Bjork is cool

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Sigur Ros

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Scandinavian Music

AMPOP – ‘My Delusions’

“Ampop is an Icelandic melodic-pop/rock band from Reykjavík, Iceland.” -From wikipedia

Posted by Gideon

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Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch was an extremely prolific Norwegian artist who, like most all master painters, was considered a critical failure during his lifetime. He is usually considered an impressionist or naturalist painter and is most famous for his seminal work, The Scream. A good example of the scope of Munch’s work is exhibited by The Munch Museum in Oslo. The entireity of the museum contains Munch’s works, including over 1,100 paintings, 4,500 drawings, 2,240 books and 18,000 prints all by authored to Munch. That’s an astronomical amount of work for an artist.

The Munch Museum is dedicated to housing and exhibiting all the works from the life of Edvard Munch. It’s mission is to promote and preserve the legacy of Munch. Also to increase international awareness of the artist by sharing works with foreign museums and handling all copyrights attributed to Munch.

Edvard Munch will be most remembered for his painting, The Scream. It is considered to be a universal representation of modern human anxiety and is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable paintings in history. The colors are nightmarish and simplified into large sweeping strokes that give the work an impressionistic, unrealistic look. Perhaps The Scream can best be summed up by Munch himself, “for several years I was almost mad…You know my picture, ‘’The Scream?’’ I was stretched to the limit—nature was screaming in my blood… After that I gave up hope ever of being able to love again.”

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IKEA and Sweden

Our experience with Ikea is limited to one visit to a store and some home use of their products. But the reviews of the furniture were positive along with the reputation of the company. This company has become successful due to their unique, recognizable style coupled with its thrifty prices. Also its DYI packing makes it easier for customers to pack more into their vehicles and take home. Ikea is basically the face of Sweden’s economy, and the publicity of one effects the other. Originally Ikea represented a great image for Sweden with their style and appeal but more recent events uncovered some shady business practices. This resulted in bad publicity which in turn has probably made some consumers more skeptical of Ikea, and consequently Sweden as well. We don’t believe that it turned away too much business since cheap and stylish furniture is more of a priority to consumers than honest business. Overall Ikea is still a retail powerhouse and symbol of Sweden.

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Nobel Prize

Alfred Nobel in his day was an important chemist to the field of manufacturing and industry. However, his invention of dynamite was quickly used for malicious and violent means. This prompted Nobel to dedicate 5 awards, in the fields of chemistry, medicine, literature, physics and world peace, in his honor as his last will and testament. The award for peace may seem like a paradox at first, considering all the destruction caused by the invention that created Nobel’s livelihood. But we disagree with that thought. Nobel was clearly remorseful that his creation, intended to be used for industry and mining, was turned into a weapon. Nobel wanted to create a lasting legacy that would allow the future generations to remember him for contributing to humanity and peace, not for death and violence. Creating an award dedicated to contributions to world peace is not a paradox for Nobel, it is simply his way of asking for forgiveness and achieving redemption for the error he never wanted to make.

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Nobel and his Prize of Peace

Stephanie Motta & Luke Northrop Group Activity 4/27/2011


A. Read Nobel’s will. What are three observations you make on a first read?

Text and image at:

1.  I learned about the 5 parts of the Nobel prize

2.  Nobel prizes first came to fruition on December 10, 1901.

3.  Nobel wanted the prize to be fairly awarded to the most worthy person/place

 B. Which awards are included in the Nobel Prizes? When and where are the prizes awarded? Also, briefly describe the circumstances surrounding Nobel’s will.

 1. Most important discovery in physiology or medicine – Awarded in Carolinska Institute in Stockholm

2. Best work done for fraternity between nations. (Peace) – Selected by Norwegian Storting

3. Most important discovery for physics – Awarded in Swedish Academy of Sciences

4. Most important discovery in chemistry – Awarded in Swedish Academy of Sciences

5. Best work done in literature – Awarded in Academy in Stockholm

 Nobel’s family did not want these prizes to be awarded because they wanted his money.  They tried to get the will to be declared invalid.  

 B. Name one or two substances/objects patented by Alfred Nobel.

He patented Dynomite and synthetic rubber and imitation silk.

C. Ethically, is the Nobel Peace Prize is a paradox? Can the destructive force of dynamite be reconciled with the promotion of world peace? (Motivate.)

 Nobel made dynamite safe.  He wanted it to be used for construction.  It’s not a paradox.  The Peace prize encourages people to be peaceful.  I thinks it’s pretty cool.

Q2.  Revision: name three other Scandinavian scientists we discussed and their respective fields/contributions.

 1. Carl Linneaus – Taxonomy

 2. Gustaf Dalen – physicist

 3.Peter Nordin – Robotics and artificial intelligence

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Eco-Poetry… Carl H

To be honest, I find these nature poems by Harry Martinsson to be bland and mediocrely written. They strike me as sort of juvenile and remind of something written by an amateur, inexperienced writer.

That being said, they do of course function as eco-literature. The meaning of these poems is pretty straight forward, they are detailed descriptions of observations and experiences in nature. The advocation of the link between humans and nature is noteworthy. Martinsson seems to be recalling memories of his own moments in beautiful natural enviroments throughout his poems, specifically in “The Forest of Childhood.” In that poem he relates being a child to being free in the wilderness by describing a child physically existing in a serene nature world. Martinsson clearly has a great appreciation and admiration for the natural world. But he’s just a little heavy when it comes to writing about it.

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Eco-Poetry: Luke N

The poems of Harry Martinson could be considered eco-literature due to the nature themes throughout their entirety. However they do not stray very far from simply describing nature and relating through metaphor and simile to our Human existence. For example in the poem “Dwarf Juniper” he writes “Nothing can more harshly interpret
life’s enduring struggle, than a dwarf juniper on a coastal heath” relating the hardships the shrub must endure to survive with our own human issues . I found these poems merely reflect Martinson’s passion for nature and do not delve much deeper than obvious metaphor leaving me unsatisfied.

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Patrik 1.5- Luke N

Ella Lemhagen’s “Patrik 1.5” (2008) is a dramatic comedy that tackles the issue of homosexuality and family values. This film falls into the dysfunctional family dramedy genre alongside films like “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Kids Are All Right”. “Patrik 1.5” was rated barntillåten in Sweden, which means appropriate for children, whereas in the United States it was rated “R” for some sexual content and language. I would say the language is the overt reason for this rating since more than one “F-bomb” requires an R-rating in America and this film was riddled with colorful words. However the other main reason is because it deals explicitly with homosexuality, a topic that, in this country, people are generally afraid to expose youngsters to. The “sex scenes” in “Patrik” are very tame, except for the fact that they involve two men. Had it been between a “conventional” couple and the language was toned down then this film could easily be a PG feel good family film.Overall I believe Americans are generally homophobic, and that Sweden is on the right track to acceptance.

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