Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
For Danes, the question is a fiery one, igniting on one side deeply held principles about freedom, nonconformity, and tolerance. A great number of Danes look to Christiania as the alter ego of the nation, and its right to exist is robustly defended. “In Denmark, everything is occupied and controlled. There’s not much space left in the cities, but Christiania is a kind of asylum. People feel more freer there than in the rest of the society,” says Rene Elley Karpantschof, a sociologist at the University of Copenhagen. But those opposed are fed up with the deeply rooted drug use, the land occupation, and the snubbing of laws. “It has been made a haven for criminals from neighboring countries, like Sweden or Norway,” says Jesper Nielsen, a cultural historian at Denmark’s National Museum. “So you could say they accept a criminal form of control within Christiania, but they resist control from without.”
Christiania, which takes its name from the Christhavn district in which it sits, began as a protest against the lack of affordable housing. The far left grandly championed the squatters. “Christiania is the land of settlers. It is so far the biggest opportunity to build up a society from scratch,” wrote well-known counterculture activist and journalist Jacob Ludvigsen as the squatters set up. Dilapidated army barracks were transformed into houses, and warehouses were outfitted with printing presses. Kindergartens were created, more houses built, stores and clinics opened, and a local post office was opened. No one paid utilities, rent, or taxes. Money was doled out equally, and smoking hash was as common as blinking. The “Freetown of Christiania” designed its own postage stamp, its own constitution, and its own flag. It had its own currency. It was known for its freewheeling lifestyle and funky, brightly painted houses.
“When I first came here, I was Red. I was for a revolution,” says Hjordis Oppedal, an artist who moved to Christiania in 1976 and maintains a studio there. “At first I didn’t like the drug users here, the addicts. But I realized all people have rights and I learned to keep an open mind.” Yet the hard drug use spiraled out of control, and an underworld of dealers swooped in to tap the growing market. What began as an anticapitalist utopia became a battleground of drug lords fighting for real estate. Police began regular raids on the drug-laden kiosks along Pusher Street, the commune’s main street.
Read more: The Christian Science Monitor
It does look like a magnified image of an uneven reflecting surface of some structure with all the sharp edged triangular forms coming out. Thoughts about a picture can be diversified but this wonderful form is easily visible with the naked eye.
As you can see it is a building, specifically a residential block in Copenhagen, Denmark with portrayal of jutting balconies making up the amazing structure. The name “VM” is due to side by side structures in the shape of V and M. These hold 80 different styled apartments which can be selected according to one’s requirement.
The blocks are formed as such to allow for daylight, privacy and views. The vis-à-vis with the neighbour is eliminated by pushing the slab in its centre, ensuring diagonal views to the vast and open, surrounding fields. All apartments have a double-height space to the north and wide panoramic views to the south. The logic of the diagonal slab utilized in the V house is broken down in smaller portions for the M house. In this project, the typology of the Unite d’ Habitation of Le Corbusier is reinterpreted and improved; the central corridors are short and receive light from both ends, like bullet holes penetrating the building. The VM Houses offer more than 80 different apartment types that are programmatically flexible and open to the individual needs of contemporary life - a mosaic of different life forms.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Read the comments at The Economist
Saturday, February 14, 2009
"The aim is to improve their state of health, help them avoid committing crimes and stabilise their lives," explains Dr Anne Mette Doms at the Danish Board of Health, which supervises the project. "Quitting altogether is not a realistic option for most of these patients. For them, this will be a chronic treatment, as if you were treating a chronic disease."
Addicts will need to attend one of five specialist drug clinics across the country, where they will inject diamorphine – pharmaceutical-grade heroin – under doctors' supervision. The drug will not be available on prescription so as to avoid resale on the street.
Danish authorities are in the process of setting up the clinics, registering the doctors who will work there, and finding out which drug companies they will source the heroin from. The £7.2m project is expected to be up and running by March.
The initiative was adopted by overwhelming consensus in February 2008, after all but one of the parties represented at the Danish parliament voted in favour of the policy – the only one against it was a tiny far-left party that did not oppose the project per se, but the way it was funded.
More: The Guardian
On the same subject: Danish Heroin Maintenance Program to Commence Next Month
Monday, February 02, 2009
One of the unsolved cases concerns an incident that happened on Funen in 1982. A 15-year-old boy was cycling through the countryside early in the morning one summer’s day when he noticed something unusual in a field. Dismounting his bike, he walked towards what appeared to be a large, brightly-lit object that resembled two discs placed on top of one another. Intrigued, the boy walked closer and was amazed to see five humanoid figures next to the object.
The files state that the figures were about 60cm tall, and had large heads and chests in relation to their puny legs. Whether the boy was making it up or not we can't be sure, but his story is one of the more detailed examples contained in the dossier.
‘We decided to publish the archives because frankly there is nothing really secret in them,’ says Thomas Pedersen, a captain in the Danish Air Force who said they had become tired of journalists requesting to see them. ‘The Air Force has no interest in keeping unusual sightings a secret. Our job is to maintain national security, not investigate UFOs.’
More: The Copenhagen Post