2016-06-27 (Mánudagur)

Today, I learned that:

According to hot news from Nice, the European Union has decided to accept Iceland as a new member state, replacing Great Britain, as a consequence of the result of today’s play-off game. Full coverage can be found in reference #1 below.

Stokkur

The geysir Stokkur, which erupts every 9 minutes, photographed on 2009-08-05.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: England vs. Iceland 1-2

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-25 (Lördag)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Det finns ett bevingat uttryck om att alla har rätt till sina 15 minuter av berömdhet. Exakt varifrån det kommer är inte helt klart, men bl.a. sägs den amerikanske konstnären Andy Warhol ha varit inblandad.

I alla fall, just idag för exakt två år hade min tur kommit, och jag måste ha gjort något extra fint, för jag förärades med övertid, 16 minuter! Mitt under brinnande fotbolls-VM så blev jag intervjuad om mitt liv och situationen i Brasilien av Sveriges Radio Jämtland. Om du blev nyfiken nu, så kan du se mer och höra intervjun i referens nummer 1 nedan.

Dagens huvudfoto togs 2014-06-09 i São Paulo, där en frukt- och grönsaksstormarknad hyllade de portugisiska och japanska kolonierna i Brasilien i samband med VM. Här följer ytterligare ett foto från samma VM, taget utanför hotellet för Costa Ricas delegation i Santos:

Costa Rica

Costas Ricas delegation tränade i Santos under VM. Denna bild, från 2014-06-20, togs på entrén till deras hotell.

Apropå mat, förmodligen blev det hel del igår, inte sant? I vilket fall som helst, här blir det ännu mer av den varan:

Tycker du om choklad, men är rädd för att få i dig för mycket fett om du äter den? Forskare vid Temple University i Philadelphia, PA, USA, har kommit på ett sätt att minska fettet i choklad med 10 … 20 % genom att under tillverkningsprocessen lägga på ett starkt elektriskt fält. Smaken sägs dessutom vara underbar och framhäva kakaons kvaliteter. Om allt går väl så kan sådan choklad dyka upp i affärerna redan om ett år. Mer om detta i referens nummer 2 nedan.

Men mat kan också inspirera snabbmatsleverantörer till unika reklamkampanjer. KFC (ex-Kentucky Fried Chicken) och Pizza Hut har under den senaste tiden haft dessa intressanta idéer, se också referenser 3-6 nedan, med videoklipp från kampanjerna:

KFC-PH

Fyra intressanta matrelaterade kampanjer. I övre raden, från vänster till höger: Ett Bluetooth tangentbord som kommunicerar med en smartphone, från KFC i Tyskland; och Nagellack med kycklingsmak, från KFC i Hong Kong. I nedre raden, från vänster till höger: En kycklinglåda med inbyggd batteriladdare, från KFC i Indien; och slutligen En filmprojektor, från Pizza Hut i Hong Kong.

Slutligen, den kärva ekonomin, kombinerad med torrt väder, har lett till att en fundamental ingrediens i de brasilianska maträtterna, bönor, har försvunnit från mataffärernas hyllor. Detta föranledde följande teckning i Folha de S. Paulo:

Beans

“Men mamma, vart har bönorna tagit vägen ?” “Jag sålde dem för att kunna köpa middagsmat.” Teckning av Benett i Folha de S. Paulo, 2016-06-23

… Tack för idag, slut för idag!

(This all-Swedish post deals with an interview by Radio Sweden with yours truly during FIFA World Cup in 2014, and various items of food.)

Refs.:

1: Stefan Johansson berättar om livet som svensk brasilianare under VM

2: Chocolate makers cut fat with electricity

3: KFC’s Tray Typer keeps you clicking even with greasy fingers

4: KFC-flavored nail polish gives new meaning to ‘chicken fingers’

5: Charge your phone with KFC’s new take-out box

6: This pizza box doubles as a movie projector

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-21 (Tuesday)

Today, I learned that:

The world is changing and besides the traditional places where advanced technology is being used we now also see countries like Rwanda in Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Middle East.

Dubai

Photo of the city of Dubai, with the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, 828 meters, in the center. Courtesy of Chiara Anzalone.

One of the seven emirates in UAE is Dubai, and Dubai is also the name of its capital. My deepest gratitude to my friend Chiara, who took this impressing header photo of Dubai. It shows the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, 828 meters, in the center. See more about Dubai in reference #1 below. Today, I want to talk about recent technologies that are being employed in Dubai.

The first one deals with construction of buildings. Besides being the city with the tallest building in the world, now there has been demonstrated a method similar to 3D printing to be used in the construction process. But instead of resulting in traditional small 3D printed objects, this time it is a complete office building. Using a printer with dimensions of 6 m x 36 m x 12 m, in 17 days was built a 250 m2 fully functional office building, at half the cost of traditional methods. Initially it is the temporary headquarters of Dubai Future Foundation, and it was opened one month ago. Reference #2 below gives more details.

3D-office

The world’s first 3D-printed office. Photo by REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Another field where Dubai is showing its advanced state of technology is in a communications technology abbreviated Li-Fi. Most of you know what Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) is, a technology which permits that we connect our computers and smartphones to the internet via hotspots. However, one of the drawbacks with Wi-Fi, as compared to wired connections, is the slower speed and susceptibility to interference from other sources.

Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) is similar to Wi-Fi, but instead of radio waves it uses infrared light to convey the information. It can therefore be used in electromagnetic sensitive areas such as in aircraft cabins, hospitals and nuclear power plants without causing electromagnetic interference. Typically one can also expect data transmission speeds 100 times higher than when using Wi-Fi. Reference #3 below offers further information about Li-Fi. The communications provider du has recently performed a trial in Dubai and the result confirmed that Li-Fi can be a major communications technology in the near future, as described in reference #4 below.

Finally, speaking about light, today was inaugurated MAX IV in Lund in the south of Sweden. It permits researchers to make their investigations in the strong synchrotron radiation. Listen to Radio Sweden’s program in reference #5 and read more about synchrotron in reference #6 below.

MAX4

The Max IV installation in Lund. Photo by Perry Nordeng

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Dubai

2: Dubai opens the world’s first functioning 3D-printed office

3: LiFi

4: du trials Li-Fi, 100 X faster internet than WiFi

5: Lysande start för Max IV

6: Synchrotron

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-19 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

In our modern world of communications, exciting things still happen. In my post of 2016-06-07, I showed a product concept for a rumored smartphone from Samsung. It consisted of an external normal 5″ smartphone, with an internal foldable 8″ tablet.

But other companies are also working on similar concepts. Lenovo, that acquired Motorola last year, recently hosted a Tech World event in San Francisco, where they presented two concepts similar to that of Samsung: a huge wrist phone and a foldable tablet, see pictures below. A complete article with more pictures can be found in reference #1 below.

Lenovo

Lenovo concept products: a wrist phone and a foldable tablet. Photos taken during the Tech World on 2016-06-10 by John Velasco.

But if you think that things have gone to far, how about a smartphone with a minimal set of apparent attractions? I am thinking about the Runcible, a totally different form factor for a mobile phone. Its basic features include an analog clock, a compass and what appears to be a photo viewer. But, this so-called anti-smartphone also has a 7-megapixel rear-facing camera and supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth out of the box. More details are available in reference #2 below.

Runcible

How about using Runcible as your next generation smartphone? Photo by Myleen Hollero.

Finally, today there are only 47 days left to the scheduled opening ceremony of the Summer Olympíc Games in Rio de Janeiro. Two days ago, the state government in Rio declared a state of calamity, blaming the weak finances on decreasing tax income and royalties due to the lowered market prices for petroleum. To me, the situation seems similar to the one in Venezuela. Maybe the expression below gives an adequate description of the panic:

Fui

IF MONEY COULD TALK, MINE WOULD SAY: GONE…

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Lenovo foldable smartphone and tablet concept hands on

2: Monohm’s circular ‘anti-smartphone’ is up for pre-order

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-14 (Tuesday)

Today, I learned that:

What would our human world look like if we did not let our favorite pets and all the other animals remind us about the basic stuff, such as love, care, compassion, and other positive things and attitudes?

Today, I am honoring our dog, of the lhasa apso race, named Prins, so majestically posing in the header photo. It was taken exactly 6 months ago, on 2015-12-14, when he had just undergone a complete shear. He was born exactly 7 human years ago, on 2009-06-14. His race originated in Tibet, guarding the monks. More about lhasa apso can be found in reference #1 below.

By the way, did you know that the effective age of a dog is calculated differently than a human being’s? A hint: Prins is considered to be 41 dog years old. Consult reference #2 below to find out how that calculation is done!

But if you really want to discover the details of animal life, would you consider disguising yourself with an animal custome? The American researcher Joel Berger found it to be a good way to get closer to the musk oxen in the Arctic. Listen to the fascinating story in reference #3 below.

Arctic bear

Wildlife researcher Joel Berger dons a polar bear outfit to study the reactions of musk oxen to the threat of bears increasingly driven onto the land for food.

The way we treat our world, resulting in global warming, can also mean that we extinguish certain animals. Today is a sad day in that sense, because there are reports about the first mammal that has been declared extinct due to current climate change. We mourn the Bramble Cay melomys, the only mammal species endemic to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. More information in reference #4 below.

Finally, there is an expression in contemporary Swedish that can be translated as “making a poodle”. The meaning is a public apology, often pronounced by a celebrity. Its origin is the press conference on 2002-11-12, when the minister of migration, Jan O. Karlsson, regretted that he had received two salaries. The way he asked for pardon looked like the one a poodle performs when lying spreadeagled on the floor, as the reporter Pål Jebsen commented in his article. It was commented in today’s edition of the SR language programme Språket, reference #5 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Lhasa Apso

2: How old am I in dog years, how old is my dog in person-years ?

3: Arctic Researcher Bears Up for Science

4: Barrier Reef rodent is first mammal declared extinct due to climate change

5: Hej svejs i lingonskogen tjosan hoppsan hej!

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-12 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

June is the best time of the year in Sweden and thus many people go on vacation now. Yesterday, Radio Sweden’s programme “P4 Världen” told us about the conditions to obtain a paid vacation around the world. It was surprising to hear that USA has no law about a paid vacation, and, as one can easily understand, in Greece now everything is upside-down. Until some years ago, the Greeks had vacation every year and elections every four years, but now it is the opposite, elections every year and vacation, at best, every four years. Listen to reference #1 below.

But why do the Swedes use the word “semester” for vacation? The programme gave no hint, and a search on the internet does not reveal any satisfactory explanation.

Do you remember Imelda Marcos, wife of the former Philippine dictator, Ferdinand Marcos? When they opened the presidential closets, they found 5 000 pairs of shoes in her collection! In Brazil, we are now seeing something similar. Cláudia Cruz, wife of the suspended president of the lower house of the Brazilian Parliament, Eduardo Cunha, denies that the money used for shopping shoes in Florida has anything to do with what was extracted from Petrobras in a deal over petrol exploration outside the African coast. Look at the following drawing from yesterday’s edition of Folha de S. Paulo, reference #2 below, about her reaction to answer the incriminatory questions:

Corra

“Eduardo, which pair of shoes should I wear on such a special occasion? Running shoes!” Drawn by Jean Galvão and published in Folha de S. Paulo 2016-06-11.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Vem har rätt till semester?

2: Folha de São Paulo, sábado 11 de junho de 2016

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-10 (Fredag)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Det trevliga lekmannaspråkprogrammet Ordalaget har sagt sitt. Idag var det final och gravölet serverades på allra bästa sätt, live i studion på SR Jämtland i Östersund. I referens nummer 1 nedan finns allt om denna slutepisod, med bilder och listor på alla ord som har ordalagts under de drygt fem år som programmet sändes.

ordalagettrio

Ordalaget, dvs. Christina Kjellsson, Stefan Hanberg och Lars T. Johansson, uppträder live inför publik i finalprogrammet. Foto: Leif Landin/SR Jämtland.

Visste du om att Sverige besitter en naturtillgång som endast blev känd för några få år sedan? Jag tänker på fyndigheten i lappländska Vittangi av höggradig grafit, som kan komma att användas som råmaterial i tillverkningen av supermaterialet grafén. Idag kostar grafén omkring US$ 30 per kg, så nog verkar det som en ljus framtid för svensk gruvindustri. Läs mera i referens nummer 2 nedan.

(Today’s post in Swedish deals with the final episode of a layman’s language programme, and the rich supply of high-grade graphite in the extreme north of Sweden.)

… Tack för idag, slut för idag!

Refs.:

1: Ordalagets final live!

2: Miner ends quest for gold to unearth strongest material in world

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-07 (Tuesday)

Today, I learned that:

Although I am by no means a fan of Samsung’s mobile phones, if the rumor about what they are up to comes true, then it is really a disrupting idea!

Samsungfold

A mockup of a rumored Samsung mobile phone

I am talking about a bendable smartphone, on the outside it would act like a normal 5″ phone, but when it is unfolded inside there would be an 8″ tablet. Think about carrying one of those in your pocket! See also reference #1 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Samsung Rumored to Launch Fully Bendable Smartphones in 2017

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-06 (Måndag)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Även om Sveriges Nationaldag, som firas idag den 6 juni, har flerhundraåriga traditioner så är det bara sedan 2005 som den också är helgdag. Innan dess var den känd som Svenska Flaggans dag, och som sådan celebrerar den idag ett jämnt sekel. Referens nummer 1 nedan, från SR Vetenskap Historia, förtäljer mer om detta.

Nationaldagen

The Swedish Nation Day is celebrated on June 6, when nature shows its most splendid face. This photo was taken on 1997-06-06.

Och även om religion inte hör till mina favoritintressen, så är det ju aktuellt nu när de kyrkliga i allt större grad börjar slå mynt av sin tro. Därför måste jag naturligtvis registrera vad som hände igår, när påven förklarade Sveriges andra katolska helgon, efter Sankta Birgitta. Hon föddes som Eggvena Bråttensby Skytteförening i Fåglavik, som numera tillhör min födelsekommun, Herrljunga. I programmet om Svenska Flaggan berättas också hennes livshistoria, och i dagens nyheter från SR Sjuhärad, referens nummer 2 nedan, berättar min förre klubbkompis i Eggvena Bråttensby Skytteförening, numera kommunalrådet Jonny Karlsson, om sitt “officiella besök” i Rom för att närvara vid ceremonin och hur kommunen tänker dra nytta av händelsen.

Petersplatsen

Petersplatsen i Rom 2016-06-05. Foto Mats Bjurbom

Slutligen, dagens svenska samhälle är ju alltmer kosmopolitiskt, och islam breder ut sig, invandrad med de senaste årens flyktingar. Idag påbörjas Ramadan, muslimernas heliga månad, när Koranen påbjuder att de troende avhåller sig från all mat och dryck från soluppgång till solnedgång. Det är nog OK om man bor i de arabiska länderna, men hur klarar de som befinner sig i Sverige med dess midnattssol? Ekot har svaret, referens nummer 3, om semester i utlandet och undantagsregler.

(This post in Swedish deals with three different current matters: the Swedish National Day being celebrated today; the second ever Swedish Catholic Saint proclaimed yesterday; and the difficulties of Muslims living in Sweden to abide to the fasting period during Ramadan.)

… Tack för idag, slut för idag!

Refs.:

1: 100 år av flaggviftande och Sveriges andra katolska helgon

2: Helgonet Hesselblad höjer Herrljunga

3: Tuff muslimsk fasta i sommartid

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-05 (Sunday / Söndag)

Today, I learned that:

Tomorrow is the Swedish National Day, celebrating the establishment of the modern Swedish state, when the Danes were thrown out. It was instituted on 1523-06-06, when Gustav Vasa was elected King of Sweden.

Legoland

Legoland in Billund, Denmark, head quarters of Lego. Naturally, all animals in this safari tour are made from Lego bricks. Photo taken on 2003-07-01.

But one day before, today, is the Danish National Day, and of course we must congratulate our Nordic neighbours on their day with the photo above, which was taken at Legoland in Billund on 2003-07-01. And what could be more Danish than Lego, that marvellous innovation made in 1949 by Ole Kirk Christiansen? Is there a better educational toy than Lego, permitting that people of all ages can develop their fantasies? More about Lego in reference #1 below.

One of those Lego lovers is the American artist Nathan Sawaya, who creates his sculptures from millions of Lego bricks. Right now, there is a world-wide tour of his exhibition, and it will come also to Brazil soon. First to São Paulo, start on 2016-08-09, and in November also to Rio de Janeiro. See also reference #2 below.

Nathan Sawaya

One of the amazing sculptures made by Nathan Sawaya, part of his exhibition of art made by millions of Lego bricks.

Kommer du ihåg ditt första email? Eller första gången du surfade på internet? Lyssna på SR Vetandets världs minnesprogram och förundra dig över vad som har hänt under de senaste 30 åren, se referens nummer 3 nedan.

(This podcast in Swedish deals with what happened in information technology 20 years ago, with the advent of email and internet.)

… That’s what I learned in school ! / … Slut för idag, tack för dig!

Refs.:

1: Lego

2: The Art of the Brick

3: Podcast: Har du hört talas om Internet?

+: What did you learn in school today ?