Ink Tank - Make words not war Michele Lawrence

English rock band The Cure peforming at Riot Fest, 2014. Photo by Sean Benham.

If you want to survive a long northern winter then music is your best bet. Without music we would all be shells — pods — rotting in a vegetable state without a proper soundtrack. But instead of totally starving your sun-deprived brain monster, toss that jerk a little snack with these soul-piercing ensembles hailing from the land formerly known as ‘part of the EU.’

 

1. The Cure – The Head on the Door

Mr. Smith hit the nail on the head on the door with this record — a must-have for any collection.

 

2. Depeche Mode – Violator

A record that elevated DM to EPIC rockstar status.

 

3. Killing Joke – Brighter Than a Thousand Suns

Killing Joke are pros at making tunes that curtail sad tendencies…Jaz Coleman is a genius. 

 

4. T-Rex – The Slider

To put a bop in your brain.

 

5. David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

One of my personal favorites by the late and great.

 

6. New Order – Movement

A band that has countless good records and a recognizable sound.

 

7. Tears for Fears – Songs from the Big Chair

It’s just perfect…

 

8. Echo and the Bunnymen – Ocean Rain

Another great English band that has many memorable hits.

Honorable track mention not from Ocean Rain, are you still paying attention?

 

9. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

Ian Curtis is a legend and he is immortalized in this amazing record.

 

10. The Damned – Machine Gun Etiquette

DAMNIT! You can’t go wrong with a founding drummer named Rat Scabies.

 

11. Eurythmics – Revenge

ANNIE LENNOX! It’s enough said. She is a force stronger than failed relationships. 

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Endnote

I do not claim to know anything about music but I have graciously devoted a good chunk of my life attempting to absorb as much knowledge as I can pertaining to every aspect of music, and there’s always something more to learn — and retain. As long as you have the passion for discovery there’s infinite stuff available to make you feel good. 

Title photo by Sean Benham

The post British Intervention: Soundtrack your winter with these 11 British albums appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Edward Ford

Why Finland is the coolest country in the world

Today Finland will celebrate its 100th anniversary having gained independence on December 6th, 1917. After moving here from the United Kingdom, here are 100 weird and wonderful things I love about this amazing country that I now call home.

 

 
 

1. The Finnish language is practical yet poetic. The word for world is maailma, which means land (maa) & air (ilma).

 

2. You can eat sandwiches for breakfast and no one will judge you for it.

 

3. Finland is the most successful country in Olympic history in terms of gold medals per capita.

 

4. The average Finn drinks 12 kg of coffee per year, more than any other country on earth

 

5. Nokia 3310: the greatest phone of all time!

 

6. The air is so fresh and clean.

 

7. Karelian Pies are just so tasty! (despite they are not actually a pie)

 

8. Absolutely zero carpets in bathrooms (unlike in England).

 

9. 10:55 is considered an acceptable time to eat lunch.

 

10. Number of Finns = 5.5 million, Number of Saunas = 2 million.

 

11. If you go to Lapland you will immediately be surrounded by reindeer.

 

12. Greet a Finn with “How’s it going” and they’ll give you a brutally honest answer.

 

13. Darude is actually a middle-aged Finnish man from Turku.

 

14. The education system!

 

15. Savoury meat donuts, because why not?

 

16. The Finnish language has no future tense. #optimists

 

17. Despite not having a royal family, Finland has a king. His name is Jari Litmanen.

 

18. You get presents on Christmas Eve and Santa actually comes into your house with a sack of presents.

 

19. Tove Jansson’s Moomin children’s books are packed full of wisdom.

 

20. The magnificent Helsinki Cathedral.

 
 

 

21. When you go from an 80° sauna to a freezing lake and it’s not actually that bad.

 

22. Mikael Granlund’s ilmaveivi.


 

23. The text message (SMS) was invented by a Finn.

 

24. In Finland there is ‘no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing

 

25. Flag Days.

 

26. That feeling when you win money on a Veikkaus scratch card!

 

27. A Helsinki bus pass has a reflector on the back so the driver can see you in winter. #smart

 

28. The silence of Finland’s forests.

 
 

29. When a non-Finnish speaker is around, Finns will immediately switch to English because they’re polite like that.

 

30. Finns have a wickedly dry sense of humour.

 

31. The concept of Name Days exist, which sounds like something medieval or from Game of Thrones!

 

32. According to Monty Python, Finland is the country where I quite want to be.


 

33. If Finland wins an international event then torilla tavataan!

 

34. The weather is always perfect at Ruisrock??

Editor’s note: Sorry nope, but it is the second-oldest rock festival in Europe, so there’s that.
 

35. Finns love to party so much that they put the word in the plural! #bileet

 

36. During the summer holidays, children get a free soup lunch served in local parks.

 

37. Everyone has microwaved the cold coffee at the bottom of a Moccamaster at least once in their life. (See #4)

 

38. In Finland you congratulate someone on their birthday.

 

39. Länsimetro. #finally


 

40. The word for dragon is lohikäärme, which means salmon snake, and that’s quite amusing.

 

41. When you survive another winter and everyone celebrates like mad at Vappu on the 1st of May.

 
 

42. Children don’t go trick-or-treating on Halloween but on Palm Sunday dressed as Easter witches.

 

43. Finnish kids love Hobby Horsing and they don’t care what anyone else thinks about it.

 

44. Strolling along the Aurajoki in Turku on a fine summer’s afternoon.


 

45. The “in-breath joo”.

 

46. People answer the phone with their name, even though they know it’s you who is calling.

 

47. Everyman’s Right, giving “people of all nationalities the right to enjoy the Finnish countryside freely.”

 

48. Mämmi. Looks gross, tastes great.


 

49. Jaloviina (obviously).

 

50. When the air temperature gets so low in winter that the Baltic Sea starts steaming like a cup of tea.

 

51. Lordi?

 
 

 

52. The Saimaa ringed seals.

 

53. In 2010, Finland had both a female Prime Minister and female President.

 

54. Europe’s first Bitcoin ATM was in Finland.

 

55. The Finnish language has 15 cases, which makes things rather complicated. For the record, they are nominatiivi, genetiivi, essiivi, partitiivi, translatiivi, inessiivi, elatiivi, illatiivi, adessiivi, ablatiivi, allatiivi, abessiivi, komitatiivi, instruktiivi, and akkusatiivi.

 

56. True friendship is slapping someone with birch leaves in the sauna.

 

57. Dave Cad & Cat Peterson, Anglo-Finnish YouTube power couple!

 

58. Finnish football commentators use noises to describe the action, especially oijoijoi when something exciting happens or then no-huh-huh in reflection of said excitement.

 

59. In McDonald’s you can have your burger with a rye bread bun.

 

60. Finns will form a long, orderly queue for anything that is free. Especially buckets.

 

61. Father Christmas lives here in Lapland.


 

62. The word for Wednesday is keskiviikko, which means mid-week.

 

63. Finland loves weird sports like swamp football, wife carrying, and boot throwing.

 

64. In addition to the above, Finland also hosts the annual Air Guitar World Championships.

 

65. And each month is given a different moon name. For example June translates to Summer Moon (kesäkuu), September to Autumn Moon (syyskuu), and December to Christmas Moon (joulukuu).

 

66. Finnish has over 40 words for snow but no word for please.

 

67. Every Thursday most restaurants serve pea soup and pancakes, and no one really knows why (but man, it’s good!)

 

68. in 1951, Finnish sports brand Karhu sold their three-stripes trademark to adidas for €1600 and two bottles of whisky.

 

69. Every time you land at Helsinki Airport it takes about 15 minutes from getting off the plan to reaching arrivals (including luggage pick up). #efficient

 

70. Everyone has about 10,000 Moomin mugs in their kitchen cupboards.

 

71. 17% of Finns are lactose intolerant yet the average person drinks 1 litre of milk per day, more than any other country.

 

72. The word for month is kuukausi, which means moon phase.

 

73. Summer road trips singing along to Leevi and the Leavings at full blast, even if you’re not going to Pohjois-Karjala.


 

74. In the northern Finnish town of Utsjoki, the polar night lasts for almost two months from late November until mid January.

 

75. All the best foods come in a box; porkkana, lanttu, peruna, makaroni (except maksalaatikko, which is not so tasty).

 
 

 

76. You must always drive with your car headlights on, even in summer where there are 27 hours of sunlight per day.

 

77. The Finnish languages does not use any articles yet it still manages to be rather confusing (see #55).

 

78. J.R.R. Tolkien was a huge fan of Finland. His elvish language was influenced by Finnish and he was inspired by Finland’s national epic, Kalevala, when constructing Middle Earth.

 

79. If you ask a Finn what they did during the weekend they will almost always reply with “nothing special”.

 

80. When Teemu Selänne broke the NHL’s rookie goal scoring record he celebrated by throwing his glove in the air and shooting it down using his hockey stick, and it was seriously cool.


 

81. The concept of suojakännit, which means ‘shield drunk’. and entails getting drunk the night before a big party so that when you go to the big party you won’t get drunk so quickly.

 

82. Restaurant Day, when anyone can open a pop up restaurant in Helsinki.

 

83. Kolmen kaverin jäätelö!

 

84. The word for hippopotamus is virtahepo, which means flow-pony.

 

85. The Finnish Baby Box!

 

86. Every single company summer and Christmas party will include either a sauna, a boat, or a cottage — and if you’re really lucky, all three.

 

87. Salty liquorice, known as salmiakki, is the most loved ‘candy’ and I have never met a single Finn who doesn’t like it. (I’m still not convinced)


 

88. In winter, 3pm feels like bed time and in summer it feels like the day has only just begun.

 

89. Despite having a reputation for being a shy and reserved people, Finns absolutely love karaoke.

 

90. Finnish couples will use two single duvets rather than one double duvet, and it’s a total game changer.

 

91. There is also a commonly accepted method of folding bed sheets that all 5.5 million Finns adhere to.

 

92. When you step onto the Silja Line boat to Sweden it’s like you’ve entered a magical, nautical version of Narnia where no rules apply.

 

93. Finns will repair/fix/build everything themselves and not ask for any help.

 

94. Kids and adults love reading the weekly Donald Duck comics.

 

 
 

95. From November to March the streets are covered in snow and ice meaning everyone walks like a penguin for half of the year.

 

96. In summer you can sit out having drinks on a terrace and completely lose track of time because it never gets dark.

 

97. When someone is sat next to you on the bus and then they go and move to a vacant window seat, you spend the rest of the day wondering if you showered in the morning.

 

98. In most languages the word for Finland is very similar (Finnland, Finlande, Finska), but in Finnish it’s Suomi.

 

99. SISU!

 

100. And finally, I love that Finns are just way too humble to ever admit just how amazing (and kick-ass) this country is

 

Onnea Suomi!!!


Edward Ford is originally from the steel city of Sheffield who now lives in Helsinki, and is a fan of all things Finland. He’s a marketing strategist at Advance B2B, host of The Growth Hub Podcast, and former manager of the Finland Cricket Team.

You can find him on Twitter and geeking out on all things marketing at forgenorth.io.

 

edited by: Michele Lawrence

The post 100 Reasons Why Finland is the Most Kick-Ass Country in the World appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Mahmudul Islam

 

When I was a teenager in my home country of Bangladesh the only thing I knew about Finland was that it’s the land of Nokia.

After completing my bachelor’s in electronics I worked as a journalist for 3 years, I then decided to come to Finland to pursue a master’s at the University of Oulu.

I observed a number of interesting characteristics about Finland in my first 12 months of living here and I present them below…

 

 

 

1. The virtue of being punctual

In Finland everything happens on time. Finns rigorously practice punctuality and expect others to do the same. Want to annoy a Finn? Then be late a full of excuses.
 

2. Girls are noticeably safe in public

The Bangladeshi society grapples with the perennial problem of street harassment of women. It’s typically not safe for women to go outside alone at night. On the contrary, Finland seems to be a safe haven for women. Women can dress as they please without the threat of verbal harassment.

 

3. The precious sun

Growing up in a tropical country has allowed me to grow accustomed to the predictability of the sun. The only seasonal exception is winter when the sun is slightly less intense. Finland forces you to become incredibly fond of the sun and its elusive tendencies.

4. Free Wi-Fi

The indispensability of mobile phones in everyday life is essential. The Internet has made communications easier and the convenience of using the internet is greatly amplified when you can connect to free Wi-Fi hotspots in public places throughout Finland.

 

5. Wherever you go, nature steals the show

Finland is Europe’s most forested country. Helsinki and its condensed population have easy access to the surrounding nature. The abundance of water is another key feature of Finland, which is why Finland is known as the land of a thousand lakes. It was a pleasant shock moving from the concrete jungle of Bangladesh to the gorgeous greenery of Finland.

 

Photo: Michele Lawrence


 

6. The infrastructure is organized

I realized soon after moving that everything works systematically in Finland. Public transport is astonishingly punctual and businesses operate according to their announced schedules, which makes daily life hassle-free.

7. The food is flavorless

Finnish food is pretty bland and severely lacking in the spice department. I have tried to get used to Finnish food but I’m endlessly disappointed. The missing flavors seem to be replaced with a love for sugar, as Finns definitely have a sweet tooth.

8. English is widely accepted

Finns are among the top speakers of English as a second language in the world. In the big cities of southern Finland speaking English is not a problem, however, it’s impossible to integrate into the society without knowing Finnish. Sure you can speak English, but you cannot become part of Finnish society if you don’t learn Finnish.
 

9. Coffee & milk love

The Finns love for coffee is no secret. Finns drink tons of coffee according to the International Coffee Organization, so congratulations Finland, you’re the biggest coffee drinkers in the world! Finns also seem to have an admiration for milk. I was surprised to see that many adults drink milk with lunch…it’s not just for kids here!

 

 

10. Cars don’t honk

It’s a fact that having a car gives you greater mobility and when it comes to moving around in a sparsely populated country like Finland, a car is pretty essential. In comparison to Bangladesh where car’s honk nonstop, the Finnish roads are relatively quiet.


 

11. Expat Finns are easier to interact with

The expat Finns I have encountered, especially those who have lived in other countries where small talk is acceptable, are more friendly and open than others. Moreover, they don’t identify with the stereotypical definition of “reticent Finn” once they’ve returned to Finland. Concepts like “extreme personal space” or “public quietness” become obsolete to the expat Finn.

 

12. Silent Finland

Finns tend to enjoy the quiet and perhaps their surroundings influence this fact. The silence may feel mysteriously morbid at first, but once you adapt to it your focus can significantly improve…thus, Finland is a great place for writers!

 

Mahmudul Islam is a graduate student of wireless communications engineering at the University of Oulu.   

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more stories about super Suomi

 

Edited by Michele Lawrence.




The post Functional, punctual and awesome: my first 12 months in Finland appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Michele Lawrence

Winter parkway, Ruka, Finland. Photo by Timo Newton-Syms

 

Is the impending Finnish winter already clenching tightly on what’s left of your November soul? If so then check out these 5 winter activities that won’t add more chaos to your already insane inner monologue.

 

 

 

1. Indoor gardening

We all occasionally feel old inside, especially in winter. Now’s the time to embrace stereotypical hobbies that normal envelope elderly people. But instead of cleaning up after 85 cats, get yourself a million plants. Discovering new species of plants that will survive artificial sunlight is a beloved pastime in the north. It’s fun, reduces stress and makes you feel important. It’s also much cleaner and safer than having so many cats. Remind yourself that loving plants also means that you have no life.

2. Baking

Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked bread and if they don’t then there’s something intrinsically wrong with them. Once you learn how to bang out your own dough you won’t want the store-bought kind anymore, and what better way to spend your pent-up winter frustration than baking fresh pastries to keep all your plants company. Win.

3. Sauna

The classic and often intense sauna experience will put your mind on the mend. Trekking through giant heaps of snow is much more tolerable when you know the sauna awaits you with its warm, welcoming embrace. Give in to it, don’t fight it and you will finally understand the sauna’s winter allure — if only to defrost yourself. Don’t forget to sauna alone to avoid embarrassment because even after living in Finland for 10 years you still constantly screw up sauna etiquette. This probably means you are still wildly uncomfortable around random naked people.

4. Escape Room

(Skip if you have anxiety. Why not just nail your coffin shut right now?)

 

 

 

5. Ice fishing

Only for the brave at heart and for when your inner monologue needs a mind-numbing shock to shut the F up. Sitting on a camping stool over a frozen lake in the dead of winter is sure to grow hair just about everywhere, and feel totally natural. If you do catch something your fingers (and brain) will be so frozen that you won’t care what kind of fish it is anyway. This will undoubtedly make the foreigner Finn in you feel stupid, thus registering the whole bone-chilling experience as an awkward memory. But hey, it’s all about passing the time, right?

 

If all else fails just go to the bar.

 

 

Drink until May. Then remember it’s Vappu and you can’t stop now. If you’re still feeling guilty, just remind yourself that Donald Trump is still the POTUS and being in a constant state of slight inebriation is a perfectly acceptable form of coping.

 

 

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Title photo by Timo Newton-Syms

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Ink Tank - Make words not war Kristin Fellows

Kotiharjun Sauna

 

I am sitting naked on a high wooden bench in a darkened bunker. The stranger sitting next to me, also naked, is beating my back with a handful of frozen birch branches. My face is on fire as an enormous blast of hot steam envelopes the two of us and others nearby.

 

A surreal sadist nightmare?

 

 

No — just a fairly typical scene during Christmas Eve in Finland.

Christmas Eve is the most popular day of the year at Kotiharjun Sauna, one of Helsinki’s few public saunas with a traditional wood-fired furnace.

 

Finnish Sauna vihta

 

I came to visit my son Leif who is studying abroad in Finland, and Christmas Eve is apparently the most popular day of the year at Kotiharjun Sauna

 

There’s something magical about this sauna. 

 

I don’t understand a word of Finnish but each time the door opens to this Dickensian inferno, another naked woman appears.  She shouts something indecipherable to the Nordic goddesses around me that sounds like, “Haluatko minun kääntyä löysä lohikäärmeen?” I think this must mean, “Do you want me to turn loose the dragon?”

To which comes a chorus of replies, “Kyllä kiitos, emme voi saada tarpeeksi, että kuuma lohikäärme hengitys,” which means something like, “Yes please, we can’t get enough of that hot dragon breath.”

Each naked newcomer reaches up towards the top of the furnace yanking down on a lever thus releasing a tsunami of water. The sudden, skin-scorching steam momentarily obliterates my ability to see the dozens of other naked bodies assembled in various states of quiet submission around me.

 

What I think of as dragon’s breath the Finns actually call “löyly.” Löyly originally means “spirit of life,” but is interpreted as “a cloud of sauna steam” released to purify the body and calm the mind.

Löyly — and more specifically sauna — is how many Finns begin their Christmas Eve celebrations which tells you a lot about the Finnish practice of physical and mental cleansing.

The relationship between Finns and their saunas goes back more than one thousand years.

 

In addition to purifying the mind, “taking sauna” has been credited with driving out diseases. Decades ago women gave birth in saunas and there are tales of tumultuous lovers reconciling differences in an enveloping blast of löyly.

 

The ratio of saunas to Finns these days is one sauna for every 2.75 people.

 

There are more saunas than cars in Finland which makes sauna kind of hard to avoid. But then again, why would you want to?

Most public saunas disappeared with the introduction of shared saunas in apartment buildings, but Kotiharjun Sauna still operates daily. Built in 1928 in the heart of Helsinki’s Kallio district (an old workers neighborhood) it doesn’t appear to have changed much since then.

 

 

Today there’s a free Christmas Eve drink offered and between visits to the sauna I help myself to a Finnish beer. I sip on the beer as I glance through the photos in a Finnish magazine about (what else?) – saunas.

Eager for another round of Finnish cleansing my son and I return a few days later for a pre-flight sauna before my departure home.

 

The woman behind the check-in counter smiles, “weren’t you here a few days ago?” she asks, seemingly pleased to see us again. Contrary to popular stereotypes she is eager to talk to us about Finnish culture.

“Were you surprised at how talkative the men are in the sauna?” she asks Leif about his Christmas Eve experience.

Leif nods. It was a surprise given the reputation Finns have for being reserved.

“The sauna is the only place Finnish men talk,” she says laughing, “and it’s because they don’t have their wives and girlfriends talking to them, telling them what to say or think!”

Legend says that the most important decisions are made in saunas. According to Visit Finland, taking sauna together offers the opportunity for special bonding experiences which have no sexual overtones. I can see firsthand how saunas deliver total mental relaxation, clearing the mind of unnecessary clutter.

 

 

As I come downstairs ready to say my goodbyes Leif comes out of the men’s locker room.

My send-off from Finland couldn’t have been more moving…as Leif heads outside for a beer break I notice a stray birch leaf on his shoulder, and as he emerges into the frigid winter air the dragon retreats back into the hot layers of weathered wood.

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more stories about super Suomi

 

Edited by Michele Lawrence.





The post Getting Naked with a Dragon in Finland: my scorching sauna experience appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Michele Lawrence

With so much eye-grabbing art out there it’s difficult to find a focal point. Hannu Huhtamo’s light painting photography is an art form that provides just that — focus.

Hannu is putting an interesting spin on photography by overlaying long exposure captures of light movement to beautiful still photography, and he’s using Finland as the backdrop.

 

 
 

“The darkness is my canvas and the light, my paintbrush.” — Hannu Huhtamo

 

Hannu Huhtamo – Where the Rust Blooms

 

While light manipulation within photography is nothing new, Hannu’s captivating photos are directly metaphorical to the country Hannu is from, Finland, setting his work apart from the rest.

Finland is no stranger to extreme darkness in the relentless winter months — the act of chasing light becomes a necessary skill for mental survival in the arctic — and this art form is a fitting adaptation of that notion.

 

Hannu Huhtamo – Terminus

 

I asked Hannu a few questions about his work, here’s what he had to say:

 

1. Is photography your first love?

Actually no, originally I’m a guitar player who accidentally got involved in long exposure photography. But since that day I’ve been totally hooked on light painting so I guess you can call it a love affair that turned into a long {term} relationship. While music has always been my great source of energy, light painting is more like a meditative state that helps me to concentrate on a moment.

 

Hannu Huhtamo – Lost and Lethal


 

2. Where in Finland are some of your favorite spots to shoot?

Usually I don’t have to go far away from Helsinki. The city outskirts can offer quite a lot of interesting locations if there’s just enough darkness for longer exposure times. To avoid light pollution I usually head up to Luukki recreation area in Espoo. Kruunuvuori ghost town is definitely one of my all time favorite spots in Helsinki. All the abandoned and collapsed villas offer a surreal scene for photography. It’s a shame that nowadays the place is almost gone.

 

Hannu Huhtamo – Bright Ambassadors

 

3. The contrast in your pieces is stunning, are you drawn to darkness you think?

Maybe a little, the balance between two sides is important. I find it interesting and also challenging to decide what details you want to emphasize with light.

 

Hannu Huhtamo – The making of a portrait

 

4. What’s your favorite instrument of light to work with?

If I have to choose one, it would be the electroluminescent wire, aka glow wire. It’s versatile because you can bend it in various shapes and create organic shapes more smoothly.

 

 
 

 

5. What’s next on the agenda?

I’ll try to finish my long exposure portrait series “Connected” and start making some plans for a light painted music video. Hopefully all this by the end of the year!

 

Hannu Huhtamo – Expansion

What brightens your perspective? How do you quiet your internal chaos? For more illuminating inspiration check out more of Hannu’s work here:

Hannu’s Flickr

Hannu’s 500px

Hannu’s Facebook

 

 




Title image: Hannu Huhtamo – Tri-Iris

The post A Next Generation Finn: Hannu Huhtamo’s hand at light painting photography appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Michele Lawrence

Donald Trump jr in November 2016

On days when he’s not killing endangered species in foreign countries for sport and making a mockery of the White House with his mere presence, Junior Jackass is posting absurdly dumb twitter posts about complex political issues he’s completely clueless about (he’s definitely his father’s son).

 

The internet’s response did not cease to amaze…

 

 

Celebrities and everyone in between decimated Donnie Jr. with the facts of reality about socialism. Not only did Donnie Jr. fail miserably to create a sensible analogy, he also did it with bad grammar.

 

Here’s more examples of what went down in case you missed it…

 

Original tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Title image by Max Goldberg

The post Poor Dumb Donnie: how the internet destroyed Donald Trump Junior’s twitter post about socialism appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Michele Lawrence

Charles Manson

In the spirit of Halloween, a time when children gather irreversible mental damage and adults get drunk in full costume without being labeled dangerously unstable, we’ve put together a pictorial shortlist of California’s most infamous serial killers to date.

These human abominations will hopefully not increase your preexisting anxiety, but will remind your dark side that California has fostered some unprecedented freaks. Our collection is packed with links to documentaries on Youtube, which are guaranteed to keep you captured for hours.

 
 
 

1. “The Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez – 1985-86

 

The composite sketch of the alleged attacker and his first moment of incarcerated fame aka, mugshot

Richard Ramirez is the essence of evil. He terrorized the streets of Los Angeles in the mid-1980’s and his recognizable police sketch is the stuff nightmares are made of. He died on death row at San Quentin State Prison in 2013.

The arraignment of The Night Stalker, who was a self-proclaimed satanist

 

The nighstalker

 

Ramirez taunted the court room with chilling antics to pass the time

 

Groupies are not just for band members. Here’s one of Ramirez’s fans turned wife while Ramirez sat on Death Row

Media

Accompanying Documentary: The Night Stalker

Accompanying Documentary 2: Serial Killers 16/25 – Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker

A conversation with Richard Ramirez – Interview

 
 

2. Charles Manson & Family: The Tate-LaBianca murders – 1968-1969

The infamous “family” at Spahn Movie Ranch, Los Angeles, CA

 

Charles Manson and family plotted their heinous murders right in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, at the infamous Spahn Movie Ranch (among other places), and this disturbing bunch changed how the summer of 1969 will be viewed forever.

 

Susan Atkins (left) and Patricia Krenwinkel (right) arrive in court

 

 

Manson then and now

 

The Spahn Movie Ranch

 

Media

Accompanying Documentary: Charles Manson: Diane Sawyer Documentary

Accompanying Documentary 2: Charles Manson: A History Channel Documentary
Charles Manson Interview: with Penny Daniels (Complete)

 
 
 

3.The Toolbox Killers, Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris – 1979

Bittaker and Norris are responsible for the torture and murder of 5 teenage girls. It takes a special breed of psycho to commit these atrocities in a pair, yet there’s more couples who kill than you’d think.

 

Bittaker with fellow inmate and serial killer, William Bonin, aka The Freeway Killer

 

Victims

 

Finally in custody

Media

Accompanying Documentary:The Toolbox Killers

Lawrence Bittaker: confession

 
 

4. The Hillside Strangler/s, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono – 1977-1978

Buono (left) and Bianchi

The most prolific of their time, these two pimps turned murderers had the LAPD scrambling for almost a year while they tossed bodies all over Los Angeles. Their rampageous run finally came to an end in 1978.

Bianchi mugshot

Just one of the many films inspired by these killing cousins

Testimony

 

Media

Accompanying Documentary: The Hillside Stranglers

Accompanying Documentary2: Serial Killers Kenneth Bianchi & Angelo Buono, The Hillside Stranglers

Psychopaths Speak: Kenneth Bianchi speaks

 
 
 

5. The Scorecard Killer, Randy Steven Kraft – 1972-1983

 

Randy Kraft left crabbed clues about his killing spree in a morbid “scorecard” for his own twisted pleasure. He has been linked to over 60 murders, mostly in California, and had southern Californians terrified for over a decade.

A sinister court smile

Kraft was pulled over in May 1983 after driving erratically, the officers found a dead Marine in his car

Documentary

Media

Accompanying Documentary: 20 Most Dangerous Serial Killers – The Scorecard Killer

 
 

Dishonorable mention: Chowchilla kidnapping – 1976

A kidnapping and attempted murder of a school bus full of children in Chowchilla, California sets the disgust level particularly high on the abhorrent acts scale. By some surprising miracle everyone who was buried alive in this quarry escaped, and the perpetrators were captured.

Survivors comforting each other after being rescued

 

Hero bus driver Ed Ray (center) who saved the children, and himself

 

Families await the arrival of their children

 

The convicted: James Schoenfeld (left), Fred Woods (center) and Richard Schoenfeld

 

Survivors Jodi Heffington-Medrano (left) and Lynda Carrejo Labendeira reunite decades after their horrific experience

Media

1993 Made-for-TV movie based on the event: Vanished without a trace

Short news clip: 40 years later: victims recall being buried alive

CNN: Where are they now: Buried Alive: California mass kidnapping victims




The post Pics or it didn’t happen: the history of 5 notorious California serial killers in photography and video appeared first on .

Ink Tank - Make words not war Kathleen Harris

Promo pic for Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 just premiered in movie theaters across the globe and caused quite a stir. Not only are longtime fans of the original Blade Runner saying it’s a remarkable rendition of an untouchable classic, but there’s also Finnish spoken in the movie! Alongside Finnish actress Krista Kosonen, 2 other actresses have claimed their moment of Finnish fame while discussing who Blade Runner is onscreen.

 

Consequently, this Blade Runner rouse has sparked my pre-existing interest in the many other times I’ve heard Finnish (and Finland) referenced in movies and TV shows. So here’s a collection of the coolest…

 

 

1. What your favorite TV characters think about Finland

 

Fargo

“Buddy of mine says they swear by this stuff in Finland.”

“Well, they’re a bunch of sex-crazed alcoholics, so they should know, right?”

 

 

 

Gilmore Girls

Rory: “Grandma. We were just talking about you. How are you? How’s Helsinki?”
 
Emily: “Cold. Unaccommodating. A population of walking dead.”

 

Veep

Dan (on Helsinki): “I’m sorry that I ever set foot in that fucking fish-eating, indie-film fucking hellhole.”

 

Fringe

Walter: “As they say in Finland, there’s more than one way to roast a reindeer.”

 

How I Met Your Mother

Ted (on his best man speech): “So now I seem like a total train wreck to all my old high school friends. And a bunch of people in Finland. The auto-tune thing got kind of big over there.”
Ted’s speech that became famous: 

 

2. Five times Hollywood hacked the Finnish language

 

Charlie’s Angels

 

 
 

 

 

The Big Bang Theory

 

The Hudsucker Proxy

 

Swordfish

 

Archer

 
 

3. Other magnificent mentions of Finland

 

Community

 

Conan – hates my homeland

 

Conan – drinks Lapin Kulta

 

 

 
 

Confessions of a Shopaholic

 

Seinfeld

 

Simpsons

 

Spongebob Squarepants

 

SNL – Finnish talk show Kalle

 

Veep

 

 

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Edited by Michele Lawrence.




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Ink Tank - Make words not war Michele Lawrence

Bowling Balls. Photo by Joonas Tikkanen.

We all cling desperately to warmer weather and scattered sunshine, but once those notions are gone for good with the encroaching winter months, it’s beneficial to have sanctuary spots in Helsinki where you can grasp onto your remaining sanity.

Fun Bowling and Bar is one of those spots, and here’s why…

 

 

1. The lanes are awesomely fresh

Photo: Michele Lawrence

 

2. The music doesn’t suck — it’s Rock n’ Roll all the way

 

3. You might get a very unexpected hug from a confused, elderly man

 

4. The people / regulars are really phenomenal too

 

Photo: Fun Bowling and Bar

5. There’s a bar, the backdrop for any good bowling alley banter

 

6. On cold, sunless days there’s nothing better than throwing heavy balls and drinking fun liquids in a cave-like setting = almost a winter rage-room?

 

Photo: Michele Lawrence

 

7. Did I mention there’s a bar? It’s in the name after all

 

Photo: Fun Bowling and Bar

 

8. The staff make you feel at home by NOT reminiscing on the times you’ve had TOO much fun while drinking cave liquids

 

9. You just may get a turkey when it’s not even Thanksgiving, aka. 3 strikes in a row

 

Photo: Michele Lawrence

 

10. Leave your attitude at the door, this is not a place for pretentiousness

 

11. Kids rock this joint and will put your bowling confidence to shame

 

 

Photo: Fun Bowling and Bar

 

12. If you’re missing home no matter where you’re from, the bowling alley is the perfect sanctuary spot

 

Photo: Michele Lawrence

 

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Title image by Joonas Tikkanen

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