Nobel Chef
Niclas Wahlström, chef at Stockholm’s Den Gyldene Freden, will be the one to serve the royal family and all the prizewinners at this year’s Nobel Prize dinner. The theme of the menu is “Like a fairytale” and Wahlström has composed it along with Magnus Johansson, from the dessert bistro Xoko. Exactly what the guests will be served is as usual a secret. “We’re very proud of Niclas and are happy to lend him for this year’s most spectacular dinner,” said Agneta Bergman, restaurateur at Den Gyldene Freden. “He’s passionate about Nordic fare and finding modern ways to present classic dishes.” The dinner will take place on December 10.

Botkyrka – Europe’s circus center
A new circus stage is being built in Botkyrka, and it will house thousands of spectators. There’s a hangar at Albysjön where the stage will be erected, creativity is in the air here, as this is where inventors like L M Ericsson, Gustaf de Laval, and Gustaf Dalén worked. Today it is know for another type of creativity though, and the name of the place is Subtopia, a joint-stock company whose main purpose is to be a platform for dreams and ideas in art, dance, movies, radio, design, contemporary circus and everything within the creative industry. Karin Lekberg, director of Subtopia, says: “We have produced a lot, but we’ve never had a stage to perform on.” Now all that will change, with a movable gallery seats for thousands. The hope is, that Subtopia will become Europe’s circus center. “It’s important to work with a long-term goal,” Lekberg continues, “even if we’ve grown with a super speed (from 6 actors in 2003 to 52 actors today). The most important thing is not to be the biggest and the best in the world. The most important thing is to be the best in the world.” Inauguration of the new stage is expected to be on September 1st, 2010.

How much $$$ do they make?
How much money do Swedish politicians make? We found the list of the highest paid in the Swedish parliament. And on top of it is Thomas Bodström, (Social Democratic Party) who raked in 2025800 SEK ($294,865) last year. Bodström was the Swedish Minister for Justice 2000-2006 and is now the chairman of the Riksdags committee for justice, and he chairs children’s rights organization ECPAT Sweden. Aside from his duties as a politician, Bodström is also a lawyer and a writer. 2. On second spot we find Göran Thingwall (Moderate Party), 1617400 SEK ($235,396). Thingwall is a deputy member of the educational committee. 3. Anne-Marie Pålsson (Moderate Party) made 1569700 SEK ($228,493). Her title says Senior Lecturer. Mona Sahlin, the current leader of the Social Democratic Party earned 1536400 SEK ($223,614), which put her in 5th place. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (Moderate Party) made 1761100 SEK ($256,358) in 2008, the highest paid member of the Swedish government.

Crisis in the Church of Sweden
Svenska Kyrkan (The Church of Sweden) is losing more and more of its members, at the same time as memberships in Islamic, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox Christian assemblies are on the rise. Between November 2008 and October 2009, nearly 72,000 people, or roughly 1% of the church's 6.8 million members, asked to leave, according to church statistics reviewed by the TT news agency. The number of people abandoning Sweden's largest church is roughly 20,000 more than the previous year. Church of Sweden spokesperson Henrik Pederby was unable to point to any specific reason why more people are leaving the church. “Previously, the drop leveled off, after withdrawals reached a peak in 2004. Now it’s increasing again. We interpret that as indicating that the figures are being affected by some general situation in society. It could be economic reasons which cause someone to leave the church,” he said. Members of the Church of Sweden are obliged to pay a little less than 1% of their annual income in church tax. In 2008, 6.8 million Swedes, or 73 % of the population, were officially members. Until 1996, Swedes automatically became members of the church at birth if at least one parent was a member. The decision by the church to allow homosexual couples to be wed in Swedish churches doesn’t appear to have any effect on church membership, according to Pederby. “The marriage decision had no effect whatsoever,” he said. At the same time, however, the total number of members in other faith communities increased somewhat, according to figures from the Swedish Commission for Government Support to Faith Communities (Nämnden för statligt stöd till trossamfund – SST). A total of 761,538 people now belong to faith groups other than the Church of Sweden, a 1% increase from the 753,952 people registered in 2007. The faith communities, which registered increases include Islamic assemblies, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Orthodox and Assyrian Churches. SST point out, however, that there is uncertainty about figures for many of the parishes. Meanwhile, the Pentecostal movement, which has 121,545 members and the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden (115,999 members) have both lost members, with most dioceses reporting a roughly 1% drop in membership. In addition, 6,441 people, or 0.26%, have sought to join the Church of Sweden in the last year.