Hazing in high schools
Americans are not surprised to hear about hazing on college campuses, although most Greek systems in the United States have been cracking down on keeping their new recruits out of risky situations. But lately, hazing, known as “nollning” (“zeroing”), has grown more risky in Sweden — among young high school students. What may have started with good intentions to help freshmen feel more comfortable and accepted as they started high school, has landed at least four young Varberg teens in the hospital fighting for their lives. Older students, who have traditionally been the organizers of hazing events, are recognizing that it’s been getting worse every year, increasingly associated with humiliation, demands and extreme alcohol intake. In separate incidents across the country, it's become clear that adult involvement has been missing; that will change now. If "Nollning" is to continue, families are recognizing that plans should be made with adult oversight. School staff may get more involved, and now police are looking in to the situation in Varberg as well. In the meantime, the Schools Inspectorate has set up some immediate help for students to anonymously seek support if they need it, and if parents feel their child has been wronged, they can report their concern for assessment. The Varberg students are each expected to make a full recovery.

AIK coach in intensive care
With just days left before AIK Sweden’s national ice hockey team’s first game of the season, coach Peter Gradin nearly lost his life to a lawn mower accident. Two weeks later he is still in intensive care in Sollefteĺ, Sweden, but his condition is improving with each day. “I think I have a star in the sky that said it was not time yet,”said Gradin to AIK reporters. Gradin, legendary AIK player from 1978 to 1992, was cutting the grass at his home on Sept. 7 on his new rider mower. Accidentally hitting the gas rather than the brakes, he drove over a curb, and rolled, the mower ending up on top of him. He has more than a dozen broken bones and both lungs were punctured, but he is hopeful to be back to his new job soon. “I am optimistic that I should be back to the team at the beginning of October, although the doctors might not agree with me,” said Gradin. In his absence, the team is led by Thomas Froberg from Färjestad J20 and AIK icon David Engblom, who has played more than 700 matches in the club.

The science of happiness
As a country with long, dark winters, Sweden is notorious for its research on happiness. So much so, that the Global Happiness Organization (GHO), a scientifically-based, nonprofit organization, was created with an aim to promote happiness and reduce suffering worldwide. Filip Fors, who has a PhD in sociology and is a happiness researcher at Sweden’s University of Umeĺ, lectures on happiness research, and recently offered these tips on being happy: 1) Changing your behavior is easier than changing your thoughts. “Much depends on how you behave. Being physically, mentally and socially active, and doing things you care about, can have a positive effect on well-being.” 2) Engage in more activities you think are fun, stimulating and enjoyable, and they will affect you positively. There is much research that supports that. 3) List activities and try to do more of those things, focusing on the positive ones rather than the negatives. “It's all about attention.” 4) Those who think it’s always greener on the other side must ask themselves why they are never satisfied. Research shows that people who are happy are not so self-absorbed, live more in the moment and are happy with what they have.