Archive 2014/1

Post excerpts from April 2014

The ideal woman of commercials

Posted April 15, 2014

Photo of a 1948 television commercial.

Jari Parantainen in 1980: For the commercial to pay itself back it must excite even the unmovable Finnish lumberjack – and soon there is a waft of that blue aftershave by the tree line.

One woman may have beautiful cherry lips and another a charmingly narrow waist, but when these features suddenly come together with a half a dozen other appealing characteristics through a diffusion filter, it is no accident. When professional choreography and acting, Miss Universe, consumer psychology and a talented producer are crammed into the same studio, the result is a very manipulating (often unawares to the viewer) synthesis on film.

The stay-at-home mother watching the commercial is implanted with this model of living, of being a successful beauty. And she is now offered the very key to this new world: obviously it is this night creme!

The image presented by advertizing industry is as if captured from a spinning kaleidoscope. The studio manager has whisked it together, creating a magnificent scene that is captured before it collapses again.

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Cutting corpses

Posted April 8, 2014

Autopsy slab in the pathology department of Tampere University Hospital. Picture by Reijo Hietanen.

As a medical student you get often questions like: “Do you really cut real bodies?” and “Isn’t it pretty discusting?”
Yes, we do dissect dead people and yes, it can be gross at times.
Warning: graphic detail to follow.

The corpses are cold, gray, completely flat-faced (having been placed face down), partly rock-hard, partly full of formaldehyde solution. Plenty repulsive, really.

Dissections are great motivation for healthy living, as you literally see how much fat even just slightly chubby person has when you are trying to find something in or under all that fat. Something that will be forever imprinted on my mind is seeing a nine-pound liver of an alcoholic; it is bright yellow.

In the obduction room the tools of the trade included a circular saw and a huge sword-like knife. However, you got enough of trying to find the thyroid gland for weighing or using tiny scissors to cut a path through calcified coronary arteries.

I used to be afraid to watch films with any violence. Now I am the one cynically commenting on a slasher scene: “It doesn’t really look like that.”

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Why Putin jokes can be good for you?

posted April 4, 2014

Vladimir Putin is amused.

Laughter may not set everything right, but it soothes – at least for a while.

    Vladimir Putin was on Facebook and saw an update about Ukraine.  “They need to share this,” said he.

I have, too, come up with a steady stream of jokes during the Ukrainian crisis. More than anything they are my way of dealing with tragic news.

I found a delightful report on Wikipedia on the tradition of political satire in Russia. My mirth was lessened as I saw that the jokes from the Soviet era were largely applicable to present-day Russia.

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Russia taking over Crimea predicted in 2008

posted April 3, 2014

Crimean occupation was foreseen more than five years ago by a team of Ukrainian and Finnish researchers including the reasons leading to it. Now they predict what could happen to Putin.

“When Russia lost the control of the situation in Ukraine, they decided to strike.”
“Wishful thinking seems to be the guiding force in the analysis of international relations all too often.”
”In practice the Crimean invasion evaporates all thoughts concerning a voluntary-based Eurasian treaty lead by Russia.”
”I do not believe that he aims for a full-blown military conflict, but in a situation like this there is always a risk in things to getting out of hand.”
”Analytically speaking, there is no actual threat towards Finland in the horizon. Russia is plenty occupied with other worries.”

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Pay heed to history — Hitler vs. Putin

posted April 1, 2014

  •   He built his rise to the power on the discontentment of the people. Because of the great war was not lost on the battlefield, he spoke consistently how certain groups and individuals had with their incompetence and treacheries caused the humiliations. The people believed him, because they wanted to have someone take the blame of the defeats and shrunk from looking in the mirror to find the guilty.

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