Functional, punctual and awesome: my first 12 months in Finland

When I was a teenager in my home country of Bangladesh the only thing I knew about Finland was that it’s the land of Nokia.

After completing my bachelor’s in electronics I worked as a journalist for 3 years, I then decided to come to Finland to pursue a master’s at the University of Oulu.

I observed a number of interesting characteristics about Finland in my first 12 months of living here and I present them below…

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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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Proof in Pics: A short history of California’s most notorious serial killers

Charles Manson

In the spirit of Halloween, a time when children gather irreversible mental damage and adults get drunk in full costume without being labeled dangerously unstable, we’ve put together a pictorial shortlist of California’s most infamous serial killers to date.

These human abominations will hopefully not increase your preexisting anxiety, but will remind your dark side that California has fostered some unprecedented freaks. Our collection is packed with links to documentaries on Youtube, which are guaranteed to keep you captured for hours.
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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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Ruska relief: 35 stunning photos of Finland’s autumn colors

Yellow autumn leaf on the ground, photo by Tom Woodward

Finland’s climate is notorious for skipping long intermediary periods of warmish spring and fall. Summer turns to… something else pretty quickly. That somefthing else usually happens in September, in Finnish literally “Month of Autumn” (syyskuu).

If you’re out and about in Finnish nature during late September throughout most of October, you might witness ruska. That’s a Finnish word for autumn colored foliage. In many places over the world, ruska puts up quite the show.

But due to the long, dark winter in Finland, ruska really is last call for enjoying nature. Unless you like stumbling around in the cold and dark. Which is totally okay, we’re not judging.

In any case, we went scouting Flickr’s community for some ruska goodness. This writer also pillaged his own archive if Instagram snapshots, for your enjoyment. So, whether you prefer the great outdoors in urban streetscapes or out in the middle of nowhere, we hope we can remind you to at least enjoy a few more strolls outside before the long grey dark sets in.
 

1. If you’re in luck puddles or lakes might remind you to look up at the trees.

 

 

2. Lapland is stunning during ruska.

 

3. But so are all the lush suburbs all around the country. This view is from a high-rise building in Vuosaari in Helsinki.

 

4. I prefer staying in my inner city hoods, around Kallio and Vallila. But not because of some pretense of hipness…

 

5. …but because it’s going to retain a sense of place when ruska is over and fall is at its worst.

 
 

 
 

6. To each their own. But the point is: nature lovers, don’t waste a minute of this.

 

7. Anyway, you can’t get this in the cities.

 

8. However, nothing will stop you from enjoying wild cloud formations wherever you can see the sky.

 

9. Seriously, these skies are quite something.

 
 

 
 

10. Let’s cut the BS though, we were talking about autumn colors, ruska.

 

11. Again, available wherever they haven’t cut down the trees.

 

12. Autumn colors are caused by the process during which chlorophyll levels decrease in leaves.

 

13. Chlorophyll, the bringer of greenery, and an essential component of photosynthesis, is replaced by cork cells as sunlight and wamth decreases.

 

14. Eventually leaves drop. Without photosynthesis, they’re redundant. So, unless you have matching facades, get your nice photos taken while the leaves haven’t yet fallen.

 
 

 
 

15. Eventually, the end result is this: naked trees, with leaves in a slowly decomposing brown mess.

 

16. Luckily, some trees stay green.

 

17. So, if you notice moments post August 15 that pass for summer, be mindful and savor them.

 

18. One week, you’ll be out and about and enjoying everything about your surroundings.

 

19. Then, it’ll suddenly get rainy, in a way that just feels chilling.

 

20. And before you know it, you’ll just forget to enjoy your everyday surroundings. Moving outdoors becomes a tiresome chore, one which requires preparation.

 
 

 
 

21. Sure, those August and September sunsets are quite something.

 

22. They almost make you appreciate the looming darkness.

 

23. But by early November, a handful of pretty sunsets are among the few outposts of sanity you’ll have left. In Helsinki, you’ll miss the show if you don’t leave work between 4 and 5 pm. Farther up north, any typical office gig will leave you out of daylight.

 

24. With my brain chemistry, only something like this furball can force me to leave the house while there’s light around noon on November weekends.

 

25. But of course, outdoorsy people will crawl the forests for some last edible berries or mushrooms.

 

26. Or they’ll be using their inexplicable energy, to take some last sips of whatever magic takes place at summer cottages.

 
 

 
 

27. Make no mistake, to take a photo like this, you’ll need to get our in the middle of nowhere and be prepared for the freezing cold as soon as you’re not in direct sunlight.

 

28. Here, a regular human just sees a weird big rock, maybe with some understanding that the ice age dragged it there. Outdoorsy folks probably measure it up as potential shelter or whatever.

 

29. Personally, I prefer everyday scenes like these, and muttering about things like ugly elevated highway bridges.

 

30. Luckily I can get dramatic shots like this one just a fifteen minute walk away from my house.

 

31. Again, with the clouds.

 
 

 
 

32. And I much prefer to spend the silver hour on my way home.

 

33. When darkness falls, I want to be real close to home.

 

34. This is the kind of nature sightings I like in fall: old NYC style taxis with campaign stickers for Dick Nixon.

 

35. Anyway, time to head out before everything looks like this.

 

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

 

Thomas Nybergh is a writer and producer for Ink Tank Media in Helsinki. He’s really into topics like information security, but he writes about anything. Occasionally, Thomas gets around to sharing photos on Instagram.

Thomas also co-hosts and produces a podcast based on Very Finnish Problems, the social media sensation.

Title image by Tom Woodward

Daily Fail: 22 vicious anti-Brexit memes to pave your road to isolationism

Tintin and The Brexit Plan: Captain Haddock burning oars and warming his hands in a liferaft

What if we told you there’s this place on the interweb you can go to receive regular updates of the latest, most vicious anti-Brexit memes? Well there is, over at the Twitters, under the account @SoVeryBrexit, or Very Brexit Problems. You can also find the same dank political misery over at Facebook, if that’s your thing.

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Absolutely Socking: Finnish FB group against human rights gets flooded with socks

Dirty socks on a pair of sneakers, presumably not related to the xenophobia in Finland following the Turku knife stabbing attack

Note: the reporting on a nazi group being flooded with pics of socks is incorrect. In fact, this involves a parody group. For a for complete statement, with corrections, please see Jaakko’s feedback in the comments section of this article (scroll way down). This article will remain otherwise unchanged, as we think it contains commentary on the opportunist nature of how the political aftermath of the Turku incident is playing out. As always, please let us know about factual problems in our writing.

Turku, Finland’s sixth largest and oldest city, experienced a deadly, Islamism-related act of terrorism last week. You might ask yourself what this has to do with socks and a Facebook hate group. Let’s find out.

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