Blix working again in the Middle East.
Hans Blix, the outspoken Swedish diplomat who headed the UN investigations of Saddam Hussein's alleged stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction, has been selected to chair the International Advisory Board that will provide the United Arab Emirates civilian nuclear program with expertise and knowledge. The board will advise on nuclear science, non-proliferation, regulatory affairs, energy generation and distribution, reactor operations, waste management, human resource development and related fields. Blix also served as the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency for four terms from 1981 till 1997. According to a statement from the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Blix will head a board which fulfills commitments with the United States covering transfer of nuclear technology in return for assurances prohibiting nuclear weapons capabilities. Described in the report, "Policy of the United Arab Emirates on the Evaluation and Potential Development of Peaceful Nuclear Energy," the International Advisory Board consists of nine members. Starting first this month, the International Advisory Board will meet semiannually to receive reports on the progress of the United Arab Emirates Nuclear Program. Board members will suggest potential areas regarding maintaining standards of safety, security and non-proliferation.

Swedish H2O cleaner in D.C.
The Swedish company, Solvatten, has been invited to demonstrate its household water treatment during a Smithsonian Museum exhibit running from May 14, 2010 to January 9, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Entitled ”Why Design Now?”, the exhibit will display objects that present reasons that make design an essential tool for solving a variety of today’s most urgent problems. A 10 liter container, the Solvatten product is placed in a sunny location for two to six hours, and thereafter, the water will be ascertained as being wholly drinkable. An indicator shows when it is safe to drink. Solvatten can also be used as a solar water heater that is capable of providing hot water for cooking and hygiene.

Bad weather in Sweden.
The Swedish Rail Administration requested support by the Armed Forces to clear snow from the tracks. The Armed Forces are sending a total of 300 soldiers and officers to the hardest hit areas around Hallsberg, Nässjö and Norrköping in central and eastern Sweden. It is the first time that the Rail Administration request assistance from the Swedish Armed Forces. The opportunity is given in the law to "secure rail transport". Explaining the move, Infrastructure Minister Åsa Torstensson described the current situation as the worst since the Swedish railroads were built. "For the first time, the rail administration will receive help from the army," she told reporters at a recent press conference.

Pros not kept abreast.
Teachers search for knowledge to use in the classroom. Librarians seek ideas to assist the public in finding information on bookshelves. Nurses simply don't have time for anything except patients. These conclusions were reached by researchers at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Borås, both in West Sweden, who studied how professionals in various occupations kept up to date after finishing their essential education . Reporting in late February, the researchers noted that today's highly specialized jobs require that workers continuously refresh knowledge regarding developments in their fields. LearnIT, which is one of the Swedish Knowledge Foundation's largest research programs, has explored the interaction between learning and ICT in 46 research projects over a ten year period. A SEK145 million grant has resulted in 885 books and articles, of which 57 percent are international. Examining information sources that professionals needed in their work, the report contrasted this to information acquisition procedures that they developed during school years. The teams discovered that keeping abreast of contemporary knowledge was not an automatic consequence of intense knowledge gathering conducted by youth during higher education. Interviewed teachers and librarians responded that, as students, they were not taught that they would be expected to continue educating themselves after they started working. Although nurses said that they knew that ongoing study would be necessary as professionals, the hours needed to keep aware of nursing science were not available.

Ceiling collapses onto prized bunnies.
The roof and one gabled wall to Rosvalla tennis hall in Nyköping caved in the aftermath of heavy snow buildup and collapsed an hour after midnight on Feb. 21. Fortunately unoccupied by humans at the time of the accident, the premises were being used as Sweden's largest national rabbit exhibition, accompanied by festivities and dancing, staged by the Södermanland County Rabbit Breeding Association. According to firemen at the emergency services center in Nyköping, a city about 65 miles south of Stockholm, there were 1,648 rabbits in the building when the roof collapsed. All of the long eared creatures that had hopped away or went into hiding after the building's collapse were swiftly captured and returned to safely located cages. Around half of the rabbits were covered when the roof fell. While debris was still being sifted, the structure was isolated from worried animal owners due to a risk of further problems. Nonetheless, a happy ending was forthcoming because relatively few of the championship beasts were injured or perished.

Cheetah babies in Borås.
As many as eight cheetah cubs were born at Borås Djurpark (Borås Zoo): Six males and two females. That’s a record, as cheetahs normally have no more than 5 cubs in a litter. The mother’s name is Luanga, she came to Borås Djuspark in 2005, father Paka came to Borås in 2001 from a zoo in the Netherlands. This is Luanga’s second litter she had her first in May of 2008. Both her cubs from that litter are still with her at the Borås Djupark. The cheetah is a member of the cat family and is unique in its speed, though it is lacking in climbing abilities. It is the fastest land animal, reaching speeds between 70 and 75 mph.

New meatballs at Ikea.
Do you like the meatballs served at Ikea when you’re in Europe? Well, next time you go to eat there, the taste might be different. You see, not anyone is allowed to roll meatballs for the furniture giant and now Ikea has given the family-owned business Dafgårds the sole right to produce Ikea’s meatballs around Europe. That means that Findus, the company that used to produce Ikea’s meatballs, has been dumped. Says Ivana Hrdlickova, Ikea’s PR officer: “We are now going to use only one supplier for all of Europe, since we get higher volumes to a lower price then, while still keeping a high quality.” Expressen polled its readers what they thought about the switch from Findus to Dafgårds: 33% said it was good, 18% said it was bad, and 49% couldn’t care less.

Debatable shoes.
“This snakeskin jacket symbolizes my individuality and belief in personal freedom,” said Nicholas Cage as Sailor in the movie “Wild at Heart”. Crown Princess Victoria hasn’t been seen in a snakeskin jacket, but her absolute favorite shoes are a pair of snakeskin pumps, which she wears like… always. Perhaps she feels that they, too, symbolize her individuality. The problem is that it is not really politically correct to walk around in snakeskin when snakes are under protection. And activists (as well as others who are in the know and care) demand an answer: “Are Your Majesty’s shoes fake or not?” And what if they are real? Is it OK for a modern princess to walk around in snakeskin? What do you think? Should the Crown Princess be able to wear whatever she wants or not?