Hot Thermometer

Nest Digest: “Hot Days”

It’s time for the third instalment of Nest Digest.

In this segment I share stories that have made front page news of Danish newspapers and then question their relevance along with my sanity.

Unlike the previous stories that focused on bad news, this one is actually sunny and shiny. Literally. Behold:

Hottest Day Headline

Translation: The hottest day in 6 months

See, at first glance this is a nice piece of positive news. Why not let people know when something unexpected like this happens! The hottest day in six whole months! Wow, quite an achievement.

Then I got to thinking, which is something I like to do every now and then, if there’s nothing good on TV. What I came up with is this: six months ago we were in the middle of November. Digging further into this web of puzzles I concluded that in between the middle of November and the middle of April lies a season called winter, aka the coldest season of the year.

“Could it be that mid-April having the first hot day of the period from mid-November is pretty much exactly what one would expect on any given year?” I asked the mouse pad on my desk. No answer was forthcoming. That’s when I employed an advanced journalistic research technique called “Googling it”.

After what felt like whole seconds, I managed to find this graph of Copenhagen average monthly temperatures from Weather.com:

Copenhagen Average Temperatures

Summer hot. Winter cold. Use brain good.

An observant reader will notice that April is, on average, hotter than any other month that lies between November and March.

I don’t mean to keep picking on MetroXpress, but for fuck’s sake, guys. Did you really just use up most of your front page to bring us the shocking news that seasons are functioning the way they are supposed to?

Whatever. I guess I’ll be looking forward to tomorrow’s front page article, titled “The first Wednesday of this week is here at last!”

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Nest Digest: “Stressing over dressing”

We’re back with another installment of Nest Digest.

Quick recap for those new to Nest Digest series:

Denmark is a quiet place, therefore a mouse finding a piece of cheese is usually considered news of national importance. During the many slow news days I collect front page articles from Denmark’s two free newspapers – MetroXpress and 24Timer. I then bring you this urgent news, because the world must know!

Today I only have one headline for you, but it’s a good one. This, my friends, was the main front page headline of today’s 24timer newspaper:

Dressing Can Make You Stressed

Translation: “Watch out: Dressing can make you stressed

You’re probably thinking: “OK, Daniel, this is actually pretty legitimate news. If scientists have just discovered an ingredient in our salad dressing that can decrease our body’s stress tolerance, then it’s pretty vital for us to know. We should be alerted of these kinds of shenanigans by dressing manufacturers!”

Oh, you poor misled soul. Not only do you use silly words like “shenanigans”, you also have missed the point of this story entirely. This isn’t about dressing physically making you ill. This is about health-conscious people stressing over their food choices after buying dressing.

No, really.

So say one day Søren Stressensen goes out to buy himself some nice vegetables to make a salad. He figures, “Hey, you know what’s good with salad? Salad dressing!” (Søren’s smart). So he picks up some salad dressing to go with those delicious tomatoes, spinach and marinated plums (Søren’s disgusting).

However, when he gets home, something happens to Søren. He can no longer sleep, he cannot eat, all he can do is agonize over buying that damn dressing. He should have known better. He knew dressing wasn’t good for him, but he bought it anyways. That night Søren is permanently confined to a mental institution, his last human words being: “Dressing kills! Free Tibet! Also, barbarabarlabaBRABA!”.

OK so I’m exaggerating a bit (Søren doesn’t actually know of Tibet). But the newspaper really wants us to believe it’s a major issue plaguing Denmark. They have dedicated two whole pages inside the newspaper to the issue of dressing stress, complete with consumer interviews, related stories and expert opinions.

I must admit that, on some level, I’m quite impressed by the Danish media’s ability to turn anything into a story. I think I’ll go pitch them an article about this sandwich I once ate…

Nest Digest: “Fear Edition – Wolves & Math”

Denmark is a quiet and peaceful country. You rarely witness violent crime here. This is excellent news for all residents, but it makes life tricky for newspaper and TV reporters focusing on local events.

A good example is a Danish reality show, called Politistationen (“Police Station”). It’s just like the US show Cops, with the minor difference that while Cops usually involves adrenaline-laden car chases and firearm-laden standoffs, Politistationen is about police officers having polite conversations with mildly inebriated teenagers who fall off their bikes.

One episode of Politistationen followed two cops who engaged in the following perilous activities:

  • Shooing away a small herd of cows that kept two girls scared and “trapped” atop a haystack in the middle of a field.
  • Asking a dog owner to consider not tying his dog too close to a supermarket entrance to avoid scaring other shoppers.
  • Patiently explaining to an elderly lady that there’s nothing illegal about her neighbour masturbating in his own apartment across the street from hers and that instead of calling the cops she might want to consider closing her curtains or, perhaps, not staring at her neighbour masturbating in his own goddamn apartment.

Roll the credits. Just another day on the job.

Here's a completely unrelated picture man just sitting there, reading totally non-pornographic material

Unrelated picture of a man just sitting there, reading totally non-pornographic material

This relatively tranquil state of domestic affairs also redefines the concept of a “slow news day”. When every day is low on any substantial news, Danish newspapers struggle to fill their front pages with anything truly sensational. Oh, but they try.

This is why I hereby proudly announce a new and hopefully recurring blog feature: “Nest Digest”. In this feature I, in a totally biased and selective manner, pick out random headlines that have made the front pages of Danish newspapers. Then I “responsibly” and “impartially” do “my best” to “point out” why these stories have no place on the front page. I have no idea why “point out” was in quotes, because that part is completely accurate. Ah well, there’s nothing I can do to fix it now, is there?

These are the criteria for a story to make it to the already instantly famous “Nest Digest” column:

  • Be from a Danish newspaper typically from one of the free daily newspapers – MetroXpress and 24timer
  • Be on the front page of these newspapers
  • Be completely not news worthy (in my humble and objective opinion)

Today I’ll start you off easy with just two stories, both taken from the same front page of MetroXpress of Monday the 11th. For later editions I expect to amass a larger number of headlines.

MetroExpress Math Phobia

Translation: Phobia of mathematics is widespread

The article blurb goes on to explain that, according to “sources”, many Danes are suffering from this math-phobia and go as far as to call it an “ailment”.

You know, back in my day we also had people with a phobia of mathematics. We just called it “being shitty with numbers”. Look, there may indeed be a diagnosed condition called “mathematical anxiety“, but please stop implying that the whole of Denmark is currently cowering under their beds because their alarm clocks are displaying cryptic and scary symbols. Find yourself some real news, like lost chocolate candy or something.

MetroExpress Wolve Spotting

Translation: New wolf suspected seen in Denmark

Full blurb translation: “A female driver from mid-Jutland claims that a wolf ran in front of her car yesterday morning. Her son also saw it.”

Holy shit, really?! Why haven’t the authorities been alerted by now? Why are people allowed to leave their houses at all when there are feral wolves roaming around freely. Well, one wolf. Maybe.

I especially love the solemn addition of the last sentence – “You guys, really! We’re not just talking a single witness here. The son has corroborated her story. It’s all legit!”

So there you have it, world: while you’re busy with riots and criminals keep in mind that here in Denmark we’ve got wolves! Well, one wolf. Maybe.