Leif Pagrotsky on American Misconceptions of Sweden
Pagrotsky: Well, many Americans think that Swedes commit suicide a lot. We are very depressed. It’s always dark and sometimes you have the atmosphere of a nightmare, and people [describe] their image of Sweden. Although, I must say, it is more and more the other one, the one we discussed a while ago about creativity, curiosity, a place they would like to visit and what kind of places do they like to visit? Well, places that provokes their curiosity. And we are, Sweden is more and more a place that goes against the tide, that chooses individual solutions, that stands for unconventional wisdom, and that attracts attention and curiosity and that, I think, takes over more and more compared to the old one. Perhaps this is a new generation that is shaped by music, film, that brands like IKEA and Volvo, that stands for innovation, creativity, modernity… I hope so, at least, but maybe I’m only the victim of wishful thinking, but this is my attitude here.
Sweden is not just a country of depressed suicidals, says Leif Pagrotsky.
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How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.
- Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
- Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
- As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
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