29 June 2008

A Lucky Start

Sometimes when I think back on my life, I can't help feeling that I have been very lucky to end up where I am today. So many times have coincidences and things out of my control turned out in my favor and moved me towards where I am now.

However, I am convinced that the luckiest moment of my life was where it started. The fact that, in 1976, I was one of the babies born in Norway, and because of that got to grow up here. Using the UNDP Human Development Index, what probably is the best index to tell how good a country is to grow up in, we see that Norway now is the second best country. Number one is Iceland. The total population of these two countries is just above 5 million. So, if you're born in Norway or Iceland, you are one of the 5 million persons that live in the best two countries in the world to live in.

It is pretty lucky to be amongst those 5 million. To illustrate how lucky, imagine you play heads or tails with a friend. The first time the coin is flipped, it lands on the side you picked. The second time it does the same. The same for the 3rd time. You're very pleased with your luck today. And you keep playing. And it keeps landing on the side you pick. The 4th time, the 5th time and the 6th time. This is unbelievable! And there's no cheating, it really is just pure luck. Again, the same happens the 7th time, the 8th time, the 9th time and even the 10th time.

We all know this kind of luck never happens in real life, right? Well, it happened to me when I was one of the babies born in Norway... And every baby born in Iceland or Norway has the same luck. For every single person living in Norway or Iceland, there are about 1300 persons living in countries below Norway in the UNDP index.

I will forever be grateful for that stroke of luck :)

01 June 2008

Inequality of the sexes

Equality of the sexes has been an important issue in many, many countries for a long time now, and a lot of progress has been made. However, in some areas there will never be full equality, because there are, luckily, some fundamental differences between men and women. Giving birth the most obvious example maybe...

Besides differences coming from biology, a lot of the natural differences between us comes from psychology, giving results such as men's fascination for muscle cars and women's fascination for bags (I have just given up understanding the bag thing...)

I saw another example of this today, when I checked the IMDB score of this new movie. This is a movie with loads of buzz these days, premiering in the states last Friday, and on next Friday here in Norway. A lot of people have been waiting for this movie for a long time. It had a very low score in IMDB, only 3.8 when I checked, which usually means a crappy movie. I was surprised, with the size and anticipation for this movie I had a hard time believing it wasn't better than that. Then I checked the demographics for the votes and it all made sense :)

The target group of this movie is women in their 20's and 30's, and certainly not men. I think they hit the target spot on :) Clearly, this movie, and the series it comes from, appeals to the feminine mind.

Did you figure out which movie it is by now? It's Sex and the City of course. A movie my wife can't wait to see, and which she certainly will see with her girlfriends, not with me :)