Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
April Pieces Of My Mind #1
Slussen, “the Lock”, an enormous 1930s concrete structure built to organise an 8-way road crossing in central Stockholm, is headed for replacement and the really big demolition bout is drawing near. Exciting! And an opportunity for looooads of really interesting urban contract archaeology!
In Chrétien de Troyes’ Yvain, the hero goes nuts and an hermit prays for his soul. In the Old Swedish translation, the hermit instead prays that Yvain will never bother him again.
Haha, fucking Swedes. Dude publishes an interesting paper in good English, except he consistently puts “even” when he means “also”. And so he comes across as perpetually surprised by really banal things. It’s a classic case of false-friend translation, because Sw. även means “also”.
Let’s get rid of the word “multivocality”. There are always less pretentious ways to talk about that. Shit means different things to different people and at different times. Old hat, get over it.
Movie: Perfect Day. Aid organisation workers have trouble getting a dead guy out of a well during the last days of the war in Yugoslavia. Lots of good dialogue and stark landscapes. Grade: Pass With Distinction.
Is a shamrock the opposite of true metal?
Plant macrofossil studies is carpologie in French.
I’d forgotten what a great combo mustard, tarragon and onion is. Mmm!
Thought my blog traffic’s glory days were over. Then Dennis Fabricius Holm lets me post pics of the 10th century crucifix he found, and BANG, the first quarter of 2016 is one of the three best the blog has ever seen!
Former right-wing populist Toronto mayor Rob Ford died at age 46 — of cancer in his fatty tissue. You can’t make this shit up.
When reading about religious rituals, like in Sir Richard Burton right now, I get really really impatient with the pointlessness of it all. Go paint the barn or something, make yourself useful.
I’m completely confused by the trans bathroom thing. Who cares what gender identity and clothing other people in public restrooms have?!
The Swedish Research Council’s newsletter has a feature on how to get researchers to become more entrepreneurial. Oddly it doesn’t cover the method that worked on me. “Never give them a steady academic job or any grant larger than €16 000”.
Old English chicks like getting hrothgared.
Someone on Twitter calls themselves Hrothyogg. Out from under ~30 years of oblivion sediment comes a tiny itch of remembrance. From long before I was familiar with Beowulf. And sure enough, it’s the name of a 1987 ogre captain miniature for Warhammer.
Compared Sir Richard’s 1853 map of Al-Madinah with a current satellite photo. Ouch ouch ouch. They’ve bulldozed and replaced everything except one extramural cemetery. No trace of the original town plan. I wonder if urban archaeology is even known to Saudi Arabia.
I’ve got chocolate with nuts. I’ve got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’ve got cantucchini alle mandorle. I’ve got fancy cocoa powder. But I haven’t got a sense of smell because of this cold. So I can’t enjoy any of the goodies I’ve got.
If the people who get tenure in my discipline had solid publication records in a style of archaeology that I dislike, say, a highly theoretical post-modern one, it would just be annoying. But in fact a lot of them have no publication record to speak of in any style of archaeology and just happen to be buddies with someone. That is fucking infuriating.
Free paper-writing tip. When you prepare images, diagrams and plans for journal papers, remember that the journal is not the size of your computer screen. And your image will not be printed across the entire page width of the journal. All white space you leave in your image is bought at the expense of whatever is really interesting in the image.
Haha, awesome! In natural science, “relativist” means “physicist studying things relevant to Einstein’s theories of relativity”!
I’ve got a new explanatory model for dark matter. It’s not weakly interacting massive particles. It’s weekly interacting particles. On Tuesdays, for instance.
Been asking around Scandyland about temp teaching. Turns out prehistoric archaeology, along with many other disciplines, is in a funding slump. One place has closed its undergrad programme (temporarily?), another its MA programme.
Apart from the vitally important tasks of teaching immigrant kids Swedish and English, a teacher friend tells me she has to put a lot of ongoing effort into explaining that it is not a socially accepted custom in Sweden to hit classmates on the head because they have had their hair cut.
Baltic = Scrotal mite
Awe-inspiring fashion statement from a distinguished Scottish colleague: washed-out grey t-shirt and loose-fitting unbuttoned plaid tweed vest.
The incidence of misattributed paternity is only high among people who order paternity tests. Among others it’s 1%.
Dear journalists: did you know that if you call anything archaeological “mysterious”, you immediately lose your job?