I’m in the kitchen. My wife just sent me the most amazing link from the living room.
Last weekend I missed the only TV show I watch, Six Feet Under, now being aired in its fifth season in Sweden. Since then, I’ve tried to find the missed episode on DC++ and BitTorrent, to no avail. At TV Links, a high-bandwidth video stream of the episode is just two clicks away. And they have all the other episodes too. Of all the other seasons. Of every single TV series I’ve ever felt even mildly interested in watching.
I have no idea how they do it. But that site is amazing. I feel like an ad spammer, writing this.
Sometimes I run into these tricky issues that I find it hard to make up my mind about, like the moral aspects of prostitution. Another one is public healthcare aiding circumcision performed for cultural and religious reasons.
Stone architecture took off in Sweden from about AD 1100 onward, and we have quite a number of Romanesque-style churches preserved to various degrees. Many have been dated with dendrochronology.
I’m no friend of the Church, but I do like churches. And so I’m saddened to learn that Östergötland, the Swedish province subject to my on-going research, just lost one. Älvestad church caught fire Thursday afternoon and the fire left very little combustible material unburnt. Rural churches are a huge deal to their parishioners, and brave locals got hurt while trying to salvage stuff from the fire. They did get the 15th century reredos out. It’s some consolation that arson is not suspected.
In recent years, I’ve bought three copies of a useful piece of software as part of package deals on computers. The software licences include free on-line upgrades, and hardly a week goes by without an offer of some tweak or patch to improve the workings of things. I gratefully partake.
I’ve been a loyal customer of this software company for almost 20 years. But when I heard what the newest version of their product is like, I began considering alternatives. And in the past few days, I have received offensive messages from them that made up my mind real quick.
Dear skeptical Reader, welcome to Aardvarchaeology and the 57nd Skeptics’ Circle blog carnival! I used to blog at Salto sobrius, and now Aard offers the same salad of archaeology, skepticism, books, music and general psychedelic whimsy. We’ve got some really good stuff on the carnival this time.
Dan, Kai, Thinker, Martin R, Paddy K, Tor, Martin C, Harald, Johnny.
Last night’s blogmeet at Wirström’s pub in Stockholm was a great success. Counting myself and Paddy K, we were nine guys eating and talking and drinking for hours. After a while we recruited three lovely daycare ladies who took our picture and entertained us.
Martin C had trouble finding our group at first because he was looking for a “great big cluster of geeks”. I wonder if he meant that our cluster was too small or that we didn’t look geeky enough. Our conversation was geeky though, covering endogenous retroviruses, Chinese Hamster Ovary, Trout Mask Replica, geothermal energy sources, Star Wars, Robert Broberg, internet dating, women, work, Monty Python, women, kids, women, the dot-com boom & crash, translation software, operating systems and women. Among other things. Did I mention females?
Archaeologists love preciousss metals. Not for their monetary value, but because they keep so well. Take a fine damascened sword whose blade ripples like water, so well balanced that you hardly feel its weight, and bury it: it will look like crap after a few centuries. Bury a golden object, and it will in most cases remain unchanged for millennia. It’s basically a question of information integrity. Materials like flint and gold allow us to see exactly what prehistoric people saw, and to understand that their material culture was no less skilfully made and eye-catching than ours.
When I was twelve I bought my first LP, a synth-pop creation by a British band popular with middle-class teens at the time. Here are snippets of Martin Gore’s lyrics to two of the songs.
You’re feeling the boredom too
I’d gladly go with you
I’d put your leather boots on
I’d put your pretty dress on
You treat me like a dog
Get me down on my knees
We call it master and servant
I’m not sure at what age I became aware of kinky sex, but I think at the time I didn’t quite understand what “playing Master and Servant” really meant. Other themes on Depeche Mode’s 1984 album Some Great Reward are capitalist oppression, racial intolerance, religious doubts and urban boredom. Looking back, I kind of wonder why my favourite band was so damn earnest-yet-decadent. I mean, why didn’t “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” register with me? Kids have so little to compare with, so I suppose I just took it in my stride that the lyrics I was constantly listening to were written by a gloomy kinkmeister without a shred of self-irony.
On Thursday 29 March I’ll be hosting the Skeptics’ Circle blog carnival. I’d like to see Aard readers represented: if you’ve written anything in a skeptical vein recently, feel free to send me a link!
Back in September, I wrote a piece about that common type of archaeological site, the abandoned treehouse.
At these sites you’ll see rotting boards and beams hanging from clumsily bent nails on a group of trees, gradually collapsing to the ground. Perhaps some old shag pile carpet decomposing on the forest floor. The woods strewn with an enigmatic collection of objects, haphazardly selected, mostly old household gear. When visiting these sites, I always have the feeling that the inhabitants didn’t choose the objects they brought there: they took whatever they were given by someone more affluent and powerful than them. By grownups, in fact.
This afternoon as I sought a geocache near Vårberg, I came across a fine treehouse ruin in the woods, as shown in the photo above. I apologise for the poor camera built in to my 2005 handheld computer. When you send me archaeopix, please consider including pictures of treehouse ruins!
[More blog entries about archaeology, children; arkeologi, barn.]