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ALL THE THINGS I COULD DO
Poor Carl Linneaus. Only one of the greater scientific minds of the 18th century. You slog and slog through ACRES of vegetative organization, discovering new species, naming them, figuring out a complete naming system, fer chrissakes, make such a reputation for yourself that your name goes up in lights across scientific history marquees everywhere as the Father of Taxonomy,...and then you're doomed to be referred to by 7-year-olds in 21st century Sweden as "gubben på hundralappen."*

I will really miss Swedish money when the colorful but soulless Euro comes to town. I already mourned the demise of Holland's pretty currency, and Denmark's swirly-curliqued holed coins are probably next on the chopping block as well. Sad. Money with sunflowers on it was a joyful sight, and the world's a duller place without it. And Sweden's artful-currency is among my very favorite (along with some of the Chinese banknotes that Anders brought home once from Shanghai), celebrating as it does artists, writers, singers, and scientists.

Gubben på hundralappen

Tiny microtext to the right of Carl's head reveals the Latin text Omnia mirari etiam tritissima, one of his famous citations, and one I try to live by: "Find wonder in all things, even the most commonplace." And look at the back! It's even cooler. Stamens and pistils and insects, oh my!

Imagine having such a sweet singing voice, that you are fetéd by royalty the world over, and HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN himself falls in love with you and writes one of his most touching and enduring fairytales as a testament to it. All that remains is to be immortalized on the front of the golden and rosy 50-kronor note. Jenny Lind was called The Swedish Nightingale and she was an international celebrity in the middle of the 1800's. Sadly, there are no known recordings of her voice. Not one.

Jenny Lind

Selma Lagerlöf was a well-known Swedish writer of novels and children's stories. She was the first woman author ever to win a Nobel prize for Literature. Her image adorns the front of the 20-crown note, looking rather stern and schoolmarmish. But the back of it, the back is full of magic and wonder!

Nils Holgersson

See that tiny figure seated on the neck of the goose, wearing a long red cap and wooden shoes? That's Nils Holgersson, who was shrunk to the size of a mouse as a punishment for his naughtiness by an elf, and while he was small, flew the length and breadth of Sweden on the back of his faithful mount, Akka from Kebnekaise.

Trading in music! Shopping with storybooks! Paying with plants and animals! And a few royal boys thrown in for good measure, of course. Not that we get our hands on 500 and 1000 kronor bills very often. :)

***

Martin and I are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory right now. Every page is thrilling. Roald Dahl was truly a master storyteller. If all you know is the movie, or the movie, I urge you to do yourself a favor and sit down with the original Mr. Wonka some time soon. If you can read it out loud to a child, so much the better :)

Cracking Me Up: "Two weeks without any starches, grains or sugar. It's good to feel so edgey you're ready to jump through the ceiling at the sound of every snapping twig. Next I plan to paint my face camouflage green and lie in wait in the bushes for the ice cream truck to pass. Boy will he be sorry he brought his chocolate covered poison on a stick to my street." Sunny-Side-Up-Sidebar over at paper napkin

*The old fart on the hundred-crown bill
 creative
mood: creative
music: Aqua—Bumblebees


Comments
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The sequel to C&TCF is not as good as the original but it is a fun read also. I cannot wait to see the new movie!

I always enjoyed the sequel, actually :) It's so totally over-the-top out-there :)

It is pretty, but I do still feel like it's play money, since I never use it for long enough for it to gain any real meaning to me.

I loved the French note that had the Little Prince on it, though I forget now which one that was.

Such lovely artwork! The northwestern nations in Europe have had wonderful currency designs in recent years -- the lighthouse was one of the most striking bills ever printed, I think.

I wonder if my folks kept any kronor from their last trip to Sweden, several years ago.

I know American currency is dreadfully dull, but when they started introducing color to the notes and shifting the designs around, it took the longest time before I stopped thinking of it as Monopoly money... *g*

LOL! All those big-headed Presidents, too. >:D

(Anonymous)

I just browsed Riksbanken's web site and found that it is the 250th anniversary of Tumba bruk (where money is printed). To celebrate, a special memorial 100 kr bill (http://www.riksbank.se/templates/SectionStart.aspx?id=8730) is printed. It can be ordered for 150 kr each. Follow the link to pressbilder to some good views. The bill both has the old look and the modern security details. Would you have liked the Euro bills more if they had been designed in a strict way like this?

Between 1939 and 1991, there even was a 10000 kr (http://www.riksbank.se/templates/Page.aspx?id=14789) bill. I was too young to ever have one, but I've seen it in real life. However, I don't remember it being as large as the page says: 210x121 mm. That is as wide as an A4 page in portrait.

/Anders Carlsson

Thanks for the link! I like the lady with the lion on the "memorial bill." :)

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