7 Headlines You Won’t Read Anywhere Else Today: Dec. 4

By Ingrid Longauerová, Epoch Times
December 4, 2013 Updated: December 4, 2013

Norway: Norway plans world’s largest Viking theme park

A group of Norwegian investors plan to build the world’s largest Viking theme park in a village in western Norway, luring tourists with roller coasters, staged Viking battles, and Viking-style feasts.

The Viking Land project, which will cost some 350m kroner ($60m), is expected to draw in up to 300,000 visitors a year once it opens in 2014. 

“Nothing like this exists anywhere in the world. The project is unique” Odd Erik Salvesen, who is coordinating the project, told Norway’s VG newspaper. 
The park, which is being designed by Itec, a US theme park design company which does work for Disney will be built around the myth of the Yggdrasil, the giant tree from Norse mythology. …
The Local

Australia: Classroom noise linked to poor results

Australian students report high levels of noise and disruption in their classroom and at rates worse than the US or Britain, a factor which education experts say is linked to low levels of literacy and numeracy and is contributing to the country’s worsening performance.

The latest results of an international study of maths, reading and science assessments of 15-year-olds in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries found achievement in Australia is slipping; one in five students fail to meet the international baseline proficiency level in mathematics, and 14 per cent fail to meet the minimum standard in reading. …

The Sydney Morning Herald


Poland: Huge classical music archive online

Almost the entire output of three world famous Polish composers, Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki, has been made available on a new website of the National Audiovisual Institute. 
The bilingual Polish-English site at trzejkompozytorzy.pl contains almost 300 musical pieces and 950 articles on the life and work of the three composers. Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski has described the project as a musical library of a truly world-class calibre which serves as an ambassador of Polish culture. …
The News from Poland

Switzerland: Spotlight On Traditional Family Values In Switzerland

The idea that young people nowadays are more conservative than previous generations is a common cliché. Girls are said to be dreaming of becoming housewives while boys supposedly behave like old-style alpha-males, reproductive and career-obsessed.

As Switzerland is about to vote on an initiative that aims to use tax breaks to benefit a traditional family model, Le Temps asked a group of young people how they see gender and work roles. …

Their answers to our first question reinforce the common preconception: “Who thinks that a woman should stay at home to raise the children?” we ask. Almost without hesitation, 10 out of 17 raise their hand.  …

Le Temps via Worldcrunch


Scotland: Forth Road Bridge to Get Artist in Residence

It has been one of the most recognisable symbols on the Scottish landscape for almost half a century.

 Now an artist in residence has been appointed to create a lasting tribute to the Forth Road Bridge. American-born landscape artist Kate Downie plans to create a piece of art for every year of the Bridge’s existence. …

The appointment is part of plans to celebrate the structure’s 50th anniversary. A mass flotilla of boats, a rowing regatta, a torchlight procession and fireworks display, and even street parties are planned to mark the milestone. …

The Scotsman


Japan: New location-based smartphone app shows 1995 quake damage in Kobe

People visiting sites in Kobe’s Nagata Ward that were rebuilt after the Great Hanshin Earthquake can now use a smartphone app to virtually go back in time and see the extent of the damage.

The city government developed the location-based app to keep the memory of the Jan. 17, 1995, disaster alive for future generations.

It uses photos from 98 identifiable spots in the Shin-Nagata Minami and Shin-Nagata Kita districts …

The Asahi Shimbun


Canada: Inuit throat singers to be featured in museum karaoke booth

“Now we’re going to show you how to throat sing,” says Lynda Brown, to no one really, just a video camera. “Say ‘Hum-ma.’” She pauses, smiles. “Excellent!” she says. “Now say Hum-ma again, using your monster voice.” She demonstrates by saying “Hum-ma, Hum-ma” in a throaty way. “If you feel a slight tingle in your throat, you’re hitting the right spot,” she says smiling. “It takes years of practice to make that go away.” …

Brown, Inuit Family Literacy Coordinator with the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre and Langille … have volunteered to do something unusual: throat sing with an imaginary partner.

That partner will become thousands of people from across North America who step into a special booth designed to educate people about throat singing and then teach them how to do it themselves. 

The booth will be part of “Arctic Voices,” a travelling exhibit being assembled by Science North in Sudbury, Ont. Arctic Voices opens at Science North in March 2014 and will then move to Ottawa in November 2014. …

Nunatsiaq Online