Sober Santas guaranteed
Missing a Santa Clause for Christmas? Why not rent one? In Sweden there are several Internet sites with Santa rentals, and most of them guarantee that their Santas remain sober. “There are stories about Santas going from house to house, and being offered a whiskey or a ‘schnapps’ everywhere. At their 5th stop, they have a hard time finding the presents they are supposed to bring,” says Sven, a sober rental Santa. In Kristianstad, a small town in southern Sweden, it costs 300 SEK ($43.57) per visit to rent a Santa.

Hollywood’s Salander could have been an older version than the Noomi Rapace we've all taken to our hearts
We all eagerly await Hollywood’s version of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, which is currently in production. Meanwhile, Sören Staermose at Yellowbird, the producer of the Swedish Millenium films, has offered a bit of insight into to the negotiations between Yellowbird and the Hollywood machinery. Sony Pictures had a gap in their schedule during the release of the Spiderman films, and therefore wanted (negotiated and got) the rights to the Millenium stories. At first Sony wanted Salander to be played by a big star (she is now played by 25-year old Rooney Mara) and they wanted her older. Sony also wanted to make a 90-100 minute long film and have it allowed for an audience from 13 years of age, while Yellowbird didn’t think it was possible to tell the story in such a short time, and also wanted it to be permitted only from 17 years of age. All Yellowbird’s demands were finally met by Sony. Sony also wanted to limit the showing of the Swedish version of the films to Europe, or preferable Sweden) but this, as we all know, didn’t happen either.

Pop-artist Robyn named Swede Of The Year
Pop-artist Robyn has been named Swede of The Year by news magazine Fokus. The reasoning is that "Robyn with her wayward ways and with a conscious artistry has shown that it is possible to reach the highest heights of popular music without being superficial." The news magazine also stresses that Robyn retains control over her music by running her own label.

Saffron rusks? Could that be the proper name for saffranskorpor in English? Put these in a nice glass jar, tie a pretty ribbon around it and give it to somebody special for Christmas. But don’t forget to save a few for yourself first. You will need:
 100 g butter 1 g saffron 2 eggs 0.5 sugar 1.5 flour 1.5 teaspoons baking powder 0.5 cup flaked almonds raw sugar Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt butter along with the saffron and pour into a bowl and stir in the eggs. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients along with the almonds and fold it into the bowl with the butter-egg mixture. Shape the dough into 3 lengths and put them on baking plates. Pour some raw sugar on top. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes, take them out and lower the heat to 260 F. Cut the “skorpor” in pieces about 0.3” (1 cm) and put them back on the baking plates. Let them dry in the middle of the oven for about 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the “skorpor” air dry in the oven until it’s cooled completely (or overnight).

Buy the King’s car
Car dealer Tahsin Khalil sold a used Saab 9-5 to a customer but was forced to buy it back hen it turned out the year model wasn’t right. While checking the car, he got a pleasant surprise: The car in question had once belonged to King Carl XVI Gustaf! For a few years, the Swedish royal court had a blue Saab 9-5 (outfitted to the max) at their disposal, a car the royal family used when holidaying at the French Riviera. The car was taken to Sweden in 2004, received Swedish registration plates and was then sold – as a 2004 model. The car finally landed with Tahsin Khalil at Bilcentralen in Vårberg, outside Stockholm who sold it to a customer and forgot about it until it was returned to him. “The customer came back because he had discovered that it was not a 2004 model, but rather a 1999 model. I had to take it back,” says Tahsin, who then did a bit of investigating around the car. However, Crown equerry Mertil Melin, who is responsible for the King’s cars, cannot confirm the car once belonged to the King, since it was the registered in France and is not in the royal court’s register. But according to the Transportstyrelsen (the Swedish Transport Agency), the royal court was a registered owner to the vehicle when it entered into Sweden. An old Saab 9-5 from 1999 doesn’t usually equal hard currency, but Tahsin Kahlil is now trying to sell it for 98 000 SEK ($14,213.88). When asked if that’s not a bit steep, Tahsin says: “The King drove it!” He adds that the car is in great shape, has been taken well care of and is beautiful.