A great article about Finland’s school system explains well why Finland so often has great a PISA ranking. Something that chimed with me was their willinghness to tweak the system, dispose of things that didn’t work and retain what did.

Human rights in Finland include freedom of speech, religion, association, and assembly. A 2010 update made Finland the first country to incude internet access as a human right.

I feel like I have still only grazed the surface of the Finnish language but as they say here Ei oppi ojaan kaada.

I remember the first time I walked out onto the sea. The ice was piled up on the beach like a broken wave caught in time. The crystals in the air with the light reflecting off the snow was blinding. I could have walked out to any of the islands on the archipelago.

In Finland reading and libraries are a source of pride. One reason why Finnish children easily learn to read is that you pronounce the words like they are written. In English you must spend years repeat reading again and again as words spelt the same are pronounced differently.

Snow arrives in Helsinki ❄️

Tove Jansson is best known as the creator of the Moomins but for me she was the better writer. The novel The Summer Book is beautiful and catches something about Finland, time and love. 📚

Ugh I should be reading my new book about Zettelkasten but I am on twitter watching the meltdown like it’s a sport. 🗃

I tire of being told Finland is not part of Scandinavia. Sure technically that’s almost true but most people when they talk about Scandinavia are thinking about culture not geography.

One of Finlands earliest Industries was the production of Tar for waterproofing boats.

But as late as 1875 tar production was 175,000 barrels, many times more than the 50,000-70,000 barrels a year in the 17th century. Via

Between 2011-2016 The Guggenheim Museum tried and failed to set up one of it’s Franchise art galleries in Helsinki. So not quite as successful as McDonalds which first came to Finland in 1984 and currently has 67 Restaurants.

Walking to work this morning there was a bike beside the canal covered in barnacles. Someone must have pulled it up from the canal bed and just left it there.

Pasi Herranen of Aalto university has developed a greenhouse without any glass. A wooden box internally coated with aluminium foil that uses 50% less energy and 95% less water than a traditional glass greenhouse.

An interesting map of Mastodon instances Mastodon Near Me Via The Map of the Fediverse

Morning walk to work Ruoholahti 📷

First, the actual journey, where everything happened by chance…following that a second journey beside the writing desk…in retrospect, what took place at the writing desk was more real, although I did leave out many details from the reality of what took place. - Göran Schildt

Matti Nykänen the greatest ski jumper of all time however could not adjust to normal life. An interesting theory to explain this is the Orchid hypothesis that something inherrant in an orchid child gives them a chance at genius but also includes the seeds for their downfall.

8 & 9 in Finnish are kahdeksan and yhdeksan, literally two before ten and one before ten. My suspicion, it comes from hand counting. 8 & 9 are easier to count down from ten using your hands and not writing them down. Maybe an echo of a old tradition of Hand Mnemonics

The Savoy Vase designed by Aino and Alvar Aalto was put on display for the 1937 World Fair in Paris. Designed for the Savoy Hotel Restaurant in Helsinki it has gone on to become a kind of short-han] for Finnish modern design.

A minister invented the pronoun hän for God and added it to the Finnish language to elevate God from men woman and animals, who were all referred to as se up to then. Instead Finns just kept on using hän as though it were se also. See jayless for a longer explaination.

In Finland traditionally the Sauna is a seperate building within an enclosure of many buildings each with certain functions. The Sauna in Finland was where you were born into the world and when you died where you were laid out.

What was Finlandisation?

Today’s consensus is that Finland was not really independent. It was a time in which domestic and foreign policy could not be separated because what Moscow thought, or possibly thought, had to be always factored in. - observingfinland

A favourite insight of mine The Helsinki Bus Station Theory of creativity.

This goes on all your creative life: always showing new work, always being compared to others." What’s the answer? “It’s simple. Stay on the bus. Stay on the fucking bus.” - Arno Rafael Minkkinen

Helsinki’s Pitkäsilta Bridge full of traffic and life on any given day still bears the bullet and shrapnel marks from the civil war over a hundred years ago. An echo of history if you stop and look.

Every man in Finland is required to do national service, people from the Åland islands are exempt. Women can volunteer. Service can be military or non-military.