Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
August Pieces Of My Mind #1
For the first time I got an ebook instead of a paper book to review for Aard. I like it. Less pressure to push through and read + review a boring book when all they’ve given me is a copy of a file.
Jehovah’s Witnesses really have a self-defeating theology. Their cap on the number of people who go to heaven is already way below the global number of members. And of course it gets worse over time.
Chocolate makers want to make the whole world Lesbian with secret candy additives! It’s right there in the name! Mondelez! Wake up, sheeple!
I was surprised to find an unopened can of tuna in my mother’s fridge. After all, canning obviates refrigeration as a food preservation method. I was then doubly surprised to find an identical can in her freezer.
Reclaim the Reclam Kunstführer!
There’s been loads of debate about the metal detector hobby in Scandy archaeology. Fornvännen’s October issue will contain an interesting new development. For the first time, to my knowledge, a Swedish detectorist association is responding in a professional archaeology venue to what the pros have been saying about them.
Spoiler: Miéville breaks the mystery writer’s contract in The City & The City. The plot hinges on certain archaeological finds having known unearthly physical properties of interest to engineers, yet he doesn’t mention this to the reader until very late in the story.
It’s clear from The Lord of the Rings that orcs in that book are the same beings as are referred to in The Hobbit as “goblins”. But I was surprised to find that The Hobbit actually mentions orcs as distinct from goblins. On the last page of ch. 7, Gandalf advises Bilbo and the dwarves to avoid the Grey Mountains because “they are simply stiff with goblins, hobgoblins and orcs of the worst description”.
Jrette and I just read past the halfway point in The Hobbit, when Bombur falls into the enchanted stream.
I’m on the current episode of the Token Skeptic podcast, talking about the ideas of latter-day Ancient Astronaut and Banking Conspiracy writer Michael Tellinger.
Three great bands I’ve discovered through Google Play Music’s recommendation service recently: Wolfmother, Skambankt, Eagles of Death Metal.
Facebook took one good look at the pile of data about myself that I’ve supplied them with, and decided that I would definitely be interested in an ad in German for a gay bed & breakfast service. “Stay with people like yourself!”
Hey everybody who writes! Are you looking for one simple way to make me lose all confidence in you? It’s easy! Just wobble randomly between the past and present tense! For that really solid punch, wobble inside sentences!
Find sorting pro tip. When excavating with students, give each trench not only a name, but a distinctive context number series. That way you’ll know that a find from layer 201 is from trench H even when a student forgets to write the trench’s name on the baggie.
This skeptical celeb said he supports the death penalty for people who commit crazily cruel crimes. I’d like to remind him that nobody actually has any free will. The reason that I don’t commit crazily cruel crimes is that I’m not motivated to by the causality chain in my brain. People who commit such crimes are demonstrably nuts and should just be kept off the streets for everybody’s safety. The legal system should not deal in revenge. There is no such thing as an evil person.
Copy editing a paper written by natural scientists. Changing their passive voice (“the samples were dissolved”) to active voice (“we dissolved the samples”) throughout. MWA HA HA HA HA HA
I’m doing affirmative action. ~15 people have written me about Jr’s old bike after I put it up on a free stuff web site. Now I’m contacting those with worst Swedish first.