Hallandale Beach Blog - A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden.
In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Inspiring! Hillsborough tribute single becomes 2012 Christmas #1 song in U.K. and raises money for a noble cause -legal costs for victims' relatives campaigning for justice for the 96 Liverpool fans who perished, and to keep pressure on for unraveling the police cover-up; Robbie Williams' voice never sounded better -or more like B.J. Thomas' voice!

jft96christmas YouTube Channel video: The Justice Collective - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Official Music Video) http://youtu.be/2h8loYnNlZA

It's gone completely unremarked upon here in the United States, even in most of the so-called entertainment and pop culture press -Variety, Entertainment Weekly, PEOPLE, et al- but the last few weeks of the year in Great Britain have brought forth a very heartwarming public response to -and some much-needed attention for- some people who needed help, and simultaneously, has resulted in some of the best sheer musical sounds and talent of the entire year to be heard.  

This article has a roster of the performers -in the order that they sing:
The Daily Mail
A fitting tribute! Hillsborough charity single 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' claims Christmas No 1 spot
By Lee Bryan
Published 13:54 EST, 23 December 2012 
Updated 14:15 EST, 23 December 2012

Justice Collective's Charity Single Wins Christmas No. 1 Title
by Paul Sexton, London
December 24, 2012 9:00 EST

OfficialCharts YouTube Channel video: The Spice Girls' Melanie C speaks to OfficialCharts.com about The Justice Collective becoming the Official 2012 Christmas Number 1 with He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. Uploaded December 23, 2012. http://youtu.be/Ngh46JGu45w

For more on the tragedy that needlessly claimed 96 lives that day in Sheffield, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_disaster 
Watch video of the BBC's coverage of the disaster afterwards that day in Sheffield at http://youtu.be/bUuSHrhPQyk

The Guardian
New Hillsborough inquest likely after damning report
Criminal prosecutions are possible after inquiry reveals extent of official cover-up in aftermath of 1989 disaster
By Owen Gibson and David Conn, The Guardian, 
Wednesday 12 September 2012

Official Charts Company website: http://www.theofficialcharts.com
Official Charts Company on twitter @OfficialCharts, http://www.twitter.com/officialcharts
Official Charts Company on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialcharts

Sunday, December 30, 2012

NFL's East Coast/Cowboys Bias may be crushed Sunday night, which would be sweet justice for NFL fans! If Redskins beat Cowboys, strong chance no team from 5 of U.S.'s Top 6 TV markets will make NFL playoffs: No NY, no LA (not even Chargers!), no Chicago, no Philly, no Dallas. Plus, we'll finally be free of analysis of Romo & Roethlisberger's angst! Hooray!!!

NFL's East Coast/Cowboys Bias may be crushed Sunday night, which would be sweet justice for NFL fans! If Redskins beat Cowboys, strong chance no team from 5 of U.S.'s Top 6 TV markets will make NFL playoffs: No NY, no LA (not even Chargers!), no Chicago, no Philly, no Dallas. Plus, we'll finally be free of analysis of Romo & Roethlisberger's angst! Hooray!!!

It's all up to the Redskins to make this reality come true Sunday night when they host the Cowboys in a battle for the NFC Eastern Division title that I believe may well be a Redskin rout by the middle of the third quarter, a result that should lead to the Cowboys making major changes that are long overdue, including a change at head coach.

If the Redskins win Sunday night, the only team from a Top 6 U.S. TV market will be the San Francisco 49ers, at number six.

That will mean that what seems like the majority of the teams that the NFL and Madison Avenue have foisted upon us this past season via nationally-televised Sunday Night, Monday Night and Thursday Night football ballgames will be completely absent from the playoffs: Cowboys, Giants and Jets. Buh-bye!

For the Cowboys, this absence will mean that the following is now true: the Cowboys have won one playoff game in the past 16 years.

Now say it over to yourself and ask yourself whether this self-evident fact will prevent the NFL and Madison Avenue from force-feeding the Cowboys down America's throat next year on the tube?
No, more likely, they will front-load many of those Cowboys games at the beginning of the season and cross their fingers to get some games at the end of the season on the flex schedule.

As I've written here before, one of the few conspiracy theories in America that is actually TRUE is that the NFL props-up the Cowboys in ways that it doesn't seem to for any other team.

At one point in this past season I had figured out that over half of the Cowboy 16 regular season games had been on national TV broadcasts, and with the flex schedule going into effect for Sunday night's Redskins, I believe that makes either 8 or 9 Cowboys games out of 16 that will have been nationally-televised.
Why so much pushing for such a mediocre team?

A few years ago, ESPN commentator and NFL Hall of Fame QB Steve Young succinctly tore into the Dolphins and the Vikings organizations as THE most over-rated NFL teams of the past 10 -or 15?- years.
To that he could have added the Jerry Jones Cowboys of the 21st Century.

No, contrary to what is said perpetually on ESPN, especially by Jon Gruden, the Cowboys are NOT one of the most-talented teams in the league, they are one of the most under-performing.

As a matter of fact, as far as most NFL fans are concerned, the Cowboys and Giants don't need to always have one of their two games be a nationally-televised game, or even rate a 4:15 p.m. Sunday kickoff.
It's not the 1990's anymore, capisce?

An exciting team on the rise like the Seattle Seahawks needs to be on national TV more and I don't mean 1 p.m. Eastern kickoffs against the Dolphins, either.

But don't kid yourself.
The Cowboys will be on more national TV broadcasts next year than the Seahawks even if Seattle gets to the Super Bowl. Even if they win it.
Rest assured, the powers-that-be at NFL HQ will see to it.

NFL Odds & Ends

When he was still head coach at Texas Tech, I used to wonder what a brilliant mind like offensive-minded coach Mike Leach would do if given the keys to the Cowboys, the Chargers, Jets, Bucs or the Ravens, five perpetually under-performing NFL teams, none of whom have made the Super Bowl despite having had numerous opportunities before collapsing. 

I still wonder about that now that Leach is at Washington State, but only re the Ravens.

My January 6, 2009 post on Leach going to the Bucs was titled, 
So THAT'S why newspapers are dying? BORING!; Jon Gruden must go!

As someone with a few Ravens t-shirts and jackets in my bedroom closet and who's rooted for the Ravens since they moved to Baltimore -and who came this close to becoming a Ravens season ticket holder that first year when I lived in Arlington County, VA- while it might be heresy for some to hear, while I think he's a good coach, I believe John Harbaugh's era at Baltimore could and should come to an end if they lose in the playoffs against either the Colts or the Bengals. 
At home. 

They no longer have the number and caliber of defensive playmakers to mask his bad coaching decisions:

Ravens Have Underperformed During John Harbaugh’s Tenure
By Zach Wilt

Bloomberg News
Oakland Pays $17 Million for NFL Raiders as Cops Fired
By Darrell Preston & Aaron Kuriloff - Dec 20, 2012 5:58 PM ET

Social Media superstar iJustine's antics in December included some things you might've done -gotten holiday photos taken with your siblings- but also some you didn't -dress as a panda for the Grand Opening of an Apple Store. In this case, at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, whose beauty left Justine dumbstruck; @ijustine

otherijustine YouTube Channel video: SEXIEST CHRISTMAS PIX EVER!!!. Uploaded December 25, 2012. http://youtu.be/6dtxA4Mhfr8
Social Media superstar iJustine's antics in December included some things you might've done -gotten holiday photos taken with your siblings- but also some you didn't -dress as a panda for the Grand Opening of an Apple Store. In this case, at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, whose beauty left Justine dumbstruck; @ijustine
Out of LA for a bit and back in snowy Western Pennsylvania with her family for the Christmas holidays, Social Media queen, YouTube sensation and tech and gaming guru iJustine (Justine Ezarik) and her sisters, Jenna and Breeanne, head to the Walmart to get their annual 'Sister Christmas' photos taken, show us how they came out, and then head to Red Lobster and crack wise on each other like sisters do.

In mid-December, Justine dressed as a panda for the Grand Opening of the Apple Store at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, and like her friends, was dumbstruck by the beauty of the store...

otherijustine YouTube Channel video: iJustine (Justine Ezarik) dresses as a panda for the Grand Opening of the Apple Store in Santa Monica. Uploaded December 16, 2012. http://youtu.be/eZJUEKa_YDs

As previously mentioned here, 
I, too, love that Mall and the whole area that so often has a genuine buzz about it that no place in South Florida regularly does, other than a big sporting event.

Justine's hugely-popular blog: 

Her far-flung Social Networks:

Twitter: @ijustine http://twitter.com/ijustine
Just something to think about: As of 11 p.m. December 28th, 2012, 587,381 people like iJustine. As a comparison, The Miami Herald, at that same time and date, is liked by 40,773 people, while popular Swedish blogger, businesswoman and personality Isabella Löwengrip, a.k.a. Blondinbella, http://blondinbella.se/, is liked by 21,484.

Instagram and video : search for ijustine

Justine's various YouTube Channels:

Jenna's Tweets are @jennaezarikTwitter: https://twitter.com/jennaezarik


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sadly, Iceland and the Aurora Borealis have been subtracted from my trip itinerary; Putting the awe back in awesome: Auroras over Sweden make you feel very insignificant in the bigger scheme of things, so you need to positively influence the things that you CAN!; @STFAbisko

VideoFromSpace YouTube Channel video: 3 Years of Amazing Auroras Captured on Video by Chad Blakley at Abisko National Park, Sweden. Uploaded June 12, 2012.
Sadly, Iceland and the Aurora Borealis have been subtracted from my trip itinerary; Putting the awe back in awesome: Auroras over Sweden make you feel very insignificant in the bigger scheme of things, so you need to positively influence the things that you CAN!; @STFAbisko
Or, jag tänker inte Island som planerat.
Some of you already know this from emails or phone calls of mine the past few weeks, but for others of you, this will be the first you hear of it: I'm not going to be going to Iceland in January as originally planned.
My big plans to stop there for a few days on the way back from Sweden, and to hop on a sweet tour bus and take a long-but-comfortable drive a few hours north of Reykjavik to see the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis are officially kaput. 

It's mostly because in October, I booked non-refundable airline tickets on SAS and had to pay in advance for the airfare, hotel and the B&B in Stockholm that I'm staying at to get the specific travel dates I wanted, ostensibly, in order to get back in time to watch the public Presidential Inaugural on Monday the 21st.
The non-Romney inaugural as it turns out

This required that I make some changes to my original itinerary, as discussed here on the blog back on July 18, 2012, titled, Want to see a sneak peek of my future? Prescient geniuses with a camera at BeepShow have already filmed part of my future -away from the heat & humidity of Miami- and it includes Iceland and the Northern Lights. But sadly, I'll end up missing Sigur Rós at Iceland Airwaves; #Iceland, #BeepShow, #Icelandair

As previously seen on that post: 

London to Iceland in Ten Minutes from Beep Show on Vimeo.
Beep Show video: London to Iceland in Ten Minutes. 2012.
Complete information about video is here: http://vimeo.com/45121903

Still, it's not like you can't see the Aurora Borealis from Sweden, you just have to be smart, resourceful AND patient... like the people who captured the wonderful videos above and below.

For me to see it in two weeks, I'll obviously have to leave greater Stockholm so I can be free of the city's light pollution.
On the other hand, while I'm there, there will be a whole lot LESS hours of light -daylight- for me than what I'm used to, as sunrise there will be sometime after 8:30 a.m. and sundown will be around 3:30 p.m.
Yes, you read that correctly, sundown at 3:30 p.m.

Just so you know, since I'm guessing that most of you reading this have never heard of it, the city of Abisko, located in Norrbottenthe northernmost county in Sweden, up near the Norwegian border and the Lappland area of Finland, is considered one of the best places on the planet to see the aurora borealis phenomena.
That's largely because the mountains around there catch most of the precipitation in winter and prevent it from interfering with the night time views.
That explains why so many of the videos on this post and uploaded to YouTube were recorded there.
It's a target-rich environment.

View Larger Map

According to this article in the newspaper up in distant Norrbotten, NSD, i.e. the Norrländska Socialdemokratenhttp://www.nsd.se/nyheter/ bookings to the Abisko Turiststation STFa.k.a. STF Abisko, increased by 130% over last year, a banner year. 

According to this article, what's especially noticeable now are the number of Northern Lights tourists coming from Japan and Great Britain, which sort of stands to reason given both how Internet-savvy those countries are, and how famous their citizens are are for traveling and exploring.

For the Japanese, it's about a nine-hour plane ride from Tokyo, but for the Brits, it's much less daunting to get to the nearest airport, Kiruna, via stops in Oslo or Stockholm Arlanda.

Official STF Abisko website:

Meanwhile, over at Porjus, the #1 place to see the aurora according to many informed sources, there's a LIVE streaming camera you might want to check out: http://uk.jokkmokk.jp/detail_nr3.shtml


VideoFromSpace YouTube Channel video:Chad Blakley's latest video of an ionized oxygen aurora over Abisko National Park, Sweden. Uploaded December 19, 2012 

VideoFromSpace YouTube Channel video: Awe-Inspiring Northern Lights Shine Over Sweden, December 2012. Shot from Abisko National Park, Sweden. Uploaded December 13, 2012. http://youtu.be/N79ATuvHi1Y

See more from Chad Blakley at http://www.lightsoverlapland.com and http://digitaljournal.com/article/327325

tonakai82 YouTube Channel video: Aurora Borealis from Abisko Sky Station in northern Sweden 2012. Uploaded December 15, 2012. http://youtu.be/kc9Ds3b1IKk

More photos at: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/63402501@N07/sets/72157632201759165/  

GregTechnology YouTube Channel video: Aurora in Abisko -The northern lights blaze in Arctic Sweden. Uploaded December 13, 2012. http://youtu.be/E4BbfrF5PxE

skbailey YouTube Channel video: Doggylights. Uploaded December 6, 2012.

tenorsominutesagos YouTube Channel video: A Day and Night at the Aurora Sky Station, Abisko, Sweden. Uploaded December 25, 2011. 

I'm concluding today's post with a non-aurora video of snow-heavy Abisko from two days ago, the day before Christmas, with a temperature of about negative 25 Fahrenheit...

Joachim Floberg YouTube Channel video: Abisko Julen 2012.  Uploaded December 24, 2012. http://youtu.be/lIuwAbbZHV0

Trivia: Sweden has a base compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan that's officially called "Northern Lights."
See more at...
English aurora photographer Patricia Covern, now living in Porjus: 




Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sweet & sublime as always! SVT's 2012 St. Lucia telecast from Uppsala Cathedral -with Astrid Cederlöf as Lucia- was loaded with Swedish goodness, including ABBA's Benny Andersson on piano and Helen Sjöholm singing; There's no substitute for such sheer genius & talent!

sannasonja's YouTube Channel video: Benny Andersson on piano, Olle Moraeus on violin - "En skrift i snön" on SVT's Luciamorgon telecast from Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden. Recorded December 7, 2012 for broadcast on Dec. 12th. Uploaded December 13, 2012. http://youtu.be/cTatkGocfCY

Sweet & sublime as always! SVT's 2012 St. Lucia telecast from Uppsala Cathedral -with Astrid Cederlöf as Lucia- was loaded with Swedish goodness, including ABBA's Benny Andersson on piano and Helen Sjöholm singing; There's no substitute for such sheer genius & talent!

All screenshots appearing on this page of SVT's St. Lucia telecast are December 13, 2012 photos by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. 

The sweetness and the utter simplicity never disappoints.
Church choirs singing traditional Lucia and Christmas carols, the reading of the Lucia text, and as always, all done with no self-conscious showboating or self-congratulatory displays -and no distracting applause from the audience.
All done in one hour.

Above and below, my screenshots of 14-year old Astrid Cederlöf as Lucia.

By now, after a few years of watching this, and having gotten into the swing of how things go, there are certain songs that are always performed that are now so familiar to me that I can already hear the upcoming refrain, chorus or key musical notes even before the chyron disappears from the TV screen.
Correct, like hearing the first few notes of an ABBA or Beatles song.

To me, this year's telecast seemed much more subdued than the previous two Luciamorgon telecasts.
Whether that was the plan or just the way it all worked out, I can't say, but it did seem like there was noticeably less energy in the room, maybe almost too subdued.
Was it because I already knew that this year's telecast was NOT LIVE as the last two had been, where anything done LIVE always offers up the possibility of something interesting and unexpected happening?

Or maybe it was just because yours truly was already pretty tired and stayed-up all night thru to watch the telecast, which was 1 a.m. Eastern my time that Thursday morning, 7 o'clock in Uppsala.

When that opening framing scene outside Uppsala Cathedral came onscreen, it looked SO very dark and very cold!
I practically shivered vicariously when it came on and I thought about how mornings like that can make you exhausted even before the day begins.
Thoughts of warm tomato soup and soup crackers went thru my head.

This is what it looked like outside the Cathedral in Uppsala an hour later, at 8 a.m., looking more like 6 p.m. in Bloomington, Indiana, about mid-January.

sannasonja's YouTube Channel video: Helen Sjöholm & Benny Andersson - "Vinterhamn" on SVT's Luciamorgon telecast from Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden. Recorded December 7, 2012 for broadcast on the 12th. Uploaded December 13, 2012. http://youtu.be/Xqtr219lt40

sannasonja's YouTube Channel video: Helen Sjöholm & Benny Andersson: "Nu tändas tusen juleljus" on SVT's Luciamorgoon telecast from Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden. Recorded December 7, 2012 for broadcast on the 12th. Uploaded December 13, 2012. http://youtu.be/fsnbicyYNcU

The above was short and sweet, but still my favorite from that day!

The person who uploaded these vids onto YouTube

The video of the entire telecast is on SVT Play's website for another 28 days, as of today, then will be permanently deleted. 

As usual, the SVT audio and video quality is amazing, so be sure to click the opposing arrows in the far right corner of the video and hit fullskärm to enable the full screen, 
And be sure to watch for Olle Moraeus on the violin.

My last two blog posts on the Lucia telecasts by SVT were: 
2010 St. Lucia Day in Stockholm: traditional songs and sweet sentimentality that ring true across the miles; SVT's Lucia program is sublime!

2011 St. Lucia Day in Göteborg is an hour away on SVT; will they strike gold and be sublime yet again?

Sweden.se's Vimeo video: Swedish Lucia for Dummies. Lucia Day - a feast of candlelit processions, saffron buns, mulled wine and talking animals. Here’s how to make the most of it. http://vimeo.com/55253944

As a bit of a Lucia bonus, here's a short video of some kids in a Lucia procession who made their way out to the glass cage in the Great Square in Malmö, Gustav Adolf Squarewhere   this year's Musikhjälpen took place two weeks ago, and where Robyn famously performed in 2010, as I wrote at the time.
Robyn rocks Malmö at Musikhjälpen 2010 as amazed fans watch her like a goldfish in a glass bowl at Gustaf Adolfs Square

Below, Kodjo and Gina interact with the kids inside their glass cage studio: 


More videos of the show's dozens of musical guests performing can be found at

http://sverigesradio.se/sida/default.aspx?programid=3946 and
at http://www.youtube.com/user/poriel2

Monday, December 24, 2012

Two views of the entertainment world of Christmas 1957: Pre-Christmas shopping and American comedy as seen thru the eyes of Jack Benny, and Ingmar Bergman's masterful 'Wild Strawberries' opens in Sweden the day after Christmas and becomes a classic from Day One

MiscVideos78rpm YouTube Channel video: The Jack Benny Program - Christmas Shopping (Original air date: December 15, 1957). Uploaded December 23, 2012. http://youtu.be/u17Xo0dqJ34

And on December 26th, 1957, Ingmar Bergman's classic film of remembrance, "Wild Strawberries" -Smultronställe- officially opened in Sweden. 
One of my all-time favorites, which I've probably seen. conservatively, over 20 times, mostly on TCM, and a film I always gets something new out of.
Starring Victor Sjostrom, and a 22-year old Bibi AnderssonIngrid Thulin and Gunnar Björnstrand

Wild Strawberries -Opening Credits (1957)

MiscVideos78rpm YouTube Channelhttps://www.youtube.com/user/MiscVideos78rpm

Sunday, December 23, 2012

That curious anti-gun marketing effort on the Washington Post's website this weekend: Why do they call it "Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund" when it's really NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 7 other very affluent non-mayors funding it, albeit mostly Bloomberg?; Laurel Bentley, Eli Board, Ann Hawkins, Judi Krupp, Henry Lord, Helen Raiser, Brad Reiss;

Above, my screen shot of The Washington Post's website Saturday night, December 22nd, 2012, completely surrounded by the marketing efforts of a group that calls itself "Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund." Nope, I'd never heard of them before, either. They probably don't call what they're doing above capitalizing on a tragedy, but rather taking advantage of a crisis. And we all know how Obama supporters hate to waste a crisis. But it's exactly what it looks like. An anti-gun only approach won't sway the majority of this country or Congress, but they don't seem interested in multi-prong solutions, only guns, guns, guns.
I first noticed this anti-gun marketing effort on the exterior of The Washington Post's website Saturday afternoon, saw that it was still there later in the night when i went to get an early look at sunday's columns; it's still there on Sunday afternoon.

The Center for Responsive Politics seems to have about the most recent information on the group, such as it is, though I think that the FEC info might just be for sometime short of Election Day.

Here's the first page of two of the financial contributors to the group, which totals only eight
people giving a total of  $3,380,238 in 2012Laurel Bentley, Michael R. Bloomberg, Eli Board, Ann Hawkins, Judi Krupp, Henry Lord, Helen Raiser, Brad Reiss

Just so you know, these are not just activists of the sort that every community has, but rather the sort that actually host President Obama fundraisers -with him there- instead of various celebrity surrogates. 

Videos: Autonomous Vehicles On Par with Human Drivers -And I'd suggest they're superior to most South Florida drivers fumbling with Cell Phones, Makeup or Skype during rush hour; Inside Google's Self-Driving Car

FORA.tv YouTube channel video: Autonomous Vehicles On Par with Human Drivers. FORA.tv's Chris Gerdes shows the advances in autonomous vehicles, highlighting their ability to safely navigate race tracks without human intervention. Uploaded December 19, 2012.

FORA YouTube Channelhttp://www.youtube.com/user/ForaTv

Inside Google's Self-Driving Car

Google Self-Driving Car - August 2012

Lexus To Outline Autonomous Car Strategy At 2013 CES  
By Viknesh Vijayenthiran

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today, Stockholm is T minus 21 days -and yes I'm counting!; Some Swedish homework of mine to make my trip go well includes reviewing grammar and re-watching the original films in Swedish based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium crime fiction trilogy, starring Noomi Rapace & Michael Nyqvist

CBS News YouTube Chanel video: CBS News Sunday Morning correspondent Erin Moriarty travels to Stockholm, Sweden to discover the story and the truth behind the success of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson, whose Millennium crime fiction trilogy has swept the world of book publishing: Stieg Larsson: Behind "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Uploaded October 10, 2010. http://youtu.be/X-WJ6BlLw2s

Above, at Panera Bread in Hallandale Beach last month, a few hours after three elements of my "Swedish homework" were finally delivered via Amazon.com.  I wanted a few weeks to brush-up and remind myself of some things that I just might've forgotten the past few years, while toiling away for clean, effective and transparent government here in Hallandale Beach and Broward County, THE most-corrupt county in all of Florida. November 19, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Here are my three handy study tools to help me make more sense of things in Sverige in a few weeks when I'm doing my thing in Södermalm and Norrmalm.

Essentials of Swedish Grammar: A Practical Guide to the Mastery of Swedish
By Ake Viberg, Kerstin Ballardini and Sune Stjarnlof 
Because it never hurts to go over some things...

201 Swedish Verbs: Fully Conjugated in All the Tenses (201 Verbs Series) 
By Richard P. Auletta
Because there's always those verb tenses that seem slightly different than the way you remember them, and because I hate to make mistakes...

Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition (2011)
A four-DCD collection that includes the three original Swedish language films from Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, starring Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander and Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist, plus a bonus CD.

Trailer: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009); original title in Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor

Trailer: The Girl Who Played with Fire (September 2009); original title in Swedish:  Flickan som lekte med elden

The much-scarier teaser

Trailer: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (2010); original title in Swedish: Luftslottet som sprängdes

I saw the original Swedish films but wanted to review them again before my trip so that:
a.) it would be fresh in my head once again once I get there, and, b.) so that I could take some notes on certain places where action takes place in and around Södermalm, since I'll be staying there for half of my trip. http://youtu.be/mJzQ_0XHJ58

The Millennium Tour

Bellmansgatan 1, Södermalm, the fictional home of crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist.

View Larger Map

Photos of the free Millennium tour in Stockholm at: http://www.losapos.com/millennium%20locations%20in%20stockholm

Of the various versions of the trilogy collection you could buy, I wanted to get the one that was in Swedish and that included lots of the footage that was cut from the original shorter theatrical release, so nearly every one of the three is three hours in length.
It does come with English subtitles, of course, since I'm not fluent in Swedish, just know what I know -and it even has an English dub track I won't use- but not one that's all dubbed, since that isn't what I saw the first time.

That's one of the other things that Sweden has in common with the U.S. -real hardcore film fans prefer their films in the original language, with subtitles, NOT dubbed, as is so common in Italy and Spanish-speaking countries.
On top of all the dozens of other things i will be doing during my stay there, I'll avail myself of some opportunities to check out other aspects of Swedish film culture and history while there.

After all, as I mentioned here in my blog post of April 25, 2012, titled, Beautiful, just like the original! Greta Garbo will be featured on the new Swedish 100 Kronor note, with Ingmar Bergman on the 200 SEK note, all designed by Göran Österlund, starting in 2015
Sweden doesn't just talk the talk, they actually put their larger-than-life film personalities on their currency, in the case of the two giants below, starting in 2015. 

Designed by Göran Österlund

Many years ago, when I was still living in the Washington, D.C. area, and despite a busy schedule, usually managing to see a foreign film a week, one night while leaving the theater, completely out-of-the-blue, I came to the sudden realization that unless Uma Thurman 
or Cate Blanchett agreed to portray her in a well-written biopic, there was almost no chance we were ever going to see a top-tier actress play Garbo in a believable way.

Queen Christina trailer (1933): The One and Only Garbo!
I think I've probably seen Queen Christina about a dozen times over the past 30 years.


Ingmar Bergman is on the new 200 Kronor note, replacing Selma Lagerlöf, who was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Designed by Göran Österlund

#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's yet another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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