Living in a 2D world

The archetypal way of advertising 3D monitors is by showing an object protruding past the frame of the monitor:
Philips 3D monitor

The problem is that this is the one thing you just can’t do on current 3D monitors—the entire effect is dependent on two images being displayed (simultaneously or in close succession, depending on the exact technology) on the monitor. Outside the frame there is nothing to display, so no image, and no 3D effect. For the best effects you want the viewers watching the image from straight ahead (not way off to the side, as shown in the pictures) and towards the centre of the screen, without moving their heads too much. That way you minimise the perspective distorsions, out-of-focus images and perceptual artefacts by the borders, where the stereoscopic effect breaks down.

But of course, in a printed image, how else would you indicate that there is something special with the screen—directly photographing the stereoscopic image would just show a non-marketable blur. (This also means that the resolution in the print image often enough has no relation whatsoever with the actually achievable resolution on the screen.)

Moral: check out the items in person, don’t go by the pictures.


Veckans ord: utskällningsobjekt

Basil Fawltys bil blir ett utskällningsobjekt:


Veckans ord: grenkontakt

Det brudparet önskar sig allra mest är grenkontakt.


Saturday Night Special

We were so pleased with our previous visit to Utö that we already then decided we’d return in the wintertime and booked an Archipelago Weekend.

Saturday morning broke with brilliant sunshine from a cloudless sky glittering on fresh snow and we got out the door in high spirits. This time of year there is no ship connection all the way from Stockholm to Utö, instead we had to take the train to Västerhaninge, make a quick sprint to bus 846, which is supposed to leave at the same time as the train arrives at the station, and continue on to Årsta Brygga. Waxholm II was waiting for us at the jetty.

Passing islands in the iceIce and snow.
We crunched our way through a channel of broken ice, passing very secret military installations and a couple of deer running on the ice without any Bambi problems and soon were at Utö.

A birch with a bendSummers are short: Presumably a bird was flying by just as the tree was growing, so that it had to give way.
When we had checked in and checked out our spacious (though still rather cold, as the season had just started) room we went out for a walk. The little group of houses by the harbour, shops closed for the winter, was soon behind us and we found ourselves in a forest where, when we stopped, all that could be heard was little clumps of snow falling off branches and the wind like the sound of a train in the distance.

Spinach soup with mushroom omeletteThis is not your father’s spinach soup.
Eventually we were hungry enough that we returned to the inn and a delightful lunch. After lunch we trudged in the snow up to the old windmill and then across the island to the nearby swimming cove. When we returned we found we’d covered two kilometres in as many hours. We decided it must have been good exercise. We returned to our room to dry our snowy clothes and rest a bit. We saw an episode of Merlin and groaned and moaned at the anachronisms and the hackneyed dialogue. The reason for Honeybuns’ big bag was made clear to me as she changed for dinner. I felt very scruffy in comparison.

The dinner was every bit as excellent as the lunch, and specially made for us. We got our favourite corner table where we could look out over the sea and see the lights of the mainland in the far distance. After dinner we sat in the big leather sofas in the lounge and read the books we’d brought. Eventually we walked and slipped down the hill under the starry sky to our room, where we soon fell asleep.

Electricity and WLANThese days, mooring your sailboat requires not just electricity but also WLAN.
The morning was overcast and foggy but we got up early for breakfast and dawdled an hour or two over it. Then we went to explore the harbour and the road in the other direction. Another excellent bespoke lunch, with ingredients we’d never seen in combination before and then we had an hour to relax before our ship came in. This day the sound as it moved was slushier.

On the way we passed what seemed to be the carcass of a yearling elk on the ice, picked at by ravens. At least they would not have to starve for a while.


Today, 67 years ago — V

My copy of Friday’s paper is incomplete, but here are some of the news reported:
  • Japanese troop transports en route to New Guinea have been sunk with horrendous losses of life in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. [To make sure that no Japanese soldiers would get to their destination, US ships were ordered to machine-gun survivors in the water.]
  • The thaw is turning the Eastern front to mud. German troops are encircling a Soviet army near Charkov, but Soviet forces are pushing back the Germans along the front from Ilmen to Orel. British commentators see this as a sign of the Germans pulling back forces in order to prepare for an Anglo-American invasion.
  • Hard fighting continues in Tunisia.
  • Both British night bombers and US day bombers have bombed German targets the previous day.
  • While the German bomb raid against London was very limited, 178 people were killed when a woman stumbled in the stairs to an air raid shelter and the crowd rushing in from the street fell over her.
  • Sweden harbours some 13000 refugees, of which 9000 from Norway.
  • Professor Linkomies has managed to form a new Finnish government, which is presented. [This government would make several peace offers towards the Soviet Union during the following year, but Soviet counterdemands were deemed unacceptable.] Foreign editor Johannnes Wickman analyses the political situation Finland has ended up in, rather critically. Having aligned with Nazi Germany is not an optimal choice.
  • The tradition of called-up conscripts turning up dead drunk must stop.
  • Zarah Leander’s Berlin house has been bombed and she moves back to her manor in Sweden.
  • Nancy and Sluggo continue their metall collecting—even in the haunted house. The mountain lion turns on King’s would-be saviour, a shot is fired…
  • LM Ericsson’s burglar alarms automatically call the police.

A reaction I've had when reading these old papers is that news travelled surprisingly fast—reports from the other end of the Earth are there in the next day’s paper, implying that transoceanic phone cables remain active in spite of the war or that news bureaus have access to radio communications. Very little effort is spent on layout: the news items wrap around the ads, necessitating a search for where on the page a broken column continues, with no visual indication thereof. Many articles are pseudonymous, even though most readers presumably know who’s behind the signature.

Veckans ord: matochist

Jag äter gärna kryddstark mat även om det gör ont i munnen, jag är matochist.


Today, 67 years ago — IV

The pick of the day’s news:
  • Luftwaffe attempts a raid against London in retaliation for the “Jewish air terror” the night before, but are forced back by intense AA fire.
  • Hitler has proclaimed that all Jews in Europe will be finally exterminated. Das Schwarze Korps considers this a just punishment for the Jews having started World War I.
  • German troops have retreated at Demyansk and Rzhev faced with overwhelming numerical superiority. German forces however advance at Slavyansk. The Germans also retreat in Tunisia, chased by British troops.
  • The Royal Navy has built 900 ships since the beginning of the war, reports First Lord of the Admiralty Alexander. US Secretary for the Navy Frank Knox warns that the US Navy has to expect personnel losses of ten percent.
  • Only 10% of the Swedish people expect the war to last two more years. Axis propaganda argues that time is on their side, as the Allies surely cannot hold out much longer.
  • Hakkila was not able to form a government either, now Edwin Linkomies gets the chance.
  • Touched by the letter from the sailor’s widow, an anonymous donor gives a large sum to the National Fund for the Victims of the Sea War.
  • Zarah Leander’s latest film Damals is a great success at its Berlin opening. Greer Garson receives an Academy Award for her role as Mrs Miniver. [Her acceptance speech was the longest ever at 5:30 minutes.]
  • Svend Asmussen has been forced to cancel his tour in Sweden as he has been denied an exit visa. His orchestra has received their permits, but won’t leave without him.
  • Burglars have attempted to steal clothes at Helgagatan 36 but been frightened and left with only a pair of boots.
  • 70 participants have already registered for Vasaloppet the following week. [In 2010 the number of participants is 56000.]
  • Nancy and Sluggo continue to steal scrap metal on behalf of the war effort. King realises his gun is unloaded but one of the suspicious-looking figures from before turns up at the last moment with his rifle.
  • Cederroths introduce delicious Cedrox carrot flakes.


Today, 67 years ago — III

The pick of this day’s news:
  • RAF bombers have undertaken the largest raid yet against Berlin. No Swedes have been injured.
  • German and Soviet forces both advance on different front segments. Likewise both Allied and Axis forces gain smaller victories on the North African front.
  • Italian troops are brought home from the Eastern front. On the other hand up to 2 million Italian workers are to be sent to Germany to work in the war industry.
  • The leader suggests that Social Democratic arguments for the necessity of German troop transports through Sweden are disingenious and that said transports should be stopped immediately.
  • In a surprise development Speaker of the Parliament Väinö Hakkila will establish the new Finnish government. The issue of a separate peace in Finland is a hot topic everywhere except in Germany, where the mere idea of an ally throwing in the towel is unthinkable. [Finland fought on for another 18 months before being forced to sue for peace.]
  • HMS Sussex is reported to have sunk an enemy tanker [the German supply ship Hohenfriedberg] but could not stay to pick up any survivors due to intense U-boat action.
  • A rally in support of European Jews has been held in Madison Square Garden. A treaty has been signed between Great Britain and Bulgaria, allowing 8000 Bulgarian Jews to emigrate to British Palestine. [This emigration does not seem to have taken place.]
  • 150 Norwegian political prisoners are transported to Germany. [At least the ones mentioned by name did survive their ordeal.] A dozen persons hijacked a Norwegian passenger ship and set course for Britain, but were sunk by German aircraft.
  • Japanese POWs riot, 48 are shot to death.
  • The parliamentary savings commission suggests a number of points where public expenses may be decreased. The commission even dares question alcohol rationing, the bookkeeping of which costs 2.5 MSEK a year.
  • A “picture telegraph” connection between Stockholm and New York has been inagurated, minimum cost is 300 SEK per picture. (Remember: that’s about the price of a radio set.)
  • A Siemens electron microscope has been ordered for Uppsala University for the study of viruses.
  • Mahatma Gandhi breaks a 21-day hunger strike, yet without having been released from prison.
  • Alexandre Yersin, discoverer of the plague bacillus, has passed away at the age of 90.
  • KSAK collects money for the upkeep of an orphanage for the children of killed Finnish flyers.
  • The stormy weather has caused many accidents and fires and several trains have been damaged and railways blocked by fallen trees and debris.
  • Due to the unsteady weather conditions, waxing has been an issue in the recent ski competitions in Östersund: “Waxing is a problem and seems to remain so until skis are made of some new and so far unknown material.” [Well, even with modern materials, correct waxing is paramount in competitions.]
  • The telephone exchanges in Bromsten and Spånga will be replaced by automatic units later in the week.
  • Nancy continues to collect scrap metal and the mountain lion finally jumps at King.
  • A.-B. Aerotransport proudly proclaims their role in getting the national football team to Berlin the year before.
  • Ragnar Frunck is already at it’s classic address at S:t Eriksgatan, but hasn’t begun selling saunas yet. Bahco on the other hand present a kit for turning your bathtub into a sauna.
  • Buy the photo-copying machine Rectophot from Oscar Sundin.


Today, 67 years ago — II

The pick of the day’s news:
  • A small item reports the bombing of Norsk Hydro’s Plant in Rjukan. It is noted that while owned by I.G. Farben-Industrie, Marcus Wallenberg is chairman of the board for the plant. [The significance of this attack was not clear at the time, DN assumes that the target was the production of nitrogen compounds used for explosives. In fact this was Operation Gunnerside, which successfully stopped the production of heavy water intended for the German nuclear weapons programme.]
  • The re-elected president Risto Ryti swore the oath of fealty to the constitution on the Monday. In his installation speech he underlined Finland’s desire for peace, but that there had been no other option but to go to war to defend its independence and no end was in sight. This is considered insufficient to gain the favour of the United States in future peace negotiations. A new government had not been appointed yet; Tyko Reinikka was a possible candidate for the post as prime minister. At the same time a Soviet attack by Rukajärvi was routed.
  • Soviet troops have gone on the offensive near Lake Ilmen and after a week’s battle forced back the Germans. The Germans report they have repelled Soviet troops by Donets.
  • The Soviet government refuses Polish demands to return Soviet-occupied areas after the war on the grounds that those belong to the Ukrainian and Belarussian peoples.
  • The latest bomb raids on Germany suggest that British and US bombers will soon be able to conduct around-the-clock bombing campaigns in preparation for the eventual invasion of the continent. No Swedes have been injured in the bombing of Cologne.
  • 250000 additional French workers will be called to the German war industry.
  • Japanese forces prepare an offensive against Australia, seemingly undaunted by their losses in the Battle of the Coral Sea.
  • The Royal Navy has over the course of the last few years raised sunk ships in order to reuse the steel. The amount of metal retrieved up to now corresponds to 12–20 new cruisers. The latest ship raised is HMS Caledonia. [Interestingly enough originally built as SS Bismarck by Blohm & Voß.]
  • Both Churchill and Roosevelt have recovered after respective periods of ill health.
  • The earlier mentioned new rationing cards will be handed out at a number of places around Stockholm, predominantly schools, starting the next day.
  • Applicants who can prove their tobacco consumption will get increased tobacco rations in exchange for their coffee/tea rations. [It would probably go against the grain of something to be allowed to choose between tobacco and coffee, you have to apply for it or society will crumble.]
  • The demands by the Chief of the Air Force for a separate military weather service are rejected by the State Meteorological and Hydrological Institute—there simply are no additional meterorologists to be employed, as the state has neglected training new ones for a long time.
  • A leader considers the National Board of Health’s treatment of Dr Befrits to be legally questionable, the matter seems to simply hinge on the lack of a registered midwife at his clinic.
  • The road to Anjan is unpassable due to several days’ blizzard. A number of tourists are snowed in.
  • A prisoner, arrested for vagrancy escaped during transport in Västerås. The escorting police officer fire several shots at the escapee, without hitting. The prisoner was eventually apprehended.
  • Amusement and dismay in Aalborg where the local prophet Gabriel Mikkelsen has announced the end of the world, which however has failed to take place. Mr Mikkelsen has made himself scarce.
  • Yesterday’s film openings are reviewed, most get favourable reviews, but Суворов comes across as a clichéd propaganda piece.
  • Södersjukhuset, Stockholm’s latest hospital has opened and is a wonder of modern medical advances.
  • An anonymous lady is upset and embarrassed that only worn, and well-worn at that, clothes are allowed to be sent as emergency help to Norway. A sailor’s widow suggests that collected funds rather be used to support widows and orphans than for the building of a memorial to dead sailors.
  • ELD has already been writing causeries on Namn och Nytt for a decade and will continue to do so for four more. This day he mentions the current debate on letting married women retain their maiden names.
  • On the comics page Nancy and Sluggo continue collecting scrap metal for the war effort and we find King being threatened by a mountain lion.
  • The two doctors on call for the inner city of Stockholm this night are announced, they can be reached by telephone.
  • Nordiska Kompaniet will demonstrate how to prepare good and nourishing vegetable meals.
  • Ljusne-Woxna AB advertise their ”Ljusne Board” with excellent insulation properties.
  • If the war is wearing you down, you should ingest PHOSPHO-ENERGON, prepared from healthy brain and nerve tissue. [Whose?]


Today, 67 years ago — I

Martin R, the archaeologuy, found a stash of old issues of Dagens Nyheter and gave them to me. I have been reading them and it is now exactly 67 years since these news were published:
  • 17 Norwegians have been executed for sabotage actions. The Church of Norway (apparently in the hold of Nasjonal Samling) offers détente for non-collaborating vicars.
  • Schlesische Zeitung regrets that the public opinion in Sweden now supports the Allies. The unnatural peace policy of Sweden clearly has distorted its priorities, but SZ hopes Sweden will come around to the right side and support the struggle against Communism. On the other hand, conservative Sydsvenska Dagbladet suggest that, while occupied peoples might in principle oppose Communism, they have first hand experience of Nazi concentration camps, deportations, torture and executions and are fighting the evil they know rather than possible evil they don’t know.
  • Bulgarian Jews have been taken to four concentrations camps in the country, but the “worst elements” will be deported to special ghettos in Poland.
  • A Red Army offensive has been stopped by the German Army, 14000 Soviet troops are claimed to have been killed. Henry Shapiro reports from the liberated Charkov which has burnt to the ground by the retreating German troops.
  • Both Allies and Axis proclaim victories in North Africa. The continued Allied pressure on the North African front is a case for concern, says Dr Kirscher at Frankfurter Zeitung, but he is convinced that the Italians are willing to continue the war. [Italy capitulated five months later.]
  • More US citizens are killed by accidents than by the war. Total war losses, including POWs, are 66399.
  • Afternoon “tea dances” are prohibited in Stockholm. [Apparently this has been on the table for a while, as no background is given.] The youth of the city is expected to travel to surrounding municipalities for their Sunday entertainment. The signature Geman professes himself to be a ”swingpjatt” and verbally sketches the dancing youths with their funny nicknames. That they never consume anything stronger than lemonade is made clear.
  • Dr Befrits runs a private maternity clinic and refuses to close it, even though so ordered by the National Board of Health. The association of practising physicians supports Dr Befrits.
  • The Sunday (1943-02-28) was the warmest in a hundred years. The warm weather caused difficulties for the charity bandy match between Sweden and Finland in Helsinki and it ended 0–0. Back in Sweden Hammarby qualified for playing in Division 1.
  • There is always money for gambling, so horse races at Solvalla brought in 400000 SEK, and that’s in 1943 money.
  • Football was played in the UK, England beating Wales 5–3.
  • Tons of dead herring have been scooped out of the sea on the west coast. A mine explosion is the likely culprit.
  • All horse-owners have to report their horses and carriages (rubber wheels to be reported separately) to the authorities yearly, for the planning needs of the defence forces. The lack of rubber is also an important point in the main leader. Indigenous synthetic rubber is being developed, but Sweden is still dependent on imported German Buna rubber.
  • New rationing cards for additional rations of fat to children and teenagers.
  • Colonel Gyllenkrook has written a book on partisan warfare, guerilla warfare being well suited to the Swedish national character.
  • Herbert Tingsten suggests the Nordic countries should eventuelly join in a union. Atos Virtanen [sic] has argued for the same in a lecture in Gothenburg. [Wirtanen was betrothed to Tove Jansson for a period and is the basis for the character of Snufkin.]
  • Martin Allwood and others are elected to the board of the Peace University Foundation and plan for the future.
  • Reader’s Digest has recently started publishing a Swedish edition, which is felt to be rather too American. In particular an article on miracle treatment of polio is compared to a debunking of said treatment by Swedish experts in the magazine Nu.
  • John Wall exhibit “Technology in Miniature”. What might that be?
  • Poppens närande Buljong praise vegetable soup instead of surrogate coffee.
  • Konsum opens a new shop in Helenelund.
  • March is Danish book month; Swedes are exhorted to buy Danish books.
  • Namn och Nytt was a full two-page spread and at this time concerned with debating a proposed co-Nordic spelling reform. putt (pissed off) is revealed to have been only dialectally used in southern Sweden at this time. The Royal Academy of Sciences wants a prohibition against the import of calendars as it cuts into their income. As a result they cannot afford to publish scientific articles in Swedish scientific journals and they therefore have to be published abroad, which is a Bad Thing. [The mind boggles.]
  • På Stan on the other hand is just a single column, which today is about women’s magazines from different countries and their tips on how to repair and reuse clothes, and how to get the most out of available foodstuffs. Mazetti introduces a new egg surrogate.
  • A number of new films open: In Which we Serve, The Reluctant Dragon, Le dernier des six, In This Our Life and Суворов.
  • On the comics page we find Nancy, then still under the title “Fritzi Ritz”, collecting metal for the war effort, and King of the Royal Mounted, who is not visible in person in this strip, even though some nasty-looking bandits are.
  • There is one radio channel, broadcasting from 07:20 to 22:15. A TAKA-572 wireless set cost 320 SEK.