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Law and Norwegians
-  LawAndEverythingElse.Com  - Copyright (c) 2006 Burton Randall Hanson

 Handicapped Norwegian shows spunk, speeds off into the New Year. "A wheelchair-bound woman didn't let her handicap hinder her escape after she was spotted shoplifting in a western Norwegian town Monday. She simply gave full power to her motorized wheelchair and sped off, crashing through a glass door and literally shaking off pursuers along the way...." Woman shoplifter flees in wheelchair (Aften-Posten 12.31.2002) Like the wheelchair-bound woman's pursuers, "Time's winged chariot" is always at our backs, "hurrying near." Although we probably can't make our particular pursuers "stand still," yet, like the woman gunning away from her pursuers, perhaps "we will make [them] run." See To His Coy Mistress, by Andrew Marvell. Therefore, as the chimes ring out that another year is through, my wish for you is that you won't slip and fall but that if you do and if you injure yourself, you have sense enough to outfit yourself with a good speedy Norwegian motorized wheelchair, not one of the slower American ones, one with enough torque to allow you to speed away from all the forces of darkness into the bright sunshine of the New Year. (12.31.2002)

 The youngest one in the whole wide world. My cousin, Grant Herfindahl, and his wife Hege, whom he met while studying in Norway, are once again the lucky grandparents of the newest, absolutely youngest "youngest Herfindahl in the whole wide world." In announcing the birth on Christmas Eve of Grant Roland Herfindahl, I said I thought I was "safe" in saying he was "the youngest Herfindahl in the whole wide world" because "Herfindahl" is a rare surname. Grant Roland did not hold his title for long. He now has a cousin, Nils Mowendo Herfindahl, born to Erland and Ester, who met while Erland was studying in Kenya. "Nils" is Erland's middle name and "Mwendo" means "journey" in the Kamba language. It is an honor to welcome Nils to the family. I predict great things for him. BTW, despite its rareness, the Herfindahl surname is well-known to anyone who has studied economics, thanks to the world-wide use of the Herfindahl Index, named after my late mother's late cousin, Orris Clement Herfindahl. Indeed, as this result from a Google search using the name "Herfindahl" and the name "Kenya" shows, the name is well-known in Kenya. (04.30.2003)

 Norway in the news. A nursing home in Norway is in the news because of complaints by relatives of a 105-year-old resident, Olivia Borgen Olsen, about management's "barring" of her from the dining room and "banishing" of her to her own room because she allegedly (these are allegations, folks, not facts proven in a court of law) complained constantly about the quality of the food, complaints that were said to have "disturbed" her fellow diners and "ruined" their own appetites. Nursing home bars 105-year-old from dining room (Aftenposten 12.10.2002). While we hope the regulators in Norway will lift the sanctions against Ms. Olsen, we should add that we can think of a woman or two who we sorta are tempted to hope will live to 105 and will wind up barred from the dining room in her nursing home, banished to her room and unvisited. But we jest. Meanwhile, the Norwegians, who previously have awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace to the leaders of Israel and the PLO, today bestowed it on the angelic Jimmy Carter, he with the cornpone (that's pone, not porn) grin. Carter accepts Peace Prize in a 'more dangerous' world (Aftenposten 12.10.2002). We trust that if we accept an invitation to spend Christmas in Norway, eating Pinnekjøtt, mashed rutabagas and rice cream, we will receive the same royal treatment JimEarl is receiving. In fact, unless we receive a binding commitment to that effect, we may instead head for Barcelona. Failing that, we may just pop ourselves some popcorn and watch a video of Barcelona. (12.10.2002)

 Norwegians in Minnesota politics. "Between 1820 and 1920 over 730,000 people emigrated from Norway to the United States." More Most of them made their way to Minnesota where, surprisingly, most of them are still living, albeit in a state of suspended animation. Every two years the political parties do their best to jolt them back to consciousness briefly, long enough to vote, by brewing egg coffee within whiffing distance of their snoring nostrils and by shouting "Free donuts if you vote DFL" or "Lower taxes [on your nonexistent income] if you vote GOP" through the thickets of hair in their ears. This year is no exception. Vice-President Walter Mondale, candidate for the U.S. Senate, has roots in Fjærland, in the Sognefjord area of Norway from which many of my Norsk ancestors came. Tim Penny, Independent Jesse Ventura's pick as his replacement, looks like he is (and may well be) one of my Viking cousins. Roger Moe, the DFL candidate for governor, may be the most stereotypically Norwegian of this year's crop. Does it help being Norwegian? It depends on what you mean by Norwegian. We Norwegians may be a long-faced lot but, Thor bless us, we are always open to something or someone new and/or different if it or he or she is not too new and/or different. We elected a conservative Republican Jewish plywood salesman named Boschwitz to the U.S. Senate, partly because he was smart enough to learn to speak Minnesotan (i.e., Norwegian-American English). We elected Paul Wellstone, a Jewish left-leaning organizer from North Carolina who was, of all things, a "perfessor" at that silk-stocking school, Carleton, to the U.S. Senate because, well, he reminded us of Hubert H. Humphrey, the one who now resides in Valhalla. We elected Alan Page, a black man from Ohio who gained fame as a football player, to the state supreme court partly because, like Paul Wellstone, he chose us by staying here and becoming one of us. Without abandoning his racial/ethnic heritage, he was low-key and thoughtful enough that somehow he became part Norwegian. He has also become, to the surprise of some but not me, the best judge on our state supreme court. We Norskies are so open to something or someone new or different that time and again we've -- gasp! -- elected or appointed Swedes named Anderson to high office. For example, there are now two Andersons on the state supreme court and yet another one came close to getting himself appointed last summer. Why so many Swede Andersons in our judicial system? Why Affirmative Action for Andersons? Because a) they need all the help they can get, b) putting them on the court keeps them quiet and out of mischief, and c) we Norwegians remember when the violent Swedes ruled Norway with iron fists clenching some frozen lutefisk in their grasp. It is no accident that the Swedish college in Minnesota is named after a warrior king, Gustavus Adolphus, whereas the top two Norwegian schools are named after a confession (Augsburg) and a saint (Saint Olaf). "Does it help being Norwegian," you asked. Yes, but.... Yes, Minnesota is all about Norwegian ethnic politics -- but everyone in Minnesota is or ultimately converts to Norwegianism. Thus, it is no puzzling paradox to us that the only well-known Scandinavian restaurant in the Twin Cities is the culinary brain child of a black man who also is Scandinavian or that all the other ethnic restaurants, including the Chinese ones, in Minnesota in fact serve what amounts to Norwegian versions of their own ethnic food. (11.01.2002)

  Sytten den Mai.  Today is Sytten den Mai (pronounced "sutt-en-a-my"), Norwegian Independence Day.  If you want to learn more about Sytten den Mai, look it up yourself. Asking what it is, is like asking "What is jazz?" If you have to ask, you'll never know. Clarence Darrow said, "There is no justice in or out of court." He was right. If there were any justice in Minnesota, in court or out of court, Sytten den Mai would be a state holiday. But we Norwegians don't need affirmance from others, although the fact so many people want to convert to Norwegianism does tell us we're doing something right. We are a modest folk. We say, "Aw, shucks," when the Reader's Digest reports Norwegians came out best in its "test" of the honesty of people in various cities and countries around the world. How honest are we? Well, the Digest folks dropped 10 wallets containing $50 in cash in and around Oslo, Norway. All 10 were returned to "the owner." The only other country to do as well was Denmark. In the USA 7 of 10 of the wallets dropped were returned. In one city in Mexico...none. But, I digress. We are a modest lot.  We therefore don't run around blabbing that Jesus Christ was a Norwegian Lutheran, even though it's true. Because of "stuff" like that, we are universally regarded as the most modest people in the history of the world. If you see one of us on the street, say hi. Introduce yourself. Get a taste of our great modesty. We won't shun you. It's not our style. We tolerate everyone...even Swedes. Enjoy. (05.17.2002)

 Are Norwegian women "whores"? According to Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Erna Solberg, Muslim leaders in Norway convey to immigrant Muslim boys the damaging impression that Norwegian women are "whores." More (Aften-Posten)

 Where's Knute Rokne when we need him? Knute Rockne, Notre Dame's legendary coach, who migrated from Voss, Norway, home of my great-great-grandmother, Ragnhilda Harvey (Horveid) of Horveid, Evanger, Voss, must be hanging his head in sadness up in the Notre Dame section of the Norwegian section of Football Heaven on hearing the news that Notre Dame has forced the resignation of its newly-appointed Irish coach of "the Irish," George O'Leary, "after problems with claims disputing both his academic and athletic background were uncovered." More. (ESPN.Com). Assuming that "O'Leary" is O'Leary's real name, I'm assuming he's at least part Irish -- which prompts me to say that I grew up in a small town with a fair number of Irish, that some of my favorite people from then and later are Irish, indeed are O'Leary's, so I don't want anyone to think I think Notre Dame's troubles in recent years stem from its failure to hire another Norwegian (more particularly, Vossing) as coach. But I will stake Notre Dame on some free advice. 1) Pray for Knute to intercede with the football gods, some of whom reside in Valhalla, on your behalf. 2) Remember that your last winning coach came, if not from Norway, at least from the place known in Norwegian history as "the Glorious New Scandinavia," a/k/a Minnesota. 3) Go North again, Notre Dame: focus your search on a super-winning coach you may not have heard of, Mike Grant, coach of the Eden Prairie High School football team, worthy football heir of Bud Grant, the only great coach of the Minnesota Vikings (P.S., the Regents of the University of Minnesota weren't smart enough to hire him but the Brothers at St. John's University may be smart enough). (12.14.2001)

 This just in: the Norwegians, in fact, are God's chosen people! Well, no more so than the Swedes. While watching a PBS special on "The Vikings" (the real ones, not the ones who lose the big game every December), I was struck by the glaring omissions -- e.g., no mention was made of the fact that Jesus Christ was Norwegian. All of my ancestors were Norwegian -- including the Harveys, who were from the place depicted at right, Horvei (Americanized to Harvey), Evanger, Voss, Norway. The photo was taken at my request in the summer of 1999 as a courtesy by a generous Vossinger named Svein Ulvand, who maintains a truly wonderful website devoted to Voss, on which he posts a new picture every day. [more]

 Winter blues? I think that people of Norwegian ancestry are especially prone, starting as early as late September, to SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or "winter blues," just as they've been known to get a little "manic" in the summer (have you ever been in Bergen on Midsummer's Eve?). I know I am prone to the "winter blues," but it took me years to figure it out and to find a satisfactory way of responding short of taking antidepressant medicine, which I've found not as effective. The solution for me is exposure for an hour or so each morning to a special "light box" or "dawn simulator." If one remembers to use it, it can make a big difference. Here's a link to a story in Aften-Posten indicating that the boxes are catching on in Norway, with its extremely short days in the winter and high incidence of SAD sufferers. Here's a link to a site with useful information that has been reviewed for accuracy by the leading expert on SAD, Dr. Norman Rosenthal, M.D., of the National Institute of Mental Health, author of Winter Blues (2 ed. 1998) (click here to read the book's introduction for free). The Circadian Lighting Association (link) helps buyers of light boxes make sure they're getting the real thing. Standard advice is to talk with your doctor, but SADly, many of them aren't up to snuff on SAD and its treatment. I am not a doc and, of course, don't purport to give medical advice to anyone. (11.21.2001)

 Norway & Norwegians. a) "Norwegian opticians are enchanted by the wave of popularity triggered by the new Harry Potter film since it means that children are queuing up to switch to round black glasses -- or to have their eyes tested." More (Aften-Posten). b) Norwegian harmonica player Sigmund Groven's CD's outsell Mariah Carey's -- in South Korea. More (Aften-Posten) c) It's winter in Voss, Norway, one of my ancestral homes: go to Voss Now and click on list, at left, for photos of Vinjadalen taken on 11.24.2001 by Svein Ulvund.  (11.24.2001)

 As if you didn't know it. Here's the Norwegian table prayer: "I Jesu navn går vi til bords/ Spise og drikke på ditt ord/ Deg Gud til ære oss til gavn /Så får vi mat i Jesu navn." My late father, whose mother died when he was three, learned it as a little boy and, years later, at family gatherings would recite it on command. He always sounded to me like a little boy when he did so. For more Norwegian cultural resources, click here. (Note: in Norway "culture" = traditional Norwegian recipes.) (11.21.2001)

 Are there pimps even in Norway? "The manager of a Trondheim sex club is intending to open a sister club in Oslo in the New Year, even though he is currently standing trial for pimping. Tom Ketil Krogstad denies the charges. Krogstad (35) and his 41-year-old girlfriend Ratree Hansen are accused of allowing prostitutes to service clients in their premises, of marketing and organising prostitution and of pocketing a percentage of prostitutes' earnings...." [more] Ratree Hansen -- what a name! Please note that she spells "Hansen" with an "e" and not an "o." (10.31.2001)

 Why do Norwegians buy Swedish booze? a) They're dumb and don't know any better. b) They want to help out the poor, dumb Swedes. c) They're hoping to get to know the blonde babes who work as liquor clerks at the Swedish liquor stores. d) It's cheaper by half. Answer: d). While Swedish wine and spirit sellers are rubbing their hands in glee their Norwegian counterparts are watching sales plummet as customers cross the border to buy much, much cheaper wares (Aften-Posten). A funny pic accompanies the article: two guys who are wearing the subtle grins of satisfied Norsks who think they've gotten a real deal. (10.26.2001)

 What are the "dumb Norwegians" up to these days? In Minnesota, with its high population of Swedes and Norwegians, we have a great tradition of "dumb Swede" jokes that dumb Norwegians tell and "dumb Norwegian" jokes that dumb Swedes tell. As this dumb Norwgian predicted on 09.29 would happen, the Norwegians picked Kofi Annan to win the Nobel peace prize. According to Aften-Posten, the committee members wanted to send a signal to the U.S. and NATO that the U.N. is the best institution for preventing and solving international conflicts. What a laugh. The U.N. and Annan were both big players at the recent anti-semitic, anti-American "conference" in Durban, in which the U.S. and Israel wisely did not participate. Of the Durban Conference, Alistair Cooke wrote: "I doubt there has ever been a conference called by the United Nations that was so well-meaning in intention as the one in Durban but also so ill-considered, so doomed in prospect, a conference more dominated, if not paralysed, by hate-mongering delegates and loony outdoor bigots whom the conference was supposed to pacify or reform...." [more] Some have even speculated that there is a "Durban connection" to the events of 09.11. Opinion (WorldNetDaily). I don't know the answer. But I do know that the "conference," including Annan's sanctimonious remarks, irritated me. Who should have gotten the prize? Again, as I said on 09.29, the N.Y.P.D. and the F.D.N.Y., the folks who try their damdest to keep the peace and protect people on a daily basis, the folks who gave their lives on 09.11 trying to save the innocent victims of the hateful apostles of anti-Americanism and anti-semitism. Interestingly, according to the latest poll, only 47% of Norwegians support our military action against the Taliban and bin Laden and his henchmen. It's really pretty typical of Norwegians. I know them well. All my ancestors are Norwegian and I grew up in a community heavily-populated with Norwegian-Americans. I've always had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with Norway and with Norwegians. Many of them are terrific people. But many of them irritate the hell out of me. They want you to think they're modest and humble, when deep down they really think they're pretty hot stuff. One wants to say to some of them, as Golda Meier, the late Prime Minister of Israel, said to a member of her cabinet, "Don't be so humble, you're not that great." In times of crisis, you always find out who your true friends, if any, are. The Brits (74% support) are our best friends. Always have been, always will be. The day will come when the sanctimonious Norwegians will come whining to us for help. They always do -- usually with a little sanctimonious twist to their plea. And, of course, we'll save the dumb asses. We always do. Why? Because, my friends, we're the good guys. :-) One sidelight: the International Red Cross, knowing it had been nominated for the award, prepared a just-in-case press release, which someone in the organization mistakenly released, much to the organization's embarrassment. [more] Another sidelight: according to Aften-Posten, a Norwegian college student studying biochemistry has been expelled from an Alabama college because, as the paper put it, he "is considered a terrorist risk." [more] I don't know the facts. It's quite possible the young man is a good fellow, no threat to anyone. Some might argue that one of the real "threats" is the kind of sanctimonious Nobel (faux noble) naïvety we see emanating out of Norway every now and then. (10.12.2001)

 The royal wedding in Norway, the greatest little country on earth. a)The ceremony. b) The King's classy toast to his daughter-in-law: "You are not an ordinary girl, you are an exceptional girl....The queen and I have become very fond of you, and have deep respect for what you stand for." c) The Prince praises his bride: "'Mette-Marit, jeg elsker deg,' he declared for the whole world to hear." d) Oslo celebrates. e) The critical Norskies are pleased. f) Prince & Princess on honeymoon, are "exhausted." :-) g) Honeymooners fly to NYC. h) The royal newlyweds have been spotted in Manhattan eating outside at "the trendy bistro Le Charlot." They were dressed in casual clothes and were smoking cigarettes! [more] Presumably, they eventually will make their way to the new-and-improved Norway, i.e., Minnesota, to be greeted by Jesse Ventura and Norm ("Snoopy") Coleman. i) For Washington Post's bad-girl-becomes-princess angle, click here. j) Norway's future king & bride in NY area at time of attack. k) And many other stories and pictures.

 The royal wedding. The Palace has released a partial list of guests for the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby in the cathedral in Oslo on August 25th. Click here. Apparently 150 names are being "kept under wraps." [more] These are the so-called "mystery guests." I'm assuming that I'm among the mystery guests. Presumably, we mystery guests have not been told, and that explains why I've not received my invitation yet. It wouldn't be a mystery to us mystery guests if we were told so far in advance of the wedding. Also, if we were told now, word might get out and our identities would no longer be a mystery. I'm a modest fellow, possibly the most modest person who ever lived -- also I'm a commoner, like Mette-Marit -- so I won't say anymore about this. It's no big deal. If you run into me, don't treat me with any more deference than you would normally treat me. (08.07.2001)

 In Norway it's fun to be robbed. I'm 100% Norwegian. One-fourth of my Norsk ancestors -- everyone on my father's father's side -- hail from Sogn og Fjordane in mid-western Norway. Two brothers who live together in Flåm, a mountain town in Sogn og Fjordane, Arne (73) and Øystein Tokvam (80), were in a local shop on Monday and struck up a conversation with "a foreign woman" who was in her 30's and "seemed very nice." On learning that the brothers did not live with any "womenfolk" (a term I often heard used as I was growing up in Benson in western Minnesota), the woman asked to see the boys' house. Once there, the woman said "Strip?" and started undressing. Arne said, "No, no, I'm an old man." The woman ignored Arne's protests and continued doing her striptease. As Arne put it, "suddenly" another woman "turned up" and "threw her [arms] around Øystein's neck." Arne later said of Øystein, "Poor guy, he was so shocked he didn't know what to do." Accepting their fate stoically, as we Norsk men must do in such situations, the boys "just settled down and enjoyed the show" until the women said they needed to use the bathroom. Shortly thereafter the boys discovered the women had left, taking with them an 80-kilo safe containing NOK 60,000 (USD 6,600) in cash. Police are looking for the women. Meanwhile, Arne and Øystein waxed philosophical in talking with the press. Arne said, "Of course it's sad to be robbed, but we still have to laugh. It's been a long time since we had so much fun. It's too bad about the money, but we just have to take it with good humor. We're looking at it as entertainment. Very expensive, but absolutely entertaining." (Aften-Posten, BergenTidends) (08.01.2001)

 Bunad time in country with highest quality of life. According to a United Nations survey, Norway has the "best quality of life" of any country in the world. Minnesota, once referred to by immigrants as the "Glorious New Scandinavia, probably has as good a quality of life or better but Minnesota is a state. Next in rank among countries are Australia,  Canada, Sweden, Belgium, the USA and Iceland. [more] Murder is so rare in Norway that one murder investigation can use up a city's annual budget for criminal investigation. [more] Friends of mine who have traveled widely tell me it's one of the best places they've ever visited. They were in Bergen at Midsummer's Eve, sitting out on a public plaza drinking beer late at night in broad daylight, sharing in the summer mania that all Norwegians, even ones in Minnesota, experience in some degree. The late Justice James C. Otis, a gentleman judge with whom I worked for many years, told me once that the two most beautiful countries of the many he had visited were Norway and New Zealand. One of my cousins, who is married to a native of Norway, has been there on vacation in recent weeks. My kids, who've both been there, tell me it's the best time to go. Right now is, among other things (e.g., strawberry time), "bunad time." A "bunad" is a traditional folk costume worn by a Norwegian on a special occasion such as a wedding or an important community event. Each section of Norway has its own distinct bunad, one for women, one for men. There are also children's versions. There are approximately 200 distinct bunader in Norway. [more] According to a recent issue of AftenPosten, a bunad can cost as much as $4,000-5,000. Jewelry, shoes and accessories can add a couple thousand more to the price. But, in these relatively affluent times in Norway, a record number of Norwegians are buying them. Nearly 30% of Norwegians over 16 have them. Others rent them when needed.

Secret royal wedding menu leaked.  Here's the menu for the 220 elite guests invited to the wedding banquet in Oslo on August 25th of Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. The banquet "will start off with a dish of scallops and cured ham, followed by fried turbot with cauliflower puree. For the main course, guests will be served lamb tenderloin with thyme sauce, new potatoes and a selection of autumn vegetables. Reliable sources say the dinner will be rounded off with a light goats cheese parfait with cloudberry coulis." Aften-Posten. My daughter, looking over my shoulder reading the menu, says this "sounds terrible." I don't know about that, since I haven't tasted the dishes in question. I don't like to pre-judge anything. But then I went to Harvard Law School and she attends Michigan Law School. Frankly, though, I think they could save money and still satisfy the guests' appetites if they served escalloped potatoes-and-ham hotdish. Most Norwegian Lutheran Churches I've visited regularly serve it at funeral "lunches," fellowship dinners, and wedding banquets in the church basement. I have an old red-covered Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church spiral-bound cookbook with a real good recipe for it. One hopes also they won't waste Norwegian taxpayers' money on expensive wines. I don't believe wine has ever been served at a function held in an American Norwegian Lutheran Church basement. However, if wine is to be served, then I venture to say, as I'm somewhat of a connoisseur, that Mogen David tastes just as good and is much cheaper. One can save money and avoid the guests (and the bride's 14-year-old sister) getting intoxicated by diluting it with Welch's grape juice. One can simulate the taste of champagne by adding some charged water. Most Norwegians, I've found, are so subject to "the power of suggestion" that they can get high drinking near-beer if you just tell them it's strong beer. (07.07.2001)
 Dept. of everything-Norwegian-is-great: nude radio weather reports. One summer during law school I lived in a rooming house in Cambridge, MA with five Harvard grad students: two fellows from Japan, two from Taiwan, and one from India. One day the fellow from India and one of the fellows from Taiwan got into a mild argument over which was better, China or India. It dwindled into a humorous bit of "dissing" in which the guy from China said that "everything Chinese is better than everything Indian!" Everyone burst out laughing at the absurdity of that, and the argument ended with no hard feelings. I, of course, as a member of the "host" country, said nothing about the greatness of America, which I assumed everyone with any sense assumed. I also said nothing about a little-known fact: that everything Norwegian is "yust grate." I've already presented evidence of that in introducing my readers to the ancient Norwegian sport of cow-tossing, which no one does better. [more] I'm now pleased to present even more evidence (as if any were needed): the world's first nude radio weather report, in Norsk. (Note: under "Bedre vær - mindre klær" click on "Les mer" and on next page click on "server 1" or "2" or "3." Focus your attention on the map of Norge, to the left of the meteorologically-gifted weather reporter, Siv Johannessen, who has an appealing but highly professional Norwegian laugh.) As Ole would say, "Vot is de vorld coming to?"
 King of the world? No, just my kind of king of the greatest little country on earth. The Norskies were dominated by the damn Danes and Swedes for 500 years, finally getting their independence in 1905. Since then, they've had only three kings, all above average. The New York Times dated 03.05.01 contains a delightful profile of Norway's future king, the dashing 27-year-old Haakon, who lives in an apartment in Oslo with a stunningly-beautiful commoner, "his lover, Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby, 27, and her 3-year-old son, Marius." The article suggests that "the famously tolerant Norwegians" -- at least the younger ones -- don't have a problem with their future king's conduct. Not that they should, since cohabiting out of wedlock "is nothing out of the ordinary for Oslo, where...more than half of children are born out of wedlock and cohabiting is common." Truth is, practicing biology without a license is a great Norwegian tradition, at least in the Sogn og Fjordane part of Norway from which some of my Norwegian ancestors emigrated, where it was common to wait until the woman was pregnant before getting a license. In any event, Ms. Tjessem Hoiby and Haakon are going to make their union "legal" on August 25 in the Lutheran cathedral in Oslo.
 "Niagara" -- the new Swedish soft drink that is said to increase women's libido.  Swedish women probably don't need "it" (at least if their boy friends are Norwegian), but Arkansas women apparently do. "It," Niagara, sells for $4.50 a bottle, but one apparently desperate woman offered to pay $1,000 for a bottle. The makers of Viagra have sued, claiming trademark infringement. Looking for a cheaper alternative, also from Scandinavia but available at the nearest grocery store for $4.98 a pound? It's called lutefisk (scientific name: Norwegra). Norwegian women who regularly eat lutefisk report they are never lacking in libido. [Clinton, sex og lutefisk] Could extract of lutefisk be the secret substance in "Niagara"? I guess not. One doc says what gives women "that tingly feeling" from drinking Niagara is caffeine, lots of "it." [more]

Announcement. We've finally gotten around to launching our new webzine/blawg: BurtLaw's The Daily Judge:

It is not an online newspaper and is not affiliated with or intended to be mistaken for any existing or previously-existing newspaper or journal. Rather, it is a so-called "blawg," a law-related personal "web log" or "blog," one with a subjective, idiosyncratic, and eccentric sociological and social-psychological slant that focuses not on the latest judicial decisions of supposed great importance but on a) the institution of judge in the United States and in other countries throughout the world, b) the judicial office and role, c) judicial personalities, d) the great common law tradition of judging as practiced here and throughout the world, e) judges as judges, f) judges as ordinary people with the usual mix of virtues and flaws, etc. We link to newspapers and other sources in order to alert the reader to ideas, articles, stories, speeches, law books, literary works and other things about "judges" that have interested us and that may interest the reader.

We don't promote our blawgs, but readers of this blog and of our affiliated political opinion blog, BurtonHanson.Com, may be interested in it. We don't think there is another blawg quite like it.