Swedish law will let you write off the money you spend fixing things rather than trashing them

Two men working in a Bicycle repair shop, with tools of the trade.

In Sweden a legislative proposal will let repair shops will charge lower sales-tax, and allow people who repair their appliances and bicycles be to write off their expenditures. Read the rest

Swedish traditional costume made from Ikea bags

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After seeing a picture of the Swedish royals in "folk costumes," she used four blue Ikea bags, one yellow one, and a Ikea Dvala bedsheet to replicate the costume -- she did a brilliant job. Read the rest

Video premiere: music documentary about incredible late-1960s Swedish psych band

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Träd, Gräs och Stenar were a groundbreaking, raw psych jam band from Sweden known for their wild concert/improv happenings where they served organic food they had grown, augmented their droning guitar/bass/drum core with home-brewed instruments, effects, and amps, and encouraged audiences to join their musical fray. Formed in 1968 from the ashes of pioneering groups Persson Sound and International Harvester, Träd, Gräs och Stenar released four proper LPs before disbanding in 1973.

“One of the best heavy-psych-improv-folk-blues-rock bands EVER," says Pavement's Stephen Malkmus about Träd, Gräs och Stenar. "Toss the tired Krautrock and supposed buried treasures of ‘acid folk’ and catch the True Communal Wave!”

Today, the good people at Anthology Recordings are releasing reissues of Träd, Gräs och Stenar's mind-melting recordings, including a limited-edition six LP silkscreened box set of live material, never-before-seen images, reproductions of original flyers, and a digital download with even more tracks. One entire LP in the set comes from unheard tapes that the Anthology folks dug out of founding member Jakob Sjöhol's attic!

To celebrate, we are delighted to premiere Anthology Recordings' short documentary about Träd, Gräs och Stenar, directed by Isak Sjöholm and Jesper Eklöw.

Far fucking out.

Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Anthology Recordings)

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar's cover of "All Along the Watchtower":

Read the rest

Julian Assange had promised to turn himself if the UN ruled his detention lawful

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When a UN panel from the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention upheld Julian Assange's claim that he was being unlawfully detained in London's Ecuadorean embassy, they also stopped Assange from turning himself in to the London police. Read the rest

Never Goodnight: a Swedish punk Peanuts

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In 1982, Coco Moodysson was a 12 year old punk in Sweden, along with her best friend and her best friend's sister. They gave themselves spiky haircuts, started a band called Off to the Alps, wrote a song called "Ecco Shoes" and demanded that the adults in their lives take them seriously.

Meet the Sweden Democrats, a creepy far-right nationalist group

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The Guardian has a video report on the Sweden Democrats, the third largest party in the country, which runs on a platform of blatant racism, anti-immigration, and nationalism. Read the rest

Listen: Movits! Swedish dancehall/swing/hiphop jazz

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Sweden's MOVITS! (presently touring the USA) plays music they call Äppelknyckarjazz ("Apple swiper jazz") that combines big-band swing with hip-hop that's infused with dancehall reggae-style rapping and declaiming (in Swedish). Read the rest

Scary Swedish bedtime stories for awful children

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The creators of the game Year Walk have prepared a special treat for us: a free e-book of Swedish scary stories to tell in the dark.

Pirate Bay down after Swedish police raid

The administrators of The Pirate Bay had previously boasted that their servers were mirrored on cloud hosts all over the world, and that they could be back up and running very quickly after a raid, but the site's been down for a day and more now. Read the rest

Stray dog joins Swedish adventure race

A stray dog joined a Swedish adventure race team competing in Ecuador. That's amazing in and of itself, but what happened after the race finished is just awesome. Stories like this one remind me that there are still good people in the world. Read the rest

Sweden awards Snowden the "Right Livelihood" award

The parliament gave him several standing ovations as he accepted by video-link from Moscow. Read the rest

Pirate Bay and Flattr founder Peter "brokep" Sunde released from prison

He spent more than five months inside, having his reading material censored and having been denied adequate food, losing more than 15kg. Read the rest

A prison visit with The Pirate Bay's Peter "brokep" Sunde

Julia Reda, a German Pirate Party MEP, was allowed to visit Sunde in a Swedish prison, and came away with a sad and important report on his tenure there, and his views on the future of the Internet and copyright. Read the rest

Steampunk spring-heeled jack stiltwalker

Spotted yesterday at the Swecon Steampunkfestival in Gavle, Sweden: a magnificent steampunk spring-heeled jack cosplayer whose stilts were the hit of the show. Read the rest

HOWTO demo your homebrew laser CNC without zapping bystanders

Do you have a home-made, high-powered laser that you fear demonstrating because you might hurt someone? Here's the solution: fit it to a pen-holder/plotter derived from Evil Mad Scientist Labs's Watercolorbot. Read the rest

Pirate Bay co-founder Peter "brokep" Sunde arrested in Sweden

Peter "brokep" Sunde, the Pirate Bay co-founder who also started Flattr and made a bid for the European Parliament on behalf of the Finnish Pirate Party, has been arrested in Sweden. Sunde -- who is a friend of mine -- had been working his way through a series of unsuccessful appeals to his conviction for his role in running the Pirate Bay, which included a €10M fine. Sunde faces an eight-month sentence, which he was meant to begin serving in 2012.

I don't know what's next for Peter; his appeals have always turned on legal complexities that were somewhat esoteric. It may be that this is the last stop for him and that he will have to serve. He's written before about his struggles with depression. I hope that he is safe and as comfortable as he can be under the circumstances, and that he knows that he has friends and fans all over the world who care about what happens to him. Read the rest

Chinese censor prosecuted for taking bribes to censor remarks companies and government officials disliked

Censorship invites abuse. In China, the widespread practice of Internet censorship means that lots of people are authorized to hand down censorship orders and lots more people naturally turn to censorship when something on the Internet bugs them. This week, Chinese authorities prosecuted an "Internet policeman" who took payments from companies in return for censoring unfavorable remarks about them on social media. He's accused of censoring more than 2,500 posts in return for over $300K in payments. He also collaborated with another official to censor critical remarks about government officials. It seems unlikely that Gu, the Internet policeman who was arrested, and Liu, his collaborator, were the only two censors-for-hire in the Chinese system.

Lest you think that this problem is uniquely Chinese, consider that when Wikileaks leaked the Great Firewall of Australia's blacklist, we learned that more the half the sites on the list didn't meet the censorship criteria. And when the Danish and Swedish blacklists were analyzed, it emerged that more than 98 percent of the sites blocked did not meet the official criteria for censorship. And in the UK, the national firewall once blocked all of Wikipedia.

China Prosecuted Internet Policeman In Paid Deletion Cases Read the rest

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