Saturdays, ah glorious beautiful Saturdays! A day for lie ins, for cooked breakfasts, for doing nothing (or doing everything), for simply watching the world pass by or for learning about bygone days.
I love the cold! Really I do! Photo: Oscar Eriksson.
Yesterday Oscar and I walked out to Djurgården, one of the fourteen islands making up Stockholm, that homes amongst several famous museums, the Royal Hunting Grounds! I love to walk! I love nature! I love being out in the cold! I love looking at glistening snow! I love pin drop silence! And I love to talk (a lot)! Our walk through the hunting grounds was just that! I’m always curious about what I see! The number of times I asked “Who is that statue of?” “What’s that building over there?” “Where did that come from?”…I’m sure, Oscar, if he wasn’t the nicest person I know, would have asked me to stop talking! Thankfully he didn’t and so I continued asking question after question! What we ended up with was a bit of a history lesson…
What’s that building over there? Well I learnt that it is called Kaknästornet – a sort of television tower. Photo: Oscar Eriksson.
Read more » >>
This week the Fulbright group I am a part of continued its quest to understand and experience Swedish culture by taking a day trip to Uppsala. Lying about 70 km to the north of Stockholm, Uppsala is a relatively small but historically important Swedish city. While it was initially established for primarily religious purposes, today it is probably most known for its university, which is the oldest in Scandinavia (founded in 1477).
Our first stop was the to see the most prominent building in the city: the towering Uppsala Cathedral. This church is actually the largest in Scandinavia and was finished in 1435 after ‘only’ a couple hundred years of construction. Apart from hosting a number of coronations and undergoing a wholesale transformation from Catholicism to Protestantism, a number of very famous Swedes, such as Gustav Vasa and Carl Linnaeus (more on him in a moment), are entombed here. It’s an impressive relic from a time in European history when Sweden was a dominant player in the political landscape – stormaktstiden (‘great power time’).
Uppsala Cathedral. Photo by Brett Seward.
Read more » >>
My second semester as a master’s student in Sweden has officially started as of yesterday. I am enrolled in three courses this quarter: Human Response to Sound and Vibration, which relates psychology to sound and human perception, Technical Acoustics II, which covers analytical and numerical methods for solving sound and vibration problems, and Room Acoustics, which analyzes the behavior of sound in rooms of varying shapes and applications.
While all of these classes will be interesting and useful in their own right, I am most looking forward to Room Acoustics for a couple of reasons. Firstly, one of the reasons I chose to study in Sweden was to have the opportunity to take a course that covered this material in-depth. There are only a handful of schools worldwide that offer a comprehensive class on this topic, so Chalmers was very appealing to me in that regard. Furthermore, this particular class also has a large design element since it is taught in collaboration with the Architecture school at Chalmers. The Sound & Vibration students will serve as acoustic consultants to the Architecture students for a theoretical opera house to be designed for an international competition. I will try to post a few status updates as the project progresses over the following months.
Yes, talking about the future is often exciting, but I believe it is equally important to reflect on the past. As I think back on my first semester, I am left with many positive impressions from the academic culture at Chalmers. The three words listed below (with subsequent explanations) are representative of some of my most noteworthy feelings towards the educational system in place here.
Read more » >>