May Pieces Of My Mind #1

I open the window and the blackbird sings for my breakfast.
  • Year’s first lunch in the yard.
  • Someone’s tagging “DMT” all around my area. It’s a hallucinogen found in many plants including Mimosa tenuiflora. The tagger however illustrates their tag with pictures of mushrooms. Either they don’t know their ethnopharmacology, or they’re afraid that people won’t recognise Mimosa tenuiflora.
  • I’ve let my new Medieval castles book loose in PDF on Academia. Have a look, maybe recommend it!
  • Impressed again by Ubuntu Linux. Needed to scan something, never done it from this machine, the scanner + printer is on a wifi link via the router. And it just worked, straight out of the box!
  • Jrette is prepping a presentation about nuclear physics. We can’t find a comprehensible explanation for why large unstable nuclei have/need more than one neutron per proton. I call my old Skeptics Society buddy the retired nuclear physicist and hand Jrette the phone. She gets a succinct, friendly and comprehensible explanation (it’s to “dilute” the electromagnetic repulsion among the protons) and we say goodbye. And it’s so stark to me again how much family background does for a kid’s school results and career.
  • I was just strengthened in my impression that it would probably not be good business to set myself up as a small-finds consultant. This guy from a contract archaeology firm asked me to classify six pieces of metalwork for him. “Sure, I do that every day for scholars and detectorists. But since you work for an organisation that pays actual salaries, I’d like SEK 500 ($53, €47, £40) for my trouble, please.” He got back to me and told me there wasn’t room in the budget for that.
  • A buddy of mine works as a consultant for a large public-sector organisation in another country. A few times a year he delivers a big data dump. He used to have trouble getting paid by these people. Until he started encrypting the data dump. And not giving them the decryption key until they paid.
  • A Fjällräven hiking jacket is the only handbag I’ll ever need. The lower pockets take a Kindle.
  • Jilly Bean is not my love.
  • Paradoxically, though chimp bones are hardly ever found in caves, their scientific surname Troglodytes means “cave-dwelling”.
  • Conspiracy theories are lame. Come on everybody now and tell me which conspiracies you are core members of!
  • I’m wearing a European Space Agency tee shirt for tonight’s EU parliament vote canvassing.
  • Nazis try to build a nuclear reactor towards the end of the war. They have enough uranium to achieve a self-sustaining chain reaction in two reactors. But it is split among three competing research groups, neither of which succeeds. 😀
  • Saw a bumblebee visiting a chess flower, Sw. kungsängslilja. She disappeared entirely into the flower and rummaged around, her movements broadcast by the flower’s papery speaker membrane.
  • I’ve got such amazing friends. Not only do they like game night at my house. They also deliver books from their personal libraries as loans when I ask. And they often bring cookies. One guy routinely brings cinnamon rolls that has risen in his kitchen and bakes them on arrival.
  • Chknagh. There’s a town in Armenia named Chknagh.
  • One of my main goals in life is to have no food older than a month at home. This is counteracted by my wife’s ambition to own all food on the planet and only eat the most interesting bits. We never throw food away. I recently made a major dent in our supply of ancient dried beans, and everyone was flitting around on their internal jet packs for two weeks. We currently have four jars and tubes of mustard. I am eating a lot of cheese and mustard sandwiches these days.
  • Quentin Smirhes might singlehandedly kick the legs out from under the world market for hallucinogens with his short films.
  • Having served as a layman judge for the past year, I’m impressed by the number of 1st or 2nd generation immigrants who work at our courts in all kinds of capacities. I just got a letter from the guy who coordinates layman judges in our district, a dapper young fellow named Seljuk. Which is basically like talking to someone named Merovingian or Habsburg.
  • Time to early-vote in the European Parliamentary elections! Go today!
WRONG. To make a good bailing scoop you remove the side, not the bottom, or the handle will be useless.
The Swedish Liberal Party is trying to contact the spirit realm.


Author: Martin R

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

5 thoughts on “May Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. Only two stable nuclei have more protons than neutrons: hydrogen-1 (a proton by itself) and helium-3 (two protons and a neutron).

    Stable nuclei with equal numbers of protons and neutrons exist up to calcium-40. All even atomic numbers up to that point except beryllium (Be-8 rapidly decays into a pair of He-4) have such an isotope. Odd numbers are less favored, for reasons having to do with nucleons being spin 1/2 particles: the heaviest stable isotope with odd numbers of both protons and neutrons is nitrogen-14, with seven of each (potassium-40, which has 19 protons and 21 neutrons, has a half-life of the order of a billion years, so it can be used as a geological clock). Spin 1/2 particles have a tendency to form spin up-spin down pairs–the Pauli exclusion principle prohibits two identical spin 1/2 particles in the same quantum state.


  2. HK Observatory uses a nuclear clock. So, by extension, so does my computer.

    “everyone was flitting around on their internal jet packs for two weeks” – Today, I wasn’t just in a low orbit, I damn near achieved escape velocity. Don’t know what was special about today, but I’m still getting used to my excessively large mixed whole grain cereal breakfasts. I’m worried climate change activists will find out and try to ban me from eating breakfast.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “The Swedish Liberal Party is trying to contact the spirit realm.”

    Actually, the name of the board does come from these two words, in these meanings (though from German not Swedish).

    People actually believe this stuff. There are some therapists who claim that their clients can communicate through such a board. Actually, the therapist answers, as was revealed when the client was asked questions while the therapist couldn’t hear and then asked to respond when she (yes, usually she) was there.

    Of course, it could be that she actually believed what she was peddling.


  4. Re: Chknagh – Have you ever noticed that all the consonants seem to have wound up in Eastern Europe while the vowels have spread out across Polynesia? Chknagh, isn’t quite in Eastern Europe. Perhaps there is another vowel lurking in there if one looks more carefully.


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