A Next Generation Finn: Hannu Huhtamo’s hand at light painting photography

With so much eye-grabbing art out there it’s difficult to find a focal point. Hannu Huhtamo’s light painting photography is an art form that provides just that — focus.

Hannu is putting an interesting spin on photography by overlaying long exposure captures of light movement to beautiful still photography, and he’s using Finland as the backdrop.

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Finnish made famous: magnificent mentions of Finland throughout Tinseltown

Promo pic for Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 just premiered in movie theaters across the globe and caused quite a stir. Not only are longtime fans of the original Blade Runner saying it’s a remarkable rendition of an untouchable classic, but there’s also Finnish spoken in the movie! Alongside Finnish actress Krista Kosonen, 2 other actresses have claimed their moment of Finnish fame while discussing who Blade Runner is onscreen.

 

Consequently, this Blade Runner rouse has sparked my pre-existing interest in the many other times I’ve heard Finnish (and Finland) referenced in movies and TV shows. So here’s a collection of the coolest…

 

 

1. What your favorite TV characters think about Finland

 

Fargo

“Buddy of mine says they swear by this stuff in Finland.”

“Well, they’re a bunch of sex-crazed alcoholics, so they should know, right?”

 

 

 

Gilmore Girls

Rory: “Grandma. We were just talking about you. How are you? How’s Helsinki?”
 
Emily: “Cold. Unaccommodating. A population of walking dead.”

 

Veep

Dan (on Helsinki): “I’m sorry that I ever set foot in that fucking fish-eating, indie-film fucking hellhole.”

 

Fringe

Walter: “As they say in Finland, there’s more than one way to roast a reindeer.”

 

How I Met Your Mother

Ted (on his best man speech): “So now I seem like a total train wreck to all my old high school friends. And a bunch of people in Finland. The auto-tune thing got kind of big over there.”
Ted’s speech that became famous: 

 

2. Five times Hollywood hacked the Finnish language

 

Charlie’s Angels

 


 
 

 

 

The Big Bang Theory


 

The Hudsucker Proxy


 

Swordfish


 

Archer


 
 

3. Other magnificent mentions of Finland

 

Community


 

Conan – hates my homeland


 

Conan – drinks Lapin Kulta


 

 

 
 

Confessions of a Shopaholic


 

Seinfeld


 

Simpsons


 

Spongebob Squarepants


 

SNL – Finnish talk show Kalle

 

Veep

 

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more stories about super Suomi

 

Edited by Michele Lawrence.




12 fantastic facts why Fun Bowling and Bar in Helsinki doesn’t suck

Bowling Balls. Photo by Joonas Tikkanen.

We all cling desperately to warmer weather and scattered sunshine, but once those notions are gone for good with the encroaching winter months, it’s beneficial to have sanctuary spots in Helsinki where you can grasp onto your remaining sanity.

Fun Bowling and Bar is one of those spots, and here’s why…
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8 surefire ways to spot a Finn abroad

Ice swimmer looking happy

Every nationality has their own identifiable characteristics no matter how stereotypical they may sound. As a Finn I hardly recognize these behavioral traits in myself until I’m outside my home country, Finland. With this list you’re sure to never mistake a Finn for anyone else again, especially while traveling or residing abroad…

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Earbud Weltschmerz: 13 excellent podcasts to help you understand our troubled times

It’d be nice to live on a non-ruined planet, in peace. If your line of thinking also includes a scientific worldview and questions on how to balance labor cost with wealth redistribution in a globalized world, you’re probably one of us forward thinking people. And we want to stay informed.

Newsflash: powerful people want turn back the clock on social issues, ignore the limits of our natural resources and, at their worst, create closed, authoritarian oligarchies. In the Anglosphere, Brexit and that historically unstable clown in the White House make the news intolareble. Read more

10 books about sport that every fan should read

sports fans

As much as we know you’d like to spend every waking minute following plays and tallying points and yelling at the referee, there’s always some dead point during the weekend when there’s no sport on TV and the weather’s too poor to risk a kick-about outside – at which point, what better substitute activity than to read a rollicking novel about sport, eh? So, for every armchair fan and every player consigned to the bench, here’s ten diverse titles to get you started.

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Video: How Edward Snowden and The Yes Men trolled music fans at Roskilde Festival

Edward Snowden and The Yes Men at Roskilde 2016

The Danish Roskilde music festival recently got into a slight controversy over signs warning festival goers about a new policy: complete surveillance of all phone and internet traffic. But it turns out that the festival, which took place over the course of June 24 to July first this year, actually trolled its visitors, hard. With the help of none other than culture jamming and hoaxing group The Yes Men and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

A feedback booth with a comedian posing as a poorly-informed PR representative of the festival was also present, to counter backlash on social media. But the actual intention of the signs and the faux policy was to lure festival goers to a certain stage at a certain time, with “anger marketing”.

What attendants got to experience was a remotely held speech by whistleblower USA Edward Snowden, an excellent speaker on topics like civil rights, privacy and mass surveillance. The massive Roskilde Festival has now released a summary of the events in a Youtube video, which also includes the confounded faces of festival goers encountering an actor who looks like Snowden.

 

It’s not about Snowden, the person

Regardless of what you think about the optics of Snowden ending up in Russia in the aftermath of his data leak in 2013 and subsequent escape from the USA, we recommend listening to what he has to say. Also worth looking into is the fact that he has no chance of a fair trial in the USA, despite his information having pushed the IT industry towards a path where privacy rights at least are a part of the conversation.

Anyone can figure out that Russian intelligence probably debriefed Snowden upon his arrival in Russia, but the former cybersecurity specialist and NSA contractor’s data leaks have indeed done a lot to raise an unprecedented awareness over information security related topics.

Most of Snowdens revelations are things that have been suspected by information security professionals for years, but were shrugged off as paranoia by the general public and decision makers in business and politics alike.

Most notably, Snowden’s leaks reveal how numerous Western countries, like the United Kingdom and Sweden collaborate with the USA to build a global mass surveillance apparatus that can harvest unfathomable amounts of information from the internet.

Slide from the PRISM presentation leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013.

A slide from a presentation leaked by Edward Snowden, where the NSA brags about infiltrating US tech companies. The likely meaning of the PRISM program is the surveillance agencies being able to eavesdrop of some data inside the networks of tech giants, rather than having gained direct access to every server these enormous companies own. Some companies have taken action to prevent misuse like this.

 

How the Snowden Leaks have helped you

The Snowden leaks included information on how Western intelligence agancies collected information from large companies like Google, by eavesdropping on private fiber optic cables. Companies like Google have since actively starting encrypting more traffic, even within their own networks, making customer data more difficult to misuse. Products like Facebook-owned WhatsApp have recently implemented really good encryption for mobile messenger apps, helping to protect the contents of chat conversations between normal, law abiding citizens.

It is no news that surveillance can used to undermine democracy and processes of social progress, as is made apparent by Snowden’s mention of how of authorities hawkishly followed every move of Dr. Martin Luther King during his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement.




With today’s technology, the internet’s weakness for surveillance grants private corporations and governments alike access to information about us all, to an extent that the Soviet KGB, Romanian Securitate or East-German DDR could only have dreamt about. This is not disinformation or a dishonest spin, but a crucial breach of Rechtsstaat principles that help sustain democracy. Also, mass surveillance does little to stop terrorism.

It’s true that Russia presumably is using Snowden’s exile in propaganda and information warfare to create uncertainty and distrust towards Western governments. Making the West look like hypocrites on human rights is always convenient for the Russian state and many other authoritarian regimes. It makes it easier to defend their own practices of restricting internet use and complete digital surveillance, which occurs without any of the thinning legal buffers we still can enjoy in many Western countries.

That’s a reason in itself to stop Western intelligence agencies from undermining civilization.

 

How you can help

Members of the public can help themselves and less fortunate individuals in oppressive countries to get some online privacy by using and supporting systems like The Tor Project. Albeit being far from perfect, the open source Tor software is, within its limits, the far most efficient tool to remain anonymous online, if used properly.

No commercial vendor of for example, VPN services, can obfuscate the origin of traffic like Tor can. Users need to understand the limitations of what Tor can do for them, including but not limited to sticking to the officially supported Tor Browser, keeping it updated and not revealing information related to their regular identities while using Tor.

How Tor Works

At Ink Tank Media, we have chosen to help by hosting a Tor Relay server that participates in obfuscating the origin of traffic from users of free privacy tools like the Tor Browser.

This is a confusing field to navigate for anyone in media and advertising. The online advertising many online media companies rely on, also collects a massive amount of information! We couldn’t really run this site without ads and trackers, yet, it’s plain as day to us that the world needs to find a balance in how personal data is used.

From time to time, we work with Darknet researcher Antti Järventaus, who focuses on understanding and making some sense of some of the hard questions involved with providing anonymity to anyone who needs it.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more mind-blowing coolness.




Lessons in life: 5 books about schooldays everyone should read

school

There’s a good reason school-stories have always done well: we can all relate, right? We might not have gone to boarding school like the Mallory Towers gals, or gotten our Hogwarts invitation like Hermione Granger, but the French class/homework/detention/Sports Day cycle is pretty much the same the world round. Children’s literature is dominated by it, whether we’re talking Enid Blyton’s The Twins at St Clare’s or Gillian Cross’s The Demon Headmaster, and the adult version, tipping into university life (a.k.a. the campus novel), is another perennial variety. So it’s not exactly obscure, but we love it all the same! Here are five examples of educational romps for all ages that kept us up all night with our torches under the bedclothes.

1. The Secret History, Donna Tartt

tartt

A creepy classic of modern literature, this is set in a small upmarket university in Vermont, and it’s about a group of classmates who commit a murder. The characters are oddballs, in that they’re peculiarly snooty classics students, and the narrator, Richard, is so determined to impress them that he gets in way over his head… It’s melodramatic and completely mad but very, very captivating. You’ll never look at Ancient Greek in quite the same way again.




2. Back Home, Michelle Magorian

back home

A little girl is evacuated to the US during WWII and has a jolly old time, but then, boom, the war is over, and she’s shipped back to boarding school in England, where everything’s rotten, the other girls are awful and there isn’t anything to eat (damn those rations). And then drumroll, she meets a boy. Of course, it’s not that simple: this is a really bleak look at alienation and bullying and loss, but even if it might put you off boarding school, you’ve still got to read it! Complex and heartbreaking and, finally, uplifting.

3. Cat Among the Pigeons, Agatha Christie

agatha christie

It’s Agatha Christie so it’s got to be mystery, and this is an article about school stories, so… yes! A murder mystery set in a boarding school! If ever there were two genres that cried out to be combined… It’s got jewel thievery and spies and kidnappings and Middle Easter revolutionaries and it’s even got Poirot (albeit only briefly)! With high drama and a lot of humour, like anything by Christie, you’re going to enjoy it, even if your own school days are going to seem pretty lame in comparison.

4. Moo, Jane Smiley

moo

A campus novel set in an agricultural college in the American Midwest, Moo features a memorably cast of academic freaks and misfits – one is conducting experiments on an unfortunate boar called Earl – and pokes fun at the genre as a whole, with one chapter labeled ‘Who’s in Bed with Whom?’ There’s certainly a lot of bed-hopping, as well as back-stabbing and conniving, and we thought that Dr. Gift, a professor who refers to the students as ‘customers’, is right on the money for today’s educational zeitgeist, though the book itself came out in 1995. A dry satire with a complex weave of plots, this will appeal to pretty much anyone who’s worked anywhere near the university sector.




5. Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans

madeline

Bringing it back home with one for the kids, this beautiful picture book and its series of successors features a little girl – Madeline! – who’s away at a Parisian boarding school (‘an old house with vines’ where live ‘twelve little girls in two straight lines’ and their long-suffering teacher, Miss Clavel. The near-monochromatic illustrations (black, white and yellow, mostly) are gorgeous and even the slight awkwardness of the English translations of the original French rhymes don’t make this anything less than enchanting. This first book came out in 1939, and while it spawned a still-expanding franchise of spin-off and sequels, we still love the original the most: after all, a book that makes even appendicitis seem fun has got to have something going for it.

We could go on: there’s Tom Brown’s School Days, for a start, and the opening sections of Jane Eyre and Angela’s Brazil’s brilliantly anarchic stories – but which are your favourites?