Hip, hip, hurra!
Crown Princess Victoria turned 32 on July 14 with the usual celebrations at Solliden on Öland. But this year was a bit special, because Daniel Westling could openly participate in the ovations for the first time. It was actually unclear whether or not Daniel would be there, but sure enough at 2:30 p.m. Victoria, dressed in a lilac, soft dress and Daniel, in a pale grey suit and purple tie, beautifully matching her dress, came out together. “It’s so wonderful to see so many people here for my birthday, I know you’ve been waiting a long time”, said the Crown Princess and thanked everybody. King Carl XVI Gustaf called for the customary four cheers and everyone screamed “Hurra!” Just as it should be in other words. Daniel Westling remained a bit in the background when the princess received her flowers and greetings. When asked by the press, he said he felt fine after his kidney transplant, which he had at the end of May. The Crown Princess said it felt particularly good to have Daniel by her side. “I’m so happy that Daniel can be here today. It’s a special day.”

New vaccine guidelines for swine flu.
Socialstyrelsen (The National Board of Health and Welfare) in consultation with Smittskyddsinstitutet (Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control), have decided to change how they handle the spreading of swine flu in Sweden. According to Socialstyrelsen, it is no longer advisable to put all resources into trying to prevent the spreading of the disease, instead focus must be on trying to lessen the effects of the pandemic. Therefore the medical service is encouraged to be more restrictive in writing prescriptions like Tamiflu and Relenza. There’s a risk in overusing, which might lead to resistance to the drugs, as indeed there have been reports of Tamiflu-resistant swine flu from Denmark, Japan, and Hong Kong. “This change means that the medical service is now concentrating on preventive measures for people in the risk groups, meaning those who might get more sick or even die, and those near them,” says Anders Tegnell, director of Smittskyddsenheten. Among those at risk are people with chronic lung diseases, diabetics, and an impaired immunity system as well as pregnant women and children under the age of 2. Sweden has so far reported 187 confirmed cases of swine flu.

Financial help to buy Viagra.
A 30-year old man in Göteborg, will get financial help in order to be able to buy Viagra, a drug that can restore potency. To be able to have sex is seen as part of an adequate standard of living in Sweden. The man in question became impotent while taking medicine to get him out of a 15-year long alcohol or drug abuse, but cannot afford to buy Viagra on his own. How often he is to receive Viagra, is something local authorities have to decide, according to the county administrative court.

Do you buy ecologically?
Do you choose ecological products when shopping? A recent poll done by metro.se shows that 61% of the metro-readers don’t, and 39% do. But the trend to buy ecological products is in fact increasing, in spite of the strained financial situation that persists in Swede. Last year the sales of all things ecological reached record high levels, and during the first quarter of this year, the sales were up 35% compared with last year. Milk is the ecological product that sells the most.

German Shepherd on top.
How many of us can boast with 43 years on the top? Not even Björn Borg can do that. That gives the German Shepherd reason to bark – for 43 years now, the German Shepherd has been the most popular dog breed in Sweden. It is followed by the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever.

Cheaper bed of nails.
Some time ago, Nordstjernan told you about the latest Swedish trend: The bed of nails. Now, the bed of nails is mostly known as a tool for fakirs, but in Sweden many people have hailed it as a miracle remedy for everything from sleeplessness to painful backs. It retails for around 550 SEK (around $70) – so it isn’t exactly cheap. But Jan Hagström from Luleå found a cheaper version. He bought a regular doormat for 39 SEK (around $5). “It’s good to lie down on it for awhile,” he says. Hagström is a retired car salesman and he found the doormat at a supermarket outside Luleå. “I saw that it had the same plastic spikes (as the bed of nails).” After many years in the sales business, Hagström suffers from back pain, especially in the mornings. Then it feels good to lie down for 10-15 minutes on the green doormat, which has almost 2,000 plastic spikes. He has compared it with the expensive bed of nails he bought for his mother. “It’s just as good. Everybody who has tried it comes to the same conclusion. I have already bought another 5 doormats and given them away as gifts to friends of mine,” he says.

Swedish book scandal.
Swedish authors’ agent Hanserik Tönnheim has for many years failed to pay royalties to some of the international companies and authors he works with. He owns author Joyce Carol Oates $107,630 and author Paul Auster $58,940 – hardly peanuts. And Oates and Auster are just two of the authors waiting for their money. Says Tönnheim: “It’s my mistake. I have delayed the payment, that’s true. I don’t know how many authors I owe money, but it’s not like I wasn’t going to pay them. I just got into a spiral and couldn’t find my way out.” It’s unclear what legal consequences Tönnheim’s actions may lead to, but he will no longer carry on his agency.