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Eurovision Contestants 2015: Sweden

Having won five times, Sweden is one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1974, a song about Napoleon's defeat meant victory for the first time for the Scandinavian nation. And three years ago, Loreen gave Sweden its fifth win with the song "Euphoria" — which did not exactly trigger the same euphoric career as ABBA for the singer.

This year's song, "Heroes" by 28-year-old Mans Zelmerlöw, was described as a mix between Avicii and Coldplay, with hints of David Guetta. So, basically, elevator music played really loud?

And lyrics like "Tell the others to go sing it like a hummingbird" and "I make worms turn into butterflies," make us wonder whether little Mans was paying any attention at all during biology class.

Or maybe he's just trying to be funny: When asked if he had a lucky routine before going on stage, Zelmerlöw replied, "Actually no, except from checking that my zipper's closed."

Is it all a joke to you, Mans? IS IT?

You can listen to the song below, but don't bother watching the video. It's one big blur that probably cost nothing to film.

Come on, Sweden, we're all in this together. It's like you're not even trying.

Our vote:

Does it make you want to visit that country? 0.25/10

Was there enough glitter? 3.75/10

Ok to quit your day job? 2.5/10


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For Seniors, Friendship May Be More Important Than Family

Even if the aging and elderly tend to wind up confined to family circles, Argentine academics Laura Belli and Danila Suárez explore the often untapped benefits of friendship in our later years.

Photograph of two elderly women and an elderly man walking arm in arm. Behind the, there are adverts for famous football players.

Two elderly women and a man walk arm in arm

Philippe Leone/Unsplash
Laura F. Belli and Danila Suárez Tomé

Updated Dec. 10, 2023 at 10:10 p.m.

BUENOS AIRES — What kind of friendship do people most talk about? Most often it is childhood or teenage friendships, while friendships between men and women are repeatedly analyzed. What about friendships among the elderly? How are they affected when friends disappear, at a stage when grieving is already more frequent?

Argentines Laura Belli and Danila Suárez Tomé, two friends with PhDs in philosophy, explore the challenges and benefits of friendship in their book Filosofía de la amistad (Friendship Philosophy).

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They consider how friendships can emerge later in life, in profoundly altered circumstances from those of our youth, with people living through events like retirement, widowhood, reduced autonomy or to a greater or lesser degree, personal deterioration. All these can affect older people's ability to form and keep friendships, even if changes happen at any stage in life.

Filosofía de la amistadexplores the place of friendships amid daunting changes. These are not just the result of ageing itself but also of how one is perceived, nor will they affect everyone exactly the same way. Aging has firstly become a far more diverse experience, with increasing lifespans and better healthcare everywhere, and despite an inevitable restriction in life opportunities, a good many seniors enjoy far greater freedom and life choices than before.

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