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Facebook set to invest in Swedish north: report

Facebook, the world's largest social network company, is planning to invest in a giant server park in Luleå in northern Sweden, local media reports.

Facebook set to invest in Swedish north: report

According to newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten, the server park under construction outside of Luleå, in the north of Sweden, has been commissioned by Facebook.

“We are now in a very sensitive stage in our negotiations with a possible investor, so I can’t confirm anything,“ Matz Engman of Aurorum Science Park told The Local.

Three giant server halls are being built between the Aurorum Science Park and Gammelstadsviken Nature Reserve, just outside of Luleå.

The three halls will take up 30,000 square metres each and are estimated to use up as much electricity as 16.000 detached houses.

“I make it about 473 million kronor ($74.5 million). It is not an electrical bill I would like to receive,“ said Inge Johansson of the county administrative board’s environmental branch.

Despite the undertaking being an investment amounting to billions of kronor only 70-90 full time staff will be needed to man the halls.

But no one is willing to disclose if it is Facebook that is behind the building.

“I know which company it is, but they have to be allowed to announce the news when they are ready so I will reveal nothing,” local politician Karl Petersen told the local papers in April.

When The Local contacted Luleå county council, they were unwilling to discuss the matter, as was Luleå Näringsliv AB, the company behind the science park. Instead they referred the matter to Matz Engman of the Aurorum Science Park.

And according to Engman, they have been actively seeking interested parties to the area for over three years.

“We have the right prerequisites for a server centre or some other high energy facility,“ Matz Engman told The Local.

However, he was not able to confirm who is behind the high profile construction project.

“Recently there has been a massive amount of speculation. But I can’t say anything right now,” he said.

However, the race is on to get all the approvals needed before the county council meeting at the end of May.

The plans for the build are currently being reviewed by the council, which is looking into the environmental aspects with regards to noise pollution, demands on the electrical grid and pollution of the water or nearby area.

“So far we have turned the halls around from how they were originally positioned on the plans,“ said Johansson to the Norrländska Socialdemokraten.

But according to Johansson there is no reason why the plans wouldn’t be approved at the county council meeting at the end of May.

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VIRAL

Family’s Christmas video goes viral in Sweden

A video made by a Swedish family as a silly Christmas greeting for their friends has gone wildly viral on Facebook, receiving more than half a million views in just four days, not bad for a country of just nine million.

Family's Christmas video goes viral in Sweden
Björn Hansson is 'quite attention-seeking', according to his daughter My. Photo: Screen Grab

The video shows Björn Hansson, from Ljusdal, a small town in central Sweden,  prancing around the frozen Swedish countryside in a bunny suit pursued by his dog Yksi. 

 

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GOD JUL 2015

Dags för årets julhälsning från min far Björn Hansson! Speciellt tillägnad Maria Wållner, Ewa Almin Olsén, Malin Blomqvist och Sara Carlsson. Ladies, både nätstrumpor och mycket hud! Enyoy.

Posted by My Hansson on Wednesday, 23 December 2015

 
 
It was shot by Björn Hansson's daughter My. His wife Kickan Hansson and her friend Theresa Olsson acted as dog handlers.
 
“It's so funny to think that so many people have seen my Dad in a bunny outfit, and my Dad thinks it's very funny too,” My Hansson told The Local. “He is quite attention-seeking so he likes it. He's very hard to be around because he's very star struck by himself.” 
 
“It's completely idiotic, but great fun,” Björn Hansson from Ljusdal said in a separate interview with the Helahälsingland newspaper. 
 
The video was shot a few days before Christmas and shared on Facebook the day before Christmas Eve. 
 
My Hansson told The Local that she had expected the video to be shared 30 or 40 times among friends, as happened with the silly Christmas photos they have taken in previous years. 
 
The idea came from their previous year's Christmas photo, when she decided to suspend her father, dressed in a bunny costume, by his feet from a crane, to mimic the traditional way to treat newly shot hares. 
 
“In Sweden we have a hunting tradition where you hunt hares with a dog like our dog, and when you shoot a hare you hang it upside down with a tree branch in its stomach,” My Hansson explained.
 
“Last year we hung him up by his legs, so this year we thought we would do a movie showing how we shot him.” 
 
Both My Hansson and her father are keen hunters, with the daughter, who is an artist, working as an illustrator for a hunting magazine. 
 
“I knew that hunters would find it funny,” she said. “But I didn't know the rest of Sweden would find it as funny as they have.”
 
“I think it's unusual to see an old man, jumping around in the middle of the forest freezing dressed as a rabbit. I don't think people have seen it before.”