July 28, 1993 |
We aren't the only country where people have thin skins and political correctness is on the rise. To my surprise, the same symptoms are being shown in Scandinavian countries, which have long been known for their tolerant attitudes. But recently, the Norwegian courts had a racial hatred court case, which is unusual for that country, since almost everybody in Norway is a Norwegian and looks like it, so it is difficult to find someone of another race to hate. However, this case involved Swedes, who pretty much look like Norwegians, although you would never want to tell a Norwegian that.
February 24, 2006 |
There was no trash-talking or finger-pointing between Sami Kapanen and Kim Johnsson as they passed each other in the hallway yesterday at the Flyers' practice facility. It was too soon for any of that. Besides, that's not the way for Scandinavians, known for their quiet reserve. But if Sweden and Finland win their semifinals today at the Olympics and are matched in Sunday's gold-medal game, either Kapanen, a Finn, or Johnsson, a Swede, is going to have bragging rights. "It's kind of a bittersweet rivalry," said Kapanen, the feisty little winger who declined to play for Team Finland so he could rehabilitate his surgically repaired shoulder.
September 4, 1994 |
Once upon a time there was the bedtime story. Parents would read it with their eyes darting from page to dozing progeny. Its purpose was to lower heavy eyelids, to lull children to sleep with happily-ever-after endings. Teddy's Day isn't a bedtime story. Its ruby reds, royal blues and sunshine yellows keep eyes wide and wondering. Its quilted cloth pages encourage hands to pull and pat rather than turn the pages. The book is a give-away for new members of Baby's First Book Club, which ships 25 titles a month from its Bristol Township office.
July 13, 1994 |
Swedes don't samba. Swedish soccer fans don't try to carry large bass drums onto airplanes like their Brazilian counterparts, either. In Sweden, soccer is a very nice pastime, but it is neither religion nor cause for an overthrow of the government. When Sweden and Brazil meet in the World Cup semifinals at the Rose Bowl today, both sets of fans will be wearing yellow and blue. But don't look for the Swedish contingent to display large foam fingers declaring, "We're number one. " An enterprising concessionaire might be better off with signs that read, "Well, it could be that we're not too bad, if you insist.
August 25, 2011 |
We sure have come a long way since Out of Africa and The Flame Trees of Thika . In the second decade of the 21st century, some of the most compelling contemporary crime-fiction novels are either set in or coming from Africa. Much as Scandinavia became associated with the genre a few years back - thanks in large part to Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy - Africa may become a new capital of literary crime. At the forefront is Roger Smith, a director and screenwriter who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, and writes with the brutal beauty of an Elmore Leonard in a very bad mood.
March 25, 2001 |
It's time to have a talk about these dirt-cheap fares that make it possible to fly somewhere far away, over a long weekend, at the last minute. They look really good. They don't always work. We've read and heard many travelers' tales about my-wonderful-weekend-anyplace-but-here. That's fine if everything goes according to the itinerary. But the weather works against us. So do crowded skies. And so does that great grab-bag of hassles the airlines deliver with an all-purpose phrase: Equipment problems.
May 17, 2013 |
THE RULE in journalism is that two of anything is sheer coincidence, but three of anything is an ironclad trend. Here's one for you: We now have three movies in theaters about momentous historic events that occurred in 1947 - "42" and Jackie Robinson's integration of baseball, "Midnight's Children" and the 1947 partition of Pakistan and India, and now "Kon-Tiki," a dramatization of Thor Heyerdahl's historic 1947 Pacific rafting trip, which proved...
October 10, 1991 |
Wearing a Viking helmet, Harold Ragnar Graden listens to speeches during a ceremony on the banks of the Schuylkill yesterday commemorating Leif Ericson Day. Some 50 Scandinavian-Americans gathered at the statue of Ericson's father-in-law, Thorfinn Karlsefni, another Viking sailor. An honor guard of make-believe Vikings from the Viking ship Revenen attended, and music was supplied by the Shawmont School band. Gene Martinson, president of the Viking Ship Committee, announced that a new Viking longship, to replace the retired Revenen, is in the works for 1992.
July 7, 1989 |
This year, 3.5 million people will board cruise ships to sun-and-fun spots in the Caribbean, the Pacific, Mexico, or nowhere in particular. Most of them will be Americans, sailing in and out of the United States. But most of them probably will be unaware that almost all of the more than 100 cruise ships using U.S. ports are registered in other countries and, as a result, the U.S. government has little control over their safety. That may change. In a major policy proposal yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board urged the Coast Guard to ask Congress for broad authority to regulate cruise ship safety, from emergency procedures such as evacuations and fire- fighting, to operational standards and crew training.
October 29, 2009 |
Some conservative music circles would have you believe credible concert programs can't be built around Scandinavian or English music. Not true, but even if it were, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia's Scandinavian Perspectives program represented chances worth taking. Certainly, the precise, forceful guest conductor Dirk Bross? took no easy ways out Monday at the Kimmel Center, with seldom-heard works by well-known composers Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius and familiar ones by obscure ones (Dag Wir?n)