2017-08-31 (Thursday)

Today, I learned that:

Finally, the month of August is coming to an end. In Sweden it is called ‘rötmånad’, literally meaning ‘the rotten month’. The reason for that is the relatively high humidity at the end of Summer, which makes food susceptible to rapid deterioration. And in Brazil, the month is called ‘mês do cachorro louco’, i.e. ‘the month of the mad dog’, the month when the dogs wake up to life after Winter in a bad state of health.

But, apart from the terrible terror attacks, there have been some interesting highlights, such as the solar eclipse I wrote about on 2017-08-21. However, I would like to dream myself back to 40 years ago, when I first visited the USA during June, July, and August. We were 80 people from my university in Gothenburg who travelled there for a 2-months Summer job and with August off to travel around in this mighty country. Most of my colleagues preferred a 1-month air pass called “7 stops”, which permitted them to visit 7 different locations in one month.

However, I decided to make a different voyage. After my initial two months at Gould Inc. in Rolling Meadows, IL, I boarded the Continental Trailways bus and it took me to 28 different US states and Washington D.C., 2 Canadian provinces, as well as a sneak peak of Tijuana, Mexico. I have mostly good memories from that trip, but what still is imprinted in my mind is when, on 1977-08-16, while hanging around in Dave’s house at Hermosa Beach, CA, there was a breaking newscast on the radio. It started with the words “The King of Rock is dead!”. And when Dave and I gathered with his friends at the bar in the evening, everyone was soooo sad.

August, 1977, was also the month when NASA sent its Voyager 1 out into space. Besides all the scientific instruments aboard, it also included an optical disc with recordings of human talk, music, and pictures. Reference # 2 will lead you to a web portal that has all the information you might ever need about Voyager 1 and its sister ship, Voyager 2.

But of course I also remember Las Vegas, NV with its casinos; Flagstaff, AZ at the edge of the Grand Canyon; the ferry ride from Victoria, BC to Seattle, WA; Preservation Hall in New Orleans, LA; playing football in Central Park, NY and so many other joyful moments.

Elvis

The King of Rock is for ever connected with Las Vegas, and that is where I took this photo. Unfortunately it is just a copy cat, and the photo was taken in Las Vegas on 2007-01-18. But the music really rocked!

As a tribute to the King, here is a photo of a copy cat performing in Las Vegas. But the video clip in reference # 1 is the real thing, ENJOY!

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Elvis Presley – Blue Suede Shoes

2: An Insider’s Guide to Voyager: 1977-2017

*: What did you learn in school today ?

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2017-07-16 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

This is post # 150 of my blog. So let us celebrate with a good piece of grilled meat!

Carne para churrasco

Dalolio, a popular store meat store in Paranavaí, PR, Brazil. People line up to buy meat for the weekend, either raw for them to grill it themselves or already grilled meat, from one of the big smokers to the left. Photo taken on 2017-04-23.

The photo above shows people lining up to buy the main ingredient for their Sunday lunch, the meat. During the week, this popular store sells only raw meat, but on Sundays there are also the big smokers you can see on the left side of the photo, so that its patrons can enjoy their lunch without the need for grilling the meat themselves. It was taken on 2017-04-23 in Paranavaí, PR, Brazil.

But people do not live only off food, the soul needs its take, as well. However, another store in the same city, which main activity is to sell religious articles, also offers grilled food, true to their motto ‘Burger and Bibles’. See for yourselves below:

Body and soul

Lunch is being prepared outside the store for religious articles. Photo taken on 2017-07-14.

Maybe you remember my post in the beginning of this year, 2017-01-29 ?  In it I showed that there is a movement in the US state of California which aims to break away from the US federation. Since I had not heard so much about it afterwards, I decided to take the opportunity and ask the former correspondent for Radio Sweden in New York, Agneta Furvik, during her radio program last Thursday, when her listeners could call in (or send a message) and ask about anything they want to know about USA. By her side, Agneta had other experts in American matters: American political scientist, Katherine Angelo Hanly; Professor of North American studies at Uppsala University, Dag Blanck; and her former colleague as correspondent in Washington DC, Inger Arenander. You can see them and hear their opinions (in Swedish) in reference # 1 below.

For those of you who do not understand Swedish, I can summarise that neither of them believes that there is any major risk of a Calexit in 2019.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:
1: Lyssnarfråga: Kan Kalifornien lämna USA?

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-12-24 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

The world is still a very unsafe place and every day we hear and see how evil actions from other people threaten the peace of the world. But today I read a news story that reminded me of how we all must contribute by going in baby steps and then, hopefully, one day we will arrive at making the world a peaceful habitat for all human kind. How does one eat an elephant? Some say it is impossible, but if you take a tiny bite every day, one day you will find that you have eaten it all!

It is therefore that I am very happy to announce that 2016 is the first year in many from the recent history of the world that the number of armed conflicts have lowered, from 33 at the end of 2015 to 32 today, According to the University of Hamburg, Germany, no new conflict has been added and the one in northeastern India is now considered as history only.

But the world is still a scary place. Of the 32 conflicts still present, here is some information: The bloodiest of them all is of course the terrible situation in Syria, and there are 11 more in the Near and Middle East. In the rest of Asia, there are 8 wars going on and 10 more in Africa. The remaining two are Ukraine in Europe and Colombia in South America.

But I sincerely hope that you are safe and can celebrate Christmas with your loved ones, so M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S to all of you!

My header photo today was taken in 2015 by a friend in Rio de Janeiro, when the city still had money to light up the Christmas tree. What a lovely view from ” cidade maravilhosa”!

… That’s what I learned in school !

byran

Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE, and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH / DANISH / NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” here !!!

Refs.:

1:
Ingen har startat krig i år

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-10-08 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

The United Arab Emirates, especially through the emirate Dubai, continues to expands its offerings for tourism in this interesting part of the world. In my post of 2016-06-21, I wrote about the technological advances in Dubai, and now I learned that further to the earlier 16 languages, their Ministry of Tourism has now also added Swedish as a language to a complete subsite, see reference # 1 below. The photo below, courtesy of my friend Chiara Anzalone, shows the Arabian Gulf at Dubai, with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, considered the world’s must luxurious hotel in the foreground, and the artificial Palm Jumeirah islands towards the horizon. How about meeting me there?

chiara3

Photo from Dubai, taken by Chiara Anzalone, showing the Arabian Gulf, with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, considered the world’s must luxurious hotel in the foreground, and the Palm Jumeirah islands towards the horizon.

The past week revealed the laureates of the scientific Nobel Prizes 2016, where among other things we learned that the term ‘topology’ means totally different things in physics and chemistry. Radio Sweden made a fantastic job to compress the reasons for awarding exactly these scientists into three 1-minute video clips. References #2, #3, #4 below carry the links. The language is Swedish, but who knows besides learning more about medicine, physics, and chemistry, you may also pick up some words in the “language of honor and heroes”?

I had planned to discuss the advancement of machines into our lives today, but since it is a subject that cannot be dealt with on a coffee break, I will return to it any day soon. Instead, I would like to show how one of the world’s technology giants are once more dismantling their acquired heritage. The company is called Microsoft, and after turning Nokia and Skype into dust, now it seems that LinkedIn will be their next victim. I received this e-mail the other day:

desempregado

The once excellent social business network LinkedIn was recently bought by Microsoft. Looking at this network update, how they want me to congratulate a friend who recently got unemployed (“Desempregado”) is just one more sign of their continuing “King Midas in reverse”. (Name and image have been altered for security reasons.) See and listen also to reference # 5 below.

And, there is one more thing …

temers

Brazil’s First Lady, Marcela Temer, presents the new social program Criança feliz (“Happy child”), with her husband, president Michel Temer, behind her, on 2016-10-05, photo by Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress. The same newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo, published today 2016-10-08 a cartoon by Montanaro, in which an admirer says “My, does Marcela speak well!” and Michel responds “Of course, who do you think taught her to speak her first words?” (This kind of political gossip is common due to the large age difference between the two, 76 vs. 33 years.)

… That’s what I learned in school !

byran

Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE, and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH / DANISH / NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” here !!!

Refs.:

1: Besök Dubai – Upptäck Dubais alla möjligheter!

2: Nobelpriset i medicin 2016

3: Nobelpriset i fysik 2016

4: Nobelpriset i kemi 2016

5: The Hollies “King Midas In Reverse”

+: What did you learn in school today ?

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.

cr

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 !

Refs.:

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 ?

2016-09-03 (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!

Malta2

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 !

Refs.:

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.

SJT

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.

Uralfloden

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.

Uralsk14

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!

Refs.:

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 ?

2016-07-04 (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.

jupiter-aurora

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 !

Refs.:

1: Gloria Ray Karlmark

2: Juno by NASA

3: Hubble photographs Jupiter’s dramatic auroras

+: What did you learn in school today ?

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 ?