Thursday, 28 October 2010

Tyler Brûle on my ol' hometown

I just took a look at Tyler Brûle's column (FT) after a long pause in doing so. To my pleasure I noticed that he has has written some about his recent visit in Helsinki.

Cosy cardamom autumn it is. That made me think those megasize muffins with cinnamon, vanilla and apple that they used to serve in Wayne's Coffee (its from Sweden, by the way). Delicious with a large cup of cappuccino. Not anymore, though. It can be shared, you know. No need to buy two of those small ones they only stock nowadays.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Internet goodies from Sweden

Yepp, its Spotify and Voddler. These are the two things that have affected most the way I enjoy my lazy-entertainment these days. Spotify for music, and Voddler for movies.

For example, I used LastFM for some time, but it looks like Spotify is to stay. It simply is the best thing for music, at least for the time being. Premium version is highly recommended, though - unless one is a masochist who enjoys listening to commercials every now and then. Spotify works beatifully with any party one might be arranging. Planning playlists is a joy, and its easy to compile stuff on the fly.

Almost no download when playing. Wonder if Monocle has written about this. They titulate themselves as the briefing on getting it right. Or something like that. What a great read it is, by the way.

I do remember Monocle founder Tyler Brûle writing in his FT column about the many possibilities in remaking the venerable concept of DVD rental stores, looking at the customer experience side. Lounging through shelves of DVDs, getting snacks and supplies, etc. On a lazy, rainy Sunday night.

Well, no more video rental stores for me. Its Voddler that "gäller". They some a lot of movies for free, and rentals over the internet are super-easy. Just plug your gold-plated HDMI cable to the telly and start.

These two are hardly the only good stuff that is brewing here in Sweden. Gött.

Now, if someone could just make a proper Spotify app for Nokia N900 (Maemo5). So I dont have to get nerdy.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Iain Banks has published some new science fiction: Surface Detail

Yes. This means I will part with some Euros.

Iain Banks (the Scottish writer who writes his non-scifi under "Ian Banks") is back with his scifi.

As a lifelong fan of good science fiction, I am, I must confess, excited about getting the latest one from the best. Yes Iain, that would be you. Now do not get arrogant :)

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Rather slow with book reviews, its 1998 I am at

Yes, I was at the library one day looking for something specific, when by chance I laid my eyes on Robert Stone's "Damascus Gate".

The back cover pitch by the publisher was as follows:

"From one of the most distinctive voices of his generation comes a novel of soaring vision and profound intelligence.."

I was not familiar with Robert Stone nor his generation. However, what caught me was the sales pitch. So much of modern literature (at least if we are talking thrillers and such) are highly structured. You know, twist in the plot every seven pages, chapters very short and almost precisely of the same length, the classic structure of "protagonist meets some problems, is sucked in to the vortex of issues from which he/she slowly recovers and attains a happy ending", which can - despite of its base psychological appeal - be tiresome. Not so very real for most people. Just the same'ol ancient formula.

As I needed some pastime, I grabbed it. So, was the book up to the high-flying sales pitch? The answer is yes. I am a little ahead of things here as I have not actually finished the book. Without knowing how it ends, I dare to call it good. The read has been very entertaining, and the intelligence Mr. Stone pours into his text is fantastic. Humour included. In fact, I was reminded of another American - the well-known prankster Robert Anton Wilson.

So what is the book about? A washed-up American journalist freelances, drinks and hangs out in Jerusalem, where he encounters a very imaginative cast of characters and the story is complete with the strange religious phenomena (Jerusalem Syndrome stuff) and a plot. That should be enough about the story - its not really that relevant at all. Why not? Read it, and eventually you will understand.

Good stuff Robert, I think you've done mankind a favour here, in a small way. Once I finish this one, I'm going to take a look at other stuff you have produced. Skol på dig!

PS. The cast of characters is really something. Consider Pinchas. Pinchas Obermann, the Israeli Psychiatrist. Jösses.

Monday, 4 October 2010

The last week of filming of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" in Uppsala

Great many film enthusiast's have been flocking to the cosy city centre of Uppsala as the filming of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" has been ongoing in David Fincher's direction. Its last week now, so there still is time for the enthusiasts. As the scenes being filmed are from the 60's, there is a lot of classic cars about, Police Volvo Amazons, etc.

The locals like this, especially many of the small businesses in the area, but enthusiasm remians great as local papers write along the lines of "Hollywood is around the corner".

Well, at least the traffic irregularities should cease as well :)

CBD - also known as the Cinnamon Bun Day

In the creme de la creme of Swedish traditions one finds the Cinnamon Bun Day (CBD), which is today. Cinnamon swirls (kanelbulla) are traditionally enjoyed during the autumn.

Let it be known that I have just enjoyed a warm kanelbulle, fresh from the oven. With a liberal glass of milk. This noble symbol of Swedish home baking tradition definitely deserves its on day on the calender.