Wednesday, April 28

Male / Female a question about brains?

At the hospital the next of kin of a seriously ill family member gathered in the living room. The doctor came in and looked tired and gloomy out, "I am afraid I bring bad news, " he said and looked at the anxious faces.

"The only hope left for the patient at this point is a brain transplant. "
"This is a difficult and risky process, and you must pay for the donor brain. "
The family members sat silent and thought the matter over. After a long time, it was one that asked, "OK, how much does a brain cost?"
The doctor responded quickly,"$ 30,000 for a man's brain, and $ 1.200 for a woman's brain."

The atmosphere was a little embarrassing. The men in the room tried not to smile, avoiding eye contact with women, but sat with a satisfied expression in their faces. A man was unable to control his curiosity, and asked what everyone wanted to ask, "Why does a man´s brain so much more ......?"

The doctor smiled and said:" $30,000 is a standard price. We need to put down the price of female brains, because they have been in use. "

Another one?

Subject: Women are smarter than men

A woman and a man are involved in a car accident and it's a bad one. Both of their cars are totally demolished, but amazingly neither of them are hurt.

After they crawl out of their cars, the woman says, "So you're a man, that's interesting. I'm a woman. Wow, just look at our cars! There's nothing left, but fortunately we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace for the rest of our days."

The man replied," I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God.

The woman continued, "And look at this, here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune." Then she hands the bottle to the man.

The man shakes his head in agreement, opens it and takes a few very large swigs from the bottle and then hands it back to the woman.

The woman takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap back on, and hands it back to the man.

The man asks, "Aren't you having any?"

The woman replies, "No. I think I'll just wait for the police.

Searching for more evidence? See jokebreak

Tuesday, April 27

A day to remember

When reading the title of today´s blogpost you may think of the historical breakthrough in the 40 years old negotiation about the borderline in the Barent Sea between Russia and Norway.
The two neighbors have come to an agreement to go for a 50 / 50 win win solution.

However, April 27 is also a day to remember because of other important events.

Today 468 BC the Greek philosopher Socrates was born.
Socrates was in effect the first radio talkshow host, but without the radio, and without the agenda. Daily, he would reinvent the philosophical wheel, continually testing the shadow that we call truth, and providing the vital dynamic behind the development of western philosophy. Always questioning, to the end.The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David (1787)

Today 1791 the inventor Samuel F.B. Morse was bornBut did you know that Morse also was an excellent painter. He arrived in England in 1811, and worked diligently to perfect painting techniques under W. Allston's watchful eye. By the end of 1811, he gained admittance to the Royal Academy. At the Academy, he fell in love with the Neo-classical art of the Renaissance and paid close attention to Michelangelo and Raphael.

Today 1889 the Norwegian writer Arnulf Øverland was born. One of his strongest poems was "Du må ikke sove" from 1936 where he strongly warned against growing nazism. The probably most famous line of the poem is "Du må ikke tåle så inderlig vel den urett som ikke rammer deg selv!" ("You mustn't tolerate so terribly well the injustice that does not harm yourself!")

In a translation by Lars-Toralf Storstrand you will not find these directly translated words, but the strong ending is still a clear warning for many thing that´s happening today too.

Dare not to sleep!

I was awakened one morning, by the quaintest of dreams
‘twas like a voice, spoken to me
It sounded afar - like an underground stream,
I rose and said: Why do you call me?

Dare not to slumber! Dare not to sleep!
Dare not believe, it was merely a dream!
Yore I was judged.
The gallows were built in the court this evening,
They’ll come for me — 5’ in the morning

This dungeon is teeming,
And barracks stand dungeon by dungeon
we lie here, awaiting, in cold cells of stone,
We lie here, we rot, in these murky holes.

We know not ourselves, what does lie ahead
Who will be the next one they'll reach for.
We moan and we shriek: But do you take heed?
Is there none among you who’ll hearken?

No one can see us,
None know what befalls us.
Yet more:
None will believe - what the day will bring us!

And then You defy: This dare not be true!
That men can be utterly evil.
There has to be some one with merits pure
Oh, brother, you still have a great deal to learn

They said: You will give your life, if commanded
We’ve given it now, for naught it was handed
The world has forgotten, we’ve all been deceived
Dare not to sleep in this hour - this eve.

You oughtn’t go to your business hence,
Or think: What’s your loss – or what is your gain?
You oughtn’t attribute your fields and your kine,
Nor say you’ve enough - with all that is thine.

You oughn’t abide, sitting calm in your home
Saying: Dismal it is, poor they are, and alone
You cannot permit it! You dare not, at all.
Accepting that outrage on all else may fall!
I cry with the final gasps of my breath:
You dare not repose, nor stand and forget

Pardon them not - they know what they do!
They breathe on hate-glows, and evil pursue,
They fancy to slay, they revel with cries,
Their desire is to gloat, when our world is at fire!
In blood they are yearning to drown one and all!
Don’t you believe it? You’ve heard the call!

You know how infants will soldiers remain,
While dashing through streets, fields, chanting ‘bout pain
Aroused by their mothers‘ assurance of glory
They’ll shelter their land - and they’ll never worry

You know the fatality of the lies,
that glory and faith and honor abides
You discern the dauntless dreams of a child,
A saber, a banner, he’ll flaunt them so wild,

And then they’ll leave home for a rainfall of steel,
‘Till last they hang ragged on barbed wire will,
Decaying for Hitler's Aryan call,
That is what a man’s for - after all…

I couldn’t imagine – too late now it is
My sentence is just: The verdict's no miss
I believed in prosperity, dreamt about peace
In labor and fellowship; love’s fragrant kiss
Yet those who don’t die on the battlefield,
Their heads for the axeman, will certainly yield

I cry in the gloom - if only you’d knew
There is but one thing - befitting to do
Defend yourself, while your hands are still yearning,
Protect your offspring - Europe is burning.

***

I shook from the chill. To dress, up I rose
Without stars were shining, so far, yet so close
‘twere simply a brilliant ray in the east,
Admonishing warning from the dream that just ceased

The day that soared up from earths furthermost strand
Augmenting with blood — and with firebrand
It grew with terror - like a breath that was lost
It seemed like the starlight - was slain by the frost.

I weighed: Something is imminent - and it’s dire
Our era is over — Europe’s on fire!

Arnulf Øverland, «Den Røde Front», Tiden Norsk Forlag 1937.

Monday, April 26

Beautiful, nothing but outstanding

Sometimes when reading the net you find a photo that is just beyond your own imagination. This photo by Tom Kolstad showing the Kiel Ferry arriving Oslo in January with the frosty mist coming out of the water in Frognerkilen, is OUTSTANDING. I am speechless.

Sunday, April 25

Battle of Pipervika

The Battle of Trafalgar, as seen from the mizen starboard shrouds of the Victory by J. M. W. Turner (oil on canvas, 18061808) can be an introduction to the scenery we could watch in the Bay of Oslo (Pipervika) yesterday.A Swedish and Danish ship attacked a third ship carrying a Russian flag.With dramatic gunfire and spectacular smoky scenery the three ships made an interesting motive for those who want to try copying Turners paintings.The Battle of Pipervika ended with a withdrawal to the quay under Akershus fortress for the "russian" partyship, while the two others sailed to Aker Brygge where Danmark på Bryggen made it easier for Norwegian to visit Denmark this summer.
"Det er dejlig å være norsk i Danmark".

Saturday, April 24

Another Apple family member

Hedda Emilie has also joined the modern IT-world

Friday, April 23

Convinced?

No additional comments required. The wall decoration tells it all. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, April 22

Norway´s Prime Minister takes a stand for Apple / Mac

The Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg has as many of his colleagues in the Government taken a stand for new technology. We all know that our Defense Minister Grete Faremo came from a position as Director of legal and corporate affairs, Microsoft Norway. Now Apple has caught an even higher position in the Government.
In an interview on Norwegian TV he called Apple´s new product iPad fantastic.
"- I've been very happy to try me on the iPad which is a great new technological means, " Stoltenberg said with a smile.
"- So I'm looking forward to spending more"(time with iPad), he added.
Welcome to the family Mr. Prime Minister.

On the other hand:
the Norwegian Broadcasting is trying to hide that they also have stated to use Mac. Trying to camouflage that they are using MacBook Pro in front of hundreds of thousands viewers every day, they have put a round pad to cover the Apple/Mac logo.
But we, family members, know what is behind the white dot.

Tuesday, April 20

Recirculation at street level

The first photo in this post shows the street workers around the corner who have found their niche for the flee market at Bogstadveien, Oslo. Recirculation of bricks or paving stones from the digging of district heating ditches.On Saturday 24th the Street Market in Bogstadveien, Oslo is once more open for the spring festival. The heavy trafic in the busy shopping street will be free of any cars or trams.A lot of people will gather around the overloaded tables and party tents searching for something that they forgot to buy when is was at full prizes in the shops. 50 to 70 % discount, but no bargaining. Almost everything can be found, and supporters of their new favorite football club in Oslo, Aafk, can get the orange and blue colors for acceptable prizes.
Another recirculation activity, normally taking place at schools this part of the year, is the flee markets. This photo is from the glass department at Solvang last year. Watch up for hunting container girls.

Monday, April 19

Indians in Wales

Helene and Henrik are playing in their garden, and Trine has sent me a small video of the Cymraeg Indians
Start the video below and see the children playing.
video

Sunday, April 18

Two different water experiences Saturday night

Saturday night I received a photo and a YouTube-video link with references to the wet element. First a photo from AnneKath showing that Asbjørn has started the outdoor bathing activity although the rain and soft snow (together with volcano ashes?) is coming from above. The water temperatur in the jacuzzi is about 40 deg. and the red wine is good for the internal body temp, so it feels great as you can see.
I do believe that no dangerous aliens was attacking Asbjørn in the fresh water.
On the other side of the globe however, in New Zealand, Victor Huang was diving off the coast of Wellington when an Octopus suddenly appeared from the seaweed. The diver was shocked because he thought the squid was attacking him. The Octopus however, was more interested in Huang´s shiny and brand new Panasonic Lumix camera.

See the intriguing YouTube video when his camera was stolen from him by the Octopus who swam away while it was recording.

Saturday, April 17

Vaisakhi - mid April 2010 in urban Oslo

A Sikh is a person who believes in only one God, and worship none other than the one, almighty.
Sikhism is an open and unique religion founded about 500 years ago, and currently has 25 million followers. In the period from 1469 to 1708, presented the ten gurus a universal message of truth, reality and universal equality for all people.
A Sikh believes in the ten gurus and their teachings, preserved in the Guru Granth Sahib. Male Sikhs use the name Singh (lion) as a surname, and women use the name Kaur (lioness / princess).
My greetings this Saturday go to Mr.Singh, my colleague in Singapore, who used a turban instead of safety helmet when performing his periodical surveys onboard ships. An exemption of the safety procedures, or?

Sikhism stands for truth, reason and devotion to God and therefore rejects all groundless rituals and superstitions. Use of drug, such as alcohol, drugs, tobacco and the like, cut hair and eat meat prepared according to Muslim rituals (halal-closet) is not allowed. Unfaithfulness to his spouse is strictly forbidden. Women and men are considered equal.

Sikhs respect all religions. Sikhism believes that God is traveling in humanity, so to serve humanity is considered to serve God. A Sikh should therefore work for everyones welfare even at the expense of their own lives. He / she will share its revenue with the destitute.

Sikhs will worship only one God, live an honest life and treat all people as equals. They should set aside time for volunteer assistance (seva) to others regardless of religious, cultural and ethnic background, without waiting anything in return. They work hard, live a healthy life with an endless optimism as the basis and combine a spiritual way of life with active participation in work in the community.

Today the Sikh celebrated Vaisakhi in Oslo
(According to the Gregorian Calendar, Vaisakhi falls on April 13 every year and on April 14 once in 36 years. This variation in date is due to the fact that the date of Vaisakhi is reckoned according to the Indian solar calendar and not the lunar calendar.
In Sikhism,Vaisakhi is one of the most significant holidays in the Sikh calendar, commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib in 1699, by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh)
If you want to learn more about Sikhism in Norway, go to Sikher,no
Vaisakhi (Punjabi: ਵਿਸਾਖੀ) visākhī, also known as Baisakhi or Vasakhi) is an ancient harvest festival in the Punjab region, which also marks beginning of a new solar year, and new harvest season. Baisakhi is also a Sikh religious festival.

While the Sikhs are celebrating Vaisakhi in Oslo, the Spring flowers are ready for the flower boxes in most balconies in Oslo West, and you will find a huge variety at The Grand Plaza

Friday, April 16

The benefits of a physically active lifestyle on the brain

Yesterday I wrote about the improving mental agility, improved cognitive abilities of attention and concentration, organization, planning, and multi-tasking and even reduced likelihood of developing mild cognitive impairment, when copying Megan Brooks article.

Some hours after publishing my blog-post, I received the Easter Prize from PetuniaI am overwhelmed!
Not only a Bergans 30 liter Rucksack, but also two stainless steel Thermal Mugs, two Sitting Pads and a box of 250 gr Assorted Choice Chocolate.

Follow Petunis´s blog and join her next competition whenever that will occur.
However, be aware that Big-brother is watching and looking for possibilities to require tax for the gift. See more on Ida Wulff´s blog

Thursday, April 15

An amazing photo of the eruption

"This photo was taken by a man named Ólafur Eggertsson from the farm Þorvaldseyri.
It’s been making the rounds in [Icelandic] cyberspace and I (Alda in The Iceland Weather Report) don’t know the original source, and can’t post a link."

(Ólafur Eggertsson is half Norwegian, but according to Norwegian Aftenposten the photo is from Reuters).

Neither can I, but the photo is so beautiful and spectacular that in spite of all the troubles in Northern European Air Trafic, take a deeper look at the photo and see "so perfectly illustrates the beauty, magnificence and power of our incredible forces of nature is, and how small the human structures are in comparison".

Remember 2012 which is said to be the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar. For more doomsday predictions, see the movie 2012

Exercise protects and improves the aging brain

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Two new studies provide more evidence that regular aerobic exercise not only staves off the problems with thinking and memory that often come with age, but it can actually help turn back the clock on brain aging.
In one study, researchers found evidence that engaging in moderate physical activity such as brisk walking, swimming, or yoga in midlife or later may cut the risk of developing mild thinking problems.

In the other study, a group of elderly individuals who already had mild problems had improvements in their mental agility after six months of high-intensity aerobic activity.

People with mild mental impairments of the kind studied - known as mild cognitive impairment -- typically have some memory difficulties, such as forgetting people's names or misplacing items. Each year, 10 to 15 percent of individuals with mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia, as compared with 1 percent to 2 percent of the general population. Previous studies in animals and humans have suggested that exercise may improve thinking and memory.

To investigate further, Seattle-based researchers studied 33 adults with mild cognitive impairment. Twenty-three spent 45 to 60 minutes on a treadmill or stationary bicycle four days a week for six months, while the other 10 "control" subjects did stretching exercises but kept their heart rate low.

Six months of intense aerobic exercise "improved cognitive abilities of attention and concentration, organization, planning, and multi-tasking," study chief Dr. Laura Baker noted in an email to Reuters Health. In contrast, cognitive function test scores continued to decline in the group that didn't have vigorous exercise.

Might it be possible to get the same brain benefit from lower intensity aerobic exercise?

"In theory, yes," Baker said, "but we are just now starting the studies that will help us know how little is enough. In the next five years, we'll have a much better idea about the minimum 'dose' of exercise needed (how often, duration of exercise sessions, how much exertion is needed) without compromising the cognitive benefits."

Baker, who is from the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, also noted that the average magnitude of mental improvement with aerobic exercise was "bigger for women than for men."

And while she's not exactly sure why, she noted that, for the women in the study, aerobic exercise improved the body's sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that plays an important role in providing energy to the muscles and organs of the body and to the brain. "Contrary to our expectations, aerobic exercise did not improve insulin sensitivity for the men," Baker said.

EXERCISE TO WARD OFF MENTAL DECLINE

The other study, by Dr. Yonas E. Geda and colleagues at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, involved 1,324 elderly adults free of dementia in 2006-2008. Experts determined that 198 had mild cognitive impairment and 1,126 had normal cognitive function.

Those who said they had engaged in moderate exercise such as brisk walking, aerobics, yoga, strength training or swimming in their 40s, 50s and beyond were less apt to have mild cognitive impairment, the researchers found.

Moderate exercise in midlife was associated with a 39 percent reduced likelihood of developing mild cognitive impairment, and moderate exercise in late life was associated with a 32 percent reduction in the odds of mental decline. The findings were consistent among men and women.

These two studies, both published in the Archives of Neurology, contribute to a growing body of literature supporting the benefits of a physically active lifestyle on the brain.

SOURCE: Archives of Neurology, January 2010.

Text copied from an article i Reuters by Megan Brooks Fri Jan 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14

Why is it always 1089

I told you during Easter that I was reading two recommended crime novels. In the book "Hevnens Alkymi" (the Alchemy of Revenge), it is described a calculation which you too can use as a party game/joke:
Add two number together and always end with 1089.

Here is How:
Pick a three digit number. The three numbers used must be different. i.e. 437

Reverse that number. 437 becomes 734
Take the smallest three digit number from the largest.
734 - 437 = 297
Take the answer and reverse that number. 297 becomes 792
Add that number to the answer of the subtraction. 792 + 297 = 1089
The answer will be 1089!

So Why does it do this?
You will need a little bit of algebra.
But stick with it, it is not difficult.
Represent the number with ABC
Reverse this to get CBA
Remember that A is Hundreds B is tens and C is units

Take CBA from ABC like this
Hundreds Tens Units

A B C
minus
C B A

Now here is the trick: subtract 1 Hundred, and add 9 Tens and 10 Ones
(-100, +90, +10 = 0, so won't change answer):

Hundreds Tens Units

A-1 B+9 C+10
minus
C B A

A-1-C 9 10+C-A
Last Step: Reverse the answer and add the two numbers together.

A-1-C 9 10+C-A
plus
10+C-A 9 A-1-C

9 18 9
(simplify:)
10 8 9

As predicted the answer was 1089

If you did not follow my explanation here, go to Math is Fun for a better presentation and other update of your math competence. Have fun!

Monday, April 12

Photos from Wales

Lucky me.
When I don´t have any interesting local text and photos to present, my family in Wales send me some images ready to be posted.The first shows Hedda without her needed Prong ( The plastic tubes inserted into her nostrils to provide a measured increased supply of oxygen). Hedda Emilie is now only one week short compared to a standart pregnancy period, and has already lived her own life for twelve weeks.
Helene, having fun when swinging, is heading for her seventh birthday this summer,
while Henrik Isak, two and a half year, is sitting in their garden drawing with his color pencils. May be there will be a "bestefar"-letter in my postbox later this week.

Sunday, April 11

A fresh season at Solvang

A week ago it looked like this at Solvang. The snow was still about 10cm deep and we stayed only for photo shooting.
This morning at the same area. No more snow and the spring lawn ready for the grass rake.
The leaves from last autumn had done their job as protection against the frost, and had already dried up so much that it was easy to fill 5 black garbage bags of withered brown leftovers.
The rhubarbs was waving with the newly born orange leave asking us to remove the dandelion from the bed.
The raspberries ranks are almost as upright as the royal gard. Spring is arriving at Solvang.

Saturday, April 10

Pub activity - Working as yarn-reel

Maja was very skeptical when granddad acted as a Wool-winder or yarn-reel at Aker Brygge yesterday. Coiling up the 600 meters yarn to more handsome hanks is a challenge for the person coiling but also for the pub guest holding hands in static position for more than 15 minutes. And that was only one hank.
However Maja but mostly Hedda this time, can look forward to nice merino wool jacket, cap and socks in pastel blue and white spring colors.
(ps. some small breaks for tasting the outdoor beer in the beautiful sunshine was allowed.)

If you want to, please look at this post as my contribution to James at Newtown Area Photo's meme called Weekend Reflections. Post a reflection during the week-end, log on to MckLinky via his site - and you're on too.

Friday, April 9

Old Photos - Children are growing up

In searching for nice memories through old Paper-photos I found some images showing part of the history of my two daughters.
First you see the two girls together with their father (extremely sun burned and exposed for future skin cancer) from a vacation at Alcudia Mallorca, Spain in the middle of 1980s.
It was at that time that coconut oil was used to get the right tanning look.
However, we added another member to the family in the late 80s. A champagne colored male backyard (or frontyard here at Frogner) cat filled our lives for many years. This photo of young Rikke and Sokrates when he was almost a kitten, is another example of the fact that time is running faster and faster. Today Rikke herself is a parent of Maja.The next photo shows Rikke and Trine (now mother of Helene, Henrik and Hedda) performing a house concert for other members of the family in the beginning of the 90s. They were very good with their voices and instruments at their age, and eager in improving their skills. Based upon present status of attitude, I am sure they will inspire their own children in musical development.
Tullen was excellent with the piano chords and the blog-editor himself (here at age 11) played the trombone in primary school orchestra.

Old photos recall old memories - documenting the development of your children, but also unfortunately visualize that we are getting older ourselves.

Thursday, April 8

Old Photos - Great memories

I have during Easter been looking into old paper-photos, and found these two very interesting shots.
The first taken some days after summer soltice (St. Hans Eve about 40 years ago) at the Borgund Fjord, Ålesund. The great bonfire (Nørvabålet) has burned down, and the rusty remains on the photo (herring barrel bands) can be greetings to the Rusty Girls, Trøndelag.

The story of the bonfires in Ålesund starts over 100 years ago, and in the bonfires golden years there should have been 25-30 big bonfires, spread around in Ålesund and along the Borgund Fjord. The most famous of these were: Slinningsbålet, Skjervabålet, Bollaren, Lampå, Kjærringa, Frigg and Nørvabålet. During the years the large bonfires disappeared one by one, and in 1993 there were only Skjervabålet and Slinningsbålet left.
A lot of people in Ålesund go to sea at Midsummer night using their yachts or sailing boats.
That bring back challenging memories from my position as HR Manager in DNV. The above photo is taken under the Fearnley Regatta from Oslo to Son in 1990(91?). We used the competition as an annual contribution in the team build process for our Management Group. The persons onboard are: My boss Jens Henrik (died of cancer in 1998), Wilhelm, myself, Magne (the ship owner) and Egil. The other team members are probably on deck closer to the bow managing sails or cordage, if not in the cabin opening another cooling beer for the crew.

Wednesday, April 7

AfterSki - The winner is: ArneA

In Petunia s Blog you could late Monday evening read (in Norwegian):

"Jeg lokket med premie blant alle deltakerne på ”After Ski” og trekningen vil jeg foreta i kveld når dere har satt dere på listen for dagens tema. Alle som har vært med i løpet av påsken, har fått en lapp med navnet sitt på og så får vi se hvem den heldige vinneren er. Følg med!!!

Da er premien trukket og den heldige vinneren ble ArneA. Det kan jo kanskje være på sin plass han som var den eneste hanen i kurven!!! Gratulerer til deg!!!"

(I enticed a the prize among all the participants on "After Ski" and I will do the draw of the winner in the evening when you have set you on the list for today's theme. Anyone who has been involved in "After Ski" during Easter, has been given a ticket with his/her name on, and then we'll see who the lucky winner is. Stay tuned!

The lucky winner was ArneA. It could perhaps be appropriate when he was the only rooster in the basket! Congratulations to you!)
Thanks Petunia. I have never been lucky earlier in any lottery. Not even in the Viking Lotto where the total 1st prize this Wednesday in almost 110 mill NOK. But there is still some hours till we know the Lotto numbers.
Maybe I am on a winning wave, and can celebrate onboard a pink yacht at Aker Brygge.