Taiwan’s Next Media Animation, which shot to fame late last year for its animated news clip of Elin Nordegren’s alleged attack against then-husband Tiger Woods, has turned its focus again to Sweden.
This time, it has targeted Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf following the publication of controversial biography “Carl XVI Gustaf – the reluctant monarch,” which details rumours of the king’s affairs.Just in case you missed it the first time around, here’s the Tiger video.
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.
Hockey defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson of Eksjö east of Jönköping, winner of the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last season, has a taste of home at the aptly named Tre Kronor in the Windy City’s Northwest Side on Friday.
These were uploaded on Thursday:
Dolph Lundgren grills a unicorn
Dolph Lundgren loses his head
Just in case you missed it the first time, here’s Lundgren’s rendition of Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation” at Melodifestivalen in February.
CNN follows the flocks on tourists on the Millennium tour of Stockholm on Wednesday.
Citigroup traders cheekily suggest that Tiger Woods’s divorce settlement could have triggered a on the krona last week, the Wall Street Journal reports.
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.
Remember the Japanese popstar dressed as a pineapple who was assaulted in Malmö earlier this year. Of course you do.
Well, you’ll be glad to hear that Hideki Kaji made a speedy recovery and the video he was shooting at the time of the attack has seen the light of day. We’ve been meaning to post it for ages. Here it is:
Offbeat: December 2nd, 2008 by PO
In this two year old video, Austrian basejumper Felix Baumgartner, 40, aptly nicknamed ‘Fearless Felix’, parachutes from a moving helicopter, lands on top of the famous Turning Torso in Malmö, then basejumps to the ground.
Why? Erm, good question…
There are two reasons the invention shown in the clip below was not included: 1. It’s not Swedish. 2. It’s patently absurd.
But while the invention may not be Swedish, the company using it to market its services most certainly is.
Allow us to present… The Hijacker Injector. Look and learn as one of stewardesses on a flight takes on a hijacker using this very unique invention. Wonder why it never took off?
Sweden’s Infrastructure Minister Åsa Torstensson had a rude moment at a recent traffic safety conference:
Yes Sweden will absolutely keep the prick system. The prick system has been working very well in Sweden.
The “pricks” to which the minister refers are perhaps better rendered as “points”, as in the sort of points added to the driving licence of a traffic offender.
(Via: Paul Lindquist)
But Torstensson made the classic error, most famously illustrated by the – possibly fictitious – instance of a Swede explaining how to spell a colleague’s name.
His name is Öberg, a zero with two pricks.
Britain, we were led to believe at the weekend, is outraged at dastardly foreign attempts to banish busty beauties from the nation’s billboards. The root of their anger was Swedish politicians who, having failed to get sexist ads banned on the home front, scored a win in Brussels.
The Daily Mail, an organ never to miss an opportunity for a bit of Euro-bashing (or, indeed, dredge up images from old Wonderbra ads), was breathless with indignation after a committee of Euro-MPs demanded that EU countries put a stop to any ads that reinforce gender stereotypes. The person behind this controversial plan is none other than Eva-Britt Svensson, a Swedish Left Party MEP and vice chairperson of the European Parliament’s women’s rights committee. The author of the report seems to have swallowed an undergraduate gender studies textbook:
‘Gender stereotyping in advertising straitjackets women, men, girls and boys by restricting individuals to predetermined and artificial roles that are often degrading, humiliating and dumbed down for both sexes.’
Actually, the chances of any country being forced to ban anything is close to nil (no law has been passed – the European Parliament’s women’s rights committee has just recommended a course of action that governments are free to ignore, as they no doubt will, despite the parliament voting to adopt the report), but if you’ve been in Sweden for the past few years, the proposal had a familiar ring.
ERK’s rulings have led to accusations that it was trying to act as the ‘thought police’. They have also raised a number of questions: is sexy advertising always sexist? Why should advertisers be expected to be more politically correct than the consumers they target? Whatever happened to free speech? And besides, surely the whole business should be self-regulating: consumers won’t buy products if the ads are offensive? The controversial nature of ERK’s work also has the self-defeating side-effect that the ads it censures are guaranteed lots of free publicity in the tabloids.
ERK’s rulings don’t have the force of law, but earlier this year an official committee proposed going one step further and banning all material “with a commercial aim” that could be “construed as offensive to women or men.”
Equality minister Nyamko Sabuni refused to adopt the report’s findings, saying: “I don’t want to infringe on fundamental human freedoms and rights for a law the efficacy of which I question. This is not the way to win the fight for gender equity.” Defeated on home soil, it looks like Svensson is seeing whether the battle can be won elsewhere. She probably shouldn’t hold her breath – in the UK, at least, even the left-wing papers are subjecting the idea to ridicule.
Charlie Brooker in the Guardian wonders what effects non-sexist ads might have:
I can scarcely picture what kind of patronising hell we’d be creating for ourselves there. And what if it worked? What if all our ads were suddenly filled with ladylike men eating chocolates and butch ladettes swigging beer, and these images proved so influential that everyone started behaving that way in real life, until these brave new anti-stereotypes had become stale old actual stereotypes, so we had to start all over again by subverting our old subversions?
Equally cutting is an article by Claire Beale, editor of ad-industry magazine Campaign. Calling the report “fatuous bureaucratic meddling,” she describes it as “the legislative equivalent of one of those We Love the 70s programmes, a real trip down time warp lane.”
Ads are never going to be subtle, she continues:
Does advertising deal in stereotypes? Of course. When you’ve only got 30 seconds or a glance to make an impact on a broad group of people you don’t have time to invent a new language. You tap into common themes, ideas and images to create an instant connection.
Svensson’s poorly-presented arguments might leave an open goal for her opponents, but the failure to pass a similar law in Stockholm must beg the question: if rules like this haven’t worked in politically correct Sweden, how on earth could they be made to work elsewhere?
There is some good news for those who think advertising is sexist, though – things have improved over the past 50 years, as these ads show.
The Local was caught off guard this week when several overseas media outlets ran a story on a Swedish woman being married to the Berlin Wall.
Our surprise, however, was not that we were scooped (after all, Aftonbladet ran a story on Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer back in 2002 and Svenska Dagbladet mentioned her in a piece about the Berlin Biennal art festival earlier this month).
Rather, we were curious to know why the story suddenly popped up just now.
Our best guess is that a film about the wall shown at the festival featured Ms. Berliner-Mauer, and caught the eye of the British tabloid press.
Anyone else have a better (or more interesting) theory?
Here is the controversial video featuring Swedish conscripts firing rocket launchers in the nude, courtesy of YouTube.
Please note that some viewers may find the video offensive.
To read more about the story, see these stories from The Local:
Commander tried to suppress film of naked shooting (May 12, 2008)
Naked soldiers film condemned (May 31, 2006)
One has to wonder what sort of field mission would require training in firing shoulder-mounted artillery while naked.
In Be Kind Rewind, a new film starring Jack Black, the zany actor brings a new word to the lexicon of film: to Swede.
According to the film’s website:
Sweding is re-making something from scratch using whatever you can get your hands on.
Hmmm…not sure what to make of that.
For more background, you can also check out this YouTube clip:
The question we have is how Swedes themselves feel about having been made into a verb, and whether or not the act of ‘Sweding’ is at all reflective of Swedes or Swedish culture.
Back in the day, great novels were sometimes published over several months through installments appearing in popular periodicals. Swedish publisher Förlaget Illuminated has revived the trend with one of the most well-read books of all time.
The Wall Street Journal this week spilled some ink on the company’s serial publication of the Bible. Among other places, glossy, photo-enhanced books of the Bible started appearing last spring in places one usually doesn’t go hunting for spiritual guidance: news stand Pressbyrån.
According to WSJ,
The Swedish-language Bible marries the standard text to glossy magazine-style design. Full-color pages are illustrated with a striking combination of news and dramatized photographs: a homeless child wrapped in a sweater on the streets of Bogotá, Colombia, illustrates the book of Job; a man who drowned trying to enter Europe, for Deuteronomy; and models posing in stylized scenes convey joy or despair. Bible passages are pulled out as captions.
What is one to make of the decision to hawk the Bible along side titles like Cosmopolitan, Elle, and weekly news magazines?
Of course, Sweden has always had a unique relationship with Christianity, even before attaining the status of one of the world’s most secularized countries. After all, the daughter of the great King Gustav II who died fighting for Protestantism in the Thirty Years’ War, Queen Christina, eventually abdicated her post and fled to Rome to convert to Catholicism.
She was the first (only?) Swede–and woman–to get a final resting place among the Popes buried at St. Peter’s.
According a bishop quoted in the piece, Swedes–just like everyone else–apparently still have some of life’s ‘big questions’ left to figure out.
Although Sweden is one of the most secularized countries in the world, we are seeing a growing interest in existential questions across the Western world, of which [Bible Illuminated] is a part,” says Antje Jackelén, the bishop of Lund, in southern Sweden. “As people travel, as they are presented with a growing multiculturalism at home, they are thinking harder about what it means to be from a culture that is formed by Christianity.
Somewhere in the wilds of northern Sweden lurks the biggest elk in the world. See what’s inside possibly the most impressive wooden animal since the Trojan horse:
A truly heroic performance from TV4 presenter Eva Nazemson. Do not watch during lunch.
Offbeat: September 20th, 2007 by PO
Extreme weather! Has to be seen to be believed.
Offbeat: September 10th, 2007 by PO
Zoe Williams in The Guardian is none too impressed by the supposedly sophisticated Swedes who run Preem.
The Swedish oil distribution company Preem has designed a petrol station aimed specifically at women. I know, very weird – women don’t like to drive! It’s like designing a Tour de France for fish.
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