Posts

Very Finnish Problems Episode 6: When your children need to wee after getting dressed for winter

Young children playing in the snow

Joel Willans, creator of Very Finnish Problems and author of the best-selling book 101 Very Finnish Problems, chats with clothing industry activist and sci-fi writer Rinna Saramäki about the evils of the clothing industry. Thomas Nybergh, co-host and producer of the show, is skeptical about ethical consumerism and likes his sci-fi bleak and dystopian.

Contact: [email protected]

Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media

 

 
Shownotes:

Rinna’s blog (in Finnish)

Rinna’s books (in Finnish)

Why ethical consumerism isn’t enough

Rinna’s book pick: Emmi Itäranta’s critically acclaimed “Memory of Water” (Teemestarin kirja)

Joel’s book pick: “The Day of the Triffids” by John Wyndham

Rinna didn’t like the movie adaptation of “Valérian and Laureline”

What does “Jumping the Shark” mean?

New York Times’ Review of Thomas’ dystopian book pick, P.C. Jersild’s “After the flood”. Jersild’s “A Living Soul” is also awesome.

Joel’s pick: “Z for Zachariah” by Robert C. O’Brien

Rinna’s pick: “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi

Worldcon 75 took place in Helsinki this year

Kuoriaiskirjat, a cool small Finnish book publisher

Osuuskumma, another cool small publisher of fine Finnish fiction. Some books translated to English and Spanish

Joel Willans with clothing industry activist and Finnish sci-fi author Rinna Saramäki

Joel Willans with Finnish clothing industry activist and sci-fi author Rinna Saramäki.

 

Download or subscribe

You can get the show as a direct download.

Get all new episodes automatically by subscribing in your favorite podcast app.

Apple Podcasts / Soundcloud / Stitcher / TuneIn / AcastGoogle Play / RSS

 

About the show

What’s so weird and wonderful about Finland? British born Joel Willans, creator of Very Finnish Problems, discusses, with a variety of fascinating guests, what he’s learnt after 15 years living in his much-loved, adopted country.

Follow Very Finnish Problems to get all our stuff.

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter




Title photo by Honza Soukup

Discover how one Finnish photographer makes the everyday look out of this world

Penttinen 1

 

Miemo Penttinen is a man of many talents. As a freelance designer and startup entrepreneur, he has plenty of experience in bringing his creative ideas to life. But it’s his photography that initially caught our eye: sharp, symmetrical shots of architecture with clean, modern colors. Penttinen’s latest series Tau Zero [ Supersymmetry ] is sure to satisfy lovers of both symmetry and sci-fi.

Read more

7 TV sci-fi villains we’d love to see back on our screens

Heroes are pointless without a proper villain to challenge them, serve as the foil, and most importantly – drop some of the most quotable lines of all time. A truly exceptional villain can take a mediocre science fiction television series to new levels, or make an already great series even more memorable. From uncomfortably relatable to full-on madness, villains are usually far more interesting than the goody-two shoes heroes that they love to torture. Let’s take a look at seven sci-fi villains that we’d love to see back on our screens in all their villainous, evil glory.

Read more

Wow! We guarantee these pioneering landscape paintings will blow your mind

Jakub Rozalski 2Enjoy history? Get a kick out of science fiction? If so, then you’ll love the digital artwork by Jakub Rozalski, a concept artist and illustrator based in Hamburg, Germany. He incorporates fantasy and sci-fi elements such as mechs, werewolves, and even Predator into historic and picturesque landscapes, resulting in artwork that’s both awe-inspiring and entertaining.

Jakub’s latest project 1920+ features giant, menacing mechs (and occasionally Wojtek, Polish bear/soldier of WWII) lurking around early 20th century Polish villages – a concept that may sound odd to some. But the series has just the right balance of weirdness, anachronism, and talent to really pull it off. And what good is concept art if it’s not a little weird? Check out a few of Jakub’s stunning artworks from the 1920+ project below and see for yourself!

Read more

The 19th century’s greatest writers as you’ve never seen them before. In colour.

colorizedwriterphotos1

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.

Read more

10 sci-fi novels that’ll change how you look at the world forever

Call it SF, call it speculative fiction, call it slipstream – hey, we hear you can even call it structural fabulation. We’re not going to quibble on the nitty-gritty of nomenclature. What we do know is that these texts, however diverse, are yoked together by their reimaginings of reality – think parallel and sinister sister societies, alien worlds, or our own Earth, subtly altered. And the power of SF is that by lifting us into an alienating place or time, it allows us to see our own world differently. Below is a brief selection of our particular SF mind-blowing favourites. Feel free, as ever, to add more in the comments…

Read more

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.

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

15 little known facts about the making of Dune

1. Director David Lynch turned down the opportunity to direct Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi in order to direct Dune.

2. Helena Bonham Carter was originally cast as Princess Irulan, but scheduling conflicts with A Room with a View forced her to leave the film. Jodie Foster, Brooke Shields, Kim Basinger, Melanie Griffith, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristy McNichol, Tatum O’Neal, Bridget Fonda and Sarah Jessica Parker were also all considered to play the princess.

Read more

7 reasons why Isaac Asimov is the greatest science fiction writer ever

asimov620

Science fiction is one of those literary genres that is both loved and hated in equal measure. For its detractors, it’s all silly silver suits and bug-eyed monsters, for its enthusiasts, it provides a fascinating insight into humanity and a myriad of potential tech fuelled futures. We fall firmly into the second category and one very big reason for that is Isaac Asimov, a man who opened our eyes to the wonders of science and space at a very young age. This is one reason we believe, that despite being up against a legion of fantastic sci-fi writers including the legendary Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein, Asimov is the greatest ever.

Read more