Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
March Pieces Of My Mind #1
Oh fuck. I just installed the operating system update/trojan that makes this particular Samsung smartphone model slow.
I wonder how classical liberalism views labour unions. On the one hand, the right to form one is clearly a civil liberty. On the other hand, it can be seen as what Smith called a “conspiracy of businessmen”, or in modern parliance, a price cartel.
Jrette approvingly recommends me to check out pics of curvaceous model Denise Bidot. I have to tell her that though Bidot is indeed beautiful, I’m not quite comfortable looking at pics of her in Jrette’s company.
Movie: Pride. Heart-warming propaganda piece for two political movements which I happen to support: Labour and Gay Rights. Grade: Pass With Distinction.
I was impressed when I heard Sia Furler’s singing on last year’s hit song “Chandelier”. I was even more impressed when I learned that she’s 39.
Jrette belting out Adele’s “Someone Like You” to her own guitar accompaniment and with huge power.
38% of the students who volunteered for the coming summer’s dig are female. 4 of the 10 whom the randomiser selected are female.
I love the snooze function in Google Inbox. “Hide this letter until Wednesday morning”.
Tragicomical to ponder how much time and ink has been spilled on the issue of whether certain early written sources mean Old Uppsala or the current cathedral town when they say “Uppsala”. The two places are just a short walk apart.
How. I just want to know HOW. The fuck. Does a person think. When they write ”et. al” instead of ”et al.”?
Blackbird singing in Fisksätra!
Christianity’s offer of salvation is like insurance against unicorn stampede.
I want to hear a cool jazz version of Marilyn Manson’s “The Dope Show”.
In Stanislaw Lem’s 1959 novel Eden, everything on the alien planet is incomprehensible including its inhabitants. Classic Lem. He pulls a cop-out at the end though, and explains that most of the aliens are mentally retarded after large-scale inept genetic engineering. When finally the humans find a smart alien he makes perfect sense. But before that you have to read over 200 pp of pointless gibberish.
Norrköping’s Early Christian century is becoming clearer thanks to archaeology. First there was the 2010/11 find of a forgotten churchyard on the left-hand river bank in the Mjölnaren block. Now there’s the city’s first Eskilstuna type burial monument from the Rådstugan block, not far from St. John’s church on the right-hand bank, and on the sight line between the two church sites.
Just realised that I haven’t worked at an excavation directed by someone else since I was 22. Unless you count single days as guest digger on Roger & Mattias’s sites.
I send every issue of Fornvännen to an address in Philadelphia where the contents get indexed on-line. Just now I checked the address in Google Streetview. It’s a tall office building. To either side of the entrance is a Saladworks and a Dunkin Donuts.
Got a call from an amateur scholar who has identified Beowulf’s grave. It’s in eastern Uppland. Beowulf, it turns out, was born in 519 at Hageby near Norrköping. The guy has talked to about twelve professors about his ideas, all of whom just laughed at him. I explained that I have no training in the Old Norse or Old English texts, and that I’m more of a potsherds and rusty nails kind of scholar. Our conversation ended amicably.
Imogen Heap won a 2009 Grammy for sound engineering.
Lovely spring walk in the woods, saw two brimstone butterflies!
Said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t understand why the Maya bothered with chocolate. Without milk and sugar it’s just nasty, and they had neither. It isn’t even perceptibly psychoactive. The word means “bitter water”! These people were crazy!
There’s often a bit of beer left in the cans tossed on the ground by roaming drunks. As I empty them out and take them to a trash can, I muse that drug addiction leaves you unable even to optimise your drug intake.
I’m pretty sure that the inability of the iPad to accommodate several separate login identities is a calculated move on Apple’s part in the hope of selling more units.
I don’t feel much like working today. “I need a pickup and I don’t mean a truck”, as Brendan Benson put it.
PhD position in “Stochastic Wind Park Modelling and Maintenance Scheduling under Uncertainty”
Thanks brain. Unexpected move there, waking me an hour early because you want to think about habilitation and play me the Beach Boys’ lamest hit on repeat.
Nice work on Word for Mac OS, Microsoft. The Paste Special menu alternative and its hotkey combination do different things.
So good to be back out in the field in early springtime! Sunshine, birdsong, no crops covering the fields, vegetation leafless or flat. Checked out our new accommodation for the Stensö dig, then explored the ruins of Rönö Castle.
Woah, there are a few late-period Beatles tunes that I can’t remember hearing, on the Yellow Submarine album!
Turns out you can get dry-trousered to Landsjö Castle islet through the dense belts of boggy scrubwood and tall reeds that join it to the lakeshore. But you need to wear rubber boots. And bring two planks. And it’ll take you 40 minutes to move 110 metres. And you’ll be exhausted.
I have serious trouble making cultural references in lectures that stick with my students. One important reason is of course the 20-year age difference. But another simply seems to be that few of my students are as bookish as I am. I have a feeling that I’d have similar trouble if I were 22 today and talked to fellow students. In fact, come to think of it, I’ve had this problem from age 6 onward.
English dialogue becomes much more interesting if you swap out “sod/bugger” and “pox” for their original meanings “sodomite” and “syphilis”.
The nouns of “to try” are “a try” and “a trial”. Now I find a colleague using the verb “to trial”. /-:
Sometimes you take a nap, and you surprise yourself by sleeping for two hours, and when you wake up there’s lasagna.
The verse on ABBA’s “Don’t go sharing your emotions” rips off Black Sabbath’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”.
A recent change to the Swedish Cultural Heritage law makes every abandoned structure made before 1850 a protected ancient monument. This, I just realised, includes the excavation trenches of our first archaeologists.
Dude reads 16 job academic applications and throws out everyone who hasn’t taught for at least one academic year in total. But he does this so slowly that by the time he tells my prospective employer that he’s thrown my application out, I have taught enough. *sigh*