Five Swedish embassies to close. Expert warns for safety of Swedish nuclear power. Swedish Actor Per Oscarsson and wife confirmed dead. Prince Porsche of Sweden. New Year’s resolutions - easy to make, harder to live up to.
Five Swedish embassies to close
Sweden is closing its embassies in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Brussels (Belgium), Hanoi (Vietnam), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Luanda (Angola). According to the Foreign Ministry it is because of the parliament’s decreased grants to the government with around 300 million SEK ($43,670,353.92).
Per Oscarsson and wife confirmed dead
The remains found in Per Oscarsson's burned-down house have been identified. It is now clear that it was the actor and his wife, Kia Östling, who died in the fire on New Year's Eve. "The identification was completed (Jan. 5) and was made using dental records," said police spokesman Ulf Edberg. What caused the fire in the house outside Skara, in western Sweden, is still unclear. Per Oscarsson, born 1927, was one of Sweden's most respected and commanding actors.
Expert warns for safety of Swedish nuclear power
One of the leading experts in the nuclear industry, Magnus von Bonsdorff, warns for the safety of Swedish nuclear power. This after alarm signals from the UN agency IAEA that the functioning of Swedish nuclear power plants is the worst in Europe. In 2009, Swedish nuclear power plants could only supply 63 percent of their potential capacity. “This is unacceptable. I'm really concerned about this. If the operations in general are limping one has to wonder how it is with security," von Bonsdorff said.
Prince Porsche of Sweden
Prince Carl Philip is driving around town in a luxury Porsche worth hundreds of thousands of dollar, but he's not paying for it. “It’s an extension of our collaboration that he uses our products even privately,” says Bo Jansson, director of Porsche in Sweden. For many years Carl Philip drove a leased Volvo XC90, but now he is driving a new Porsche Cayenne S hybrid―worth $145,578.20. Porsche Sweden loaned the car to Flash Engineering, Carl Philip’s racing stable, which in turn loaned it to the prince. “The car was delivered in November,” continues Bo Johansson. Janne “Flash” Nilsson, owner of Flash Engineering, was the one who suggested Carl Philip should drive the Porsche. “When the car came, I thought it was good because of his part as a motor prince and because he is knowledgeable about the motor business. He could try it and see what he thinks about hybrid cars.” Each year the King of Sweden and his royal household get over 120 million SEK ($17,469,696.68) from the Swedish taxpayers in appanage, money that the rest of the family gets a share of. Add to that the family’s own capital. In spite of it all, the prince drives around in a Porsche―and doesn’t pay a penny for it. Doesn’t sound too good to Swedish ears.
New Year’s resolutions - easy to make, harder to live up to
We love them and we hate them―Nyårslöftena. Recent research shows that while 52 percent of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12 percent actually achieved their goals. Expressen, the Swedish daily, shows some tips to make you belong to the 12 percent.
1. Motivate yourself. To make sure you are motivated to change, make a list of the things you’ll gain by changing your habits. For instance think of all the books you can read if you quit surfing the Web.
2. Reward yourself. It’s easier to attain a goal if you have smaller goals along the way. If your resolution is to start exercising, then make it your goal to exercise twice a week for a month to begin with. When you’ve done that, you can step it up.
3. Visualization. When you feel like giving up, try to visualize yourself in the future, after you’ve reached your goals.
4. Move on. If you fall off the wagon, don’t stay there. Pick yourself up and get back on. No big deal.
5. Be realistic. Instead of saying “I’m going to quit smoking” ask yourself how. Perhaps going cold turkey isn’t the thing for you. And what does “eat better and exercise more” really mean? What are you going to eat more or less of and how much are you going to exercise? Be specific and be realistic.
There are religious parallels to the tradition of New Year’s resolutions. During Judaism's New Year―Rosh Hashanah, through the high holy days and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)―one is to reflect upon one's wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. People may act similarly during the Christian fasting period of Lent, though the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually. The top three New Year’s resolutions for Swedes are: 1. Start exercising 2. Quit smoking 3. Eat healthier.
The remains found at the site of the burned-down house have now been identified. It's confirmed that it was actor Per Oscarsson and his wife who died in the fire on New Year's Eve.
We make them flippantly perhaps, while the fireworks are illuminating the skies and we’re sipping champagne and partying. But only 12 percent of us are successful in keeping our New Year’s resolutions.