What do Swedes say is the #1 Technological Innovation?
Most of us can’t go 5 minutes without using something that’s been created with technology: cellphones, super-glue, dental floss, Google Maps, Velcro…deodorant (I hope I gotcha on that one). Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology was founded in 1924 to highlight the contributions Sweden has made to the world’s technological advances; there are more than 50,000 objects to occupy your time and imagination.
Like this one, the waterless clothes washer of the future…
Naturewash uses negative ions, instead of water, to clean your clothes. You can lie on the Astro turf and take a nap while your clothes are being washed (I’ve always wanted to nap while doing laundry). And forget scented dryer sheets to freshen your wardrobe. With this handy washer, you can choose from a whole range of smells, including freshly cut grass or flower scents. Like wow, I don’t even think the Jetson’s had that!
Currently on exhibition, are the “100 Most Important Innovations In History,” as rated by Swedes. Making the grade, at #44, is the Boombox. Popular in the late 1970’s, the portable radio-cassette made it’s way onto the shoulders of music giants like LL Cool J, Madonna and The Clash, yet when my kids saw this they said, “Huh?”
Also making the list was Insulin, at #52, (not as popular as the boombox), but more popular than the swinging robotic dairy cow brushes…what??? Rated as #67, these gigantic plastic bristle brushes, resembling something from a car wash, are used by cows to groom their hair. True or false: they help lower bovine stress and prevent mastitis. TRUE! What I want to know is, does it come in a human version?
Dear Mother Board, we love you. Growing up, our first computer was a TRS-80 from Radio Shack. It was mostly my brother’s, but when he wasn’t looking I’d sneak on and do super cool stuff like multiply 100 by 2,000 (that’s about all it could do). A few generations later, and look, in less than a minute I can find 100 ways to cook Quinoa, buy a movie ticket, and send a letter to my Aunt Dorothy. All I want to say is, “Swedes, you got number one right!”
If you get through the exhibit and still have time to explore, just head down the darkly lit staircase in the corner (hopefully not with a four-year-old, my daughter was terrified). It’s a pretend mine shaft. Copper and iron ore are two of Sweden’s most precious natural resources. The town of Kiruna (way up north where the Northern lights sparkle) has the world’s largest underground iron ore mine. It’s been in production since 1898 and has an estimated 400 million tons of ore left, expected to last until 2015. Um…that’s like two more years people. What then?
Keep winding around and you’ll pass a hall of mirrors. Check out some of our fun shots and my super skinny legs (mine are the legs in the left corner)…
Walk on and you’ll find your way toward the sports exhibit where you can test your strength against your friend’s (or your mother’s). My boys beat me in the slalom, but I won big in rowing. Haha! (Secret: there’s one easy and one hard rower; be sure to grab the “easy” one first.)
If you have an ounce of energy left, after running on the gigantic hamster wheel that powers an electric train (just trust me on this one), you can challenge your partner to a dance competition.This next picture is for my sister Keri (and anyone else with nerves of steel who needlepoints). They had this gigantic tapestry on display for their “Technology and Art,” exhibit. I can’t imagine how many hours this took to create but seriously, wouldn’t you rather play video games?
Or leave technology behind and head to the café for a relaxing lunch, mind you, without technology, there would be no Coke, panini or Swedish kanelbullar. So embrace the moment, take a picture of your meal, post it to your Instagram, and read your Newsfeed. Technology, where would we be without you?