Good sources of information and how to navigate ‘fake news’

We all know these days that Twitter is where you see breaking news first but as it has been shown a lot of this is misleading or downright untrue (this is a great podcast about this). The internet is chock full of untruths and well as facts and it is important that we are savvy and critical in how we consume what we see online especially in places such as Twitter and Facebook where there are many fake accounts, bots and trolls out there ready to mess with reality and democracy.

Forums online can be brilliant sources of information and resource sharing but they can also spread fake news or information, either intentionally or accidentally. If you are looking for concrete information going to the source is the best way. This may sound obvious but it is not. Recently there was a thread about the forthcoming strike and lockout here in Denmark. There was information being given willy nilly based on things people had heard rather than what the facts were. When asked for a source of one of the inaccurate comments, the original commenter was silent. If you are planning to share information you have, especially about current affairs etc it is always a good idea to share a link to the original source so readers can decide for themselves. If you find it hard to find that link then perhaps the information is not accurate.

There are organisations all over the world working to combat fake news, raise awareness of how to spot it and push for people to be much more discerning about what they read and share.

Here in Denmark I would say the best sources of news are DR.dk, The Local Denmark (if there is an error in their information by mistake (which rarely happens) it is always acknowledged and amended) and Politiken.dk. Yes, two of these are in Danish but that is what Google Chrome is for. Of course news outlets have editorial policies but this has always been the case, but they also have codes of conduct to adhere to in relation to fact checking

If you are looking for information about any aspect of bureaucracy or public information – go to the source as your question is unlikely to be unique so will be addressed via websites or by telephone or email.

Above I shared a brilliant infographic produced by The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA),  which the public libraries here have been displaying and it is the perfect guide to dealing with fake news. Here is the link to it in English and Danish in case you fancy printing it out to display.

 

Kafeteria at SMK

Over the Easter break, my son and I went to the SMK for the children’s workshop and to take in a little art. I had also heard that Frederik Bille Brahe, the restaurateur behind Atelier September had recently opened a new cafe in the museum called Kafeteria. Looking at the pictures on Instagram I wasn’t immediately sure where in the museum it was but it wasn’t in the location of the previous cafe. We arrived and found that the shop and ticket office had moved sides and Kafeteria was in its old spot. A genius plan as it means you can come to the cafe without paying the entrance fee for the museum. As the area is billed as Museum Park, with tons of other museums, many without cafes, it is the perfect place to be.

It goes without saying that the appearance of the place is spot on; very Scandi but also very different to Atelier September. The menu was a little confusing at first as they offer weekly specials so the wall menu is pretty generic – for example it simply lists vegetables, meat, salad and soup etc. You need to check the printed menus for the details. The prices were reasonable but not super cheap but if you have an SMK year pass you get 10% off. However once we saw the food and tasted it, the prices make more sense. I had the cauliflower soup and bread, which was delicious, as my son chose the organic, slow cooked beef and root vegetable ragout (pictured below) and I suspected he wouldn’t managed the whole plate. Sadly I was left with very slim pickings as he loved it. I can concur that it was superb! We later found out, when I spoke to the chef to rave about the food, that we could have got a half portion for children, which is good to know if your child has a less robust appetite. The cakes looked lovely too and the coffee smelled great. We had planned to return for coffee and cake later in the afternoon but the place was packed with nowhere to sit so we decided to leave that for another day. I’m definitely coming back!

Car Sharing in Copenhagen (and other parts of Denmark)

It is hugely expensive to own a car in Denmark. Over the last few years the idea of delebiler or car shares have become very popular. I expect you have seen the little white electric BMWs all over the place? The schemes are great for many people living in urban areas only need cars for casual or occasional use. There is a variety of subscription services available depending on your needs and location. You need to ensure you have a valid drivers’ licence to drive in Denmark.

Drive Now

This is the one we use and we are very satisfied with it. We tend to get a car if we need to go to a DIY store, Ikea or for a day trip that would take a long time on public transport for example a class party on the other side of town.

Drive Now are in Copenhagen and use electric cars. There is a registration fee (at time of writing this is 89dk) and they have a variety of options – hourly package, pre paid minutes or a monthly package. Insurance and parking fees are included in the hire.

You use the app to see the location of your nearest available car and how much charge it has. You can reserve it for a short time whilst you get to its location. There are some restrictions about where you can park the car during your rental time but the app explains it all. Half the cars also have booster seats in them for children (you can see this on the app or in the window of the car)  and they also all have ISO fix so you can bring your own baby seat if you wish.

See their website for more details.

Lets Go

This car sharing scheme has cars in Copenhagen, Århus and Odense and offer both fuel and electric cars. There are various subscriptions from a free one (only pay insurance) up to monthly ones. See their website to see what suits you.

Green Mobility

This scheme also offers a variety of packages which all include insurance and parking fees. A plus point for this one is they offer a 24 hour package as well as casual use. They run electric cars. See their website for more information.

GoMore

This is a portal to connect people with people rather than a car sharing site like the ones above. You can rent a private car or get a lift (or offer them to others)

Mælk uden mælk (Milk without milk)

If you have been travelling around Copenhagen this last week or so you will no doubt have spotted a huge advertising campaign by Arla called Mælk uden mælk or milk without milk. With limited Danish this campaign can seem a little baffling – in fact I was a little confused so headed over to the Arla website to find out more.The slogans on the campaign is Milk without milk, free from calcium, protein and vitamin B12. Another says Lose the milk beard and the rest of the goodness. They will be running ads in real life on the metro and bus stops (amongst other locations), via social media and their own website.

Arla is Denmark’s largest food business and their research says that 7 out of 10 Danes think it is a good habit to drink milk but they want to open the debate about food myths and pseudo science and how this impacts on what people think is and isn’t healthy and at the same time promoting milk. They say that every third Danes gets their health information from ‘Dr’ Google and 52% of Danes think it is hard to keep track of what is healthy as there are so many health ‘trends’ on line and in social media. They believe (as I do) that the best way is to eat a varied diet and to use your common sense. The company are quoted as saying that ‘facts are under pressure’. We all know that in the time of alternative facts (thanks to Trump) and suspicion of experts (with a nod to Micheal Gove), it is hard to keep track of what is fact or not.

If you are interested in reading more about the campaign pop over to Arla’s website for the campaign and also their press release about it. There are also loads of useful and interesting article about milk. Google Chrome does a decent translation of the information.

I want to say this is not a sponsored post and the campaign does not necessarily reflect my own views  but I thought as I was curious about the advert others may be too.

Mad about Copenhagen book – Kickstarter campaign

The food scene here can seem dominated by a handful of places but as Copenhagen really cements its position as a foodie paradise, then it is great to hear about the rest.So I was delighted to hear that Mad about Copenhagen are writing a book. It will tell the stories of 50 culinary characters of Copenhagen, the spaces they inhabit, and the food and drink they make. The list includes a delicious mix of cocktail bars, bakeries, high-end restaurants, greasy late night munchies, hole-in-the-wall kinda places, breweries, beekeepers, coffee connoisseurs, brunches, traditional Danish eateries, and more.

This is what Mad About Copenhagen write about. They do not leave out the top new nordic restaurants but do their best to uncover and expose the more underground delights of Copenhagen’s food scene.

Hazel told me that they want to capture the essence of Copenhagen’s dazzling food scene, circa 2018. The book will not remain up-to-date forever, but it will preserve the current era of foodie Copenhagen, and the stories, essays and recipes in the book will be relevant forever.

Sounds amazing, yes? But they need our help to make the book a reality. They  are publishing the book together with a small local publisher (Blændværk) and they aim  to
print the first edition in September/October 2018. For this they need to raise some money, and thought what better a way to make it happen than to give people a chance to
pre-order the book (with a discount) before it gets printed.

You can pre-order the book and other Mad goodies via their kickstarter campaign, until 12th April. One of the options includes having your name in the book as a supporter! (That’s the option I took, like to see my name in print!) You can see all the options on their Kickstarter page.

You can read a brilliant article about the campaign and book here

Time for Spring (please!)

Yesterday this was our view as we enjoyed a warm(ish) walk on the beach near where we live. It was a sunglasses, coat open kind of day and we even saw some brave kids paddling bare-chested in the sea (this was a bit of a stretch as far as I was concerned). We have been wearing winter coats for the last six months and for the last few months it has been sub-zero and snowy. We woke up on the first day of the summer term with more snow coming down and actually settling, in April! My son summed it up this morning when he said that yesterday at the beach was the trailer for the forthcoming Spring. A ‘look what you can win’ glimpse into the future. At least I hope so.

I read somewhere that instead of jokingly asking what is up with the weather, we should actually consider what is happening to the climate and think about actions, big and small, that are impacting on the changes in our climate and those actions we can take to try to make positive change.On another note we had a lovely relaxing Easter break, although I think I indulged more over this holiday than Christmas. My husband loves to cook when he has the time and we enjoyed a homemade beef and ale pie, homemade hot cross buns (which were amazing and as they are something I really miss from the UK, very welcome) and a sous vide leg of lamb, which finally converted me to enjoy this meat. Easter holds a lot less expectation than Christmas and therefore seems much more relaxed. Unless your expectation is that the winter will be over!Anyway, we are into April and hopefully warmer days are ahead. I have been feeling a little disconnected with the city so I have a long list of places to explore and share once it warms up so watch this space. Finally I invite you to join my mailing list, I usually send out a couple of emails a month; one is a newsletter type one with lots of interesting stuff happening around the city, news etc and then the odd one through the month if there is something relevant to share. I don’t use your information for anything other than this purpose and you can, of course, unsubscribe at any time (but as I have said before, hopefully you will find it all useful stuff that you want to see in your inbox).

To subscribe click here and follow the instructions (if it seems a little onerous that is so I can make sure I protect your data), I look forward to welcoming you!

 

 

Easter in Tivoli

We spent Good Friday in Tivoli and it was the first day in a long time when it felt even remotely Springlike. The Easter displays will be in place until next week and then it will be Spring in Tivoli. You could see a number of bulbs ready to bloom so if we actually have a few days with temperatures above freezing and some sunlight, it is going to look wonderful!

Danish Easter traditions

Easter is quite a big deal in Denmark and it almost feels as if there is spring in the air finally! Most work places are closed for five days and the city empties out as people travel to visit family or spend time at summer houses for some påskehygge! Most shops close from Thursday to Monday opening for a short day on Saturday so it is best advised to stock up before Easter or check the opening times of your local supermarket.

As I have come to expect there are a lot of Danish traditions around Easter so I thought I would share some of them with you today.The Danes love to decorate for Easter and the shops start selling decorations such as eggs, natural and colourful, napkins and candles, predominantly in green and yellow a few weeks before Easter. Påskelilie or daffodils are everywhere from workplaces and homes and can be picked up either cut or in pots with the bulbs very cheaply from florists and supermarkets.The month before Easter bars and supermarkets start selling påskeøl or Easter beers. The main breweries produce popular versions but there are many to choose from produced by smaller breweries. They are delicious and light in flavour but still pack a punch alcohol wise. These beers and snaps are enjoyed with a big traditional meal on Easter Sunday. Chocolate is a big part of Easter with eggs, big and small and also Easter layer cakes in the bakeries.

My favourite Danish Easter tradition is Gækkebrev. From February people start sending elaborately decorated teasing letters or cards without a signature. Instead, the letter holds a number of dots that corresponds with the number of letters of the sender´s name. If the one receiving the letter guesses who has sent it, he or she will get an Easter chocolate egg. But if the receiver does not guess who has sent it, then he or she gives an Easter egg to the sender.

Easter is such a time of celebration and fun here in Copenhagen, most importantly as it signifies the end of the dark winter time.

10 things you need to know about Danish Bureaucracy

Danish bureaucracy can seem confusing at times but it is a lot simpler than in some countries (Germany I’m looking at you!). Nevertheless there are many ways you can fall foul of various elements of bureaucracy when you are settling here. 

I’ve prepared an easy to understand infographic about some of the key elements which you can get hold of here  for free and you get to be on my mailing list. I promise to protect your data and you won’t get spam from me, just information you need. It goes without saying you can unsubscribe at any time but I hope you find it a useful list to be on!

I have written a useful guide to all aspects of bureaucracy with loads more details about opening a bank account, digital services such as NemID and E Boks as well as how to pay bills, the media licence (and yes you do have to pay this!), insurances and much more. The guide is concise, easy to use and has all the check lists you need. You can get the guide here.

Starting April 5th, 2018 – English Sing and Sign classes in Vesterbro

Maya will be running a third course of an English language Sing and Sign baby signing class in Vesterbro starting on April 5th 2018 for 10 weeks (term time only) at Café Sweet Surrender, Dybbølsgade 49, 1721 Copenhagen V.  The class is for babies aged 6 – 14 months old.

For more information please visit facebook.com/singandsigncopenhagen or www.singandsign.com then choose Copenhagen under Classes near you.

Below is a little about what you can expect from the class.

Learn baby signing with Sing and Sign

Both I and my children loved Sing and Sign! Because it teaches all the signs through songs and music, it makes learning them seem easy and lots of fun. Some of the songs are written especially for the course which makes it easy to include signs which relate to your everyday life with your baby, and that’s what makes it so useful; there’s a lovely song about changing your baby’s nappy, about bath time, about going to the park etc. The classes are themed, and the signs are introduced gradually. This way, by the end of the 10 week course, you have actually covered more than 100 signs without really thinking about it. However – and this really appealed to me at times – each week also focuses on just a couple of essential signs (such as ‘eat’, ‘drink’ or ‘help’) so that even frazzled parents who haven’t slept for two days feel they can walk away from class with something.

The S&S approach is that baby signing is meant to be simple, relaxed and fun, and each class always follows the same pattern so that your baby quickly feels comfortable with the format and start to anticipate what exciting thing happens next …..perhaps the instruments, the peek-a-boo box with Jessie Cat, the props bag or the picture board.After moving back to Copenhagen last year, I met several English speaking mums who said they would love to do a baby signing class if only classes were available in English. At home we were still listening to the Sing and Sign CD, and my three-year-old daughter would from time to time ask for the DVD, and as I still found myself singing along to the songs and throwing the odd sign in, I decided to look into buying the franchise. I am now the proud owner of Sing and Sign Copenhagen and will start classes in early September 2017. I’m so excited to be able to share my passion for baby signing with other parents this way, and hope to see lots of lovely mums, dads and babies in my classes!