Obama’s Ambassador to Finland Sends Crazy Christmas Card

U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck is offering Helskini “a different take on the elder statesman” for the holidays.

Oreck posted a special edition of the embassy’s 2012 holiday card, featuring his bulging bicep, to his official Facebook account Tuesday and reportedly also mailed copies of it to friends.

The image comes from a photo shoot Oreck did last month for the Finnish fitness magazine “ProBody.” A similar shot donned the cover of the Dec. 4 issue, which included an interview with the ambassador.

“I say 60 is the new 40. My wife says, in my case, 60 is the new 58,” Oreck said of the shoot in a Facebook post. “One way or the other, fitness is important.”

How does he keep his arms so big? Oreck offered this advice to Finns in a video on the ProBody blog: “You never get to stop. You’ve got to do it every day – or all the time, I should say, for the rest of your days. That’s how it counts. Can’t quit now.”

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Finnish researchers prove the Northern Lights really do make sounds (+ video)

The northern lights of Earth are more than just dazzling light shows — they also generate their own strange applause too, a new study reveals.

The results vindicate folktales and reports by wilderness travelers, which have long described sounds associated with the northern lights (which are also known as the aurora borealis).

“In the past, researchers thought that the aurora borealis was too far away for people to hear the sounds it made,” Unto Laine, from Aalto University in Finland, said in a statement released today.

“This is true,” Laine added. “However, our research proves that the source of the sounds that are associated with the aurora borealis we see is likely caused by the same energetic particles from the sun that create the northern lights far away in the sky. These particles or the geomagnetic disturbance produced by them seem to create sound much closer to the ground.”

Laine and his colleagues determined the location of the clapping noise by comparing sounds captured by three microphones set up at a site with high auroral activity. Simultaneous measurements made by the Finnish Meteorological Institute showed a typical pattern of northern lights episodes at the time, researchers said.

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Photo credit: GuideGunnar