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.
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!
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?
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:
And here is a tribute to the amazing colors of Spring, in total blossom in the Southern hemisphere right now.
In my earlier post of 212’2021 (2021-07-31), I talked about how fantastic it was to enjoy the Olympic Summer Games from Tokyo, but also showed an example of an anachronic feature, the use of security pins to secure the number tags of the participants, something that really should be improved in Paris in 2024.
Another thing that really needs to be improved is how the organisers treat the names of the participants. It seems that we are still in the stone ages of information technology, when all texts had to adhere to the 128-character ASCII set, with no non-US characters allowed. Fortunately, that has been improved through the UTF-8 and UTF-16 character sets, so why should IOC still behave as it was the 1970’s? Can we hope that the four athletes below, and their colleagues, may have their names written in the correct way in 2024?
More about current text coding can be found in reference # 1 below.
It is always interesting to see photos from the same place during different seasons. You may remember that in my post of 120’2021 (2021-04-30), I showed a photo from Hundfjället (“Dog mountain”) when there was a ski season. Now it is Summer and of course nature looks very different.
We are half-way through the Summer Olympics and if you thought that Beijing would be the first city to host games of both the Summer and Winter Olympics, when they will take on the Winter games in 2022, then you are WRONG!
The fact is that the Northern Japanese city of Sapporo already held the Winter games in 1972, only eight years after Tokyo had arranged the memorable Summer games in 1964, and now Sapporo is back again. As everone knows, Tokyo is the main city of the games, but some sports are organized in different cities around the Japanese islands. In fact, Sapporo organized an olympic football match already two days ahead of the official opening ceremony this year. On July 21, 2021, Great Britain beat Chile by 2-0 in a female football match in the Sapporo dome, and other examples of events to be held in Sapporo involve the marathon road races and the race walk events. The reason is that these time-consuming events should be kept away from the normally hot Tokyo streets in summer and permit better conditions for the athletes further north in Japan.
If you are interested in more about the Sapporo Winter Olympics in 1972, see reference #1 below.
As I mentioned above, Tokyo was already the host of the Summer Olympic games in 1964 and the plans were to come back with the games in July and August of 2020. But as everyone knows, the on-going pandemic postponed the games one year. Tokyo had been awarded the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but that honor was subsequently passed on to Helsinki due to Japan’s invasion of China, before ultimately being cancelled due to World War II.
More about the Tokyo Summer Olympics of 1964 can be found in reference #2 below.
I had the pleasure of visiting my sister-in-law and her family in Tokyo in April of 2005 and I must admit it was one of the busiest cities I have ever known. More about that visit can be found in my post of 108’2016 (2016-04-17).
So we have come to the end of the first half of year 2021 AD. The last month has been quite exciting with all the thrilling matches in the UEFA European Championships in football for national teams. That competition has now arrived at the quarter-final stage and is taking a break until Friday 183’2021 (2021-07-02) before its four games will be played on that and the following day.
I am also taking a small break in my blog posting, but promise to be back very soon with new, interesting topics.
In a society that does not seem to be interested in protecting their citizens against lethal dangers, which is the new trend? Instead of using the year 2021, they keep on insisting to still use 2020, as if it did not already exist. Currently, there are at least three big sporting events that were cancelled in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that just happened or are about to happen, and which keep 2020 in the name.
Please look at the following image. More information about the events can be found in references # 1, 2, and 3 below.
We have experienced yet another interesting month in our lives, and what follows below is of course only a small portion of what I really wanted to publish.
Complement to my post about Vasaloppet
In my post of 87’2021 (2021-03-28) , I wrote about the traditional ski race Vasaloppet. It starts in the town of Sälen and ends in Mora, 90 km away. One of my faithful readers sent me a nice picture from the same Sälen, where he recently enjoyed a different kind of skiing, going downhill. You can see it here, taken at the peak Hundfjället (“Dog mountain”).
Making it easier to deal with the proposed numbering of days
In my post of 9’2021 (2021-01-09) , I suggested that we started to think about a new, unified way of writing dates, abolishing the months and changing to a sequential count of the days in the year.
Many people have expressed their support of the proposed scheme, but raise doubts about how we more easily can get used to it. Therefore, here is one way, turning the cell phone’s lockscreen into a monthly calendar, with both the current and the proposed day count and making it also function as a communications tool between peoples and languages.