April Pieces Of My Mind #3

Copper alloy finds from AD 500 to 1100 made at Husby in Glanshammar
  • Just learned that Arabic dirham is a loan from Greek drachm. D-r-ch-m. Where the vowels go is kind of negotiable in Semitic languages.
  • Anglo-Saxon paganism: a brief interlude in eastern England, preceded, neighboured and succeeded by Romano-Celtic polytheism and/or Christianity.
  • Note to past self: you will own an extremely good wholly automatic hi-res digital camera which will be really really difficult to hold on to when taking a photograph because of its silly shape.
  • Sudden worrying rash of threats to de-fund humanities departments in the UK and Germany: Chester, Tübingen, Göttingen and more. Why now?
  • Still so cold, garden developing too slowly, I’m impatient.
  • In his amazing 1969 novel Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut gives a death toll for the Dresden bombings that historians believe is an order of magnitude too large. And he quotes it from future Holocaust denier David Irving!
  • As I’ve bragged before, my daughter is the chairperson of her school’s student union. She’s Swedish + Chinese. Yesterday she talked to her equivalent at another preppy Stockholm high school. He’s all Chinese. Yay East Asian academic traditions! There’s in fact a considerable amount of positive prejudice towards kids with East Asian looks. People expect them to be smarter than most.
  • You know how cult leaders will predict the end of the world, the coming of the aliens etc. for a certain date? And then afterwards, when nothing happened, they’ll say that the world did end or the aliens did come in spirit, just not visibly? I’ve come up with a good routine for anyone who wants to be an innovative cult leader. Don’t predict anything. Just announce afterwards that the world ended or the aliens arrived last Tuesday in spirit. It’ll make a huge splash!
  • “Being made redundant” is such a strange euphemism. Maybe you are redundant to your employer and therefore you get fired. But making you redundant in order to then fire you is just nonsense.
  • New Bronze Age hoard with about 50 objects found under a boulder near Alingsås. Montelius Per. VI, before 520 cal BC. Wendelringe, other hooked torcs, disc pins, belt hooks with spiral discs similar to the Hyndevad find, a big heavy clamp anklet, two odd ringed pins, one socketed axe.
  • Stockholm County is past the third wave crest in ICU admissions now.

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 “April Pieces Of My Mind #3”

  1. “Made redundant” is a UK expression. The US equivalent is “laid off”. Both are used in situations where the reason you lose your job is because your employer does not have enough work to keep you on. At least in the US, if your employer dismisses you on some other ground, we say that you were fired.

    “Laid off” also carries the implication that you might be hired again if your former employer’s fortunes change. Certain jobs have a seasonal nature to them: most obviously tourism-related jobs, but also construction in much of the US.


    1. Let’s disregard the labour-legal realities behind these words. I am commenting on the strange wording: “we are making you redundant” when what the employer means is “we have concluded that you ARE redundant”.


    2. ” “Made redundant” is a UK expression. ”

      Isn’t it usually a context of business merging when the “made redundant” crops up? One position becomes redundant after a merging because the other business already has all the accountants, lawyers, etc. that they need for both enterprises?


  2. “Dirham” (the unit of currency in the UAE) is not the only Arabic currency word with Indo-European origins. “Dinar” (which is what they use in Kuwait and Iraq) comes from Latin “denarius” and is cognate with the modern Spanish “dinero”, which simply means “money”.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “You know how cult leaders will predict the end of the world, the coming of the aliens etc. for a certain date? ”

    On a similar topic, I was just reminded that this Friday is when a chunk of the population goblinize into orcs, trolls, and the like, according to the designers of Shadowrun.
    They already got correct on the world being in the middle of a viral pandemic (1). Now I’m waiting for the dragons and magic to come back. That will enliven the place.

    (1) OK, not like we didn’t have some clues in the 90’s that this was going to be a strong possibility.

    Liked by 1 person

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