Miscellaneous: November 27th, 2008 by DL
On Wednesday, the New York Times ran an entertaining and educational piece detailing some of the history behind Scandinavia’s reputation as a bastion for sex.
Filed from an Oslo art exhibit at the Office of Contemporary Art entitled “Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia?”, the article ponders whether Scandinavia has lost some of its lustre when it comes to being the capital of carnal knowledge.
What did happen to the image of Scandinavia as the frigid tundra of hot sex? [...] How did Scandinavia turn from “Maid in Sweden” to Ikea, from the purveyor of earnest free love into the purveyor of affordable love seats, from the home of Christina Lindberg (the maid) into the home of Abba?
A pressing question, indeed.
Another question we have is whether the exhibit will be making its way to Stockholm which is, after all, the Capital of Scandinavia.
There are two reasons the invention shown in the clip below was not included: 1. It’s not Swedish. 2. It’s patently absurd.
But while the invention may not be Swedish, the company using it to market its services most certainly is.
Allow us to present… The Hijacker Injector. Look and learn as one of stewardesses on a flight takes on a hijacker using this very unique invention. Wonder why it never took off?
There’s an old joke about a couple from Småland, a province in southern Sweden, who win a million kronor on the lottery. “What shall we do with all the begging letters,” asks the wife. “Keep on sending them,” her husband replies.
Perhaps, though, the Smålänningar (as the region’s allegedly tight-fisted inhabitants are known) will have the last laugh as the rest of the world braces for a bumpy economic ride.
The world’s most famous Smålänning, Ingvar Kamprad, appears to have braced IKEA for the downturn by living up to the stereotype. Instead of taking advantage of cheap credit, IKEA borrowed little. Instead of selling boom-time luxuries, Kamprad has always behaved as though every one of his customers was a stereotypical stingy Smålänning.
The words of current CEO Anders Dahlvig in this Time interview are perhaps testament to the virtues of living frugally:
This is a really good time for us. The way we’ve set up our business, we’re planning for a climate like this all the time. We have a very conservative policy when it comes to borrowing money. We basically only use our retained earnings and don’t borrow very much. We also have a very conservative policy when it comes to how we place our cash and our liquidity. We don’t place anything in equities, so we haven’t lost a dime so far. And the way we position our brand is as good value for the money. People know when they have less money what Ikea stands for.
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