Nobel – Peace at Any Price TV Series

Nobel – Peace at Any Price (Nobel – fred for enhver pris) is the newest big budget series in Norway. It premiered on 25th of September 2016, on NRK,  the national broadcaster. It was made available on webTV the same day. Almost one million people in Norway watched the first double episode – that’s one fifth of the Norwegian population.

Nobel is about Norway’s military involvement in Afghanistan. Even though it is a fictional story it draws heavily on real life situations and experiences of Norwegian Special Forces. The series stars the Norwegian actor Aksel Hennie known from the internationally acclaimed Norwegian film, Max Manus, and The Martian and Hercules.



Unfortunately, the series is not available yet outside of Norway (yet) but a trailer and the opening credits have been released internationally (on Youtube).

One of the most exciting elements of this drama series is its filmatic and artistic quality. You can experience this in the title sequence music video (above). The track is The Sea by the Norwegian artist ARY. One of the most prominent lines from the trailer gives you a sense of the drama.

Two soldiers arguing over their role in the war:

“We are not here to kill…”

“No, we are here to die.”

Norway Takes Down Facebook’s Censorship


During the last few weeks Norwegians have been purposely uploading the famous Napalm Girl picture to facebook fully knowing the social media giant will take it down. The uploads were in revolt to facebook’s censorship.

The image in question is a 1972 Pulitzer Prize-winning photo from AP photographer Nick Ut. It shows a young naked girl, Kim Phuc, fleeing with other children from a napalm attack in Vietnam. This photo is important in world history as it is considered the image that changed public opinion about the Vietnam War. Such images are a document of what has happened in the world and are vitally important such as the recent Drowned Syrian Boy image, which brought world wide attention to the refugee crisis.

The reason Facebook continually removed the Napalm Girl was because it believed the girl’s nudity infringed on their ‘community standards’. However, it is curious that images of death, such as the Drowned Syrian Boy and The Falling Man, are accepted by Facebook.

Erna Solberg, Norway’s Prime Minister, earlier today posted the Napalm Girl to her profile on Facebook. It wasn’t long before the image was taken down. Solberg made a statement about Facebook’s censorship:

“Facebook is making a mistake when it censors these types of photos. It contributes to limiting freedom of expression… I support a healthy, open and free debate – online and elsewhere. But I say no to this type of censorship.”

Today, the editor of Aftenposten, Norway’s biggest newspaper, accused Facebook, and specifically Mark Zuckerberg, of punishing users who criticize “the world’s most powerful editor”. On the front page of the newspaper, the Napalm Girl was featured along side a letter to Mark Zuckerberg from the editor-in-chef, Espen Egil Hansen. He declares that Facebook is abusing its power and threatening “editorial freedom”.

Aftenposten also released a video to Facebook:

This is the letter in full:

Dear Mark Zuckerberg.

I follow you on Facebook, but you don’t know me. I am editor-in-chief of the Norwegian daily newspaper Aftenposten. I am writing this letter to inform you that I shall not comply with your requirement to remove a documentary photography from the Vietnam war made by Nick Ut.

Not today, and not in the future.

The demand that we remove the picture came in an e-mail from Facebook’s office in Hamburg this Wednesday morning. Less than 24 hours after the e-mail was sent, and before I had time to give my response, you intervened yourselves and deleted the article as well as the image from Aftenposten’s Facebook page.

To be honest, I have no illusions that you will read this letter. The reason why I will still make this attempt, is that I am upset, disappointed – well, in fact even afraid – of what you are about to do to a mainstay of our democratic society.

First some background. A few weeks ago the Norwegian author Tom Egeland posted an entry on Facebook about, and including, seven photographs that changed the history of warfare. You in turn removed the picture of a naked Kim Phuc, fleeing from the napalm bombs – one of the world’s most famous war photographs.

Tom then rendered Kim Phuc’s criticism against Facebook for banning her picture. Facebook reacted by excluding Tom and prevented him from posting a new entry.

Listen, Mark, this is serious. First you create rules that don’t distinguish between child pornography and famous war photographs. Then you practice these rules without allowing space for good judgement. Finally you even censor criticism against and a discussion about the decision – and you punish the person who dares to voice criticism.

Aftenposten’s Editor-in-chief Espen Egil Hansen.
Aftenposten/Nick Ut

Facebook is for the pleasure and benefit of the whole world, myself included, on a number of levels. I myself, for instance, keep in touch with my brothers via a closed group centered on our 89 year old father. Day by day we share joys and concerns.

Facebook has become a world-leading platform for spreading information, for debate and for social contact between persons. You have gained this position because you deserve it.

But, dear Mark, you are the world’s most powerful editor. Even for a major player like Aftenposten, Facebook is hard to avoid. In fact we don’t really wish to avoid you, because you are offering us a great channel for distributing our content. We want to reach out with our journalism.

Aftenposten’s print front page Friday.

However, even though I am editor-in-chief of Norway’s largest newspaper, I have to realize that you are restricting my room for exercising my editorial responsibility. This is what you and your subordinates are doing in this case.

I think you are abusing your power, and I find it hard to believe that you have thought it through thoroughly.

Let me return to the picture I mentioned by Nick Ut. The napalm-girl is by far the most iconic documentary photography from the Vietnam war. The media played a decisive role in reporting different stories about the war than the men in charge wanted them to publish. They brought about a change of attitude which played a role in ending the war. They contributed to a more open, more critical debate. This is how a democracy must function.

The free and independent media have an important task in bringing information, even including pictures, which sometimes may be unpleasant, and which the ruling elite and maybe even ordinary citizens cannot bear to see or hear, but which might be important precisely for that reason

Listen, Mark, this is serious!

«If liberty means anything at all, British George Orwell wrote in the preface to Animal Farm, «it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.»

The media have a responsibility to consider publication in every single case. This may be a heavy responsibility. Each editor must weigh the pros and cons.

This right and duty, which all editors in the world have, should not be undermined by algorithms encoded in your office in California.

The original post on Aftenposten’s Facebook page.

Mark, please try to envision a new war where children will be the victims of barrel bombs or nerve gas. Would you once again intercept the documentation of cruelties, just because a tiny minority might possibly be offended by images of naked children, or because a paedophile person somewhere might see the picture as pornography?

Facebook’s Mission Statement states that your objective is to “make the world more open and connected”.

In reality you are doing this in a totally superficial sense.

If you will not distinguish between child pornography and documentary photographs from a war, this will simply promote stupidity and fail to bring human beings closer to each other.

To pretend that it is possible to create common, global rules for what may and what may not be published, only throws dust into peoples’ eyes.


It is clear that censorship standards are different around the world, but when a country known and praised for peace, recognises that a media giant is using its power to dictate its own agenda, the world should listen and take action to join Norway.

However, after the pressure Norwegians have put on the social media giant, Facebook has now retracted its initial stance, stating the following:

An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography.

In this case, we recognize the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time.

Let’s hope that this is the beginning of the end to social media giants dictating what constitutes free speech and world history.

Watch Norway Being Built – In Minecraft

VestveggenWikimedia Commons

NRK, Norway’s public TV network and inventor of the phenomenon “Slow TV”, has in recent years entertained us with a number of lengthy live shows of menial everyday life. The success kicked off in 2009 with an 8-hour live broadcast from the Oslo-Bergen train, and two years later broke every record with a whopping 134-hour broadcast from the coastal liner Hurtigruten travelling from Bergen to Kirkenes. The concept has also featured canal trips, trams and even a caroling marathon.

This year NRK is taking us into the digital realm with a 12-hour live streaming of a special Minecraft building project. About 450 participants of all ages have been selected from all of Norway’s 19 counties and have been tasked with creating scenery representing every region.

We can expect to see several renditions of famous Norwegian landmarks, such as the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, but participants are allowed to use their imagination and create more abstract representations as well.

The project will not become a scale-model of Norway, but rather resemble a theme park where all the counties form a circle around a “festival ground” in the middle, which will feature its own stage and sculpture competition.

NRK has fitted the game server with special high-resolution mods to make the broadcast more visually appealing. The show will also include Skype-chats with builders as they work on the project from around the country. The Norwegian Minister of Culture, Linda Hofstad Helleland, will be a guest in the studio as well as have her own avatar to visit the game.

The broadcast will start on June 25 at 12.00 CET on NRK 3 and their affiliated YouTube channel FlippKlipp.

The finished world will also be freely available for download.

Norwegian Grilling Hot Dogs


The grilling hot dog (grillpølser) is iconic in Norwegian culture. At practically every outdoor social event especially with children, snow or shine,  you can guarentee there will be grilling hot dogs.


Events that are designed around hot dog eating are call pølsefest, or hot dog parties. The 17. May, Norway’s National Day, is the biggest pølsefest day of the year.


The standard items for a pølsefest are grilling hot dogs, of course. These are shorter and slimmer than other Norwegian hot dogs to fit perfectly in hot dog buns or lefse (potato flatbread). Ketchup and mustard are a must have, and crispy fried onions are a common topping.



Whenever our kids have an outdoor science, ski or beach trip with school, always on the To-bring list is grilling hot dogs and a grill stick.


Norwegians often cook hot dogs on an open fire. That’s when they use a grill stick. It is a prong that folds up into its handle for safe keeping. These are great for kids as they don’t have to stand too close to the fire to grill their own hot dogs. Lilu got hers as a graduation present from her Barnehage (kindergarten). Grill sticks make a great gift, which will be used all seasons.



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