2016-09-15 (Jueves/Thursday)

Hoy en día, aprendí:

Hace 195 años, 1821-09-15, se crearon los Estados Unidos de América Central cuando la colonia española, sobre todo entre los actuales México y Panamá, se declararon independiente de España. Estos son los países de El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua, así como Costa Rica. Aunque este último fue incluido en el proceso de independencia, el pueblo costariqueño lo supo al mes siguiente. En aquel tiempo no habia internet!

El artículo de referencia 1, en la continuación, escrito exactamente hace cinco años, explica todos los pasos antes, durante y después de esta declaración. Y la foto principal es de Costa Rica. Este es el Volcán Arenal, que es actualmente inactivo después de un perîodo de 42 años de actividad, iniciado en 1968. Ver más información en la referencia 2 en la continuación.

¡Gracias, Carmen, por tu ayuda con el texto!

(The text above in Spanish talks about the 195 years of independence today of 5 Central American countries. The photo shows a volcano in Costa Rica. See also references #1 and 2 below, both in English.)

How about reading one of those very rare, fragile books from centuries ago? Many books have been scanned so far, so that a digital copy can easily be retrieved by anyone wanting to read it, but what if the book is so precious and fragile that the mere handling of the book would jeopardize its entire existence? MIT has the answer, to scan the book while still being closed. The secret lies in using terahertz radiation, see more in reference # 3 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Celebrate Independence Day in Central America – September 15th!

2: Volcán Arenal

3: MIT uses radiation to read closed books

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-09-11 (Sunday / Dimanche)

Today, I learned that:

So many others are today writing about the distressing moments that happened on this day 15 and 43 years ago, that I would like to show a different side of humanity, culture in its broadest sense. How about calling it ‘les beaux arts’?

The first of those items comes from the culinary world. The other day, my wife wanted to have something fast, good and cheap for the evening meal. So she invented this variant of what the Italians name panini, a grilled sandwich which under other compositions can also be called croque monsieur, quesadilla, misto quente or beirute.

Since it really fulfills all those conditions she set up, I decided to call it Panino Colombo, I hope you can imagine why if you consult reference #1 below. This is how the final sandwich looks:


Voilá, ça c’est le Panino Colombo. Bon appétit!

This is what you need to make the sandwich. It is good for feeding 4 people and takes only 15 minutes to make:

  • 2 cups of wheat flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 soup spoons of oil
  • 1 dessert spoon of chemical yeast
  • salt according to your wish
  • tomato sauce, either your own or a ready one

Suggested ingredients for the topping, but you can choose whatever you like most and have at home:

  • mozzarella cheese
  • ham
  • oregano
  • basil

Put all ingredients in a bowl. Mix and knead everything well together, until it forms a smooth dough. See reference # 2 for all the succeeding steps. Bon appétit!

After having cared about the body, now let us concentrate on the soul. Thank you, Patricia, for giving me this great hint about a lovely subject.

The Art Institute of Chicago recently held an exhibition with original paintings by the great Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Of the total of 36 objects shown, there were especially three of them which were put in focus. The motif of all is the same, his bedroom in Arles. At first glance, they all look alike, but if you get closer, then you can see subtle changes in colors, lighting, texture, etc. All paintings were made within a time lapse of roughly one year, and the three originals are now spread out in museums in Amsterdam, Chicago, and Paris. Enjoy the paintings below and learn more about them and the artist in references #3 and 4, below.


These are all original paintings by Vincent van Gogh, painted in 1888 and 1889.

And while we are in Chicago, why not visit the gallery of local artist Daniel Cleary, a big admirer of van Gogh? You can see one of his works here, and more details about him and his art in reference # 5 below.


Excerpt from a drawing by the Chicago artist Daniel Cleary, undoubtedly inspired by both Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse.

And last, but not least, I dedicate this post to my friend Giulia on her birthday today, long may she live!

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Uovo di Colombo

2: Panino Colombo

3: Van Gogh’s bedrooms

4: Vincent van Gogh

5: Daniel Cleary Fine Art Gallery

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-09-03 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

Exactly 49 years ago, 1967-09-03, Sweden changed the rules for driving, from the left-hand side of the road to the right-hand side. It had already been the subject of a referendum held in 1955, where 82,9 % of all votes were in favour of status quo, i.e. continue to drive of the left-hand side. But the referendum was not decisive, only consultative, and external pressure of unifying the “right side” for driving eventually had the Swedish parliament decide on a change.

Already one year before the switch would take place, the actions started to teach the population how they should behave while driving after “H-dagen” (‘H Day’, where H stands for “höger”, the Swedish word for ‘right’). And thus the switch itself went very smoothly, no major accidents. Even though I was too young to have a driver’s license myself, I still remember waking up in the morning and seeing how the cars started to move from the left side of the road to the right one at 05:00 in the morning, and then at 06:00 was finally given the “go” signal. Below are some interesting images from the switch, complete articles can be found in references # 1 and 2 below.

Dagen H

Six illustrations related to the Swedish left-to-right switch. In the upper row, from left to right: – Propaganda on a Stockholm bus appealing to vote NO in the referendum in 1955; – The people managing the switch showing the sign with a big H, which was placed in thousands of places in Swedish roads; – Kungsgatan in Stockholm during the switch. In the lower row, from left to right: – The official symbol of the switch; – Gloves to remind the driver to drive on the RIGHT side; – This road sign ceased to exist at the switch, it meant that the earlier limited velocity now was invalid, thus imposing no formal limits to the velocity, but after the switch there was no more free velocity on Swedish highways .

And so you may ask, what does the following photo have in common with traffic? Well, it was taken in an EU country that still insists on driving on the left side of the road. No, it is not Britain, but one of its former colonies, Malta, located in the Mediterranean sea. My friend Rikke just returned from a marvellous vacation there, and besides this beautiful photo, she has promised us to deliver more like that one. We very much look forward to it, in the meantime here are our warmest thanks to her!


A tempting scenery from Pembroke, Malta. It is located 10 km North of Valeta, Malta’s capital. Photo taken by Rikke Wilhelmsen on 2016-08-22.

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Day H

2: Högertrafikomläggningen

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-08-28 (Söndag/Sunday)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Augusti anno 2016 var månaden när Sverige hade fyra drottningar! HKH Silvia må förlåta mig, men namnen på allas läppar är naturligtvis Sarah, Jenny och Tove! (Vilken tur att det inte blev OS-guld i fotboll! Visst har vi stora hjärtan, men hur skulle väl 27 drottningar kunna rymmas på samma gång?)

Sveriges Radios excellenta sportredaktion sammanställde ett utdrag från sina referat med alla svenska medaljtillfällen i Rio-2016, se och lyssna på bildspelet i referens nummer 1 nedan. Tyvärr är orientering inte en olympisk sport ännu, så bättre än VM-guld är ju omöjligt, referens nummer 2 nedan handlar om när Tove tog hem sitt första (av två) seniorguld.


Svensk idrotts gyllene drottningar, från vänster till höger: Sarah Sjöström, Jenny Rissveds och Tove Alexandersson. Material från Digitala insatsstyrkan på Sveriges Radio och TT Nyhetsbyrån.

So you think you know everything? Then answer me, which is the biggest landlocked country in the world, i.e. a country which has no natural access to a major stretch of water? You may think of Switzerland, Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Bolivia, Paraguay and others, but the answer is Kazakhstan! And the following photo is also from Kazakhstan, an internal river named Ural river, at the city of Uralsk.


The physical border between Europe and Asia, the Ural river at the city of Uralsk, Kazakhstan. Photo taken by Dina Giltinan on 2016-08-25.

And just as yesterday, when yet another bridge connecting Europe and Asia was inaugurated in Istanbul, so is this also the exact spot where the two meet. Europe is at the left side of the river, Asia is on the right sida. My friend Dina was recently there visiting her parents and was kind enough to send me this photo and others from Uralsk, thank you very much! Below is a medley of some of those photos. See also reference number 4 below.


Four photos from Uralsk, all taken by Dina Giltinan on 2016-08-01. From left to right: Two typical scenes, the Monument of Syrym Datouly and the Golden Church, as well as the portal showing that we are leaving Europe into Asia (third photo), and then coming back from Asia into Europe (fourth picture). This portal is located on the European side shortly before the dividing bridge shown in the header photo.

… Tack för idag, slut för idag! / That’s what I learned in school!


1: De svenska OS-medaljerna på 100 sekunder – bildspel och referat

2: VM-guld till Tove Alexandersson

3: Kazakhstan

4: Uralsk

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-08-21 (Söndag)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Så är det dags att avsluta ännu ett olympiskt spel. Vad gäller arrangemanget så gick det väl ungefär som man kunde förvänta sig, med många trevliga inslag både för deltagare och publik. Och naturligtvis också de förväntade negativa sakerna, högra priser, långa köer, korruption, problem med säkerheten, mm. SRs Latinamerika-korrespondent, Lotten Collin, som alltid gör djuplodande reportage med fängslande ögonvittnesberättelser, berättade i dagens Godmorgon, världen om hur det var och vad som lokalbefolkningen nu har att vänta. Lyssna på reportaget i referens 1 nedan.

Tack och lov vann det brasilianska fotbollslandslaget äntligen det första OS-guldet, så nu kan folket leva ett bra tag på det skådespelet, nu fattas bara bröd! Något annat som de naturligtvis inte kommer att glömma så lätt, och resten av världen också, var när den amerianske simstjärnan Ryan Lochte med kompisar hittade på att ha blivit rånade, när de i själva verket hade spårat ur efter en våt fest. Nedanstående karikatyr beskriver väl hela situationen:


Ryan Lochte at public display in the olympic pool in Rio de Janeiro after he had to admit about making up a story of armed robbery a week ago. Illustration in Folha de S. Paulo, published 2016-08-20.

Vad gäller de svenska prestationerna så tycker jag att som helhet kan vi vara rätt så nöjda, från simmardrottningen Sarah Sjöström till cyklisten Jenny Rissveds och allt där emellan. Referens 2 nedan jämför Sveriges Radios medaljkandidatlista för juli med det faktiska utfallet, intressant läsning. Apropå Jenny Rissveds, hon minner mig mycket om Sanna Kallur under 2000-talet, båda så sprudlande glada och energiska, kan deras gemensamma koppling till Falun vara en bidragande orsak?

Slutligen, om ni tror att problemet med de stora olympiska spelen och de gigantiska kostnaderna är något nytt så kommer här en tankeställare. För 40 år sedan, i februari 1976, när Innsbruck i all hast fick ta sig an ytterligare ett olympiskt spel efter det att Denver hade dragit sig ur på grund av protester kring kostnader, skrev jag som frilansare på Chalmers Studentkårs tidskrift Tofsen om mina funderingar om just detta, se referens 3 nedan.

… Tack för idag, slut för idag!

(Today’s post, entirely in Swedish, deals with the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as well as contains a reminder that the problem with the huge organization and high costs was already there 40 years ago.)


1: Vad betydde OS för Brasilien?

2: Svenska medaljer i Rio-2016

3: Funderingar kring olympiska spel, Tofsen 1976

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-08-13 (Lördag/Saturday)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Augusti är den fina månad när man kan njuta av kräftor i Sverige. När jag var barn brukade vi fiska vid Sämsjön, som ju är vida känd för sina kräftor. Men det var på den tiden innan kräftpesten slog ut nästan hela det inhemska beståendet.

Dagens bild härrör därför ifrån just Sämsjön. För precis 10 år sedan, augusti 2006, tog jag ett underbart foto över solnedgången från Ekåsudden utöver Sämsjön. Min vän Cecilia blev förtjust i fotot när jag använde det som min ID-bild på Wordfeud, varför jag sände henne det. Som tack målade hon en tavla inspirerad av motivet och resultatet kan ni se ovan, tjusigt eller hur? Men som den konstnär hon är, så blir hon aldrig riktigt nöjd med resultatet utan filar fortfarande på detaljer. Vem vet en dag blir hon helt klar, till dess får vi nöja oss (!) med denna tavla. Jag tycker inte att något så fint behöver förbättras, men låt oss se! Tack Cecilia för att jag fick ställa ut din tavla på webben!


Sunset at Lake Sämsjön, Herrljunga, Sweden on 2006-08-13, painted by Cecilia Nilsson in 2015.


Last Tuesday, while visiting São Paulo, I had the opportunity to participate in a seminar at the Swedish-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (Swedcham) with the title “Main Tech Trends Shaping the Market and Business Environment”, hosted by Andre Gildin, founder of RKKG Consulting, with many years of experience in leading positions at Ericsson, see also reference #1 below.

According to the abstract for the seminar, “We live in a transition world, where everyone is talking about the digital and connected environment… so what is really driving these changes? Andre Gildin will explore the main technology trends that are shaping the market and its impact on the way companies make business.” And that is exactly what he did. A very interesting status report about the technological changes that are, or will very soon be, affecting our every-day lives. If that sounds as interesting to you as it was to me, I urge you to look at the presentation in reference #2 below. My sincere thanks to Andre for sharing his insights with the world!


Andre Gildin presenting the proposal from Arcade City on how to replace Uber and offer ride sharing, slide # 46 in his presentation on 2016-08-09.

… Tack för idag, slut för idag! / That’s what I learned in school !


1: Programme for ‘Main Tech Trends Shaping the Market and Business Environment’

2: Minutes from ‘Main Tech Trends Shaping the Market and Business Environment’

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-08-06 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

The Olympic Games have downed upon us. Yesterday, there was an inauguration ceremony which showed some fantastic performance, but what everyone is talking about in Brazil today is of course that the only way the organizers found to drown the protests against the president in exercise, Michel Temer, was to launch fireworks.

Yesterday, I was given the opportunity in live radio to give my idea about Brazil and the Olympic Games. It was the regional radio station SR Sjuhärad, based in Borås, that was the host of the conversation. Normally, such events can be referenced via a link on their web page, but I doubt if they will ever want to publish it, since it surely was not what they had expected. But let the truth be told!

However, since the interview was delayed for an hour due to problems in communication, and many people did not have a the chance to hear it, I publish it here, see reference #1 below. It is the complete, unabridged, unedited soundtrack, from the moment the producer takes my call, reroutes it to the host and then the dialogue starts. Unfortunately, if you do not understand Swedish, you will have difficulty in enjoying my protests. But if you want me to comment on it, please drop me an email to sr@sjson.com and I will do my best.

However, while you are at it, listen also to the comments about what the editorials in Swedish newspapers are writing today. They are unanimous with me in their criticism about this humongous waste of money called the Olympic Games, reference #2 below, from SR’s Lunchekot 2016-08-06, which is called ‘a museum of the past’.

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: SR Sjuhärad 2016-08-05

2: Lunchekot 2016-08-06

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-08-03 (Onsdag)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

OS börjar redan idag och kommer att drabba oss alla under 19 dagar, tyvärr i ett klimat (inte det meteorologiska) som är långt ifrån det bästa, i ett land som varken är ekonomiskt, moraliskt eller hygieniskt det minsta förberett för ett sådant åtagande.

Här följer några personliga tankar kring OS:

Men nog tycker man att någon från det internationellt hyllade Sverige skulle kunna uttala sig bättre än vad veteranen Lotta Schelin gjorde till Sveriges Television igår:
“Det är helt sjukt. När jag får frågan om att det är mitt fjärde så känner jag bara att shit, det är ju för fasen helt galet, säger Lotta Schelin som mästerskapsdebuterade i OS 2004.” Nog tycker man att en sådan ikon borde vara ett föredöme för eventuella beundrarskaror.

Turligt nog så kommer dock spelen inte att pågå i Curitiba, som såg fyra matcher i fotbolls-VM 2014. Där har det nämligen förklarats begränsningar i rätten att förflytta sig, enligt dagens Folha de S. Paulo, som syftar på att de federala utredningarna om den stora muthärvan, Biltvätten (Lava Jato), leds därifrån:


– As of today, the rights to come and go in Curitiba are hereby revoked.

Förhoppningsvis kommer också den ännu levande legendaren Pelé att hålla sig borta från OS-facklan för att göra det han kan bäst, fotboll.

Slutligen, jag kan mycket väl förstå att det här är den stora chansen i livet för många europeiska idrottare att kunna tävla i Sydamerika, som ju mycket sällan anordnar några större mästerskap. Annars kan man ju göra som svensken Lars Björkström, som flyttat från Sverige, att till OS 1980 byta nationalitet och vinna guld i segling för Brasilien! Om du inte känner till den historien, kolla in den bifogade artikeln i referens nummer 1 nedan, från den svensk-brasilianska handelskammarens tidskrift, Nordic Light. Tack Jonas för att jag fick publicera den!

… Tack för idag, slut för idag!

(This post in Swedish contains my personal opinion about the waste of time and money to arrange the Olympic Games in a country that has no conditions to do so.)


1: Årets svensk 2016

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-07-20 (Wednesday)

Today, I learned that:

Looking at today’s full moon, I cannot forget that it is exactly 47 years since man first set foot on non-terrestrial ground, on 1969-07-20. Of course everyone remembers Neil Armstrong’s “small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind”. Reference #1 has more about that historical feat.


The historic crew of Apollo 11, from left to right: Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. Photo by NASA, taken in May, 1969.

But did you know that the source code of the program used in the computer of the Eagle, Apollo 11’s moonlander, is now available to the public?

If you are curious about what it looks like, see references # 2 and 3 below.

But of course there are interesting views on Mother Earth, as well. Today’s header photo was taken by my wife, Maria José, in Kokkari, island of Samos, Greece, on 2008-07-11. Enjoy!

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Apollo 11

2: Apollo 11 sourcecode

3: Original Apollo 11 Guidance Computer (AGC) source code for the command and lunar modules.

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-07-04 (Monday)

Today, I learned that:

If you are in the US, then you can enjoy an extra day off work and celebrate the nation’s independence day, congratulations!

And thanks to the internet you can also listen to a Swedish radio programme, where Gloria Ray Karlmark counts her life story, including fighting for racial emancipation in Little Rock, Arkansas, and being the first coloured female student at MIT. But you need to know Swedish, and if you do, the link can be found in reference #1 below.

And when it is time for the fireworks tonight, think about what is happening at that very moment even further out in the sky, on a distance 48 light-minutes away. A Nasa probe named Juno penetrates the Jupiter atmosphere, searching for clues to the composition of this gigantic planet, the biggest one in our solar system. For more information, see reference #2 below.

But do you know why the probe is called Juno? It all started back in ancient Rome. Their god of gods was Jupiter, married to Juno. But Jupiter also had women on the side, the four most prominent being Io, Europa, Ganimedes and Calisto. In order to hide his extra-marital affairs from his wife, Jupiter surrounded himself by a cloud. But the jealous Juno had a sight which could penetrate that cloud. So now, Juno will once again penetrate the clouds of Jupiter and report her findings to Mother Earth.

In the meantime, I suggest you appreciate the following image. Further information can be found in reference #3 below.


An image showing what the Hubble telescope found when directing UV rays towards Jupiter. It shows a permanent aurora, a result of the combination of solar winds and charged particles from the planet’s biggest moon, Io. Image by NASA, ESA, and J. Nichols (University of Leicester)

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Gloria Ray Karlmark

2: Juno by NASA

3: Hubble photographs Jupiter’s dramatic auroras

+: What did you learn in school today ?