Archive for October, 2005


Top universities in the world – top 10 in Sweden/Japan

Posted by on Friday, 7 October, 2005

Well I just found out that the university I graduated from (Gothenburg University) is ranked among the top 153-202 universities in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2005 edition.

To my my joy I saw that it is ranked higher than Chalmers Institute of Technology, from which my father graduated – and he always praises it as the best university in Sweden…. :-)

What was ranked as the best university in the world? Harvard, closely followed by Cambridge and Stanford.

Here’s the top ten list for Sweden (with the world ranking within parantheses):

  1. Karolinska Institute of Medicine (45)
  2. Uppsala University (60)
  3. Stockholm University (93)
  4. Lund University (99)
  5. Gothenburg University (153-202)
  6. Chalmers Institute of Technology (203-300)
  7. Royal Institute of Technology (203-300)
  8. Swedish University of Agricultural Science (203-300)
  9. Umea University (203-300)
  10. Linkoping University (301-400)
  11. Stockholm School of Economics (301-400)

The corresponding list for Japan looks like this. Japan has many more universities in the Top 500 list, but mainly because they have so many more than Sweden. They only have one more than Sweden in the Top 100:

  1. Tokyo University (20)
  2. Kyoto University (22)
  3. Osaka University (62)
  4. Tohoku University (73)
  5. Tokyo Institute of Technology (93)
  6. Hokkaido University (101-152)
  7. Kyushu University (101-152)
  8. Nagoya University (101-152)
  9. Tsukuba University (101-152)
  10. Hiroshima University (203-300)

Golf club in Japan dedicates room to Annika Sorenstam

Posted by on Thursday, 6 October, 2005

I went to Windsor Park Golf & Country Club in Ibaraki prefecture yesterday to play a round of golf. Windsor Park G&CC is one of the most popular golf courses in the area surrounding Tokyo among foreigners living here. It offers a great golfing experience, great food, and good prices compared with other courses in the area.

Anyway, yesterday when I got my locker room badge and started heading over to the locker rooms, I walked past this sign on the wall of the large hall on the second floor:

Room dedicated to Annika Sorenstam at Windsor

Wow! As a Swede and a big fan of Annika Sorenstam (Sörenstam is the correct Swedish spelling, of course – and they got it right on the sign) I thought this was really great! Thing is, I think they actually named it the “Annika Sorenstam Hall” because of a suggestion from my dad. He mentioned a few weeks ago that he had met a board member of the club and when he heard that they were naming different rooms after great golf players, suggested, perhaps only half seriously, that they name one of the rooms after Annika, since she is one of the all time female golfing greats. He was also pretty surprised that they took his suggestion seriously and went through with it!

By the way, if you’re a Swede (or from another Scandinavian country) and living in Japan and play golf, do check out the Scandinavian Cup which is a bi-annual competition open for Scandinavians living in Japan. The next tournament is on October 21!


Coffee machine observations in Japan

Posted by on Tuesday, 4 October, 2005

Every office has them. You know the type. The people who leave just enough coffee in the machine so they can say “but there was coffee left, so I don’t have to brew any new!” 😐 Lazy bastards, that’s what they are! If you drink the last coffee in the pot, go ahead and friggin refill the machine! It’s so annoying!

Thing is, this problem is compounded in Japan by the “male chauvinist” factor! It seems almost all Japanese men feel it is beneath them to make coffee, so it’s up to the women in the office to brew new coffee when the time comes. This annoys me even more – but being in Japan I guess I should expect no less…

Nothing beats a hot cup of delicious coffee in the morning

I sit right next to the coffee machine here at work, so I get to see these things in action and since the machine is pretty much always in my field of view, it’s hard not to notice trends and so on and start analyzing the whole coffee-brewing thing from a psychological and sociological perspective… Basically, you can divide up the office staff in three types when it comes to fetching coffee:

1) These people head for the coffee machine, but when they (from a distance away) see that there is no coffee in the pot, the casually change course and either walk past the machine (“I wasn’t getting coffee!”) or to the water-cooler next to it (“I wasn’t getting coffee! I was getting a cup of water!”) so that their conscience is clean when it comes to refilling the coffee machine…. Devious people! Hard to say anything too, since they fake lack of interest in the coffee…

2) These people are more honest about their lazyness (or pride) – they simply walk up to the coffee machine, and if there is no coffee in the pot they simply sigh and walk back to their seat. Alternatively, they walk to another coffee machine at another part of the office to try their luck there.

3) The rarest type of people are the ones who actually, upon seeing that the coffee needs refilling, puts on a new pot of coffee! This is so rare but every time someone does it, it’s a joy to see (and smell! Did I tell you I sit right next to the machine?) in my office (and I think it’s the same is virtually every office in Japan) almost only women belong to this group of people. I have seen only two (2) men (out of probably 30 or so sitting in the vicinity of this machine) brew a new pot of coffee; and one of them is a foreigner!

It’s just one more subtle pointer about how badly women are treated in the workplace here in Japan….


Fixed the old links finally….

Posted by on Tuesday, 4 October, 2005

/disregard this post if you hate web technology :-) /

Well I finally fixed the old links here. Just when I set up WordPress for the first time, I used a really really bad permalink structure (it looked like /2004/11/17 etc. where the last figure was the post ID) which I changed to include the post name instead later. But a lot of search engines picked up the old links, and I thought instead of reaching a 404 page, better to redirect the user to the correct page. So with a little .htaccess hacking I made that work.


Little more about The Shining, Redux et al

Posted by on Saturday, 1 October, 2005

Well, after digging a bit more on the Internet about this phenomena which mostly goes under the name “The Shining, Redux”, i.e. the recutting of a Shining trailer to make it look like a romantic comedy or a coming-of-age drama (see my earlier post, below) I found out a little bit more.

The competition is AICE’s (Association of Independent Commercial Editors) annual “Trailer Park” contest.

I don’t know for sure if these entries from Moondog Design are for the same competition or if theybecause they have separate competitions for different AICE offices.

Anyway, go to the Moondog link above, click Paul Lacalandra and click the image which says “ordinary girls…” – that is his remade trailer for Parent Trap (remade to ‘Apparent Trap’). Further, there is another one if you click on Vincent Garguilo and then click on the image with the hand – that is his version of Titanic (not the same Titanic as shown below).

I’d love to see more of these entries, as well as past competitions’ entries as well!!

[EDIT] I guess the whole world knows this already, but I just wanted to add to my statement above, that, “The Apparent Trap” in fact was the runner-up in the same competition as The Shining, i.e. The AICE New York office.