Overcoming Fear and Standing For Our Values

schengen

Author’s Note: I started writing this post on January 10, 2016 after being stopped at the border between Denmark and Sweden. I wrote it purely for some peace of mind, and then revisited it with some new thoughts in March. The day…

On Free Education

uef

There’s a reason I ended up in Eastern Finland, and it’s not for the weather or abundance of mid-winter sunlight. No, it’s to study. While the program–Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Law–was appealing, the price tag was even more…

Climate Change and Becoming a One Issue Voter

IMG_0420 (2)

This is a picture of the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in Iceland. At 1.5 kilometers (~1 mile) long, and 200 meters deep it is Iceland’s largest lake, made up predominantly of glacial melt water. It didn’t exist 80 years ago.  Some travel…

Driving a Tesla

Tesla

Before I even managed to utter my first syllable of appreciation I was cut short, “You can’t say anything about his Tesla. He’s our competitor.” Christine and I were on our way into the her parents’ restaurant, Glashuset, and a shiny new…

It’s Time To Rethink American Elections

elections-ahead-sign-600x400

The U.S. 2016 presidential election might still be a year away, but it has basically been happening since the day after the 2012 race. For some, running for office has become a viable career choice, not merely a means to…

Dogs In Space!

A notable exception, Cosmo. Source: http://marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com/

Man and dog have been inseparable since long before recorded history. The domestication of the dog from its wolf common ancestor is a hallmark of human history, and as we have found each other so useful over the years, it…

Bluebird Cafe, Nashville

photo 1

Nashville, long renowned as a hotbed of musical talent, has gained another feather in its hat in recent years–a network prime-time drama by the same name. I’ve never watched the show. I never really wanted to watch the show. Christine, however,…

80 Couches: 200 and Counting…

To the next adventure: Finland!

This is my 200th published post on 80couches.com! When I started this blog five years ago prior to my move to Korea, I had no idea where my random brain-droppings would take me, or where I would take myself. Since…

The Norden

Nordic Flags. Source: Wikipedia

Recently, through my various wanderings about YouTube, I came across a most excellent Finnish TV program, The Norden. The show explores various aspects of Nordic societies (prisons, police, religion, gender, work, and family values) through the eyes of a foreigner. The episode…

The Strange Places I’ve Called Home: Munich, Germany

Starkbierfest. Bavarians can throw a hell of a party (with great beer, no less)!

Check out the other seven parts in this series here. In a way, we’ve come full circle. I started thinking about this series last year when a strange thought crossed my mind while getting off the train. After two years…