Food manners
How much are you allowed to play around with food when not at home? Take salad for instance, if there's additional cheese on the table, can you take some and add to your salad? Mix and match, sort of? Magdalena Ribbing, Dagens Nyheter’s expert on good manners, says “No!” “Any changes you make to food during a formal dinner is wrong,” she explains. “It implies that the host has done something wrong with the dish or not done enough with it.” Therefore, you may not mash your potatoes, mix the meat with the rice or put bread in your soup. You may of course add a piece of meat along with a piece of potato on your fork, but do not mix them on the plate. Ribbing points out that this is the correct manner for a formal dinner. A more impromptu gathering involving food may be a different story entirely.

Were the Goths Swedish?
It looks like the conquerors of Rome might have come from Gotaland after all. The Goths were a people that broke up from the lands around the Black Sea and then managed to conquer not only Rome, but also Spain and half of France. Where they originated from has been an age-old question. According to the Roman chronicler Jordanes (6th century), the Goths themselves said they were Scandinavians, and in Götaland there were of course Göter so that makes sense. Other concrete proof doesn’t really exist, but the old patriotic Swedish history books wanted very much for the Goths to be Scandinavian. During the 20th century not many researchers wanted to discuss the question. But now along comes a little text called “Wulfila” written by Lars Munkhammar, about the bishop who 1700 years ago translated the Bible to Gothic – one famous copy is the Silver Bible, the Codex argenteus. Munkhammar writes that after all, much does point to the fact that the Goths originated in Scandinavia, and Munkhammar is supported by Anders Kaliff, Professor of Archeology. Archeological and linguistic findings both point to a Nordic connection. The Goths seems to have had a conservative and long-lived cultural identity founded in old, oral traditions, which support Jordanes’ information too. What it probably doesn’t mean is that a completely Swedish tribe first left for the Black Sea and then conquered Rome – cultural connections and the way people and identities mix are much too complicated for that.

Monica Z. on film
Edda Magnason is a Swedish singer and pianist from Malmo with a Swedish mother and an Icelandic father. Edda is soon to portray Monica Zetterlund in a film called "Monica Z". Edda got the part after auditioning and competition was fierce. “I remember Monica Zetterlund’s black turtleneck sweater. I remember her blond bob and a whole lot of eyeliner,” says Edda, who was born in 1984. “She is as important for Sweden as Pippi Longstocking, she was a fascinating person; both cool prima donna as well as sharp and funny.” The film is scripted by Peter Birro, and shooting will begin in 2012.

With dangerous goods through Sweden
Transporting highly explosive materials or deadly poison through tunnels are against the law throughout the European Union, but in Sweden there are no signs, which means it is OK. In spite of clear rules from the EU in directions from two years ago, Sweden has yet to put up the prohibitory signs needed for a driver transporting dangerous goods to be punished by law. Myndigheten för Samhällsnytta-och Beredskap, MSB (Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency) points the finger at Näringsdepartementet (Ministry of Enterprise, Energy, and Communications). “We’ve had this law for two years and they’ve had five years to put up the signs,” says safety consultant Göran Teike to SVT (Swedish Television). “It must be deemed a misconduct to not get things done. It’s possible to transport anything through tunnels without signs.” The reason no signs have been put up, has to do with the fact that a change in the traffic sign regulation is needed first. “We submitted a proposal that was rejected, so we are working on a new one at the moment,” says Charlotte Ottosson, administrator at Näringsdepartementet. “But it is of course not good that it has taken this long.”