Friday, August 29, 2014
The Nordic countries are paradigms of equality, good education, female empowerment, and progressiveness. We know this because we are told. And told and told and told. To take one example, the latest Global Gender Gap rankings from the World Economic Forum were topped by Iceland (for the fifth year in a row), followed by Finland, Norway, and Sweden. (Denmark came in eighth.) Iceland and Denmark took first and second place respectively in this year’s Global Peace Index (Finland was sixth, Norway took 10th, and the comparatively violent Swedes came in 11th). Sweden was deemed the least fragile country in Foreign Policy’s 2014 Fragile States Index . This year’s four best countries in which to be a woman, according to the Global Post? All Nordic. Four of the top 14 “greenest” countries in the world, according to this year’s Environmental Performance Index? Nordic. (Filthy Finland came in at a still quite green 18th.) The country examined by the Economist this summer to explore the benefits of paid paternity leave? Sweden. The country touted by long journalistic profiles and best-selling books alike for its education system? Finland. The country profiled by the BBC for its creative approach to bettering the lives of the homeless? Denmark. The first country profiled by Slate in its examination of how good life is elsewhere for working parents? Norway. Where did NBC welcome us to this summer? Sweden. If only we could be more like the Nordic countries, we say, looking sadly at our ill-assembled Ikea furniture. Then we, too, would be better educated. Then we, too, would be more equally paid. Then we, too, would be more peaceful. Then we, too, would have dreamy blond men narrate our coffee drinking. But we cannot be more like the Nordic countries. And so it is time—past time, in fact—to say enough already to these pointless comparisons.
live on land and strut around.
Lifestyles and needs are changing, and consequently, our houses are shrinking. The tiny house movement has blown up in the past few years, shifting the traditional North American housing models towards a more practical, finance-friendly blueprint. The movement is garnering attention from people fed up with the current consumerist/utility-based lifestyle which has placed millions of people in debt.
Now, the idea of living your dream is no longer a cliché.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
had likely faked symptoms to get extra attention and food.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
asked some of them what it meant to be a redhead.