2.4.15: The Myth Of A Scandinavian Utopia, Ikea Hacking, & Good Gig

Feb 4, 2015

Rådhuset station in Stockholm, Sweden
Credit Don McCullough via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/pGTbyX

The media often portrays Sweden as a modernist utopia – where blond-haired trend makers export upbeat pop music, hip furniture and meat balls, and parents enjoy unparalleled family leave. On today’s show: debunking the myth of the Scandinavian utopia.

And we uncover a growing trend among the DIY set: Ikea hacking, where people use Ikea’s raw materials to create their own customized furniture.

And our series Good Gig continues with a meteorologist based on the beautiful, but often inhospitable, summit of Mount Washington.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

The Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia

  • Michael Booth’s new book The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia.  Booth is British-born but has lived in Denmark for many years now, and in his book he wryly describes Swedes as a stiff and conformist people paralyzed by good manners, with a government that exists as a sort of “benign totalitarianism”.  
  • We came up with a few reasons Sweden isn't so perfect after all, check it out here.

Ikea Hacking

  • Instead of following the assembly directions to the letter cartoon, some people are opting to use Ikea’s raw materials to create their own customized furniture. 99% Invisible’s Roman Mars enters the world of Ikea-hacking.
  • You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Good Gig: Ryan Knapp Mt. Washington Night Meteorologist

  • Meteorologist Ryan Knapp isn’t standing in front of a green screen, or talking into a microphone from our comfy studio in Concord. He’s reporting directly from one of the most hostile environments in the country – the top of Mount Washington.
  • Read more and see photos at this link.

Refrigeration In China