Tag Archives: Vikings

Swedish cops don’t go commando

Behold the Volvo of justice

Most Americans probably aren’t aware of this, but even the horrible socialist hell-hole nation of Sweden has laws that govern its citizenry — such as a two-abortion minimum and a 92% tax on herring sandwiches. There is even a law declaring it illegal to break into a bank-run cash depot and take a bunch of money.

That last provision was willfully ignored by a group of hooligans this week, and now Swedish police are under fire for failing to stop the theft. Because they really should have been prepared for this:

Swedish police faced stinging criticism Thursday for failing to stop helicopter-borne gunmen from pulling off a Hollywood-style heist against a cash depot while blocking an air pursuit with a fake bomb.

Whoa. WHAT?

With cinematic flourish, the masked bandits broke into the building through the roof early Wednesday and set off explosions to get to the millions inside. They escaped by hoisting themselves and their haul back up on rope lines.

They then blocked any air pursuit by planting a fake bomb at a nearby police helipad. And now the Swedish media is all ubjurdertungling* over the cops’ failure to, I don’t know, catapult themselves at the heavily armed men in the stolen helicopter as they fled the scene:

Swedish police must “be able to use the equipment that has been acquired for large amounts,” the Dagens Nyheter daily wrote in an opinion piece. “Helicopters, cars, boats and other equipment must be kept in a way so that criminals cannot sabotage them.”

Bear in mind that this is the same Swedish police force that was once led on a half-mile low-speed chase by a drunk Bill Murray in a golf cart. I think the citizens of Stockholm are lucky these guys didn’t stampede each other running away from the building. “Um, I don’t feel so good, captain Jensen… I think I had some bad fiskeboller and I need to go home for the day… BYE!”

Swedish police criticized after helicopter heist [Boston.com]

* Not a real word — to my knowledge

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A man this awesome needs more names

Scandinavia is a land of unspeakable danger, what with all the trolls, elves, black metal bands, snow nazis, socialized medicine, maelstroms, and, um, fjord goblins scattered throughout the landscape.

To combat these threats, a man needs three things:

1.  A handsome face

2. A mullet

3. Names. Lots of them. Tough ones.

Say hello to Andreas Jankov. Whoops, sorry — that was his old name. I meant say hello to Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacka Highlander Elessar-Jankov:


According to Videogum, the ginger giant here changed his name to prove he was serious about never, ever, getting laid:

“I wanted to show that it is possible to be serious and at the same time take the name you like,” said Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacka Highlander Elessar-Jankov to VG Nett.

The 30-year-old has acquired both passports and bank cards, but the name he has no room for.The passport has Highlander omitted.


That’s Your Name [Videogum]


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Self-plagiarism: Happy something day, you mackerel-snappers!

Pax Arcana

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on St. Patrick’s Day 2008. I think it says everything I will ever have to say on this occasion, and is therefore ripe for a reprint. Once I figure out how to monetize online content, I may have to pay myself twice for this — I’m not sure.

I have a soft spot for St. Patrick’s Day, as it was on this day in 2001 that I first left my slobbering imprint on the gorgeous visage of the stately and beatific Mrs. Pax Arcana. That anniversary has since been replaced by a wedding anniversary, but still you never forget the first time you drag a passed-out drunk kid named Murph out of your room in a rented ski house so you can plant one on your future wife, do you?

“Dude. Check it. It’s regular beer. But it’s green! GREEN DUDE! Isn’t that the bomb?”

And of course, Boston is really the global hub of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. What in Ireland is a minor holiday — and in New York is essentially a boring girl-scout parade — is to the average Boston-area moron the social event of the year. St. Patrick’s Day in Boston has it all — New Hampshire tourists in green and gold Dr. Seuss hats harassed by Dorchester toughs in Adidas visors and wife-beaters T-shirts (certainly appropriate on these mooks). There’s also your garden-variety gay bashing, your frat-guy projectile vomiting contests, and your stumbling drunk coeds struggling to guide their cabs from Quincy to Allston. Go Boston.

All in all, I find St. Patrick’s Day utterly adorable. I like to think of the life St. Patrick himself, a former slave from the English mainland who returned to Ireland sometime in the 5th century and converted many to Christianity.

I wonder if he knew the hell that would be visited on the spiritual descendants of those early Christians just a few hundred years later, as wave after wave of Viking ships crashed down on the countryside. All the social order and peace imposed by the Christians left the monks rich and defenseless — a combination the Vikings found both hilarious and profitable!

So anyway, enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, my Irish friends. Drink your Guinness. Pretend you like the Dropkick Murphys. Barf up your corned beef at the Purple Shamrock. Just remember to keep your heads on a swivel, because you never know when history might repeat itself.


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Drunk high jumper = two fist pumps of awesome

Pax Arcana

The pressure of high-stakes track and field can be a terrible burden. Most international superstars cope by meditating or listening to their favorite music on their headphones.

Russian high jumper Ivan Ukhov apparently does things a little differently.

According to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten (via FanHouse) the below video, shot at the Lausanne Grand Prix, shows Ukhov failing hilariously to clear the bar due to a condition athletes call “shitfacedness.”

Here’s what Aftenposten had to say about the incident:

Det hindret likevel ikke russeren i å prøve seg i et tredje og siste forsøk. Han flyttet listen til 2.32 og rev igjen. Selvfølgelig. Russeren var så full at han så vidt klarte å stå på beina, og etter det siste mislykkede hoppet ble han liggende på madrassen og klarte ikke å komme seg opp før han fikk hjelp av manageren Pavel Voronkov.

Oh wait. Can’t read it. OK, let’s just run that bit through Babel Fish:

Lazy americans you will know destruction when we descend upon you like the salmon to the spawning grounds. Wielding our battle axes we will rampage over the countryside and split the heads of our enemies and set your cities aflame. Our muscles are taut with fury. Our throats are parched and yearning for the blood of your children.

Oh that can’t be good.

Han drakk Red Bull og vodka [Aftenposten]
Russian High Jumper Accused of Jumping Under the Influence of Red Bull and Vodka [FanHouse]

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Astronaut Jesus + Vikings + Space Dragon = WTF?

Pax Arcana

Here is the official trailer for the new movie Outlander, starring Jim Caviezel as some kind of astronaut who falls to earth in the time of the Vikings while pursued by a giant space dragon.

I shit you not. That’s the story:

Personally, I don’t find this film very historically credible. For one thing, 8th century Norwegian Vikings didn’t speak English with British accents. For another thing, Vikings didn’t fight space dragons. They fought zombies while riding on space dragons. You would have thought my book on the subject, A Fjord Too Deep: The Truth About Vikings, Zombies, and Space Dragons, would have cleared this all up.

Hat tip: FilmDrunk


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One phone to rule the world

Perry Ellis

Here’s one to warm the cockles of Pax Arcana’s cold, northern heart. The Old Grey Lady sez we should gird ourselves for an invasion of über-connected Vikings armed with the latest in portable phone technology that doesn’t really work all that great as a phone:

“On Tuesday, operator TeliaSonera announced it will sell Apple’s iPhone in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.”

Ireland, you have been warned.

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Syttende Mai and the return of the gay Vikings

Pax Arcana

Not much time to post right now, but I’d like to commemorate the Norwegian national holiday Syttende Mai (May 17th) with a re-run of this post from an old, dead blog I used to write. It’s about Vikings and gay marriage, which at the time seemed certain to tear the fabric of marriage in shreds. Hmmmm, maybe they were wrong about that one, huh?

Originally published May 17, 2004:

Does this axe make me look fat?

This morning I woke up with a burning desire to sail somewhere, eat salted cod, and beat up an Englishman.

That’s right, boys and girls, it’s Syttende Mai (May 17th), when the descendants of sturdy Norsemen celebrate Norway’s independence from Sweden. That independence was forged somewhat amicably, so instead of fireworks, we celebrate with ungainly displays of competitive eating followed by the famous “Man-Milking” contest.

But I live in Massachusetts, where today’s news was dominated by gay marriage. I had forgotten all about that, and was in for a hell of a morning when I left the house wearing my best fur and a wig of long, flowing blond locks. Luckily I was able to retreat back up the stairs before the menacing mob of screaming, red-faced Christians could get their compassionate hands on me.

The whole conflation of the two things made me think. The Vikings, as we all know, spent a lot of their time on boats. Those boats did not accomodate women. Those men — who after only a few days had already rowed halfway to England — probably found themselves often in need of a footrub, or a backrub, or at least a mojito. All I’m saying is that there’s a good chance that a good number of them staved off the cold with a little man-snuggle in the aft quarters.

Lars: You want to see my new helmet?
Halgeir: Let’s do this.

It’s probably no surprise, then, that the people of Scandinavia are the most open and tolerant in the world. And they can still kick your ass.

So let’s all raise our mugs of grog (or, in my case, plastic cups of aquavit) to Lars and Halgeir: May their marriage be blessed by Odin, and their children strong as elk.

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Friday Random 10: Viking Scotch Edition

Pax Arcana

Just because they love monkeying about with the British Isles, the fair-haired cousins of Pax Arcana have decided to pillage the international scotch market by creating their own version of the stuff.

“Hvor er du, Hven?”

Via the Scotch Blog, the latest distillery to get into the game is Hven, named for the island in Sweden on which it is produced. Of course it ain’t really scotch if you don’t use the right ingredients from the right place, so the Vikings sent a few boatloads of marauders (one beserker per boat) abroad to collect:

Initially the cereal is travelling back and forth from Scotland for process, including malting, peating and crushing. Casks for maturing will predominantly be made by US cooperage from selected stocks of American white oak. The micro climate on this ‘island-in-the-stream’ is expected to contribute with a maritime influence to the whisky during its maturation.

I can only assume there’s Irish monk blood used in the peating process.

The songs:

Superfly — Curtis Mayfield
Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye — The Black Crowes
Theme from the Black Hole — Parliament
The Equestrian — Les Savvy Fav
Yoland Hayes — Fountains of Wayne
Alpha Rats Nest — The Mountain Goats
Requiem — M. Ward
Gumboots — Paul Simon
Emily Jean Stock — Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Cannonball — The Breeders

Bonus video:

Sixteen (live) — Iggy Pop and the Destroyers

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.


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The Vikings didn’t kill that lady

Pax Arcana

Way back in 1904, researchers found a buried Viking ship in Oseberg, Norway with two dead ladies inside. The younger lady had a broken collarbone, so the scientists just assumed she’d been killed by her Viking tribe and buried with the older woman — presumably a queen.

Now, 104 years later, scientists are saying the Vikings didn’t actually kill the younger woman. High-tech images of the broken collarbone show that it had been healing for weeks before she died:

“We have no reason to think violence was the cause of death,” Per Holck, professor of anatomy at Oslo University, told Reuters after studying the two women who died in 834 aged about 80 and 50.

“The fracture could have been caused by stumbling or whatever. She could have been seriously hurt, got brain damage. But this fracture alone is no sign of killing,” he said.

If the head ain’t split, you must acquit

So for over 100 years scientists racially profiled these innocent Vikings — assuming the worst about them based on longstanding prejudices and legends. As if the culture that invented the world’s most technologically advanced wooden ships and shark fermenting pits had nothing better to do than sit around murdering 50 year old women.

They weren’t animals, you know.

Oh wait. There is this:

The old woman suffered from Morgagni’s syndrome, a hormonal disturbance that gave her a man-like appearance with a beard and a thick-set body.

Still, though, I hear she was pretty hot anyway.

Vikings acquitted in 100-year-old murder mystery [Reuters]

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