Stories tagged Sweden

May
23
2008

Linnaeus at 68
Linnaeus at 68Courtesy Alexander Roslin; Royal Science Academy of Sweden
The Writer's Almanac reminds us that Carl Linnaeus was born 301 years ago today. Carl Linnaeus established the practice of using a unique set of two Latin terms to name a species, which became the common scientific naming system that we still use today.

The Almanac writes:

He was a botanist. He taught at universities. At a time when Sweden was one of the poorest countries in Europe, Linnaeus set out to import exotic plants and animals, hoping they could be raised for profit in Sweden. He hoped to raise tea and coffee, ginger, coconuts, silkworms.
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His botanical experiments failed. The tea plants died. The coffee didn't make it in Sweden, and neither did ginger or coconuts or cotton. Rhubarb did though, and Linnaeus, late in his life, said the introduction of rhubarb to Sweden was his proudest achievement. But today we remember him for his contribution to taxonomy.

Oddly enough, I ate a rhubarb tart in celebration of a friend's birthday last night. I like to think it was in honor of good ol' Linné as well.

via Erin

At 9,500 years old, it took root just after the last Ice Age. It can tell us a lot about the climate at the time, and how the Earth has changed over thousands of years. (The previous oldest-known trees are North American bristle pines – at 5,000 years old, mere saplings to the Swedish spruce.)

The largest treasure trove of old coins was unearthed at the airport in Stockholm, Sweden. This new collection is the largest and oldest collection of viking-collected coins ever found on the Swedish mainland. No word if Hari Krishna members had been bugging the vikings for donations before the coins were buried at the airport site.