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« Januar 2004   Februar 2004   Mars 2004 »
25. Februar 2004  
Web sites lure Chinese to Norway

Chinese web-siteWeb sites touting high income and standards of living in Norway have reportedly prompted scores of Chinese to borrow large amounts of money from agents offering to arrange their travel and residence permission. Many are now living in fear after two Chinese students were murdered in Oslo.

"The Chinese themselves will never admit they have used such agents, because it's not considered honorable," one Chinese businesswoman in Oslo told newspaper Aftenposten. Like several others interviewed by Aftenposten, she requested her name be withheld for fear of reprisal.

The agents, she claimed, offer to arrange everything necessary for young Chinese to move to Norway, from visas to airline tickets and school admission. They charge as much as NOK 250,000 (around USD 30,000) for their services.

Few can come up with such cash, whereupon the agents often offer to lend the money to their clients, at skyhigh interest rates. The agents concentrate mostly on luring potential students to Norway, but also offer emigration services such as arranging marriages that would allow permanent residency in Norway.

Other sources told Aftenposten that if the clients fail to meet repayment terms, their debt is automatically doubled. As many as six agents, both men and women, are said to have been active in the Norwegian market over the past 15 years.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

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23. Februar 2004  
Norwegian winter too tough for British elite troops

SoldaterMore than 100 British elite troops have been sent home from winter exercises in Northern Norway.

Eighty of them were suffering from severe frostbites, while the rest had broken bones.

According to Mail on Sunday, the British Defence Department will have to check out if the British sleeping bags are warm enough to face a Norwegian winter.

However, lieutenant-colonel Lars Sundnes, Chief of Allied Training Centre North, finds no fault with the British equipment. But he believes that facing the winter in Northern Norway has been a tough experience, particularly for the most inexperienced soldiers.

The Allied Training Centre has been host for the 2300 British soldiers who are participating in the three-week-long exercise near Harstad.

Via The Norway Post.

22. Februar 2004  
Nostalgia (revisited)

Yesterday, Synne, Erik and Marianne came around to view some old slides. Some of them dating 30 years back! It was quite an experience for all of us, it's been decades since I pulled out the slide projector and put up a screen to watch pictures.

I do own a flatbed scanner that can handle film, even though the quality is far away from the originals. So I scanned three pictures of the kids.

Click to enlarge ThomasClick to enlarge SynneClick to enlarge Lene

I would guess the picture of Thomas dates back to 1973-4, Synne's 1977 and Lene's 1974. I'm not quite sure because the index file (on paper of course) containing that information is unfortunately (at present) missing.

I really wish time wouldn't fly this fast!

Click on the images to enlarge!

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20. Februar 2004  
Norwegian expert to check possible Viking ship

oseberg.jpgA Norwegian professor is traveling to investigate the discovery of what could be the first Viking ship found on English soil, newspaper Dagsavisen reports. Enthusiasts using metal detectors found coins, swords and ship's nails dating from the ninth century in a Yorkshire field.

Professor Arne Emil Christensen, supervisor of the Viking ship finds now on display in Bygdoey, Oslo, is considered one of Europe's leading experts in the field. He was headed to Yorkshire to assess the find.

"If it is truly a ship from the Viking age it is very exciting. There are just a few - three or four - well preserved finds of ships in the world," archeologist Knut Paasche told Dagsavisen.

English archeologist Simon Holmes told The Guardian that he was "95 percent certain it is a boat burial".

Paasche believes that dating the find should go quickly and fears that the ship itself may be destroyed if the burial mound has been removed.

Paasche said that the ship's origin can also be determined by an analysis of various factors, including the weapons, the building technique and surviving wood from the structure.

The picture shows the famed Oseberg ship on display at the Viking ship museum in Bygdoey, Oslo. (Photo: Erik Thorberg/SCANPIX)

Via Aftenposten News in English.

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Welcome back!

It looks like the move to Bloghosts has been a really smooth one. Thanks to Jace who have been very helpful in the process and even moved everything form the old site intact! But when you've been in the business as long as I have it's hard to believe that everything is OK, but I hope I'm proven wrong!

If you discover anything wrong, please use the form on the INFO page to notify me.


13. Februar 2004  
We'll meet again....

..don't know where, don't know when....

Well, actually it probably won't take long. Retrospekt is changing host, hopefully during the weekend, and will be up and running again on monday(?).

How long we're going to be down depends on a lot of things so we'll just have to see.

Come back, don't forget us!

12. Februar 2004  
9. Februar 2004  
'Titantic' hunters set sights on Amundsen's wreck

Roald AmundsenNorwegian polar hero Roald Amundsen disappeared in 1928, along with all on board the seaplane that was taking them, ironically enough, on a rescue mission of their own. Now the German TV firm that aided the search for the Titanic is keen on hunting for the wreckage of Amundsen's plane.

The seaplane Latham took off from the northern Norwegian city of Tromsoe on June 18, 1928. Amundsen and five others were on board, heading for Svalbard to search themselves for Italian polar explorer Umberto Nobile, whose airship Italia was believed to have crashed.

The Latham never made it to Svalbard. One theory maintained that the seaplane crashed just north of Tromsoe, but last year a group of experts concluded that the Latham probably crashed into the sea northwest of the island known as Bjoernoeya.

The group recommended a search for the wreckage be launched, and a Norwegian aviation museum (Norsk Luftfartsmuseum) has hoped to use the military diving vessel Tyr to launch the effort. Newspaper Aftenposten reported over the weekend that the government minister in charge of fisheries has personally involved himself in the project.

Now German company Context TV has expressed interest in the project, and Kjell Lutnes of the museum is encouraged.

"It's a tempting thought," Lutnes told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). "It's exciting and positive that they're interested."

Context TV, which searched for both the Titanic and the Bismarck, uses a minisub that could be appropriate for the search. The sub, however, needs a mother ship from which it can operate.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

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8. Februar 2004  
Norwegian black metal band shocks Poland

gorgoroth.jpgNorwegian black metal band Gorgoroth staged a special concert that made Janet Jackson's breast-baring look like nursery school antics and left Catholic Poland outraged. A police investigation has begun after a show that included dozens of sheep heads on stakes, a literal blood bath and a naked, crucified woman, newspaper VG reports.

Black metal band Gorgoroth, made up of members "King", "Kvitrafn", "Gaahl" and "Infernus", gave Polish TV far more than they bargained for.

Gorgoroth's concert in Krakow was recorded by state TV station TVP and the resulting scandal was the center of attention in Polish media. The band is now being investigated for causing religious offense, which can be punished by two years in prison.

The police are also considering an investigation of cruelty to animals.

"On stage there was blood everywhere. About ten decapitated sheep heads and naked people, alive, on large crosses. Everyone was painted with 100 liters of sheep blood. Also there were Satanist symbols everywhere. One of the hanging female models fainted and an ambulance had to be called," TVP director Andrzej Jeziorek told VG.

Jeziorek said that the TVP staff were terrified and reported the show to police.

"This kind of thing should not happen on state TV and especially not in Krakow, which is the Pope's city," Jeziorek said. Jeziorek wanted to halt the concert but feared a riot from enthusiastic, bloodied fans who had paid for tickets.

The band were recording a concert DVD and had promised fans a very special show in Poland, and had rigged the stage behind curtains to keep the content secret.

Recent troubles with sects and Satanist groups have made the issue especially sensitive in Poland.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

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5. Februar 2004  
UFO disappears from northern Norway

UfoA new, unexplainable phenomenon has surfaced; why are the UFO sightings in northern Norway decreasing?

A number of unexplainable sightings have been made on the northern sky. There were 26 observations of UFOs in northern Norway in 2002, but last year the number decreased to 13.

Unexplainable, said Leif-Norman Solhaug, leader of UFO Nord-Norge. Maybe people are just fed up with the hysteria. The 26 observations that were reported in 2002 were a decrease from the years before. There have normally been a number of observations made in northern Norway, but it has not turned. There is a weak decline in the rest of the country too.

UFO Norway has still registered a number of unexplainable observations.

Something which looked like a rocket was observed in Finnmark, an object similar to a boomerang of the size of an Boeing 747 was observed in Bod, while a man in Evenskjer observed two stars which rotated around each other and then disappeared at a high sped in the direction of the Big Dipper.

These are complicated observations and the Air Force has not registered any explainable activity on the sky, but in total the number of observations in northern Norway has decreased, Solhaug stated.

However, he claims that the reason for the decline may be that people have become better at finding natural explanations, but Solhaug cannot guarantee that the natural explanations are logical.

People think it's embarrassing to go public with such observations, Solhaug said. It is important that we are taken seriously. Many of the observations reported are of a complicated nature and are difficult to explain.

Regardless, Solhaug has enough to do. Solhaug is off to talk two to persons from Andya tonight. They claim they saw something they just could not explain Tuesday night as a lighted object flew over the sky, blinking in several different colors and making a horrid sound.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

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4. Februar 2004  
Happy birthday, mother!


Gratulerer med dagen, mor!

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Royal geography gaffe spoils debut

HaakonFor the first time in Norwegian history, a crown prince regent received a foreign head of state on Tuesday. Crown Prince Haakon has been an exemplary stand-in for King Harald during his illness, but the welcoming speech at last night's gala dinner featured an embarrassing error.

At the palace dinner for Portugal's president Jorge Sampaio and his wife Maria Jos Ritta, Crown Prince Regent Haakon got his bearings wrong in his address to the honored guests.

"Norway and Portugal are on their own edge of Europe. You are placed on the Mediterranean's warm beaches, we are as far north as it is possible to be," the crown prince regent said.

It did not take long before readers and media reacted to the royal displacement of Portugal from its warm but true location on the Atlantic Ocean.

The official speech was also posted on the Internet, where it also exasperated soccer fans, who were quick to point out that a reference to Portugal's football legend Eusebio misspelled his name.

The palace's information section would not divulge the speechwriter responsible for the blunders, and told newspaper VG that they apologized for the error, and that the meaning was clearly that Portugal lies far to the south, at the mouth of the Mediterranean.

Author Jon Michelet, who has hosted a TV show testing geography knowledge, was shocked.

"This isn't just amusing. It is in fact terribly stupid and disrespectful of both the royal court and the government - which is responsible for the speech," Michelet told VG.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

2. Februar 2004  
Rover Spirit recovered!

Spirit recoveredNASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is healthy again, the result of recovery work by mission engineers since the robot developed computer-memory and communications problems 10 days ago.

"We have confirmed that Spirit is booting up normally. Tomorrow we'll be doing some preventive maintenance," Dr. Mark Adler, mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., said Sunday morning.

Spirit's twin, Opportunity, which drove off its lander platform early Saturday, will be commanded tonight to reach out with its robot arm early Monday, said JPL's Matt Wallace, mission manager. Opportunity will examine the soil in front of it over the next few days with a microscope and with a pair of spectrometer instruments for determining what elements and minerals are present.

Read the story at Jet Propulsion Laboratories.

Science [09:40]   TrackBack (0)


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