Pretto please.
No, that’s not a typo. Pretto, as in pretentious (intellectually), is the new, hip way to be. When Eric Schüldt was a baby, his father played Wagner to him - that seems to have set the tone for the rest of his life. “It’s like in Asterix,” Schüldt explains, “you know when Obelix was dropped in that potion cauldron as a baby.” I sometimes catch myself thinking about things like the Pythagorean theorem.” Schüldt is the host of the radio show “Livet & döden” (Life & death) as well as the blog “Sorglösheten” (Lightheartedness), which is full of big talking. “Pretto” might have been a bad thing to be in the 1990’s – but today it’s OK, if not hip to be culturally ambitious: The TV-program “Kobra” (an artsy program) is popular, as is the literary show “Babel”. Female fashion bloggers are being taken over by smarter colleagues like author Hanna Hellquist. Another sign that being pretentious is definitely hip, is that the poet Bruno K. Öijer’s last collection of poems “Svart som silver” (Black like silver) became something of a bestseller. Schüldt thinks it has to do with bloggers. “When a lot of Swedes are writing seriously and trying to express themselves, it’s just logic that they begin showing an interest for the written word. Other feel there might be a political aspect to what’s happening. Says critic Andres Lokko: “When Reinfeldt’s love of disco is the cultural norm in Sweden, then it doesn’t take much to seem pretentious.”

Ulveson receives Karamelodiktstipendium.
This year’s Karamelodiktstipendium (founded by Povel Ramel in 1982) goes to Johan Ulveson, comedian and actor. The motivation is as follows: “He has through several decades proven to be a representative of precise comedy”. Ulveson acted in Ramel’s TV series “Affären Ramel”, he also participated in the 1992 revue “Knäpp Igen!” He is well known to a broader audience for several other TV productions like “Ture Sventon, privatdetektiv”, and “Björnes magasin”. The Karamelodiktstipendium is an annual award, given out to one or several Swedish cultural profiles. The recipient receives a sum of money, last year it was 30,000 SEK (roughly $ 4000), and a bag of sweets. According to Ramel, the scholarship made the person “financially independent for the rest of the day”.

Lemon drink with menthe.
When it’s hot you need something refreshing and cool to drink, and water is sometimes a bit too plain. suggests a lemon drink with menthe. The bottled drink will keep for 6 weeks. Mix one part with four parts water. Ingredients: 4 lemons, 5.5 cups sugar, 30 g citric acid, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, and 4 cups water. Wash the lemons; peel them thinly with a potato peeler. Put sugar, lemon peel, and citric acid in a bowl. Squeeze the lemons over everything and add the lemon pulp. Put the mint leaves in the bowl. Bring the water to a boil and pour it over, stir until the sugar has melted. Cover and let sit somewhere cool for 24 hours. Pour the juice over a strainer and pour into clean bottles. Store the bottles in a cool place.

Nationalmuseet closes for renovation.
For seven years the art audience of Stockholm must make do without the National Museum. For years the museum has been hoeplessly worn down, and so it has been decided that in 2011 all collections will be moved out, renovations will commence and the museum will re-open in 2018. The renovated museum will have climate zones, two new subterranean floors and a restaurant and a café with view over Strömmen. That the renovation has been postponed for such a long time, proves lucky. Now mistakes that have been made with similar renovations around Europe can be avoided. Solfrid Söderlind, director of Nationa museet, is pleased. “I never thought it could be so interesting and good,” she said looking over the plans.

Why is it called “älskog”?
What kind of forest is the älskog? The truth of course is that älskog, which means love-making, has nothing to do with a forest (or in Swedish, skog) at all. Älskog is actually a word that’s combined by the words “älska” (to love) and “håg” (inclination): “älsk-håg”. During the years the “h” disappeared leaving the word “älskog”. You can find a similar word in the Danish “elskov”. Now you know!

The Swede behind the Twitter logo.
Do you twitter? Seems a lot of people do these days. Twitter, the free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets, was founded in San Francisco in 2006 and is a worldwide phenomenon that is growing by the hour. The woman behind Twitter’s bubbly blue logo is Linda Gavin from Kalmar. For three days she and a colleague worked at the San Francisco-based office Futurefarmers, producing some 30 logo samples. The one that eventually was picked was one Linda had spent just hours on. “It’s difficult to have to see that logo all the time, I wish I had had an extra day to fix it a bit,” she says. “It’s nevertheless an honor to have been involved.” Linda was paid a fixed salary, but, as she states, no royalties.