Lauri Markkanen named Pac-12 Player of the Week and Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected the Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Jan. 22. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.

As the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week, Markkanen was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week. This is the eighth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week.

Markkanen, 7-0 forward from Jyväskylä, Finland, averaged 20.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in a road sweep of USC and UCLA, shooting 14-of-22 from the field (.636) and 8-of-10 (.800) behind the arc. His game-high 23 points (8-12 FG, 5-6 3FG) at USC marked the 11th game this season he has led the Wildcats in scoring. He followed up with 18 points (6-10 FG, 3-4 3FG) to help Arizona win at No. 3 UCLA for its best true road win over a ranked opponent since downing No. 1 Stanford in March 2001.

Markkanen’s performance helped the Wildcats extend their winning streak to 12 games and to remain unbeaten in conference play (7-0). Monday, Markkanen was included in the USBWA’s Oscar Robertson Trophy (National Player of the Year) and Wayman Tisdale Award (National Freshman Player of the Year) midseason watch lists.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player.

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Finnish digital footprint leaves its mark on MWC 2017 and beyond


Barcelona, February 23, 2017: Finland is the global tech superpower. Supported by early access to new technologies, Finland and Finnish companies will be displaying their latest solutions and digital innovations at the Mobile World Congress 2017 (MWC 2017). Meet the Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications, Ms. Anne Berner, at the Finland pavilion on Monday 27th at 5pm.

For a country like Finland, a collaborative home field is key for being ahead in the new digital ballgame, where the development of new technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things and Virtual Reality drive all the players in the technology field to move forward at a remarkable pace.

“Ultimately the mutual interaction of 5G, AI, IoT as well AR and VR will be the real game changer. For this reason, we provide Finnish SMEs access to these developing technologies earlier than our competitors do. Our model enables new innovations for the common good as well as for Finnish companies to stay on the cutting edge of the development. That’s our digital footprint,” explains Anne Berner, Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications.

Read the whole press release at

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RAIVAAJA KYMMENEN VUOTTA (1915) is Now in Digital Format

The book RAIVAAJA KYMMENEN VUOTTA has been digitized by Raivaaja Foundation.
The book was originally printed by the Publishing Company in January 1915 to mark the 10th year since the beginning of the “crazy enterprise”.  A few pages of the digitized book are available on and include photos, diagrams, and details (in Finnish) of the founding and first years of the newspaper which also established  the very successful Workers Credit Union in 1914 (

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“Synkkä Metsä / Dark Forest “

synkka_metsa_cover2“Synkkä Metsä / Dark Forest ”
Chicago based professional jazz saxophonist Juli Wood has recorded a CD of Finnish folk songs played in jazz styles.  All four of her grandparents immigrated to the US from Finland and settled in Minnesota.

“All of my grandparents immigrated to the US from Pohjonmaa in the early 20th century. They were from Oulu, Haapajarvi, Pyhajarvi, and Alavieska.They ended up in Duluth MN and the Iron Range.  I have been traveling to Finland almost every summer for the last 15 years to play jazz music with some wonderful Finnish musicians in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku. My parents were great supporters of the Salolampi language camp in Bemidji MN. I’ve been there several times with my mother, Miriam Hendrickson. At Salolampi I heard many of the folk songs that are on my CD. Because I’m a professional jazz saxophonist, I decided to record the Finnish folk songs as instrumental pieces in jazz styles.Here’s a link to hear some samples on my website –  People wishing to purchase “Synkkä Metsä / Dark Forest ” can send a $20 check or money order ( includes postage and handling )to Juli Wood, 5806 N Artesian Ave, Chicago , IL 60659. Kiitos ! Juli Wood”

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Morley Safer of 60 Minutes and “Tango Finlandia” Dies

Morley Safer, a CBS television correspondent who brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into the living rooms of America in the 1960s and was a mainstay of the network’s news-magazine “60 Minutes” for almost five decades, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84.

While more renown for his other more serious reporting,  he introduced    “Tango Finlandia” to the world in 1993 ( noting all those well known Finnish traits disappear on the dance floor.  His Tango piece has spawned academic research:

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Tough times mean fewer children

Recently released figures showed that the number of births in Finland hit a 150-year low in 2015. At least one researcher says that tough times in the economy, high unemployment and a growing sense of uncertainty are among the reasons many people are choosing to have fewer children.

Only around 55,400 babies were born in Finland last year. The last time so few were born in a single year was in 1868, during an extended period of famine.

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Fun Finn Facts Tab Added

We have added a new tab for the quirky stories that may cause a quiet chuckle or help you fill those moments when you can’t think of anything to say when you meet your neighbor.  Check out the new posti service, speeders,  and politicians.   Enjoy.

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Increase in counterfeit banknotes found in Finland in 2015

​In 2015, a total of 1,085 counterfeits were detected among euro banknotes in circulation in Finland.

‘The number of counterfeits increased in 2015, compared with the previous four-year trend. However, in examining counterfeit banknotes removed from circulation in Finland since the adoption of the euro, this number can be regarded as reflecting normal annual variation. The threshold of 1,000 counterfeits was last breached in 2010’, says Miika Syrjänen, Head of Division, from the Bank of Finland.

Compared with other euro area countries, the numbers of counterfeit euro banknotes in Finland are still modest, due partly to the good condition of the banknotes. In November 2015, the new EUR 20 banknote entered into circulation. New security features render the counterfeiting of the note more difficult than before.
Year                                  ​2010  2011​  ​2012  ​2013 ​ 2014 ​ 2015
​Number of counterfeits     ​1,052 ​ 827 ​   620    ​427 ​   502 ​   1,085

Of the different denominations of banknotes, the EUR 20 was the most frequently discovered counterfeit banknote in Finland (538 counterfeits) in 2015, followed by EUR 50 (339 counterfeits) and EUR 100 (66 counterfeits).  

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The U.S. Air Force will send six F-15s to Finland this spring for exercises

(CNN)The U.S. Air Force will send six F-15s to Finland this spring for exercises that will operate out of a base about 100 miles from the border with Russia, military officials say.

More at:

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Workers’ Credit Union Purchases Building & Land in Littleton


Fitchburg, Mass – (January 11, 2016) – Workers’ Credit Union purchases additional office space in Littleton to accommodate its rapid growth, freeing up needed space in their Fitchburg and Lunenburg offices.

Workers’ Credit Union has just closed on a multi-tenant office building at 119 Russell St., Littleton. Located at the intersection of Routes 495 & 119 this site will house Workers’ senior management team and a number of administrative departments. The current main office location in Fitchburg will continue to house all of the other departments it does today which include mortgage and commercial lending, collections, deposit support, loan servicing, and a number of smaller units. The Workers’ branch at the same location will continue to serve the community.

According to Doug Petersen, president and CEO, Workers’ Credit Union, the growing organization has run out of space at its Main Street facility.  “This new arrangement gives us the best of both worlds; it allows us to maintain a major presence in Fitchburg while giving us an outpost in a market where we have seven branches and plan to add more.” Earlier this year, Workers’ opened branches in both Westford and in Fitchburg at Monty Tech High School.

“Workers’ Credit Union is committed to Fitchburg and will continue to support the community with employee volunteer hours, financial contributions and leadership,” Petersen said. Former Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong said “I am glad to see that Workers’ Credit Union is committed to remaining on Main Street in Fitchburg.  Workers’ is a big supporter of the Fitchburg community and I am glad they will continue to be a fixture here.”  New Mayor Steve DiNatale also stated “I am looking forward to having Workers’ Credit Union as a partner for many years to come; to help the City of Fitchburg move ahead”.

‘We are growing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per year and this new office space will allow us to accommodate that level of expansion well into the future while freeing up space in our Fitchburg and Lunenburg offices for our operational departments to expand,” Petersen said.

In addition to the office building Workers’ Credit Union has also purchased a parcel of adjacent land on which it plans to build a new, state-of-the-art branch. The credit union will begin work to upgrade the office building shortly with an exact move-in date to be announced at a later date.

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