Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Walking helmets to become mandatory by law in Sweden?

I recently borrowed a pretty hilarious book - "I trygghetsnarkomanernas land - Sverige och det nationella paniksyndromet" ("In the land of the safetyaddicts - Sweden and the national panic disorder") by David Eberhard. You probably can tell where this is heading, but I want to make a small quote below:

"... There is also a significant tendency, as with psychiatric traditional agoraphobia, that the behaviour accellerates over time. When you have prohibited the residents to ride without seatbelt or motorcycle helmet then automatically comes the requirement for bicycle helmet and seatbelt in the back seat. Every prohibition leads to another prohibition which in turn makes the nation's citizens wonder how earlier generations could survive at all. Will there in the future be raised requirements for mandatory walking helmets? It may sound improbable, but it's sufficient that one researcher can show that you can save the lives of five or six babies per year if they use walking helmets and the law will arrive like a letter in the mail!"

Do check out the rest of my books (and our bookshelf) and another review of this book.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Valaste turned to ice again

It seems, according to EPL, that the area of the Valaste waterfall (that's in northeast Estonia) has frozen over again. The terrain there is just brilliantly engineered - "I know, let's make a creek which runs out to a couple-meter-waterfall, but by the seaside, so that there will be winds to blow the water back on land! Then it should efficiently cover the surroundings in a couple of centimeters of ice-cold wet sludge which will eventually freeze into a cool natural phenomenon a couple of days per year"

I have my pictures which got published last year here:

Also, do note that since I use CC-licensing, you can download huge (near-original) versions of most my pictures, to use for background pictures or whatever you want. CC (and the freesouls project for people) is a great way to find pictures whenever you need them:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My first time at OpenCoffee Club Tallinn


Not sure if this belong in this blog or the nerd blog, since it's about techie stuff in Estonia - but I visited the Open Coffee Club Tallinn today.

In Ülemiste City Mercado it's a bit out of the way, but it was so worth it. I was a bit shy before, thinking that maybe everyone would be speaking Estonian and all too serious for my sort of... freely associative thinking.

Turned out I recognized the first guy I walked into, and essentially the second one as well, we took a table for ourselves and the event took off! It was very nice, somewhat professionally rewarding and great for ideas. Actually, one guy into SEO essentially repeated one of my favorite ideas out to me, word by word :-) . Proves one of my principles of that you're not usually alone about great ideas, you must dare to check out the competition.

Some of you readers may still think Estonia is a backwards Eastern European country, but the Tallinn OpenCoffee Club, and something I saw the other day reminded me that's not the case. In Sweden I've always been reminded not to bring gadgets out in public, and you're a bit of a freak to work on the laptop in a café - in the Viru Keskus mall the other day, there were three different people sitting on the benches by the escalators with their laptops, one of which was a MacBook Pro. That's so non-Swedish.

By the way, you cool people I met there, maybe you want to follow my twitter, jaiku or other stuff online.

If you couldn't come this time, next time if you feel that some networking and cool discussions would do you better than spending that hour in the office, just come show up! Come and go whenever it suits you, and if you don't know anyone, squeeze into some conversation. Also I noticed at least two groups with English as primary language, so that was no problem either.