"In around 1963, curators became aware of the presence of some kind of exotic spider in the museum. Following a sudden explosion of sightings in the winter of 1970, they decided to carry out a systematic search, which revealed an infestation on the whole ground floor of the building. There were spiders everywhere; in cupboards and drawers, on desks and shelves and behind pictures on the walls."
Meet the Somalis is a series of short comics depicting the various experiences of fourteen Somali immigrants in cities across northern Europe.
Long known by photographers, the Helsinki Bus Station Theory explains the creative process in an interesting way.
The Complaints Choir phenomenon, started by the Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, has spread all over the world since last we paid it any attention, from Birmingham to Helsinki, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Poikkilaakso, Bodø, Penn State, Canada, Juneau, Gabriola Island, Sointula, Jerusalem, Melbourne, Budapest, Malmö, Chicago, Florence, Copenhagen, Vancouver (2), Philadelphia, Sundbyberg, Milano, Åland, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Basel, Umeå, Ljubljana, Gdansk, Arizona State University, Washington, DC, Horace Mann School, Durham-Chapel Hill, Auckland, Toronto theatre students, Kortrijk, Cairo (2), St. Pölten, Maribor, Port Coquitlam, Ústí nad Labem, Columbus & Kauhajoki (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). For more information, including a 9 step guide to forming your own complaints choir, go to the Complaints Choir website. Finally, here's the Singapore Complaints Choir, whose performance was banned by the Singapore government.
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]
Finnish female singer Carola Standertskjöld -- All Alone Am I::Kielletyt leikit::Perfidia::chain of fools '69::::Exotic Carola
The Gare de Lyon in Paris has Le Train Bleu. Grand Central Staion in New York has a superb Oyster Bar; Washington Union Station has this neo-classical wonder; while Prague this prime example of art nouveau; Helsinki, meanwhile, offers something suitably democratic. With cafes as good as this, railway stations become destinations in themselves.
President Martti Ahtisaari wins the Nobel Peace Prize. A former Finnish President, an UN envoy, a social democrat, a school teacher and founder of Crisis Management Initiative has negotiated for peace in many troubled areas for three decades. Last fall and last summer CMI (without Ahtisaari's presence) called former Northern Ireland and South African militants to use their experience for finding Iraqi factions a way out of bloodshed. A plan for Kosovo. Negotiations ending 30-year conflict in Aceh, Indonesia. Negotiating Namibia independence. Got conflict? Mr. Ahtisaari is your man.
If you find yourself in Finland on the evening of April 30th or on May 1st, you must be aware of the following information. Today is Vappu. Also known as Walpurgis Night, Vappu is a traditional holiday in Finland, and there are a number of unique social customs and dress you must be aware of in order to avoid embarrassment and ridicule. [more inside]
Life and death of an urban recluse Odd and beautiful newspaper story.
Is this the end of the bus timetable? It can be bloody cold in Helsinki in January. The last thing you want to do is hang around too long for a bus or tram. Soon you won't have to because Helsinki City Transport is currently fitting *its entire fleet* with Linux servers. Not only will each bus or tram become a travelling wireless hotspot, but you will be able to see exactly where in the city your new bus actually is. Meaning that you only step into the bitter cold the minute before it arrives. (its in beta but you can see the effects of the live trial) [more inside]
If you overdosed on being thankful yesterday, the Birmingham Complaints Choir or the Helsinki Complaints Choir might be an antidote. (YouTube alert) More on complaints choirs.
Downtown Helsinki seemed semiapocalyptic tonight while a set of warehouses near city-center burned to the ground. The buildings were previously owned by the State Railway, and (as Wikipedia tells) recently had become an unofficial cultural center hosting BDSM conventions and heavy metal festivals. The buildings were previously scheduled for destruction on Monday to make way for a new music hall, but it looks like the demolition happened early. Fire trucks had visited the scene earlier this week when it was last set on fire during a May Day eve protest-- or was that drunken revelry? Strangely, this wasn't considered significant enough for the police to worry about it. More photos.
Hel Looks. Street fashion from Helsinki, Finland. You're probably familiar with Japanese street style, and how they're dressing in Shibuya, but what are things like on the other side of the world? Some Hel fashions look familiar. Very familiar. Some recall the 'world between the wars'. Shemagh are popular, although not for the head. Sometimes just...eek! If Death Metal marries Neko Musume, in which religion will the
children be raised? Of course this is Helsinki: "When I dress up the most important thing is not to be cold!"