Cirkus Cirkör to BAM in Brooklyn in November. Anna Anka – no fan of Swedish men. Björn & Benny at Carnegie Hall. Traffic noise may raise blood pressure. Study ties waist size to diabetes. Danes say Öresund Bridge insufficient. Immigrants boost Swedish economy. Sweden urges U.S. Senate to act on climate change. Young Swedes OK with paying for sex. “Involuntary” – Sweden’s submission for the Oscars.
Cirkus Cirkör to Brooklyn.
The human body unfolds as a surreal rock and roll fantasy in Inside Out
, Swedish troupe Cirkus Cirkör's phantasmagoric journey into the outer reaches of inner life. Accompanied onstage by the band Irya's Playground and featuring an outlandish mix of highly skilled acrobatics, musical theater, and spectacle, Inside Out boggles the mind by way of the body. Cirkus Cirkör is the biggest so called contemporary circus in Scandinavia, it was founded in Stockholm in 1995 by Tilde Björfors, who was inspired by the Canadian Cirque de Soleil. Contemporary circus, or cirque nouveau, is a performing art form developed in the later 20th century in which a story or theme is conveyed through traditional circus arts. For more information: www.bam.org
A story on an earlier performance by the group can be found at http://www.nordicreach.com/its_about/art/123/
Tickets and info: http://www.bam.org/view.aspx?pid=1269
Anna Anka – no fan of Swedish men.
The Swedish-born wife of Las Vegas crooner Paul Anka has called Swedish men "tragic" for their "diaper changing" and "equality nonsense". LA housewife Anna Anka argues that she could be a role model for Swedish women to follow. "In Sweden it is acceptable to let yourself go, as long as you get your man. I feel sorry for Swedish men who marry beautiful women who then quickly become unattractive, dress sloppily and neglect their husband's needs," Anna Anka writes on the opinion website Newsmill (http://www.newsmill.se/
). Anna Anka, the 38-year-old wife of 68-year-old former 60’s teen idol Paul Anka, is one of the participants of TV3's new reality TV show "Swedish Hollywood wives" (Svenska Hollywoodfruar) which premiered on Monday. Aside from claiming a "large fee" for taking part in the program, Anka claims to have generated "a great deal of attention" in Sweden since the show was broadcast. “It pleases me. Maybe I can be a role model for other Swedish women to follow," she writes. She continues to direct criticism at Sweden in general, and Swedish men in particular, hailing her adopted home of the USA as a place were "men are men, and women are women". "Swedish dads are tragic with all their diaper-changing and equality. A real American man panics if he is alone with a child for more than 20 minutes. American dads do not prepare dinner and do not iron, they work and provide for their families." Anka claims that if Swedes would follow after the US and employ help then families would be under less pressure. "What I am getting at is that in the USA it is all about service. If the Swedish people had learned from the USA then Swedes would have more time for each other. There is no quality time. Now they come home and sulk and have to clean and iron." The final salvo in Anna Anka's Newsmill diatribe is reserved for what she dubs "the internet generation." "They are uneducated and envious, and their lives spent on blogs and Twitter are meaningless." Anka concludes by reiterating her hope that she can be a role model for Swedish women and encourages them to break away from "Jante land" (referring to the unwritten Jante Law which discourages delusions of grandeur). Needless to say, Anna Anka has gotten a fair share of criticism for her biting tongue. Dagens Nyheter’s columnist Niklas Wahllöf, calls “Svenska Hollywoodfruar” a nightmare: “I think it’s terrible that they are idolizing three bombed-out women whose only talent is to be mean to their servants and who, after 17 years in America, have only managed to learn the dirty words.” And Nalin Pekgul, a Turkish-born Swedish politician (Social Democrat) calls Anna Anka’s ideals “Islamic”. “I don’t know whether to laugh or to be angry,” Pekgul writes on Newsmill. “Rich women like her exist not only in Hollywood, but in other parts of the world too. During the first 13 years of my life, I was surrounded by women like Anna Anka. I remember the gossip, the intrigues, the intimacies. We Swedes are proud of having gone far when it comes to equality between the sexes.”
Swedish speaking? Watch the first episode of "Svenska Hollywoodfruar" - www.tv3.se
Björn & Benny back on Broadway.
The success with the musical “Mama Mia!” left them hungry for more. Now Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson are back on Broadway with “Kristina från Duvemåla”, which will play Wednesday and Thursday this week as a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. “It ought to be time for something a bit heavier on Broadway,” said Björn Ulvaeus. “Mama Mia!” premiered 8 years ago and is still going strong. Björn and Benny are currently rehearsing and putting the last touches on “Kristina” (with a story based on the Emigrant-series of novels by Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg, detailing a family’s poverty-driven migration from Sweden to America in the mid-19th century). It is the second time they try it out for Broadway. The first time it didn’t work, the story was deemed much too gloomy. But Björn and Benny aren’t in the Big Apple trying to sell a concept. “We just want to do these two concerts, and see what happens,” Benny says. “There are a lot of comedies playing on Broadway right now, they might want something a bit heavier. And the story, about emigration to America, ought to strike a chord with the American people. It’s their own story.”
Traffic noise may raise blood pressure.
People who live near noisy roads are more likely to have high blood pressure, according to a new study from Lund University Hospital.
“Road traffic is the most important source of community noise. Non-auditory physical health effects that are biologically plausible in relation to noise exposure include changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of stress hormones,” said researcher Theo Bodin. “We found that exposure above 60 decibels was associated with high blood pressure among the relatively young and middle-aged, an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.” A news release on the study said 30 percent of the population of the European Union hears an average traffic noise of 55 decibels. The team surveyed almost 28,000 people to obtain the results. The news release did not say specifically how much of an increase in blood pressure the noise caused or what proportion of the population it affected. The study appeared in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health.
Study ties waist size to diabetes.
Large abdominal fat cells and/or waist-to-height ratios are key indicators of future diabetes, Swedish researchers said in a study published Sept. 11 in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. The study found women's abdominal fat cells remain relatively constant in number after adolescence, but can change considerably in size throughout life and may be larger in those who develop type 2 diabetes.
"Increased knowledge of the link between enlarged fat cells and the development of type 2 diabetes may give rise to new preventive and therapeutic alternatives," Malin Lönn, associate professor in the department of clinical chemistry at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, said in a statement.
"Our research also identifies the ratio waist-to-height, waist circumference divided by body height, as a simple tool that can be used to identify women at risk of developing type 2 diabetes." The study involved more than a 1,000 women. In 1974-1975, abdominal fat biopsies were taken from a subsample of 245 women. Incidence of type 2 diabetes was followed until 2001, with 36 cases eligible for inclusion in the analysis.
Danes say Öresund Bridge insufficient.
Danish researchers said Sept. 11 the Öresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark is insufficient and should have a tunnel supporting it between the two countries. Prof. Otto Anker Nielsen of the Technical University of Denmark said in a study the Öresund Bridge would face less stress if the countries built a tunnel between the Swedish city of Helsingborg and the Danish city of Helsingør.
“The H-H connection is profitable from both an operational and societal perspective and is therefore clearly the best solution,” the traffic patterns professor at the school's Center for Traffic and Transport said. Nielsen and his researchers created the report for the IBU-Öresund corporate infrastructure development project.
Jerker Swanstein, head of the governing board for the Sweden's Skåne region, applauded the proposal for another crossing between his country and Denmark.
"Another crossing is needed. In the future even more will be transported by rail so that makes initiatives like this a must," Swanstein said.
Immigrants boost Swedish economy.
Immigration helped Sweden's imports and exports nearly double during a five-year period, a soon-to-be-published study said. Economist Andreas Hatzigeorgiou writes in the November edition of a Swedish economic journal that his study of trade and immigration shows a definite link between the two, Swedish media reported. Hatzigeorgiou aid approximately 200,000 people immigrated to Sweden between 2002 and 2007. At the same time, the total value of Sweden's imports and exports nearly doubled. Immigrants contribute to increased foreign trade by offering specialized knowledge, cultural competence and contacts to Swedish businesses looking to export to new markets, he says. Hatzigeorgiou concludes that every 10 percent increase in the number of immigrants to Sweden from a specific country increases Sweden's exports to that country by 6 percent.
Sweden urges U.S. Senate to act on climate change.
Sweden's environment minister urged the U.S. Senate to pass legislation to control greenhouse gases, saying a delay in the vote is impeding negotiations on a new international climate treaty. Minister Andreas Carlgren said America's complex debate over health care reforms is sidelining its vote on a climate bill that is needed to persuade other nations — especially the fast-growing economies of India and China — to commit to lowering their greenhouse gas emissions at the Copenhagen climate summit in December.
"It is crucial that the Americans deliver a reliable emission pathway," Carlgren said, “but that is dependent on the Senate's lawmaking."
Sweden currently holds the rotating EU presidency and plays an active role in the talks leading up to the Copenhagen summit, which aims to replace the Kyoto Protocol with a new treaty for cutting global greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. House has passed a bill that would set a limit on greenhouse gases. Factories, power plants and other sources would be required to cut emissions by about 80 percent by 2050. But action on the bill in the U.S. Senate has been delayed as lawmakers wrestle with the complex issues of proposed U.S. health care reforms.
Young Swedes OK with paying for sex.
A national study found 43 percent of young Swedes believe getting paid for sex is acceptable, authorities in Sweden said. The study from the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs also suggested an estimated 20,000 Swedes between the ages of 16 and 25 have sold sex, primarily through connections made on the Internet. Young people interested in selling sex often suffer serious emotional problems, board spokeswoman Inger Ashing said.
"There is a higher instance of problems with family relationships and many show other signs that they don't feel well," Ashing said. The study also suggested an estimated 35,000 young Swedes agreed within the last year to comply with Internet requests for sexually explicit images, Sveriges Radio reported Sept. 14.
“Involuntary” – Sweden’s submission for the Oscars.
The Swedish film De ofrivilliga
(“Involuntary” in English) by director Ruben Östlund, has been selected as Sweden’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards. It features five parallel stories with human group behavior as the common theme. The film has gained attention for its long takes with no cuts within the scenes – the longest once lasting 7 minutes. “Involuntary” has received mainly positive reviews. It has won several awards at international film festivals and was nominated for five Swedish Guldbagge Awards including Best Film, but didn’t win in any category. The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony will honor the best films of 2009 and will take place on March 7, 2010 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
Swedish cuisine tends to be practical and sustaining. Historically in the far north, meat such as reindeer and other game dishes were eaten, which have their roots among the Sami people, while fresh vegetables played a larger role in the south. For us today, husmanskost
, the every day cuisine, is a part of being Swedish. What is husmanskost to you? Is it dillkött? Is it kroppkakor? Or perhaps sjömansbiff? Whatever it is, why not try to make some for dinner in the weeks to come? This type of food is usually on the heavy side, which fits the darker, colder season we’re entering. Here’s a recipe for rårakor med romröra (potato pancakes with caviar or roe condiment).
Ingredients for the potato pancakes:
6 potatoes, 0.5 teaspoon salt, a pinch of black pepper, 1 Tablespoon butter. Ingredients for the romröra:
1 scallion, 0.5 cup sour cream, and 50 g of stenbitsrom (which you can substitute with the caviar or roe of your choice). For sides: 1 boiled egg, cut in half.
Cut the scallion in thin slices and mix it with the sour cream and the caviar. Peel and grate the potatoes using the coarse side of the grater. Mix in the salt and pepper. Put a bit of it at a time in a pan with some butter, and make it thin like a pancake. Fry about two minutes on both sides. Serve with the caviar mix and the halved egg. Makes two portions.