While the status of Obama's "American College Promise" initiative that proposes two free years of community college for "everybody who's willing to work for it" (announced back in January) is far from certain, The Washington Post identified seven countries -- Germany, Finland, France, Sweden, Norway, Slovenia, and Brazil -- where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free (or almost free), and BBC's News Magazine recently detailed how this works in Germany, both from the side of a new student from outside of Germany, and what Germany gets out of the situation. But if you want to stay in the US, TIME identifies 25 colleges where you can get a tuition for free (with a number of caveats, of course).
US vs. Nordic Policing How many shots are needed?
The Norden is a Finnish TV series, taking Americans and introducing them to their profession within the Nordic countries. First, James Conway, retired Superintendent of Attica Correctional Facility in New York, visits four Nordic prisons and facilities. An excerpt, and the full episode with English subtitles. [more inside]
"Stand Still, Stay Silent" is the follow-up to Minna Sundberg's successful webcomic "A Redtail's Dream" (previously), but instead of a 550 page Finnish fantasy tale, it's a post-apocalyptic but still very Scandinavian story intended to run for years. After 10 months of almost-every-weekday pages, she has taken a short break for the end of 'Book One' and it's a good time to catch up. (SPOILERS INSIDE, but reading from the beginning is still strongly recommended) [more inside]
On Scandinavian prisons: why they are superior; what Norwegian high-security prisons are like; about a lower security Norwegian prison.
"Euphoria", which won the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest (previously), is a #1 in several countries, including Ireland, Austria, and Switzerland Of course, it's not the only song charting internationally that you might never hear on US radio. It should come as no surprise that one can readily find international hits online. For instance - Sweden, #4: Panetoz - Dansa Pausa Sweden, #9: Mange Makers - Drick Den This doesn't purport to be an exhaustive list, but rather a jumping-off point. [more inside]
Scandanavia And The World: A web comic of outrageous national stereotypes bluntly portrayed by cute little cartoon bobbleheads, that will nonetheless help outsiders learn to differentiate among the Nordic countries. With explanatory text.
78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
Europe according to... is a project to map stereotypes of European countries according to other countries and groups of people. [more inside]
There is contention in Sweden over the use of rabbit cadavers as bioenergy to provide heat in Värmland. The rabbits are invasive species, initially pets that were released into the parks in the city of Stockholm. Lacking any natural predators, the rabbits thrive on vegetation, eating their way through the city's central parks. The culling last year set a local record with nearly 6,000 rabbits removed from Stockholm's parks, mostly from Kungsholmen. Some concerned citizens have formed a group, Vilda kaniners värn (Society for the Protection of Wild Rabbits, Google translation). They speak out against the culling and provide alternatives to killing the rabbits, citing methods used in Helsinki (including plant protection) as more humane alternatives. (Biofuel details and more after the break.) [more inside]
Carta Marina - From 1518 to 1519, Olaus Magnus made a journey across Sweden. On his journey, he encountered fish the size of elephants, sea serpents, demons and a tribe of pygmies.