February Pieces Of My Mind #3

Husby in Glanshammar.Viking Period tanged arrowhead.
  • Movie: Tenet (2020). Ostentatiously confusing high-speed techno thriller where people and things can flip their time arrow. Watch out for future you running around backwards with a gun that sucks up bullets! Grade: OK.
  • I bought some RPG scenarios for $16. I expect them to entertain at least five people for at least 32 hours, not including my game-master prep time that I also enjoy. That’s pretty good value!
  • Dreamed that I found three big 11th century runic inscriptions on a rock outcrop. Unrealistically, they were on the concave scars from when runestones had been knapped loose.
  • Once I’ve gotten vaccinated, I’m going to ask everyone I like if I can hug them.
  • Wonder when the first churchyard excavation with comprehensive genome analysis of all individuals will appear.
  • There’s a helicopter on Mars and it runs Linux.
  • You’ve seen the two reports from Aska’s ploughed-out cemeteries. Here’s our big report from last year’s excavations on the huge platform mound between the cemeteries. It includes main text by myself and Ola Lindgren, osteology by Rudolf Gustavsson, paleobotany by Jens Heimdahl, beautiful photographs of gold foil figures and other finds by Björn Falkevik & Cheyenne Olander, finds conservation by Max Jahrehorn and plans by Jon Lundin.
  • WTF is Academia dot edyuuu doing? They’re emailing me reminders of papers I downloaded from them ages ago! Why oh why!?
  • I am extremely pleased that my skill set is useful to the Örebro County Museum. They have use for someone who can write fast for a popular audience, give off-the-cuff lectures and direct a metal detector survey, and who is a complete small finds nerd. I work 30% for Örebro in parallell with my research position in Łódź, and I expect to be writing international journal papers under my Polish byline about Örebro County archaeology.
  • Bond villain Dr. Julius No knew already in 1956 that smoking causes lung cancer.
  • The microphone on the Perseverance rover is great! Next time, let’s have a SPEAKER on Mars, blasting tunes across the red dusty plain!

Author: Martin R

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

8 thoughts on “February Pieces Of My Mind #3”

  1. “Once I’ve gotten vaccinated, I’m going to ask everyone I like if I can hug them.”

    I suggest better not, because you could still be infected and infectious.

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  2. Not wanting to be a grinch, but for all of the vaccines that I have read about, with the possible exception of one, the vaccine will not prevent you from becoming infected, it will just (hopefully, depending on efficacy) prevent you from becoming seriously ill. So you could be vaccinated, but could still be infected asymptomatically or with very mild symptoms, and therefore still possibly infectious.

    The one possible exception is the German/American RNA vaccine BioNTech/Pfizer, which has been used extensively in Israel – in that case, in a sample of 600,000 vaccinated people, it did seem to prevent them from becoming infected, so they could not be infectious. But that has not been a properly conducted trial, it is just based on observations from testing the people some time after they had been vaccinated, and it was not 100%, but it was a very high %. But it should be noted that this vaccine does not appear to be fully protective against the more infectious mutations that have emerged in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. In fact, it appears to be less protective against the known mutations than some of the other vaccines.

    I don’t know if Moderna, the other RNA vaccine developed in America, has the same effect as the Pfizer vaccine.

    The ideal will be for a vaccine to be developed that prevents 100% of vaccinated people from becoming infected. But as far as I know, no such vaccine has yet been developed. And none of the vaccines is protective to a high % of efficacy against the known mutations that have emerged. So you could be vaccinated but still be infected by (and possibly become very ill from) one of the known mutations.

    The People’s Liberation Army report that they have been trying to develop a vaccine that will be protective against all possible mutations of SARS-CoV-2, but that they have not yet been successful.

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  3. I see I need to correct that – one HK expert has said that the Pfizer vaccine will protect against the UK and South African mutations. I don’t know what he is basing that on, but that is what he has said.

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  4. The RPG campaign I am currently a player in (been running ~monthly since October 2007) is spawning a new campaign in the same setting, starting about the same time (in-game-time) as the first campaign started. The parent campaign has managed to advance about 4.5 years in in-game time in the almost-14 years it’s been running.

    I am looking forward to having both, in parallel, for a while, but expect the parent to come to its inevitable conclusion somewhen in the next 12-24 months.

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    1. What are your two parties currently doing? My space detectives have just located a cyborg deserter and the secret military data she carried.

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      1. The new campaign is still in the boot-up phase. The party in the old campaign have recently destroyed multiple altars in Berlin, used to (among possibly other things) replenish the life force of soliders of the Reich with demonic[1] energy. We also accidentally stole Hitler’s airplane to escape in. Which, you know, one of those things.

        Then, after some discussion with prisoner-of-war magicians (held in magic-supression cells in Johnstone Castle) about what we found, we’re now in search of magically folded pockets of space-time, each containing roughly one SS combat group (couple of vehicles, plenty of arms and explosives, and maybe 40-80 soldiers), as these would probably cause a massive pain in the neck, if they pop up behind the front-lines in days/months/years into the future.

        The new campaign will be in the same game world, starting (again) in 1939, but this time with the party being investigators for the Delhi Investigations Bureau.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It was pretty anti-climactic as these things go. One character used his Earth-elemental powers to dig a deep-ish trench around the pocket, the zoroastrian fire mage prepared a lightshow, and we had a sizeable contingent of American forces at hand to surround the space. Then our ritual magician caused the rift to unfold, our magically-enhanced public speaker (occasionally nick-named “the Infinite Persuasion Machine”) convinced the SS officer in charge that it was really much more sensible to stand down and surrender, before anyone got hurt.

      All in all, the only two shots fired were those required to make sure that the record said “shots were fired before the surrender”, and the elementalist never had to turn into his Body of Fire (which occasionally is accompanied by the player sating “Flame on!”).

      Liked by 1 person

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