Posts about the latest Germanic culture, language and current events news, with a focus on Southern California!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The 2014 Superbowl's Most Shazam-ed Ad

If you have never used the music identification service Shazam, you might be seriously missing out on music that you don't have to be missing out on! By tapping the "Listen" button in the app, Shazam's compares your song to a huge music database and pulls up the artist and song. Huge news for Scandinavia this week, when the Yahoo TV blog announced the Super Bowl's Most Shazamed song was from Norwegian artist Ane Brun

Ane's music is acoustic and often accompanied by live strings. It is folky and stripped down, very intimate. She has been touring in Europe and the US for the past couple of years and lives in Stockholm when not on the road. I saw Ane in Chicago in 2012 when she and her band were promoting her last album, It All Starts With One. She is currently touring the US again and promoting her newest album, Rarities, with shows in LA, Chicago, And New York (among many others).

Here's the Chevy commercial that inspired thousands of Shazams:
Congrats to Ane and everyone who worked on the song!

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Ever Death in Icelandic Armed Police Operation

Remember that Iceland is technically part of Scandinavia too!!  Police in Iceland have killed a suspect in his home during an armed operation for the first time. Ever. Read all about it on BBC News.

The police chief told reporters "Police regret this incident and would like to extend their condolences to the family of the man".  When was the last time you heard any US police apologize to a victim's family?!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

IKEA Pledges $2.7 Million in Aid to Philippines

Despite IKEA's founder Ingvar Kamprad being notoriously stingy (driving around Sweden in a 17-year-old Volvo, bargain hunting, and maintaining strict control over IKEA's stock), they have reportedly pledged $2.7 million in aid to help victims of the recent Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Read the article in USA Today here.

Read the Forbes Magazine write-up on Kamprad's spending habits here. 

Bra jobbat!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hundraåringen som Klev ut Genom Fönstret och Försvann...

The best selling Swedish novel is now available in both English and lättläst svenska (Swedish easy reading) and will be one of the next Swedish literary successes to make it to the big screen (premier around Christmas 2013). Possibly in preparation for the cinematic debut, people are talking about this novel all over the world! The lättläst version makes for a perfectly challenging, yet rewarding read for intermediate Swedish students. The ideal readers have: 

-a good grasp of past, present and future verb tenses
-progressive vocabulary and a familiarity with colloquial language
-the ability to make good use of context clues

My students and I are compiling both comprehension and critical thinking questions to accompany each chapter in the book. You can find them to the right of these posts under the page titled

Click here for the longest running trailer I could find. The "official" trailer is only 15 seconds long. Watch it here!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Michael Johansson

Check out some of the great works of Swedish contemporary artist Michael Johansson, who specializes in tetris-like arrangements of everyday objects!

It kind of reminds me of the oldie-but-goodie Conan sketch about (fairly offensive) German TV show Stackenblocken.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


A wolf has been seen roaming my old Swedish neighborhood of Västra Frölunda in Göteborg!!

It was then seen downtown, probably cruising the shops on the trendy Avenyn.

It was seen again in Slottsskogen park, a place that I relaxed in on many a sunny Swedish afternoon. The wolf has not yet been caught, but conservation officers are apparently tracking it.

This event is NOT helping Swedes to contradict the rumor that arctic animals like polar bears roam the streets...