Most Beautiful Swedes.
The beauty site improveme.se has listed what they think are the 99 most beautiful Swedish women. Number 1 is our latest Hollywood star Malin Åkerman. The rest are as follows: 2. Actor and comedian Josephine Bornebusch 3. Model Mini Andén 4. Comedian Petra Mede 5. Actress Lena Olin 6. TV host Carolina Gynning 7. Model Clara Wester 8. Model Freja Kjellberg 9. Participant in the TV show “Robinson” Anna Lundh 10. Politician Ella Bohlin.
Vacationing in Stockholm?
Are you going to Stockholm as a tourist? Dagens Nyheter’s På Stan put together a list of what you must NOT miss if you’re in the Venice of the North this summer. First off is Skansen (www.skansen.se), Sweden’s first open air museum and zoo, located on the island of Djurgården as is Gröna Lund (www.gronalund.com), the popular amusement park. Once you’re at Skansen, you can try your hand at weaving, and it is possible to make blankets for Victoria and Daniel (you know who they are!). At Gröna Lund why not give the new rollercoaster “Insane” a go? Don’t forget Södermalm, the trendiest part of Stockholm, known for its many eateries, cafés, and boutiques. If you are bringing children along, then there’s a museum of toys, Leksaksmuseum (www.leksaksmuseet.se) with toys from the past. Stockholm has many parks, more than we care to count. Here are a few of them: Berzelii park (subway stop Östermalmstorg), Djurgården (subway stop Östermalmstorg), Finlandsparken (subway stop Gärdet), and Kungsträdgården (subway stop Kungsträdgården). Done with parks? Then experience Stockholm from the water, visit skärgården (the archipelago)! There are many different boat tours, check out www.stromma.se
. Try something creative for the entire family – like ceramics. The Creativity House (www.thecreativityhouse.se) will do the trick. Book ahead of time for bigger groups or just drop in if it’s only you and a friend. Add some culture, visit Moderna museet (www.modernamuseet.se), which has works by Picasso, Dali, Derkert, and Matisse among others. And then there’s the beautiful Millesgården (www.millesgarden.se), named after sculptor Carl Milles and his wife Olga. There’s also a boutique and a bistro there. Stockholm is one of few cities in Europe where flying in a balloon is allowed so take advantage! Book through www.uppner.se
. Sweden is famously child friendly, as is this guide. Take your kids to Junibacken (www.junibacken.se), one of Stockholm’s most popular attractions where Astrid Lindgren’s characters are mingling with Alfons Åberg, Pettson och Findus and other children’s book characters. This is a project that will take the entire day, so come prepared to stay and have fun!
Topless in Malmö.
It is now OK for women in Malmö to throw their tops away when bathing in the swimming pools. The city’s sports and recreation committee voted against a motion entitled “Women with two-piece swimsuits ought to wear a top piece,” eventually settling for another wording that “everybody should wear a bathing suit” at Malmö pools, but there is no requirement for women to cover their breasts. The city considered a vote necessary after several visits by the feminist Bara Bröst (Just Breast or Bare Breast) network to Malmö’s pools met with widely varying reactions. Said Bengt Forsberg, chair of the sports and recreation committee: “We don’t define what bathing suits men should wear so it doesn't make much sense to do it for women. And besides, it's not unusual for men to have large breasts that resemble women's breasts.” The Bara Bröst network swept to prominence in late 2007 after two bare-breasted young women were called ashore by a lifeguard at a swimming pool in Uppsala. When they refused to cover up, they were asked to leave the premises.
C-sections may cause genetic changes.
Swedish researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, have discovered that babies born by Caesarean section experience changes to the DNA pool in their white blood cells, which could be connected to altered stress levels during this method of delivery. Blood was sampled from the umbilical cords of 37 newborn infants just after delivery and then three to five days after the birth. It was analyzed to see the degree of DNA-methylation in the white blood cells - a vital part of the immune system. This showed that the 16 babies born by C-section exhibited higher DNA-methylation rates immediately after delivery than the 21 born by vaginal delivery. Three to five days after birth, DNA-methylation levels had dropped in infants delivered by C-section so that there were no longer significant differences between the two groups.“Delivery by C-section has been associated with increased allergy, diabetes and leukemia risks” says Professor Mikael Norman, who specializes in pediatrics at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. “Although the underlying cause is unknown, our theory is that altered birth conditions could cause a genetic imprint in the immune cells that could play a role later in life.” The authors point out that the reason why DNA-methylation is higher after C-section deliveries is still unclear and further research is needed.
Rethink faith-based schools.
That appeal comes from ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus. “Freedom from indoctrination ought to be a basic human right for all children,” he argues in a plea for Sweden to rethink its policy on faith-based schools. Nordstjernan reported earlier about a campaign launched by the Swedish Humanist Association (Humanisterna), a campaign that said “God probably doesn’t exist”, and in light of the growing influence of religious schools in Sweden, that campaign, Ulvaeus writes, is timely. Ulvaeus himself adds: “Without thinking too much about it at the time, when I wrote the lyrics for ABBA's songs the message I wished to convey tallies well with campaigns launched recently by humanist organizations in the UK, US and Australia: ‘There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.’ Ulvaeus goes on to say that Sweden, if it wished, could choose to refrain from using tax money to fund these independent schools, but has chosen not to. “Religion,” he continues, “has a natural place in (the homes of believers) and their children grow up with it. That’s fine. But does this not make it all the more important for schools to be free of religious influence? Children need to be able to meet and get to know their peers on neutral ground. Religions by their nature always run the risk of creating an ‘us against them’ scenario.”
Swedes are OK with refugees.
A new report shows that the opposition among Swedes to accept refugees into their country is decreasing. “The trend is that opposition to refuges is on decline,” says Marie Demker, professor in political science. The new survey, which is to be published by the SOM Institute (Society, Opinion and Media) at Göteborg University, shows that the proportion of Swedes that think accepting fewer refugees is a good idea, has declined from 49% to 45% over the past year. Demker, who is responsible for the survey, says that the figures collated through the years indicate a gradual, steady decline. “We had a significantly greater opposition in the beginning of the 1990’s,” she says, adding that the results can be considered unexpected considering the advance of a party as the far-right Sweden Democrats, which calls for tighter restrictions. The survey also indicated that factors such as education, age, and place of residence also affect attitudes towards refugees. Among those who lack high school (gymnasium in Swedish) or university education, 57% consider it a good idea to accept fewer refugees. Among those with higher education, only 28% agree with the same statement. “Education”, Demker states, “is the single strongest explanatory factor to attitudes regarding the acceptance of refugees.” The survey involved 6,000 people interviewed during the fall of 2008.
Göteborg – summer city 2009.
Which is the most popular Swedish summer city? Reseguiden.se put together a top 100 list and here we present the top ten: 1. Göteborg, 2. Stockholm, 3. Visby, 4. Halmstad, 5. Varberg, 6. Helsingborg, 7. Ystad, 8. Malmö, 9. Västervik, 10. Kalmar. It took 8000 of Reseguiden.se's members came to the conclusion. “Göteborg is Sweden’s capital summertime,” Michael Blaxland, managing director at Reseguiden.se said. “But it was a narrow win.” How to judge whether a city has summer city potential or not? Well, the single most important aspect, according to the survey, was sun and beach, followed by things worth seeing and nature. For more info: www.reseguiden.se