Swede tooth.
It’s called sweet tooth, but it might just as well be Swede tooth. Americans are oftentimes portrayed as the gluttons of the world, but when it comes to candy, especially “lösgodis” (candy sold by the pound), the Swedes are several steps ahead. The end of the week, Friday, is called “fredagsmys” (cozy Friday) in Sweden and it signals that time has come to unwind and reward yourself and your family with something sweet. The problem is, Swedes seem to think of the entire week that way, it’s “måndagsmys”, “tisdagsmys” and “onsdagsmys” too. The result is that Swedes now down 17 kilos (37.4 lbs) of candy per year and person. A book called “Godis åt folket” (Candy for the people) by Thomas Hedlund and André Persson appeared in Swedish bookstores last fall, and it revealed Swedes are now eating more than double the amount of candy they did just 20 years ago, 50% more than the average European Union member, and three times more than is recommended by WHO. In fact, Swedes carry an all-time world record when it comes to eating candy, no one has as sweet a tooth as the Swede. Professor Claude Marcus at Karolinska Institutet researched the size of the candy bags and the results show a marked increase in size. Together with Doctor Stephan Rössner at the department of obesity at Karolinska University hospital, Marcus recently wrote an article about this new statistics. “Twenty years ago, you could barely get a child’s hand into a candy bag, now the bags are so big you can put them over your head. The price of candy has also gone down, while the price of fruit and vegetables have increased,” they wrote. Today many Danes cross the bridge to buy cheaper candy in Sweden, as an effect of the sugar tax that many countries (including Denmark) have introduced. Claude Marcus would like to see such a sugar tax in Sweden, but most political parties are resistant. Swedes are already the world’s greatest consumers of coffee and hard cheese, but now they can add candy (as well as some sweet fruit like bananas) to the list. When WHO pointed a finger at sugar as one of the worst culprits when it comes to cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart-related issues, there was an immediate effect in the sales of candy throughout Scandinavia. That is, everywhere but in Sweden. The Swede happily kept on munching.

Noomi’s looming Hollywood debut.
Swedish actress Noomi Rapace has become famous in the US after her Millenium films premiered here. And film proposals from Hollywood to the Swede have come thick and fast. But the one film that Noomi carefully picked for her Hollywood debut, “Clean Out”, might not happen at all. The action story with a comic touch and with actors like Harvey Keiter, Timothy Dalton and Elliot Gould has turned into a nightmare, thanks to the misappropriation of funds by one of the producers. Luxurious cars have been bought and the funds are now almost depleted even before filming has begun. “It’s hard to kept it all together,” said another producer Kevin DeWalt. Noomi Rapace has not made any comment, and the production company is expected to take the issue to court.

40 years feeling guilty.
According to a report in the local newspaper, Dalademokraten the Dala Democrat, a remorseful but anonymous citizen has returned a wallet he found at a concert—forty years ago. Wanting to ease his conscious since he had not immediately turned the found article over the the police—or the 50 crowns it contained—the much delayed finder recently mailed an envelope (without return address) containing the wallet and his explanation to the local police. In the letter, the contrite person admitted he was inebriated and, worse, broke ... so he spent the money and hid the wallet, which contained the owner's driver's license. The guilty man claimed that due to his intoxicated state, he had forgotten where the wallet was stashed. In his four-decades-late letter, he asked that the owner forgive his transgression. Police said that request would be hard to fulfill, despite the fact that the man enclosed a generous one thousand crowns to replace the fifty he had "loaned." Sadly, the original owner had passed away some time ago, but officers said they would forward the guilt money to surviving relatives.

Breast milk prevents cavities.
Mothers' milk, saliva can hold cavity-causing bacteria in check! Substances in both saliva and breast milk can prevent bacteria from attacking tooth surfaces, asserted Liza Danielsson Niemi in her dissertation at Umeå University last week. Bacteria gains a foothold on cells by adhering to receptors in the host. Part of the human milk protein - beta-casein and lactoferrin - can halt some streptococci from binding themselves to teeth surfaces. Therefore, mothers' milk protects against colonization of such streptococci, which threaten as a risk factor for caries. She also pointed out that the presence of "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria in the mouth. Niemi has found that human saliva contains molecules which are able to attract bacteria. Thereupon, using a protein called staterin, saliva can control the adhesion so that bacteria causing infections are prevented while beneficial varieties are encouraged.

Paper strike ends.
Union and management sign 22 month deals on wages, pensions to end expensive conflict. Stipulating an average wage increase of 3.3% over 22 months, agreements signed late Monday ended the strike between the Swedish paper workers' union (Pappers) and the Forest Industries Association (Skogsindustrierna). "The most important thing for us has been to reach an agreement that allows our businesses to cope with the competition in the international market. We have succeeded with that," said Marie S. Arwidson, President of the forestry business association. Besides increased salaries, the new new offer also includes a minimum wage clause for paper workers whose pay is less than SEK 21,300 ($2,975) per month, deferred payment of pension contracts and stronger bargaining rights for the individual when the manpower agencies are involved. "Our highest priority now is to restart our factories and regain the trust of our customers. This strike has cost Sweden more than half a billion crowns in lost export revenues," stated Arwidson. Source: Skogsindustrierna

Sweden’s most expensive homes.
Nordstjernan recently reported that Sweden’s greatest share of well-educated people is to be found in Danderyd, and it certainly looks like education pays off, because Djursholm in Danderyd municipality, north of Stockholm, has the most expensive homes in all of Sweden. The four most expensive homes are assessed at between 25.6 - 32 million SEK ($3,568,429.17 - $4,459,794.45). All these four, as well as an additional ten homes, are located in Djursholm. Some streets are better than others, 7 of the 20 most valued homes can be found on Väringavägen and Framnäsvägen. Roxette frontman Per Gessle’s home is on the fifth place on the list, assessed at 24 million SEK ($3,345,492.181) but his is an outsider, as it is not located in Djursholm but Halmstad, situated at the mouth of the river Nissan in the province of Halland on the Swedish west coast. You can find former ABBA-member Björn Ulvaeus in Djursholm, on the other hand, and his home is worth 18.9 million SEK ($2,634,771,857). All according to Swedish business daily Dagens Industri.

It’s over.
Over the weekend the royal Swedish court announced that Princess Madeleine has broken up with fiancé Jonas Bergström. The statement of the royal family’s website says: “After careful consideration, Princess Madeleine and Mr Jonas Bergström have made a joint decision to separate. They have come to the conclusion that a separation is the best course of action for them both. Princess Madeleine and Mr Jonas Bergström would like to appeal to the media to show respect and consideration in light of their decision.” Madeleine and Jonas were a couple for 8 years, and announced their engagement at Solliden on Öland last August. He had proposed to her on the island of Capri and the couple shared an apartment in Stockholm. Due to the Swedish constitution, the government would have had to refer to Bergström as “Prince” had the couple married. The break-up came at the heels of Norwegian Tora Uppstrøm Berg’s public revelations that she and Bergström spent a hot night together last April. Uppstrøm Berg reportedly received 12,500 NOK ($2,121) from the Norwegian magazine “Se og Hør” to tell her story. When the court came with the announcement, Princess Madeleine had already boarded a plane on her way to New York City, where she will now spend a couple of weeks working with Queen Silvia’s World Childhood Foundation.