November Pieces of My Mind

Selected Facebook updates:

  • John Lennon offers a grammar lesson: “A working-class hero is something to be”. It’s an adjective and a noun. Not a verb.
  • A friend of mine is rehearsing Orff’s Carmina Burana and not loving it: “I’m liking the work less with every rehearsal and we’re performing it three times in one week, so pity me in my Nazi-approved quasi-Medieval dungeon where the artistic ceiling is looow indeed!”
  • Kelly Link believes that reindeer have manes.
  • Swedish Xenophobe Party tries to get Parliament fact finders to list MPs with foreign citizenship. You couldn’t make this up.
  • The next issue of Fornvännen contains the words “Martin Rundkvist has praised the use of metal”.
  • Remember my slow boogie “Anarchy in the UK” problem? Today a Swedish spelmanslag folk string orchestra is playing the guitar intro from “Ziggy Stardust” in my head, complete with the typical rhythmic emphases.
  • Hugo Ball wrote a biography of Hermann Hesse.
  • My next book will be titled The Soteriology of Lake Sottern. Towards a Limnology of Salvation.
  • A teacher in a Stockholm school just sent me a warning about impending poor grades in English and French for a certain Sven. I’ve never heard of him before. Nor his mom. I wonder what she’s been telling them.
  • This is scandalous. I’m marking exams for students born years after I lost my cherry.
  • My son’s Skyrim character is so loaded up with gear that he can’t move faster than at a walk. Among other things, he carries the big toe of a giant and 23 tomatoes.
  • Man tells kid to quit throwing gravel at his window. Kid’s dad shows up with two friends, threatens man with gun and beats him with a didgeridoo. Don’t harsh my mellow, dude!
  • I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK. Je suis à l’ombre Jacques et je suis d’accord. Jag tillhör skuggan Jakob och jag jobbar på ackord.
  • 85% of the Swedish Xenophobe Party’s voters have no post-high-school education. 50% haven’t even completed high school. This is very rare in Sweden and suggests that the party already has all the voters it can attract.
  • In Swedish, “Vespasianus” means “mopeds in butt”.

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

7 thoughts on “November Pieces of My Mind”

  1. In English, he is probably called “Vespasian” . Anglo-saxons are too prude to keep the latin name suffix. And they changed the pronounciation of the planet “Uranus” in the eighties to make it sound less “rude”.
    Odd music in the head: Try “Gargnäs Style”!
    “the party already has all the voters it can attract.”
    …unless they start attracting voters who are not racists per se, but very worried about their futures, in which case logic plays second fiddle to fear.


  2. “…voters have no post-high-school education” which will make them economically vulnerable.
    -Here is a comment aimed at those with experience of psychology. I saw a TV program with an experiment where those who felt not in control were more likely to see images in “white noise”. If I transfer this lesson to social psychology those who feel vulnerable, economically or otherwise, will be more prone to see conspiracies (like the Tea Party) or signs of malign influences from “out” groups. So offhand -without claiming any competence in psychology- the profile for Xenophobe party voters seems like what you should expect. Correct me if I am wrong.


  3. If you need to get something out of your head (ear worm) you need to put something in – try this – The Optimists oi version of Mull of Kyntyre.


  4. On earworms and Carmina Burana: I sometimes envision “Fortune plango vulnera” (I bewail the wounds of Fate) as the appropriate soundtrack for Wile E. Coyote’s epic fails at catching the Roadrunner. Chuck Jones had an affinity for classical music; my first introduction to opera was via “The Rabbit of Seville” and “What’s Opera, Doc?”

    Did you run that lumberjack bit through Google Translate or something similar? I’ve known machine translators to do that. Example: back in the day, Babelfish translated “unser nächste Stern” (our nearest star–the Sun, of course) into “our next asterisk”.


  5. Or the early machine translation software that was fed the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind”, translated it into Mandarin, and then translated the output back into English. It came out as “Invisible idiot”.


  6. …and drown out Carmina Burana with Verdi’s Requiem. Powerful stuff!
    “Kelly Link believes that reindeer have manes”. -If the retroviruses have been busy shuffling genes across species barriers, it is at least plausible. They would be better off borrowing a hibernation mechanism from the bears. 🙂


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