April Pieces Of My Mind #3

  • Movie: Little Big Man. Tragicomedy about the Old West and the fate of the Native Americans. Grade: OK.
  • Submitted my tax returns. Always super easy, which is one of the benefits of having a low income and few assets.
  • I’ve researched my ancestry fully four generations back and found no madman, sorcerer, ape or sea monster. What am I doing wrong?
  • I re-read two random chapters near the end of Peake’s Titus Groan for the first time in 30 years. It’s really, really good stuff.
  • I grieve for the multitudes of Windows users who don’t know what flag-key plus M does.
  • The drumming on “Rock And Roll All Nite” is neat, meticulous, steady, a little fussy. I imagine Gene Simmons’s aunt coming into the studio and laying the track down in one take.
  • Provincial museum in neighbouring country asks me to review two papers for an anthology. I pass one and flunk one. Museum person expresses confusion. A few months later they inform me that two new reviewers have passed the paper I flunked. Apparently the definition of academic peer review varies. /-:
  • Why isn’t Mary Roach’s Grunt available as e-book in Sweden? Not Amazon, not Google, not Kobo.
  • Nope. Tried reading five of the Hugo-nominated novels, didn’t feel like finishing any of them. The sixth nominee is the third book in a series, so I’m not even giving it a try. I guess it’s obvious: these are nominations by the general fan majority, and I already knew that I don’t share the majority taste.
  • Movie: His Girl Friday. Hectic gag-studded 1940 rom-com set among newspaper reporters. Grade: great!


Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

62 thoughts on “April Pieces Of My Mind #3”

  1. The second phase of the French election starts now. I am frightened.

    The fight against wilful ignorance must be fought on many fronts. Sadly, not all read about popularised science. Satire can often reach those who rarely pick up magazines or watch Discovery channel. *This* episode is about history. Civil war history.

    Re. population genetics, I hope some of the smarter Mormons will start to realise indians did not come from the middle east. Some Le Pen voters may one day realise racism is bullshit. A lot of people will never change their minds. I hope their children will absorb science instead of BS.


  2. Some Le Pen voters may one day realise racism is bullshit. A lot of people will never change their minds. I hope their children will absorb science instead of BS.

    There may be hope for the children. I have much less hope for people who reach adulthood without having their racist views unchallenged.

    The best antidote I know of to racism is being exposed to different people as your equals. Americans in big cities are on average far less afraid of Muslim terrorists than those in the countryside, even though such terrorists are more likely to strike in big cities, because in the cities you are more likely to encounter Muslims under circumstances where you realize that they are not so different from you. Likewise with the Brexit vote: urban and university constituencies, whose residents are far more likely to come into contact with immigrants as peers, tended to vote Remain while rural and rust belt constituencies in England and Wales, who tend to regard everyone from east of Calais as wogs, were far more likely to vote for Brexit.


  3. Explainer: Why is Stephen Fry being investigated for blasphemy and what happens next? http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/newsireland/explainer-why-is-stephen-fry-being-investigated-for-blasphemy-and-what-happens-next/ar-BBAPDsb?ocid=spartandhp
    If Stephen Fry has to pay the fine, it woud be the Irish version of the Scopes trial.

    Wogs? Do they still use that word?
    The Major: “They are not n*ggers, they are wogs!”
    (This exchange has been censored from re-runs of Fawlty Towers.)


  4. Wogs? Do they still use that word?

    Usual caveats apply since I don’t actually live in the UK. My guess is that it’s one of those words that aren’t supposed to be used in polite society, but still get used sometimes when the speaker thinks nobody to whom the word would apply is within earshot.

    I understand the difference between the two terms the Major uses in that line. The first applies to sub-Saharan Africans and their descendants in the Americas and Europe. The second is a generic term for people who are not of the British Isles, including people with a similar skin shade to those who do.


  5. Birger: well, in the meantime, I am volunteering at the local makerspace so the Syrians and Iraqis can finish their sewing and alteration projects. And David Neiwert (who has been watching a lot of crazy, ugly people for a long time) finds that amateur humour is much more effective at battling fascism than amateur violence.


  6. BTW, John, hang in there. Genetic data will keep getting even more important, as the methods are refined.

    “Archaeogeneticist pinpoints Indian population origins using today’s populace” https://phys.org/news/2017-05-archaeogeneticist-indian-population-today-populace.html
    -I wonder if the Indus civilisation formed in part because of the need for a centralised state to respond to threats as migrations pushed groups against each other.


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