i scream you scream we all scream for…norway?

The Scream - Credit:  Munch Museum/Munch-Ellingsen Group/BONO

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, who painted a little canvas you’re likely using as a mouse pad right now, VisitNorway has released a short film on its website to show travelers a few Norwegian-style scream experiences. Don’t expect The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or The Killing (Sweden and Denmark, respectively), or even a sinister Nordic take on splatter-porn, however; this flick is all about the good things in life that make you scream. The fun part is that anyone can join in helping to create what organizers hope will become the longest scream in the world – and ride it all the way to the land of northern lights and midnight suns. Upload your own scream clip and have it added to the original film, helping to grow it longer. (It sounds like a Warhol experiment, doesn’t it?) As the film grows so does the value of the grand-prize trip drawn from all the submitted entries. Norwegian director of tourism, Per-Arne Tuftin, put it in a Nordic nutshell: “We basically want to make the world scream.”


i spy ifly

iFly is a neat new online travel magazine from Dutch airline KLM.  What sets it apart from its dowdy paper cousin, the in-flight, is more than just a half-finished Sudoku. Namely it’s an almost Ipadian reliance on words and images cleverly integrated with video. The opening spread features German photographers Censi Goepel and Jens Warnecke, who work in situations where most refuse to go because they are either too cold, too dark, or too rainy. During a long Norwegian winter in a VW bus the duo tried to capture a flame with an extremely long shutter time. It became the basis for a career revolving around images with amazing light effects, a handful of which are featured here. There’s also a video profile of Berlin’s quirky Propeller Island City Lodge, a hotel and art installation rolled into one. A 360-degree interactive tour of a single square in Florence merges cleverly with a jaunt across Scotland by car – coupled with a chance to win your own Scottish adventure. And if you’ve ever been curious about the evanescent magic of traveling through the universe, there’s an inquisitive interview with Dutch Astronaut Andre Kuipers, too. Naturally there’s also the requisite arrivals and departures information for the airline; however, if you’ve never flown through Amsterdam Schiphol this section might actually make for the most interesting reading of all: check in for your flight on KLM’s mobile app then speed through customs to a picnic in the sun, replete with butterflies, in the new grass-filled Airport Park. If culture is how you’d rather while away your layover there’s a Library with books in 29 languages and a collection of Old Master paintings awaiting discerning eyes at the Rijksmuseum Schiphol. Leave it to the ever-practical Dutch to turn one of the most stressful aspects of modern life into one of the most relaxing – not to mention re-imagining how we read and think about it, too.



norway on my mind

I was recently invited to travel to Norway next month and go trekking in search of the Northern Lights.

Coincidentally, an exhibition of the groundbreaking Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta, only just opened at Scandinavia House here in New York.  I’m eager to get down there to check it out before it shutters April 3rd.  Snøhetta is doing some of the most exciting work out there today:  socially conscious and sustainable, they create structures integrating culture, climate and context as these striking photos of the 2009 Mies van der Rohe Award winning Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo attest.  (Click each image for greater detail)

Even more exciting for New York, the firm has been commissioned to design the 9/11 Memorial Pavilion dowtown.


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