Mood Board

Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock’s droll irony crafts one of the better pitches I’ve seen.

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How to Open a Milk Carton in Sweden

How To Open Milk in Sweden

A few weeks ago I was in the kitchen sawing through a milk carton with a knife, which was actually my go-to method for opening them. The Swedish milk carton has beguiled us for months now, it’s looks simple and it tells you where to tear, but it’s doesn’t tell say that you need to first squeeze the carton in a certain is-this-milk-going-to-explode-if-I-do-this kind of way. The cartons are small, so we go through them quickly, which has afforded me many an opportunity to ponder ideas like If Swedes are known for considered functional design, how can this be a Swedish product? Is it possible that this package design predates that school of thought? The cartons are also slippery, so when a particularly big splash of milk hit me after a fairly aggressive saw, I took a moment to stop and officially resign myself to the fact that I might never know how to correctly open one of these cartons, and should instead start asking myself how I might learn to saw it open more gracefully the next time.

It was only recently, at a Swedish friend’s apartment, that I finally learned how these cartons are best opened. The solution feels neither elegant nor “Swedish” in my  2-month-old view of what “Swedishness” is, but it is certainly better than “the saw”, and it’s with some shame that I admit it was unlikely I was going to put it together on my own. So, in the spirit of everyone who has ever contributed to a forum, written a blog post, or answered a Yahoo answer about how to deal with the little things as an American in a Sweden (there are many and I reference them quite often), I submit my own minor contribution, a guide to opening the Swedish milk carton.

Light & Dark

The lamps above by Daniel Rybakken are designed to mimic the effect of sunlight shining through windows and reflecting off surfaces. That’s key for the depths of Swedish winter, where the sun is out for a mere 5 hours a day. (Also, for those who don’t know, Sweden’s long dark winter days are countered by equally long summer days, when it’s dark for only 6 of the day’s 24 hours.) As someone who knows a thing or two about Seasonal Affective Disorder, welcome to the first of what will probably be many posts tagged “Light Therapy”. Via Inhabitat.

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O’ Pioneers

Wieden + Kennedy’s “Go Forth” campaign for Levi’s is an ethnography of America’s unyielding, evergreen optimism, or, a youthful charge declared in the words of Walt Whitman. (Only this year have I truly read Whitman, thanks to a proseful 15-hour documentary about New York. He brandished a big beard and grew up in the woods of Brooklyn, which might explain today’s hipster.)

“America” incorporates the only known recorded sound by Walt Whitman. What splendor! All this energy could have been spent on something more meaningful than jeans. Nonetheless, art is art, is art.

Marc Johns’ Bearded Fish

Beard Fish by Marc Johns

Marc Johns illustrates the absurd.

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