Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
April Pieces Of My Mind #2
There is no year zero in the common era. 1 BC is followed by AD 1. This is because Dionysius Exiguus worked around AD 500, long before the Indian concept of mathematical zero reached European scholars via the Arabs.
I don’t quite understand why the guy in Springsteen’s “The River” is so super sad. It’s not in the lyrics.
I love Turkish fast food and “Here Comes The Rain Again”.
Thorn-stabbed left eye acting up again nine months after that brush-clearing session at Skällvik Castle. Right-hand one showing its sympathy by clouding up too, leaving me unable to read or write much. Annoying. But eye specialist is not worried, so nor am I.
I want music discovery algorithms to distinguish between songs I dislike and songs I love but don’t want to hear all the time.
Movie: Your Name. Anime feature with beautiful scenery, conventional humans and a confused supernatural time-travel body-exchange motif. Grade: OK.
Today’s my 18th anniversary of editing Fornvännen.
-thwaite in English place names is cognate with Sw. Tveta, originally having to do with the wood chips produced when felling trees to clear land.
DNA has identified a bunch of strangers as my 3rd or 4th cousins. I’ve contacted them and started to work with the interested ones to identify our link. In one case we know which Bohuslän hamlet the couple lived in. In another case we know in which two Värmland parishes they lived. Fun puzzle-solving exercise.
Reading Becky Chambers’s Hugo Award finalist novel A Closed And Common Orbit with two parallel narratives. One is about a whiny adolescent android who does nothing much, and it does not interest me. The other is about a 10-y-o Robinson Crusoe scavenging in a huge tech dump. That keeps me reading.
It’s kind of hard to play games with secret traitors when Cousin E is involved. He thinks it’s super fun to be allowed to betray the team, so he does it as fast as he can regardless of whether he’s a traitor or not, all while giggling hysterically. This tends to make life easy for the actual traitors.
Xlnt weird, dark, druggy song: Timber Timbre’s “Black Water”. Turn up the bass!
ResearchGate and LinkedIn do a spectacularly bad job of identifying academic jobs I’m qualified for.
Movie: Topsy Turvy. Gilbert & Sullivan and the original production of The Mikado. Grade: Great!
Danish encouragement: “Men du er jo selvskrevet til jobbet!! SØG DET, DU VIL VÆRE ET KÆMPE FJOLS HVIS IKKE DU GØR DET!!” Honestly, who wants to be a kæmpe fjols?
Saturn’s ocean moon Enceladus has recently been discovered to have environments that would be habitable to Earth’s methanogenic bacteria. If it turns out that there is not in fact indigenous life there, then I think we should seed the place!
Dear UK: get a permanent citizen registry and scrap the notion of “registering to vote”. In Sweden I just bring my ID to the polling station.
The concepts of “man cold” and “man flu” suggest a traditional masculinity where men shouldn’t show weakness. Very 1950s.
Woo-hoo! I lost my cherry on this day in 1987! 30 years a lover!
Advice for you ladies: take nerds to bed. As someone so wisely put it — nerds read up, and unlike the jocks they always do their best since they can barely believe that they’re actually getting laid. Nerds like to figure out how stuff works and optimise.
Frustrating. In live debates, people often show signs of not listening to what I say, but to their expectations about what someone with my demeanour would say. It’s not that I make long speeches or use unfamiliar words or aggressive ones. I always make an effort to speak briefly, simply, to the point. But time and time again I realise that people I agree with believe that I don’t. I have a vague perception that they may see me as too bossy and confident to really be on their side.
The buzz word “digitisation” is used commonly and extremely vaguely in Swedish politics. It seems to mean “Internet and automatisation and scifi stuff”. It is at the same time something good and modern, and something scary that deletes jobs. It is at the same time inevitable and something that deserves political support to happen.