2018-06-23 (Midsommardagen)

Today, I learned that:

In the midst of the World Championships in football, which takes place in Russia, today is scheduled the game between Sweden and Germany. If we include the games played between the two countries when the biggest German nation was West Germany, this will be the 37th time the countries meet on the football ground, and the 7th time in official games, such as Olympic Games, World Championships or European Championships.

The last time Sweden beat Germany in an official game was in the World Cup 1958, held in Sweden. Tomorrow, we celebrate that exactly 60 years have gone since that game. For Swedes, it is a game to remember forever, not only because Sweden won the match and advanced to the final game, but also because of the marvellous goal made by the Swedish right wing player, Kurt Hamrin, in the last minute of the game. See reference # 1 for more about that World Cup and reference # 2 for a video clip of Hamrin’s feat.

Kurre

Two photos from Kurt Hamrin’s legendary slalom run against Germany in 1958, see the whole video sequence in reference # 2 below.

At the time of writing this post, the current leader in the chase for the Golden Boot, which is awarded to the player who scores most goals in the World Cup, is the Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Implicitly, he is also the main character in today’s header photo. It was taken on 2017-06-07 in the Latvian capital of Riga and shows football fans waiting outside Hotel Radisson Blu Latvija to catch a glimpse (and an autograph?) of the Portuguese squad, and of Ronaldo in particular. Thus the number of fans using shirt # 7! (Two days later, in a qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup, Portugal beat Latvia with 3-0, with two goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo. More about that game can be found in reference #3 below.)

But since we are in Latvia now, we should remember that the three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) are celebrating their 100 years of the first independent from Russia, which happened at the end of World War I, in 1917-1918, just like Finland, see my post of 2017-12-06. If you became interested in knowing more about the Baltic states, see reference # 4 below.

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: 1958 FIFA World Cup

2: Kurt Hamrin scores 3-1 against Germany on June 24, 1958

3: Latvia-Portugal on 2017-06-09

4: Baltic states

*: What did you learn in school today ?

Advertisements

2018-06-12 (Dias dos namorados)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

I Brasilien firar vi idag ‘Dia dos namorados’, i översättning ungefär ”älsklingarnas dag’, alltså den brasilianska varianten av Alla hjärtans dag. I USA och Sverige firas ju denna kommersiella dag den 14 februari, men när affärsmannen João Doria i slutet av 1940-talet föreslog att den skulle införas också i Brasilien, så valde han den 12 juni. Orsaken till det var att imorgon den 13 juni är det Sankt Antonios dag, som är är känd som bröllopsparens skyddshelgon. Kommersen är likadan som i andra länder med hjärtan i olika storlekar, chokladaskar mm. I referenserna nummer 1 och 2 nedan kan du läsa mer om Dia dos namorados (på portugisiska) och Alla hjärtans dag (på svenska) och deras historia.

Apropå det så tänkte jag på några svenska ord i sammanhanget. De äldre uttrycken käraste och käresta är intressanta eftersom de inte bara byter ut den normala sista vokalen e (för män) och a (för kvinnor), utan använder också motsatt vokal i mitten på ordet. Men dessutom kan ju en tjej kalla sin favoritkille för det dubbla min käraste käraste, medan det motsatta bara blir min käraste käresta. På det fältet är kvinnorna före männen!

Fjäril

Den vackra brandgula fjärilen gömmer sig i busken bland dess röda blommor, foto taget 2018-06-07

Och dagen till ära är ovanstående bilds ledfigur en fjäril, i buskens högerkant. Om någon kan tala om för mig dess namn blir jag mycket tacksam.

Jag avslutar dagens inlägg med fyra bilder från Brasilien, två dagar innan fotbolls-VM 2018 inleds:

Copa18

Även om intresset i allmänhet inte är lika stort som det var vid tidigare fotbollsvärldsmästerskap så försöker affärerna att övertyga konsumenterna med olika kampanjer. Den store stjärnan Neymar Jr (längst till vänster) gör reklam för kaffe och erbjuder de olika tröjor han har använt i sin karriär medan ett varuhus tycker att brasilianarna ska glömma den förödmjukande förlusten mot Tyskland med 7-1 i hemma-VM 2014 och se på VM 2018 med en ny TV-apparat (längst till höger) som inte visat de bilderna. De båda mittbilderna visar intresset att byta bilder på sina idoler, genom användning av både trottoaren framför och utrymmet inne på apoteket. Foton tagna i månadsskiftet april-maj 2018.

(This post is entirely in Swedish, dealing with mainly the Brazilian variant of Valentine’s day, commemorated on June 12.  Also some pictures showing how Brazil is preparing for the World Cup 2018 in football, held in Russia.)

Tack för idag, slut för idag!

Refs.:

1: Dia dos namorados

2: Alla hjärtans dag

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2018-06-06 (Nationaldagen)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Sverige firar sin nationaldag idag och det officiella firandet kulminerar ikväll på Skansen med konsert och högtidstal, i närvaro av kungaparet. Orsaken till just denna dag är att 1893 påbörjades firandet av Svenska Flaggans Dag på just Skansen. Skansens grundare, Artur Hazelius, ville instifta en högtidsdag som skulle samla nationen och valde den 6 juni. Det var den dagen, år 1523, som Gustav Vasa utropades till kung och det var den 6 juni 1809 som den då gällande regeringsformen undertecknades. År 1983 döptes sedan denna dag om till Sveriges Nationaldag och den är en offentlig helgdag sedan 2005. Mer om detta kan du läsa om i referenser nummer 1 och 2 nedan.

Vaktparad1

Vaktparad2

Dagen till ära deltog HKH Carl Philip i nationaldagens vaktombyte på Kungliga Slottet, tillsammans med dignitärer från alla vapenslagen. Foto taget av Medieborgarens flygande reporter.

Men det är naturligtvis inte bara i huvudstaden som nationaldagen firas, utan det sker också runt om i vårt avlånga land, allt som oftast kombinerat med att officiellt välkomna nyblivna svenska medborgare. Ett sådant ställe är järnvägsknuten Herrljunga i hjärtan av Västergötland, min hemort. Och där finns en livaktig hembygdsförening med ett intressant friluftsmuseum på Haraberget, ett slags Skansen i miniatyr. Just Herrljunga Hembygdsförening har utsetts till Årets Hembygdsförening av både Västergötlands och Sveriges Hembygdsförbund. STORT GRATTIS!

Haraberget

Dagens bild från Haraberget är därför den mest lämpade, nämligen det första stationshuset i Herrljunga från 1862, när Västra Stambanan invigdes. Se också referens nummer 3 nedan.

Imorgon på dagen 524 år sedan, 1494-06-07, slöts ett av världshistoriens viktigaste fördrag i den spanska staden Tordesillas, i vilket avtalades hur dåtidens stormakter, Portugal och Spanien, skulle fördela de utomeuropeiska landvinningarna mellan sig. Detta fördrag förklarar varför hela västra Sydamerika fortfarande använder spanska som modersmål och östra Sydamerika, dvs. Brasilien, talar portugisiska. Läs mer om fördraget i referens nummer 4 nedan.

Tordesillas

Världskarta som visar uppdelning av utomeuropeiska territorier mellan Portugal och Spanien. Av Lencer – Eget arbete, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3194339

(Today’s post is entirely in Swedish, in commemoration of the Swedish National Day, celebrated both in the capital and other municipalities around the country. And tomorrow marks the day 524 years ago when the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed by Portugal and Spain.)

Tack för idag, slut för idag!

Refs.:

1: Nationaldagsfirandet på Skansen

2: Sveriges nationaldag

3: Herrljungas äldsta stationshus

4: Tordesillasfördraget

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2018-05-24 (Thursday)

Today, I learned that:

Last Sunday, the Swedish male icehockey team won the World Championships again. You may remember from my post of 2017-05-21 how they won it last year as well. And also this year, the title was won after the final penalty shoot out. But this year, their campaign in the whole tournament was almost impeccable, all games won and only one point lost. The final was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, almost a home game then.

So what could be better than to publish a photo of how the team was received on 2018-05-21 at the park Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm. My Brazilian friend who lives there was also enjoying himself in the sunshine and sent me some nice photos and video clips, muito obrigado! This photo shows the moment when John Klingberg raises the trophy to the enthusiastic crowd’s cheers.

Kungsan

In April, I invested quite some time to accompany all the details of the world championship in curling for male teams, which happened in Las Vegas, NV, USA, as I already anticipated in my post of 2018-03-24. Have a look at the photos below. Besides the different feeding habits of the Swedish and Japanese teams during the mid-game intermission, it is also interesting to note that although the competition is hosted by one of the densest neon and electronic cities in the world, the scoreboards are still manual, mechanical ones with the scores being recorded by magnetic tabs. (In the women’s tournament in March, all scoreboards were electronic.)

LV2018

Three photos taken during the round robin game between Sweden and Japan on 2018-04-06. It is interesting to note how the Japanese cannot forget their habit of bringing the traditional obento, i.e. a lunch box full with culinary delicacies. All photos are screenshoots from the video coverage supplied by the World Curling Federation. See also reference #1 below.

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Japan v Sweden – Round-robin – 361º World Men’s Curling Championship 2018

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2018-04-15 (Guldkantad söndag)

Today, I learned that:

On the Northern hemisphere there is spring in the air, finally after a harsh winter. And in Sweden, one of the traditions at this time of the year is that schoolchildren from all over the country sell a miniature flower, called Majblomman (“Mayflower”), with the proceeds being used to help children in need. This year’s flower is the one you can see in the header photo, a beautiful work of art with black and golden petals surrounding a mother of pearls. The creator, 13-year old Elina Hall, was inspired by a bumblebee. In the following image are all Majblommor sold since it all began, back in 1907. In reference #1 is an English translation by Google of an interesting page from Majblomman’s home page.

MB_Blomkort_2018

A collection of Majblommor, starting in 1907 and updated most recently with the beautiful bumblebee inspiration of 2018. Photo by Majblomman.

And exactly today, the same colours are so true to also reflect the outcome of the Swedish first division football derby between AIK and Djurgården, won by the former squad, with the nickname of ‘de guldkantade’, which means “the golden cuffed”. I wanted to tease a friend of mine who is a fan of the opponents and she hinted me (thanks Lady Godiva) about Majblomman. Could it be a coincidence? I do not think so, 2018 is going to be the year when AIK wins the Swedish championships once more! If you want to know more about my team, read my post from 2016-02-15, when the sports club celebrated its 125th anniversary.

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Majblomman in English

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2018-03-24 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

Most people around the world do not have the slightest idea what curling is. Well, it is a sport with centuries of traditions from the ices in Scotland which was first introduced to the Winter Olympic Games already in 1924 for a one-time appearance. It then reappeared there permanently in 1998 and now it is one of the most exciting events of the whole games, often called ‘Chess on Ice’, due to the similarities in needing to predict moves well ahead.

Curling is played on an ice sheet with the approximate dimensions of 45 x 5 m. The traditional way is to play the game in teams of four players (in separate male and female disciplines) and recently also in mixed doubles. In the four-member games, each team player has two 20 kg granite stones that s/he tries to place close to the target. Whilst one of the players throws the stone, two other members use their brooms to sweep the ice to ease the stone in getting to its target, under the guidance of the captain (called skip). More details about this fascinating sport can be found in reference # 1 below, and in reference # 2 is a video showing how the curling stones are made.

The yearly women’s world curling championships are taking place this week in North Bay, ON, Canada, another of the leading curling countries. The thirteen participating national teams played each other once in a round robin format. The two best teams in the number of wins, Canada and Sweden, were directly qualified into the semifinals and the third to sixth teams played two games this morning to qualify as the remaining two semifinalists. In one game, Russia beat Czechia, and in the second game, between USA and South Korea, the game was tied at 3-3 after 8 periods (called ends). Then in the ninth end (out of a maximum of ten ends, if no extra end is necessary), something very rare happened, and this was only the third time at all in the history of these world championships.

Since each team throws 8 stones in one end, the maximum theoretical score for one team per end is consequently also 8. That has never happened, but in 1999 Sweden beat Denmark by scoring 7 points in one end, and in 2002 Norway repeated that feat against South Korea (yes, they were involved already then).

In this morning’s game, the Korean players made two fatal mistakes. In throwing stone 11, their vice-skip Kim KyeongAe committed a so-called hogline violation, meaning that she did not release the stone in time, and thus that throw was declared as void. Then in stone 15, the Korean skip Kim EunJung (yes all four ordinary players and the substitute are called Kim, and two of the five players are sisters) throw the stone too hard. In reference # 3 is the official shot-by-shot report from the game and in reference # 4 is a link to a video recording from the game, if you are interested in viewing this rare fact. And in one week’s time, Las Vegas, NV, USA will be the host for the men’s curling world championships. Las Vegas rocks!

And I also learned that in a recent male tournament, something probably even more rare happened, that two stones with opposing colours were both at the exact same distance from the center, so that neither team could win any point. You can find that video clip in reference # 5 below.

The photo below was taken in the Southern part of the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais. Travelling on its highways you may find many breathtaking views and this was surely one of them. It was taken close to the city of Ipuiuna on 2018-03-04 from a view point with the adequate name of Pedra do Mirante.

Pedra do Mirante

Photo taken on 2018-03-04 from Pedra do Mirante, close to Ipuiuna, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Curling

2: How it’s made – Curling stones

3: Shot by Shot KOR-USA

4: Korea vs United States – Qualification game (3v6) – Ford World Women’s Curling Championships 2018

5: Most bizarre curling play of the year results in tie end

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2018-02-28 (Wednesday)

Today, I learned that:

We are in the middle of the Winter Olympic games and the Paraolympic games, but did you know that not only humans compete in skiing? Watch the video in reference #1 and marvel about what our AI friends can do!

On various occasions, I have told you the story about a new fantastic material called graphene. If you want to catch up on those, look at my posts from 2016-02-01, 2016-05-22, 2016-10-29, and 2017-06-23. And here comes another interesting fact from “down under”. Researchers in Australia have produced a very effective water filter using graphene film with microscopic nano-channels. When tested with the polluted waters in Sydney harbor, the result was so good that they could drink the water without any health issues. See more in reference # 2 below.

Finally, look at this amazing photo! It shows the light emitted by a single atom. More information can be found in reference #3 below.

Single atom light

The tiny dot in the center of the screen, between the two metal electrodes, is the light emitted by a single atom. Photo taken by quantum physics professor David Nadlinger, University of Oxford.

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Skiing robots hit the slopes in South Korea

2: Graphene film makes dirty water drinkable in a single step

3: A ‘trapped’ atom is visible to the naked eye

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2018-01-09 (2 years !!!)

Today, I learned that:

What started out as a dream (literally) is now reality since 2 years ago. Of course I am talking about this blog. Thanks to all my followers for your encouraging remarks and faithfulness! And instead of publishing a new header photo today, for some time ahead, each time you open my blog again there will be a random photo from the first two years to catch your eye!

My main topic today is AI, robots, and how they interact with us humans to make the world a better place to live:

One month ago, the Swedish writer Johan Nyberg published his column in Radio Sweden’s weekly news program, Godmorgon, världen (“Good morning, world”). It was an interesting story on how today’s computers can perform many of the routine tasks in any many disciplines much more efficiently than human beings, but the best solution of all is when the two work together in a team. He gives various examples on such successes, not only chess, but also everyday situations in big service companies such as Amazon, which besides the investment in 45 000 robots during the last three years also has employed 250 000 people. So his closing remarks are that we should not have any fear that the computers will grab our jobs, but that workers with computers will take the jobs from workers without computers. See also reference #1 below for a complete transcript (in Swedish).

Then, a couple of days later, I heard another interesting story of how AI computers and people interact with good result. X-ray images that need to be analysed by a physician can now be pretreated by a computer which scans the images to present the doctor with results of areas where s/he can look further to make a more accurate and faster diagnose as compared to the old method when few areas were chosen out of random or a hunch. Reference #2 discusses this topic (also in Swedish).

And yesterday, there were two interesting topics on the same issue: In the morning, I heard that in the Southern city of Trelleborg, the city administration’s social assistants are delighted, because a “robot” (in fact an app on their web) is now taking care of the investigative, preparatory work, such as checking with the tax authorities etc., when a person is applying for social allowance. They now enter only in the decisive phase, which leaves them available for more personal contacts, and the result is that they have been able to find new jobs for those people in record numbers and huge savings in not needing to pay out social allowances.

At the same, in a later edition of the same news program, it was reported that their counterparts as social assistants in the city of Kungsbacka, immediately south of Göteborg (Gothenburg in English) are  disappointed, they would like to continue turning papers instead of doing proactive work, so 12 out of the 16 assistants have handed in their resignation notes, as a protest against a similar system which will begin to operate in the month of May. More about these two cases can be found in reference #3 below (also in Swedish).

With so many interesting news stories from Sweden, why not learn Swedish and accompany the news yourself? If you are interested, drop me a message to Swedish lessons and I am sure we can work out something interesting!

Finally, did you hear that a robot recently reported having been molested by a human being? Its name is R2Me2 of course!

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Krönika av Johan Norberg

2: Aj aj blir AI AI – Möt din blivande läkare datorn

3: Socialsekreterare säger upp sig när robot ska ta över deras arbetsuppgifter

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2017-12-06 (Kippis)

Today, I learned that:

Some countries have suffered through centuries to finally be able to celebrate their independence as a state. One such example is Poland, squeezed between the super powers of their time, and another is Finland. The latter was reigned by Sweden and Russia during some 700 years, until finally, in the wake of the World War I and the bolshevik revolution in Russia, it declared its independence exactly 100 years ago today. It is inhabited by people who never give up, but always work hard to get their opinion through. So today, continuing their spirit of ‘sisu’ and ‘hakkaa päälle’, I raise my glass and cling it with my Finnish friends and shout ‘Kippis!’ And of course, we enjoy the music of M. A. Numminen, singing his Swedish version of ‘American patrol’, named ‘Uppå källarbacken’, a song which played 24/7 when we built our Cortege-car at Chalmers 1975. See also reference #1 below.

References # 2, 3, and 4 below show some different aspects of Finland and its achievements over the years. And the following photo depicts the Finnish national animal, the Bear. The photo was taken by Saajaja on 2012-03-08.

Karhu

The Finnish bear, captured by Saajaja on 2012-03-08

Finally, if you like the works of the Canadian multimedia artist Neil Young, here is a great hint for you: From now and until 2018-06-30, you can stream all of his songs and videos for free with an audio bit rate of at least 320 kbits/s. Click on the link in reference #5 and good listening!

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: M. A. Numminen – Uppå källarbacken

2: Finland

3: Finland celebrates 100 years of independence: ten fast facts

4: Finland fyller 100 år – detta får du inte missa

5: Neil Young Archives

*: What did you learn in school today ?e

2017-11-27 (Monday)

Today, I learned that:

Last Thursday was celebrated Thanksgiving Day in the USA, when the Americans remember the pilgrims who escaped England in the 17th century for a better life on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and how they in turn celebrated the first crop of their new fields. But do you know why they choose Cape Cod as their destination for the Mayflower? Well, they did not, their goal was to arrive in Virginia, where they had expectations of obtaining fertile land.

So, why did they disembark in the inhospitable Cape Cod? The answer can be found in a book that Susan Cheever published two years ago. The simple answer was that they had ran out of beer! That fact was only the first one about the American relation to alcoholic beverages. Others, such as the true story about the prohibition time in the decades of 1920 and 1930, can be found in this book. If you are interested in knowing more, hear an interview with the author on the Los Angeles based radio station KCRW, reference #1 below, read the critics published in Vogue, reference #2, and if that thrills you, buy the book and read more, e.g. from Amazon, reference #3.

Speaking about the day succeeding Thanksgiving, called Black Friday, and today, Cyber Monday, did you already suspect that when the stores announce hefty discounts, they have already raised the prices to be used as a base for calculating the discount, aka “fake prices”? Well, here is one proof that it is true. One of Brazil’s biggest newspapers, Folha de S. Paulo, compared the prices of 6.875 different objects at the end of October 2017 to those published for sale during Black Friday one month later. The results showed that all the 9 surveyed stores practised that bad “habit”, the worst one in 12 % of all cases surveyed. See the complete article (in Portuguese) in reference # 4 below.

Cape Cod, Old Harbor Life Saving Station at Sunset

Old Harbor U.S. Life Saving Station at Cape Cod, photo taken on 2011-12-18 by JCefaly

 

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Guest: Susan Cheever

2: In Drinking in America, Susan Cheever Puts the Bottle Back in the History Books

3: Drinking in America: Our Secret History

4: Comércio eleva desconto sem reduzir preço antes da Black Friday

*: What did you learn in school today ?