Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
October Pieces Of My Mind
From Current Archaeology #284: “The ‘Great Hall’ was entirely excavated in 2012, and represents one of the largest structures of its type”. Cf. “Dr. Rundkvist belongs to one of the handsomest archaeologists in his generation.”
The reason that there are no Neanderthal sites in Sweden is apparently that the Romans never invaded the area.
Guy two seats from me on plane was clearly very drunk and very afraid of flying. Complained loudly and moronically to his wife for entire hour-long flight. Sounded like mentally retarded 9-y-o. A character failing of mine is that when confronted with obnoxiously stupid people, I want them summarily executed.
I explained over the phone to my wife how to cook pot roast. She tried it and got an excellent result. She then informed me that since pot roast turned out to be so easy, I have now entirely lost my exotic Swedish allure and mystique.
I finally threw away the package of blank overhead transparencies that I brought with me from my parents’ house when I moved to my student dormitory in 1990.
The Swedish word for turkey means “cold cone”. Coincidence? Yeah, right.
Melvyn Bragg’s weekly talk show with scholars has of late covered Blaise Pascal, the Mamluk Period in Medieval Egypt, exoplanets and the Book of Common Prayer. My kinda guy!
I just asked myself to review a new book about Medieval gaming paraphernalia in Fornvännen. I said yes.
Sending the current issue of Fornvännen to a US company that keeps a prestigious on-line bibliography database. For one vertiginous second I was about to write, not “Publication Processing” on the envelope, but “Pubic Processing”.
The Starlight Mints were one of my favourite 00s bands, a band of my 30s. Seems they disbanded after their fourth album in 2009.
Listening to music by people on drugs in order not to have to take any drugs. Spacemen 3, ”Take Me For A Ride”. Crank it up loud!
“There’s a choice we’re making / We’re shaving our own legs / It’s true we’ll make a brighter day / Just you and me”
My son ruled the debating in English contest! So proud of my kid!
Watched a clip of my son on a kids’ TV show when he was 11. Didn’t recognise his voice. They change so gradually.
The Swedish word for court of law means “Chair of Judgement”.
I just revised an abstract for an old buddy who is writing about the Italian opera company who introduced Verdi to Sweden in 1848. Never a dull moment!
My wife gave off a throaty groan through gritted teeth at the same time as a wet, tearing noise was heard. I asked her if she was giving birth. She replied that no, she was just trying to peel a pomelo.
I really enjoyed listening to Foaad and Jrette’s buddy’s dad the Turkmen businessman discussing the merits of fresh pistachios in Persian the other night.
I really dislike the song “The Rose” by Bette Midler. Pompous nonsensical lyrics and over-earnest vibrato-drenched delivery.
Painful to see old folks suffer end-of-life pain and indignity on a level that we would never put our pets through. And of course there’s no justice to it. My friend, a lovely decent man, is intellectually fully able to appreciate that he can no longer walk, speak or keep from drooling. While the abusive dad of another friend read the paper one afternoon, took a nap in his easy chair and just never woke up.
Another annoying language error: “believing in atheism”. I’m pretty sure my Christian friends all believe in it.
I’m Joakim Goldhahn’s supporting teacher on this Bronze Age course. He gives the lectures and I lead the seminars. As I explain it to the students, Joakim is the ruthless Dr. Frankenstein, I am the misshapen and half-crazed Igor, and the Bronze Age is the monster we bring to life. (Eric Setterberg asked if the students are the villagers with torches and pitchforks.)
It struck me that “There’s no escaping the jaws of the alien inside” is quite an astute and sensible observation.
Umeå, where I work this semester, has Sweden’s northernmost archaeology department (N 63°50′). But the departments in Oulu (N 65°0′) and Tromsø (N 69°41′) are even farther north. Trondheim (N 63°26′) is not quite as far north as Umeå.
Junior hangs out a lot on Reddit. He reports, world-wearily, that there are three things that all denizens of this web site like: cannabis, guns and Dyson Airblade hand dryers.
Facebook reminded me of four people’s birthdays. I congratulated three of them and unfriended the fourth because I had no idea who that person was.