Picture: Grass

Stockholm Bergianska Botanical Garden 05.2008, originally uploaded by micpohling.

My cat’s grass, growing at home…

Norway: HIV Cases 1990 – 2006

HIV cases reported from year 1990 to 2006 in Norway:

Year — Total Cases / Cases per 100 000 population
1990 — 95 / 2.24
1991 — 144 / 3.38
1992 — 116 / 2.71
1993 — 111 / 2.57
1994 — 95 / 2.19
1995 — 108 / 2.48
1996 — 107 / 2.44
1997 — 117 / 2.66
1998 — 101 / 2.28
1999 — 138 / 3.10
2000 — 167 / 3.74
2001 — 161 / 3.59
2002 — 204 / 4.53
2003 — 223 / 4.93
2004 — 272 / 5.99
2005 — 201 / 4.42
2006 — 271 / 5.84

Source:
1. WHO Regional Office for Europe – CISID

Luxembourg: HIV Cases 1990 – 2006

HIV cases reported from year 1990 to 2006 in Luxembourg:

Year — Total Cases / Cases per 100 000 population
1990 — 20 / 5.24
1991 — 42 / 10.86
1992 — 40 / 10.2
1993 — 24 / 6.03
1994 — 26 / 6.44
1995 — 30 / 7.32
1996 — 25 / 6.02
1997 — 22 / 5.23
1998 — 29 / 6.81
1999 — 30 / 6.95
2000 — 43 / 9.84
2001 — 41 / 9.27
2002 — 33 / 7.37
2003 — 47 / 10.38
2004 — 60 / 13.09
2005 — 63 / 13.59
2006 — 56 / 11.89

Source:
1. WHO Regional Office for Europe – CISID

Picture: Macro Flower

Stockholm Spring 05.2008, originally uploaded by micpohling.

…with my new macro lense Nikon 2.8D 60mm 😛

Weekly Highlight: 27.05.2008

Denmark:

Students scorn science subjects
21.05.2008

A report shows that Denmark will be lacking medical and science professionals in the future unless more secondary school students choose science subjects.
Decreasing numbers of students choosing science subjects in schools will result in fewer doctors, nurses and scientists in the future, according to an Education Ministry report.
The most popular subjects among secondary school students are social studies, while the sciences have experienced a declining interest among the nation’s teenagers with only 31 percent of those starting in secondary school this year choosing science subjects.
A secondary school reform plan was implemented three years ago where the goal was to strengthen the sciences.
Education Minister Bertel Haarder placed responsibility for the development on the lack of political support in parliament. However, Peter Kuhlman, chairman of the association for secondary school principals, thinks otherwise.
According to Kuhlman, the problem lay in students having to choose the direction of their secondary school curriculum during their time in primary schools. Kuhlman said it was possible students needed to wait until they started secondary school before choosing the direction of their studies.
The present procedure means that pupils in primary schools must decide to concentrate on languages or maths during the first year of secondary school, and they must follow that line for the duration of secondary schooling. (LYT)

Finland:

More Fathers Taking Paternity Leave
Published 26.05.2008, 17.07 (updated 26.05.2008, 20.31)

New fathers in Finland are taking paternity leave more frequently. According to the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), the number of men who stay home to care for their children has risen by one-quarter over the past ten years.
Six perecent of paid parental leave days are now taken by dads.
Last year, 51,200 fathers were granted parental leave support, an increase of 26 percent from 1998. During the same period, the number of mothers taking the support increased by just two percent.
Kela has tried to encourage fathers to use paternity leave by improving benefits and flexibility of leave. Parental support is paid to either the mother or father, depending on which parent stays home to care for the child.

Netherlands:

More cash for minority college students
Tuesday 27 May 2008

Education minister Ronald Plasterk is to give five hbo colleges in the Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Utrecht a total of €4m to try to boost the results of students with an ethnic minority background.
The funding will rise to €17m a year by 2011. Statistics show that students with a Turkish, Moroccan or Surinamese background have a high drop-out rate.

Norway:

Protesters rage against gasoline prices at the pump
First published: 23 May 2008, 15:54

A widespread, grass-roots protest has broken out in Norway against high prices for gasoline and diesel. Even though much of the pump price is the result of taxes, the oil companies are getting the blame.
Norwegians are now paying more than NOK 13 a litre (nearly USD 11 a gallon) for gasoline in many markets, and that’s likely to rise.
Market analyst Torbjørn Kjus at DnB Markets told newspaper Dagbladet that he expects oil prices, which hit USD 135 a barrel this week, to hit USD 200 a barrel. That would translate to nearly NOK 17 a litre for gasoline (USD 13.60 a gallon).
Motorists aren’t happy. More than 67,000 took part in an organized protest via the Internet this week, making threats that they’d boycott Norway’s two largest gasoline station chains, Statoil and Shell. They also signed petitions calling for lower prices, and the threatened boycott action was spreading quickly via e-mail.
Norway’s gasoline prices became the highest in Europe this week, somewhat ironic since Norway is an oil-producing nation. But government policies have always aimed to discourage use of private cars in Norway by heavily taxing the cars themselves and the gasoline they need to operate.
While gasoline prices have risen in line with rising oil prices – which mostly benefit Norway’s economy – the brunt of the per-litre price remains the taxes imposed by the state.

Sweden:

More international students choose Swedish universities
Published: 26 May 08 12:02 CET

The last academic year was the first time that the number of international students registered at Swedish universities and colleges topped the number of Swedes studying abroad.
The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskolverket) sees the trend as a problem.
“International experience is part of the competence needed for the labour market into which students will enter. It is ever more global and [studying abroad] is an experience people will come to miss,” said University Chancellor Anders Flodström, who heads the agency.
The flood of students in and out of Sweden has increased steadily over the last several decades. But in recent years, fewer Swedes have applied to study abroad.
And after compiling statistics from the 2006-2007 academic year, the Agency for Higher Education found for the first time that were more international students studying in Sweden than there were Swedes studying abroad, nearly 28,000 compared to 25,600.
Compared to the previous academic year, the number of international students in Sweden increased by nine percent, while the number of Swedes studying in other countries dropped by two percent.
However, the number of Swedes studying abroad has remained relatively constant—at around 26,000—for the last ten years.
Meanwhile, the number of international students as a percentage of the overall higher education student body population in Sweden has more than doubled in the last ten years, from 3.1 percent to 7.3 percent.
In addition to students losing out on valuable contacts and experience in a more globalized economy, Flodström sees a number of other possible problems.
Compared with students from other countries, Swedes more often choose to complete their entire education abroad.
“I can imagine that this may lead to the labour market losing accomplished Swedes who decide to stay overseas when they begin their careers. It’s a sort of brain-drain,” he said.
During the 2006-2007 academic year, the vast majority of Swedish students—around 20,000—arranged their own study abroad experience. The remainder of around 6,000 studied abroad in some form of pre-existing exchange program, with nearly half participating in the European Erasmus program.

Greece: HIV Cases 1990 – 2006

HIV cases reported from year 1990 to 2006 in Greece:

Year — Total Cases / Cases per 100 000 population
1990 — 221 / 2.11
1991 — 260 / 2.48
1992 — 305 / 2.89
1993 — 299 / 2.80
1994 — 245 / 2.35
1995 — 332 / 3.12
1996 — 447 / 4.23
1997 — 518 / 4.92
1998 — 664 / 5.58
1999 — 1180 / 10.36
2000 — 492 / 4.43
2001 — 409 / 3.56
2002 — 396 / 3.52
2003 — 436 / 3.86
2004 — 447 / 3.90
2005 — 564 / 5.11
2006 — 569 / 4.97

Source:
1. WHO Regional Office for Europe – CISID

Picture: Stockholm Spring

Stockholm 05.2008, originally uploaded by micpohling.

Weekly Highlight: 21.05.2008

Denmark:

Language tough for Danish children, too
20.05.2008

The Danish language is a mouthful for the nation’s small children learning to speak their mother tongue.
Foreigners aren’t the only ones who have a hard time learning the Danish language. A new study shows that Danish small children are slower than toddlers in other countries at picking up their native language’s nuances, reports MetroXpress newspaper.
The study, conducted by the University of Southern Denmark’s Centre for Child Language, showed that Danish children on average have a vocabulary of only 80 words at the age of 15 months. Conversely, Swedish children at the same age can handle 130 words, while Croatian toddlers have mastered up to 200.
‘The research shows that by the age of two, Danish children are nearly up to speed,’ said study leader Dorthe Bleses. ‘But it’s good to be aware of the challenge, as some children need to hear words and phrases several times before they get it right.’
According to the study, the primary reason Danish children lag behind in language comprehension is because single words are difficult to extract from Danish’s slurring together of words in sentences. Danish is also one of the languages with the most vowel sounds, which leads to a ‘mushier’ pronunciation of words in everyday conversation.
‘It’s more difficult for a Danish child to figure out where the holes are in a sentence – where one word stops and a new one starts,’ said Bleses. ‘In Swedish the distinction is much clearer.’
The study examined languages in 18 countries, the results of which will be published in an upcoming edition of Cambridge University’s Journal of Child Language. (RC)

Finland:

Shoplifting Hit Record High in 2007
Published 19.05.2008, 08.40

Shoplifting hit a record high last year in Finland, reports the newspaper Keskisuomalainen. Police say that over 45,000 cases of shoplifting and petty theft occurred last year. The number has grown by 25 percent in ten years, and is 77 percent higher than 20 years ago. Some 16 percent of thieves were minors last year.
According to police, self-service shops have made shoplifting easier. However, improved surveillance has led to an increase in apprehending thieves.

MeThink: 120 000 Hits!

Hehey, another milestone for me!

10-06-2007: 10 000 hits.
04-09-2007: 20 000 hits.
21-10-2007: 30 000 hits.
25-11-2007: 40 000 hits.
25-12-2007: 50 000 hits.
27-01-2008: 60 000 hits.
21-02-2008: 70 000 hits.
11-03-2008: 80 000 hits.
28-03-2008: 90 000 hits.
14-04-2008: 100 000 hits.
30-04-2008: 110 000 hits.
18-05-2008: 120 000 hits!!!!!!

Picture: More Tulips

Stockholm Spring 05.2008, originally uploaded by micpohling.

Iceland: HIV Cases 1990 – 2006

HIV cases reported from year 1990 to 2006 in Iceland:

Year — Total Cases / Cases per 100 000 population
1990 — 5 / 1.96
1991 — 10 / 3.89
1992 — 11 / 4.23
1993 — 3 / 1.14
1994 — 8 / 3.02
1995 — 7 / 2.62
1996 — 6 / 2.22
1997 — 9 / 3.30
1998 — 8 / 2.91
1999 — 12 / 4.33
2000 — 10 / 3.58
2001 — 11 / 3.91
2002 — 7 / 2.47
2003 — 10 / 3.51
2004 — 5 / 1.74
2005 — 8 / 2.77
2006 — 11 / 3.70

Source:
1. WHO Regional Office for Europe – CISID

Ireland: HIV Cases 1990 – 2006

HIV cases reported from year 1990 to 2006 in Ireland:

Year — Total Cases / Cases per 100 000 population
1990 — 105 /
1991 — 89 /
1992 — 195 /
1993 — 127 /
1994 — 80 /
1995 — 91 /
1996 — 101 /
1997 — 110 /
1998 — 120 / 2.15
1999 — 190 / 2.98
2000 — 290 / 7.60
2001 — 299 / 7.71
2002 — 364 / 9.36
2003 — 399 / 10.17
2004 — 356 / 8.93
2005 — 318 / 7.97
2006 — 337 / 7.96

Source:
1. WHO Regional Office for Europe – CISID

Picture: Tulip in Neighbourhood

Stockholm Spring 05.2008, originally uploaded by micpohling.

Tulips around the neighbourhood.

Germany: HIV Cases 1993 – 2006

HIV cases reported from year 1990 to 2006 in Germany:

Year — Total Cases / Cases per 100 000 population
1993 — 2407 / 2.66
1994 — 2310 / 2.64
1995 — 2174 / 2.46
1996 — 1967 / 2.27
1997 — 2014 / 2.36
1998 — 2210 / 2.58
1999 — 1786 / 2.10
2000 — 1684 / 1.98
2001 — 1308 / 1.55
2002 — 1867 / 2.22
2003 — 1902 / 2.24
2004 — 2237 / 2.66
2005 — 2433 / 2.90
2006 — 2718 / 3.24

Source:
1. WHO Regional Office for Europe – CISID

Picture: Sakura in Kista

Sakura in Kista 04.2008, originally uploaded by micpohling.

Near to my workplace… Was having lunch under the cherry trees, just like the old Japan days 🙂

Weekly Highlight: 06.05.2008

Denmark: no more free school choice?

Free school choice to end
02.05.2008

A majority in Copenhagen’s city council are ready to put an end to parents’ ability to send their children to the school of their choice.
Free choice of city schools for primary and secondary school students will be a thing of the past if city council passes a new proposal to limit children to two or three local educational facilities, reports Berlingske Tidende newspaper.
Currently, parents may send their kids to any school lying within Copenhagen municipality. But a majority in city council are set to change that in the interests of furthering integration.
‘If we’re going to have a real community school, then everyone in the local districts should be represented,’ said Jan Andreasen, Social Democratic member of the city’s Children and Youth Committee. ‘Integration will only succeed if parents don’t flee from their local schools.’
Many parents of children with ethnic Danish background do not want to send their children to schools where many of the students are Muslim, while Muslim parents are often hesitant to break the pattern of sending their children to the same schools.
Parents’ organisation School and Society indicated it doesn’t believe that forced integration is a solution to the problem.
‘We already have a very large number of parents applying to send their kids to private schools and I think this proposal would just make the situation even worse,’ said the organisation’s president, Thomas Damkjær Petersen.
The proposal will be taken up in the Children and Youth Committee before being sent on to the Education Ministry, where its approval would mean a law change. (RC)

Finland:

Midwives Call for More Natural Births
Published 06.05.2008, 10.56 (updated 06.05.2008, 10.59)

All births in Finland are treated as though they are high-risk, according to the Federation of Finnish Midwives. The group says that Finland provides too many unnecessary caesarean sections, induced labours and epidurals.
In Finland, 70 percent of women giving birth for the first time receive an epidural, while 20 percent undergo a C-section. Meanwhile, half of all women receive an epidural. Just one decade ago, only around one-quarter of women underwent a C-section. Furthermore, hospitals vary considerably in their practices.
According to the federation, hospitals cater too much to patients.
“It’s unnecessary to administer an epidural to a mother who demands one when there is no medical reason to give it to her,” says the director of the federation, Terhi Virtanen.
“If an epidural is given too early, the birthing process can be halted. Then medications are needed to speed up the birth, which can lead to assisted suction deliveries and serious tears,” she adds.
Virtanen says women who have previously had C-sections are the most frequent recipients of the operation.
The federation has prepared a report on natural births. It says it hopes to work with physicians to compile recommendations for handling low risk births.

Netherlands:

Cabinet to tackle high baby death rate
Tuesday 06 May 2008

Health minister Ab Klink is working on plans to try to tackle the death rate for new born babies in the Netherlands, which some say is high among western European countries, the NRC reports on Tuesday.
‘Of every 1,000 babies, 13.4 die during the pregnancy or in the first month after birth,’ the paper says, quoting health council figures.
Klink is setting up a special committee which will be charged with reducing the baby death rate, the NRC says. In the meantime, he wants to involve social and healthcare groups in improving help to parents. The plans are contained in a concept letter which is circulating in medical circles.
Klink stressed that the Dutch tradition of encouraging home births was not at issue. ‘Far too many women, gynaecologists and researchers think it is a good institution,’ the paper quoted Klink as saying. ‘Home births cannot be regarded as being responsible for the higher baby death rate.’
In particular, Klink thinks improving prenatal care to immigrants and low-skilled households will bring positive results, the NRC says.

Norway:

Norwegians stump out cigs at record rate
First published: 05 May 2008, 12:45

In 1976, four out of 10 Norwegians smoked cigarettes daily. In 2007, the number had sunk to 2 out of 10.
“There’s no other country that has a faster rate of reducing smoking than Norway,” said Karl Erik Lund, a researcher in the Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS).
He attributes this to a combination of official campaigns, increasing restrictions and high taxes. But he also says the symbolic idea of smoking has “turned upside down – from positive to negative.”
More women than men smoke in Norway now. While 23 percent of women say they smoke daily, 21 percent of men say they do.
However, the amount of men who use snuff has been growing rapidly. Among men between 16 and 44 years, there has been a tripling of snuff use since 1985.
Lund also thinks the smoking numbers will continue to fall.
“There is nothing that indicates we have met the bottom of the smokers yet. The number of smokers will continue to go down in the years that come. It is natural to believe that we will come down towards the 5-10 percent level of daily smokers in Norway,” he said.

Sweden:

Swedish for Immigrants enrolment hits all time high
Published: 4 May 08 10:17 CET

65,222 students attended Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) courses in 2007. The highest number ever and 24 percent up on 2006.
The number of beginners starting SFI courses in the 2006/07 academic year was the highest since 1993/94 when 35,500 signed up.
Over 130 language groups were represented in the 2006/07 academic year. Arabic was the most common mother tongue, with over 20 percent of students speaking Arabic as a first language. Many of the languages were spoken by only a handful of students.
62 percent of the beginners who started SFI courses in 2004/05 passed one of their courses and of those almost half gained top grades.
The level of prior education varies greatly among SFI students. The Swedish Board of Education (Skolverket) reported in a memorandum that there is a close correlation between the basic education of students and success in the SFI course.
Those with Polish as a mother tongue typically had the highest number of years of basic school education with over 90 percent having a minimum of 10 years school education before signing up for the course. Only 20 percent of those of Somali origin had more than 10 years school education.
The Board’s statistics also indicated that younger students proved more successful than older and that there were clear differences among different language groups depending on the similarity of their mother tongue to Swedish.
The average age of SFI students in 2006/07 was 32-years-old and 57 percent of the students were women.
SFI courses were offered in 251 of Sweden’s 290 local authorities in 2006/07.

Finland: HIV Cases 1990 – 2006

HIV cases reported from year 1990 to 2006 in Finland:

Year — Total Cases / Cases per 100 000 population
1990 — 89 / 1.78
1991 — 57 / 1.14
1992 — 93 / 1.85
1993 — 62 / 1.23
1994 — 69 / 1.36
1995 — 72 / 1.41
1996 — 69 / 1.35
1997 — 71 / 1.38
1998 — 80 / 1.55
1999 — 142 / 2.75
2000 — 145 / 2.80
2001 — 127 / 2.45
2002 — 129 / 2.49
2003 — 133 / 2.56
2004 — 128 / 2.47
2005 — 138 / 2.66
2006 — 195 / 3.71

Source:
1. WHO Regional Office for Europe – CISID

Denmark: HIV Cases 1990 – 2006

HIV cases reported from year 1990 to 2006 in Denmark:

Year — Total Cases / Cases per 100 000 population
1990 — 139 / 0.02
1991 — 327 / 0.06
1992 — 336 / 6.00
1993 — 325 / 6.17
1994 — 318 / 6.09
1995 — 307 / 5.87
1996 — 258 / 4.88
1997 — 288 / 5.39
1998 — 199 / 3.73
1999 — 286 / 5.35
2000 — 255 / 4.66
2001 — 321 / 5.87
2002 — 292 / 5.33
2003 — 259 / 4.82
2004 — 308 / 5.67
2005 — 283 / 5.02
2006 — 245 / 4.15

Source:
1. WHO Regional Office for Europe – CISID

MeThink: 110 000 Hits!

Hehey, getting not bad 😛

10-06-2007: 10 000 hits.
04-09-2007: 20 000 hits.
21-10-2007: 30 000 hits.
25-11-2007: 40 000 hits.
25-12-2007: 50 000 hits.
27-01-2008: 60 000 hits.
21-02-2008: 70 000 hits.
11-03-2008: 80 000 hits.
28-03-2008: 90 000 hits.
14-04-2008: 100 000 hits.
30-04-2008: 110 000 hits!!!!!!!