Saturday, August 22, 2009


When I wake up in the morning in Stockholm, I catch the subway at Thorildsplan, change from the subway to the bus at Odenplan, and then get off the bus at Valhallavägen. I somehow have the feeling I am living in a Marvel Comic. Should I have a constant fear that Ragnarök and Fenris Wolf are just around the corner?

Making the eternal conflict between good and evil all the more cartoonish (or maybe making the eternal conflict between heavy metal and the rest of the world more obvious) it seems that every word in the Swedish language is decorated with an unreasonable number of umläuts.

But Marvel comic jokes (and jokes about characters in Marvel comics) aside, Stockholm is actually a very nice city. Very much as you might expect of a northern european city, Stockholm has its share of canals, bridges, pedestrian areas, open air markets, gardens, castles, museums, cafe's, and tall blonde people. Overall not much to complain about.

The NORDITA center (Nordic Center for Theoretical Physics) moved to Stockholm from Copenhagen where it had been for half a century (This move struck me as a great loss for Copenhagen). Like the KITP and the Aspen Center, the idea of the center was just to have a place where theoretical physicists could come and hang out for extended periods of time and work together. They've done a great job of making it comfortable and pleasant for all of their guests. I've been here for almost a week already and I'm staying three weeks more --- I think this is going to be a very nice stay.

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