September Pieces Of My Mind #1

Gold leather appliqué blanket, recreated on the basis of a museum piece, 15th century
  • “Overkill” and “The Ace of Spades” are pretty much the same song.
  • Sexologists have done big intercultural investigations of what men find attractive in women. There’s one huge factor that dominates the results, from Kamchatka to Table Bay. It’s not your age, weight, boobs or butt. It’s simply whether you act like you’d like to go to bed with the guy. Yes? You’re super attractive. No? You’re a plain Jane. Now, I just realised something. This means that the biggest built-in intercultural turn-on in us men is simply consent. Not bad!
  • Movie: John Carter (2012). Baroquely exaggerated sword & sandal in the tradition of Milius’s Conan the Barbarian. Grade: OK.
  • On Tenacious D’s 2006 track “Master Exploder”, Jack Black parodies over-the-top heavy metal singers who think they can blow your mind while actually blowing your mind with his over-the-top heavy metal singing.
  • Jarlabanke was a big landowner and an avid runestone patron in Täby near Stockholm during the 11th century. Runologist S.B.F. Jansson once quipped that he was quite saddened when a runestone was found announcing Jarlabanke’s death.
  • Love writing research! Currently a paper collecting the evidence for Aska hamlet as a possible assembly site in the period AD 1000-1350. I have the best job!
  • Unexpected feeling of familiarity and belonging in the History Museum’s Viking Period exhibition. I’ve never had a job at the museum despite a number of applications through the decades. But if knowing this period’s material entitles you to membership of the tribe, then I do belong after all.
  • Movie: Andromeda Strain (1971). A pathogen from space threatens humanity in what starts promising as a lavishly produced techno thriller. Soon it sadly bogs down into a long slow lavishly produced techno yawner. Grade: OK.
  • I napped on the ground in the woods today. I usually get extremely sleepy around half past one.
  • Imagine you’re at a conference about something you know super well. Maybe it’s been your job for decades. But nine tenths of the participants are completely ignorant of the subject. Of course you’ll find it pretty annoying to listen to all the ignorant questions asked there. But I’m guessing that what will really drive you nuts is the slew of enthusiastic and wildly inaccurate answers given to each question. That’s why I can’t stand the main Facebook group about Swedish archaeology.
  • In the mid 80s a young relative of mine was into synth pop and home computers. So he stole a Commodores album in a shop. He was disappointed.
  • Asked at the Swedish History Museum’s shop if they wanted some more copies of my Medieval castles book. “Yes please, bring us fifteen”. That’ll be the big backpack, then.
  • Hey steampunk people, I’ve got a paper coming up in the Post-Medieval Archaeology journal titled “Chivalrous Knights in the Age of Steam”.
  • The oldest, ugliest, clunkiest and flakiest web sites I use regularly are those maintained by major scientific publishing houses to handle submissions for their journals. In fact, modern submission website design could probably be used as a criterion to identify predatory fake online journals.
  • A memory from high school. It’s the last gym class of the spring semester. We’re playing brännboll outdoors. Suddenly two shirtless, deeply tanned men appear. One is carrying an axe in one hand and a gay porn magazine in the other. Our kind gym teacher Ola looks worried and goes over to speak to them. We all think “That guy is going to kill Ola with his axe”. But they leave quietly. What was that all about!?

Author: Martin R

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

3 thoughts on “September Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. I don’t think that the term “predatory” is appropriate. Competent people know what the main journals are in their field. Anyone who submits to a fake journal is either extremely unqualified and is a non-entity in the field anyway, or knows what he is doing and wants to impress the bean counters. The main problem I see is that the bean counters sometimes count beans in fields about which they know nothing. The “good” fake journals go through the motions of peer review, so unless you are an expert in the field, it is not obvious that they are bogus. Often, the names are a giveaway. There is a journal called Science and Nature so that folks can say “I have published in Science and Nature“, which sounds like “I have published in Science and Nature“. There are also fake conferences. Some actually take place, but only a handful of people show up. They often have names similar to real conferences and/or are in the same location, but at a different time. Then there is a crackpot who gives his affiliation as “Oxford”, which is true, but refers to his flat in Oxford (which is also the address of his own institute).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m a big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom/Mars books, and I was really disappointed by John Carter. The whole framing in the beginning was pointless. The bulk of the movie was entertaining enough, but didn’t have the sense of adventure that was in the books. One of the great things the original Star Wars movie did was capture the sense of adventure in all those old World War II movies.

      Re: “Chivalrous Knights in the Age of Steam” Is that Steam, the game delivery system?

      The Andromeda Strain was a pretty good book in the sense that it kept one reading. The movie was terrible. It dragged. A lot of the fun of the book was in the ideas. The premise was ridiculous, but we know a lot more about biology now. I can imagine the updated version with the Republicans advocating fewer restrictions on the alien disease and those infected by it and rioting against attempts to isolate and destroy it. Besides, they’d have cut funding for the whole facility.

      Of course Vikings sell. Didn’t you know that? There’s a Nordic Museum that recently opened in Ballard, a neighborhood in Seattle with a lot of immigrants from Norway and Sweden, and they’ve got a long boat, rune stones and heaven knows what else. There’s a cab company in a nearby suburb called Viking Taxi. We used them once or twice. The driver calls into home base, “calling Valhalla”. Viking taxi drivers still use old fashioned radio dispatch, not cell phones. Is that period authentic?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Looks like the Viking-themed brewery I saw when I was there in 2013 either has moved, or no longer exists (used to be, I think, somewhere along N Northlake Way, but sufficiently distant in time that I can’t recall the actual name).


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