More Scandinavian Innovation – Hey, it’s a Viking based blog, what did you expect?

You have to love Spring weather here in the Carolinas.  Where else can you go from a completely nasty wind chill one day that has you reaching for that sweater you were contemplating putting away for the season, to within a couple of days of needing to run the A/C in your car as you have been out in the sun on a softball diamond for a few hours and the temps are in the mid-80’s?  The longer days are feeling great though, and the greenery is busting out everywhere.  Heck, I’ve had to mow my lawn three times already, or at least the parts of my lawn that have actually regrown.

It’s amazing to continue to plan and think about life returning to normal.  My wife has now had both doses of the vaccine, and my daughter and I will both be eligible in about 10 days.  Those college tour trips are looking like a reality for later in the summer, and normalcy almost seems around the corner.  I know it’s not, as there will still be a bit of a slog to get enough people vaccinated to start hitting herd immunity levels, but for the first time that goal feels like it might be coming into sight.  Optimism abounds, plus the MLB season starts in a couple of days to join both the NHL and NBA in providing plenty of worthwhile distractions.

Helsinki Looks to Use Floating Islands to get to Carbon Neutral

Helsinki has a goal of getting to carbon neutral by 2035, which is definitely a challenge for a part of the world that experiences winters that can be long and cold, requiring a large usage of energy to heat homes and businesses.  To drive innovation the city sponsored a 1 million Euro Helsinki Energy Challenge, open to anyone who could come up with viable alternatives to fossil fuel usage for heating homes.  

One of the winners envisions ten floating reservoirs off the city’s coast that would store heat in seawater and double as greenhouses and hot pools that residents could visit during the long winter.  Heat can be efficiently stored in water, but a project of this scale has not been attempted before.  It’s an interesting option, that would seem to fit with the ethos of the city, and seems to have a real chance to be viable.  You can read the full article here.

I have been lucky enough to visit Helsinki, and could only imagine how popular an attraction these hot pools would be in the winter.  If they can figure out how to include a sauna, the entire population of the city may try to relocate to the floating islands in the winter.

The Free Range Viking

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