Philips’ advertising campaigns for the wake-up light have historically challenged the prestige of the product, testing the wake-up light’s mettle in real life. In this latest campaign, the test is on an epic scale.
Watch the clip for the trailer here.
Philips travels to Longyearbyen, Norway, where winter lasts for four months and the sun doesn’t rise at all in this period. A town where the local people look with dread to the winter months: a time of little enjoyment and confusion. A period when, without the differentiation of day and night, time itself is without meaning.
Enter Philips and the wake-up light with a simple mission: to restore residents Longyearbyen’s daily routine and help them combat the negative impact of living without natural light for four months.
The wake-up light simulates sunrise, allowing users to, perhaps not surprisingly, wake up in an environment similar to a bright summer’s day. The theory behind the experiment is that this will combat the negative effects of waking, living and then going to sleep in darkness and should help the user readjust to a more natural cycle.
The full footage for the experiment will be released in November. Will it work? Wait and see.
CNN follows the flocks on tourists on the Millennium tour of Stockholm on Wednesday.
Sometimes older articles on The Local find new life weeks, months or even years after they are initially published when they are picked up by external sites.
Recent examples of this are a sudden spike in traffic of 8,000 readers on June 16th to Swedish parents keep 2-year-old’s gender secret, initially published nearly a year earlier on June 23rd, thanks to a pickup on i am bored.
More recently, on July 8th, Cracked.com cited our article Black Cobra gang steals selection of small cakes from March in a roundup of 5 bizarre real-life gangs, sending 4,700 readers our way to read about their exploits that merited the mention (they came in 3rd).
This week alone, we’ve seen a significant spike on Artists lose out as fans stop burning CDs and Cerebral palsy fraudster gets 3 years in jail thanks to Fark and Swedish women vote to keep their tops on thanks to reddit.
How can we narrow down the dates, numbers and sources of the traffic coming to our site? Google Analytics. We could spend hours tooling around to see where people are coming from to our site, but we would never get any work done.
We love to see where our stories end up on the Internet, so please feel free to share any articles (old or new) that amuse or enrage you from our site (using the buttons at the bottom of each story or elsewhere). And don’t forget to check out our new and improved Facebook page.
There’s an old joke about a couple from Småland, a province in southern Sweden, who win a million kronor on the lottery. “What shall we do with all the begging letters,” asks the wife. “Keep on sending them,” her husband replies.
Perhaps, though, the Smålänningar (as the region’s allegedly tight-fisted inhabitants are known) will have the last laugh as the rest of the world braces for a bumpy economic ride.
The world’s most famous Smålänning, Ingvar Kamprad, appears to have braced IKEA for the downturn by living up to the stereotype. Instead of taking advantage of cheap credit, IKEA borrowed little. Instead of selling boom-time luxuries, Kamprad has always behaved as though every one of his customers was a stereotypical stingy Smålänning.
The words of current CEO Anders Dahlvig in this Time interview are perhaps testament to the virtues of living frugally:
This is a really good time for us. The way we’ve set up our business, we’re planning for a climate like this all the time. We have a very conservative policy when it comes to borrowing money. We basically only use our retained earnings and don’t borrow very much. We also have a very conservative policy when it comes to how we place our cash and our liquidity. We don’t place anything in equities, so we haven’t lost a dime so far. And the way we position our brand is as good value for the money. People know when they have less money what Ikea stands for.
Read Thomas L Friedman’s take in the New York Times on why it is in the best interest of Americans to embrace Swedes (along with a whole host of others):
Somebody better tell John McCain: We are all Swedes now. Forget about “Live Free or Die.” Until we get our financial act together, our motto is going to be: “Swedish spoken here – or Arabic or Chinese or German …”
Hats off to 15-year-old Anna Axelsson for the invention of the Binibottle.
Who would have thought the design of a water bottle could be drastically improved? Well if you’ve ever tried to fill one in a shallow sink or drinking fountain you’ll appreciate the clever design of the Binibottle. In addition to the twist cap on top, it also includes a sunken twist cap on the side allowing the bottle to be filled in a horizontal position. That means there’s no more trying to awkwardly angle the bottle to get it to fit under the faucet of a small sink.
Oh Gizmo has the story and the relevant links.
Business: October 12th, 2007 by PO
Sweden may need greater financial oversight if it is to entertain thoughts of competing on the global stage, the New York Times reports.
“I’m convinced we need a much stronger supervisory authority for the financial markets,” said Olle Rossander, a writer and a commentator on Swedish business. “We’ve had a tradition of self-regulation here; it’s been a little like the Wild West.”
Can anyone halt the march of the little bags of moist tobacco that people stuff under their lips to make them look like boxers? the New York Times wonders.
With the Sweden experience as a blueprint, the American tobacco industry is looking to snus as a potentially profitable, less dangerous alternative to cigarettes.
Even if the US does accept the introduction of snus, the EU is unlikely to follow suit. As The Times points out:
Snus has been banned throughout the European Union since 1992. It is authorised only in Sweden, where it is so much part of the national culture that the country negotiated an exemption from the ban when it joined the union.
British American Tobacco (BAT) is calling on the EU to lift the ban but such a move is considered unlikely.
Business: August 17th, 2007 by PR
Venture capital money is flooding in ($46m so far this year compared to $26.7m for the whole of last year) and one of the key reasons for the region’s success is Sweden’s intellectual property rules:
…in contrast to the rest of Europe and the U.S., Sweden has a unique policy on intellectual property. The so-called teacher’s exemption allows scientists—not the universities where they work— to own full rights to their discoveries. This has encouraged many academics to strike out on their own in search of outside investment capital. Since they own the intellectual property, they can transfer it to an independent company. “This is a key competitive advantage and one that has spurred a flurry of entrepreneurial activity,” says HealthCap’s [Dr. Eugen] Steiner.
Sweden is once again partying like it’s 1999, except with a bit more refinement and know-how this time.
The fascination of this boom lies not in its similarities with 1999 but with its differences. This time around there is excessive consumption – but it has been tempered by experience, the full measure of which can only be realised by journeying backwards to 1999 to make a comparison.
The Financial Times’s David Ibison wheels out the time machine (here reproduced in the LA Times) .
Business: July 9th, 2007 by PR
The contenders for the purchase of Vin & Sprit, the state-owned booze-maker that is earmarked for a sell-off by the Swedish government, are starting to emerge.
According to William Lyons, writing in Scotland on Sunday, Carlsberg, with a possible war-chest of £6.3 billion, are tipped to keep the brand Scandinavian.
But according to Paul Bergqvist, chairman of Carlsberg’s Swedish operations, they’re not interested in the jewel in Vin & Sprit’s crown – Absolut vodka.
“Absolut does not fit our portfolio. We think Absolut can be developed even better by those who are specialists at spirits.”
And that could be Pernod Ricard.
Swedish design no longer cuts the mustard for a certain niche of car-buyer, according to Tyler Brûlée, writing in the International Herald Tribune:
Once upon a time Saab and Volvo owned the “small and interesting” automotive territory with a community of drivers who responded to the cars’ high safety standards, slightly quirky designs and Swedish values.
In a time when it was still acceptable to be an environmental campaigner and still put pressure on the pedal, buying a Swedish-made vehicle somehow suggested you were putting your bottles in the recycling bin and you were raising children who were going to be concerned with important global issues.
Nowadays the monied environmentalists are turning to Subaru – and Brûlée blames American ownership of the Swedish car giants for the lost ground.
Read the full article.
Trade Minister Sten Tolgfors talks to the Associated Press about, among other things, the importance of maintaining good trade relations with the Muslim world.
“We have to see the opportunities to build bridges with the Muslim world and the opportunities that trade presents.”
Following a meeting with Agriculture Minister Eskil Erlandsson, Russian authorities are expected to lift a three year ban on imports of animal feed and poultry products from Sweden.
The discussion revolved around the safety of animal feed and poultry products that have been banned since 2004 following an outbreak of Newcastle disease in Sweden. The new agreement will also allow the export of poultry breeding stock into Russia.
The Swedish parliament has given the go-ahead for the state to sell its shares in state-owned companies such as drinks maker Vin & Sprit.
Sweden’s largest-ever privatisation push is expected to raise at least 150 billion Swedish crowns ($21.67 billion) over three years to pay down debt.
Vin & Sprit, which analysts see fetching $5-$6 billion, has so far been the star of the sales catalogue, drawing interest on both sides of the Atlantic.
This deadpan headline comes courtesy of The Guardian, who travelled to the Pank resort in Kurdistan to meet Hazem Kurda, an Iraqi Kurd intent on building up the region’s tourist industry after 30 years in Swedish exile.
Once complete the site will boast a five-star hotel, restaurants, swimming pools, saunas, tennis courts, helipads and mini golf. A cable car will be also constructed across the spectacular gorge where only eagles dare.
“It is the first such tourist investment in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein,” says its proud owner.
Hazem Kurda made a very good living for himself in Sweden when, in 1997, he set up the successful import company Swedish Rice Production.
In 2006 he was ranked 32nd on a list of Sweden’s wealthiest immigrants complied by by Dagens PS.
Anybody worried as to the whereabouts of Sten Tolgfors? Fret not, the minister for foreign trade has just been to South Korea, The Seoul Times reports:
“South Korea is a significant cooperation partner for Sweden and an increasingly important global actor,” said the minister. “Trade between our two countries has great potential.”
Business: June 11th, 2007 by PO
Trade between Sweden and Taiwan is healthy, according to Henrik Byström from the Swedish Trade Council, but there is still plenty of scope for improvement.
Looking toward the future of trade relations between the two countries, Bystrom aims at broadening the council’s presence. “There are at present some 60 Swedish companies here, but I think many more companies would be needed to set up a local presence,” he said.
The China Post takes a closer look at relations between the two countries.
Sweden’s foreign and trade ministers paid a visit to Statoil’s Melkøya gas plant on Sunday.
The Swedish Foreign Minister said to NRK Radio that the High North is getting more and more important for all the Nordic countries, as well as Russia. –The Barents Sea could become one of the most important energy provinces in Europe and the world, he stressed.
Analysts believe that the Barents Sea potentially could become an important oil and gas export region also for Sweden.
The Barents Observer has more.
Controversial reverse auction site Bidster has done it again. Back in December young Stockholmer acquired a very nice apartment for 5,383 kronor.
Now, a 34 year old man from Småland (whose residents are known for their love of a bargain) has just picked up a brand new Porsche Cayman for 2,039 kronor. Ordinarily such a motor would set you back 595,000 kronor.
But Bidster’s business model is under investigation by the Swedish Gaming Board, which reckons that it is breaking laws against running lotteries in Sweden.
Unlike most auctions, at Bidster it’s the lowest unique bid that counts. That makes it nothing but a lottery, says the Board.
Nonsense, says Bidster, it’s not luck – tactics are required to pick an amount that nobody else will pick.
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"BANG!!!! BANG!!!! BANG!!! In the midst of the Stanley Cup’s Eastern Conference semifinals series, every Bostonian knows it is all about Bruins ice hockey. Oh right. I am in Sweden, home of the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation GOLD Champions. And there is certainly no doubt ice hockey fever has taken over Sweden. A lot of Swedes,..." READ »