Tragedy I've been pretty much glued to the television in the past few days. Fourth day going and there's still constant news coverage, interviews, prime and foreign minister giving daily press conferences etc. There's at least around 250 Finns still missing and as the days go by it begins to look more and more certain that they're dead. Hope still lingers. There are over 1500 Swedes missing. We're not used to these sorts of tragedies.
I think it's pretty amazing to what lengths the Finnish authorities will go just to find and bring Finnish citizens back home, even the dead ones.
It's not all about the Finns though. As much as we as a nation are shocked, 250 Finns is nothing compared to the 100000 dead that they are now predicting. The Finnish government has given 2.5 million euros in aid so far and the citizens have given 1 million. Maybe that's not a lot either, but in a population of 5 million I think it's fairly good.
I just keep watching and watching, even though it makes me cry.
Wednesday, December 15
Same old I went to a sort of a meeting today at my department in the university. There were 16 men (boys) in the room and me. Half of those boys had not washed their hair in quite a while. Some things never change apparently.
p.s. I still have my tooth. It heard my ultimatum and in its wisdom (ha ha) decided to ache less. For now anyways.
Saturday, December 11
Sniffle The countdown has begun on my last remaining wisdom tooth. It's been giving me constant pain for the past couple days now. I am utterly and completely scared of dentists, so I let the pain fester and fester until I can't take it anymore and even going to a dentist is preferable to the pain. Monday is the deadline. You hear that tooth?!?!
What else? Stressed about studies and Christmas shopping. My studies this fall have consisted of writing, writing and more writing. I have yet another essay due until I can finally enjoy some vacation time. I think that's a big part about why I don't feel like writing here as well.
Wednesday, November 17
No internet Third week without cablemodem. ADSL should finally arrive next week.
Sunday, October 31
Great Finns The Finnish national tv (Yle) is organizing a 'who is the greatest Finn ever' competition, where the nation nominates and votes. They just published the 100 names that made it onto the list.
Linus Torvalds (creator of Linux) made it onto #16.
Jorma Ollila (the boss of Nokia) made it onto #51.
Funnily enough one of the hosts of the show (Arvi Lind) himself made it onto #83.
Lots of very interesting and well-deserved names, but unfortunately they probably mean very little to non-Finns.
Here's the top 10 in no particular order (the final winner will be announced in December):
Arvo Ylppö (1887-1992) - Pioneer in children's causes, especially medicin and was instrumental in lowering the death rates among infants.
Urho Kekkonen (1900-1986) - President for 25 years, during the difficult cold war years (Russia is our neighbour so it wasn't easy)
Mikael Agricola (1510-1557) - Inventor of the Finnish written language. Before he started figuring out how Finnish should be written, it was only a spoken language.
Tarja Halonen (1943-) - Our current president. The first female president. Excellent at her job!
Aleksis Kivi (1834-1872) - Labelled as the national novelist. Wrote many famous (well for Finns anyways) books dealing with the Finnish life.
Risto Ryti (1889-1956) - President during the Continuation war (1941).
Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884) - Linguist and folktale gatherer. The writer of Finnish national epic Kalevala (based on the folktales that he heard during his travels).
Adolf Ehrnroot (1905-2004) - Army general during the Winter and Continuation war. Up until his death he personified all war veterans and spoke on their behalf.
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) - Great composer. His most famous piece is Finlandia, which perfectly speaks of the struggles that Finland was going through. Highly recommended listening.
C.G.E. Mannerheim (1867-1951) - Commander in chief during Finland's three wars (Civil, Winter, Continuation) and later on a president as well.
Game vs. Play I am busy and stressed out about my studies. So much to do. If there is anybody still out there possibly reading these words, here's a question that I would love to get answers to:
What is the difference between play and game? Say like hide-and-seek vs. Trivial Pursuit?
I won't say anything else, because I don't want to lead anybody's thoughts in any particular direction.
Friday, October 8
Winner I had a dream last night that I won two Nobel prizes. I don't remember what the first one was, but the second was for economics. Some time ago I had a dream where I made this invention out of bamboo sticks. Let's just say it had to do with cheap plumbing for poor countries. Funny thing is that last night I dreamt that I won a Nobel prize for that invention. I remember being interviewed about what it felt like to win two prizes in the same year.