Twelve Facts about Sweden

Since over 33% of the people who view this blog are from Sweden, I thought it would be appropriate to educate the rest of my readers about this fascinating country.  I have never actually been to Sweden, but I have been to Ramstein Air Base in Germany several times, and they are only about 1100 km (18 miles) apart, so I am somewhat of an expert.

Here are some facts about Sweden that you should be aware of:

1. Sweden is a “Nordic” country.  (Nordic means “blond” in English)  Other Nordic countries include “Iceland”, “Swissland”, “Norway”, “Börg”, “Denmark”, “Finland”, “Nordstrom’s,” and “East Germany” .

2. Sweden was originally settled by the Vikings.  There are many websites that go on and on about how awesome Vikings were, so we will not rehash that here. NERD ALERT: If you come across any statements like “Vikings did not actually wear horned helmets, blah blah blah…” STOP READING IMMEDIATELY.  This person is not a real Viking expert, just a jealous geek. Here’s the truth: Vikings not only wore horned helmets, but sometimes helmets with MULTIPLE HORNS.  Like a male deer, this was a good way to tell how old the Viking was. And how deadly. Need proof?  In World War I, German soldiers wore helmets with one horn, and they killed many thousands of people.  But they lost the war.  Just think how deadly they would have been with two or more horns.

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One horn = FAIL

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Two horns = mountain of skulls

3. Despite their warlike past, the Swedes renounced violence about 200 years ago. They picked the perfect time to do so, as most experts on military history would agree that while battle axes and longboats are awesome, they are not nearly as effective as artillery and machine guns.  (However cynics – such as myself – see this move as similar to the time my brother beat me in our first game of “Axis & Allies”, then declared himself the Eternal World Champion and refused to play a rematch)

4. Swedish men are known for their exceptional physical strength.  Besides their Viking heritage, their other secret is the “kilogram”.  It is a scientific fact that a kilogram is heavier than a pound. One kg = 2.205 lbs. (Quick Conversion Tip: multiply by ten, then divide by two.)  For example, when my Swedish buddy told me that he benched 87.5 kg for a set of five, I was not impressed.  Then I did the conversion and realized that he’d lifted 474.833 pounds!  By always lifting in kilograms – never pounds – they become much stronger than American lifters.

bowling
Fact: even their bowling balls are in kilograms!

5. They have a different Olympics than us.  Instead of the regular Olympics – which the US always wins – Sweden participates in a different thing called the “Winter Olympics”.  Details of this shadowy event are hard to come by, but some say they play sports like skiing and skating – and even have real medals!!  This may sound preposterous but I am not making it up.  We must consider that Sweden is covered at all times with snow and ice.  It would be very silly to expect them to run or play soccer in these conditions.

6. Swedish women are the most beautiful in the world.  The below picture of some typical Swedish women out for a Sunday stroll should illustrate that fact nicely:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Middle-aged Swedish housewives, dressed in traditional garb.

7. They are better than us in every statistical category.

  • Literacy?  114% of Swedish adults are literate.  Only 71% of Americans are.  But, only 12% of US adults have read a book in the last ten years.  (And if you don’t count “Harry Potter”, that eliminates all but nine Americans.)
  • Infant Mortality? Sweden has the lowest rate in the world.  It is so low that sometimes women will havë two children at the same time!  (This phenomenon is called “twins”)
  • Health Insurance? Every Swede has health insurance.  In America, 43% of the population does not.  Even worse, 74% believe that health insurance is a nefarious communist plot designed by Obama.

8. Hippies love Sweden.  College professors and other radicals are always rubbing our noses in the above statistics.  “See? Socialism works!” they say.  They are missing one important point: Only eighteen thousand people live in Sweden.  Hey, I know a perfectly happy place governed by two dictators, where half of the population must obey orders or be punished by one of the unelected rulers – it’s called MY HOUSE.  Socialism works in Sweden because everyone knows each other – and is basically good.  In America, where everyone hates each other passionately, it could never succeed.  If socialism came to the US, I would stop working, balloon up to 400 pounds, and sit on the couch all day, collecting my welfare check – just to be a parasite on society and force my enemies to support me.  Hell, a lot of people do that here already.

9. Sweden has a king.  Yes, socialism and a monarch!  This did not work well for Britain in the sixties, but they only had Queen Elizabeth – who probably has never killed anyone and made a drinking bowl from their skull. The king of Sweden is named Carl XVI Gustaf, which is quite a manly name. Also note that he puts the number in the middle – a sign that he does what he pleases and doesn’t care about what other kings think.

I tried to find a picture of the king. I figured he looked something like this:

lynd ward 03 [Beowulf]-e

But this is actually him:

422px-Royal_Wedding_Stockholm_2010-Konserthuset-433

So I was very confused.  But then I realized my error:  Not all kings are warriors.  Clearly, he must be a powerful sorcerer.

10. Swedish is a superior language.  Just look at this: “gårdagens pigga känsla var försvunnen idag och jag släpade mig upp ur sängen”  I don’t speak Swedish, so I don’t actually know what this means.  But it just looks and sounds so epic.  I tried this phrase on a girl at the gym yesterday and she went to the manager and complained that I was “growling gibberish” at her.  The two dots over the letters are called “umlauts” and are used to denote heavy metal bands.  The circles over the A’s are the most impressive.  My Swedish pal told me they were “diacritics” but I think he is pulling my leg. I’m pretty sure they just put them in because they look cool.

11. Many celebrities live in Sweden.  And not just the Swedish Chef, though he is the one every American knows about.  Others include Brock Sampson (“the Swedish murder machine”), Pippi Longstocking, and Woody Woodpecker’s nemesis, Wally Walrus.  Beowulf, Wiglaf and the Dragon were all Swedish (though they are deceased).  However, Grendel and his mother were not.  (though they are also deceased).

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Brock Sampson: half-Swedish, actually

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Left to right: Grendel’s mother and Beowulf.  Combined, they are also half-Swedish.

12.  There are Swedes in America!!!  I found this fact utterly amazing.  Why would anyone leave Sweden voluntarily?  Were they kicked out?  You can ask them yourself – or you could if they didn’t all live in a remote, inaccessible part of the country called “Minnesota,” which is depicted in the film “Fargo.”

Hopefully, you found this information informative.  Perhaps someday you will even have the chance to visit Sweden, our Northern Neighbor!

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One thought on “Twelve Facts about Sweden

  1. haha, very enlightening! I will never look upon this country the same again. I will, however, try to write a few comments in a post of my own later on. with some luck, it will be half as entertaining as this was. 🙂

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