June Pieces Of My Mind

  • Wait a minute. Did I just win my first competition for an advertised teaching job? In ten years of applying for them? I kind of feel the bedrock under my feet slipping.
  • A chapter of my life ended on 12 June. 13½ years ago I began taking my son to daycare. Ever since, I have taken my kids to daycare or school half of my mornings or, since Jrette showed up, more. In August she starts taking the commuter train to school.
  • The Norwegian Archaeologists’ Annual Meeting has two quotations at the top of this year’s web site: one from Michael Shanks and Christopher Tilley about how important archaeology is to current politics, one from me about how it is not. I’ll just say this: whether archaeology plays a great role in current politics or not is an empirical question.
  • Lovecraft’s 1920 “Arthur Jermyn” and Doyle’s 1923 “Creeping Man” share a eugenical theme.
  • There’s this old video game called Dig Dug. Must mean “appreciate breast”.
  • I beat the system by not buying any gear for my first mountain hike in years. Carpenter’s pants, polythene fleece sweater, weird old hipster sneakers, army surplus raincoat.
  • I keep seeing ads on Fb for “the Hollywood diet” showing underweight women with breast prostheses and big hair. I do not want to be like them. I do not want to canoodle with such women. Please Fb, make them go away.
  • It probably counts as an un-Arabian activity to microwave your foul madammas.
  • Pre-scientific medicine, like that described in Medieval Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, is infuriating. They’re clearly just making shit up, having no idea (and no good way to test) whether a given intervention will work. Mumbo jumbo. And the general method of revealed medical truth proclaimed by a visionary authority still survives in today’s alternative medicine. I get a definite impression that a lot of the A-S stuff was made up by the scribe. These remedies are an historic embarrassment on a par with Aztec religion. We should send in the Marines by time machine to clean up.
  • In Bósi’s and Herraudh’s saga, a sorceress recites a spell with various mainly supernatural threats to make somebody do her will. Among these threats are “may you be buggered by a horse”.
  • “Giddy” is cognate with “godly”.
  • Found two snake skins, eye domes like little contact lenses.
  • Anton and Maria taught me that Russians only cook peeled potatoes and so do not know how to peel them with table cutlery.
  • The Ark’s song if used in an ad for toilet paper: “Let your body decide when you want to go”.

Author: Martin R

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

14 thoughts on “June Pieces Of My Mind”

  1. Did I just win my first competition for an advertised teaching job? In ten years of applying for them?


    I keep seeing ads on Fb for “the Hollywood diet” showing underweight women with breast prostheses and big hair.

    I haven’t seen that particular ad, but I’ve seen a bunch of other hideous dieting ads. I share your distaste for that look, but a significant fraction of American men think an ideal woman should look like that. Yes, Hollywood plays a major role in promoting that kind of look.


  2. As late as 1850, Stephen Johnson writes in his recent book “The Ghost Map”, advocates for cholera cures were apparently not even embarrassed to be basing their theories on anecdotes. Today we’d at least have the decency to say “I know this is anecdotal, but…”


  3. *rough old Australian male voice* Yes! Congratulations! Sorry, bit slow here.

    Yeah, it’s the unfortunate trade-off for the regularly employed – when my daughter was very young, I often went for weeks at a time without ever seeing her awake – she would still be asleep when I left for work in the morning, and would have gone to sleep again for the night by the time I got home at night. Evidence suggested she did not enjoy these periods any more than I did.

    Sorry, that was…anecdotal…


  4. “a lot of the A-S stuff was made up by the scribe”
    The Doctor wrote them as a joke, he never expected anyone to take them seriously.

    “Giddy” is cognate with “godly”. So what is “Giddyap”?

    OT: “Fertile Crescent: Farming started in several places at once, researchers report” http://phys.org/news/2013-07-fertile-crescent-farming.html So, one of the sites is where the Ancient Astronauts landed, another is the Garden of Eden but what is the third one?

    “Prehistoric human populations prospered before the agricultural boom” http://phys.org/news/2012-10-prehistoric-human-populations-prospered-agricultural.html


  5. Lovecraft? Lovecraft lite, or maybe Stephen King lite: “The Ridge” by Michael Koryta
    If you find a lighthouse in a middle of nowhere, far from water, don’t shut it off.


  6. Eldritch horror* in Umeå does the “Let your body decide where you want to go”, crashes into garden in Carlsliid, Umeå.

    *Actually not so eldritch, probably one year old. As for “horror”, it is considerably larger than the Swedish beaver that bit a swimmer last week, but did not show any anthropophage tendencies..


  7. Congratulations, Martin, you seem to me to be a natural teacher, your passion is infectious. Hopefully at a modern school which posts your lectures on youtube in english hahaha. I’ve only come across one lecture of yours on youtube in swedish and I’m afraid that all of your eloquence fell on my poor stone swedish-by-way-of-second-generation-norwegian ears.


  8. Well, congratulations Martin! This has been a good year for all my archæologist friends’ employment!


  9. BTW, is the new teaching job in your own neck of the woods? As in not spending 3 hours commuting every day?
    — — —
    We had 4, possibly 5 human species 30.000 years ago: The small ones at Flores, H. Sapiens Sapiens, Neanderthals, Denisovians and the ? species hinted at in DNA from hybridization with the Denisovians.
    “One more Homo species? Recent 3-D-comparative analysis confirms status of Homo floresiensis as a fossil human species” : http://phys.org/news/2013-07-homo-species-d-comparative-analysis-status.html#jCp http://phys.org/news/2013-07-homo-species-d-comparative-analysis-status.html
    Try to shoehorn that into Noah’s Ark, fundies!


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