Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
November Pieces Of My Mind #3
My wife and her friend run a club that teaches immigrant women to swim and then possibly become certified swimming instructors. I was surprised to learn that from the funding body’s point of view, she counts as one of the immigrant women. She’s lived in Sweden since 1980 and speaks better Swedish than I do. I keep forgetting that we’re an immigrant family.
Swedish has separate words for “less good” and “more bad”. The word “worse” confuses us Swedes.
No war horses here / Pale sun lights the library / Facial laser burns
Fun discovery: the choice of words on Nils Mattsson Kiöping’s frontispiece alludes to that of a German travel book that had appeared eleven years previously. But in doing so, the language has gone wonky.
Watched a lot of movie commercials at the film festival screenings. An observation: advertisers believe that whatever you sell, film festival goers will react favourably to international or interracial couples on screen. Guess they’re right. I mean, I did.
Talked to some high schoolers who liked my Social Democrat badge. They explained that they were democratic communists, and that only Marxist-Leninist communists would institute a dictatorship after the Revolution. I had to reply that to me Marxist-Leninist and Communist are synonyms.
Arthur Lee of the famous 60s band Love got out of jail in December 2001. He had less than five years left before dying of cancer, but he managed to get a good band together and toured with his old material. I heard them in Stockholm in May 2002 and enjoyed it a lot. And my brief interaction with the band is a fond memory. For some reason I hurried home from the gig and was probably the first audience member to leave the venue. I turned the corner of the South Theatre House running and startled the band badly as they were getting into a car. They stared at me in shock and clearly thought I might be a crazy fan. But I just ran past them, turned around and jogged backwards for a bit, and said “Awesome gig, guys, many thanks, really enjoyed it!” And they all looked relieved, smiled, waved and thanked me too. And I ran on towards the stairs to Slussen.
Heard a senior politician say something odd about the Swedish Social Democrats’ weak polling figures at the moment. “We shouldn’t blame the voters, we should offer policies that get the votes back.” Nonono. When the voters move towards conservatism and fascism, you do not follow. If you want to do that, you need to leave the party and join another.
Parsec = parallax second.
Took a look at the skeptic movement again and was reminded that though I share its opinions, I don’t really care much about the issues. It was really important to me though back when I was surrounded by knowledge-relativist science-hostile humanities people.
Many rock bands break up over drugs, money and musical disagreements. The autobiographies of Kraftwerk members Flür and Bartos agree that they broke up because band leader, main song writer, keyboard player and singer Hütter became more interested in high-end cycling than in the band. 😀
Karl Bartos worked part time as a drums & percussion teacher through most of his Kraftwerk years.
I don’t know how to describe my language skills. I read German and French fairly well, I speak and write them OK, but I’m almost incapable of following an informal conversation in a noisy room.
Sun Yat Sen and Chiang Kai Shek were brothers in law.
I knew that a period of constant playing in Hamburg clubs made the young Beatles into pros. I did not know that it was for almost two whole years!
Two common yet mindblowing ways in which old stone houses are remodelled through the centuries: 1. Floors and windows moved up and down. 2. Roof rotated 90 degrees. No 2 means that you have to tear down the gables and build new ones on the adjoining wall tops.
Funny how, as the Boomers have retired and the rave kids celebrate their 50th birthdays, drugs have become associated with old people instead of youth culture.
The German Social Democrats elected a new pair of co-chairs this weekend, Saskia Esken & Norbert Walter-Borjans.
Phew, Sweden did OK in the new PISA education study.
I talked to a couple of young user experience specialists the other day. They had never heard the 80s techie term “luser”. 😀
Khazakstan and Mongolia are only 40 km apart but share no border.