Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
August Pieces Of My Mind #3
Listening to Planet Money about recessions and stock market crashes, I recall the father of my brother’s classmate. They lived two houses over in our leafy suburb. On Black Monday in 1987 he opened the window of his office and jumped to his death.
Disproportionately happy about having replaced the broken TV remote.
“As we move back into the 20th century, the musicological source material becomes notoriously weak and patchy. We have only 197 preserved unique compact discs, globally. 196 are from the great gamelan trove found during excavations in Jakarta. The 197th is Billy Idol’s poorly received 1993 album Cyberpunk.”
Movie: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Western outlaws in the Civil War. Hardly any women, hardly any dialogue. Ages and ages of close-ups of sweaty, bruised, unshaven faces. Grade: OK.
Where do all these fads come from? All our friends are suddenly throwing “50 Years Parties”!
Dropped a wine glass when putting it on the drying stand. With lightning reflexes honed by much teenage video gaming, my hand shot out to keep it from falling on the floor. In that split second, the glass broke against the countertop and I slammed my fingers onto the shards, cutting two and bleeding like a pig. Yay, fucking Tetris. /-:
Suddenly I remember an early-80s ad in one of my grandma’s weekly magazines for the quack professor Per-Arne Öckerman’s alternative pills. He was posing in a white coat in the ad, extremely wall-eyed and with unkempt grey hair, and I laughed at the idea that if you took his pills, you would end up like him.
I know being bald looks awesome and is a universally admired hair style. But really people, before you shave the tops of your heads to look more like me, consider the increased risk of wasp stings. My pate hurts now.
Is the Tokay gecko the only species that has named itself? Its Linnaean name is Gecko gecko, and it spends the nights calling “gecko gecko gecko gecko gecko”.
There should be more country rock songs about mescaline-taking, Esperanto-speaking Utopian Socialist communes in California.
Studying chemistry with Jrette, I find occasion to check why silicone has this confusing name. Turns out “silicone” is short for silicoketone. There are silicon atoms in the compound but it is very far from being a chemical element.
I just finished my translation into English of Nils Mattsson Kiöping’s 1667 Asian travelogue! 34,000 words and hundreds of explanatory notes. Now I need to hit the Royal Library to double the number of notes.
Somebody told me about a farmer they knew. He was bipolar and had once bought four large tractors that he could neither use nor afford when he was off his meds.