If I remember correctly

Well, chances are I don’t any more. I was sure that one of the assorted headlines today was a follow-up to something I had blogged about, but I can’t find it here, so I am either having serious memory problems, or need to index things better.

There is a mildly amusing Norwegian TV commercial, for house paint I believe (see memory disclaimer above if you have forgotten), where two men stand together outdoors in embarrassed silence, unable to find a topic of conversation as an incredible storm rages around them, even blowing a flipping car slowly past. The idea is that with the protection of the product on your home, the weather will lose its reliability as an ice-breaker for chat. Well, that’s not going to happen any time soon here.

Today we can read that there is just over a staggering 41C difference between the temperature extremes in Norway, and perversely it is the arctic north that is basking in warmth. The town of Tynset and UNESCO Heritage site Røros were again singled out for frigidity at -33.3C and -31.6C respectively, while Skibotn in far-flung Troms County in the far north had a balmy +8C, and people were out in short sleeves.

A man in Askim invented a new type of winter fun when he hit upon a novel method for thawing out his car, good old VG reports. Described only as an ‘older gentleman’, the fellow placed a hot-plate under his car and plugged it in, and soon found his vehicle ablaze. At least he was not alone; a motorist in Kongsvinger hit on the same idea on Sunday, and he too got a garage visit from local firefighters.

For some reason Aftenposten.no chose to write about Oymyakon, Siberia as a travel destination, presumably to make those of us stuck in Norway feel warmer.

While it may be warmer up in the north, it has also been scary. On Friday a high school in Tromsø was evacuated after the discovery of an Internet threat promising a massacre of Sami students. This story was revived on Aftenposten.no on Monday when the incident continued to be discussed on web forum 4chan.org, where the threat was originally posted.

One participant attracted attention by repeating the threat, telling people to ‘watch the news’ because time would show that it was not a joke. Tromsø police are being aided by the Norwegian special police force Kripos in their investigation but have no suspects as yet. Students are back at the school.

Norway has topped another top European list, this one a very dubious honor. Bergen, very arguably the country’s most beautiful city, has the worst air pollution in Europe according to recent measurements reported in newspaper Bergens Tidende. Like Oslo, the city tends to have its smog settle like a lid, and the current weather conditions are probably making this worse.

But while Bergen may be suffering, Swedish financial daily Dagens Industri reports that Norway is the country in the world least likely to go bankrupt. Nordic neighbor Iceland is frighteningly near the top of the list of nations near financial collapse, according to an analysis of Credit-Default Swap papers.


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