christmas family gathering before we'd escape the mad Johansen family to our house in Lanzarote. At the time I thought this was normal, and in fact it is normal for families to gather before Christmas and then to run away, no? My Norwegian family aren't entirely normal, they argue constantly and a lot of hysterical shouting goes on for no particular reason. It's hilarious for an outsider to witness but a little terrifying for a 6-year old and my Mother made a pact with my Father when we moved to Norway that we escape to the sun as we all needed the Vitamin D. Or so she says. At any rate, instead of listening to the aunts' madness I would hide away in the kitchen with my Norwegian grandmother and help her bake

I'd marvel at the huge quantities of biscuits, breads and cakes she baked at the start of advent. Much like here in the UK, the run-up to Christmas in Scandinavia is a sociable time, everyone gathers, eats and gets pickled from too much aquavit or mulled wine and that's really what the festive season is all about. My grandmother only stopped baking the "syv slag" or seven varieties of traditional Christmas biscuits you see above when she reached her 80's

So tomorrow I'll be down at Covent Garden piazza manning a stall that will feature some of the yuletide favourites I grew up with. A few recipes are from my grandmother, others are favourites I've discovered since moving to the UK and having an experimental streak I've baked a couple of new things like the chocolate cardamom cake because I love cardamom. If you're in the area feel free to come by and say hello between 12 and 7pm, and while you're at it you can try author Daniel Young's potato latkes and Niamh Shields aka Eat Like a Girl's roast pork sandwiches too!

Available tomorrow at the Scandi Christmas stall:

* Tropisk aroma or spiced chocolate marble cake replete with nutmeg, cinnamon and a hint of coffee

* Cinnamon buns which may or may not be glazed with marmite salted butter caramel (am looking at you @aforkful and @youngandfoodish )

* Peppernøtter or spice nuts (strictly speaking pepper but there's clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger aplenty in these biscuits)

* Serinakaker or butter biscuits with toasted almonds

* Kokosmakroner or coconut macaroons (gluten-free)

* Nigella's gingerbread - not Scandinavian but so good it merits inclusion

* Cardamom chocolate cake

* Almond Raisin cake with Sherry - recipe courtesy of A forkful of spaghetti :-)

* Whisky cake (gluten free)

* Marmite salted butter caramel - not Scandi but a personal favourite of mine

If you can't make it tomorrow but fancy trying something from this list drop me an email or tweet me @scandilicious and I'll see what I can do to help ;-)

Chocolate week is in full swing and the quality of real chocolate now available in the UK - like the hilarious Boris Johnson - is really something to marvel at

When it comes to real chocolate my adopted home has advanced leaps and bounds since I first arrived ten years ago. As evinced by the plethora of chocolate brands at last weekend's Chocolate Unwrapped event and a dizzying array of chocolate tastings and events taking place across Blighty this week, there is much to rejoice about if you're a committed theobromine addict. With the likes of Paul A Young and Chantal Coady of Rococo flying the flag for real chocolate this country is finally on the right track chocolate-wise, even if the postal system is a complete shambles. Perfidious old Albion still has some way to go with real bread too but that's another blog post in the offing

Musing on chocolate recently I found myself nostalgic for Norway. This often happens when I hear Peer Gynt, eat gravad laks or reminisce about skiing - that is until I remember my propensity to ski into trees

Visits in the past week to the Scandinavian Kitchen and Scandi restaurant Madsen have ostensibly triggered my most recent bliss point of 'Weegie nostalgia. I picked up Scandi chocolate confection Kvikk Lunsj and Daim from the good people of Great Titchfield Street, and tried to excavate memories of skiing that did not result in spectacular crashes with the woods and wildlife of Oslo

For the uninitiated, Kvikk-Lunsj is akin to a Kit-Kat but addictive as crack. The Kvikk-lunsj fan page on facebook boasted 15,907 fans when I last checked, a measure of how damn good this biscuity milk chocolate is. 'Weegies take with us a bar or three whenever we go on long hikes through forests and mountains, and on wholesome ski trips in winter. We don't really get fat because we're outdoors so much. Needless to say the clever marketing department of Norwegian chocolate brand Freia play on our love of outdoor frolics and romanticize kvikk-lunsj to the Nth degree - as you can see in the first photo above and if you click on that last link above. I'm a sucker for buying into it of course, but this chocolate so good who cares if I'm being duped

So imagine my total horror when I arrived in October 1999 to discover most chocolate here was crap. It was like something out of Hogarth. Norway's pulchritudinous populace may have prejudiced me somewhat, but I was literally surrounded by pasty, spotty, gin-soaked urchins who thought Cadbury's dairy milk constituted real 'chocolate' and booze was more important than food. It was a culture shock one step too far and I confess the first taste of Dairy Milk one of my mates shared still haunts me. Suitcases of kvikk-lunsj and other Freia confection were ferried over and distributed to my friends as a humanitarian act, rescuing them from purple brand addiction

Perhaps my British grandmother had convinced me everyone knew and understood food in this country. She cooked roast beef every Sunday so why wouldn't every other Brit do the same I assumed. Yorkshire pudding and bramley apple crumble were not part of my mates' repertoire I soon discovered, and when I bought organic milk and waxed lyrical on the joys of good butter this elicited some very quizzical looks from fellow students, not to mention when I subjected one poor soul to a rant on the evils of homogenized milk

Apparently Welsh rarebit at Fortnums was not considered integral to every eight-year old girl's visit to London and few of my peers really rated PG Wodehouse. Honestly, I felt like Alice peering through the looking glass - the Britain I had been shown by my beloved Nana was not quite what I imagined and being resolutely contrarian I refused to snap out of my sheltered little existence, digging my heels in further after some snot-nosed little neo-Marxist called me a "posh foreign snob"

And therein lies the rub. It's still hard today for even the most committed fairtrade, organic and sustainable food-supporting eater in this country to shake that subconscious fixation with class. Sometimes in those sunny and cool autumn days of October '99 I wondered whether Britain was still languishing in its Victorian past and if I wasn't just an insufferable brat for being so judgmental. Plus ca change!

Thankfully a delicious Scandi lunch at Madsen and a previous visit to meet owner Charlotte Kruse Madsen helped alleviate the worst of the nostalgia pangs I was experiencing earlier in the week. When Charlotte presented me with a fresh piece of kransekake, a classic Scandinavian dessert, I knew I had an excellent reason to visit South Ken, other than to see the dinosaurs and the new Darwin centre at the Natural History Museum

Scandinavian kransekake: a baked marzipan-rich biscuit

What do you think? Am I imagining things - does food trigger nostalgia or is it all nonsense? The best answer gets a couple of kvikk-lunsjes in the post. Remember, you must be over 18 and recognise the addictive qualities of said chocolate. After all 15,907 fans can't be wrong...


will winter 2009 be the year I cease to crash into trees? watch this space...

          The crafting of chocolate: Paul A Young        

Thought you were getting a recipe for sea salted caramel truffles there didn't you?

Or perhaps some tips on decorating truffles?

Marzipan: the way to a Scandi's heart

After an extended hiatus from posting recipes a mea culpa is due: I've hardly baked since the reine de saba featured here last month. But if you're a regular reader you might have spotted I have something of a predilection for all things theobroma cacao. This post is inspired in part by a recent tasting at Paul A Young - virtuoso chocolatier and impassioned defender of orangutans - and by the imminent arrival of Chocolate Week Britain's biggest celebration of real chocolate

I love chocolate so don't expect any high-minded objectivity here. The smell of it renders me giddy and grinning dementedly like a Cheshire cat - who needs opium when you can have chocolate I say. Having written features on tea and chocolate pairing and wine pairings for a chocolate-themed dinner party it's safe to assume I would be happy if every week were a celebration of chocolate and since Paul opened his chocolate shop in 2006 I would occasionally pop in whenever I happened to be in Angel, which sadly wasn't that often. His marmite chocolate truffles are manna from heaven for a marmite fan, and you don't need me telling you his salted butter caramels (pictured above) are so moreish that all you really have to do is close your eyes and purr

My musings on matters theobromine boil down to the profound dichotomy of "yum" and "yuck", hence this is really a cursory introduction to one of the great fermented foodstuffs in existence besides my other favourites gravadlax, sourdough bread, Riesling, anchovies, and of course cheese...

Imagine my excitement when I saw this on display at Paul's tasting two weeks ago:

Chocolate and cheese may sound bonkers, but it's an umami bombshell of a combination, think of Ella Fitzgerald singing a fine romance when you pair chocolate and cheese and you know what I'm on about. Paul isn't the only advocate of unusual pairings with chocolate, food scientist and "curious cook" Harold McGee has a killer recipe for chocolate and cheese truffles Try it, you'd be surprised what a natural affinity good dark chocolate has with Stilton and indeed unpasteurised Stichelton

As a Scandinavian I grew up with good chocolate. It's our vitamin shot during long, dark winters and Norway's biggest chocolate company Freia is still my favourite source of milky chocolate confection that hits a certain blisspoint. Pangs of nostalgia occur whenever I eat a Kvikk-Lunsj, Freia's answer to the Kit-Kat and nothing really says weekends spent Nordic skiing, frolicking in the snow and steamy saunas like a bar of the stuff

So when American Kraft bought Norwegian Freia back in the mid 1990's there was a national outcry. Sound familiar? Kraft of course now have their eye on Cadbury's, that beloved British institution whose source of popularity has always eluded me. Cadbury's isn't real chocolate. They may have highly commendable Quaker ideals and social programs but they produce what should be more accurately called vegelate that masquerades as chocolate, replete with startling amounts of bleached sugar and some vague notion of cocoa. Yuck. Nothing, we discovered, makes Paul quite as hopping mad as people who claim chocolate is fattening. Cheap mass-produced chocolate is full of sugar, and that's what is so addictive, not to mention fatal to one's waistline

The heady aroma of real chocolate suffuses Paul's shop when you enter, and this is deliberate. He wants chocolate to be a sensory experience, and since all his chocolate is hand-crafted on site there is no other escape for the intoxicating aromas unleashed by tempering chocolate and freshly baked brownies. Automation is strictly verboten. Instead marble slabs are used downstairs in the kitchen for tempering, and there is no outsourcing at any stage in the chocolate production

Paul and his business partner James Cronin's enthusiasm for teaching us about real chocolate is clear as soon as we arrive. A tasting programme is planned for the evening in which we methodically work our way from bean to bar. Everything from malty Valrhona milk chocolate to silky 75% Amedei 9 and fiendishly tart and bitter 100% Valrhona manjari pate is sampled, the latter resolutely my favourite. Akin to a wine tasting, we diligently take notes and compare thoughts on what each chocolate evinces in terms of nuance, texture and aroma. Ultimately whether we like it or not is to some extent irrelevant. Real chocolate is an education in taste, not an exercise in expressing opinions of "yum" or "yuck' as I normally do

James Cronin talking to us about the business of chocolate

True chocolate lovers will already know the three main cocoa beans are Criollo, Trinitario and Forastero, Criollo being the elite bean and Forastero being the banal bean used in Cadbury's, Nestle, Kraft, et al. or as part of a blend. Being a fermentation nerd with an acidic palate I was intrigued to learn fermentation determines the acidity of cocoa beans, and if done properly releases all the inherent aromas of the bean. As Paul told us, it can be tricky discerning which bean is used for which chocolate with the Big Three Amadei, Valrhona and Michel Cluizel diverging in the way they reveal the bean's provenance, or what blend of beans they use

What struck me about Paul and James is how passionately they believe chocolate is a craft. Craftsmanship is not really part of the noughties' vernacular - we live in an age of instant gratification and mastering a craft requires a singular attention to detail, not to mention years of training, experience and embodied knowledge. Paul told us he had trained under Marco Pierre White, a chef who certainly does not suffer fools lightly. I can only imagine how character-forming it was to work for Marco, and as Paul told us the most salient lesson he learnt from him was that the product is king. To some extent I agree and I appreciate that Paul and James are running a business so the product is key, but the anthropologist in me would of course argue the product is nothing without the people. Cooks, chefs, chocolatiers, cheesemakers, winemakers, brewers all practice a form of craftsmanship, and you can't divest what they make from who they are. I suspect we'll be hearing more about this subject in the coming years as artisanal food producers hit their stride. At any rate, if you're a craft nerd then have a look at Richard Sennett's inspiring book 'The Craftsman' for more profound observations on the matter

Paul and James wrap up the tasting by introducing us to San Francisco-based chocolate brand Tcho, a company channelling the terroir of beans into their chocolate. By breaking down each variety to their flavour profiles of nutty, fruity, chocolatey, earthy, citrus or floral, you have a clear choice depending on your own taste in chocolate. It's a fascinating concept, and certainly the first of its kind amongst the elite chocolate brands. With Paul being the first retailer to stock them in Britain, Tcho are a brand to watch

To complete the evening we're given a tour of the kitchen downstairs, as spotless and spatious as they come. In the photo above is Paul clutching a delicious block of pure cocoa butter, chocolate's most prized ingredient. Remember that. As Paul explained, cocoa butter is the key to real chocolate, and ersatz ingredients such as palm oil are to be avoided at all costs - not merely for fiscal reasons but for conservation ones. The demand for cheap palm oil leads to serious deforestation of rainforests, the natural habitat of both cocoa bean trees and the mighty orangutan. Eat cheap, mass-produced chocolate and not only will you get fat but you'll be contributing to the decline of rainforests and orangutans

If you love proper chocolate, start reading the ingredients on the back of the label. Go to tastings, masterclasses, be a nerd and start swotting up on the subject. There is a Chocolate Unwrapped event in London on the weekend of October 10/11 where you can sample a whole range of brands, beans and varieties of chocolate.

Honestly, if you like eating chocolate it is worth investing a bit of time and effort in learning the whole ecology of chocolate-making from bean to bar, and I can't recommend Paul's tasting highly enough

On that note, I leave you with a word of advice: theobromine is a stimulant so as tempting as it is to make hot chocolate before bedtime you'll find yourself rather more wound-up than wound-down

Doesn't stop me from dreaming about that fiendish Valrhona 100% manjari pate though...

Paul A Young
33 Camden Passage
London N1 8EA

'Adventures with Chocolate' by Paul A Young published by Kyle Cathie 2009

          BroadwayWorld Seeks Contributors Near Cape Playhouse & Berkshire Theater        

How can I get involved as a Contributing Editor?

All applicants should have excellent writing skills and an enthusiasm for giving local theaters and productions some prominence on BroadwayWorld.com - the largest theater site on the net!

As a Contributing Editor, you will have the opportunity to review the shows of your choice, conduct interviews with local and touring talent, design features of your own choosing for publishing, and work/network with your local theater press reps to bring exposure to the theatrical offerings in your area.

Your compensation as a featured writer with us not only includes exclusive press seats to all of the shows you cover (as is standard in your area and arranged between you and the theater) but also the opportunity to be published under your own byline and publishing profile on both the local and main pages of the site for maximum exposure to our 5M+ monthly visitors!

To apply, or for more information, send an email to writefor@bwayworld.com

Not located near Berkshire or Cape Playhouse? Check out the worldwide BroadwayWorld regions we're currently recruiting in below!

United States:

Anchorage, Arkansas, Casper, Dayton, Fargo, Hawaii, Jackson, Madison, Milwaukee, Montana, New Hampshire, Sioux Falls, Wichita, Memphis, Tulsa, Vermont, Provincetown, South Dennis (RI), and Stockbridge(MA).


Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia Cuba, Egypt, Finland, France, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Montreal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Ottawa, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Prague, Qatar, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Toronto, Turkey, Vancouver, and Venezuela.

          Survivors Series 6        
Things move on, people rebuild, the world starts again. This is where we find ourselves at the beginning of Survivors Series 6. It sees the world two years on from the pandemic that killed 99% of the population – links are being formed between communities, a fledgling society is incubating – tenuous links are being formed with the Norwegian Federation, Norway even has a rudimentary postal system and some industry, but everything is very very tenuous and could all come falling down. And in Britain things are pretty much like they are now (apart from a decimated population) but the British attitude seems to have survived the pandemic and a lot of communities want to remain isolated. Yes indeed the plague may have destroyed the world as we know it but the UKIP gene seems to have survived intact and as Abby Grant (Carolyn Seymour) finds out some communities are not as welcoming and outward looking as the world needs them to be to thrive.
 This set takes a slightly different approach to the other sets, rather than one big story told over four chapters these are four separate stories about different characters, but they share a thematic and tonal link – the theme of isolation versus engagement runs through the stories like the words in a particularly bleak stick of rock bought just out of season and as always there are four stories:
 6.1 Beating the Bounds by Ian Potter
 Continuing her search for her son Abby Grant comes across an isolated community where feudalism has become the normal way of life. Its a big community with over 200 people, they have a Countess in charge (Sheila Reid) who is a focal point for the community – but this community has long been hidden away from the world and was not at all affected by the pandemic – and Abby Grant may be a carrier. A tense opener and a microcosm of the problems facing the world, fear of contact with outsiders may be a way to keep yourselves safe, but for how long? How long can a small community with diminishing resources and a small gene pool survive? How long can a community that relies on an elderly matriarchal figurehead to unite the people survive? what happens when she dies? This is a tense opener – the community is on borrowed time but only Abby can see it the residents are just too close to their lives to see any different. Bleak and cautionary.
 6.2 The Trapping Pit by Christopher Hatherall
 As Jenny (Lucy Fleming) and Ruth (Helen Goldwyn) pay a trade visit to Evelyn Piper’s Foundation – they are attacked by bandits, two young scared starving survivors Craig (George Watkins) and Spike (Hannah Genesius) – and soon the tables are turned, Spike has fled and Craig has fallen down a trapping pit and is impaled on a tree root and it is up to Ruth to save his life. And she is determined not to let him slip away. Relentlessly grim with some incredible performances especially from Helen Goldwyn as Ruth and George Watkins as Craig as Ruth tries with rudimentary equipment to keep Craig alive until help arrives, Craig tells Ruth stories about his childhood as he loses more and more blood an his body goes in to shock from the pain this is the most human episode of Survivors and is the ethos of the series personified in one episode.
 6.3 Revenge of Heaven by Simon Clark
 Greg Preston (Ian McCulloch) has made it to Norway and is in discussions with the Norwegian Federation to form trade links with like minded communities in the UK and there are rumours of a cure for the plague discovered by a Russian scientist Professor Raskova (Tracy Wiles), but she has been kidnapped and is about to be shipped to Poland – so it is up to Greg and his new friend the mysterious Katherine Tanner (Julie Graham – who was also Abby Grant in the 2009 remake!) to undertake a life or death race against time to rescue the professor. The most action based episode of Survivors I have heard, almost a blockbuster in its production and tone – this has a similar theme of selfish isolation versus the good of all but on a much larger scale – the future of the human race is at stake and Greg Preston is on the case.
 6.4 Lockup by Andrew Smith
 Abby Grant discovers the community of Peacetown and is surprised to find out that it is based at an old Prison, converted to house a community and keep it safe. Peacetown claims to be self sufficient and will not trade with neighbouring communities, but comes down hard on those that break their rules, and one of the people who has allegedly broken the rules is one Greg Preston…
Presided over by the tyrannical Brendon Glover (James Wilby) an ex Prison warden who has his own ideas about crime and punishment. A brutal end to a pretty brutal set. Abby Grant has never been better with her disdain for Glover and all he stands for and Greg plays the hero with authority but not with arrogance, a born leader who us reluctant to be cast in that role but a role circumstances have forced him to take on.
 A very different take on Survivors, much more stand alone but much more desperate for it, having the main players split up and having to try to be, if not heroes, then the best that they can possibly be in awful circumstances is refreshing to hear, there is hope for the future, there s a way forward but it will be slow and it will be hard and the most difficult thing is convincing others to look outwards and embrace a brave new world and not inwards to self destruction. A million miles away from easy listening but a well deserved 10/10.

          Happiness in Denmark        
Albert Tronnes Hour 1 World Literature Happiness in Denmark               I have already looked at one of the happiest countries in the world, Norway, to try to gain some insight on why other countries are happier than the U.S. … Continue reading
          Montreal's Festival du nouveau cinéma Reveals Its Line-Up        
Today, Montreal's Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC), which will take place between October 12 to 23. Here's the complete line-up of feature films according to the press release we received.

Opening and closing

The 40th edition of the FNC kicks off on Wednesday, October 12, with Declaration of War by Valérie Donzelli (France) at Cinéma Impérial (Centre Sandra & Leo Kolber, Salle Lucie & André Chagnon). This critically-acclaimed second feature by Valérie Donzelli (The Queen of Hearts) tells the love story of Roméo and Juliette who are battling to save their sick child. The director and her producer Edouard Weil will be in attendance.

Ten days later, on Saturday, October 22, Monsieur Lazhar (Quebec/Canada) by Philippe Falardeau will close the Festival. Selected to represent Canada at the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, Monsieur Lahzar shows the efforts of an Algerian schoolteacher to help his Grade 6 students come to terms with their teacher’s death. Between the opening and closing dates, the FNC will be in celebratory mode, highlighting the social relevance of featured works.

International Selection: Louve d’Or presented by Quebecor

The International Selection is an opportunity for relative unknowns to make their mark. This year, there are 19 contenders for the Louve d’Or, which includes a $15,000 prize from Quebecor. The 19 films in competition are: Behold the Lamb, by John McIlduff (United Kingdom); Black Blood, by Miaoyan Zhang (China); Blue Bird, by Gust Van Den Berghe (France/Belgium); Elena, by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia); The Giants, by Bouli Lanners (France/Belgium/Luxemburg); The Island, by Kamen Kalev (Bulgaria/Sweden); The Last Christeros, by Matias Meyer (Mexico/Netherlands); Nuit #1, by Anne Émond (Quebec/Canada); OK, Enough, Goodbye, by Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia (Lebanon/United Arab Emirates); Oslo, August 31st, by Joachim Trier (Norway); Play, by Ruban Östlund (Sweden/France/Denmark); Shame, by Steve McQueen (United Kingdom); Toll Booth, by Tolga Karacelik (Turkey); Tomboy, by Céline Sciamma (France); Twilight Portrait, by Angelina Nikonova (Russia); Volcano, by Runar Runarsson (Iceland/Denmark); Wasted Youth, by Argyris Papadimitropoulos (Greece); White White World, by Oleg Novkovic (Serbia); and Without, by Mark Jackson (United States).

Special Presentation

Twenty-five films by established filmmakers will be screened in this year’s Special Presentation section, which features strong, committed works that reflect their creators’ bold vision: 30 tableaux, by Paule Baillargeon (Quebec/Canada); Les Amants, by Nicolas Klotz & Elisabeth Perceval (France); An Organisation of Dreams – Part 2 – Dangerous People, by Ken McMullen (United Kingdom); L’Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close), and De la guerre, Bertrand Bonello (France); Stopped on Track, Andrea Dresen (Germany); Norwegian Wood, Tran Anh Hung (Japan); Early One Morning, Jean-Marc Moutout (France/Belgium); Décharge, Benoît Pilon (Quebec/Canada); Faust, Alexander Sokurov (Russia); Almayer’s Folly, Chantal Akerman (France/Belgium); U2-From the Sky Down, Davis Guggenheim (United States); Hanezu, Naomi Kawaze (Japan); Hard Core Logo II, Bruce McDonald (Canada); Outside Satan, Bruno Dumont (France); Il se peut que la beauté ait renforcé notre résolution – Masao Adachi, Philippe Grandieux (France); Louis Martin, journaliste, Louis Bélanger (Quebec/Canada); Melancholia, Lars Von Trier (Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany); My Paris Movie, Jonas Mekas (United States); Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey); The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodóvar (Spain); Pina, Wim Wenders (Germany/France); Take This Waltz, Sarah Polley (Canada); The Turin Horse, Béla Tarr (Hungary); and A Separation, Asghar Farhadi (Iran).

International Panorama

Festivalgoers can tour the world, exploring countless new realities through a wide array of works, including comedies, documentaries, road movies and dramas. The 27 films in this year’s International Panorama section are: Abderrahmane Sissako: Une fenêtre sur le monde, by Charles Castella (France); Absolutely Tame Is a Horse (Asb Heyvan-e Najibist), by Abdolreza Kahani (Iran); Acorazado, by Alvaro Curiel de Icaza (Mexico); Avé, by Konstantin Bojanov (Bulgaria); Chico & Rita, by Javier Mariscal & Fernando Trueba (Spain); Cultures of Resistance, by Iara Lee (United States); Do Me Love, by Jacky Katu & Lou Viger (France); End of the Night, by Daisuke Miyazaki (Japan); Flying Home, by Tobias Wyss (Switzerland); Pio’s Generation (La Generación de Pio), by Juan Rodrigo & Pedro Rodrigo (Spain); Goodnight Nobody, by Jacqueline Zünd (Switzerland/Germany); The Furious Force of Rhymes, by Joshua Atesh Litle (France); Land of Oblivion, by Michale Boganim (France/Germany/Poland/Ukraine); Last Road to the Beach (A Última estrada da praia), by Fabiano De Souza (Brazil); Melting Away, by Doron Eran (Israel/Canada); Mike, by Lars Blumers (France); Mondo Lux – The Visual Worlds of Werner Schroeter, by Elfi Mikesch (Germany); Our Ancestors The Gauls, by Christian Zerbib (France); Policeman (Hashoter), by Nadav Lapid (Israel); The First Rasta, by Hélène Lee (France); Searching for Hassan, by Edouard Beau (France); The Terrorists (Poo Kor Karn Rai), by Thunska Pansittivorakul (Thailand/Germany); Three and a Half (Seh-O-Nim), by Naghi Nemati (Iran); A Life for Ballet, by Marlène Ionesco (France); The Life and Death of Celso Junior, by Panayotis Evangelidis (Greece); Vinyl (Tales from the Vienna Underground), by Andrew C. Standen-Razlrish (Austria/United Kingdom) and Y’a pire ailleurs, by Jean-Henri Meunier (France).


Turning the spotlight on homegrown talent, the Focus section presents original, unseen Quebec and Canadian works that wow, amaze and offer food for thought. This year’s lineup includes 9 films in competition for the Grand Prix Focus/Cinémathèque québécoise with a $5,000 prize, as well as 10 non-competing films. Opening the section on October 13 is the visually ambitious documentary Surviving Progress, by Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks (Canada). Also in competition: Amy George, by Yonah Lewis & Calvin Thomas (Canada); The Girl in the White Coat, by Darrell Wasyk (Canada); Fortunate Son, by Tony Asimakopoulos (Quebec/Canada); I am a good person/I am a bad person, by Ingrid Veninger (Canada); Laurentie, by Simon Lavoie & Mathieu Denis (Quebec/Canada); Marginal Road, by Yassaman Ameri (Quebec/Canada/Portugal); Peace Park, by David Bouthillier (Quebec/Canada); and Romeo Eleven, by Ivan Grbovic (Quebec/Canada). The non-competing films are: Alejandro Jodorowsky, grand rectum de l’Université de Foulosophie, by François Gourd & Matthieu Bouchard (Quebec/Canada); Another Silence, by Santiago Amigorena (Quebec/Canada/France/Argentina); National Parks Project, by Louise Archambault, Keith Behrman, Daniel Cockburn, Hubert Davis, Sturla Gunnarsson, Zacharias Kunuk, Stéphane Lafleur, Peter Lynch, Catherine Martin, Kevin McMahon, Scott Smith, Jamie Travis and John Walker (Quebec/Canada); Le Pays des âmes, by Olivier Godin (Quebec/Canada); Planet Yoga, by Carlos Ferrand (Quebec/Canada); Dust. A Sculptor’s Journey, by Jeanne Pope (Quebec/Canada); Rasta, A Soul’s Journey, by Donisha Prendergast (Canada); République: un abécédaire populaire, by Hugo Latulippe (Quebec/Canada); Les Tickets: l’arme de la répression, by Eric “Roach” Denis (Quebec/Canada); and Touch the Sky, by Adrian Wills (Quebec/Canada).

Temps Ø

The section opens with the North American premiere of Guilty of Romance by Sion Sono (Japan), a story of ordinary mental illness in the form of a psychosexual, neofeminist punk thriller, with powerful lead actress Megumi Kagurazaka in attendance. Other big names on the program: Takahi Miike with Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (a 3D remake of Kobayashi’s masterpiece); Shinya Tsukamoto, who will present the much-anticipated Kotoko, about a mother on the brink of madness, which nabbed the Orizzonti prize at the last Venice festival. Must-see new discoveries include Our Day Will Come by Romain Gavras, a Thelma and Louise for redheads and a cross between Gaspar Noé and Bertrand Blier, starring Vincent Cassel. It’s no secret that Australian film is in a state of effervescence, represented here by two major works: the mysterious Sleeping Beauty by Julia Leigh, with rising star Emily Browning, and Justin Kruzel’s monstrous Snowtown, which got a special mention at the 2011 Cannes Critics’ Week. And . . . (drum roll), don’t miss the long-awaited world premiere of Assassin’s Creed Embers, an all-new animated short by Ubisoft studios. Expect an evening of surprises, anecdotes and of course sneak previews of the new game by the Montreal mega franchise. On the US front, look for the astonishing The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, a beautiful love story told through one of the most radical artistic performances the world has ever seen. Director Marie Losier, the darling of New York’s experimental new cinema scene, will be in attendance. We’ll also be showing Take Shelter, by Jeff Nichols, which won the Critics’ Week Grand Prix at Cannes and has everybody talking, as well as the documentary Last Fast Ride: The Love, Life and Death of a Punk Goddess, by Lilly Ayers, on punk icon Marian Anderson (with narration by Henry Rollins). Asia will also be in the spotlight with Gandu, by Quashiq Mukherjee, a proud representative of an all-new style of Indian films (Wong Kar-wai meets a pornographic ghetto rapper version of Gaspard Noé in Calcutta). Also showing will be Shirome, by Koji Shiraishi, a horror film that takes delight in terrifying a group of young female Japanese pop stars, offering a new twist on The Blair Witch Project. Finally, the latest wacky flick from Thailand — Saturday Killer, by Yuthlert Sippapak, about a hit man with severe erectile dysfunction — along with the superb Tatsumi, Eric Khoo’s tribute to renowned manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi. And, last but not least, the first real 3D porn flick, Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, by Christopher Sun Lap Key, which smashed this year’s box office records in Hong Kong and has become a true Chinese cultural phenomenon.

           Quantitative determination of CaCO3 precipitation and biogeochemistry in Antarctic sea ice         
Conference -Talk Fischer, M. , Krell, A. , Nehrke, G. , Göttlicher, J. , Norman, L. , Thomas, D. , Riaux-Gobin, C. and Dieckmann, G. (2010) Quantitative determination of CaCO3 precipitation and biogeochemistry in Antarctic sea ice , International Glaciological Society - Symposium on Sea Ice in the Physical and Biogeochemical System, 31 May - 4 June 2010, Tromsø, Norway. . hdl:10013/epic.35351
          ISS Scholarships for International Students at University of Oslo in Norway, 2015        

This scholarship has been extracted from the BEST SCHOLARSHIP WEB: Scholarships 2017 - 2017 =)

Applications are invited for ISS scholarships available to applicants from certain countries i.e. Asia, Oceania, Africa, South America, Caucasus region and Balkans, Former Soviet Union states, EU and EEA countries, USA and Canada. Both full or partial scholarships are available for all students except from EU and EEA countries, USA and Canada as they can apply only for partial scholarships. Applicants who study Scandinavian studies at their home university may apply for a partial scholarship for a relevant course at the ISS. Only approximately 50 full scholarships are granted. The application deadline is 1 February, 2015.. The ISS offers scholarships to applicants from certain countries. Competition for

All the complete information in ISS Scholarships for International Students at University of Oslo in Norway, 2015 !

          Sang Pencipta Bumi Yang Agung Menegur Kita Semua...        

LONDON: Akibat letusan sebuah gunung berapi di Iceland, lalu lintas udara di seluruh Eropah Utara teerjejas, menyebabkan Britain terpaksa menghentikan operasi di Lapangan Terbang Heathrow dan membatalkan beratus-ratus penerbangan, manakala Norway bertindak menutup ruang udaranya.

Pihak Berkuasa Penerbangan Awam Britain berkata penerbangan bukan kecemasan terpaksa ditangguhkan sekurang-kurangnya hingga jam 6 petang waktu tempatan, manakala Ireland turut menutup ruang udaranya selama lapan jam.

Lapangan Terbang Heathrow, lapangan terbang paling sibuk di Eropah, mengendalikan hingga 1,200 hingga 180,000 penumpang sehari.

Penutupan Heathrow sekali gus menjejaskan lapangan terbang kedua dan ketiga terbesar, Gatwick dan Stansted. Tidak dapat dipastikan bila penerbangan dapat dipulihkan semula.

Berikutan penutupan itu, berpuluh-puluh penerbangan trans-Atlantik menuju Amerika Syarikat terpaksa ditangguhkan, manakala pembatalan penerbangan turut berlaku di bandaraya utama Eropah termasuk Brussels, Amsterdam, Geneva dan Paris.

Di utara Sweden, pihak berkuasa penerbangan awam berkata, semua penerbangan ditangguhkan dan ini menjejaskan jadual di bandar lain termasuk Skelleftea, Lulea, Kiruna dan Hemavan.

Semua penerbangan di utara Finland turut dibatalkan.
Di Norway, Raja Harald V dan Permaisuri Sonja yang bercadang terbang ke Copenhagen untuk menyambut hari lahir ratu Denmark yang ke-70, sedang menimbang sama ada menaiki kereta, bot atau kereta api untuk ke negara itu.

Perdana Menteri Norway, Jens Stoltenberg yang dijadual kembali ke negaranya semalam, kini terkandas di New York apabila penerbangan dibatalkan.

Di Iceland, beratus-ratus penduduk terpaksa melarikan diri daripada banjir berikutan paras air meningkat selepas gunung berapi di bawah glasier Eyjafjallajokull meletus untuk kali kedua dalam tempoh sebulan semalam.

Air yang mengalir dari kawasan pergunungan, menyebabkan paras sungai meningkat sehingga tiga meter menjelang malam semalam.

“Awan debu semakin berkurangan kerana tiada air sebagai bahan campuran. Anda boleh merasa lebih banyak gegaran di sekitar gunung berapi itu kerana laharnya sedang mengalir keluar,” katanya.
Einarsson berkata, pihaknya memperoleh laporan daripada seorang juruterbang kira-kira sejam lalu bahawa awan debu berada pada ketinggian 4,877 meter.

“Kami membuat andaian kebanyakan awan debu berada pada kedudukan yang rendah di langit. Sebelum ini ia berada pada ketinggian 6,000 meter.

Rakaman sebuah kamera litar menunjukkan aliran asap secara berterusan tetapi perlahan dari kawah gunung berapi itu dan membentuk gumpalan awan yang sangat besar.

“Perkembangan ini menunjukkan keadaan gunung berapi itu kini semakin berubah dan kami sedang memantaunya,” katanya.

Sementara itu, pengawal trafik udara Britain berkata, gumpalan awan debu yang baru kini menghala ke beberapa laluan udara yang utama dan beberapa negara menutup lapangan terbang atau mengehadkan penggunaan ruang udara.

“Letusan gunung berapi di Iceland semakin kuat dan gumpalan awan debu yang baru sedang merebak ke selatan dan timur menuju ke Britain,” kata Perkhidmatan Trafik Udara Britain dalam satu kenyataan. – Reuters

Letusan gunun berapi yang berlaku di Iceland ini membawa kesan-kesan buruk antaranya yang utama ialah :

1. Hampir kebanyakan penerbangan ditangguhkan sehingga hari ini akibat daripada
gumpalan asap berdebu yang tebal,
2. Berlaku pencairan ais dan dikhuatiri banjir akan berlaku,
3. Sumber makanan dan keperluan harian terganggu,
4. Kesihatan terjejas.
          Naked in Norway        
This week we get Naked in Norway as we visit the University of Oslo to reveal the remains of ancient plesiosaurs and investigate their migration into water, discuss a new concept for more efficient solar cells and discover the fatal effects of climate change on lemming population cycles. We then scour more Scandinavian science to unearth the causes of mass extinction, find out a new way to overcome resistance to radiotherapy, tool around with chimps in the Savannah and round up with a scientific climax in bird masturbation!
          Euro 2016 playoffs predictions        
Norway v Hungary – Thursday 12th November Hungary have not won in the past nine games against Norway, and won’t find it any easier this time around. A glance at their relative group opponents says it all; Norway finished third behind Italy and Croatia, whilst the Hungarians lost out to Northern Ireland and Romania. Moreover Norway were very close to qualifying automatically, letting their lead slip against Italy in their final match. They’ll feel that they’ve earned a place at the finals already, and will have too much for a […]
          The Species Barrier #35 Podcast & Show Notes         
Episode #35 of The Species Barrier... South African Professor of Philosophy David Benatar, writer of Better To Have Never Been, The Harm of Coming Into Existence joins us to discuss his work. Mistro, musical artist from Norway has a new album out called The Tragedy of Birth and author Jan Smitovicz from America is the writer of revenge novel Orange Rain.

Also in the news discussion, we attended the Premiere of Unity (Long awaited followup to Earthlings) and give our thoughts, World Overshoot Day passes, water and food predicted to run out, The Pope's encyclical covers environmentalism and animal ethics, Beyonce's "veganism",  techno fixes can't save the oceans, Cecil The Lion and it's been made official that humans are driving The Sixth Great Extinction event in geological history.

Before serving, always make sure the Earth is fully cooked.

Listen to The Species Barrier 35 Antinatal Here

Download/Listen to the MP3 (Save As): Here

Subscribe to The Species Barrier on Itunes: Here

Adopt Don't Breed: Jan has a vasectomy so rest assured his son here is a rescue.
The Species Barrier #35 Show Notes:

Review of Unity The Film: http://www.veganoutreachuk.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/review-of-unity-shaun-monsons-follow-up.html

David Benatar:  http://www.thecritique.com/articles/we-are-creatures-that-should-not-exist-the-theory-of-anti-natalism/

Mistro:  https://www.facebook.com/mistrohiphop

Jan Smitowicz: https://jansmitowicz.wordpress.com/

          Happy 2 months Tweedle! (And yes, I am late again:)        
My little lady is over 2 months old!  Your second month of life was definitely an adventure!  It started out normal.

You continued to get lots of cuddles from Grandpa Bonnell. 

And Auntie Kory spent her spring break spoiling you!

To add some spice to life, you enjoyed your first perogy lunch!

And met Grandpa Durgin!

You finally fit into the cutest outfit ever that Auntie Kory bought you in Norway!

You love sitting in front of the heater listening to reggae...maybe you are an island baby at heart!

You had your first sleep over at Grandma and Grandpa Bonnell's.

And celebrated your first St. Paddy's day in style!

Then things got crazy.  Since mom lost her job March 10th, and Grandpa Bonnell accepted a job in Utah, we decided to make the journey out with him while he started his new job and we considered a move out west.

It was hard leaving your daddy but it was a big learning experience.  Mommy took care of you almost 24/7 and we really got some good bonding time!

On our travels, you saw Mount Rushmore.  Don't worry...I'll consider taking you back with you can actually remember being there...but honestly, one time was enough for me.  Twice was entirely too much;)

You saw your second cousins in Colorado, along with meeting your great grandma and grandpa, great aunt and uncle.

You enjoyed some Colorado sun.

And then headed to Utah for your first ever hotel stay.

While in Utah, we scoped out the area, and mom had a few interviews.  On a whim, we decided to fly to Reno before heading back to the MN.

We made a stop in Vegas so you could experience the slots.

And then it was time to be reunited with your grandma Durgin and meet her fur baby Fu!

You were pretty smitten with Fu!  I'm guessing your an animal lover like your dad and I.

You met the last of your great grandparents so now you have met them all!

And you are now loving baths and being naked:)  Seriously though, look at those eyes and that cute as hell face!

 You visited your dad's favorite place in Reno.

And then headed home...after such a long and full trip, both of us were ready to get home and see your dad!

Reunited and it felt amazing!

We were home in just enough time to celebrate a special day in your life, your Baptism.  It was such a beautiful and special day.

And you celebrated your first Easter.

Which wouldn't be complete without a creepy bunny.

You are such a joy.  You have started smiling and melting our hearts even more then we could have imagined!  The future is a bit in flux right now, especially as mommy looks for a job, and we plan to embark on a big move.  But the one thing that is constant and wonderful is we are a happy family of three and as long as we have each other, we are blessed!  And we are so lucky to have an outstanding support system.  Makes all the craziness a little bit less crazy and provides calm amidst the storm. 

We are already enjoying your third month of life and I look forward to filling you in!

Loads of love and kisses,


I can feel you in my Belly


A film by: Julia Pott
Production: Royal College of Art
Sound Design: Joseph Tate
Animation Assistance: Robin Bushell
Eammon O’Neill
Ben Cady
Stephen Middleton
Theo Nunn
Voices: Olivia Gurney Randall
Cornelius Clarke
Joseph Tate
Robert Blythe
Laurence Weedy

Supported by: Passion Pictures


The Summer Show, RCA, London, 2011
See No Evil, The City Arts & Music Project, London, 2011
Short and Sweet, The Pheonix, London, 2011
Hackney Film Festival, RIO Cinema, London, 2011
Canterbury Anifest, Augustine House, Canterbury, 2011
Chicago Film Festival, 2011
Playgrounds Festival, Netherlands, 2011
L’Alternativa, 18th Barcelona Independent Film Festival, 2011
Encounters International Film Festival, Bristol, 2011
Adobe Design Achievement Awards, Taipei, Taiwan, 2011
Pictoplasma, New York, 2011
Animated Dreams, Estonia, 2011
Rencontres Henri Langlois 34th Festival, Poitiers, France, 2011
Les Sommets du cinéma d’animation de Montréal, Canada, 2011
Animateka International Animation Film Festival, Slovenia, 2011
Anilogue International Animation Festival, Vienna and Budapest, 2011
Sundance Film Festival, 2012
Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, France 2012
Premiers Plans Film Festival, France, 2012
Flickerfest, International Short Film Festival, Australia, 2012
Tricky Women, International Competition, Vienna, 2012
Mecal International Short Film Festival, Barcelona, 2012
SXSW, 2012
Charleston Film Festival, 2012
Holland Animation Film Festival, Utrecht, 2012
San Francisco International Film Festival, 2012
Lisbon International Independent Film Festival, 2012
Ashland Independent Film Festival, 2012
Boston Independent Film Festival, 2012
Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, Germany, 2012,
Flatpack Festival, Birmingham, UK, 2012
Visueltdagene (The Visual Days), Oslo, Norway, 2012
Maryland Film Festival, 2012
ANIFILM, Trebon, Czech Republic, 2012
Vienna Independent Shorts Film Festival, 2012
Sarasota Film Festival, 2012
Southside Film Festival, PA, 2012
San Francisco Film Festival, 2012
Newport Beach Film Festival, 2012
Catalina Film Festival, 2012
World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2012
Pictoplasma, Berlin, 2012
Kyiv International Short Film Festival, Ukraine, 2012
Rooftop Films, NYC - May 25th and June 15th
Provincetown International Film Festival 2012
Wiesbaden International Weekend of Animation, Germany, 2012
Short Shorts Film Festival, Japan, 2012
CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, Toronto, 2012
Hiroshima International Animation Festival, 2012
Royal Television Society Awards, UK, 2012
Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival, 2012
Leiden International Short Film Experience, 2012
Sequence Short Film Festival, France, 2012
5.International Animated Film Festival, Poland, 2012
Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2012
Animation Block Party, NYC, 2012
International Competition at Fantoche, Switzerland, 2012
Sidewalk Film Festival, Alabama, 2012
Free Range Film Festival, Minnesota, 2012
International Competition at Fantoche, Switzerland, 2012
Milwaukee Film Festival, 2012
Kloosterkino, Netherlands, 2012
Les Perceides – 4E - Festival International de Cinema et D’art de Perce
Concorto Film Festival, Italy, 2012
Free Range Film Festival, Minnesota, 2012
Milano International Film Festival, 2012
Animacursed Festival, Rio De Janeiro, 2012
Calgary International Film Festival, 2012
3D Wire Festival, Spain, 2012
XXII Message to Man International Film Festival, Russia, 2012
Sedicicorto Film Festival, Italy, 2012
The Grand Cinema, Tacoma, 2012
Fantoche International Film Festival, Sweden, 2012
Giraf Animation Festival, Canada, 2012
31st Uppsala International Short Film Festival, Sweden, 2012
St. John's International Women's Film Festival, Canada, 2012
Cucalorus Film Festival, North Carolina, 2012
Corona Cork Film Festival, Ireland, 2012
Underwire Film Festival, UK, 2012
AFI Film Festival, Los Angeles, 2012


Passion Pictures Prize, 2011
Shortlisted, Ridley Scott Associates Residency, 2011
Nominated, Conran Award, 2011
Best Graduation Film, Chicago Film Festival, 2011
International Jury's Special Prize, Anilogue International Animation Festival 2011
Canal + Award, Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, France 2012
Best European Student Film, Holland Animation Film Festival, 2012
Golden Gate Award for Best Animated Short film, San Francisco International Film Festival, 2012
Royal Television Society Award, Postgraduate Animation, Finalist, 2012
New Talent Award - Fantoche International Film Festival, Sweden, 2012
Best Short, Philadelphia Film Festival, 2012
Special Jury Award for Animation at AFI Film Festival, 2012
Best Director, Underwire Film Festival, UK, 2012

Archived in the British Film Institue, 2011

Cast: Julia Pott

Tags: belly, animation, adventure, royal college of art, julia pott, joseph tate, 2d, childhood, coming of age, summer, elephant, nostalgia, short film, sundance and sxsw

          Dembele looks to beat Tromso defence        
Tromso midfielder Magnus Andersen duels with Tottenham's Mousa Dembele (R) during the UEFA Europa League Group K match in Tromso, Norway, on November 28, 2013.
          Spurs win to ease pressure on Villas-Boas        

Tottenham beat Norway's Tromso 2-0 to top its Europa League group and ease the pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas.

          Fenerbahce, Beskitas replaced by Apoel and Tromso        

Cypriot side Apoel FC and Norway's Tromso will replace Turkish clubs Fenerbahce and Besiktas in the Europa League.

          For sale - Cane Seat - Auction        

Cane 6710, Australia
Posting to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, Korea, South, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Russian Federation, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait ...

          Goose invasion makes for record early hunt        

Gray goose invasion makes for record early hunt Several municipalities are moving up the goose hunt by two weeks to cope with large goose flocks...

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          The authorities crack down on illegal salmon fishing        

The authorities crack down on illegal salmon fishing The authorities have decided to get tough on illegal salmon fishing, a problem by far the largest...

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          Good solution for transport of nuclear power station        

Norway is pleased with Russia’s plans for the transport of a floating nuclear power plant along the coast of Norway in the summer of 2018....

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          Norwegian passengers stranded in California since Saturday        

Norwegian passengers stranded in California since Saturday Norwegian Air shuttle has not managed to find hotel rooms for all passengers who have been waiting for...

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          Teeny weeny, unseen passengers in a suitcase        

Teeny weeny, unseen passengers in a suitcase can destroy good holiday memories The bill may be high if you don’t know what you have in...

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          Norwegians on holiday not afraid of measles        

Norwegians on holiday are not too anxious about catching measles According to travel companies, Norwegians travel as often as before to countries where there is...

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          Major flood damage in Western Norway        

Major flood damage in Western Norway The storm that hit several places in Norway in night before Monday continues into Tuesday. 50 evacuated in Utvik...

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          Red Cross fears there are 600,000 cholera cases in Yemen        

370,000 people are believed to have been infected by cholera in Yemen. The International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) believes the numbers will pass 600,000 this...

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          New phalanx of problems for Norwegian Airline        

After a problematic weekend for Norwegian, two more flights were cancelled on Sunday evening.   ‘We have had problems with crews suffering from illness, and...

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          Ap promises billion toward vocational skills        

Ap promises billion toward vocational skills The Labor Party promises to allocate one billion to vocational subjects during the next parliamentary term – in addition...

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          Det norske Rikssverdet        
Hvordan det henger sammen at det er mer Bernadotte på Slottet i Oslo enn det er i Stockholm får du høre om i MUSEUM i dag, i et program som egentlig handler om Karl Johan og Rikssverdet. Historiker Trond Norén Isaksen forteller om hvordan sverdet Karl Johan brukte ved Folkeslaget i Leipzig ble den viktigste delen av de norske Riksregaliene under kroningen i 1818. Vi får også vite hvordan den opprinnelige dekoren på sverdet så ut og hvor mye av den som er synlig i dag. Direktør Steinar Bjerkestrand ved NDR viser rundt i Erkebispegårdens utstilling av Riksregaliene. Programleder Øyvind Arntsen. Sendt første gang 20/12 2014. Se også podkast av programmet "Tower of Norway" fra 2006 med Geir Thomas Risåsen.
          Tower of Norway        
Program fra 2006 : Alle middelalderens kongekroner er borte, men den halvannen kilo tunge gullkronen Karl Johan kjøpte til seg selv i 1818 stråler den dag i dag, - midt i en flott utstilling i Erkebispegården i Trondheim. I denne utgaven av MUSEUM, som ble sendt første gang i 2006, besøker vi ”Tower of Norway” og den utstillingen Nidarosdomens Restaureringsarbeider åpnet i 2006. Kunsthistoriker Geir Thomas Risåsen, som var kurator for utstillingen i 2006, forteller også om kroningshistorien i Norge, som startet med barnekongen Magnus Erlingsson for 750 år siden. Dette programmet er lagt ut som ekstra podkast i forbindelse med et nytt MUSEUMsprogram om Rikssverdet med historiker Trond Norén Isaksen fra desember 2014. Programleder Øyvind Arntsen
          The Reveal        
A story I wrote for the 2016 series on the Dark Mountain blog where seven different writers have been  stepping outside the bubble of instant opinion to reflect on the wider significance of a turbulent year. 

‘I used to care but things have changed’ – Bob Dylan

‘The dead lie in layers beneath us,’ said Tony Dias, ‘and influence all our actions.’ We were in a schoolroom in Ry in northern Denmark, and I was teaching a class about deep time. The students were sitting in a circle, each taking up position in the calendar of the year, discussing how each station affected them. It is the end of October and the writer and philosopher is sitting in the position of the ancestors, also known as Samhain or Halloween. I am at winter solstice. We are holding a conversation about the end of things, which makes sense as people who met through Dark Mountain and as the oldest people in the room. I talk about restoration and composting the past and he talks about the oceans, how oil has come out of an anaerobic process, so doesn’t break down and feed life. ‘It is a zombie fuel,’ he says.

Afterwards we will  climb into canoes and silently cross the lake to the woods where the class will fan out and encounter the wild spaces on their own. The copper leaves of the beech trees will shower down on our endeavour to connect with the living, breathing planet.  A lot of the students will have problems getting beyond the whirl of their technology-driven minds.

‘Everything is hitting against that zenith of the summer solstice and resisting the fall,’ remarks Tony. ‘The  violence and destruction happens, so everyone can jump the process and begin again.’

For the last two weeks I have switched off the computer, and tried to look back at this tumultuous year from the perspective of where I live, a small lane in East Anglia on the edge of England. Most of my working and social life is done via this machine, so when I go offline the world and its headlines vanish. The physical place comes closer, and with it a depth of perception that all the buzzy discussion about politics and celebrity, about money, about the end of globalisation, never allow in. You get a sense of the mood of the times.

One thing is clear: you can’t skip the fall, no matter how much you try.


The growing year came and went down the lane. The machines thundered past our windows, wresting commodities of peas, sugar beet, maize and wheat from the clay. The hawthorns and wild roses put on a beautiful show in the hedgerows, though the cold spring meant many of the growers’ roadside stalls would be closed by September. On May morning Mark, Josiah and I went to a tiny meadow of frosted green-winged orchids, marooned in an industrial prairie of barley. When the sun rose a hare bounded past and the skylarks sang above us. We realised that none of us could call ourselves community activists anymore. Our attention was on other things, but the place still connected us, in ways we had no words for.

The lane is one of a series of lanes behind the village church, skirting reed beds and broads that were shaped by the Ice Age 12,000 years ago. It houses a few indigenous Suffolk families who have lived here for generations, but mostly well-off incomers who live in converted barns and cottages and have a penchant for lacquered willow fencing. This year the suburbanisation continues its mission creep, replacing bird-singing scrub with ponies and crunchy driveways. Delivery trucks chew up the verges. The outdoor lights flare a ghoulish green into the night, on the once elegant Queen Anne facade of the big house on the corner, now owned by a multi-millionaire clothing entrepreneur from Jamaica. The field opposite our house, known as Hare Field, has been enclosed with a rabbit-proof fence, so now we look at meshed wire where once we caught sight of the wild creatures bounding past. The big ash trees have begun to die back.

It is not what it was when we came. It has devolved, said Mark.

I don’t like to think about that much and keep my eyes up into the sky, tracking the geese coming in from Siberia, the fly past of jackdaws at dawn, the light which reflects amber and gold on the trunks of the oaks as the sun goes down. But I can’t not look. The lane is part of brutal Britain, the rabbit-proof fence is all fences in Europe that keep out the unwanted, the pesticide-wrecked soil, every industrialised arable field in the world, the felled and dying trees, all forests killed to maintain our zombie lifestyle.

And he is right. It was more beautiful. There were more creatures – hedgehogs and stoats and hares. You could hear nightingales singing in May. Butterflies once covered the buddleia in August. David Moyse, the village’s history man and steeple keeper, would wave to us as we cycled by and give us green tomatoes for chutney. It was wilder, more country, sweeter.

It was still feudal though. You still had to deal with a frequency loaded with ancient snobbery and hostility. Us, the landowners with our gamekeepers and huge cars and you, renters, with your second-hand boots and pesky questions about RoundUp. Some things don’t change. Some things haven’t changed in England for a thousand years or more.

There was a period in the community activist years when there was a kind of bridge with some of the people in the lane, where I could be enthusiastic about non-threatening subjects like give and take days and community gardens and share jars of foraged damson jam, so long as I didn’t push the climate change, fossil fuel dependence thing, or talk about factory farming or flying. So long as I could say how calm and blue the sea was this year, the best swimming year in a decade, and not mention the sandy cliffs at Easton Bavents that continued to fall into the waves.

But in 2016 that bridge fell down. What do you do? had became a conversational mine-field:

‘Oh, an editor, how interesting, and what’s the Dark Mountain Project?’
‘We’re a network of artists and writers looking at social and environmental collapse...’

Not a great opener over the canapés and Chardonnay.

Which is why I can’t really tell you what is being discussed this season down the lane. I have to  travel elsewhere to have those conversations.


Here I am today in Colchester in early November meeting Christian Brett for the first time. For three years we’ve worked together shaping and producing the Dark Mountain books via the telephone, long conversations between a tower block in Rochdale and a tied cottage in East Anglia. He is setting up an installation called ‘The Sound of Stones in the Glasshouse’, a work he conceived with the artist Gee Vaucher whose ‘Introspective’ is about to open at the town’s modern art gallery. It’s a bold, uncompromising work: a glasshouse made of panels engraved with the names of every intervention the US military has made in the last 100 years. Around the walls are excerpts of presidential inaugural speeches talking about freedom and democracy and the numbers of the dead caused by wars on their watch. In the centre of the glasshouse a video of soldiers emerging out of a trench plays on a loop, and a patch of bare earth.

We go for lunch and talk and it feels the same as it does on the phone, except we’re not looking at computer screens, we’re looking at each other. The rain falls down on the capital of Roman Britain, now a nexus for the modern Armed Forces. The show was opening on the 11th.

If you are an artist, or a writer, you have to see differently from the conventional world that appears to own and control everything. You have to look outside the echo chambers, beyond the burning issues of the day, beyond the headlines, into something deeper, more intrinsic, not bound in time. You have to see what Sebald once called the 'Rings of Saturn', as he walked down the Suffolk coastline, the machine of history that crushes us in its talons.

‘Have you got Mr Trump in the wings?’ I ask.
‘We have them both ready,’ he replies.



In the space of a year two people I used to be close to took their own lives. What struck me when I remembered them wasn’t to do with their brilliance as editors and designers, or their long struggles with mental illness. It was about their presence and their intensity, a certain kind of intimacy you rarely experience with people. It felt as if their spirits had burned out of control, like a forest fire, and no-one knew how to deal with the blaze. It felt that whenever you leave out what you most love about people,  our deep feeling natures, what used to be called the soul,  something always crashes. It crashes in individuals and in collectives and in nations. The spirit of this trauma lives in all of us by virtue of being born into the system. No one escapes that, not the rich, not the poor, not the powerful, nor the meek. The question we face as Rome falls is: how can we speak with each other and get out of the cycle?

When I switch off the machine and the headlines recede, I realise we are not in a political crisis; we are in a spiritual crisis, an existential crisis. We don’t know what it means to be human anymore. We have lost contact with the meaning of time, our presence here. How can we be human in a collapsing world? How can I be female outside the patriarchy? How can I matter in a community where I am one of the unnecessariat, the precariat, part of the low-income, left behind, just about managing, tax credited, zero-contract gig economy?

When I switch off the machine, I step out into the lane and walk into the twilight. You can feel everything more closely in the dark, especially the trees, your senses open up, your feet feel the ground, the wind coming from the south. Venus outshines the glow of the brewery distribution centre on the horizon. That’s when I realise that to this place, I matter. My presence, my intense engagement matters. To the dead, to the ancestors I matter. To consciousness, to the fabric of life I matter. We matter. That is no small thing.

What we need is a new social contract.


In the spiritual years – I guess that was mostly the '90s – I slept in moon lodges and dreamed of medicine people and Cathars and Indian gods, and I sang and danced alongside a band of fellow seekers moving through the great landscapes of the Americas. We were searching for a deeper relationship with the world and our ‘hard yoga for the earth’, as Gary Snyder once described it, pushed us into some very difficult corners, not least among ourselves. We spent a lot of time dealing with the karma of our families and connecting with indigenous medicine plants. We all thought, foolishly, that the collective shift of consciousness we yearned for would somehow just happen.  We were coming from the future and had been born into the past. We thought we could travel forever and live in bamboo huts on the sides of sacred mountains, but history or destiny dragged us back to our home countries. The ancestors told us: those who caused the problem have to deal with it. And then they disappeared.

The problem, we knew, wasn’t going to have a neat solution, like a mindfulness class you could do every Tuesday.  I am another yourself was not a mantra: it meant going through all the files your cultural history threw at you, being treated like an exile, losing most of your dignity and your spending power, and then having to start over again. Few of us wanted to go through the emotional mangle that would make us human. Most of us resisted the fall in our own ways and stalled.

When we said we were looking for a new narrative, we meant we were looking for a new language. At some point we knew the theory would have to become practice. We were waiting for something to move.



'Strange attractors' are so called because they make a particular shape in phase space which radically alters the dynamics of a system, sometimes called the shape of uncertainty. Strange attractors allow chaos to break up rigid forms and create new ones. Civilisations by their design are fixed systems living within vast non-linear systems. Fatal attractions are their undoing.

Strange attractors, as we might have noticed in 2016, don’t always look like the pleasing butterfly shapes you see in chaos theory manuals. They have bad haircuts and bad attitude and send shockwaves through social media. Their chief characteristic is that they hold all the missing information, so when they exert their influence they challenge the order that is dependant on certain things kept out of the picture.
In 2016 a lot of missing people suddenly appeared in the picture that had excluded them for aeons and did the only thing that the Establishment allowed them to do: they voted. For decades the dispossessed of North America’s Rust Belt and England’s factory towns have held the collective shadow of the classes above them, so the multicultural hi-tech uberfolk of the metropolis could shop and tweet and travel with impunity.

In 2016 a lot of those '90s words like transformation and chaos became a way to look at the string of political events that had crashed the world views of the privileged. The shadow had reeled into the open. Nigredo is the first stage of alchemy, bringing to light the dark materia that needs to be transformed. The nigredo is a scary moment. You have to know how to negotiate it. When the hidden rage of millions is unleashed – generations of people humiliated, derided, told they are worthless and have no future – you have to hold fast to your humanity. Here be dragons. You can’t be righteous and float above this scary territory, because that fury is in you and me. No-one in the system escapes its hostility. You can refuse to carry the shadow of your culture, only if you have dealt with it yourself, only if you are not still blaming mummy and daddy and your first boyfriend and that prick in HR who doesn’t recognise your true value. Only the system wins in the system.

Nigredo is all about the reveal. When the US election result is announced it feels less scary than 2008 when everyone was whooping with joy and hope about the future. Trump entered stage right, the pantomime villain, the bad cop, to loud hisses from the gallery, but the exiting good cop with his suave saviour style had been less easy to discern. However, as the Glasshouse reminds us, all cops are cops when it comes to ‘full spectrum dominance’. The Empire is the Empire whatever country you now live in. We are all Romans and all slaves.

This alchemical moment has nothing to do with social justice, or environmentalism or any of the grassrootsy stuff I have found myself advocating during last decade. There are initiatives and networks around the world focussing on these worthy things, but none of this transforms anything if we are the same people inside, if we haven’t dealt with our stuff – as we used to say in the '90s –  if we haven’t uncivilised ourselves, made contact with the layers of dead under our feet, in the sky, in the rivers. If we haven’t stood with the Lakota, or with the yew trees, with the rainbow serpent, with the glacier, with the tawny owl. If we haven’t found a way to dismantle the belief systems that keep us trapped in the cycles of history, if we haven’t dealt with our insatiable desire for power and attention and found ways to live more lightly on the planet, we are not going to make it through this stage. And it is a 'we' because, in England at least, we are on a very crowded island and no matter how much we say we don’t like our neighbours, they live next door.


In 2016 I am 60 years old and do not collect my bus pass.

‘In the old days we would be putting our feet up by now Ellen,’ I say, hauling another sack of Issue 10 into the Post Office.
‘Don’t get me started,’ says Ellen.

On my birthday I go in search of foxgloves on Walberswick Common. It has been a peerless year for bluebells and primroses and seakale, the wild flowers I track each year. But foxgloves are nowhere to be seen. I curse as I stumble over burned gorse and birch tree stumps. Bloody management systems! If I had been more attentive I would have remembered that foxglove is a heart medicine and this was the site of a brutal enclosure in 1624 and known as Bloody Marsh. I hear their strangulated voices first, and then I see the group, walking down the old railway track as if they owned the whole planet, and before I know it a fury surges through my chest: why don’t you people fuck off back to London!

‘It wasn’t just me,’ I say when I find Mark again. It’s not just the repressed violence inside ourselves that roars out of our mouth in the nigredo, it is the rage of the dead. We have a task to recognise that. Take notice.

That night I watch moon daisies swaying under the starlight, under the influence of the tiny English liberty cap. The silver sea is breathing in and out, you can taste the salt on the night air. It’s summer solstice and everything is peaking, reaching its ultimate growing moment. The 12-foot hogweed at the end of the garden lifts its giant head to the full moon. Hooligan flower, outlaw flower, shining with light. En-ger-land En-ger-land!

‘What?’ says Mark.
‘Something is revving up!’ I say, laughing.  Something is shifting gear.

I can’t say we felt the shock about the referendum vote to leave Europe in the lane a few days afterwards. Nor about the result of the US election later in the year. No-one spoke about it. People were no more racist than before, nor any less fond of French wine or Danish crime thrillers, or Ravi the baker, or Señor Vila the dentist, or the Polish bus driver whose name we don’t know on the 99 bus to Lowestoft. The white and blue postcard town carried on serving the rich weekenders from the city. The day-trippers kept eating the disappearing cod and chips down by the pier. The small shops, hammered with higher rents and rates, continued to be replaced by chains and boutiques selling high-end sailor tops and children’s clothes manufactured in China. The hospital and the police station remained closed. The Post Office lost its crown status and the staff had to wear corporate-style uniforms and work on Sundays. The delivery drivers looked more and more harassed as they took our boxes of books from the door. The Library held sales to keep open. Nothing was secure.

In May the asparagus, once picked by the women from the surrounding villages, was gathered by bands of young Eastern Europeans. They pick and sort fast and are gone when the season is over, carrying home pay packets that are worth more in their own countries – a scenario that is played out across the flinty vegetable fields of the Eastern seaboard, in Norfolk and Lincolnshire. No one knows where this will end. If you have been to the jobseeker centre recently in Lowestoft you might guess who will be picking asparagus in the future and for whom. No-one will care however if this person is you.


When I boarded the boat train at Harwich I breathed a sigh of relief. It was a moment of homecoming that I never had when I was a traveller, when England was a country I wanted to get away from. The carriage was shabbier than any in IKEA Europe, and air on the platform smelled of winter, of salt and rain and green. The conductor walked down the passageway and three men who were travelling together and drinking beers laughed out loud. No-one had laughed on those Dutch and Danish trains and no-one had made an entrance like that, a deliberate music hall swagger down the aisle, like a rolling English road, like the curve of the Oxfordshire hills, almost, you could say, hobbity. Not of this time, nor of this dimension.

A door that seemed shut in the schoolroom in Denmark suddenly swung open. A joy ripped through me. The mythos was still here!

You can look at nature,  the writer Richard Mabey once wrote, as a tragedy or a comedy. It depends on your point of view. The character of a people is not the same as a society hamstrung by a corporate global economy. As the curtain closes on 2016, it’s worth bearing in mind that the drama changes tack the moment we give up our high tragic roles and become ordinary players. It’s true, comedy is used to paper over the dark things, to make light of serious matters; the Empire has used entertainment to distract people forever. Strictly Britain is not very militaristic, as George Orwell once noted. We’re more interested in theatrics which is why we are such dismal suckers for Punch and Judy politics and royal parades, even as the joke is so often on us. That’s the way to do it!

However comedy is not just about laughing, or poking fun, it is seeing life from a certain perspective, with heart. It gives an agency to situations where tragedy can only offer a solitary death, it reminds us above all that life is an ensemble act that brings affection, even in the hardest times. We are in this show together. Tickets please, ladies and gentlemen.

In spite of everything, I realised I wanted to go home to the lane. Though the Empire will keep telling me I do not belong, I know that I do. And no kind of politics will take that relationship away. I am not going anywhere else. I am not a nationalist, a flag waver, a patriot, I don’t know what ‘British values’ are, I can’t tell you the names of any football players or newscasters or the kinds of questions aspiring UK citizens are tested on. But I can love this place, these marsh birds, these oaks. I can cohere in a fragmenting time, I can remember in a forgetting time. We don’t need a grand vision, another story right now, we need to get through the nigredo, the seismic shaking of the jar, and allow the seeds we hold inside us to break open their coats.

Afterwards will come the albedo, the deep memory of water, and the rubedo, the solarising forces, the warmth and light of the sun. We will unfurl ourselves then. All is good, all is return, all is regeneration in alchemy. We just have to have the stomach for the work. We have to trust that whatever happens in our small lives, whatever move we make to undo the unkindness of centuries will affect the whole picture, that we are not on our own. Everything matters. The ancestors are behind us: all good comedies end in a dance, they say.   


Pictures: ‘Midsummer Eve Bonfire’, after c.1917, by Nikolai Astrup (from Painting Norway at Dulwich Picture Gallery); 'The Stones in the Glasshouse' by Christian Brett and Gee Vaucher (photo: Douglas Atfield/Firstsite’ ); feather at Base Camp, Dark Mountain gathering at Embecombe, Devon (photo: Warren Draper); excerpt from the documentary, Human by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

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          10th Birthday DemoCamps Start Next Week        
Upcoming events: 7 November in Raleigh, USA and Bonn, Germany; 8 November in Dresden, Germany and Warsaw, Poland; 10 November in Trondheim, Norway; and 12 November in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
          Re: 1983 History of Rusk County Krantz & Nygaard        
According to the Journal of Proceedings by Wisconsin Legislature (a online Google print) Magnus Nygaard was convicted by the Circuit Court for Rusk County on April 30, 1927 of the crime of embezzlement and false report. Sentenced to serve 5 years in the Wisconsin State Prison. He is listed on the 1930 federal census as being an inmate at that prison in Waupun. Sentence expired Sept 30, 1930 and his civil rights were restored Jan 14, 1932. Magnus was born in Norway Dec 1888 and arrived in in New York Harbor March 1910.
I believe he is your most likely candidate along with his father-in-law Peter S. Krantz for the fellows who founded the bank.
          Re: Mary and Chris Carlson's family in Ladysmith 1903-1920        
Yes, I live in Oslo, the capital of Norway :-)
          Re: Mary and Chris Carlson's family in Ladysmith 1903-1920        
Oops...I see the obit was already posted but at least we know the cemetery now. Anyway, are you located in Norway?
          Re: Mary and Chris Carlson's family in Ladysmith 1903-1920        
I have found the obit for Christian V. Carlson online:

Carlson, Christian 1880-1949
A former Ladysmith resident, Christian Carlson, 68, who was well known in the Bruce community, suffered fatal injuries March 26 at Hammond, Indiana, when he tried to cross a street in a blinding rain. Struck by a car driven by C.J. Krug of Hammond, Mr. Carlson died in a hospital shortly after the accident.
Funeral services were held last week Tuesday at Hammond with the Rev. G.R. Krupp officiating. The body was sent to Ladysmith for further services Wednesday at 2 p.m. from Ritger's to Hope Lutheran Church, with Rev. Henry Erickson officiating. Interment was made in Riverside Cemetery.
Mr. Carlson was born June 9, 1880, at Heddemarker, Norway. He was united in marriage to Mary Martinson also of Norway.They went to Ladysmith May 17, 1900 where they lived until 1931, when Mrs. Carlson passed away. Mr. Carlson has since resided with his son, Edwin, in Hammond, Indiana.
To this union were born seven children: Edna Irene who preceded him in death while in infancy; Rose Scoville, Robert Carlson and Walter Carlson, all of Chicago; Ed of Hammond, Indiana; Martha Eckman of Minneapolis, and Margaret Knudson of Fergus Falls, Minn. Surviving are also 16 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Mr. Carlson was employed at the Ladysmith paper mill and the Flambeau Lumber company for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Carlson were charter members of Hope Lutheran church.
During the last four years Mr. Carlson was custodian of a school in Hammond. He was deeply loved by all children, teachers and members of the faculty. He leaves behind a host of friends.
[Bruce News-Letter - April 7, 1949, Bruce, Wisconsin]

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Top World News Now                 
March 3, 2013

United States
Obama Pardons 17 Felons, First in His Second Term
DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones
'Hundreds of thousands' of documents captured with Osama bin Laden, but only 17 released
Michigan governor moves to appoint emergency manager in Detroit
Pentagon Plans to Ask for Base Closures 
Thousands of Soldiers to Leave Europe
U.S. lawmakers question military aid to Egypt, citing concerns about Israel
US factory work is returning, but the industry has changed
'Anonymous' Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US
Among Most Polluted in US, NYC Area Awaits Cleanup
US Budget Cuts Force Yellowstone to Delay Opening
Obama signs sequester bill
Obama moves a step closer to approval of Keystone pipeline
Navy Building a Drone Base in Sunny Malibu

Ukrainian leader, fresh from EU talks, to meet Putin
Russian Arms Trade Czar Says "War" Declared on Weapon Supplies to Syria
Russian demonstrators rally in support of U.S. adoption ban
Moscow Police to Probe Alleged Rally Payment Scam
Moscow Mayor says no to more mosques in the city
Opposition’s ‘Social March’ Fizzles Out in Moscow
Uzbek National Shot Dead in Moscow
Putin, Obama stress cooperation, pledge to 'avoid deterioration' in relations
Russia presses for extradition of fugitive banker
Ukrainian President: Gas contract with Russia is killing us
Putin Signals Russia Can Be More Flexible on Syria
Putin says Russia should listen to French arguments on Syria, over vodka
Russians commend Putin's performance, believe he can keep election promises

Islands Dispute: China Warns Japan Ahead Of Legislative Session
A push for change in China as new leaders take the helm
China's reform roadmap gets clearer
China "fully prepared" for currency war
China divided on TV 'execution parade': judicial resolve or crude voyeurism
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kills 12 in Chinese Coal Mine
Spill in China Underlines Environmental Concerns
China's fourth space launch center to be in use in two years
Xi Jinping taking on corruption in China
Premier Li Keqiang, as Hu Jintao protege, may be outgunned on policy
China calls for decreased tension on Korean Peninsula
5 Tibetans, mostly Buddhist monks, arrested for inciting self-immolations
Darkness at noon as worst dust storm in months mixes with morning smog
China's First Aircraft Carrier on Way to Permanent Base at Qingdao in North

United Kingdom‎
Cameron: UK 'can transform Africa' with G8
Cameron Vows To Stay The Course
Cameron buries hatchet with Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell - and offers him £250,000 EU job
Government fights Europe over air pollution reduction
EU banker pay cap 'threatens thousands of British jobs'
Revealed: One in four of UK's top companies pay no tax
Banker Andrei Borodin granted asylum in Britain after fleeing Russia
UK Explorer: Green Campaigning Has Failed
UK commits £88m to Chilean telescope 'as big as all existing ones put together'
Paedophile ring leader, Colin Peters, linked to Barnes scandal
Cameron vows to defend UK banks

European Union
Hundreds of thousands march against austerity in Portugal
Italy paralysed as Grillo plots exit route from euro
Italian newcomer Grillo predicts collapse in six months
Italy President Napolitano calls for realism after vote
Greek military prepares for mass repression
1000s hold anti-austerity demo in Greece
At least 22 people hurt in Macedonia ethnic protests over new defense minister
Mass layoffs at Caterpillar in Belgium
Dark Rumblings Of A Coup D'État In Spain
Spain Delays Catalunya Banc Auction
Spain overturns Islamic face veil ban
Thousands march in Portugal to protest austerity

Germany Blasted for Role in Europe's Crisis
German states rail against 'stupid' wealth transfers
Italian president says Germany must give EU recovery a boost
Germany Debates Fracking as Energy Costs Rise
Bitter feud divides family of Germany's reunification leader
Racism in German military mirrors society
Germany discovers toxin in animal fodder
Angela Merkel Wishes Bulgaria's Borissov Quick Recovery
Merkel cabinet lowers bars to German labor market
Kerry praises Germany's 'exemplary leadership' in Europe
Italian president scraps meeting with German opposition leader over "clown" remarks

Hollande leads tributes to 'a great figure' and resistance fighter
As France's Mali mission grows, so does terror threat from homegrown militants inside France
France considers marijuana-based drug
France will not reach 2015 disabled access target
Paris seeks alternative to 75% tax
France-Qatar tensions rise over Mali war, Tunisia
Hollande juggles trade, human rights in Moscow
Hollande to Talk Syria Settlement With Putin
Kerry holds talks on Mali with French leadership
War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
Al-Qaeda leader behind Algeria gas plant hostage massacre killed in Mali
US Seeks to Confirm Report of Terror Leader's Death
Syria: Fierce Clashes in Provincial Capital Raqqa
Assad Forces Take Aleppo Village, Reopening Supply Line
Syrian President Assad Blasts British Government
Iran Says Syria’s Assad to Run for 2014 Election
How Does the U.S. Mark Unidentified Men in Pakistan and Yemen as Drone Targets?
Syrian Rebels Angry Over US Aid: ‘Only Thing We Want Is Weapons’

Insight Into Today’s News
Billionaires Continue To Dump Stocks
G20 issues empty declaration against currency wars
Norway Enters The Currency Wars
The Second-Mortgage Shell Game
The Last Liberal Branch of Government
US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan unraveling
Goodbye? We’ve Lost Who We Are?
US Schools Go Into Full Prison Mode
Hornady Addresses Ammo Shortage: We’re working 24/7
US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets

Netanyahu secretly visited Jordan to discuss peace with Palestinians
Netanyahu gets two more weeks to form Israel coalition
3 Syrian Mortars Land in Southern Golan Heights
Gaza Border: Senior Officer's Vehicle Hit by Gunshots
New coalition will have to freeze construction outside settlement blocs
Tissue tests planned for Israelis in Gaza who want to cross border
Palestinian PM evacuated from West Bank after Israeli soldiers fire teargas at protesters
Sequestration: Israel Could ‘Gradually’ Lose $500 Million in US Aid
Netanyahu blasts Erdogan's 'dark and libelous' criticism of Zionism

Scud Missile Fired in Syria Lands Near Iraqi Village
Bombs Kill at Least 22 in Iraqi Capital
Erdoğan: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism same
Turkey's Difficult Choice in Palestine, Israel
Erdogan Calls for More Support for Syrian Opposition
Kurdish leader 'outlines' Turkey peace plan
More Military Arrests in Turkey For 'Feb. 28 Process'
Turkey Provides Schools for Syrian Refugee Children
Iraq budget stalemate deepens over Kurd oil payments
Iraq continues to allow Iranian overflights to Syria

John Kerry visits Egypt as dozens injured in violent protests
Kerry urges Egypt to take difficult economic steps; opposition figures skip meetings
Protesters Demand Armed Forces Intervention in Cairo
Ex-member: Muslim Brotherhood has secret societies in 80 nations, including U.S.
Bahrain Activist Zainab Al-Khawaja Sentenced to Jail
176 Protesters Held in Saudi Arabia
Qatar's Influence in Egypt Runs Deeper Than Its Pockets
Morsi criticized for reaction to tragedy
Parties who boycotted Morsi's national dialogue invited to send suggestions
Opposition refuse to stand in Egypt's parliamentary elections

Ahmadinejad: National dialogue only way to end Syria crisis
Ahmadinejad: West's war against Iran media doomed to failure  
Ahmadinejad to Visit Pakistan This Month to Inaugurate IP Gas Pipeline Construction
Threatening Iran Won't Help in Nuclear Talks, Envoy Says
Seized Chinese Weapons Raise Concerns on Iran
Head Of Iran's Qods Force Suggests Assad Is Vulnerable
Sanction-Hit Iran Fears Unrest as New Elections Near
Khamenei tells Zardari pipeline must advance despite US opposition
Ahmadinejad Aide’s Candidacy a Challenge to Iran’s Theocratic Status Quo
Ahmadinejad, Zardari Stress Expansion of Iran-Pakistan Ties

Hugo Chavez undergoing chemotherapy
VP Maduro: Capriles Seeks Destabilization in Venezuela
Venezuela decries "absurd" rumors over Chavez death
Maduro: Chavez ‘battling’ for his life
Rumours swirl as Chavez stays out of sight
Former envoy claims Venezuela's Chavez is dead
Venezuela government denies rumours about Chavez
Venezuelans hold demo in support of Chavez
Student demonstration dispersed by authorities in Venezuela
FARC: Colombia government to blame for coffee strike

Brazil to get its first nuclear subs
Rousseff Meets Nigerian Leader for Trade Talks
Brazil's Unemployment Rises More Than Forecast in January
Prosecutors investigate spying charges against consortium building dam in Brazil
Brazil turns to Catholic Church to quash crack epidemic
Brazil Wind Developers May Be Required to Build New Power Lines
No one is safe from Argentina's drug war
Modern Slavery Rears its Ugly Head in Chile
Chilean Navy Saves 25 Stranded Whales, 20 Die
Peru says American couple found; family wants 'proof of life'

Nieto Says Justice Will Be Done in Union Boss’s Case
Six Bodies Found in Mexico, Including Teenage Boy Earlier Arrested for Murder
Mexican Daily Hit by Third Attack This Week
Army Kills 4 Gunmen in Northern Mexico
Two Police Gunned Down in Guatemala
Fire hits big Mexico City marketplace
Pena Nieto enacts major education reform
Powerful head of Mexico teachers union is arrested
Mexico to Launch New Police Force Later This Year

Cuba Dissident’s Daughter Says Dad’s Death Was No Accident
Cuban Dissidents Hope to Build Mass Organization
A post-Castro Cuba
Chavez Congratulates Raul Castro on Re-Election
Castro Retirement News Prompts Tepid Response In Miami
Transition now seen as underway in Cuba
Cooperatives Could Save Cuban Socialism
South African medical students in Cuba may be deported
No ease for Cuba from US state sponsor of terrorism list

United Nations
U.N. Security Council asks for report on possible Mali peacekeepers
Ban Tones Down Criticism of Rwanda Over Congo Claims
UN chief says Iran should gain world confidence over its disputed atomic plan
Libya to ask U.N. to lift arms embargo
UN Removes Osama bin Laden From Sanctions List

Top World News Now                 
February 26, 2013

United States
Obama To Tell Israelis of Plan for Iran War
Obama's Paycheck Exempt From 'Sequester'
White House Sells Meetings with Obama for $500k
Pentagon to Keep Gen. Allen Probe a Secret
Kerry: US to Hasten Syria Government Change
Kerry’s first overseas trip off to shaky start
Bill unveiled to legalize medical pot
Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year?
Listen up ladies! Next time there's a draft, Uncle Sam might want you too
Homeland Security Chief Threatens Long TSA Lines From Sequester
TB outbreak: LAPD urges officers to wear masks
US Internet providers start spy program to stop file-sharing
Billions at stake: US and BP clash in court over Gulf oil spill
Nation of Islam asks for gang protection
New York City homelessness continues to set new records
Canadian Asteroid-Hunting Satellite Launched into Space

Putin's KGB/FSB Converging with New IMF Banking FSB
Putin signs radical anti-tobacco bill into law
In Putin's Russia, Shooting the Messenger
Medvedev: No Grounds for New ‘Cold War’
Deputy FM Ryabkov: Iran sanctions may be lifted
Zyuganov reelected Communist chief, vows reset in left-wing politics
China, Russia ink major energy deal
Moscow 'regrets' treatment of Russians abroad
Moscow Welcomes Release of 15 Russian Sailors in Nigeria
1kg meteorite piece found in Russian Urals, biggest chunk yet discovered
Moscow Police Seize Large Cache of ‘Black Market’ Weapons
At Least 17 Amur Tigers Dead in Russia's Far East in 2012
Protests in Ukraine as EU gives May ultimatum
Ukraine wields natural gas trump card in Brussels
As Medvedev is savaged, Putin silent
State Duma Backs Putin's Foreign Assets Bill

Xi vows peaceful path on Taiwan
Xi calls for cross-Strait cooperation in realizing "Chinese dream"
Xi rewards Chinese missile brigade for launching 100 missiles
Hu Jintao meets KMT honorary chairman
State councilor meets South Korea's new president
South Korea's Park Warns North Against Nuclear Pursuits
Foreign Ministry: All Japanese activities regarding Diaoyu Islands illegal
Min of Environmental Protection refuses to release data from soil contamination investigation
China to halt approvals for small coal mines
2 Tibetan Monks Self-Immolate as Anti-China Protests Continue
Tibet's Growing Tragedy: Self-Immolation Protests Reach 105
5.4-magnitude earthquake jolts Tibet
BBC World Service Shortwave Radio Blocked in China
Chinese transport "workhorses" extending military's reach

United Kingdom‎
David Cameron: I'll stop migrant benefits
John Kerry: US Won't Back UK on the Falklands
Britain's top cardinal resigns over allegations 'he behaved inappropriately with priests'
Family Targeted in North Belfast Blast Bomb Attack
Cameron to hold talks with Kerry
Head of Cameron's local Tory branch resigns over gay marriage
Clegg denies cover up of associate's misconduct
Tory threat to rival parties over libel law
UK Ratings Cut Puts Spotlight on Budget
Will Litvinenko-MI6 links be revealed?
UK onshore wind farms to create more carbon dioxide than they save
Tax Breaks Spur Record UK Offshore Oil & Gas Spend

European Union
Berlusconi revives political career in chaotic Italian election
Italian markets celebrate Berlusconi’s poor performance in election
Italy's center-left to win lower house, leads in Senate race
Initial results indicate stalemate in Italian election
Angry Italians deliver austerity warning
EU ministers discuss horse meat crisis
EU holds breath over crucial Italy election
Topless Femen protest against Berlusconi as he votes in election
Protest votes add to uncertainty in close Italy election
Spanish Police Nab 3 Suspected of Spying for Iran
Spain police arrest 45 in Madrid after protest

Merkel holds talks with Turkish leaders frustrated by slow-moving EU talks
Germany presses Turkey for progress in lifting embargo on Cyprus
German government backs ban on far-right party
German Intel Paid Neo-Nazi Informer $240,000
Bare-chested protesters take on Berlin
Merkel: China, Russia seeing Syrian president's time is up
Merkel Raises Turks' Hope Of European Union Entry
Merkel kicks off sensitive visit to Turkey
Merkel inspects German Patriot missiles in Turkey
Germany arms the Persian Gulf monarchies
Germany patient with France on deficit

Hollande's Sarkozy joke riles French opposition
Ayrault: Boko Haram Claiming to Hold French Family
France blasts 'cruelty' as Boko Haram displays kidnapped family
France to pause austerity, cut spending next year instead: Hollande
Hollande urges compulsory labeling amid horsemeat scandal
France's military operation in Mali in 'final phase'
France warns of kidnappings, attack risk in Benin
France is euro 'problem child', frets Angela Merkel's party official
War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
Syrian Opposition Pledges to Attend Rome Summit
Syria says ready to talk with armed opposition
Kerry Vows Not to Leave Syria Rebels 'Dangling in the Wind'
Car blast rocks central Damascus, casualties reported
Assad's Army Has Fled Entire Area Bordering Israel
Syrian Refugees Riot in Jordan Camp; 3 Hurt
Nearly 100 Rebels Are Reported Killed in Mali Battle
No sign of peace or reconciliation in Mali
West African Mali forces to cost €715m

Insight Into Today’s News
Billionaires Continue To Dump Stocks
G20 issues empty declaration against currency wars
Norway Enters The Currency Wars
The Second-Mortgage Shell Game
The Last Liberal Branch of Government
US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan unraveling
Goodbye? We’ve Lost Who We Are?
US Schools Go Into Full Prison Mode
Hornady Addresses Ammo Shortage: We’re working 24/7
US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets

Netanyahu: Arrow will help us on peace, or defense
Netanyahu urges the PA to calm rioters and stone throwers
West Bank Streets 'Boiling' as Abbas Accuses Israel of Stoking Unrest
IDF and Palestinians clash following prisoner's funeral
West Bank Protests Grow, Fears of New Intifada
Israel, US successfully test anti-missile system
Palestinian officials accuse Israel of torturing inmate to death
Palestinian Detainee’s Death in Israel Sparks Unrest
Thousands of jailed Palestinians stage 1-day hunger strike

Erdogan holds joint press conference with Merkel
Kurdish Peace Process to Start After PKK Leave Turkey
Erdoğan: Assad a ‘mute devil’ for not defying Israel
Defense Minister Says 965 Suicides Among Soldiers in 10 Years
Turkey in Key Stage to Address Kurdish Issue
Turkey lists requests from Germany's Merkel
Turkey eyes Karabakh step from Armenia to open ways
Turkey Pressures Germany on EU Accession
Turkey says aid pledges for Syrian refugees 'unfulfilled'
Iraq shuts down 3 illegal tunnels to Syria

Bahrain Bans Import of Plastic Guy Fawkes Masks
ElBaradei Calls for Boycott of 'Sham' Parliamentary Election
Egyptian Brotherhood Hits Back at Opposition Leader
Stripped of 'Country of Origin' Label, US Agrees to Sell Tear Gas to Egypt
Bahraini Dies After Being Struck by Tear Gas Canister
Divided Egypt opposition attacks Morsi on election call
Morsi calls parliamentary elections in April
Thousands hold anti-government protests in Egypt
New death from SARS-like virus in Saudi

World Powers May Offer Iran Sanctions Relief at Nuclear Talks
UK claims General Shateri actually died in January bombing of Hezbollah-bound weapons convoy
World Powers Seek Compromise in Iranian Nuclear Talks
Ahmadinejad Admits to Economic Pain
Iran tests suicide drones in ongoing military drill
Iran denies downing foreign drone
Iran claims it has captured a foreign ‘enemy drone’ during military exercise
Iran announces new uranium deposits discovery
Iran selects 16 new sites for nuclear plants
Iran sentences 4 to death in biggest bank fraud case
Envoy: Iran to continue talks with IAEA on nuclear program

Chavez warns that Africa and South America Must Unite or face Western Interventions
Indigenous Venezuelans Hold Ritual for Chavez
Colombian Rebels Call on Santos to Save Peace Talks
Villegas: Condition of cancer-stricken Chavez not "favorable"
Prosecutor Accuses Former Colombian Governor of 2000 Massacre
Bolivia's Morales says was unable to see Chavez in Venezuela
Questions about political succession whirl in Venezuela after Chavez comes home
Poll: Maduro would win vote if Chavez goes
Chávez's return is obstacle for Venezuela's embattled opposition
Bolivia's Morales arrives in Venezuela to visit President Chávez

Falklands dispute: Argentina accuses UK of ‘defiance’ of anti-nuke treaty
Rousseff says extreme poverty almost eradicated
PM Medvedev begins visit to Brazil
Pro-Cuba Protesters Halt Dissident's Brazil Event
After Being Hounded by Protesters, Cuban Dissident Praises Brazil's Freedom of Expression
Brazil dockers end China ship protest; port strike threat
Argentina to renovate railways with Chinese trains in 2014
Union Leader Protests by Bringing Trucks to Argentine Labor Ministry
New tobacco law ignites controversy in Chile
Ex-leaders of German sect in Chile enter prison to begin sentences for sexual abuse of minors

Official Accuses CIA of 'Managing' Not 'Fighting' the Drug Trade
Nieto Meets with San Antonio Mayor
Government Says Over 27,000 People Missing in Mexico
Mexico Slaughters Nearly 500,000 Birds Infected with Avian Flu
Guatemala Moves Up Ex-Dictator’s Genocide Trial
Police Chief in Mexican Border City on Nuevo Laredo Missing
Suspect in General’s Murder Arrives in Mexico
Mexican Police Detain 81 Migrants
Vigilantes reportedly release captives in southern Mexico

Castro successor lacks charisma but is experienced manager
Raúl Castro Says His New 5-Year Term as Cuba's President Will Be His Last
Fidel Castro makes surprise parliament appearance amid leadership speculation
Cuban parliament gathers, president to be selected
Esteban Lazo Elected New President of the Cuban Parliament
Haitians Rage as UN Rejects Payout for Cholera Victims
Yoani Sanchez May Be Top Dissident in Cuba, but She Agrees US Embargo Must Go
Medvedev Discusses Meteorite Strike with Fidel Castro
Raul Castro Mentions Possible Retirement

United Nations
UN Removes Osama bin Laden From Sanctions List
Tunisia Arrests Suspect in Killing That Sparked Unrest
African leaders sign DR Congo peace deal
At least 53 killed in rival Arab militia clashes in North Darfur
Tunisia's New Premier Promises Inclusive Government
US blocks UN resolution condemning Damascus terror bombings
Tunisia: Party Names Premier Candidate
Tunisian PM steps down after crisis prompted by political assassination
Unesco agrees 5.6 million-euro plan to save Mali's
Top World News Now                 
February 21, 2013


 Heads up from AntiMullah. Separate vacations and Obambi brings Reggie Love back with  him. If you do  not know what this is, you need to visit/view AntiMullah.com more often to keep up with latest developments.

Tone and content reflects information not normally provided by Lame Stream Media's love fest with Obambi. And worldwide events that discredit his claims and motives for anti-American, pro-Moslem Brotherhood policies and actions.
Read and become knowledgeable and stop believing the incredible lies Obama feeds us at every opportunity. Lies his own Democrats increasingly have a problem swallowing and are intentionally leading our nation into certain fiscal and political destruction.

United States
GOP Resists Obama's Push for Tax Rise to Head Off Cuts
Obama Fleshes Out Plans for Infrastructure Projects
Obama considers urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage
White House announces online espionage response policy
US issues final word on essential benefits under "Obamacare"
Anonymous thrown into China-US cyberwar scandal
Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilian workers
In wake of Benghazi, rapid response Marine unit heading to Europe
US issues worldwide caution to its citizens of terror threats
Body found in restaurant rubble after Kansas City explosion
Why Americans Might Be Better Off If Their Burgers Were Made Of Horsemeat
Sex-Change Surgery Available Through Many US Colleges
Majority of US citizens say illegal immigrants should be deported
Hundreds of thousands march in Puerto Rico against gay rights

Putin Invites G20 Leaders to St. Petersburg Summit
Migrant workers call on Putin for amnesty
Lavrov: Time to end the war in Syria
Moscow: N. Korea sanctions can only impact nuclear program
IMF warns of higher inflation, slower GDP growth in Russia
Russia's missing billions revealed
Russia Tries To Remove Images of New Drone From the Internet
Russian Military to Develop Anti-Meteorite Defenses
Russia investigates 25 cases of Defense Ministry fraud - Prosecutor General
MP resigns after bloggers disclose his Florida property
Russia escalating attacks on free expression a year on from Pussy Riot protest
‘Ample Evidence’ Linking Ukraine Ex-President to Journalist Murder
French Specialists Resume Work at Chernobyl Disaster Site
Ukraine: Embezzlement At State Orphanages
Belarus Phases Out Russian Warplanes, Radars

Xi Jinping's campaign to purge Communist Party 'won't be easy'
Incumbent cabinet holds final meeting
China's central banker skips retirement bar to stay on
Manila to tackle sea row 'with or without China' at UN
Attacks originating from US rank 1st among overseas hackings in China
Photos show new activity at N Korea nuclear site
Spy agencies scrounge for details on North Korean nuclear test
North Korea: A nuclear 7-Eleven?
N Korean propaganda video shows Obama in flames
US Envoy Opposes S Korean Nuclear Armament
Rise in online fan clubs extolling China's party leaders
After China's multibillion-dollar cleanup, water still unfit to drink
Smog in Pearl River Delta 'worse than in Beijing'
Maoists Block Deal to Break Nepal's Long Political Deadlock

Cameron to pay respects to victims of Amritsar massacre
Cameron's India trip hits wobble with concern over helicopter deal
Sars-like virus death reported in UK
New coronavirus can infect human lungs as easily as cold virus
Magdalene laundries: Ireland to apologise to survivors
Iranian torture guard refused UK citizenship
Britain expands "bigger than burgers" horsemeat tests
Regulator warns Britain 'on the brink' of energy crisis
Scotland 'faces EU funding cut'
Tanker drivers in Scotland vote to strike
Belfast Orange Order warns members over flag protests
One in four Africans attacked in Ireland

Berlusconi accused of trying to buy votes days before election
After Bulgarian Protests, Prime Minister Resigns
Greek police fire tear gas on anti-austerity protesters
Greece welcomes Hollande with ‘news blackout’
Dutch experiment in legalised prostitution a disaster
Thieves in Belgium pull off most spectacular and dramatic diamond heist in years
Iceland considers dropping its currency
Lawmakers Threaten to Veto Tightened Budget
EU reinforces sanctions against DPRK
To Revive Honey Bees, Europe Proposes a Pesticide Ban
Anti-austerity strike to bring Greece to a standstill
Italy politicians make final drive for votes before poll

Berlusconi's possible comeback a nightmare for Angela Merkel
Merkel's Rainbow Problem: On Gay Rights, Chancellor Still a Conservative
German Officials Signal Berlusconi Isn't Their Man
Germany Sends Troops to Mali
German police raid firms over Ponzi scheme
Germany: Court Backs Adoption by Same-Sex Couples
Net activists slam Germany's open data portal
NSU victims' families want more than sympathy
Security staff at Hamburg airport to strike Wednesday in pay dispute
Swiss mayoral candidate 'pro-Hamas, pro-Iran'
Outgoing chairman of Switzerland's Novartis foregoes $78 million golden parachute deal
Norway is Afraid of Foreign Spies

Hollande: French soldier killed in northern Mali
Hollande confirms seven kidnapped in Cameroon
Hollande urges investment in Greece, growth in Europe
Hollande: France will miss 2013 growth target
French Kidnapped in Cameroon Were Taken Into Nigeria
France saw 58 percent rise in anti-Semitic attacks in 2012
Man arrested for serial attacks on Paris Chinese
France to unfreeze development aid to Mali
France Charges 11 In Alleged Kurdish Extortion Ring
War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
Syrian rebels threaten Hezbollah with 48-hour deadline
Syrian military reportedly shoots down Israel drone
US direct military support to Mali likely to continue after elections
Mortars Explode Near Assad Palace in Damascus
Missile kills more than 30 in Syria
Typhoid breaks out in rebel-held eastern Syria
Foreign Arms Supplies to Syrian Rebels Expanding
Pro-Assad militia now key to Syrian government’s war strategy
Russia's double dealing on arms to Assad regime leaves UK isolated over Syria
Syrian Rebels Threaten to Attack Lebanon Over Border Dispute
Insight Into Today’s News
Billionaires Continue To Dump Stocks
G20 issues empty declaration against currency wars
Norway Enters The Currency Wars
The Second-Mortgage Shell Game
The Last Liberal Branch of Government
US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan unraveling
Goodbye? We’ve Lost Who We Are?
US Schools Go Into Full Prison Mode
Hornady Addresses Ammo Shortage: We’re working 24/7
US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets

Former foreign minister Livni joins Netanyahu coalition
Prisoner X: Benjamin Netanyahu adds to mystery
Secretary Kerry to skip Israel in first trip
Turkey, Israel Cut 1st Defense Deal Since Freezing Ties
Israel Seeks to Curb Weapons Flow to Gaza
West Bank protesters rally for release of deteriorating prisoners
Palestinian Prisoner's Hunger Strike Reaches 211th Day
Fatah Official Warns of Violence if Prisoners Aren't Freed
'Iron Dome' may be instrumental in peace process
Head of Israeli IVF unit arrested in Romania


Security deteriorating in Egypt due to political instability
Opposition Sets Conditions For Dialogue With Morsi
Morsi's advisory team less diverse after months of walkouts
Morsi Issues Presidential Decree to Appoint New Mufti
Strike, Protests Hit Egypt's Port Said for 3rd Day
Egyptians protest at Libyan border over new visa rules
Egypt ministry appeals against order to block YouTube
Egypt files new charges against Mubarak's last premier
2 Sunni groups halt roles in Bahrain crisis talks
A Palace Rift in Bahrain Bedevils Key US Navy Base

Iran to Conduct Military Drills Over 3 Days
Reformists Meet Khamenei To Improve 'Internal Climate'
Rivals Forced to Apologize to Supreme Leader
Ahmadinejad threat to cancel Iranian poll
Iran Pushes Nuclear-Free Mideast Plans
Syrian Prime Minister Claims Iran is Now “Occupying” Syria
MPs say sovereignty over three Persian Gulf islands is non-negotiable
Iran protests Berlin film award for banned Jafar Panahi
Fatwa Issued Against 3G Internet Operator in Iran
Iran FM Spurns Western 'Gold Trade' Offer
Stung by 'Argo,' Iran Backs Conference Denouncing 'Hollywoodism'

Top World News Now                 
February 15, 2013

United States
Environmentalists Press Obama in Heated Oil Pipeline Debate
NRA exec accuses Obama of gun 'charade' at State of the Union
Kerry: Moves Against North Korea Would Scare Iran Off Nukes
Senate Republicans Block Hagel Nomination For Defense Secretary
Key US general backs keeping Afghan forces at peak strength
Missouri Democrats Introduce Legislation to Confiscate Firearms – Gives Gun Owners 90 Days to Turn in Weapons
Transocean to pay $400 million for 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill
High taxes force more Americans to renounce their citizenship
600 children living in Washington, DC homeless shelter
Conspiracy Theorists Leap at the Confusing Case of Dorner’s Multiple Wallets
Body in burned cabin ID'd as Christopher Dorner
Cruise ship nightmare nearing end for passengers after hellish trip
CDC Warns of Super-Gonorrhea

Russia activates ‘Operation Fortress’, 20,000 troops after air defense forces shoot down space object
Putin orders Russian security on high alert before Olympics
Putin Warns Foreign NGOs Against 'Meddling' In Russian Affairs
Putin Orders FSB to Set Up Anti-Hacker Defense
Putin: Russia will not tolerate foreign pressure
Foreign Ministry: Russia ‘Ready’ to Consider Further Nuclear Arms Cuts
Army Chief: Russia may be drawn into resource wars in future
Russian Army Commissions Bioengineered Liver for $17 Mln
Russia charges Georgian politician with plotting mass unrest
Constitutional Court: Authorities must not politically discriminate against protesters
Six Suspected Militants Killed in Dagestan Operation
Very strong earthquake in a sparsely populated Siberia area
Thousands of Russian convicts may go untracked if bracelet batteries die

Xi's Vows of Change in China Belie Private Warning
Xi Jinping Prepares to Deal With New 'Gang of Four'
Beijing ramps up propaganda war to bolster Diaoyus claim
China's environment unaffected by DPRK nuclear test so far
China's Netizens React Colorfully to N. Korean Nuke Test
Nuke test gives US excuse to boost its military
S. Korea stages large-scale drills following DPRK nuke test
South Korea flexes missile power after North test
The Real Japan-China Conflict
7 dead, 18 injured in China after man sets off bomb over child custody dispute
Depressing landmark reached, 100th Tibetan self-immolates
Tibetans commemorate centennial of 'Tibetan independence'
Clues to why most survived China's melamine scandal

Major warns Cameron's EU referendum is a 'gamble'
EU warns Tories that UK security opt-out 'doesn't make sense'
UK Military Flies Ghana Troops, Equipment to Mali
Britain warns of Syria jihadist threat to Europe
British MPs to receive on-the-job mental health aid
UK Lawmakers Say Credit Schemes Not Working
Another policeman held in UK graft probe
New SARS-like virus shows person-to-person transmission
Deaths, lies and the NHS: Shocking new healthcare scandals emerge in UK
UK Arrests Men in Horse-Meat Probe
Horsemeat: Bute Found In Carcasses In UK
UK soap opera star faces child sex charges

Europe Rejects Critics of 'Robin Hood' Tax
Austerity's children becoming Europe's "lost generation"
Economy in Europe Contracts More Than Expected
Pope rounds on rival cardinals and their 'sins against unity'
Man sets himself alight at Rome airport
Berlusconi defends need for bribery in winning contracts
Monte Paschi's former finance chief held in Italy
Italy unemployment crisis reaches alarming rate
Foreign investors set to sue Spain over energy reform
King Juan Carlos fights new pressures to abdicate
Greece: Alexis Tsipras raises the political stakes
Interior Ministry: Mafia plotting to crash Serbian Air Force One

Un-Natural Gas: Fracking Set to Shake Up German Campaign
Germany and Spain Move to Curb Green-Energy Supports
German airports security staff strike continues Friday
Germany to help Israelis stuck in unfriendly countries
Roma in Germany forced into abject poverty
Barbarians at the Gate
Reports Of 'Neo-Nazi' Guards At Amazon Warehouses In Germany Creates Fresh Scandal
Tempting PhDs lead politicians into plagiarism
Germany's Great Church Sell-Off
Swiss push reconciliation plan for Sri Lanka
Switzerland prepares to sit at G20 head table
Norway Ready to Use Rate Cuts to Cool Krone

Hollande Tiptoes Toward Raid on Pensions Under Pressure From EU
Hollande says France ok with India civil nuclear liability clause
Hollande in India to sell warplanes, nuclear power, metro construction
Tunisians denounce France interference
The European Slump: France Gives Up Lowering Its Budget Deficit
French Goodyear workers protest against closure of Amiens Nord plant
France moves step closer to legal euthanasia
French firm suspected as culprit in spreading horsemeat scandal
France to return 7 paintings looted during WWII
War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
Libya Braces for Unrest on Anniversary of Qaddafi Revolt
Syrian rebels down 2 government planes
Syria rebels capture oil field and military base
Saudis say Syria death toll may be 90000
As war in Syria continues, refugees in Turkey open a high school