May Pieces Of My Mind #3

This half-a-century-old office block will be replaced by housing. It stands right between Sickla hamlet’s oldest known location (1774) and its Viking Period cemetery. Both sites were bulldozed long ago.
  • Ambition: from Lat. ambire, “go around” (canvassing for votes).
  • Reading a paper book. Want to check something in it somewhere. Annoyed that there’s no search function.
  • Awesome. I just spoke to a lady from Latvia who insisted that her country was named Lithuania.
  • The traditional phrase ending a French business letter, the ”Yours sincerely”, can be translated as ”May you wish to allow, Sir, the expression of my distinguished feelings.”
  • Facebook informs me that I am interacting as myself. That’s… deep.
  • You know why a state cultivates an ideology of respect for war veterans? To motivate young people to keep enlisting as soldiers. To motivate families to keep sending their kids to possibly be killed or maimed for the state’s questionable purposes.
  • It’s strange to hear Conservative Party members on the municipal council refer to Property Rights as sort of a can’t-argue-with-that sacred principle on a par with Human Rights. I’m thinking “Are you aware that these appeals of yours have very little traction with most of the people listening to you?” It’s like talking to a religious person who tries to win an argument by referring triumphantly to one Scripture or another, and you’re just like, “Umm… So?”.
  • No thanks, I don’t want to read Neal Stephenson’s new 896-page novel.

Author: Martin R

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

11 thoughts on “May Pieces Of My Mind #3”

  1. “I just spoke to a lady from Latvia who insisted that her country was named Lithuania.”
    I keep mixing ’em up myself, but this is seriously weird. Was she pulling your leg, or just very bad at English/Swedish? WP says that 1.2% of the population in Latvia (22,831) identify as Lithuanian. Maybe you caught yourself one of those.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Her Swedish was weak so we switched to her somewhat less weak English. She said she was from Lithuania. Cool said I, I’ve been to Vilnius. Nono said she, I’m from *Lithuania*, where Riga is.


  3. Curiouser and curiouser. It’s one thing for people who are not from the Baltics to confuse Latvia and Lithuania. It would be akin to confusing Slovenia and Slovakia: none of those places existed as separate countries even 30 years ago. But I would expect most adults, barring special circumstances like a recent capital move or renaming (which is not the case here), to know the capital city of their own country.


      1. Not terribly surprised, there are many who speak really bad English here in LV. On the other had, that actually made it easier for me to learn Latvian, as I had no choice but to speak it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that it was simply one of those occasions where you concentrate very hard and it still comes out wrong. It has happened to me when speaking foreign languages. Wonder if there’s a name for this type of slip, it’s not exactly Freudian.


  4. Scripture…. where reason goes to die. I attempt to read the stuff so I can argue about the contradictions and other flaws but it is about as fun as memorising a phone book.


  5. Very long SF novels; Try Hamilton’s space opera novels. He is good enough to make you want to read the behemoths in one sitting.
    Great North Road is not part of a trilogy so it is good for trying out his writing.
    Not good: anything by the horrid, late Ayn* Rand. She has an ideological cult following among far-right kooks while lacking writing skills.
    * the name is the same as Scandinavian “Aina”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed Hamilton’s Pandora’s Star and I plan to read the next volume in that series. I really liked the scene where the spaceship crew decides to crash their large, heavy, interstellar spacecraft into the enemy transfer portal at enormous speed, causing everything within several AUs of the other end of the portal to vaporise. 😀


  6. According to Google, Lithuania in Lithuanian is “Lietuva”. That’s probably pronounced an awful lot like Latvia, so it could be the source of the confusion. Google doesn’t seem to know how to say Latvia in Latvian.


    1. Not a likely mistake for a native speaker; Lithuania is translated to Lietuva also in Latvian. Latvia translates to Latvija in Latvian, so not that similar.


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