A wild salmon. Photo: WWF

Finland in the world press

The ways in which traditional knowledge guides protection of planetary health in Finland are brought to the spotlight in an article written by Jane Palmer for Mongabay, published on 31st of March. The article follows a Finnish nonprofit, the Snowchange Cooperative, that started to restore the Linnusuo wetland in North Karelia in 2012. The nonprofit also launched an ambitious project to rewild it in 2017, inviting local traditional villagers to help with the process.

The Snowchange team taught the villagers about the locale, its wetland ecosystem, and how to best care for it. The Linnusuo wetland was rewilded succesfully, creating a haven for biodiversity while also, over time, transforming the wetland from a carbon source into a carbon sink.

Before the project, Linnunsuo peatland released about 400 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Thanks to the Snowchange team and all the collaborators, these emissions stopped and in the future, as new plant and animal life continues taking hold, it will sink about 100 metric tons of the greenhouse gas into its soils for storage.

Although Linnunsuo is relatively small, its sweeping achievement has already inspired other rewilding projects throughout Finland and Scandinavia, and the hope is that local communities will initiate similar schemes throughout the Arctic.

“Such rewilding projects could substantially contribute to solving our climate problem,” says Wouter Helmer, co-founder and former rewilding director of Rewilding Europe. “Not only by helping adaptation on the ground but by avoiding future carbon emissions.”

Original story was published by Mongabay on 31.03.2022 and can be found here.

Shrinking of Wild Salmon in Finland Is ‘Evolution in Action’

We may tend to think of evolution as something that happens slowly over millions of years, but that’s not always the case. When a population of a particular species changes, there can be a variety of possible causes, including climate change or human pressures on a particular ecosystem, such as overfishing.

When a species changes more quickly than traditional views of natural selection would historically allow, it is called “rapid evolution” or “evolution in action.” These sped-up evolutionary processes are due to “the interplay of ecology and evolution as a dynamic interaction in both directions and on contemporary timescales,” which “confirms the paradigm that demographic and evolutionary changes are ultimately entangled,” according to a 2014 study published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Original story was published by EcoWatch on 28.03.2022 and can be found here.

Is Finland really the happiest country in the world? Finns weigh in

For the fifth year in a row, Finland has been named the happiest country in the world by the United Nations-sponsored World Happiness Report. And for the fifth year in a row, I’m surprised. I lived in Finland for a year as a student in the Rotary Youth Exchange program from 2001 to 2002. It was a life-changing experience. I made incredible Finnish friends. I drank too much vodka. I pet a reindeer in Lapland. I saunaed, ice swam and rolled in the snow naked until my pink body looked like a honey-baked ham. It was certainly one of the happiest years of my life. But my Finnish friends? Well, I’m not entirely sure they’ve ever been that happy.

The thing about the Finns, in my experience, is they’re one of the most reserved people on the planet. Blatant signs of glee are not in their playbook. I remember silent breakfasts with my first host father, watching him stare out the window, barely acknowledging my presence. He wasn’t being rude. He was being Finnish.

Original story was published by Anchorage Daily News on 01.04.2022 and can be found here.

When Nokia Pulled Out of Russia, a Vast Surveillance System Remained

Nokia said this month that it would stop its sales in Russia and denounced the invasion of Ukraine. But the Finnish company didn’t mention what it was leaving behind: equipment and software connecting the government’s most powerful tool for digital surveillance to the nation’s largest telecommunications network.

The tool was used to track supporters of the Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny. Investigators said it had intercepted the phone calls of a Kremlin foe who was later assassinated. Called the System for Operative Investigative Activities, or SORM, it is also most likely being employed at this moment as President Vladimir V. Putin culls and silences antiwar voices inside Russia.

Original story was published by The New York Times on 28.03.2022 and can be found here.

The History of Housemarque – from the Finnish Demoscene to PlayStation Studios

Selene’s looping adventure evolved with new gameplay modes when the Returnal Ascension DLC launched last week. The team at Housemarque is thrilled to create new ways for fans to play the challenging-yet-rewarding, arcade-inspired shooter on PS5. In fact, iterating on satisfying gameplay is deeply ingrained in the studio’s culture, starting back in 1994.

I am sure that not everyone reading this blog is aware of our long history as a studio, so please continue to find out more about our story and how we ended up launching Returnal and becoming part of the PlayStation Studios family.

Whether Returnal was your first introduction to Housemarque, or you have played some of our previous games, you might not know that we are the oldest game studio in Finland, founded just a few months before our friends at Remedy, creators of the Alan Wake series and Control.

Original story was published by PlayStation Blog on 28.03.2022 and can be found here.

10 Criminally Underappreciated Finnish Bands To Add To Your Playlist

Finland has been dubbed the "capital of metal." This great country is respected for its emphasis on music education. The Finnish people are defined by their sisu, or "grit," as well as their massive intellects. Thus, it is no surprise that Finland allegedly boasts the most metal bands per capita of any nation. Yet, it is the quality of Finnish music that truly astounds us. We all know and love bands like Children of Bodom, Finntroll, HIM, Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, Ensiferum, and Amorphis. What sane human being could so much as glance upon a bottle of vodka without experiencing a nagging longing for "Korpiklaani and chill" time?! Fear not: If you need to pray for forgiveness for your "Vodka"-fueled misdeeds, metal can also be your salvation. Thanks to the popularization of groups like those mentioned above, Metallimessu, or "Metal Mass," has become a phenomenon among the Finns. Whether you like brutal, fire-breathing outfits like Azaghal or power metal titans like Stratovarius, Finland has something to suit every palette.

Original story was published by Metal Injection on 29.03.2022 and can be found here.

Finland’s path to final disposal of nuclear waste

We look back at Posiva’s four-decade journey leading to an operating licence application and construction of the world’s first deep geological repository

Posiva is an expert organisation responsible for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel of its owners in Finland. Posiva oversees R&D work regarding the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel, as well as the construction and operation of the encapsulation plant and disposal repository.

Site investigations for hosting a deep geological repository, known as the ‘final disposal facility’, were started in the 1980s by Teollisuuden Voima. In 1994 the Finnish Parliament passed a law preventing the export and import of spent nuclear fuel. Hence, the other nuclear power plant operator in Finland, Fortum, joined the final disposal project and a company dedicated for nuclear waste management, Posiva Oy, was established.

Original story was published by Nuclear Engineering International on 31.03.2022 and can be found here.

Halonen's Big Finnish Family | PROSPECT WATCH

The Devil's fan base experienced double digit growth earlier this week with the signing of 23-year-old free agent Brian Halonen.

How? Well, just as much as the right-shot winger's power game and offensive pop has garnered attention, his family background is just as notable: he is one of 11 children of Jim and Carol Halonen.

In a quirk of modern technology, Halonen's surname is often auto-corrected to "alone," a feeling he rarely experienced growing up.

Who says Siri doesn't have a sense of humor?

"It was awesome," he said of growing up. "I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world… whenever I wanted to do something, play sports, there was always somebody to play with."

Brian is the third-oldest, one of seven boys and four girls. The Halonen kids range in age from 26 down to 8. Jim works for Honeywell and Carol operates an insurance brokerage.

"Every one of them is special to me," he said of his large family.

Original story was published by New Jersey Devils on 01.04.2022 and can be found here.