Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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book of july: genome

Matt Ridley has written a book entitled Genome: The Autobiograpy of a Species in 23 Chapters. The premise of the book is quite interesting – take 23 chapters to disucss 23 chromosomes, picking one (or a few) thing(s) that are of particular interest (to many readers) from each of the chromosomes.

To begin I would like to mention that Ridley has written a refreshing and self-aware preface. You I never know with these kinds of books if the author really knows their stuff well enough to be penning such *mainstream* works. Ridley is quite clear from the beginning about just what he is and isn’t doing. So, right off the bat he gets my vote.

Though at times very mainstream, and a little out there from a purely scientific perspective, I did very much enjoy Ridley’s work. It was an entertaining read to be sure, add this one to your to-read list!

Genome has actually been on my to-read list for quite some time now. I think I may have bought this book when originally published…seeing as it’s a hardcover and it says “FIRST U.S. EDITION” in there. All the signs seem to be pointing to the purchase occurring around 20 years ago. That being said, I am quite happy to finally have read it. Per my 30 before 30 list I get to check a book off my to-read list!

Happy reading!


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swedish word of the month: lagom

This word has no direct translation to English.

Lagom. Pronounced lah-gohm it’s a somewhat difficult word to adequately describe.

Where do I begin? The closest translation is “enough”, “the right amount”, or “what Goldilocks is desperately seeking – the middle ground, the just right”. I’ve personally had difficulties smoothly incorporating “what Goldilocks is seeking” into casual conversation, so I gotta say lagom is a good alternative.

Sweden is the land of lagom. I know I’ve said Sweden is the land of IKEA…and the land of fika, but REALLY Sweden is the land of lagom. Because you should decorate your home with just the right amount of IKEA, and enjoy enough fika (not too much – that would be craziness). Here in Swedeland lagom is the golden rule…alright, the golden rule is still the golden rule…making lagom the platinum rule.

Lagom applies to everything. Food, drink, exercise, time spent with family and friends, you name it – the Swedes want it in just the right amount.

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swedish word of the month: latmask

This was actually one of the first wlatmaskords I learned in Swedish, after hello and hippopotamus (priorities). I learned latmask because my dear wife lovingly adorns me with the title, often. Latmask is pronounced laht-mahsk. Directly translated latmask means lazy worm, so Evelina clearly thinks I’m an up-and-go kind of person.

The old adage goes, the early bird gets the worm. So logically the lazy worm doesn’t get eaten. I’m choosing to see the bright side of things – Evelina is essentially saying I’m a clever survivor.

If you Google lazy worm, you get a bunch of amusing pictures, like the one shown here. I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s Swedish word of the month. Just think, now you can start calling everyone you know a latmask!

signatureUntil next time.

 


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swedish word of the month: smörgåsbord

For the second Swedish word of the month I thought I’d present one of the few words that are also English words. The key difference here is the Ö and Å. The Swedish alphabet has 29 letters, the first 26 are the same as the English alphabet, plus å, ä och ö.

The Swedish word smörgåsbord is defined as an open-faced sandwich, served cold, with butter, pickled herring and cold cuts. The smörgåsbord is served as an appetizer. (As according to the Swedish Academy’s dictionary) The English definition is similar, a luncheon or dinner buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes (such as hour d’oeuvres, hot and cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, cheeses, salads and relishes). (As according to Miriam Webster’s dictionary).

To be perfectly honest the English definition aligns almost perfectly with my experiences. The Swedish definition seems less specific…though the specificity of the English definition is likely implied within the Swedish definition. Convenient how that happens time to time in Swedish. Little is expicitly said, much is implied – we’re all on the same page after all, aren’t we?

Before moving to Sweden I had heard of a smorgasbord, though I had never eaten pickled herring in my life. The home made kind (as pictured above) are definitely the best). Pickled herring is quite tasty, definitely give it a try! (N.B. DO NOT confuse sill (pickled herring) with the Icelandic shark dish hákarl).

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2017, that happened

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My last blog post that did not feature a book was in July. That’s quite a few months of happenings with no writing. In fact, after doing a quick scroll through of my 2017 blog I now realize I’ve only posted 7 times outside of my book of the month posts. Seven:

  1. one year old
  2. finally 2017 (a look ahead)
  3. ry-guy
  4. mediwift
  5. t-man
  6. 15 days: my iphone withdrawal story
  7. four(teen)th of july

Either there’s not a whole lot going on for me, or a whole helluva lot. To be honest, definitely some of both. So, yeah, that happened. I do want to continue my recent tradition of reverse bucket listing my year. This year’s list will serve two purposes: it’s a great way to reflect on the good times of 2017, and is also a list of blog posts soon to be featured here:

  1. Hosted wintry guests
  2. Went on a cruise
  3. Celebrated weddings in Newport, RI and Sundance, UT
  4. Traveled to the western USA with my family
  5. Saw the Grand Canyon
  6. Went to Vegas
  7. Followed my savings plan
  8. Coached a growing group of girls
  9. Attended my 10 year high school reunion
  10. Completed another year of my ECE degree

I’ll stop at 10, because that’s been my modus operandi the previous two years, but there may be an extra post or two coming down the pipeline with happenings from the eventful 2017 – like my epic summer vacation. Get ready, 2018 is here.

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book of may

You will not find this book in stores, as I made it with my brain and a glue stick.


This is the only book I’ve read cover to cover this month, so that’s why it’s featured on the blog today. Tomorrow I’ll be using this home made log book during my very first in class exam at university in Sweden. Up until now we have had final papers, not exams, so this is certainly an exciting nerve-racking time. Now, for my Natural Science and Technology with Outdoor Pedagogy class I’ll be taking the plunge into university test taking (in Sweden). We’re allowed to bring a 200 page log book in to the exams with our notes from the class. Good thing too!

Vital information


This may be my first book of the month post that won’t conclude in a recommendation. Purely because no one else can actually read it. As I write I realize that’s not entirely true. If you come to Sweden, specifically where I reside, you may read the book. With my permission of course. Oh, and there’s the prerequisite that you can read I Swedish, as 99.6% of the book is in Swedish. So, if you know Swedish and are feeling especially motivated you can come read my log book. But this is like those library books you can’t check out and have to read while on the premises. Only in that case do I recommend you read this book. 

Until next time!


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book of april: the magic of reality

I’ve read The God Delusion by Dawkins already, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. I did not.

This book is assigned reading for my current Early Childhood Education class. As you can see there are multiple versions. The one in Swedish (on the left) is full of fun and exciting illustrations. The one on the right is in English (I mention this just in case) and lacks pictures, but is read a lot faster when English is your first language. A whole helluva lot faster if you don’t even speak Swedish. I’ll let you decide what language you read in, but you should seriously consider this book. 

It’s a fun introduction to many scientific fenomena. From evolution to space and back. Without going too deep into any one topic Dawkins presents an easy to read and engaging book. I definitely plan on getting our little one a copy in each language – with illustrations of course. I recommend this book to you or any 8-12 year olds you may know.


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book of january: one, two, many

I haven’t had a lot of time for free reading this month. That is to say I’ve done quite a bit of reading, but almost exclusively for my ECE degree. I say almost exclusively because not reading road signs makes driving a whole lot harder.


This book, En, två, många (which translates to One, Two, Many) has all the information you might want regarding mathematics in the early years of life. Of course, in Swedish. 

Side bar: only the first letter of books are capitalized in Swedish. I may have mentioned this before on the blog, but it really baffles me. Every time! So I need to bring it up again now.

I definitely recommend this book for any early educators, people curious about basic mathematical terms in Swedish, or just anyone looking for a good time.

Dig in!