Earthquake rocks Gothenburg
An earthquake hit western Sweden at about 10 p.m. on July 29. The epicenter was just north of Billdal, shaking the west coast around Gothenburg for miles. Seismologist Björn Lund from Uppsala University confirmed that the earthquake, measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale, occurred at 20 kilometers depth. According to Lund, earthquakes this size occur roughly twice a year in Sweden. "But it's unusual to occur in such a densely populated area." Many people felt things shake and rumble, but no major damage or injuries were reported. Map of the Earth with the epicentres of earthquakes 1963-1998 marked with dots.

Poisonous plants growing fast
Jättelokor, or björnlokor, (Heracleum mantegazzianum, commonly known as giant hogweed) are rapidly growing in Stockholm. That means a big problem is rapidly growing, too. Jättebjörnlokan, a plant whose name translates to "giant bear locomotive," is an invasive species that quickly grows tall and becomes attractive to children to play with. It typically grows to heights of 6 to 18 feet. But the city is warning parents to teach their children to recognize jättebjörnlokan and stay away from it: It can cause severe burns that resemble those caused by chemicals. The sap of giant hogweed causes phytophotodermatitis, a.k.a Lime Disease in humans, resulting in blisters, long-lasting scars, and—if it comes in contact with eyes—blindness. These serious reactions are due to the furocoumarin derivatives in the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds of the plant. The plants also pose a threat to biodiversity - each flower can spawn 50,000 seeds that become new plants, choking out other vegetation. The city is calling on Stockholmers to give notice to places where the giant plant is growing so they can more aggressively fight it; sometimes just mowing it down before the flowers bloom is what works.

A new app reads banknotes
In Swedish or English (or 29 other languages), Sweden’s new app "Kolla pengarna" (Check your money) will tell you about the country's new banknotes and coins. It is part of the Riksbank's information campaign for the launch of the comprehensive exchange of Swedish banknotes and coins that starts on October 1 this year – in denominations of 20 kronor, 50 kronor, SEK 1,000 and the brand new 200-kronor note. Scan your banknote, and the voice of Riksbank president Stefan Ingves himself tells you when it will become invalid. "The idea behind this feature is primarily to assist visually impaired people," said Christina Wejshammar, cash manager at the Riksbank. "There is an increased risk right at the transition before people have time to become familiar with the new banknotes," she said. But the campaign will help everyone as people learn to recognize the new banknotes, security features and what denominations will be invalid. "Recognition is important for safety."