2006-01-24

to those who dare

I’m not a big fan of HSB. Still, my congratulations for completing Turning Torso in spite of all sorts of difficulties, particularly in terms of economy.
From a cold and windy day in Malmö two years ago, my tribute to those who dare do something different.

2006-01-14

an extraordinary world with different ingredients

One year ago the Huygens probe landed on Saturn’s moon Titan.

I’ve been fascinated by space exploration since I was a kid and to this day I’m amazed at the accomplishments of NASA. Navigating and controlling sophisticated equipment in an extremely hostile environment, at distances we cannot even imagine and without the slightest chance of servicing or fixing any hardware…

The touchdown on the surface of Titan marked the farthest a man-made spacecraft has successfully landed away from Earth.

Clear images of the surface of Titan were obtained below an altitude of 40 kilometers (25 miles) -- revealing an extraordinary world that resembled Earth in many respects, especially in meteorology, geomorphology and fluvial activity, but with different ingredients. The images show strong evidence for erosion due to liquid flows, possibly methane.

Cassini-Huygens press release here.

2006-01-11

further downhill with the Krona

The TCW-index was 129,37 this afternoon.

This Total Competitiveness Weights index is a tool for measuring the strength of the Swedish krona against a set of other currencies. Index 100 corresponds to Nov 18, 1992 when Sweden introduced a floating exchange rate. Index 129,37 means that the krona has lost almost 30% of its value. Most of this happened at the currency crisis in the fall of 1992. The index hit 120 early 1993. But it’s interesting that after all the proud proclamations about how our currency was supposed to recover it has continued further downhill another ten percent.

2006-01-09

a future less congested

The congestion charge is here. Just like in so many other major cities around the globe, driving into town during the most hectic hours of the week will cost money. And we’re all supposed to be upset, ready to throw out the politicians responsible.

Hold your horses! Congestion charges could prove an election (and referendum) winner for the red-green governing coalition.

Objectives of the Stockholm Trials are:

• Reduce traffic volumes on the busiest roads by 10-15%
• Improve the flow of traffic on streets and roads
• Reduce emissions of pollutants harmful to human health and of carbon dioxide
• Improve the urban environment as perceived by Stockholm residents
• Provide more resources for public transport

My guess is that the Trials will succeed in easing traffic jam. Congestion charges will become more accepted and even popular with those who live in the city. Mark my words: by September many critics will have fallen silent.

The Stockholm Trials have emerged through a disastrous political process. There are obvious flaws in the implementation. Yet, the idea of using good old market economy principles to put a price on a scarce resource remains our best hope for a future less congested.

2006-01-01

January in Göteborg

Saltholmen, Göteborg in January

As far out-of-season as you could possibly get but still somewhat adventurous. Strong gusts of wind at the icy and slippery quayside almost had me and my camera taking an entirely unplanned bath at Saltholmen on this cold January afternoon. Go see.
20140412