Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
January Pieces Of My Mind #2
I just wrote a long drinking song in Swedish for the Stockholm Tolkien Society’s 5 x 9th anniversary. The first line translates to “Thranduil in Mirkwood imports beverages”.
Like most archaeologists I use Academia.edu to share my work, but I have a somnolent placeholder account on ResearchGate as well. They keep pestering me to engage more. Just now they congratulated me on one of my books reaching 20 downloads there. Oh, hoo fucking ray.
Spent several days extracting find spots for some artefact categories from confused & sloppy documentation of a 1915 castle excavation. Got a really clear result though: the find distribution is an artefact of when the ruins where uncovered in the 1880s. I have mapped the spoil dumps.
Metal detectorists shared a tip with me. To find silver, do beaches. To find gold, do beaches frequented by Syriacs. They have made a discovery in contemporary archaeology.
Sid Vicious was a stage name but Kurt Vile got his name from his parents.
The bread I bake has a hard crust with small spiky bits here and there. If I let a loaf fall into a plastic bag, the bag invariably gets torn. But if instead I point the loaf upward and let the bag settle onto it, no damage is done.
Reading Raoul Martinez, I belatedly understood a central point in the critique of globalism. Capital is free to go where wages are lower. But labour is not free to go where wages are higher.
Swedish daylight metal detectorists are happily showing me finds made at rallies in the UK. I tell them about the Portable Antiquities Scheme. “Never heard of it!”
I just got grabbed by the reptile brain and shaken around. An ad for a video game with three swimsuited plus-size models blowing each other’s tanks up. Watched the whole thing. Acres of sunset-lit flesh. And subliminal CGI tanks as a minor irritant.
The Cars’ 1984 song “Drive” has the same synths that were popular in scifi movie scores at the time. It sounds like Bladerunner.
Purging my Twitter roster of politically interested Americans. Sorry folks, I just can’t stand it. I’ll refollow in 2021.
Love this. At dinner table, my wife starts saying something in Swedish, switches to English because Cousin E understands that, switches to Mandarin because Jrette needs the practice, finishes the phrase.
I’d like to see a good actor imitating the odd movements of video game characters.
Explained to Cousin E that there’s Eastern wisdom and Western wisdom, and that Western wisdom usually has to do with digestive biscuits.
Music geekery is pretty useful when you want to retain the respect of a 13-y-o.
After receiving a fan postcard I took a nap. Then I checked my email and found a long fan letter from a grad student I’ve never heard of before. This is starting to look like a conspiracy to improve my professional outlook.
The cover of this 26-y-o edition of a 53-y-o scifi novel is starting to look retro-futuristic.
Cultural summit at the breakfast table. I’m having cheese sandwiches and black tea with milk. My wife is having rice porridge, filo pancake and a boiled egg with soy sauce.
Wonder what the Middle East would look like if its inhabitants decided that the finer distinctions within the category of West-Semitic-speaking monotheists are unimportant. Maybe they’d all just go right for the Persians.
Me and my wife just read & talked about some poetry with Cousin E that he’d got assigned in school, including Poe’s “Raven”. Sharing the stanzas around.
Lois McMaster Bujold is copiously and cheaply available as EPUB files on Baen.