Finnish Independence day celebrations at Tamperetalo, 2013.

Strange freedom: 6 weird Independence Day traditions from around the world

Finnish Independence day celebrations at Tamperetalo, 2013.
Independence. Isn’t that word sweet? Here in Finland, we celebrate independence for the 99th time in 2016, so we thought it would be fitting to compare independence day traditions in Finland to other countries.

In our defence, as you read on, remember what the weather is like in Finland in early December.
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16 photos that show just how much Helsinki has changed in the last 100 years

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You only have to wander around Helsinki on a summer’s day to see why it’s regularly listed as one of the world’s most livable cities. But it hasn’t always been that way. When King Gustavus Vasa of Sweden founded it in 1550 it was so unpopular he had to order the burghers of Rauma, Ulvila, Porvoo and Tammisaari to move there. The city didn’t grow much for the next few hundred years either. Even when it was finally declared the capital in 1812 the population was still less than 5000. At the same time, London was home to 1.2 million people. So, it’s really only since the start of the 20th century that Helsinki has become the city we all know and love. To celebrate this magnificent transformation, and to enjoy the fact we live in the Helsinki of the future, let’s take a peak at Helsinki of the past, courtesy of some marvellous pictures by photographers such as Ismo Hölttö and Jouko Leskinen.  Read more

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Go go snow! The incredible stories of the world’s coolest snowmobiles

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Living in the 21st century, it’s easy to forget that until relatively recently populations in cold-weather areas were practically stranded by snowy winters. That all changed with the invention of engine-powered snowmobiles. While we’re all familiar with the modern version it turns out the snowmobile has a long and colourful history, spanning more than a century. To celebrate this we’re taken a trip down a memory lane, and unearthed the coolest snow transports of all time. Wrap up warm and enjoy the ride!

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China Swedes, Forest Finns and The Great Migration: How Finnish immigrants helped build America

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Currently in Finland, like elsewhere in Europe, we’re hearing much about immigration and how challenging it is for new arrivals to integrate into society. Finns themselves, of course, have a long history of leaving Finland to live elsewhere. Sometimes, as refugees from war or famine, other times to simply try and make a better life for themselves and their families. One popular destination was the United States, so let’s take a quick look at how Finns fared in the New World and how well they settled into life far away from home.

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Rockin’ shots: The stories behind music’s most iconic photos: No.1

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Rock and roll legends live life hard and they live life fast. In the good old days, before everyone went to concerts smartphones held aloft, this made catching them on camera all the more tricky. Yet this never stopped talented photographers giving it a go. For many it was a mission. Not only were concerts often culturally significant, but – given the propensity of outlandish performers to die young – you might never have the chance to capture these legends again. In this new series, we take a look at the story behind some of music’s most iconic photos, ones which showcase both the moment and the musicians perfectly.
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The 19th century’s greatest writers as you’ve never seen them before. In colour.

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When most of us picture the past we imagine it in black and white. Hardly surprising when you consider the history of colour photography. Although the first colour photograph was taken way back in 1861 by Thomas Sutton (the Englishman choose a tartan ribbon as his subject), it wasn’t until the 1970s that colour snaps became everyday. Consequently, colourizing photos is the only way we can get closer to our awesome ancestors.

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Folk of Genius: The 5 most unusual habits of Jack Kerouac

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For many people today, The “father of the Beat Generation” Jack Kerouac epitomizes the romance of the open road and the passion of mad wanderings. He has become an icon of wanderlust, a role model for those that wish to emulate his life of spontaneity and perpetual restlessness, moving from one city to another, one woman to another.

In reality, Kerouac was an intensely complicated man, filled with contradictions. Let’s take a look at five unique habits of Kerouac that just might shatter some of your preconceived illusions about the mythical author.

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5 Seventies sci-fi TV shows we’d love to see remade today

The 1970s was such a turbulent, colourful decade that it’s sometimes forgotten that it also produced some of the best loved TV programs of all time. Series like “Little House on the Prairie,” prime time soap operas such as “Dallas” and iconic comedies “M*A*S*H,” “All in the Family” and “Happy Days.” were all followed by millions. The wealth of entertainment on offer was no different in the realm of science fiction, with tons of brilliant series gracing our screens. Such was the diversity that it’s tough to pick five we’d love to see make a comeback, but we set our phasers on retro and gave it our best shot, nonetheless.

The Six Million Dollar Man

If you weren’t lucky enough to have watched this the first time round, you’d be forgiven for not knowing this series gave birth to the phrase “we have the technology”.

It also gave birth to Steve Austin, an unlucky astronaut who suffered such a horrendous crash while flying a test aircraft, the only choice was to build him bigger, stronger and faster. How did Richard Anderson do this in the 1970s? By giving him new “bionics” legs, a right arm, and eye, which meant he could fight crime with superhuman power.

While the wonders of technology were the theme, the actual tech itself never really got explained. But it didn’t matter because by slowing down the action and adding incredibly catchy sound effects, we were convinced that Steve Austin was the high tech future of crime fighting.

We think the opening credits of The Six Million Dollar Man, 90 seconds of pure 70s perfection, warrant a remake alone. Question is who could be the next Lee Majors?

Space: 1999

In 1999, Moonbase Alpha is a scientific research colony and watchdog over silos of atomic waste from Earth stored on the Moon’s far side. Alas, this seemingly flawless plan goes awry when an explosive chain-reaction of the waste blasts the Moon out of Earth orbit and the Solar System.

From the British producers of Thunderbirds, Space: 1999 starred Martin Landau and Barbara Bain leading a group of eggheads trying to figure out how to get home. Taking a cue from 2001. A Space Space Odyssey, Space: 1999 perpetuated the idea that the future would look white, smooth, and clean.

Like all great sci-fi shows it had casting changes and a premature cancellation. Rumors of a movie version or a reboot continue long after the year 1999 has passed.

We for one wish Moonbase Alpha would come baaaaaaaaack!

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

This campy ’70s series, starring Gil Gerard as the titular hero, was created by producer Glen A. Larson, of Battlestar Galactica fame. Based on a pulpy comic strip icon, Buck was a NASA pilot who while on a mission into deep space, suffered an accident, which sent him into cryogenic stasis and returns him to Earth five centuries later.

Happily, he was thawed our to discover the insanely sexy Col. Wilma Deering eager to help him readjust to life in the future. Accompanied by Dr. Huer, robot sidekicks Dr. Theopolis and Twiki, best remembered for his catchphrase “beedee-beedee-beedee, and later the doddering Dr. Goodfellow Buck fought cosmic menaces such as Princess Ardala and her dad, Emperor Draco of the Draconians.

Logan’s Run

Continuing on from the success of the classic 70s movie of the same name, the 1977 series follows Logan 5 and Jessica 6 on their quest to find Sanctuary and leave behind the doomed utopia where no one could live past 30.

While it lasted only 14 episodes, this show nails the quintessential look of 70s sci-fi better than anything else. One notable episode, written by David Gerrold under a pseudonym, pulled a nice switcheroo by featuring a time traveler from our era encountering Logan and company on their journey, thus blowing minds in multiple time streams.

Blake’s Seven

Created by Doctor Who alum Terry Nation, Blake’s 7 who was inspired by classic Westerns as well as by the tropes of dystopian sci-fi. It’s lead character is escaped prisoner Roj Blake, a freedom fighter turned against Earth’s Terran Federation. His willingness to let the ends justify the means makes him an unusual TV hero.

It is at times dark and pessimistic, but the characters maintain a classically British stiff upper lip in their titanic struggle. What it lacked for in high-budget special effects, it made up for in plot and subversive politics.

A very different affair from our other four choices, Blake’s Seven is arguably the series most worthy of remake, simply because it resonates so strongly in so many way with life in the 21st Century.

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7 super song facts about “Paint It, Black” by The Rolling Stones

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The Rolling Stones have probably released more iconic tracks than any other band in history. Hardly surprising when you learn they’ve been together for over half a century and hold the record for the most recorded songs of all time. One of the most iconic of their incredible 439 tracks is “Paint It, Black”. Released in 1966, it was the first single from the fourth album, Aftemath, and became an anthem for the Sixties counter culture.

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