A college near Oslo is offering students a one-year course in traditional Viking skills and crafts. The students learn how wood and metal crafts, including sword forging, as well as skills such as roof thatching and traditional bread baking. The school is part of the Norwegian folkehøgskule, or “folk college”, system, in which many students spend a year between school and university learning life skills at a local college.
Gaahl is the former vocalist for Gorgoroth, Norwegin black metal powerhouse and satanic ideologues. In 2005 he was sentenced to 14 months in prison for beating and torturing an intruder in his home. In 2007 Vice went to the remote Norwegian hamlet of Espedal (named for/owned by Gaahl's family for generations) to talk music, philosophy, painting, and get some insights into True Norwegian Black Metal. [more inside]
US vs. Nordic Policing How many shots are needed?
The land of fjords, trolls and vikings is a nation of 5 million people, and snow. Photographers like it, as do jumpers and skateboarders. Norway is pretty and has a long coastline due to the lovely crinkly edges, making it nice to sail in. There are islands such as the Lofoten archipelago, long train journeys, steep train journeys, the Northern Lights, ferry journeys that last 134 hours, road tunnels, cathedrals, more Aurora Borealis, mountains, lights, some skiing, sunrises and sunsets, cosy hotels, long walks and whales. And the Aurora. Their tourist board has an unfair advantage. Camping is nice, either with other people or on your own. Svalbard is quite north. Did we mention the scenery and Aurora?
On Scandinavian prisons: why they are superior; what Norwegian high-security prisons are like; about a lower security Norwegian prison.
In Norway, Start-ups Say Ja to Socialism - We venture to the very heart of the hell that is Scandinavian socialism—and find out that it's not so bad. Pricey, yes, but a good place to start and run a company. What exactly does that suggest about the link between taxes and entrepreneurship?
Norman Centuries is a new podcast by Lars Brownworth, best known for his podcast series 12 Byzantine Rulers (previously). Norman Centuries, as the name suggests, recounts the history of the Normans, those literal vikings who gained Normandy and then England, Sicily, Malta, Antioch and, well, a whole heck of a lot of other places too. They were a conquering bunch. First two episodes are out with more to follow. [iTunes link]
Oil drilling in the Lofoten Islands? Norway's gorgeous Lofoten Islands were the subject of a great post by madamjujujive last year. Now the World Wide Fund for Nature is sounding the alarm over the prospect of oil drilling there. A decision from the Norwegian government is expected next month.
Lofoten Photogalerie - armchair travel through this breathtaking gallery of photos from Norwegian Islands located within the Arctic Circle. The region offers awesome vistas in every season. Links courtesy of Mefioso Kogiak who has an interesting story on his site about how he found this gem.