Alex Constantine - January 23, 2009
ABBA's Frida linked with Brown's UK sex scandal
By Gleen Owen
The Daily Telegraph
December 17, 2007
ONE of the famed singers from Swedish supergoup ABBA was yesterday bizarrely dragged into the latest sex scandal dogging British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Government.
In the latest blow to Mr Brown's authority, senior sources revealed Security Minister Admiral Sir Alan West, appointed personally by Mr Brown to lead the war on terror, had admitted to an extramarital affair. ...
Conspiracy: How Abba Found Fame
Mamma mia! Eurovision voting scandal uncovered
13 April 2006
Magazine issue 2547
ABBA, the Swedish pop phenomenon of the 1970s and 1980s, found fame by winning the cheesy Eurovision Song Contest. Now, shockingly, it seems that the voting on this cherished European institution is subject to collusion that can skew the results.
Eurovision is an annual contest in which European countries elect a national song and award scores to others in the final. Some people suspect conspiracy in the voting. Greece and Cyprus, for example, always seem to favour each other. So Derek Gatherer, a computer programmer from Glasgow, UK, decided to investigate. He ran computer simulations to find the possible range of results if countries voted without bias between 1975 and 2005, and compared that to the real results.
Sure enough, conspiracy was afoot. In the early years, collusive partnerships between countries came and went. Since the mid-1990s when public telephone voting was introduced, however, a large "Balkan bloc" centred on Croatia has emerged to battle with a mighty "Viking empire" of Scandinavian and Baltic states. The copycat voting is now powerful enough to determine the contest's outcome (Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol 9 (2), p 1).
Gatherer says he thinks the collusion has become part of the fun and says he doesn't plan to warn the contest organisers: "I think they probably already know."
His tip to win the contest in May? Bosnia-Herzegovina.