View Full Version : The Finns are funny!

yks 6nnetu hing
08-18-2010, 08:21 AM
the Finns from Finland, that is

Apparently, a few days ago Newsweek (http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/15/interactive-infographic-of-the-worlds-best-countries.html) published their "best country to live in" list and Finland came first overall and also first in education. Lots of online chest-thumping and US indignation insued. Then, today, a Finnish newspaper (http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Oops+Has+iNewsweeki+been+mathematically-challenged+/1135259428922) reports:

Oops! Has Newsweek been mathematically-challenged?
Ilta-Sanomat suggests Finland's and Switzerland's points were muddled up in "Best Country" survey

No sooner have the Finns been told that they inhabit the best country on the planet, according to the American magazine Newsweek (see earlier article), than doubts are being cast on the veracity of the results.
These are not the more obvious doubts, as in whether the methodologies or metrics were skewed in favour of certain countries, but a straightforward and rather embarrassing arithmetical error that would have given the overall points for 2nd-placed Switzerland to Finland, and vice versa.

According to Wednesday's issue of the late-edition tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, the Newsweek compilers have added up the points given for each of the five areas under study - health, education, quality of life, economic dynamism, and political environment - and given Finland a handsome winning average score of 89.31.
Somebody in the Ilta-Sanomat newsroom got out a calculator and crunched the five Finnish numbers and came out instead with a figure of 89.00, which coincidentally was that given to the Swiss runners-up.
A quick check of their numbers revealed that Switzerland should have got 89.31, and the seed of doubt was sown.
Reportedly Newsweek have said they are looking into the matter.

Clearly the diligence and mathematical skills of the Finnish tabloid's staffers are testimony to Finland's superb educational foundation, and possibly if there IS a glitch in the numbers it explains why the United States could only come 26th in that particular category.

In any event, even if we have to take one step down on the podium and look up to the Swiss, the Finnish public have already had plenty of entertainment from the survey: the online message boards have been buzzing both at home and abroad, with Finns piling in on the Newsweek site to pump their fists in triumph, and conversely Americans finding all manner of reasons to explain why their coming 11th was a complete travesty of justice.

One favourite chestnut was that we would all be speaking German (!!), were it not for the American involvement in World War II, and another was that that it was easy for little countries such as Finland to do well, since the US taxpayer was "subsidising their defence".
This last did come as a surprise to some of the Finnish posters, who wondered - as we do - when it was that we joined NATO.
Perhaps it was in the summer while the International Edition was taking a break, which is really very unfair, as nothing much is supposed to happen here during July.

We will now have to wait to see if the "Best Country in the World" gold medal has to be handed over, but at least so far we seem to have passed the dope test.
On the face of it, the dopes would appear to be in Newsweek.

this is so funny I giggled for a good 10 min :D

08-18-2010, 09:27 AM
That's hilarious!

08-20-2010, 01:06 PM
Ha ha! I was in Thunder Bay yesterday for work and had the opportunity to go to a Finnish restaurant for breakfast for Finnish pancakes.

AMAZING. So yummy.

Apparently, Thunder Bay has (or had, at one point) the highest Finnish population in Canada!

08-20-2010, 01:46 PM
*Whistles nonchalantly*

08-20-2010, 01:52 PM
The United States is the best at everything. End of debate.

One Armed Gimp
08-20-2010, 02:29 PM

08-20-2010, 05:20 PM
My piano prof (I live with her) subscribes to Newsweek, so I happen to have seen this article, though I only skimmed it and missed the bit about how we would all be speaking German if not for US involvement in WWII. That would have made me giggle just because of a recent thread on Malazan (http://forum.malazanempire.com/index.php?showtopic=19124) (btw, the thread title seems to have been mod-edited - it previously had a choice between USA and USSR).