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Facts – some fun, some interesting…

April 28, 2006
First of all, a big hello to my little cousin "L" in Canada. Thank you for the chipmunk postcard!
 
Some useful(less?) pieces of trivia for ya!
 
According to the magazine "Espoo Hitech and Business 2005", a law was passed in 1943 that obliges schools to provide students with a free lunch, which must constitute one-third of their caloric intake.
 
Finns living in Sweden can hear news in the Finnish language. SVT shows news in Finnish, subtitled in Swedish. According to Statistics Sweden some 183,000 Finns live in Sweden. I understand that many of them moved to Sweden to seek work during prosperous times in the 1970’s.
 
At the end of 2005, Finland had 94 wind turbines with an installed capacity of 82MW. These 94 turbines produced 170Gwh of energy, amounting to a measly 0.2% of Finland’s total energy production. New windmills were installed in Sottunga, Äetsä, Kemi and Eurajoki. Finland is lagging far behind the world leader in wind production – Germany. I’ll write more about wind energy in Finland in the near future.
 
Beer is cheaper than pop (aka. soda, lemonade depending on your native English tongue) in Finland. What’s up with that?
 
Did you know that the stage production of the Lord of the Rings has a strong Finnish connection? That connection being the folk group Värttinä. See more here too:
http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Finnish+folk+band+excited+at+stage+version+of+Lord+of+the+Rings/1135219255196
 
I mentioned in one of my posts last year that speed cameras have been placed on many roads in Finland in order to nail those people that insist on driving at excessive speeds. I also mentioned that the number of cameras would be increased over the coming years and I can report that this has happened on highway E5 from Heinola-Mikkeli-Kuopio. From north to south (and vice versa) you will encounter 28 cameras. Many of the new cameras have been placed in areas where the speed limit changes frequently – such as a turn off to a small town. Be on the look out for them!
 
Finland and Canada are the superpowers of the much less-publicized women’s sport of ringette (www.ringette.fi, www.ringette.ca). These two countries are often duking it out for the gold medals in championship tournaments. I am trying to convince my aunt that my little cousins will be good enough to come and play in Finland someday to get more experience. The hockey people in the Sudbury area have tried many times to make converts out of them, but so far they have failed. (And congrats to two of them – they were Ontario champions in their age group a couple weeks ago!)
 
The Finns, in the past have been (and still are) some of the best players in Europe when it comes to American football. Teams in the capital area settle the score at the old velodrome that was constructed for the 1952 Summer Olympics.
 
In many parts of Canada you can buy beer in bottles with twist off caps, there is no such thing as a "twist-top" in Finland. The bottle opener industry is thriving!
 
Organ transplants are on the rise in Finland. In 2005, 230 organ transplants were performed in Finland. YLE News reports that in the first quarter of 2006, 86 life-saving transplant surgeries were performed. The group Lahja Elämälle lobbies for increased awareness of organ transplants in Finland: www.lahjaelamalle.net.
 
Toronto’s unique city hall was designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell (1910-1964). See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto%5FCity%5FHall
 
Next Monday, May 1 is "Vappu" aka. Labour Day in Finland. So wherever you are, drink responsibly and arrive alive!
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