Search Results for “Swedish”

September 1, 2013

Swedish Fish



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.

April 20, 2015

Turnspit Dog

turnspit by Sarina Nihei

In medieval and early modern kitchens, the spit was the preferred way of cooking meat in a large household. A servant known as the ‘spit boy’ or ‘spit jack’ sat near the spit turning the metal rod slowly to cook the food evenly. Mechanical turnspits (‘roasting jacks’) were later invented and were first powered by dogs on treadmills (and then by steam power and mechanical clockwork mechanisms, and presently by electric motors). The Turnspit Dog was a short-legged, long-bodied dog bred to run on a wheel, called a ‘turnspit’ or ‘dog wheel.’

It is mentioned in ‘Of English Dogs’ in 1576 under the name ‘Turnespete.’ English naturalist William Bingley’s ‘Memoirs of British Quadrupeds’ (1809) also talks of a dog employed to help chefs, known as the ‘Kitchen Dog,’ the ‘Cooking Dog,’ the ‘Underdog,’ and the ‘Vernepator.’ In Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus’ 18th century classification of dogs it is listed as ‘Canis vertigus’ (‘spinning dog’). The breed was lost since it was considered to be such a lowly and common dog that no record was effectively kept of it. Some sources consider the Turnspit a kind of Glen of Imaal Terrier, others make it a relative of the Welsh Corgi.

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April 6, 2015

Goose Bumps

pilomotor reflex by boots


Goose bumps (‘cutis anserina,’ also called ‘goose pimples’ or ‘goose flesh’) are bumps that develop on human skin at the base of body hairs in response to cold. They can also occur involuntarily as the result of strong emotions such as fear, nostalgia, pleasure, euphoria, awe, admiration, or sexual arousal. The same effect is manifested in the root word ‘horror’ in English, which is derived from Latin ‘horrere,’ which means ‘to bristle,’ and ‘be horrified,’ because of the accompanying hair reaction.

The reflex of producing goose bumps is known as ‘arasing,’ ‘piloerection,’ or the ‘pilomotor reflex.’ It occurs in many mammals besides humans; a prominent example is porcupines, which raise their quills when threatened, or sea otters when they encounter sharks or other predators. Small muscles at the follicles raise the body’s hair to make the animal appear larger and more imposing when facing predators. The formation of goose bumps in humans under stress is considered by some to be a vestigial reflex. In furred animals, the cold response erects hairs to trap air, creating a layer of insulation.

December 11, 2014



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


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



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.

December 11, 2013

Object Sexuality

i love lamp


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.

November 7, 2013



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


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


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.


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