Sauna, Sisu, and Suicide

Day 3. 23 pages, 10,433 words.

Wump got back from her big Scout Jamboree yesterday. Apparently it was great fun but she missed the TV and maybe also her mum and dad a bit. She even got to be on TV herself! Here’s the link. It’s all in Finnish but you can see her at about 5:40 in, burning stuff with a magnifying glass.

scouts

That’s her in the yellow hat. I can only assume that they’re learning from the Art of Scouts by Smokey Tzu, and that the only way to fight forest fires is to first learn how to start forest fires.

The story is about how shorthanded the Scouts were and how they had a huge sign-up and were looking for more people to act as helpers for this sort of thing. Personally I think that takes a special level of dedication that is functionally indistinguishable from madness, but okay. Anyone who feels they have the right stuff to keep that crazed army of kids intact, by all means sign up. Be a hero.

The first two stories were also amusing. The first was about one of the big main hospitals and its struggle to keep its interior under 30ºC in the heat wave we’re currently experiencing. The temperatures are making it difficult to work, and while surgeries are still going ahead and there’s no current risk to patients due to increased bacterial activity, they’re keeping an eye on things. Air conditioning, up to this point, has largely been something that happens to other countries. Finland is more about hermetically sealing its buildings and ensuring that no heat escapes them in winter. This … may need to change.

The second story was a nice one about how Finland’s suicide rate has dropped dramatically in the past few decades. We are now more or less average, in terms of suicides. According to the reporter, Finland was once known as the land of “sauna, sisu [roughly true grit, but it doesn’t have a truly accurate translation], and itsemurhat [suicides].” I had to have a guffaw at that, but it is true. I seem to recall it was one of the first things I learned about the place (aside from the Madman Festival which doesn’t actually seem to happen anyway). Anyway, things have gotten better and we’re no longer killing ourselves. Sooner or later that will probably put a burden on our economy.

And that’s the news.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while sitting in the carpark after work.

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