Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
As I busily prepare my root vegetables for a stress free (ha!) Thanksgiving tomorrow, I reviewed the list of "5 stupidest questions people ask the Butterball hotline" on Consumerist.com. Please note no. 5:
And of course--why wouldn't I want my bird to enjoy the sauna with me?
Monday, November 15, 2010
This popped up on the Atlantic web site recently! A portable sauna from the 1960s. With very little googling, the Atlantic editor even found a modern version of the portable sauna available for only $199. Far less expensive than an iPad!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Today is Father's Day in Finland. From what I can tell, Finland adopted this holiday from the United States in 1949. According to the Helsinki Times, the holiday originally commemorated a mining disaster, but now has its commercial side. However, the U.S. does not recognize a "father of the year" as Finland does. This year Finland named 3 "fathers of the year".
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Today is Veteran's Day in the United States. Originally a celebration of the end of the First World War, November 11 is now a federal holiday in the United States to honor all veterans. The Concord Monitor published an excerpt from the diary of Alice Spaulding Fournier. She writes of the excitement, the cowbells, the effigy burning of "worldwide peace" on November 11, 1918 in Concord, New Hampshire.
The Soviet of People's Commissars
December 18, 1917
As the answer to the appeal of the Finnish Government to recognise the independence of the Republic of Finland, the Soviet of People's Commissars, in full accordance with the principle of nations' right to self-determination, HAS DECIDED:
To propose to the Central Executive Committee that:
a. The independence of the Republic of Finland as a country is recognised, and
b. A special Commission, in agreement with the Finnish Government, comprising members of both parties, should be instituted to elaborate those practical measures that follow from the partition of Finland from Russia.
Chairman of the Soviet of People's Commissars
Vl. Ulianov (Lenin)
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Halloween this year fell on a Sunday. Halloween in Finland is not the massive candy splurge it is in the United States although I know some Finnish Americans were able to enjoy the holiday (they trick and treated in their own house!). Any kid in this country will tell you the name of the street that has the best trick and treating. At our house the destination of choice is Auburn Street. Sophie and Nate have scampered up the hill to enjoy the decorations and overwhelming generosity of our Auburn Street neighbors for the past six years. Candy canes, ice cream cones, full sized candy bars--it could be a child's idea of the Sampo spilling good things for those precious hours on October 31.
While Halloween is not celebrated in Finland, All Saints' Day is--it is celebrated today, Saturday, in Finland. The flags are flying and the shops are shut. Why is it being celebrated on November 6 rather than November 1? Well, Hesari explains in this paragraph that I copied from the English on line edition of the paper:
And here to enjoy on Finnish All Saints' Day is Oi kallis Suomenmaa, a song that was played frequently at funerals during WWII.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
PS Chris said that the Finnish stunt snowboarding reminded him of Meathead films (ski the East--lots of ice) so I am attaching a link to Meathead films.