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Monday's papers: Veikkaus in rural shops, lifestyle choices improve memory and Midsummer weather

Today's papers examine the fruits of Veikkaus services in remote food shops, a Finnish research on memory functions and early Midsummer weather predictions.

nainen raaputtaa arpaa
Image: Katja Halinen / Yle

The Lapland-based daily Lapin Kansa reports that the state betting firm Veikkaus keeps the wheels running in small rural grocery stores. The paper describes the the business in the small, remote town of Tanhua in Northern Finland where the local K Group shop is run by a sole shopkeeper, Satu Hietala, and provides post and Veikkaus services, and sells gasoline.

Hietala says the extra services do not generate a lot in small stores, but they keep customers coming. According to Veikkaus' partner network leader Marko Peltokorpi, shops get two to eight percent of sales from scratch card and lottery games. For example if a shop sold 20 euros worth of scratch cards, 1.60 euros would go to the shop.

Post and gasoline services leave much less in the hands of the shopkeeper, but Hietala is adamant to keep the services up and running to provide a chance for locals to shop in their own town. The competition is in Sodankylä, a town 50km west of Tanhua.

Lifestyle choices effects on memory

The most read article in the national daily Helsingin Sanomat details a Finnish study that claims lifestyle choices may in fact have a big effect on memory disorders. In 2015 a resarch group called FINGER led by brain researcher Miia Kivipelto made a break through as the first in the world to prove that exercise, brain stimulants, and a healthy diet can affect the brain's health and even prevent late age memory disorders.

The Finnish trial had 1,260 participants who were over 60-years old and had an increased risk for memory disorders. While half of the group were given intensive lifestyle guidance, including dietary and exercise instructions as well as ways to help prevent cardiovascular diseases, the control group were provided with standard lifestyle advice.

Within two years clear differences were noted. Risks for deteriorating memory functions had increased by close to 30 percent among control group participants, meanwhile those who received intensive guidance had improved mental ability and physical performance.

Now the Finnish model is set to be implemented worldwide. The Kivipelto-founded World Wide Fingers network named after the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER), is currently applying the model in Great Britain, the United States, China, Singapore, and Australia, while next in the network's sights are Canada, and possibly Germany, Spain and India.


Midsummer weather predictions

The tabloid Ilta-Sanomat is predicting warm weather is in store for Finland's favorite summer celebration, the summer solstice, which is known to Finns as Juhannus. An air flow is looking to come from the south-west direction meaning warm weather is likely, however the jury is still out on whether a chilly weekend is out of the question.

According to Foreca meteorologist Juha Föhr, Finland is in the path of two very different climates, one being cold pressure from the north-east Atlantic while a warm wave is moving upwards from the Mediterranean flow. The Midsummer weekend lasts three days from Midsummer eve on Friday 22 June until Sunday 24 June. Föhr contemplates the weather may differ over each day, but a common denominator is looking to be "warm and unstable" weather.

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