Monday, December 31, 2007
Then I learned that he was very much alive. I decided that Jaan Kross therefore is immortal. Kind of like a vampire, except he writes to stay alive instead of sucking blood.
When I received the news that he had just passed away, I was proven wrong. He is not immortal. But I expect that also this assumption is wrong, and that we will receive new reports of Jaan Kross sightings in Bermuda on January 31st 2012.
As for Keiserns Galning, I have not completed reading it. The book is still in some box after the last move, so I'm not completely sure where it's located.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
For a while, I have been looking for some sort of bumper sticker to make those pesky tailgaters off my tail, but no gas station within 200 miles have any of the sort. So I decided to make my own.
The stickers come in three languages: Norwegian, Estonian and English. For obvious reasons, the English text is emphasized in the multilingual versions of the sticker.
Click on any of the stickers above, and you can get one, too. (Then it remains to be seen if the tailgaters actually know how to read or, for that matter, care.)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Boka inneheld ei mengde dikt frå dagane på vidaregåande og ei novelle er òg med på kjøpet. Vi er usikre om dette er Gardistans beste eller verste. Men, som enkelte vil seie, dersom du har lyst til å verte deprimert, so er dette ein må-lese. (Og kan til og med fungere som verkemiddel til å gløyme norsken sin. Hmmm...)
Gard's poetry collection Under bananskallet is now available online. Originally published by Scriba Press in 2006 and printed on special orders only, it can now be ordered online via the Trollsilm WebShop.
The book contains a whole bunch of poems from the high school days and a short story as well. We're not sure if it's Gardistan's best or worst. However, as some will say, if you want to get depressed, this is a must read. (And might be an incentive not to learn Norwegian. Hmmm...)
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Some times, people who are supposed to be sent back get to stay anyway, because international agreements block Norway from sending civilians to war zones.
Some times, people who are sent back are arrested at upon arrival, put in prison and tortured to death.
And some times, people who are supposed to be sent back run head over heels to the nearest church, where police is not allowed to arrest them. As long as they are within the church's property, they are safe. This is called church asylum.
While this sounds like a sweet deal for asylum seekers who have had their application refused by the Norwegian government, consider this: You have to stay inside all the time. Your liberty of movement ends the moment you step outside. You're actually in a form of prison, and you'll either be there for the rest of your life, or you'll be sent home to face your torturers.
Some claim that people who seek church asylum are actually lying about their background. After all, only a certain percentage of asylum seekers who are sent back by the Norwegian government actually turn out to have told the truth. But imagine to stay inside this one church day after day, month after month, year after year.
After staying in church asylum for seven years, Shahla was considering suicide (sounds ironic, but probably better than bein stoned to death), so friends and activists wanted a demonstration in front of the Norwegian parliament. And they wanted Shahla to take part in the demonstration. But how could they make this possible without Shahla being arrested? Then they had a brilliant idea: Let's build a mobile church!
Church asylum in Norway 2007 (Photo: Olav Nygård / Filadelfia)
The mobile church was blessed right before Shahla was moved on board for her trip to Oslo. Half way to Oslo, they got a message from the review board of the foreigner directorate that they had granted Shahla amnesty while the directorate review her case again. So while she now has the liberty of moving outside the church for a little while, there is still a chance that the directorate will repeat their refusal of her application and she'll hide behind the doors of a church again.
I don't know about you, but I would be really desparate to hide in a church for seven years. I'll be watching this case - media coverage allowing. (Some stories DO tend to just disappear out of sight.)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Enkelte har uttrykt en viss skepsis for hjemmefødsel. Her er vårt generelle svar:
Some have expressed scepticism for home birth. Here is our general response:
Det finnes milliarder av grunner til å tro at det er trygt å føde hjemme, og at fødsel er en naturlig funksjon av kvinnens kropp. Vi hadde valgmuligheter:
There are billions of reasons to believe that it is safe to give birth at home, and that birth is a natural function of the female body. We did had options:
- Vi valgte stressfrie omgivelser i stedet for sykehusets stressede omgivelser.
We chose a stress free environment instead of the hospital's stressful environment.
- Vi valgte naturlig fødsel uten kjemisk eller mekanisk inngrep for å få ting til å gå raskere/saktere/mindre smertefult. (Å føde i vann på 37 grader gav tilstrekkelig bedøvelse uten å senke hastigheten på fødselen)
We chose natural birth without chemical or mechanical interference to make things go faster / slower / less painful. (Giving birth in 37 C water gave sufficient pain relief without slowing down the process.)
- Vi valgte å holde oss rolig hjemme, 200 meter fra nærmeste ambulanse og 1100 meter fra helsesenteret, i stedet for å risikere fødsel i løpet av de 300 km med snø- og isføre midt i reinflyttinga.
We chose to stay calm at home, 200 metres from the nearest ambulance and 1100 metres from the health centre, instead of risking birth somewhere along the 300 km of winter road in the middle of the reindeer moving season. (High risk of colliding with reindeer these days.)
- Vi valgte et sted med frisk luft i stedet for eksosskyen til Snøvhit.
We chose a location with clean air instead of the exhaust fumes from Snowwhite.
- Vi la alt til rette for at en normal fødsel skulle kunne skje, og ble belønnet med verdens nydeligste barn som var rosa helt fra fødselen av, ikke blå som så mange sykehusfødsel er.
We prepared to make a normal birth possible, and were rewarded with the world's most beautiful child, who came out pink from the moment of birth, not blue as so many hospital births are.
- Vi sang og smilte til hverandre gjennom hele fødselen og mor kunne gi fra seg hvilke som helst lyder og gå hvor hun måtte ønske uten hemmelse fordi vi valgte å gjøre det på hjemmebane der VI var i kontroll over situasjonen.
We sang and smiled to each other throughout the entire birth, and the mother was able to give any sounds and walk anywhere she wanted with no inhibitions, because we chose to do it in home court where WE were in control.
- Vi valgte et sted med friske mennesker og svært få (vi var bare tre i huset), i stedet for en høyblokk full av syke mennesker.
We picked a location with healthy people and that wasn't crowded (we were only three people in the house) instead of a high rise full of sick people.
- Vi valgte å ta ansvar for egen fødsel, i stedet for å tro at "systemet" gir trygghet.
We chose to take responsibility for the birth instead of believing that "the system" would give safety.
- Og mor var i stand til å ta imot barnet med sine egne hender. Det synst vi sier sitt.
And the mother was able to receive the child with her own hands. We believe that says what needs to be said.
- Det vi manglet var muligheten til å forberede hjemmefødselen sammen med jordmoren. Systemet nektet henne å gi annet enn hjelp ved akkutt-tilfeller. Vi vil gi henne ære for den forståelse og assistanse hun gav oss den natten.
What we were missing was the ability to prepare the home birth together with the mid-wife. The system barred her from assisting only in accute emergencies. We wish to give her honours for the understanding and assistance she gave us that night.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
And bumps. There are lot of bumps in the road.
With some luck, a fox will catch your attention. You stop. Take photos. The fox thinks you're from Vogue and starts posing.
But you can't take photos forever, and start driving again. Look out for reindeer crossing the road!
After 150 km, you make it to the dentist, only to find out that you're not going to the dentist today after all. The note on the door tells you that the dentist has been in an accident and is cancelling all appointments. Please call for a new appointment.
Luckily, this was not the day I had the tooth ache...
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
We're looking forward to all these important numbers in obituaries. "Grandpa died today at 18:23:21, weighing 78 kg and with a height of 182 cm. He lost 42 grams of soul at the moment of death, but gained an entire 75 kg since birth, an average of 972 grams per year."
Thursday, October 18, 2007
This year, the theme is global warming and the location Central America. And this is where it gets interesting. The idea is that through education, youth can take a stand against the ever increasing life standards and its environmental impact. So far so good.
The problem, as I see it, is the recurring one: We implement a "modernized" school system which promotes higher living standards, higher consumption and thus also higher environmental impacts. This is demonstrated by the fact that their example of education for a prosperous future is, indeed, as a mechanic of combustible engines. That is not to speak of all the other types of education that can get you a job as a factory worker in a multinational corportation with high environmental impact.
And then I have not even touched the fact that the 8 page A4 information full colour "brochure" is printed on extra heavy paper and covered with chemicals, then distributed to hundreds of thousands of students and teachers across the entire country - instead of just distributing a PDF. Alas, less than 1/3rd of what you end up donating to the cause is spent on wasteful management and other environmentally dangerous activities.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
This is from the invitation to the Ementor Community 2007, October 23rd. In order to participate and "show" how much I care about the environment, I'm asked to fly across the ENTIRE country to meet them in Oslo. This is printed on bleached 350g paper with glossy finish, accompanied by a 52 page A3 catalogue of products that they have started to send me on what seems to be a monthly basis. The catalogue and the invitation came with an additional A4 letter and wrapped in redundant plastic wrapping.
Now, why do I find it so difficult to take these people's "environmental stand" seriously?
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Mun lean Hulk.
Mun boran mánáid. Mun geahččalan heaitit.
Mus lea ruoná oaivi. Mun orun Marrasis.
Mu vuostá lea ruoná.
Ruoná vuostá ii leat buorre.
Gos lea hivsset?
Mus lea fiskes soajahisbáidi, rukses buvssat, vilges Ski-doo sohkkat ja čuvgesrukses sisbuvssat.
Mu girdi lea ráhtu. In beassan mannat ruoktot.
Mu olbmát leat Inga ja Frank. Gunn lea Hulka moarsi, arrrrr.
Dáppe lea su ruovttusiidu: http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~annenils/gunn/
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Tänu ELile, norra kolonisaator "hääletab kohalikel valimistel." Keda häletavad? Norralased tahavad norra vald, kus ka vallavanem rääkib norra keelt. Hispaanias.
Norra kolonisaator Hispaanias rääkib norra keelt poes ja frisööres. Üks poodmees ütleb, et ta peab räägima norra keelt. "Kes ei rääki norra keelt, ei saa kunded."
Kolonisaatored ei taha tasuta kursus hispaania keeles. Nad tahavad kõik norra keeles.
Friday, May 18, 2007
At the same time, in a high school in the Arctic parts of Europe receives two visitor and their accompanying TV crew.
|Pilt: John Arne Øxseth|
Siri Kalvig (right) was the first weather woman on Norwegian TV2. Apart from being the most popular meteorologist for this reason, she has also turned into an environment activist. Together with Hilde Holdhus (left) and armed with graphs, animations and facts, she's touring Norway, telling "the next generation" to lay off the CO2.
I found only two major flaws in the presentation, but found that it might be a bit rude to bring them up in front of the cameras, as well as young, old and prominent people from the entire village. And I had forgotten to arm a student with these uneasy questions.
The two girls bring an important message, and not having thought the issues through as thoroughly ahead of time as I would like to, I decided to wait instead of turning the duo completely disillusioned about their own campaign. So I waited and, well, blogged about it. Which would be this blog.
Do you really need to be here?
The most immediately rude question was, of course, why they had to fly some 2000 km, dumping out massive amounts of CO2, when even the Arctic has sufficient Internet bandwidth to do the entire lecture by teleconferencing technologies. Indeed, because of the distances between each town, teleconferencing is used quite often. I used it myself just a couple of weeks ago, to save myself from having to drive 420 km to attend a three hour meeting, and then drive 420 km to come home. Instead, I just walked 20 metres to the video conferencing room and attended from there.
Granted, having a national celebrity go on a tour, meeting students who eagerly want their autographs, might have a deeper impact than a video conferencing lecture. Though I was not immediately impressed when Siri (not so) reluctantly revealed that according to an online carbon footprint calculator, she caused about 20 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, much of it caused by flying.
"My job requires me to fly, so I fly, and there is nothing that can be done about this." The same argument went for her sidekick, which "only" caused the "average" 11 tonnes CO2 per year that any average Norwegian causes. But when it comes to employers, I have a completely different opinion.
Particularly these girls who work in the weather / environment industry, should be able to leverage great power in their words, when they demand telecommuting. Do they really have to physically fly between Oslo and Bergen every week? How much of their work is truly location dependent? This is the 21st century for crying out loud.
The "solution" to the global heating problem is what we keep hearing all the time: Stop using fossil fuels. Use less automobiles. Use less energy. Everyone complies, but we still use too much. Why? Because for the ordinary consumer, there is no way to measure the impact of their reductions. And reductions in one area might cause an increase in a different area.
So you use only half the amount of gasoline as before, because you drive less. But exactly how much does this affect your carbon footprint? You just know it is less. Indeed, you're tempted to ditch your old car in favour of a new, more gas efficient car. But exactly how much CO2 is released in the production process of your brand new car? Or computer, for that matter? The last I heard, your off-the-shelf desktop computer costs the environment about two tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Then there's all the stuff you buy in the store. Which products caused more CO2 emissions during production? There's a combination here between the distance the item had to travel, plastics used in production and packaging, and energy. How about that plastic bag you used to get your food home? You have a closet full of them.
The problem is, the ordinary consumer is not told what the environmental cost of these items are. Just like we are able to keep track of our own personal economy, we also need to keep track of our personal carbon emissions, and we need an actual number for our target emissions. Without such controls, the only way to truly be certain we reduce CO2 emissions sufficiently, is to do all the production yourself. Which brings us to a third point:
Bio fuels and burning wood
For ages, I have heard how bad it is for the environment to burn wood, because it releases CO2 into the atmosphere. However, BioDiesel and similar fuels are thought of as "CO2 neutral" because they are based on biodegradables that would just rott and relase CO2 into the atmosphere whether we burn it or not. If so, we should be able to use the same argument for burning wood. And indeed, burning wood burns clean, as opposed to BioDiesel's non-CO2 environmental poisons.
Burning wood is not the only environmentally friendly technologies that need to be "rediscovered" by those who have turned gas/electricity for their everyday needs. How about building straw bale houses which are neearly completely biodegradable, nonpoisonous and can be built at only a fraction of the cost of "modern" houses, and the associated carbon footprint almost non-existant. And these houses are not bad, either. Indeed, just because it's "old technology" doesn't mean it's bad. It means it's well tested.
Now I just need a place to build my own. Sponsors are welcome.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Ma olin Njuujorgis 1994 aastal. Mu sõber Саша tuli mulle lennu
Järgmisel hommikul, mina
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Loin, et Agu-Enrik kirjutib "Igal juhul pikk pai Sulle!"
"Mis 'pai' on?"
"Sa ei tea mis 'pai' on?" Ta
algaib hakkab paitama minu juuksed. "Sul on eesti naine ga, sa peaksid teadma mis 'pai' on."
"Ei!" Ta paitab tugevamini.
"Ei!" Paitab veel tugevamini.
Siis lugu on ilma naineta sõneraamata
ga abil kirjutatud. (Naine on üks sõna muutnud: on "plogima" ei "bloggima." Jüst. :) )
Saturday, May 05, 2007
"More Estonian humour/Russian hilarity: http://gardistan.blogspot.com/"
Aga ma pole eesti. Then again, aitäh! It is kind of funny to be mistaken for an Estonian. :)
Thursday, May 03, 2007
The Russian ambassador was not available for comment, but a committe is being sent from Moscow to demand the removal of the Bush administration. Unofficial documents leaked from Kreml names Edgar Savisaar as Putin's favourite candidate for the presidency of the USA.
The Bush administration already has its hands full, as India is protesting against a law that forbids cows from walking freely in the streets of US cities. Unless India's demands are met, this year's US tax returns will be outsourced*) to US high school students.
*) A large percentage of the processing of US tax returns is outsourced to India because it is cheaper.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
A mourner puts his hope to comforting himself to a pack of condoms. "But look at my arms," he exclaimed. "Stupid windows in the shops put up by Estonian nationalists ripped up my arms!"
Indeed, most injuries on hands and heads seemed to be caused by glass. As we can see from this photo, the glass came from nasty nationalist windows that tried to hide goods that really belongs to the People. At least according to communism.
"It is our human rights to drink and smoke in the weekends," one mourner seems to say. "but they want us to buy booze and cigarettes. That's discrimination!" Soon enough, all the alcohol was taken by other
This man finds comfort in plain chocolates, soda, tampons and female hygienic pads. He's already looking forward to a splendid morning with his grateful girlfriend.
Other shop owners have to rethink their stock and marketing strategy. On display, they have a dress that nobody even cares to steal!
Russia: This is inhumane and blasphemous! How can people pay respect to the dead, if they are not buried under the bus station, so that we can feel them under our feet? They gave us only a year to think up a reaction, too, which is a direct insult. We can't pull out of Chechnya to mobilize our new invation of Estonia that fast. Not that I'm indicating any military operation, because I'm not indicating anything.
Germany urges Estonia to talk to Russia. It is important to please Russia, we (Germany) need that gas pipe through the Baltic Sea. "Don't ruin the deal for us, you ungrateful lot, you."
Norway urges Estonia and Russia to stop fighting. "Norway is the only country that borders Russia and never has had a conflict," the Norwegian Foreign Minister exclaimed. "Better do as Russia says, they are our friend. We're even working on an oil deal with them."
The UN responded by blowing soap bubbles, as always. "Loooook! Preeeettyyyy buuubbles! Looove, peeace and conciliaaation!"
USA thinks they all talk funny in Europe. In a surprise press release, however, the US Army buys out Dubbya International Airport in Baghdad to use as a mass grave for US soldiers. "Thanks for the tip," a spokesman for the DoD announced to Putin. "We'll use your idea, but make it bigger, since we'll need the acres and acres this airport gives us. And then we'll reopen the airport. It's brilliant! Integrating dead with airport will be a top tourist attraction when we have freed Iraq from Iraqis."
Russian super markets ban all Estonian commodities. "But we're not boycotting them, we just don't sell their stuff. If you want Estonian stuff, go get it yourself in Tallinn. They have open windows all over the place these days."