June Pieces Of My Mind #1

  • Core po-mo science studies professor says roughly “You don’t get to choose your own reality and laypeople don’t know better than scientific consensus about factual issues.”
  • Rode a Bombardier CRJ 900 from Copenhagen to Warsaw and then the competing model Embraer 170 from Warsaw to Munich.
  • Five years ago I cut saplings and tree branches to give me a view from the kitchen window of Jrette in the playground. Now she’s long past needing that kind of oversight and new saplings form a solid wall of greenery outside the window.
  • My new project deals with early 20th century street lamps. I can debunk at least 75% of those photos. It’s pretty clear that they actually just depict interstellar spacecraft.
  • They’re testing the mournful air raid sirens, as they have since 1931. We call them Hesa Fredrik, “Hoarse Fred”.
  • I’d like to take a course in flint knapping.
  • I want to record the brief hum that is the piano’s response to me farting.
  • House styles for bibliographies are multifarious and ridiculous. Here’s a journal who wants “publisher semicolon city”.
  • I kind of like listening to a heavy rain when indoors.
  • Ergonomically and historically speaking, a rifle is a modified crossbow.
  • ”There’s a whole generation / With an old explanation”
  • The Irish mass child grave is a case of disrespectful burial. But it was already well known and documented that child mortality was high in those homes for “fallen women”. The grave offers little new information. The problem is that those kids were allowed to die, not how their bodies were disposed of.
  • Despite my general air of edgy, devil-may-care rock-n-roll abandon, I’ve come to appreciate songs about a long happy marriage. Huey Lewis’s “Happy To Be Stuck With You” and Shania Twain’s “Still The One” spring to mind.
  • Goodreads gets a lopsided dataset on my taste in books. Because I only rate books that I finish. And I only finish books that I like.
  • Most Swedish rural churches are now centuries older than the First Temple in Jerusalem was when the Babylonians tore it down in 587 BC.
  • Iain Banks’s 1992 novel Crow Road contains a huge amount of clever motif parallelism involving glass.
  • I don’t see the point of theorising an origin for Earth’s life on another planet or star system. Speculation without data. Ockham. When we don’t know how it happened here then it doesn’t help to hypothesise that it happened somewhere else in a  way that we don’t know anything about either.
  • This pensions company offers to stop sending me paper letters. Great! But in order to get them to send me email instead I have to get a login to their web site. And in order to do that they have to send me two paper letters: one with the user name and one with the password. Then when I finally get onto the site I can’t even find the dialogue where you switch off paper mailings. Gah.
  • I’m on bromhexine for bronchitis. It thins down the mucus in your airways, making it easier to get out. I wonder if it affects the consistency of your semen as well.
  • “No no, you misunderstand me. When I suggest that you should make me a Doktor habil I’m not asking for a favour, I’m offering you a bargain.”
  • Sorting the horizontal books into the book shelf while culling lightly. So far Fisksätra Public Library gets some Maxim Gorky, Erik Axel Karlfeldt, Edward Lear and Stig-Without-E Larsson.
  • My chest is getting ridiculously hairy.
  • I love listening to my wife speaking Mandarin. I’m in awe. Barely understand one word in twenty.
  • Trosa municipality has made a huge replica of a 5th century gold torque as a roundabout ornament.
  • I think “mansplaining” is a sexist term.
  • Suddenly remember this girl from freshman archaeology 1990-91. She was from Alaska, dressed and used makeup in US working-class style, had worked in a fish cannery until her wrists got messed up. She had this really mellow vibe and wanted to write a term paper on whether the Vikings smoked any of the hemp the pollen diagrams tell us that they grew.

Author: Martin R

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

26 thoughts on “June Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. House styles for bibliographies are multifarious and ridiculous. Here’s a journal who wants “publisher semicolon city”.

    Do you use LaTeX, natbib, custom-bib etc? I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with house styles directly myself.

    I kind of like listening to a heavy rain when indoors.”

    Same here, but outdoors as well, if a tent counts. And the ocean. And wind. The louder it is, the better I sleep. But drippign taps, people talking, music, crackly heating etc keep me awake, even if they are not loud at all.

    I’m on bromhexine for bronchitis. It thins down the mucus in your airways, making it easier to get out. I wonder if it affects the consistency of your semen as well.

    Ask your wife. Be prepared if she responds in Mandarin.


  2. Rode a Bombardier CRJ 900 from Copenhagen to Warsaw and then the competing model Embraer 170 from Warsaw to Munich.

    That’s a trend in the US as well. My last trip to Washington DC, from Boston, was on an Embraer 190. National Airport[1] is the most capacity constrained airport in the US: only one jet-capable runway, a curfew in effect from 22:00 to 06:59, and a close-in location with a Metro stop. So you would expect airlines to beef up capacity by using 737 or A32x or even 757 (the runway isn’t long enough for widebodies). But no, they go for the smaller aircraft and bigger profits.

    House styles for bibliographies are multifarious and ridiculous. Here’s a journal who wants “publisher semicolon city”.

    As Phillip suggests, see if the journal has some kind of template for dealing with it. BibTeX (part of the LaTeX package) is one common approach; look around the publisher’s website to see if they have a *.bst file. I would think this is a solved problem for MS Word users as well (there are publishers who insist on that format), but as I try to avoid MS Word to the extent possible I don’t know if this is actually true.

    [1]Only clueless out-of-towners, Republican politicians (but I repeat myself), and airline personnel who have to deal with the above ever call this airport Reagan National. One thing JetBlue, the airline I used on that trip, does right is that they refer to this airport as “Washington-DCA”, DCA being its three-letter code (from District of Columbia Airport).


  3. @Birger – that pub project is quite interesting. A lot of those buildings are pretty old (former coaching inns and so on), and they’re being torn down at a rate of knots these days because they’re “just pubs”. And it’s about time English Heritage took an interest in sites that have some relevance to the urban population!


  4. What if it backfires? “air traffic hopelessly delayed at Reagan airport” -not getting good associations from that.

    Even worse, what if the person you have named something for, or somebody with the same name[1], turns out to be horrendously bad in some way? Something like this happened with Baltimore’s federal courthouse. This is a practical reason for not naming things after people who are still alive, along with the more-than-hint of Dear Leader it carries. At least Reagan has been dead for ten years now, but he was still very much alive when Congress decided to name Washington National Airport[2] after him.

    [1]I’m thinking of Houston’s Intercontinental Airport (a perfectly appropriate name–everything is a bit bigger in Texas, so of course that state’s largest city can’t have a mere international airport), which was named after George Bush the elder, before his son became President. Now it will be natural for people to associate IAH with Bush the lesser.
    [2]Which, I should point out, was already named after a President.


  5. Coffee is the work of the devil.

    She was wearing tusk shells around her neck. And an old worn Morgan silver dollar on one of her necklaces.


  6. I love it so much I use it was wallpaper on my iPad mini that I use for work, so I look at her lovely sad, proud but uncertain face, struggling to comprehend what has happened to her world, every day, posing for the photographer in all of her best finery.


  7. The photo was taken in 1899, so she must surely be deceased by now, but I still find her image as a young woman captivating.


  8. Birger, the Athenians had a taboo against naming ships after great gods for that reason: it would have been a bad omen to say “Pallas Athene was lost at sea.” Nymphs, personifications, and foreign gods were fair game though …


  9. John, one day into switching to tea bags and I am already feeling better.
    The German pocket battleship Deutschland later had its name changed for the very reasons Sean mentioned. This would have been after the loss of Graf Spee at the battle of the river Plate.
    Hmm, imagine the aircraft carrier George Bush…The Danny Quayle orbital Death Star… “guaranteed never to fire on the wrong target”. The Cameron nuclear zeppelin.


  10. Duly forwarded to the family scientist.

    I want to hear my favourite geriatric Australian tennis commentator Fred Stolle trying to say “Changjiang Dong.” He absolutely mangles “Zheng Jie.”

    It’s weird – I thought I would really miss morning coffee very badly. No, not at all.


  11. I want to hear my favourite geriatric Australian tennis commentator Fred Stolle trying to say “Changjiang Dong.” He absolutely mangles “Zheng Jie.”

    English speakers have a unique ability to mangle foreign names. The classic example is Les Nessman, the news reader from WKRP in Cincinnati, failing epically with golf star Chi Chi Rodriguez. It extends to place names, too: New Hampshire has a Berlin and a Milan, not pronounced like their namesake cities. And many Brits insist on giving the J in Beijing its French value, even though the English J is much closer to how Chinese pronounce it.


  12. Oh that French pronunciation of Beijing irritates me – all Australian newsreaders do it, so all Australians think it must be the correct pronunciation. So when I pronounce it correctly, they all stare at me like I’ve just committed an act of gross stupidity.

    And Birger’s penalty for mentioning American politicians again is that he has to listen to this all the way through. Twice.

    How many people know that Albert Lee the lead guitarist is English?


  13. Actually, there are a lot of good reasons for theorizing about how life could evolve on other planets even as we speculate about how life managed to evolve on our own. I recently read a good article on possible origins of our energy metabolism which points out that the simplest and seemingly oldest means of turning ADP into ATP involve conditions similar to those found in long term underwater vents. (These conditions involve the presence of certain chemicals, catalysts, geological processes and ion gradients.) There were life like processes even before there was anything we might consider to be alive.

    This suggests that we are much more likely to find life like our own on planets with geothermal activity and surface water. This means a planet like Mars which has been thermally active and likely had surface water might have some form of native life, while we can rule out life on Venus. It also gives us a sense of what types of exoplanets might harbor life. If nothing else, the basic life question can guide us in coming up with other good questions about the many planets we have been discovering and the few we have been exploring.


  14. Kaleberg
    It has occurred to me that a kind of very cold planets orbiting brown dwarf or red dwarf stars -while inhospitable to life- would be very well adapted to AIs, since the temperatures favor superconductivity without the need for refrigeration. (and as long as there is hydrogen around, there is no need for solar energy)
    There would thus be no rivalry between old-style biological intelligent species and their robot offspring just as there is no rivalry between lions and polar bears for space.


  15. BTW, as the news of this ground-breaking antibiotic resistance discovery spread across the world, the first thought of millions of anglo-saxons will be “Huh huh, he is named “Dong” huhhuhuh”. (stated in the voice of Beavis or Butt-Head)


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