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Resignation Syndrome – The Mysterious Condition Affecting Refugee Children in Sweden

In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children are reportedly suffering from a strange condition known as “resignation syndrome”. These children fall into a coma-like state; they don’t eat, speak, or even open their eyes. Sufferers of resignation syndrome are often left bedbound for years at a time.

Their appearances suggest they have been involved in some sort of accident or suffer from some sort of neurological illness, but sufferers of resignation syndrome have nothing physically wrong with them—they have simply lost the will to live. The condition is known as “uppgivenhetssyndrom” in Sweden, and it is thought to only affect young members of the refugee population.

Research has linked resignation syndrome with the stress and disappointment of having asylum claims rejected. In recent years, regulations surrounding asylum cases have tightened, and those refugees who were not fleeing from an active war zone were likely to have their applications rejected. These rejections could often take years to be decided upon, leaving refugee families in a state of limbo. For many children, the weight of rejection proved too much to bear and they would shut down completely, entering a coma-like state, seemingly on the edge between life and death.

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Swedish Brewery Makes Beer with Recycled Sewage Water

In an attempt to raise awareness about the ability to turn wastewater into safe drinking water, a brewery in Stockholm, Sweden has launched a new beer brand made with recycled sewage water.

Aptly called PU:REST, the new beer crafted by Stockholm’s Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (New Carnegie Brewery) in collaboration with the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) and Carlsberg is supposed to convince people that “second-hand water” can be as clean as normal tap water. IVL claims that the challenge to get people to drink recycled water is not a technological one, but a psychological one, so what better way to convince consumers of the purity of treated wastewater than using it to create a beer.

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Mother Renames Her Son After Tattoo Artist Misspells His Original Name On Her Arm

A Swedish mother of two whose tattoo artist misspelled her son’s name decided that it was easier and a lot less painful to legally change the boy’s name rather than go through several painful laser removal sessions.

30-year-old Johanna Giselhäll Sandström, from Kyrkhult, Sweden, wanted to show her devotion to her two children, Nova and Kevin, by having their names tattooed on her arm. She visited a local tattoo shop, told one of the tattooists there what she wanted and gave him her children’s name. He never asked anything about the spelling and instead just went to work on her arm. The woman didn’t notice anything strange about the tattoo at first, but when she got home and had a closer look at it, her heart sank. Instead of ‘Kevin’ the artist had misspelled it ‘Kelvin’.

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Sweden Opens Fist Klingon Tourist Center in Our Part of the Galaxy

Star Trek Fans looking to brush up on their Klingon lore need not travel to distant worlds or even watch countless hours of their favorite sci-fi series. All they need to do is head to Stockholm, Sweden, where the first Klingon tourist center in Alpha Quadrant recently opened its gates to visitors.

Called “Visit Qo’noS” and hosted by Turteatern, an avant-garde theatre based in the Swedish capital, the world’s first Klingon tourist center is a place where fans of the ruthless alien race can learn about its history, take a virtual tour of their capital, First City, sample staples of Klingon cuisine like Gagh and blood wine, train in the deadly martial art Mok’bara, learn their fascinating language and even interact with actual Klingons.

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Swedish Company Where Nobody Is in Charge Proves Bosses Are Overrated

Do companies need a strong leader to make it in today’s highly competitive environment? Many would say “yes, definitely”, but the employees of one Swedish software consultancy company would tell them otherwise. They don’t have a CEO. Nobody tells anyone what to do, instead all the 40 employees have meetings and decide together.

Crisp, the software consultancy firm that has become world famous for not having a boss, has in fact gone through a number of organisational structures, including the classic formula of having a single person running things. Hoping to get its employees more involved, it moved on to changing its chief executive officer annually, but ultimately, the 40-strong staff decided there was actually no need for a single leader, so they scrapped the position altogether.

“We said, ‘what if we had nobody as our next CEO – what would that look like?’ And then we went through an exercise and listed down the things that the CEO does,” said Yassal Sundman, a developer at Crisp. He and his colleagues quickly realized that many of the CEO’s responsibilities overlapped with their own, with the few roles that didn’t easily shareable among other employees. SO they decided to give the boss-less experiment a try.

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This “Shower Beer” Is Actually Designed to Be Consumed in the Shower

If you’re looking to get a head start before a wild night out with your friends, this Shower Beer created by Swedish brewery PangPang in collaboration with creative agency Snask will probably do the trick.

The shower hardly seems like the best place to enjoy a nice, cold brewsky, yet some people have been doing it for years. However, the problem with showers is that they’re usually quick, so you don’t have the time to gulp down a whole bottle of your favorite ale. To solve the problem, a group of ingenious Swedes have come up with a smaller, stronger beer designed to be consumed while showering.

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Sweden’s Charming Sourdough Hotels Take Care of Your Bread While You’re Gone

Home made bread has become very popular in Sweden over the last few years, so popular in fact that the country has its very own dough hotel – a place where people can drop off their precious sourdough knowing that it will be cared for properly until they return. No it’s not a joke, such a place actually exists.

Sweden’s first sourdough hotel opened in 2011, at the Urban Deli bakery, in Stockholm. For a fee of 200 Swedish kroner ($22) a week, they offered to take great care of your sourdough, if you couldn’t do it yourself. “We were just sat talking and thought of the idea of a nursery for sourdoughs. Then we took it further and came up with the hotel idea. It was just for fun really, we didn’t think it was going to get this big,” Åsa Johansson of Urban Deli said in an interview, five years ago.

They didn’t get too many paying customers during the first few months, but thanks to a collaboration with Josefin Vargö, a student at the University College of Arts and Crafts and Design (Konstfack) who started a sourdough archive for her master project, they did get to host a collection of dozens of sourdoughs, some of them as old as 130 years. That’s the thing about sourdough, if you take care of it properly, it can last for several generations, probably even indefinitely. And that’s what these uniquely Swedish dough hotels promise to do – keep the dough alive by “feeding” them water and flour, as well as treat them to regular massages.

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This Swedish Eco-Lodge Offers Tourists the Opportunity to Escape Modern Life

Modern life has its perks, but if you feel like taking a break from it all and going back in time for a few days, there’s a unique tourist facility in Sweden that offers you the opportunity to live in a wooden charcoal-burner hut located in the middle of a forest, cook your own food over an open fire, chop wood and clean your dishes in a nearby spring.

The Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge Hotel is not for everyone. If you can’t even fathom the idea of living without electricity, running water, or a modern toilet, then the rustic charm of this place will probably not appeal to you. But for anyone trying to escape the pressure and busy life of the big city or take a break from the internet and other modern gadgets, this place is paradise. Located 1 km south of Skärsjön Beach, in the middle of a pristine Swedish forest, Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge consists of 12 charcoal-burner huts with nothing but two sheepskin-covered wooden beds, and a wood stove that uses wood chopped by the guests themselves.

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Staffless Store in Sweden Allows Customers to Scan and Buy Items Using Smartphone App

We’ve seen unmanned restaurants in the past, but this is the first time we’re hearing of a completely staff-free convenience store. The shop, located in the Swedish village of Viken, is open 24×7, all year round; its doors can be unlocked at any time using a simple smartphone app. It’s pretty much like a physical version of an e-commerce website – customers walk in, pick up merchandise, and scan their purchases through the app. The entire transaction is completed within minutes.  

The futuristic store is the brainchild of Viken resident Robert Ilijason, who came up with the idea when he ran out of baby food and had to drive 12.4 miles to find the nearest open shop. That’s when he realised that his village needed a 24×7 store for emergencies and developed an app called Näraffar (shop nearby) that can be used to manage such a place. The app was approved by Apple in January, and Robert launched the store in an old post office building. He claims that it has been running smoothly with no hiccups so far.

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Swedish Airport Installs Climate Simulator of Cities Around the World

Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport offers a weather service quite unlike any other. Instead of doling out boring reports, it actually lets people feel what the weather is like in various cities around the world before actually flying there.

Yvonne Boe, communication manager at Swedavia – the company that manages Sweden’s airports – describes the unique Climate Portal as an “experience for all your senses which replicates the weather live from all over the planet, a direct link to the whole world. It’s also a preview of where you’re going, so you know if you need that warm sweater or an extra pair of sunglasses before boarding.”

Arlanda-climate-portal

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Swedish Company Rents Out People with Dwarfism for Corporate Parties and Private Events

Swedish start-up dvarg.se is attracting criticism for renting out people with dwarfism to corporate events and private parties, for entertainment purposes. Some of the controversial services include ‘dwarf-boxing’ and ‘dwarf-bartenders’, priced at 4,000 kronor each, and ‘dwarf-bodyguards’ priced at 5,000 kronor per dwarf. Clients can also hire dwarves for customized services, at 1,000 kronor per hour.

The ethics of such services are obviously questionable, and the company has been accused of setting a bad example to the nation’s youth. But dvarg.se CEO and founder Johannes Erikkson insists that there’s nothing wrong with what his company is offering. “We cater for everything from nightclubs to bachelor parties,” he said. “Last weekend we had a request for some of our employees to kidnap a guy at a bachelor party.” However, the company did remove a service called ‘dwarf-tossing’ from the website, after it was reported in the national media.

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Swedes Create Machine That Turns Sweat into Drinking Water

To highlight the seriousness of potable water shortage in some parts of Africa and Asia a group of tech-savvy Swedes have created a machine that turns perspiration into drinking water. Aptly named the “Sweat Machine” was inspired by technology used by NASA to recycle everything from human sweat to urine.

Developed by a team of engineers led by Andreas Hammar, the Sweat Machine works by extracting the perspiration, which is 99% water, out of people’s clothes. Sweaty garments are tossed into a dryer, where they are spun and squeezed for every last drop of liquid. The gathered sweat then gets heated, exposed to ultra-violet light and passed through a series of high-tech filters to remove the salt and bacteria. During the final stage of the purification process, the sweat goes through a coffee filter that retains any textile fibers left over from the clothes. The result is perfectly drinkable distilled water. Although the exact capacity of the dryer is yet unknown, the inventors say it takes a full load of sweaty shirts and shorts to produce a pint of potable water. Drinking your own and other people’s sweat sounds disgusting, but according to one brave sommelier, it actually has nice sweet taste.

Sweat-Machine

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Swedish Train Conductors Wear Skirts to Fight Shorts Ban

After their company decided to ban shorts during work hours, thirteen Swedish train conductors decided to wear skirts during the hot summer months. They’ve become the talk of the internet after photos of them dressed in female attire went viral.

“Of course people stare at you a little when you are on the platform, but you just have to put up with it,” Martin Åkersten, one of the bold conductors, told Swedish newspaper, Mitti. It can get pretty hot in a train cabin during the summer, with temperatures reaching 35 to 40 degrees Celsius, but the Arriva company’s uniform regulations state skirt or long trousers. Faced with a choice, some of its male employees have opted for the skirts as a way to cool off. Åkersten and some of his colleagues got the green light from their manager a couple of weeks ago, and since then others have joined in the protest, while others have gone back to their usual uniforms. Mainly it’s the train conductors who don skirts, but a few members from the passenger car staff have also oped for them.

train-conductor-dress

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Sleep as a Hobo at Sweden’s Homeless Experience Hotel

It costs money to be homeless in Sweden. Well, only for a night though, at the Faktum Hotels. Located in Gothenburg, the hotel has no rooms but instead offers the complete homeless experience. Once you make a booking online, the hotel will lead you to a pre-determined place where the real homeless might spend their nights, one of 10 extraordinary locations they’ve handpicked for their guests.

A ‘room’ at the Faktum Hotels costs $10 a night and customers are free to choose their location from 10 options, including a spot under a bridge, in a derelict factory, a park bench, in forests, or even under seats at a football stadium. High quality images of all these places are available on the hotel website that actually make the experience look tempting. The descriptions accompanying the images are quite enticing and entertaining to read as well. Where else would you find an underpass described as: “Feel the city’s pulse from dawn to dusk at Gullbergsvass. This delightful dwelling is just a stroll from the romantic Dreamer’s Quay: a source of inspiration to musicians and artists alike. And all under the noble eye of the Skansen Lion from his centuries old fortress.”

homeless-hotel

 

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Man’s Addiction to Heavy-Metal Earns Him Disability Benefits

Here’s something worth banging your head over: 42-year-old Roger Tullgren, from Hässleholm, Sweden, was cleared for state disability benefits after he’s been certified by three psychologists as a heavy-metal addict who can’t function at his workplace unless he is allowed to wear black T-shirts and camo pants, and rock out to loud heavy metal music.

The Swedish edition of The Local first reported about Roger Tullgren back in 2007, soon after his addiction to heavy-metal was acknowledged by psychologists and the state employment service agreed to pay part of his salary. Apparently, his interest in heavy-metal started in 1971, when his brother came home with a Black Sabbath album. Since then he’s been hooked to everything that screams heavy-metal, sports long black hair, a collection of tattoos and wears skull and crossbones jewelry. Nothing really out of the ordinary so far, he’s not the only man in the world passionate about this culture. But in Tullgren’s case, it started interfering with everything else. Because he couldn’t help attending hundreds of heavy-metal shows and events every year, often skipping work, his employer eventually tired of his antics and the aging rocker found himself without a job and relying on welfare. Luckily, after some sessions with occupational psychologists who certified his addiction to heavy-metal as a disability, Roger Tullgren earned the right to a wage supplement from the local job center.

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