With Dec. 25th right around the corner, are you longing for a white
Christmas? If you are, you might consider heading over to Sweden, where the average high in the capital for December is 1?C!
Read on to learn more about Sweden.
A closer look 說古論今
Sweden is mostly level, with farms in the south, forests in the north, and majestic mountains in the west. Sweden has some of the most unspoiled land in the world. Although the north is very cold, the south of the country is surprisingly temperate and comfortable.
Sweden has a unique and colorful history. They have had a king for almost 1,000 years. During the Viking Age (800-1100), Swedish Vikings became rich on expeditions to places as distant as Baghdad, Iraq.
In 1389, the Swedes joined the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Norway, but left the union to become fully sovereign in the early 1500s. In 1814, Sweden fought its final war, and for almost 200 years has been neutral and at peace.
Economically, Sweden is highly developed and a major exporter. Important industries include timber and engineering. The government provides many services — top-rate health care, free education through university, retirement pensions, funding for sports teams, and lots of time off work. A new father gets 60 days of paid vacation to take care of his new baby! Swedes pay a minimum 30 percent income tax plus sales taxes for these services.
More than half of the population plays sports, of which soccer and hockey are the most popular. Traditional Swedish food includes fermented Baltic herring, salmon, potato dumplings with pork and onion, pea soup and pancakes.
(Jason Cox, staff writer)
WHO KNEW? 你知道嗎?
Like Taiwan, Sweden has indigenous people. While Taiwan has 12 officially recognized tribes, Sweden has just one, the Sami. Four countries — Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia — have large Sami populations. In total, there are 80,000-100,000 Sami. There are 10 Sami languages, but few Sami can speak them and most speak the language of their home country. Their traditional livelihoods include reindeer herding, fishing, and animal trapping, though many Sami now leave the countryside to work in large cities doing more common jobs. The Sami people also have their own governments and parliaments in Finland, Norway and Sweden. Anybody who is Sami, and has at least a grandparent that can speak Sami, can vote. Traditional clothes are colorful and heavy, made for the cold weather.
A LOOK AT CONTEXT 思前想後猜字義
1. The climate here is quite temperate, rarely freezing cold or burning hot.
Temperate means ...
a. burning hot weather.
b. freezing cold weather.
c. weather that is neither super hot nor very cold.
d. how hot something is.
2. There was a news article today asking if the Vatican is sovereign even though it's in Italy.
Sovereign means ...
a. self-governing or independent.
3. You two can go ahead and fight, but I want to remain neutral.
Neutral means ...
a. supporting neither side of a dispute.
b. aligning with the strongest side.
c. fighting against both sides.
d. favoring a larger dispute.
4. Our Dance Club wants to sell tickets to our shows so we have regular funding.
Funding is ...
a. a hobby.
b. a kind of dance.
c. money or a payment.
d. tickets to shows.
WHAT TIME IS IT THERE ? 現在那裡幾點？
During the winter, Sweden is seven hours behind Taiwan, so when it is 7:30pm in Taiwan, it is 12:30am in Sweden.
ABOUT SWEDEN 國家概況
Size: 449,964km2, or almost 13 times bigger than Taiwan.
Location: Northern Europe
Border countries: Norway, Finland
Population: About 9 million
Government: Representative parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Currency: 1 Krona = 4.7 Taiwan dollars
The Swedish flag has been in use since 1569, and the color scheme is inspired by the Swedish coat of arms of three yellow crowns on a blue background. The yellow cross is a reminder of Sweden's Christian heritage.
Forget your pepperoni or other pizza toppings: Pizza Hut Taiwan has teamed up with Menya Musashi, a popular Japanese ramen restaurant chain, to serve up the world’s first ramen pizza, and it has attracted global interest after a CNN report about the new mashup was published on the front-page of its Japanese version. The new pizza has the toppings of a Japanese-style barbecue pork ramen — complete with thick noodles, barbecue pork slices, fresh chilies and white sesame, as well as a half-boiled egg sitting in the middle. It is also garnished with green onions and bamboo shoots on the side. Pizza
Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last week confirmed the first domestic cases of a zoonotic vector-borne emerging infectious disease called the Tembusu virus in northern and central areas of the country. Detection of the virus within the nation’s borders follows previously confirmed cases in Malaysia, China and Thailand, making Taiwan the fourth country in the world with cases of the disease. The Tembusu virus was first discovered within duck farms in eastern China in 2010. According to Animal Health Research Institute Director-General Chiou Chwei-jang, in November last year the institute began to investigate a duck farm which was experiencing reduced
Last Wednesday, Tesla Inc. displaced Toyota Motor Corp. as the world’s most valuable automaker, underscoring investor enthusiasm for a company trying to transform an industry that has relied on internal combustion engines for more than 130 years. Tesla Inc.’s market value also surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp.’s last Tuesday in a sign that investors are increasingly betting on a global energy transition away from fossil fuels. Exxon is the world’s second biggest energy company after Saudi state-controlled oil giant Aramco went public late last year. Shares of Tesla, which have more than doubled since the start of the year, climbed as much as 3.5
Russia-based face-changing application “FaceApp” took social media by storm last summer, as people used its filter to find out how they’d look like when they get old. Now, the app is back again with a gender-swapping function that transforms photos of faces into a different gender, and the filter has gone viral. FaceApp may be a fun tool, but such facial recognition apps raise security concerns, and they could pose a threat to your privacy. Late last year, the FBI even issued a warning about the app, which enjoys access to millions of photos, calling FaceApp and some other apps developed