Dec 4, 2008


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

(new favourite hobby: integrating all my websites)

Nov 17, 2008

Ok, our seats weren't this good but

I haven't figured out how to get my own bad photos off my phone. Stupid Rogers won't let me email photos. Stupid Copps Coliseum won't let real cameras in.

Still, they were damn good seats.

Oct 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Old photos from the Paris Catacombs are now posted here.

It's so great to be back in a country that gets Halloween.

Oct 29, 2008

FishPorn is up!

I know, some of you have been waiting years for me to post hot fish photos. They're up now, baby! Check out


Man-on-salmon action!

Money shots!

For those more into horror, there's also lots of death and mutilation and deformities. Just in time for Halloween! You're welcome.

(Some animals were harmed during filming, but never for the express purpose of filming. Fish in these photos were either drugged or slaughtered according to industry standards.)

Oct 22, 2008

Things I Like About Finland 4: OMG HEDGEHOGS!!!

Cutest animals ever. These little guys waddled around my friend Lucia's patio one evening in Jokioinen.


Unfortunately I never managed to see one when I had a camera. Thanks to Lucia for the photos!

Sep 29, 2008

I've gone pro

Finally succumbed to a Flickr pro account, mainly because of my obsession with organizing and cataloging. Ooh, sets and collections and tagging, oh my. If you haven't seen my page yet, it's here.

Maybe I'll even post stuff that isn't pretty travel photos. Like people. I've been told my collections are boring because there isn't enough out-of-focus redeye grimacing. Fine, I guess I can do requests. I understand some people want to see drunken party pics. Too bad. You got em, you post em.

Here's a couple new uploads:

View from inside an old barge at the Forum Marinum in Turku.

22-Pistepirkko (possibly my favourite Finnish band - check them out!) at Ruisrock 2008.

Sep 28, 2008

Jul 26, 2008

Things I Like About Finland 3: Bidets

The hand-held bidet is ubiquitous here. They're even common in public toilets - the first one I saw was in the Helsinki airport after I landed. Here's the one in my bathroom:

As you can see, it's attached to the sink. You turn on the sink tap, ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE, then push the button on the sprayer.

To be honest, I didn't know what this was when I first arrived here. Thank you Internet. I won't go into further details, but trust me, it is a very good thing that North America should adopt widely and I will miss it.

On a related subject, in my time here I've gotten used to referring to the "toilet" because people looked at me oddly when I said "washroom".

Jul 4, 2008

Things I Like About Finland 2: Concealed Dish-Draining Cupboard

My last couple of Finland posts have been a bit snarky, haven't they? So let's fix that with the next installment of Things I Like About Finland.

This is my kitchen sink area:

(Yes, I did wipe down the counter just for these photos.) But, hidden above the sink is this:

Ta-da! The Finnish, or maybe Nordic, concealed-in-a-cupboard dish draining rack! The bestest kitchen cabinet fixture thingie ever! Why doesn't the rest of the world have this? In case it's not clear in the above photo, here's a low-angle view showing the racks:

Sweet, huh? I love this thing. I have stuff in this that probably hasn't been to a real cupboard in months - they just circulate from rack to stove/table to sink and back up to rack. I can throw lots of stuff up there, then just close the doors, and whoo-hoo, clear counters and domestic deification.

It drips of course, but that's not really a problem: the steel counter-sink combo is pretty standard here too (also great for messy stuff). The trick is to put glassware on the top rack so it doesn't get water spots.

I can't believe I'm about to post 3 photos of my kitchen cupboards. But seriously, I've considered this amazing ever since my first day here. It's even in Finnish Wikipedia!

Jul 3, 2008

Alternative spellings for Jokioinen

Looks like whoever made Thunderbird's spellcheck has been to Jokioinen! I can't believe this is the first time I've noticed this.

Jun 21, 2008

Midsummer fun - Updated with mortality statistics!

I'm spending this Midsummer long weekend mostly working. Could be worse though:

Every year at Midsummer, a distressing number of people either overestimate their swimming skills, underestimate the amount they have had to drink before plunging in from sauna, overestimate the depth of the water at the end of the jetty before diving headfirst, ignore the temperature of the lake (not likely to be too warm this year), or forget that it is not merely ecologically irresponsible to attempt to urinate off the back of a small rowing boat.
Please do not join them, or those who manage to spoil their weekend and that of the fire services by burning down their sauna.
(Helsingin Sanomat)

Sigh. Back to the whitefish ...

UPDATE! 24-06-2008:

Three people were killed in separate homicides over Midsummer. In addition three men drowned, two people were killed in traffic, and one man was found dead in a sauna. (YLE)

Plus two moose. Hyvää Juhannusta.

Jun 8, 2008

Instant flower garden at Turku Cathedral

Drove down to Turku yesterday for a city fix, and was completely charmed by the instant garden that had sprung up in front of the Cathedral.

Turku Cathedral is one of my favorite churches in Finland. A typical lovely view from the front is this one that I took around the same time 2 years ago:

To my complete surprise, yesterday it looked like this:

Hundreds, thousands of potted Gerbera were arranged on the courtyard, and spread up the steps. A sea of pink and white and yellow and green. Magical. I took a bunch of photos:

I found out this was an environmental art installation called Gerbera's Dream by Kaisa Salmi, who I guess does these sort of installations sometimes. Here's the details:

So another dreamy thing - all those flowers were given away this morning to the people of Turku.

I put my photos from this show on this web album. It made me happy all day.

Jun 6, 2008

Space Ninvaders

Just want to share that my desktop currently looks like Space Invaders.

Or maybe I just really need a holiday.

(At this point I'm probably supposed to credit NIN for the wallpaper. Thanks guys. Fight The Future!)

May 12, 2008

Hot Men and Explosions

(Image totally stolen from Iron Man)

Sometimes Hollywood gets it really, really right.

May 7, 2008

Unexpected NIN photo on ACC website

I just failed to get presale NIN tickets for Toronto. Boo. But while being repeatedly spurned by internet ticket-selling gods, I did find this nice write-up and photo for the upcoming concert on the venue's site.

(click for larger)

Nine Inch Nails has a fluctuating membership. It can be hard to keep track of who's in, who's out this month. You think you have a nice band photo for the site, then bang, Trent Reznor restructures again and it's out of date.

I'm amused that out of all the photos available on NIN's Flickr page, the Air Canada Centre has chosen to promote the show with the one featuring the art director. Yes Rob Sheridan, you've finally emerged from behind the camera and upstaged Trent. Enjoy.

Apr 30, 2008

So that's what they wrote!

Ooh! Work stuff! Fun.

Back last fall, MTT's client magazine Koelypsy interviewed me about my project. The end result is here. Cool, huh?

Yeah, I don't know what it says either. And I guess they didn't find it interesting enough to translate for the English version. But now, thanks to the magic of our new machine translation service, I finally know!

The powan is adapted to a hydroponics

In a comprehensive study it has been clarified that the effectiveness of the powan's feed use can be intensified with a refining choice. Another custom to choose is growing fast but the with a low percentage of fat powans. In that case also the fish's fat content will decrease and the taste improves.

The hydroponics of the powan of good reputation is on the increase. According to the research institution of game husbandry and fishing industry (RKTL) the powan was cultivated last year nearly 800 000 kilos and 4,4 million euros worthly. The cultivation fish which is more popular than the powan in Finland is only a rainbow trout.

MTT and RKTL try to intensify powan cultivation with a multidisciplinary study because the powan has not adapted itself to the cultivation beings well. In the study which has begun in 2004 the refining programme of the powan's ruokakalakasvatus is being completed the world's first one.

It tells about researcher Cheryl Quinton MTT that in the research project the genetic feed effectiveness of the powan has been analysed.

In the tests a method with which it is possible to measure the nourishment use of the fish individuals which swim in the swarm was used. A tracer visible in the x-ray had been put to the powans' feed. In the test the fish were nukuttaa, was described and the feed consumption was calculated with the help of the sign mass. It was possible to observe the living powan's 1 600 eatings with the method.

- The appetite, growth and fat content of Siikas descended moderately so so their genetic choice probably succeeds, Quinton crystallises.

And a lot people eat and the powans gain weight. Quinton showed that by choosing with a low percentage of fat fish overeating can be reduced. This is likely to increase the effectiveness of the fish's feed use.

Also soybean feed suited

Furthermore, it was compared in the studies the powan which is a carnivore - production properties - on feeds which contain traditional fish flour and a quite new soybean white.

The feed costs have risen, likewise, a worry from the ending up of the decreasing villikalakanta, fish flour. So the feed industry tries to reduce the share of the fish flour in the feeding.

- The same powan families which increased well on the kalajauhorehu grew well also on soijapitoinen feed. The fish which now we are choosing will be among the best also in the future when feeds are kasvisperäinen. The result encourages and the fish's refining programme, farmers and feed industry, Quinton reports.

Hydroponics to increase

The researchers expanded RKTL and examine powan families in the laboratory of Laukaa, in the sea waters of Rymättylä and on the inland waters of Tervo. Furthermore, they draw up the market research and the economic calculation models.

The special researcher, Juha Koskela, who co-ordinates the project states about RKTL that next year the summary of the project in which becomes clear what properties from the powan are worth improving will be completed.

- One choice circuit has been made but the results are seen at the earliest after four years. Then a produced powan is obtained to the market, Koskela says.

The questionnaire surveys of RKTL will promise in the year of the number of the cultivated powan into the even three million kilos of the one growing. Instead the nature fish asked by the professional fishers and the frozen food powan that has been brought from Canada probably stay in about a million kilo, both.

- The supply expands the product range in which case the whole fish loses its share. The special products are more expensive than a round fish. The powan producers succeeded in quadrupling the production in four years and the price has not really fallen. However, the output growth usually lowers the producer price, Koskela thinks.

Koskela uncovers that he has got the best powan in the archipelago of Turku. There was the powan cold-smoked by the powan farmer available over the rye bread that was greased with butter.

Right. That's much clearer. Powan does indeed seem to be another name for whitefish - I just learned that 10 minutes ago. This is the first time I've heard about hydroponics in this project though.

Things I Like About Finland 1: No Radio Edits

In an effort to be more positive, and with my time in FI drawing to a close, I thought I should write up some of the things I really like here. Consider this part 1 of a series.

Things I Like About Finland 1: No Radio Edits.

The radio stations here, at least for English-language lyrics, don't censor swearing in songs. No bleeps, blanks, or PG word replacement. I think this is great, also more honest. Really, all of us know what those lyrics are, even the 10 year olds who are supposedly traumatized by hearing them. I'm guessing that the type of people who are traumatized by swearing probably aren't listening to that station anyway.

Anyway, the result is, at any time of day, morning, noon, whenever, you can hear undiluted Eminem or Rage Against The Machine. Or this charming little tune that was blasting out my car radio at lunchtime today:

Goodness. I haven't been that impressed with sexy-yet-completely-unromantic use of the f-expletive since Closer.

I've asked about radio edits here, and was told it's just not done. Possibly English swearing doesn't really bother people because it's not the native language, and therefore doesn't have the same impact. Similarly, I know a few choice Finnish words, and while I can shock the locals a bit by using them, they don't do anything for me because they're just sounds. I don't know if they censor the Finnish-language songs.

Apr 6, 2008

Do a back up! And I love despite not being able to remember where the dots go.

Having downscaled the Facebook usage somewhat, I really should be updating this more often. So.

Discovered yesterday that my photos from last year's Norway trip got lost in last fall's hard drive meltdown. So annoyed. I downloaded some back off my Flickr page, but it's only a few and they're not full size. Lesson: back up more frequently.

On a more amusing image-related topic, I finally caught up with 2005 and made myself a South Park icon:

And while we're being silly, I just managed to catch Cloverfield at its last theatre showing. (You're thinking: she doesn't need to link that; but yes, judging from the completely blank looks that everyone here gave me when I mentioned it, I do.) Really, it has to be seen huge, otherwise there's no point. So now I can stop desperately avoiding spoilers on that and move on to desperately avoiding spoilers from Battlestar Galactica (repeat above aside).

Started using about a week ago, and I'm completely hooked. Doesn't look like much, but it's so far the best tool I've used to track my surfing. Check out the new tag cloud on the sidebar. Probably an excellent research tool, but of course I'm also using it to track the trainwreck of a concept that is a Year Zero tv series.

Mar 24, 2008

But at least I get the day off

Unfortunately, after the warmest Finnish winter on record, our gift from the Easter bunny is snow.

Perhaps we didn't bribe the Easter witches enough.

But this washed up on the shores of my Finland alerts. Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators. Don't know anything about the artist yet, but it's a happy bit of soul. Neat shots of Helsinki's streets and cobblestones, and perfect with an Easter Monday coffee.

Mar 21, 2008

Shared RSS feeds on the sidebar

Turns out I can share the internet flotsam I come across on Reader through that list that's now on the sidebar. So I just shared a bunch of stuff I starred in the last couple months. Unfortunately the list is in reverse order (oldest to newest), but it should add new stuff to the top.

Now I can give up posting useless shit to Facebook. Maybe. Ok, probably not entirely.

Now playing: The White Stripes - Red Rain
via FoxyTunes

Mar 18, 2008

Booze in a tube

This is a thing of beauty:

Yes. Vodka In A Tube. (Swiss Army knife shown for scale.) I am in complete awe. Anyone ever seen this before? Many thanks to Janka & Tomasz who found this on the Tallinn-Helsinki ferry dutyfree and brought it back for me. They told me about this product a few months ago, but it's even cooler than I imagined.

This one's a lemon vodka tonic in a tube (10.5% alcohol, whee!). It's so lovely and perfect that I can't bring myself to open it.

Of course I had to check the company's website (careful, the eurotrash dance music comes on pretty loud) - they've got all kinds of cocktails in tubes. Caffeine-laden, cranberry, strawberry shots, ... and eggnog. Um, ok ... but then think of the stocking stuffer possibilities!
Posted by Picasa

Feb 12, 2008

Outdance The Devil: intro, apology, etc.

Hi. I seem to have started another blog. Title's kind of odd, a bit pretentious, but hey, I like it. It comes from a Forgotten English calender I had last year. Yeah, it sounds all dark and gothy and stuff, but I actually just liked the idea of desperately trying to keep up.

Anyway, the reasons for this site are a) I get bored, b) I'm really bad/lazy about sending group email updates, and c) for some reason I get a kick out of posting useless shit up on Facebook and from what I see, that's not what it's for. So hey, why not do that here instead, add some photos when I feel like it, and pretend that that makes up for not emailing.

And here's the apology. There will be swearing. Sorry. I thought about running this clean for the benefit of parents and such, but eventually decided to let that part go unedited. I'll try to keep it down.

Finally, I know that blogs like this are a fundamentally narcissistic hobby. Me, me, me. How many "I"s are in this post alone? Don't really know what to do about that, except invite comments. Thanks for stopping by.