Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
April Pieces Of My Mind #3
Received a tip about a “Medieval staircase” on a steep hillside in Tumba. Turned out to be part of an erased 19th century mansion, orchard & park complex. The stairs went down to the jetty in Lake Tullingesjön.
Several scenes filmed for Aliens were set in the terraforming settlement prior to the outbreak of nasty critters. They didn’t make it into the theatrical release.
I wish I could avoid all US news until the next non-Republican president takes office. Come on, I hear absolutely nothing from Uruguay or Sierra Leone, it should be possible!
People who don’t know what CTRL-Z does must have an extremely stressful time at their computers.
Public Service Announcement: nachos found in an opened package at the back of a cupboard two years after their expiration date taste remarkably bad. But equally ancient ones from an unopened package are fine.
Last year I killed off what must have been a major wasp nest by blocking the entrance to the low attic space above our house’s front door. Shortly thereafter something that sounded like a mouse moved in and apparently survived the winter by systematically eating the dead wasp larvae in the nest. We would hear it messing around up there and occasionally patter about on little feet on the plasterboard ceiling, but it never entered our living space. And now that spring has come, the mouse seems to have left for greener pastures.
Impressive response time: the Hans im Glück boardgame company in Munich replied to my customer service email in 44 minutes on a Monday night after office hours!
Movie: Moon (2009). Astronaut is coming off a 3-year stint alone on a lunar H3 extraction base. He’s finally going home to his wife and kid. Or is he? Grade: great!
On a whim I googled the principals of the schools I attended as a kid. Turns out they’re both still alive (aged 89 and 92), still living in the area and still active in various associations. One of them published a memoir in 2017!
“Door” is plurale tantum in Polish, like scissors and pants. You can’t talk about one door.
Of course I’m looking way too often at the three rose bushes I planted yesterday. The Hansestadt Rostock looks happy. The Augusta Luise looks droopy. The Nostalgie had and still has no leaves.
Ebook readers with WiFi and low power demands really are an excellent invention.
People seem confused about tests for “Am I infected” vs. “Have I got any immunity”.
Movie: Shoplifters (2018). An elective family among Japan’s urban poor. Grade: great!
From a recent paper: some Russian and Polish colleagues share my frustration with the direction Swedish archaeology has taken in the past half century. Note that when they say “Scandinavia”, they really mean Sweden and Norway. The Danes have their shit together. “Scandinavia is a region hugely underestimated in terms of its importance in the dynamics of transformations occurring in the Barbaricum at the transition from the Early to Late Roman Periods. This stems to some extent from the fact that a considerable part of the materials from this area remain outside scholarly discussion, as they have not been published or are known from patchy publications in older studies. The situation could surely be changed if only by some basic research on the differentiation and distribution of particular artefact types.” One extremely telling example of this is that the huge 2004 international centennial tribute to Swedish fibula guru Oscar Almgren contains no Swedish contribution.
Jrette is 16 and likes to borrow my shirts and sweaters, which I find super sweet. Last night though, she had a dream where there was this big solemn public occasion and I was wearing something like a dumpster bag. “Dad! Why are you dressed like that?” “Sorry honey, it’s because you have taken all my clothes.”
There are still drive-in bank offices with pneumatic postage systems in the US! Like when I was a kid in the 70s! In Sweden we barely even have physical bank offices anymore.
Confession: I don’t get the Christopher Walken – Blue Öyster Cult – cowbell sketch. I mean, I find it mildly amusing that their producer is so passionate about the cowbell. But completely forgettable.
Swedes say “zoom out” when they mean “zone out”.
Why do I always have to look up Ge. zwar = “admittedly”?
Sudden recollection: there’s a jigsaw puzzle at the summer house that my grandpa made, featuring an early-1900s image of a fairytale castle. I need to assemble enough of it that you can just make out the motif, take a photograph of it and show it when I give talks about Medieval castles.