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June Pelo
19-03-15, 19:00
The Mint of Finland has announced the issue of three new coins which mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). The coins depict the starry sky of Ainola and a grove of pine trees. The text "Jean Sibelius" is included on the left edge. The reverse bears the neck of a violin, the favored instrument of Sibelius. Sibelius was born in Hämeenlinna in what was the Grand Duchy of Finland- then part of the Russian Empire. He was the son of a doctor, Christian Gustaf Sibelius and his wife Maria Charlotta Borg. Originally christened Johan Christian Julius, young Sibelius soon had a pet name "Janne" after Dr. Sibelius' late brother Johan "Janne" Sibelius.

Preschool education will become mandatory in Finland beginning in July. Making sure that children participate in the year-long preschool is the responsibility of the parents. The situation is already good as some 98% of Finnish children receive a preschool education.

Finnish schools will stop teaching cursive writing. Beginning in 2016 the emphasis will be on touch typing and the most efficient way of composing a text message. Every student will be issued a tablet on which they will learn to type and speed-text. The disappearance of cursive handwriting is deeply controversial. Even literate pupils are unable to read documents that are handwritten. This happened in the U.S. during a trial where a young woman was asked to read a handwritten document handed to her by a lawyer, and she had to admit she could not read it.

A fleet of 300 cars is criss-crossing major cities around the word, documenting streets. They are Nokia's Here True cars. Nokia wants to create extensively detailed 3D maps through "reality mapping". The maps will tell driverless cars everything about the road they're navigating, from where the street markings are to how fast other cars take a corner. When driverless cars start sharing the roads they will need a lot of data to get around. Here True cars are just one source of data the company is using for the coming "HD" maps. It's also pulling information from aerial photography, sensors, satellite data and even anonymized data from smartphones.

FAR, March 2015