28 May, 2011 at 11:59 | Posted in Funny things :-), Nature, Travels | Leave a comment
Tags: funny things, Nature, Travels
Treehouse holidays are going up in the world, but the new Treehotel in Sweden’s Lapland, with its futuristic pods, aims to soar above the rest, says Rhiannon Batten.
High style … the two-person Cabin at the Treehotel, Sweden.
By Rhiannon Batten – The Guardian
Towards the end of his 2008 documentary, The Tree Lover, which explored the link between trees and people in Sweden, Jonas Selberg Augustsén says: “Imagine being here on the veranda on a summer evening, or listening to the rain on the roof with the stove purring quietly.” As he says this he’s sitting in a treehouse he’s spent the summer building, looking out over a wide tract of pine forest with a river flowing in the distance, reflecting a sinking sun. You don’t have to imagine it any more. Since last month, when the Treehotel opened in Swedish Lapland, anyone can check into a treehouse and survey the landscape from Jonas’ viewpoint.
Set just outside the small village of Harads, an hour’s drive northwest of Luleå and very close to where The Tree Lover was filmed, the Treehotel is the creation of Britta and Kent Lindvall. Britta, a guesthouse owner, and Kent, a fishing guide, were inspired to action by the film when an area of forest behind Britta’s guesthouse was sold for logging. Instead of waiting for the inevitable to happen in a country where forestry is such an important industry, they contacted the forest’s owner and offered to buy the land from him. Calling in favours from various architect friends Kent had been on fishing trips with, they started building the Treehotel, determined to demonstrate that the natural environment around them had value beyond supplying timber. Along with daughter Sofia, who also moonlights as a stuntwoman, what they have created is a high design, back to nature retreat where guests can slow down, switch off and breathe more deeply.
Arriving at the guesthouse late on a light-soaked summer’s evening, I was met by Britta. Ushering me in with motherly warmth she sat me down in the 1950s-style surroundings and served up a delicious homemade fish pie on vintage china, explaining that the guesthouse operates as a kind of base camp for the treehouse rooms. “Guests leave their luggage here and just take a small overnight bag to the treehouses,” she said. “We want you to get the feeling that you’re leaving one world behind and entering another.”
It certainly felt that way when, after dinner, Sofia led me along a narrow gravel path through a glade of birch trees and then higher up, through sturdy pines, to the Mirrorcube. The most striking of the treehouses, it’s a glass box perched high in the forest. Like an architectural magic trick, it almost disappears into the foliage, so sharply are the surrounding trees reflected in it. The only giveaway that things are not quite what they seem is a wood and rope bridge leading up to a near-invisible door.
Way to go
Return flights from Heathrow to Luleå via Stockholm with SAS (+44 0871 226 7760, flysas.co.uk). From 6 November 2010, there will be direct flights from Heathrow to Luleå.
Where to stay:
Rooms at the Treehotel (+46 928 10403, http://www.treehotel.se/en/start)
visitlulea.se and visitsweden.com
Read more: Rooms at the top: Sweden’s stylish new treehouse | Travel | The Guardian
More info: Harads Tree Hotel : Luxury of a tree house in Sweden
Almost invisible mirrored tree house built in Sweden
28 May, 2011 at 11:00 | Posted in classical, Culture, Music | Leave a comment
Tags: classical music, Culture, festival, Music
Welcome to Stockholm Early Music Festival! June 2-6 2011
From the programme:
Festival fever! Sweden’s largest international event for early music celebrates ten years of quality and vitality. An never-ceasing flow of extraordinary known and unknown music from antiquity to the baroque, performed for a steadily growing audience. SEMF 2011 invites you to an experience that stirs the imagination, reflecting the scope and diversity of early music – in perfect concord with the evocative atmosphere of the Old Town.
A selection from this year’s festive musical spectrum: master conductor Andrew Parrott and the Swedish Radio Choir re-create the polychoral splendour of Venice’s San Marco cathedral, and Sequentia brings the magical musical world of the Icelandic Edda to life. Enjoy high baroque with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and musical humour with Barokksolistene in “The Early Joke“. Rolf Lislevand and Arianna Savall with ensemble improvise around fiery Spanish baroque dances, while delicate viol consort Phantasm explore English harmonies. Also, songs of the medieval French troubadours, Polish baroque treasures, early Persian music…
Download the SEMF 2011
flyer here (PDF, 2,2 mb).
via Welcome to X Stockholm Early Music Festival! | SEMF – Stockholm Early Music Festival, June 2-6 2011
28 May, 2011 at 08:05 | Posted in Body & Mind, Science | Leave a comment
Tags: Body & Mind, psychology, relationships, Science
By Cassie Ryan
Epoch Times Staff
Social decision making behavior could be based on a compromise between personal gain and feelings of guilt, according to a new study published in the journal Neuron.
The notion of cooperation at personal cost is a problem that has vexed classical economics, which holds that people are solely motivated by self-interest. However, it cannot explain why people cooperate in spite of costs such as time, money, and stress.
Possible explanations could be that giving feels inherently good, or alternatively that being selfish makes people feel bad so they cooperate to avert their guilt.
A research team comprising cognitive neuroscientists and economists studied a group of 30 volunteers who played the trust game in which player 1, the investor, had to decide how much money to award to player 2, the trustee.
This behavior in turn elicited expectations in the trustee about how much the investor expected to receive back. The trustees were then scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine which areas of the brain were involved while they decided how much money to return to investors, i.e. whether or not to honor their partner’s trust.
The results of the study fit a model wherein the decision maximized financial reward while minimizing anticipated guilt. When trustees matched investors’ expectations, regions of the brain associated with negative effect and sympathy were active, whereas when they gave less than expected, the brain regions involved with value and monetary reward were in use.
“We believe these results are exciting because they provide support for the theory of moral sentiments, in which people appear to have competing motivations to, on the one hand, minimize the experience of future guilt, and on the other, to maximize the financial reward,” said co-author Alan Sanfey from Donders Institute for Brain, Mind & Behavior at Radboud University Nijmegen, Holland, in a supplementary video accompanying the paper.
“This provides good evidence in our opinion that negative emotions such as guilt can also be responsible for cooperative behavior, and provide additional important clues as to why we often cooperate at a personal cost,” he added.
The team concluded a neural system associated with “expectation processing plays a critical role in assessing moral sentiments that in turn can sustain human cooperation in the face of temptation,” the abstract reads.
via Study: Does Guilt Promote Cooperative Behavior? | Science | Epoch Times