181’2022 (2022-06-30) – Halftime

Today, I learned about:

They say that time flies and nothing seems to be more true than that these days. One month ago I promised you some nice pictures from my visit to Minas Gerais, unfortunately I have not had sufficient time to complete them. But do not worry, here in Brazil they say “Promessa é dívida”, meaning that a promise is a debt, and I owe it you! In July, they will appear here! In Sweden they say “Den som väntar på något gott kan inte vänta för länge”, i.e. whoever waits for anything good cannot wait too long!

In the meantime, the header photo you see today is yet another one from Ouro Preto, taken by Graziela Gabrielli on 146’2022 (2022-05-26) in the gardens of the Church Nossa Senhora do Carmo. That is what I call a tranquil view!

While you are waiting for the next photos to appear, I do have a teaser for you, and it is also from the state of Minas Gerais. One week ago, the world knew that a Brazilian cheese, from Serra da Canastra in the Southeastern corner of the state, was selected as the very best in the world by the American culinary guide Taste Atlas:

If you want to learn more about the cheese from Canastra, see reference #1 below.

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

1: Canastra cheese

*: What did you learn in school today ?

151’2022 (2022-05-31) – Monday

Today, I learned about:

What a fantastic world we live in! Last week I travelled to the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais (which means General mines) on invitation from my student of Swedish, Adriana Bizzotto, together with her colleague Graziela Gabrielli. Thank you both for a very interesting week!

The trip started in the state capital, Belo Horizonte, where we had some marvellous meals. Then on Monday, we travelled south to visit Tiradentes, a town named after the Brazilian revolutionary who is known to be the person who started the upheaval against the Portugese colonizers at the end of the 18th century. The town is always crowded with visitors who want to see more of this well preserved town. On Wednesday, we continued north to Ouro Preto, a well known town in the Unesco World Heritage Program. And there were even more tourists there.

During the coming weeks, I will publish some interesting photos from the trip. To start with, the following photo was taken by Adriana on 147’2022 (2022-05-27) in the center of Ouro Preto and it shows the church of Saint Francis in the middle and other interesting buildings to the right.

Photo taken in Ouro Preto on 147’2022 (2022-05-27) by Adriana Bizzotto showing the Church of Saint Francis in the middle and other historical buildings to the right.

Stay connected to see the other photos, coming soon!

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

*: What did you learn in school today ?

120’2022 (2022-04-30) – Sköna maj välkommen, mer än någonsin på mycket länge!

Today, I learned about:

In my earlier post of 122’2020 (2020-05-01), I talked about the importance of this day in Sweden. It is then that the Swedes celebrate the arrival of Spring in many festive ways. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has now been three years since that could be done in the traditional way. I am therefore very happy that today represents going back to the traditions, and as an alumni of Chalmers University of Technology, the most important thing is of course the parade of trucks disguised as settings for various events during the preceding year, the so-called Cortege.

In my earlier post of 365’2019 (2019-12-31), I also mentioned the result of a scientific activity on Chalmers that looked utterly interesting, how to capture and store solar energy up to 18 years. Now I am pleased to show you the developments after that. As you can see in reference #1 below, Chalmers together with mainly researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, are now proceding with a system that does all that.

Today’s header photo, sent to me by my good old friend Dina Giltinan, shows the Grand Harbour in Valletta, Malta. Thank you, Dina, for yet another contribution to my blog ! (I earlier showed another photo from Malta in my blog of 247’2016 (2016-09-03).

A view of Tthe Grand harbour of Valletta, the capital of Malta. Photo taken by Dina Giltinan on 110’22 (2022-04-20).

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

1: Converting solar energy to electricity on demand

*: What did you learn in school today ?

60’2022 (2022-03-01) – Hidden secrets

Today, I learned about:

Over a decade ago, the leading manufacturer of mobile phones in the world was a Finnish company, Nokia. At that time, they made a worldwide survey asking people one simple question: You are out in town having fun and when you leave the bar you forget to take one of the following things with you: your wallet or your mobile phone. Which one can you not afford to lose? Already at that time, the big majority of respondents said that they would opt for the mobile phone. And if the same survey was conducted today, I have no doubt that the outcome would be the same, but in even bigger majority for the phone.

I remembered that survey some months ago when I watched a movie on Netflix, a French film named Le jeu (“The game”), in which three married couples and a bachelor friend of theirs meet for dinner during a total eclipse of the Moon, when strange things are said to happen. The central objects during this dinner are, you guessed it, the seven mobile phones belonging to each one of the participants. They start to play a game where all phones are placed in the middle of the dinner table, and when a call or message enters, everyone is allowed to listen in on the contents, because supposedly, no one has anything to hide, right? I will not spoil what happens next, but urge you to look at it yourself, see reference #1 below. It is well worth your while!

Then in January, while listening to Radio Sweden, their news correspondent in the Middle East, Cecilia Uddén, reported about a film with a similar story. This time it was making a big scandal with its contents in Egypt and there was even a parlamentary member who wanted to forbid Netflix to act in Egypt. One detail that made him furious was the lack of a particular item of female clothing, can you guess which? See also references # 2 and 3 below.

In her report, Cecilia also mentions that the film was an Arabic remake of an originally Italian film from 2016, named Perfetti Sconosciuti, which made a big success and won the Italian counterpart to the Oscar, David di Donatello, for the best Italian film of the year. You can read more about and of its 18 remakes in different languages which was inserted in the Guinness Book of Records in 2019 as being the film with the largest quantity of remakes, in reference #4 below.

Now I got really curious, so I asked a friend of mine, a real cinephile, about it. Of course, he did not only know it, but also had his own copy on DVD, something that I had searched for in vain over to the internet. Here is a photo from the Italian version:

A picture of the seven actors in Perfetti Sconosciuti, originally published by IMDB, taking a selfie while out on the balcony in Rome, watching the Eclipse of the Moon. Then suddenly something unexpected happens, can you guess what?

Then I also found a Spanish version from 2017 on Netflix, reference #5.

Unfortunately I have only seen these four versions, but I must say that I enjoyed all of them very much, being very similar in almost everything, but adapted to local names, types of food etc. But If I had to vote for only one of them, I would definitely go with the original, Italian version, which seems more genuine and complete. What do you think? Please leave a comment and I will tally the answers and let you know in a future post.

Today’s photo, sent to me by a faithful follower, shows Plaça de Catalunya i Barcelona, Spain, the city’s biggest square and a natural meeting place in the center. Thank you for your contribution once more!

Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Photo taken on 68’2022 (2022-03-09).

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

1: Le jeu

2: Egyptisk parlamentsledamot vill förbjuda Netflix

3: Perfect strangers

4: Perfetti Sconosciuti

5: Perfectos desconocidos

*: What did you learn in school today ?

58’2022 (2022-02-27) – More Aurora

Today, I learned about:

In my post of 16’2022 (2022-01-16) I talked about the Northern lights that had been seen over most parts of Sweden. Approximately 28 days later, when the Sun’s corona hole once more was directed towards Earth, it was more restricted to Northern latitudes. The photo below was taken on 41’2022 (2022-02-10) outside of Sälen, Dalarna, Sweden, and I hope you agree with me that it is marvellous to see such wonders of Nature. The further north you go, the bigger the chance of experiencing it.

This amazing picture of aurora borealis was taken outside of Sälen, Dalarna, Sweden on Thursday 41’2022 (2022-02-10).

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

*: What did you learn in school today ?

16’2022 (2022-01-16) – Aurora

Today, I learned about:

This time of the year in the Northern hemisphere, there can appear an interesting phenomenon in the sky. It is called aurora borealis (Northern lights) and the further north you go, the bigger the chance of experiencing it. When it is winter season in the Southern hemisphere, six months from now, there is also the same phenomenon there, called aurora australis (Southern lights).

When I lived in Sweden during the 1970s and 1980s, I was lucky to have that view twice. The first was in September 1973 in Ystad on the extreme Southern coast and the second time was in Stockholm in mid-winter in 1982. And now I am informed that most parts of Sweden have had the chance to see “norrsken”, the Swedish denomination, during this weekend. The following photo was shot by my friend Arthur in Stockholm shortly after midnight on Saturday 15’2022 (2022-01-15). It was taken from Södermalm towards Strandvägen and Djurgården. Thank you, Arthur, for this Swedish (de)light!

It was one of those rare occasions when also the southern parts of Sweden could see the phenomenon of aurora borealis. Arthur Ribas took this photo from Södermalm in Stockholm, looking out over Djurgården, shortly after midnight on Saturday 22’2022 (2022-01-15).

If you want to discover what Northern lights really are, take a look in reference #1 below.

Another thing that I heard of these days is that in the USA, on 7’2022 (2022-01-07), man for the first time received a heart from a genetically altered pig. You can read more about it reference #2 below.

And today, in the morning radio news show Godmorgon, världen on Radio Sweden was discussed more about that heart transplant, if the patient’s body will accept it and not reject it, which ethical aspects we can apply to this case, if it will be possible to start using transplanted organs from animals, etc. If you understand Swedish, I urge you to listen to the interesting conversation in reference #3.

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

1: Aurora

2: In a First, Man Receives a Heart From a Genetically Altered Pig

3: Så kan vi påverkas när djurens organ blir våra reservdelar

*: What did you learn in school today ?

9’2022 (2022-01-09) – 6 YEARS !!!

Today, I learned about:

Exactly 6 years ago to this day, I started this blog with quite a modest post. It is incredible to think that there are some people to saw that post, decided to follow me and still do. My sincere gratitude to you for your loyalty! And thank you, everyone, who has discovered this blog during these years and decided to follow me. Unfortunately, I have very little time nowadays to dedicate to this blog, but my goal is still to let you receive a new post from me at least once a month.

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

*: What did you learn in school today ?

344’2021 (2021-12-10) – Friday

Today, I learned about:

While we normally celebrate the birthday of a person who is no longer with us, be they famous or not, there are also some examples of when the day that person left us for good is also remembered. In Sweden, there are particularly two such events, November 6, 1632 when the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus (Gustav II Adolf) was killed in a battle close to Lützen during the 30-year religious war in continental Europe. Since he had founded the city of Gothenburg (Göteborg) 11 years earlier, on this day every year there are special pastries with his portrait on them. See also references #1 and #2 below.

Another such event happened on December 10, 1895 when the Swedish inventor and entrepreneur Alfred Nobel died, after that he earlier had made a will to donate a large sum of money to fund a prize to be given yearly to famous scientists. And so, on every December 10, starting 1901, with few interruptions due to conflicts, there have been the traditional hand-out of the Nobel Prize in five different catagories, expanded to six in 1968. And during the last two years, the prize giving ceremony has been decentralized due to the ongoing pandemic. See also reference #3 below.

Nowadays, there are also many complementary activities to the Nobel Prize. One such is a lecture given by one of the Nobel laurates in a way so that also non-scholars can follow along and appreciate it. This year, on December 8, 2021, the Physics laureate in 2006, George Smoot, talked about the Future of Space travel, and in it were some really fresh examples (updated the very same day) of what has been going during 2021. Really interesting! I had hoped to be able to publish a link to the lecture, but unfortunately it seems that it is not available any more. I talked to the organizers and they informed me that they had to remove the link due to copyright issues. However, in reference #4 below is a link to another event held in Gothenburg yesterday, called The City of the Future, organized by the Nobel Week Dialogue 2021. Enjoy!

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

1: Gustavus Adolphus

2: Gustavus Adolphus pastry

3: Nobel Prize

4: The City of the Future: Nobel Week Dialogue 2021

*: What did you learn in school today ?

331’2021 (2021-11-27) – Saturday

Today, I learned about:

The battle against the evil virus COVID-19 is far from won. One thing that all people can do is to take the vaccine when they are offered it. You should do it, your friends and family should do it, everyone should do it! If you need conving arguments, see reference #1, which says it all. It is an article written recently in the social media site Quora.

But there are still things to enjoy in this world. The photo below was taken close to Paraty Mirim in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Can it get more calm and peaceful?

Photo taken on 313’21 (2021-11-09) close to Paraty Mirim in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

1: Convincing arguments to make everyone run to get vaccinated against COVID-19

*: What did you learn in school today ?

304’2021 (2021-10-31) – Sunday

Today, I learned about:

In my earlier post of 246’2017 (2017-09-03), I talked among other things about how driving on the lefthand side of the road in Brazil is called “English hand”. But there are more things in Brazil connected with the English. Much of this is no doubt related to the fact that it was the English that participated heavily in developing the Brazilian infrastructure a little bit more than 100 years ago. Examples of this are the railways and the electric distribution system, and still today the electric company in Rio de Janeiro is called Light, and when the Brazilians refer to the electric bill, they call it “conta de luz”, i.e. the light bill.

Another interesting fact has to do with a very clever and useful tool to be adjusted easily to fit various sizes of heads of screws, bolts and nuts, in English normally refered to as an adjustable spanner, adjustable wrench or a monkey wrench. But not in Brazil, here it is called “chave inglesa”, i.e. the English wrench. I believe that also this might be a heritage from the English engineers installing the bespoke infrastructure and that probably impressed the people so much that they thought it was an English invention, although other reasons might also possible for that.

But, how wrong they are. This tool should justifiably be called “chave sueca”, the Swedish wrench. The reason for that is the following:

Although the adjustable wrench had been invented before, it was not very practical. For that reason, in 1892 the Swedish engineer Johan Petter Johansson, who was born only 15 km from where I would grow up during the 20th century, perfected the design and got a patent on the modern adjustable wrench.

More information can be found in references 1 and 2 below. As you can see there, Johan Petter’s invention started to be distributed all over the world by the Swedish company B A Hjorth & Co, abbreviated Bahco. And still today, when Dutchmen and Dutchwomen refer to the tool they call it “Bahco verstelbare moersleutel”. Here is a photo of my precious tool:

This “skiftnyckel” has been with me ever since I received it in a marketing kit from Ericsson, when I started to work there in 1979. This 11 cm long tool from Bahco, made in vanadium steel, is very practical and I still use it from time to time.

And here is a tribute to the amazing colors of Spring, in total blossom in the Southern hemisphere right now.

Photo taken on 294’2021 (2021-10-21).

That’s what I learned in school today!

Ref.:

1: Adjustable spanner

2: Johan Petter Johansson

*: What did you learn in school today ?