Archive for Sweden

Sweden’s performance in Eurovision and the World Cup 2010

Posted in Sweden with tags , , , on June 1, 2010 by Stephen Johnson (Jonk87)

The irony is in the title because there wasn’t one, just like there won’t be a world cup. What IS going on Sweden?

Sweden have always been one of the most successful countries in Eurovision, winning it four times since their first appearance in 1958. They also failed to qualify for the world cup, even though they have one of the best players in the world, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, playing for them. I haven’t seen him play much this season but he is amazing on Fifa and Pro Evolution so he must therefore still be at his best.

I have never visited a nation so enthusiastic about Eurovision before (they have Eurovision parties) and I know the people there are passionate about their footy; they must be devastated. If any consolation, England finished last in Eurovision but that’s different because we are proud of sucking at Eurovision and where it matters (the world cup) we are stronger than ever with Fabio Capello .

So tell me. What’s going on over there people? Defend your country! Or, just spend the summer supporting Denmark. (The team that helped to knock you out and qualify)

Gå Danmark!!!!!

Learning the Swedish language

Posted in Sweden with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2010 by Stephen Johnson (Jonk87)

In case you were unaware, my girlfriend (Caroline) is Swedish, and occasionally we visit her family in Lund. The last time we visited, her parents expected me to know some of the Swedish language. This left me embarrassed as I had to admit that my ability to speak in their language was poor at best. To make things worse, under interrogation, the words that I thought I knew, I  forgot when put on the spot.

This experience not only left me looking like I lacked intelligence, it also make me look like I was ignorant of their culture. The latter, is at least true. My last visit to Sweden was four months ago and if anything I know even less of the language now than I did then.

This is a serious problem, the next time I visit they are going to expect me to be able to understand a variety of different words at least speak a few sentences.

So what’s the solution? I was running this morning in the gym and saw a commercial about Rosetta Stone – “It helps you to learn a new language naturally, the way you learn your native language as a child.”

The commercial looked pretty cool, it featured some kids throwing a ball about – Seeming a lot easier to use than the CD I currently have which pronounces words and then expects you to remember them. The problem is, the program costs £169, and that’s only for level 1.

I probably only need to master level 1 to gain approval from the parents – Is that worth £169?

For the value of a language program, I could buy: four nights out with my mates drinking; six Newcastle tickets for home matches and a balti pie to eat during every half-time; a years membership at my local gym; One copy of my University lecturer’s book, Online Public Relations, for £17.94 at Amazon and 300 cups of coffee from the University canteen to drink while I read it; one night at Aspers Casino or many other alternatives.

This decision is even harder than the one I had to make when choosing which political party to vote for in the general election.

Below is video advert for Rosetta Stone, pretty condescending I think.

Anyone know any cheaper language programs? Please let me know.

England (Newcastle), Sweden (Lund) and Google Earth!

Posted in Sweden with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Stephen Johnson (Jonk87)

This is very, very cool for my blog. I have discussed in several posts the comparisons between Lund and Newcastle.

This post gives the reader the opportunity to explore both places themselves on an interactive map.

Take a look at some of the 3D images I took from Google Earth of Lund and Newcastle – feel free to look around the map and search out other landmarks.

For the Newcastle 3D map, I have focused the location on the Tyne River. You can see the famous, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, in the far right of the map and the Millennium Bridge is the furthest bridge away.

For Lund’s 3D map I have focused the location on their famous University. Swedish users please leave a comment of other locations and I will search them out and add them to future posts.

I appreciate this is bias because I have a better knowledge of Newcastle compared to Sweden

Enjoy, scan around the maps yourself and feel free to comment or ask questions. You may need to download a plug in for Google Earth, for full accessibility. Use the shift button while clicking on the map to change your view and double click your mouse on the map to zoom in.

Who is the best at poker: England VS Sweden

Posted in Sweden with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2010 by Stephen Johnson (Jonk87)

There has long been an ongoing debate about which country can produce the best home grown talent when it comes to the game of poker. For this post, I am going to compare Sweden’s, Eric Friberg, a well known and respected younger player, to David ‘devilfish’ Ulliott, an English veteran in the game.

It is common knowledge in the poker world that Swedish players tend to  have more aggressive tendencies towards  their game compared to English players.

Is this a positive quality or could it be considered reckless play?

If Sweden’s population was as dense as England’s, would Swedish players be winning as many tournaments as their counterparts?

Below are the profiles of two famous and successful poker players, one Swedish and the other English.

Erik Friberg

Eric Friberg

Eric Friberg, 27, is one of the many established and professional Swedish poker players currently playing in the high stakes cash games and tournaments.

His style, typical of a Swedish player, is very aggressive. If you are not familiar with some poker terminology, the term ‘aggressive,’ in this context, means he likes to play a lot of hands, with a lot of chips, all of the time.

Friberg’s best accomplishment to date, is coming eighth in the 2006 World Series Of Poker main event. For this triumph, he took home just under $2,000,000 dollars.

Friberg also finished in 26th place in the Barcelona leg of the European Poker Tour and first in the Swedish Poker Challenge, earning $87,287 dollars.

Eric left his University studies to play Poker full time. He claims that it didn’t go too well at first but soon picked up. He has never had a proper job before and says he regrets not working earlier to help him appreciate the real value of money.

When asking him why Swedish players are so good? He replied: “We think a lot about poker and play smart”. He also explained: “There are many talented and skilled Swedish players with the potential to win an event like this. For example, the high-limit games on the Internet are owned by Swedish players these days.”

Dave Ulliott

Dave Ulliott, predominantly know as ‘The Devilfish,’ is arguably one of Britain’s best poker players and is definitely one of Britain’s best known.

Ulliott started out hosting his own poker nights and playing in other peoples’ houses. He rapidly developed his intuition of the game and was shortly taking his pals for reasonable amounts of money. He shortly found himself being excluded from games as his friends were sick of constantly losing their money to him.

He then moved on to playing in casinos and was a regular playing in the Victoria Casino in London. He liked to travel and play and was known to play poker in up to five difference cities in one day.

He grew up in a small council house in a working class area and throughout his early life spent spells in prison. At the height of his criminal activity he was part of a a safe-cracking team, targeting tobacconists, off-licenses and garages.

Ulliott won the first season of the World Poker Tour, outlasting 160 players and earning $589,175. He also finished third in the sixth season of the W.P.T classic championship event in 2007, earning $674,5000.

As of 2009, Ulliott’s total live tournament winnings exceed $5,600,000, making him  the highest-earning British poker player.

Both of these players are highly successful and still continue to make massive amounts of money.

Is Friberg correct in saying that Swedish players “own the online game”?

Which of these do you consider to be the most successful? One has more career earnings but the other is a lot younger and has a promising future.

Please state your opinions below in the comment section.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Posted in Sweden with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2010 by Stephen Johnson (Jonk87)

If you know anyone from Sweden you will be sure to have heard about the film ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’.

My girlfriend has been talking about it for a while and we will be going to the cinema to see it soon.

I have been looking forward to see ‘Shutter’s Island’ and ‘Green Zone,’ On this occasion, however, it looks like we will be seeing her film. Lets face it, how many Swedish language speaking films are screened in the Odeon? Not many.

The Girl With The dragon Tattoo is part of an award winning crime novel by Swedish author, Stieg Larsson.

The author passed away in 2004 leaving three unpublished novels that became known as his millennium trilogy:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage) The Girl Who Played with Fire The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
If you know anyone Swedish in the UK, especially a girlfriend or boyfriend this will definitely be a good choice.
I have not seen many foreign language films but will be watching this sometime next week and will be sure to review my thoughts about the film.
For those who have not seen the trailer for the movie click below.

Your Hero!

Posted in Sweden with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2010 by Stephen Johnson (Jonk87)

This blog is slowly gaining in popularity, however, no one knows much about the creator behind it.

I am currently starring in  a Swedish video which gives some indication of my stature and popularity.

Please take this opportunity to watch the video in full and leave comment below.

Click here!

Of course, not true – but very funny!

 You can upload your own picture and star in the video yourself. Just wait until the end of the the video and the option comes up to make your own edit!

 If you do, send the link as I would love to see other versions.

Donald Duck (Kalle Anka)

Posted in 1, Sweden, Sweden with tags , , on March 9, 2010 by Stephen Johnson (Jonk87)

So, I expect many may ask: Why should Donald Duck, or Kalle Anka as he is known in Sweden, be a part of the Totally Sweden blog? Does he bare any particular significance to the Swedish Culture?

Well….I am pleased to suprise you and announce – quack quack yes he does!

I have recently been informed by my girlfriend that in Sweden, on Christmas Eve (similar to our Christmas Day,) every year around half of the Swedish population tune in to watch the same episode of Donald Duck at 3PM.

I was also told that this is a Swedish tradition dating back to 1959. Apologies, and no disrespect, but in the past she has told several white lies to test how gullable I can be, so I had to check it out!

So, I looked it up and sure enough this time it was the truth. So there you go! Every Christmas Eve at 3pm, about half of the Swedish population sit down and watch the same episode of Donald Duck they have been watching for oveKalle Ankar 50 years!

I have taken the liberty  to embed part of the christmas episode so others can have a taste of the Swedish Christmas and our Swedish readers can enjoy and reminisce on last years festivities.

Enjoy, and please state your thoughts in the comment section.