Search Results for “Swedish”

September 1, 2013

Swedish Fish

Malaco

sockerbit

Swedish Fish is a fish-shaped wine gum (gum drop type) candy. In 1957, Malaco, a Swedish confectionery manufacturer, expanded its business by exporting a few of their products to North America. Various licorice ribbon and licorice lace candies were the first products to be exported. Malaco CEO Thor Fjørgerson called the move ‘a landmark day for Sweden/US relations.’

International trade experts hailed the move, as it allowed Malaco to extend its brand beyond the Scandinavian Peninsula. Malaco’s export trade grew and in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Swedish Fish and Swedish Berries were developed specifically for the North American market. Malaco was eventually acquired by Leaf International.

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January 4, 2012

Swedish House Mafia

Swedish House Mafia is a Swedish house music group consisting of the three disc jockeys and producers, Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso. The group officially formed in late 2008.

December 11, 2014

Biomimicry

airfoil

George de Mestral

Biomimicry [bahy-oh-mim-ik-ree] is the imitation of biological systems in human technology. Living organisms have evolved well-adapted structures and materials over geological time through natural selection. Nature has solved engineering problems such as self-healing, environmental exposure tolerance, hydrophobicity (waterproofing), self-assembly, and harnessing solar energy.

One of the early examples of biomimicry was the study of birds to enable human flight. Although never successful in creating a ‘flying machine,’ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was a keen observer of the anatomy and flight of birds, and made numerous notes and sketches on his observations as well as designs of rudimentary ornithopters based on bats. The Wright Brothers, who succeeded in flying the first heavier-than-air aircraft in 1903, derived inspiration from observations of pigeons in flight. Their airfoil was based on a design by German ‘Glider King’ Otto Lilienthal who published ‘Birdflight as the Basis of Aviation.’ Velcro, another famous example, was inspired by the tiny hooks found on the surface of burs.

November 30, 2014

Caffeine

Lu Yu

Caffeinated drink

Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical found in various seeds, leaves, nuts, and berries. It serves a dual function in plants: as a toxin against unwanted pests, and as an enticement to pollinators, who are stimulated by it. Common sources of caffeine include coffee seeds (beans), tea leaves, kola nuts, yerba mate leaves, and guarana berries. It is extracted from the plant by steeping in water, a process called infusion. Chemically caffeine is an alkaloid, a non-acidic, nitrogen containing compound. A number of alkaloids are produced by flowering plants (e.g. cocaine from coca, nicotine from tobacco, morphine from poppies) to reduce or avoid being eaten by herbivores.

Specifically, caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid, an organic (carbon-based) compound from which many stimulants are derived. It is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug, but unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world. Part of the reason caffeine is classified by the FDA as ‘generally recognized as safe’ is that toxic doses, over 10 grams per day for an adult, are much higher than the typically used doses of under 500 milligrams.

March 6, 2014

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Beyond the Black Rainbow is a 2010 Canadian science fiction film written and directed by Panos Cosmatos in his feature film debut. The films begins in the 1960s, as Dr. Arboria founds the Arboria Institute, a New Age research facility dedicated to finding a reconciliation between science and spirituality, allowing human beings to move into a new age of perpetual happiness.

In the 1980s, Arboria’s work has been taken over by his protégé, Dr. Barry Nyle. Outwardly a charming, handsome scientist, Nyle is in fact a psychopath who has been keeping Elena, a teenage girl, captive in an elaborate prison/hospital beneath the Institute. Elena demonstrates psychic capabilities, which Nyle can suppress, using a glowing, prism-like device.

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January 6, 2014

Tobii Technology

eyex

Tobii

Tobii Technology is a Swedish high-technology company that develops and sells products for eye control and eye tracking. Founded in 2001, the company has products in several market segments such as people with communication disabilities who use Tobii’s technical devices and language tools (AAC devices) to communicate.

It also has products that are widely used for research in the academic community, and to conduct usability studies and market surveys of commercial products. Tobii also partners with others to integrate eye tracking and eye control in different industry applications and fields such as advanced driver assistance, consumer computing, and gaming.

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December 11, 2013

Object Sexuality

i love lamp

her

Object Sexuality (OS), also called objectophilia, refers to pronounced emotional attachment to inanimate objects. For some, sexual or even close emotional relationships with humans are incomprehensible.

Some object-sexual individuals also often believe in animism (spirits in nonliving things), and sense reciprocation based on the belief that objects have souls, intelligence, and feelings, and are able to communicate. Contrary to sexual fetishism, the object to an OS person is viewed as their partner and not merely as a sexual entity.

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November 7, 2013

Hawala

hawala

Hawala [ha-wah-lah] (Arabic: ‘transfer’) is an informal value transfer system based on the performance and honor of a huge network of money brokers, primarily located in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Indian subcontinent, operating outside of, or parallel to, traditional banking, financial channels, and remittance systems.

The system is believed to have arisen in the financing of long-distance trade around the emerging capital trade centers in the early medieval period. In South Asia, it appears to have developed into a fully-fledged money market instrument, which was only gradually replaced by the instruments of the formal banking system in the first half of the 20th century. Today, hawala is probably used mostly for migrant workers’ remittances to their countries of origin.

May 22, 2013

Transcreation

spidermen by Matt Boblet

Transcreation is a term used chiefly by advertising and marketing professionals to refer to the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. A successfully transcreated message evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language.

Increasingly, transcreation is used in global marketing and advertising campaigns as advertisers seek to transcend the boundaries of culture and language. It also takes account of images which are used within a creative message, ensuring that they are suitable for the target local market.

April 3, 2013

Damascus Steel

pattern weld

Damascus steel was a type of steel used in Middle Eastern swordmaking. Damascus steel was created from wootz steel, a steel developed in India around 300 BCE. These swords are characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water. Such blades were reputed to be tough, resistant to shattering and capable of being honed to a sharp, resilient edge. The original method of producing Damascus steel is not known. Recreating Damascus steel is a subfield of experimental archaeology. Many have attempted to discover or reverse-engineer the process by which it was made.

March 23, 2013

Creativity and Mental Illness

the bell jar

bipolar

Numerous studies have demonstrated correlations between creative occupations and mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The association between bipolar disorder and creativity first appeared in literature in the 1970s, but the idea of a link between ‘madness’ and ‘genius’ is much older, dating back at least to the time of Aristotle. The Ancient Greeks believed that creativity came from the gods, and in particular the Muses, the goddesses of arts and sciences, and the nine daughters of Zeus, the king of the gods.

The idea of a complete work of art emerging without conscious thought or effort was reinforced by the views of the Romantic era. It has been proposed that there is a particular link between creativity and bipolar disorder, whereas major depressive disorder appears to be significantly more common among playwrights, novelists, biographers, and artists. Psychotic individuals are said to display a capacity to see the world in a novel and original way, literally, to see things that others cannot.

February 28, 2013

Paleo Diet

modern caveman

The paleolithic diet (also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet) is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. In common usage, such terms as the ‘Paleolithic diet’ also refer to the actual ancestral human diet. Centered on commonly available modern foods, the ‘contemporary’ Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

 First popularized in the mid-1970s by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin, this nutritional concept has been promoted and adapted by a number of authors and researchers in several books and academic journals. A common theme in evolutionary medicine, Paleolithic nutrition is based on the premise that modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors and that human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture, and therefore that an ideal diet for human health and well-being is one that resembles this ancestral diet.

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January 30, 2013

Canadian Caper

argo

The ‘Canadian Caper‘ was the popular name given to the joint covert rescue by the Canadian government and the Central Intelligence Agency of six American diplomats who had evaded capture during the seizure of the United States embassy in Tehran, and taking of embassy personnel as hostages by Islamist students and militants on November 4, 1979. The ‘caper’ involved CIA agents (Tony Mendez and a man known as ‘Julio’) joining the six diplomats to form a fake film crew made up of six Canadians, one Irishman and one Latin American who were finished scouting for an appropriate location to shoot a scene for the notional sci-fi film ‘Argo.’ The charade was carried off on the morning of Monday, January 28, 1980, at the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. The eight Americans successfully boarded a Swissair flight to Zurich, Switzerland, and escaped Iran.

December 19, 2012

Epigenetics

epigenome

Epigenetics [ep-uh-juh-net-iks] is the study of changes in gene activity which are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence. More specifically, epigenetics is the study of gene expression, the way genes bring about their phenotypic effects (observable characteristics or traits). Gene expression is the process by which the heritable information in a gene, the sequence of DNA base pairs, is made into a functional gene product, such as protein or RNA. The basic idea is that DNA is ‘transcribed’ into RNA, which is then ‘translated’ into proteins (which make many of the structures and all the enzymes in a cell or organism). Several steps in the gene expression process may be modulated (tuned). This includes both the transcription and translation stages, and the final folded state of a protein. Gene regulation (mechanisms used by cells to increase or decrease the production of specific gene products) switches genes on and off, and so controls cell differentiation, and morphogenesis (the biological process that causes an organism to develop its shape). Gene regulation may also serve as a basis for evolutionary change: control of the timing, location, and amount of gene expression can have a profound effect on the development of the organism. A well-known example is that of the honey bee. Larvae that are fed with a pollen and nectar diet develop into worker bees, while those fed royal jelly develop into queens, growing larger and with different morphology.

The expression of a gene may vary a lot in different tissues. This is called pleiotropism, a widespread phenomenon in genetics. In pleiotropism, a single gene affects a number of phenotypic traits in the same organism. These pleiotropic effects often seem to be unrelated to each other. The underlying mechanism is that the same gene is activated in several different tissues, producing apparently different effects. It follows that the phenomenon must be extremely common, since most genes will have effects in more than one tissue. Changes in gene activity may persist for the remainder of the cell’s life and may also last for many generations of cells, through cell divisions. However, there is no change in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism. Instead, non-hereditary factors cause the organism’s genes to behave (express themselves) differently. The best example of epigenetic changes in eukaryotes is the process of cell differentiation. During morphogenesis, generalized stem cells become the cell lines of the embryo which in turn become fully differentiated cells. In other words, a single fertilized egg cell – the zygote – divides and changes into all the many cell types: neurons, muscle cells, epithelium, blood vessels etc. As the embryo develops, some genes get switched on, while others are switched off or moderated (gene regulation). There are many molecules inside the cell nucleus which do the job of adjusting the genes’ output.

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November 28, 2012

Sergei Eisenstein

Sergei Eisenstein (1898 – 1948) was a pioneering Soviet Russian film director and film theorist, often considered to be the ‘Father of Montage.’ He is noted in particular for his silent films ‘Strike’ (1924), ‘Battleship Potemkin’ (1925), and ‘October’ (1927), as well as the historical epics ‘Alexander Nevsky’ (1938) and ‘Ivan the Terrible’ (1944). Eisenstein was born to a middle-class family in Latvia, but his family moved frequently in his early years, as Eisenstein continued to do throughout his life. His father was of German-Jewish and Swedish descent, and his mother, was from a Russian Orthodox family. His father was an architect and his mother was the daughter of a prosperous merchant. His mother left Riga the same year as the Russian Revolution (1905), bringing Sergei with her to St. Petersburg. Her son would return at times to see his father, who later moved to join them around 1910. Divorce followed and Julia deserted the family to live in France. At the Petrograd Institute of Civil Engineering, Sergei studied architecture and engineering, the profession of his father. At school with his fellow students however, Sergei would join the military to serve the revolution, which would divide him from his father. In 1918 he joined the Red Army, although his father supported the opposite side. This brought his father to Germany after defeat, and Sergei to Petrograd, Vologda, and Dvinsk. In 1920, Sergei was transferred to a command position in Minsk, after success providing propaganda for the October Revolution. At this time, he studied Japanese, learning some 300 kanji characters, which he cited as an influence on his pictorial development, and gained an exposure to Kabuki theater. These studies would lead him to travel to Japan.

In 1920 Eisenstein moved to Moscow, and began his career in theater working for Proletkult (an experimental Soviet artistic institution). His productions there were entitled ‘Gas Masks,’ ‘Listen Moscow,’ and ‘Wiseman.’ Eisenstein would then work as a designer for Soviet theater director Vsevolod Meyerhold. In 1923 Eisenstein began his career as a theorist, by writing ‘The Montage of Attractions’ for LEF (a leftist Soviet journal). Eisenstein’s first film, ‘Glumov’s Diary’ was also made in that same year with Soviet documentary film theorist Dziga Vertov hired initially as an ‘instructor.’ ‘Strike’ (which depicts a strike in 1903 by the workers of a factory in pre-revolutionary Russia, and their subsequent suppression) was Eisenstein’s first full-length feature film. ‘The Battleship Potemkin’ (a dramatized version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their officers of the Tsarist regime) was acclaimed critically worldwide. But it was mostly his international critical renown which enabled Eisenstein to direct ‘October’ (aka ‘Ten Days That Shook The World,’ a celebratory dramatization of the 1917 October Revolution) as part of a grand tenth anniversary celebration of the Revolution, and then ‘The General Line’ (aka ‘Old and New,’ a celebration of the collectivization of agriculture). The critics of the outside world praised them, but at home, Eisenstein’s focus in these films on structural issues such as camera angles, crowd movements, and montage brought him and like-minded others, such as Vsevolod Pudovkin and Alexander Dovzhenko, under fire from the Soviet film community, forcing him to issue public articles of self-criticism and commitments to make his cinematic visions conform to the increasingly specific doctrines of socialist realism (made in furtherance of socialism).

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