This is Finland

I need to make at least 15-page Powerpoint presentation about Finland. The following info graphics made by my co-students make my job a lot easier!

All the essential information on Finland
Caffeine keeps us awake during the dark hours.
The sad truth: Finns drink. A lot.
Visual statistics
Hot room, naked people – what’s not to like?

Infographics made by Tania Rodrigues and Laura Garcia for TAMK Animation and visual styles-course.

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Nihongo ga wakarimasen

Today was the last lecture of my Japanese class. The course started in January, and since that I’ve spent all Friday mornings in the classroom with our sensei Miyamoto-Maunu and my classmates. Time goes fast! I now know (somewhat) all hiragana, and I have promised myself that I will study all of the katakana before my exchange starts.  Learning Japanese has been really interesting, and some of the phrases and words are rather amusing. Some of my personal favorites are:

 ときどき (tokidoki) – sometimes
インフォーメーション (infomeeshon) – information
セブンイレブン (sebunirebun) – seven eleven
かっか (kakka) – emperor (kakka means poo in Finnish)
ディズニーランド (deizunirando) – Disneyland
マクドナルド (makudonarudo) – McDonalds
いちにち (ichinichi) – one day

This last Japanese lesson was a bit more informal than the previous ones. We have done origami before, but this time there was more Japanese culture-related things, too.

 

Sumo origami game
Japanese game, similar to the one where you have to tag donkey’s tail to its’ right place
Japanese games, children’s books etc.
Most of our snacks were already eaten at the point of taking pictures

I will miss studying Japanese, since it might be quite difficult independently. I have few iPhone apps that I have found useful when studying hiragana and katakana, but I haven’t really found many good websites for studying. Do you have any tips on self-studying?

World eats

Peter Menzel is a talented photographer, who has published books about something that concerns us all: food. The book Hungry Planet portrays the way people eat around the world. The following hopefully raises some thoughts.

 

The average American adult eats 275 pounds of meat and drinks 54.8 gallons of soft drinks per year

 

This Chinese family loves fried shredded pork with sweet and sour sauce. Processed food items mixed with packaged meats and fish, this Chinese family eats more fruit than vegetables, and their produce selection is one of the smallest besides the United States

 

Mexico ranks first in the world in per-person consumption of Coca-Cola

 

Chad – $1.23 plus $24.37/week in food rations (from UN and other NGOs)

 

The average family in Great Britain spends over $250 per week on food, and eats mostly processed meals and candy

 

More countries and details can be found here.

What does your table look like? Which table would you like to sit in?

First times’ charm

Lately there have been many first times, at least firsts for this year.

My dog spent the night at my place (she lives with my mother).

Sophie loves my favorite chair

I spotted flowers in Pyynikki!

The first hepatica of the year

Dandelions have also woken up

The first picnic of the year – due to bad weather we had to have it indoors, which was not so bad!

Few of our indoors picnic treats

The first outdoor picnic was completed with real champagne (which might have been the first time for me to have the real thing)!

The weather on Vappu was perfect for a picnic outdoors

I also got my first sunburn that day. Thanks to sunglasses, I now have a read nose with clear lines separating the area that was covered by my glasses.

First time in the water.

Sophie soaking her paws

Okay, well, I didn’t have my first swim yet, but Sophie did!

I took this year’s first bike ride yesterday. (The bike pictured is not mine)

Some bikes just have more attitude

Still waiting for the following firsts:

Strawberries and peas from the farmer’s market
T-shirt weather
Barbecue
My brother’s graduation
Ice cream outdoors
Mosquito sting
Summer rain
most of all: Moving to another country!

Pyynikki beach

May Day

Vappu, aka Labour day, aka the biggest excuse to get drunk and stupid, was here once again.

Annual vappu market has game stalls

Vappu is the annual celebration in the end of April. For many kids it means the traditional vappu market, balloons, and a sugar high from munkki (donuts) and sima (mead, a beverage made from yeast).

Vappu treats, including 110 munkki
The most popular place on Tampere on Vappu – the bank of the Tammerkoski rapids

The streets are now clean again, there are no cheerful people anywhere to be seen – things have gone back to normal. But for the past few days everyone was happy, light-headed and outdoors enjoying the nice weather.

People enjoying the nice weather

Students drink and celebrate graduation, adults put on their graduation caps and drink sparkling wine on picnics. Rather than anything else, this holiday is associated with heavy drinking. Easy money for those collecting empty cans and bottles!

Vappu balloons

Next holiday – Midsummer!