“Well kids, they might be chips and they might be cobras. How about a nice apple instead?”
We’ve just arrived home after 3 weeks vacation to a city that is mostly empty, as Swedes generally take the month of July off. I was wondering how many people were left in our apartment building yesterday and happened to get my questioned answered about 10pm last night when the city’s air raid sirens suddenly went off.
Stockholm has air raid/emergency sirens that are tested every 3 months at 3pm on a Monday. My 43-year old husband has NEVER heard the air raid sirens at any other time than that during his entire life and I would think most Stockholmers have not either.
So imagine how completely freaked out the entire city was last night when the air raid sirens started to sound around 10pm. Every person at home in our building and the one across from us immediately came out from their balconies to look at the sky. Then everyone started shouting to each other from balcony to balcony and across the courtyard “What’s happening?” “Do you know what it is?” “Are they saying anything on the news?” etc.
And during this time of possible obliteration, I had 2 thoughts:
- Why didn’t we come back home from our trip a day later?
- I think this is the first time I’ve heard neighbors speak to one another in this building. It’s kind of nice!
Apparently it was some sort of technical fault, so luckily we can all continue to enjoy the summer if we made it through the panic attacks last night.
On a side note, our kids who were reading in bed never asked about or mentioned the blaring air raid siren. Glad to know it’s not just parent voices that they are able to completely tune out.
Is it just me, or is the grammar wrong in this headline? I’m reading this as “this lady is set to die Friday.” Hope she’s watching out for herself.
I saw a headline today that said:
But not one of those signs was the overweight old man who lives across the way who constantly smokes on his balcony without a shirt on once the weather gets warm. Much like the groundhog, the man has not appeared, and therefore I say it is not yet spring.
In Stockholm, there are laws about how close apartments can be built to a highway because of noise pollution. Buildings with apartments from before the law that are already too close are protected by special walls to help diffuse the noise from the street. Some areas in the city close off streets in the summer to reduce traffic and noise.
Then we turn to the other side of the globe, to China, where I saw this picture today. Honestly, it reminds me of when I went to Disneyworld in the late 1980s and there was a monorail that went through a hotel. I thought it was super cool. As an adult, I’d rather not have a train going through my building (the teenager upstairs with bad taste in music is enough noise for me), but I was glad to read in the article that at least there’s a stop for the train IN the building. So you get something good out of it if you live there.
Can you imagine stepping out of your apartment door, walking across the hall to open another door and getting on your train to work? Could be interesting, could be depressing. At least with the monorail in the Orlando hotel, your destination is always “the happiest place in the world” and not a cubicle with 50 other depressed workers.
More photos and article here.
I was reading our national newspaper (Dagens Nyheter) online last week and clicked on an article called “How to Change Your Lifestyle to Prevent a Stroke.” But when I clicked on the article, I got a message saying I had to pay to view the rest of the content.
I imagine hospitals around the country are now receiving stroke patients and saying, “There’s another one who didn’t want to pay the online newspaper fee. What a shame.”
Why does every news story I click have to have a video automatically start playing with the report? I just want to read what happened and move on! I don’t want or need to see the video and I always have to take the time to hit the pause button.
Today was a great example of why video news is awful – some of them run commercials before the story. I give you the screenshot of what I saw when I clicked on this story about an attempted kidnapping.
I always knew there was something messed up about Jack.
So now this shows up on the neighborhood forum:
“Idag på em var hela familjen och lekte i lekparken, sonen hade sin gula fotboll med sig och efter att ha lekt runt lite i parken ser vi plötsligt att bollen är borta, den försvann nästan mitt framför oss. Efter att ha letat en bra stund i parken och runtomkring gick vi alla hem, ledsna för att någon tagit min sons boll. Så om ni ser en gul fotboll någonstans kan ni väl säga till.”
“This afternoon, our whole family played in the park, our son had his yellow soccer ball with him and after he played a while in the park, we suddenly realized that the ball was gone, it disappeared almost right in front of us. After looking for quite a while in the park and the surrounding area, we went home, sad because someone took my son’s ball. So if you see a yellow soccer ball somewhere, please let us know.”
Now you know what I am very tempted to post in response to the above.
MAYBE THE FOX ATE IT!
(Thank you, if I didn’t share that thought here, I might have actually had to post that and caused a neighborhood war.)
Well, the big news around our neighborhood this week is that we allegedly have some foxes going around EATING PEOPLE’S CATS!
Once again, these are animals that everyone in my neighborhood sees (last year it was badgers) but I never catch a glimpse. We live next to the forest and I walk through there all the time. No foxes, badgers or beavers that I can see. Plenty of deer and rabbits.
Anyway, it’s been fun to read the threads in our neighborhood group. On one side you have the cat people “Protect your cats!” On the other side, you have the bird people, “It’s good that the foxes eat the cats because the cats eat too many birds!”
A few more choice favorites are the guy who posted that “city cats are WEAK! A country cat could take out a fox any day.”
And just for fun, if you hit Google translate on some of these, they get really weird. Here’s a case where a woman is talking about a 3-legged deer in Swedish. Google turns more gruesome:
“I called Marshall who came here and shot a “Three-legged” kid in my garden for a couple of years ago. I didn’t know if it was right or wrong”
Yet another Google translate mistake (with the name of a street) turned another post into something quite poetic:
“I saw a fox last week at the ancient path. It had a cat in his mouth and went with a firm step against the park in front of the ancient house. He seemed very fearless.”
I will do my best to keep you updated in the “Neighborhood Fox Saga.” I hope it lives up to last year’s “Badgers in our Gardens.”
With all the government news lately, I’m starting to feel that we might be losing focus on what’s happening in other fields. On CNN today, there was a list of stories all having to do with governmental issues, except for one buried right in the middle. Do they expect us to glance over this, because it’s the only one that really caught my eye.
You see it too, right?
After reading the article, I understand that it’s about growing specific human organs in pigs for organ transplant and not, as this avid Doctor Who viewer originally thought, a race of pig slaves. That was a relief. I wasn’t ready for a Dalek invasion right now.
I have a feeling my kids snuck this article into “The Local.”
They’re heiffing mad and they’re not going to take your bull any longer.
A straw Christmas goat guards the presents under the tree. The tradition is very old and is thought to date back to Viking times during the harvest when the last grain was thought to be magical, or it’s something to do with Thor. Who knows?
Through the years, it has evolved from a prankster, to a scary creature demanding gifts, to bringing the Christmas gifts, to making sure the presents and decorations are correctly done, or for good luck. There are even more old traditions than those.
In the Swedish city of Gävle, the biggest straw goat is erected in the town square every year since 1966, with the idea of bringing in tourists. Well, the tourists certainly come now, but not to see the goat standing. It’s because the goat is famous for being illegally set on fire almost every year. They have tried fire-proofing it, hiring guards, setting up cameras, etc., but it rarely survives until Christmas. This year, it only survived one day before being set on fire.
Some of the interesting destructions include:
1976 – Goat run over by a car
1988 – During a severe blizzard, volunteers guarding the goat retreat into a nearby café for a break and some coffee, assuming that no one could possibly start a fire in the raging storm. They were wrong, and the goat burned.
2001 – Swedes tricked an American tourist into burning it down by telling him it was an annual tradition.
2005 – Burnt by unknown vandals reportedly dressed as Santa and the gingerbread man, by shooting a flaming arrow at the goat.
2010 – (failed attempt) – Two men tried to bribe a guard to leave his post in an attempt to kidnap the goat by helicopter and fly it to Stockholm.
While we were in Italy, we heard the news about the Chicago Cubs World Series win on the radio. Of course, it took us a while to figure it out since the Italian announcer congratulated the “Chicago Cubes.”
CNN, front page.
- It’s not a real person, though maybe now Linda Carter can take over the UN if she wants.
- Why doesn’t the UN just have the Justice League solve all our problems then?
- Is this our future, when one of the most powerful organizations in the world start naming fictional characters as ambassadors? Can we vote for Papa Smurf for President of the U.S. now?
I’m going back to bed.
I read an interesting article today on BBC news about the origin of “laugh tracks” for television shows. It’s an interesting read – http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20160926-where-does-canned-laughter-come-from-and-where-did-it-go
All of my current favorite shows do not use canned laughter, as it hasn’t been popular for many years now, and I have to say that I’ve noticed how odd it feels to go back and watch a show I used to enjoy, and hear canned laughter behind it. It’s hard to find it as funny.
My favorite part of the BBC article is this, which is something I’ve also thought about:
“Even 1960s cartoons such as The Flintstones and The Jetsons used laugh tracks, though the device made no intuitive sense in that setting – no sane viewer suffered the illusion that a human audience was had watched these animated characters.”
I’m glad that these days, we as a home audience are finally being trusted to know when something is funny without a prompt.
Of course, I wouldn’t be opposed to laugh track use on political debates and news.
This article was in The Local.
My question (besides why I never get to see these badgers and beavers that apparently walk all over town ) is, how did they know the cat was a hipster?
Does it have very long fur and not bathe? Does it wear a 1940s hat? Is it a vegan?
This is the only story I felt was worth reading today on CNN. It was far more interesting than tennis injuries and political fighting. More of this please, CNN.