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.

Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment

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).  

Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment

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:

Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment

Gary Maki, Sr. Aerospace Science Instructor for JROTC at Bedford HS.


Air Force veteran Gary Maki is Bedford High School’s Senior Aerospace Science instructor for the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC program.

Maki retired from the Air Force in  2014 and is now on the BHS faculty. Gary has had prior experience as an instructor in the Air Force, was in Marine Corps Reserves for six years and has had  three combat deployments, including one in Afghanistan.

Students from Bedford, Hanscom Air Force Base, and Billerica take part in the BHS JROTC program. The program currently has 67 students. Maki said a district the size of Bedford would on average have more than 80 enrolled.   Maki and his JROTC students will improve awareness at the middle schools to make younger students aware of  the program benefits and increase future enrollment.

According to Maki,   JROTC programs in general are not designed to recruit for the United States military.   While students are learning respect, efficacy and solving problems,    JROTC offers students the opportunity to explore topics like aerospace that they may not experience in  their other traditional programs.   In addition, JROTC  students have the opportunity to be in leadership positions, learn life skills like finance and effective  communication, and how to choose a college.

Students spend 120 hours in the JROTC classroom during their six-day schedule, meeting four times during the school week performing drill and physical training.

more at Joy Richards,

Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment

Wasp species named in honor of Bruins’ Tuukka Rask

A newly discovered wasp species from East Africa now bears the designation Thaumatodryinus tuukkaraski, a tribute to Boston Bruins’ and Finnish National goalie Tuukka Rask.  The wasp was named after Rask by Robert S. Copeland, an entomologist at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya  who grew up in Newton, MA.  more at:


Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment

From the Atlantic Monthly-5 Bad American Habits I Kicked in Finland

  1. Fear of that awkward silence…
  2. Don’t say things that you don’t really mean…
  3. Don’t leave food on your take it; you eat it..
  4. Sit and enjoy your coffee..
  5. When going to sauna, you will be naked (and get comfortable)


Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment


BOSTON, MA – Boston Ballet unveils an all-new production of the timeless classical masterpiece Swan Lake. The production is choreographed by Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, and features costumes and sets by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola. Due to the high-ticket demand, Swan Lake has been extended from two to three weeks. The show will now run from October 30-November 16 at The Boston Opera House.

Swan Lake is one of the greatest ballets of all time, set to a score that is celebrated throughout the world,” said Nissinen. “After a six year hiatus, I am so excited to bring this exquisite classic back to Boston with a fresh look.”

Swan Lake is designer Robert Perdziola’s second commission from Boston Ballet, following his highly acclaimed debut of The Nutcracker in 2012. He describes the new production’s designs as having “some recognizable German influences” set in the late gothic/early renaissance period.

In addition to the reimagined sets and costumes, Nissinen has adjusted the choreography to what he feels is the authentic Swan Lake. The new production features an added prologue that depicts the abduction of Odette and the beginning of Rothbart’s spell. “If I have done my job correctly, this production will stay classic, but fill in the gaps,” said Nissinen. “Our version is updated to meet the skills of today’s dancers but remains true to the intent, impact, and feeling of the original.”

Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake follows the Swan Queen Odette and Prince Siegfried in a tale of romance, sorcery, and deceit. The second act, created by Lev Ivanov, is historically considered the finest piece of classical choreography for the corps de ballet. The production is set to a luscious score by P.I. Tchaikovsky, and will be performed by The Boston Ballet Orchestra.

For more information, visit

Posted in The Arts | Leave a comment

Helsinki-Vantaa to track passengers From parking lot to flight

Helsinki-Vantaa airport will soon be the first airport in the world to track passengers from the parking lot to the time they board their flight, using signals from their cellphones.

Airport officials say this will help them prevent bottlenecks. It will also allow the shops and restaurants at the airport to send them offers.

We’re looking at great paybacks from this investment,” said Heikki Koski, vice president in charge of new services at Finavia, operator of the airport in an interview with Bloomberg News. “We can manage the airport better, we can predict where bottlenecks might come and analyze everything more thoroughly.”

The system will work only when a mobile phone has its Wi-Fi access on, whether a passenger is aware of the tracking system or not. It is meant only to track a passenger’s movement, and not gather any other data about the individual

Privacy advocates, however, are skeptical.

The fact that my movements are tracked is a scarier thought than someone knowing which websites I visit,” said Antti Tikkanen, director of security response at software maker F-Secure Oyj. “I have a hard time believing location tracking is only left at statistics when the same technology makes so many other things possible.”

The tracking system is being provided by Walkbase Oy, based in Espoo. About 150 white boxes will be set up around the airport to pick up the signals from the mobile phones. Passengers can opt in via an application to receive information about flights and businesses. The initial tracking system is already in place.

The next step will be to install the capability to send messages.

Martin Laine

Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment