en Finlandia

The art of living in Finland

Turn the crisis into impulse

Saturday July 4th, 2009. 11:15 AM.[Ads].


Related: Einstein’s thoughts on crisis..
Vía Sarai en Briefblog

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Beta Testing

Friday July 3rd, 2009. 02:45 AM.[Funny].

I’m suscribed to Dilbert Strips by RSS (1 by day). They have an unique humor:

A trillion of these.

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Rutine sucks

Thursday July 2nd, 2009. 12:12 PM.[Ads, Funny].



Made by DDB Brasil for Terra.
It deserves the Silver Lion that won last week in Cannes. (All winners)

Also if you have a minute, you should check Carousel Philips, the campaign that won the Grand Prix in the Film category. Astounding!

Via 4º Derecha, one of my favorites sources for design and curious stuff.

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Summer Solstice in Tampere, Finland

Monday June 29th, 2009. 04:43 AM.[Finland culture, Photos, Summer].

One week ago, 21st of June was Summer solstice, when the day is the longest (daylight) in the year in the northern hemisphere of the Earth.

In Finland is quite impressive for the foreigners that during these days the nights are really short and doesn’t get very dark. It is like a long infinite sunset that never ends and joins with sunrise again. To see the real midsummer night (sun always visible 24 h) you should go to the north of Finland, Lapland.

As you might know, I’m currently living in the city of Tampere, and like I explained in the previous post, I wanted to check the possibilities of the camera Canon A590 with CHDK. So I programmed it to take pictures in short intervales. I left the camera in a tripod in the top of the building I am living in, and I went to sleep (after closing all the curtains)

This is the result of joining 1000 thousand photographs where you can see the Särkänniemi amusement park and the observation tower Näsinneula, an icon of the city of Tampere, which have an expensive rotary restaurant in the top with really nice views.

Song: Télépopmusik - Breathe

Oficially sunset was at 23.11 and sunrise at 3.42 in Tampere.

There is a Spanish film called Los amantes del círculo polar ártico (Lovers of the Arctic Circle, 1998), and part of the film was filmed in Finland. This small clip from this film shows how it is the midsummer in Rovaniemi, in the Finnish Lapland.

The next image was made by Isilmetriel. It’s not real, was computer made, but it shows beautifully the concept of Midsummer night:



Finland? = Such a cold weather, isn’t it?

Saturday June 27th, 2009. 02:54 AM.[Finland culture, Photos, Scandinavia, Summer].

Not always. Summer in Finland exists!. This is the weather for this weekend. Tampere, in the center of Finland, will be 29º today, same temperature than in Costa del Sol, Málaga (Spain).


Full weather page from Aamulehti 27.06.2009 (500 Kb).

* Huomenna = Tomorrow
* Sää = Weather
* Aurinko = Sun

Aurinko dates tells you when is the sunrise and the sunset. You can appreciate a difference between Helsinki and Tampere because of their different latitudes. To see the midnight sun, (”night-without night” in finnish: yötön yö), when the sun is visible for a continuous 24 hours you will have to go to the north, Lapland. For example Rovaniemi, close to the Arctic Circle, midnigt sun is from 6th of June to 6th of July. Of course, more north you go, more days you can see the midnight sun. The extreme is the North Pole with 6 months daytime, 6 months nighttime in the year.


What people do in summer in Tampere? Go to the beach of the lake, their boats/yachts, sauna, fishing,… whatever but try to be all the time they can outside, because summer is short in Finland and you have to take most of it.



Canon A590 + CHDK: supercamera

Friday June 26th, 2009. 01:25 PM.[Photos, Videos].

Since my camera broke at the beginning of this year, after 2 years of “intensive” use and lots of falls!, (Rest in peace)… I was thinking to buy a new one.

What camera to buy, and what money with? Still now I’m looking for job, and life in Finland is not cheap indeed. So with some money I got from my relatives in my birthday I had the chance to buy a new one, and my hope was to jump from a compact camera to a more professional DSLR Digital single-lens reflex camera.

There are 2 problems: DSLR prices start around 500 €, and these cameras are meant only to take quality photographs, so forget about recording video, something that I appreciate in a camera. This was a problem during many years until 2008, when Canon released the Cannon EOS 5D Mark II,(>1500€) and Canon 500D (> 800€) both with HD Video… great, but so expensive still. Like always happens in hardware technology, these features will be seen in 2 years at afordable prices, and probably in 4 years even in normal mobile phones. So I will wait.

But in the meanwhile I found a reasonable solution: the compact camera Canon Powershot A590 (129 € in Verkkokaupa Tampere) + CHDK.
Before choosing a camera, always I recommend people who ask me advice to read analysis of cameras at Camera Labs and DC Resource, where they test them and give real opinions with pro’s & con’s.


The main reason to choose this model A590, even is a old model (2008) and has been replaced by the thiner Canon 1000 IS, it’s that is supported by CHDK

What is CHDK? Let’s get to the point of this post!.
CHDK stands for Canon-Hack Development Kit and of course is not made by Canon. It was created originally by a ¿russian? programmer VitalityB, and later developed by many others (under open GPL free software license). CHDK was created by reverse engineering and allows you to expand many features that only are available in expensive cameras. CHDK will even allow you to program the camera through scripts using BASIC programming language. (GOTO’s are not dead still)

It’s ONLY for Canon Cameras and ONLY for some models. Because it’s voluntary work, it goes slow, and new Canon Cameras are not supported until many months later of their release.

Digital cameras are like tiny computers, with their processor, memory and program loaded (menu). So CHDK is a small program that you put in the SD memory card and when you turn on the camera it loads into the camera internal memory. You can control the program through a menu in the camera, also turn it off and use the “normal” menu of the camera. What kind of features can unlock? and what offers? I will comment the more interesting ones for me, but in CHDK Web you can see all the information, FAQ and Scripts.

* Save the photographs in RAW format. This feature is only available from medium-high level cameras but with CHDK it’s unlocked. Comparision between RAW-JPEG
* Full manual or priority control over exposure, aperture, ISO and focus. Again, parameters normally only available in professional cameras.
* Bracketing is supported for exposure, aperture, ISO, and even focus.. Take several pictures in a row changing one of the paremeters. It allows you for example to create HDR photos joining several images or Stack Photography.
* Motion detection. This is really cool, detects movement and shoots automatically. Nice to shoot animals in nature for example, lightnings and any other creative use that you want. In Flickr you can get some inspiration and possibilities of this script
(Photo by Jose Viana)
* Intervalometer scripts: These scripts are easy algorithms that takes photographs at regular times, for example 1 photo every 20 seconds. Join them in a video with Adobe After Effects or and you will have a stop-motion video.

Intervalometer script can be used also for Kate Aerial Photography, with really nice results

I bought the A590 camera and also a tripod 1.70 meters 24€ because most of this features work better when the camera is stable. I will be publishing in the blog interesting stuff that can be done with the help of CHDK. But it takes time to learn it and get used to it. Lots of options to test and learn. After 1 month I still haven’t discovered half of the possibilities but I can already recommend it! I don’t regret of the purchase.

Examples of my own:
* Time-lapse video of Summer Solstice 2009 in Tampere, Finland.


Sentimental Finnish men

Tuesday June 16th, 2009. 04:03 AM.[Finland culture, People, Videos].

Quite funny TV advertisement from Finnish National Betting released this month.

“We invited 127 ordinary Finnish men for screen tests
We asked them about love, feelings, sentimentality and life.”

Wanna see a Finnish man getting emotional? …. Watch it (subtitled in English)

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A glance at Tampere

Sunday June 14th, 2009. 10:07 AM.[Finland culture, Photos, Scandinavia, Videos].

Since living in Tampere,  I would like to show my relatives and friends in Spain that living in Tampere, and Finland in general, is not so cold weather always, I mean it’s not that cold all year long. Now that the summer is coming and I can prove it, I prepared a short videoclip showing Tampere through Näsinneula tower sights.  Also I wanted to show the large amount of hours of day light in summer, something surprising even to me. Although I have been 1 year studying before in Helsinki, this is my first summer in Tampere.

You can download it here in in better quality (50 Mb) or watch it just under these lines through youtube (click on HQ button). Spanish version here.

Some details about the video:


Change of header

Sunday June 14th, 2009. 08:56 AM.[Photos, Scandinavia, Spring, Winter].

Winter left us some months ago. I change the header of the blog that showed the frozen sea of Helsinki.


Thanks to photographer Jono Rento, who give me permission to use one of his great photographs of his Scandinavian / Lapland Travel Diary.  Concretly this one is from Oulu. Kiitos!


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Friday May 29th, 2009. 01:49 PM.[Photos, Spring].

27 years old. It has been very nice afternoon outside with friends & good weather. Kiitos