April Pieces Of My Mind #1

Strutting his stuff outside our kitchen window in the mornings
  • Imagine a sumo wrestler in an MMA match.
  • Movie: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2017). Neatly layered meta-film riffing on the knight who cannot tell giants from windmills and on the art form that more than any other causes us to forget ourselves. Grade: good!
  • We’ve taken the step into the pre-streaming era and bought a blu-ray player!
  • Recently learned two things about the Sisters of Mercy’s 1990 hit “More” that are kind of neat. 1. It was co-written by the power ballad demigod Jim Steinman who wrote all of Meatloaf’s and Bonnie Tyler’s hits. 2. The chorus is not “I need all the the love I can get / And I need all the love that I can’t get to”. It’s “… all the love that I can’t get, too”.
  • Who is the Hard Rock Café’s target audience? I’m amazed that the Stockholm restaurant is still there after 37 years. Expensive burgers and Engelbert Humperdinck’s stage shirt?!
  • Does UK English have the term “shag carpet”? Because if a lot of Brits took it literally, they would end up with constant rugburn.
  • Movie: The Rutles – All You Need Is Cash (1978). Beatles parody / mockumentary. Grade: OK, mildly funny.
  • NPR’s Planet Money: “Russia is a gas station with an army”.
  • Movie: Following (1998). An aspiring young writer’s isolation and boredom takes him into criminal company and soon he is in over his head. Grade: OK.
  • I’m amazed by war in the Internet age where you get a list of the soldiers and officers involved in war crimes while they are still on campaign.
  • Around AD 520, petty kings in Western Scandinavia carried Snartemo ring swords. We are not aware of any social class higher than this at the time. And at Köpestad in Svarteborg, one of them lost his sword ring, gilded silver. We found it Saturday afternoon.
  • Ordered veal and aubergine in tomato sauce at this Persian place. Cook or waiter unilaterally overruled me and I got a lovely gormeh sabzi instead.

Author: Martin R

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

14 thoughts on “April Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. Re constant rugburn: or indeed “scabs on knees and elbows formed by a compulsion to make love on cheap Habitat floor-matting” as Douglas Adams and John Lloyd found out when they were trying to define “bures”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember years ago, at the Sat’day picture show,
      How we used to roll our Jaffas down the aisle.
      We can’t do that any more, they put carpet on the floor,
      And the Jaffas get caught up in the shag-pile….

      From a memorable Australian TV ad for a marble-like sweet, chocolate with orange-coloured and flavoured hard shell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jaffas made wicked weapons if you threw them at people, though…..erm which I hasten to add I never did.

        I preferred Minties – they lasted longer.


  2. I think birds lost their teeth as part of the weight-saving selection pressure. Forest birds that mostly strut around are not under quite such a strong pressure, but the genes for teeth seem gone. We should GM them so pheasants, turkeys or grouse can eat a wider range of plants.
    And ostriches deserve proper forelimbs.


    1. It’s not the genes that are gone. It’s the gene promoters. Umpty years ago there was an experiment in getting chickens to produce a dental protein. Back then, they had to use some mouse tissue as the promoter which meant that they had to work in the immune free zone behind the chicken’s eye. It worked, they expressed the relevant chicken tooth gene. Some of the back and forth in the letters section after this discovery was titled “Fossil Genes: As Rare As Hen’s Teeth”.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. S.J. Gould writes about this experiment in a good essay titled “Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes”. It’s in his collection of the same name from 1983.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I never understood the allure of the Hard Rock Cafe either. I get the impression it was a particular post-era rock-and-roll fantasy space like those 1950s diners popular with people who were young children back in the 1950s. (A friend of mine was house hunting. One place she looked at had a working garage complete with a hydraulic jack and pneumatic hookups for serious automotive work. It also had a complete 1950s diner with service counter, grill, booths and so on. She’ll have fun, fun, fun, ’til her daddy took the T-bird away.)

    Congratulations on the Blu-ray player. I am no fan of streaming. It’s like a return to the bad old pre-VCR days. I put something in my watch list, but by the time I get around to watching it, they’ve taken it out of circulation. Mainly, I buy DVDs, but I’ve got gear for ripping video tapes, laser discs, DVDs and Blu-rays. Who wants to deal with appointment TV?

    I lost a dental crown on the hiking trail once. It just popped out of my mouth and vanished on the forest floor. I imagine one of the chipmunk dynasties using it as a royal drinking cup, at least until it is found by some future archeologist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It also lets the streaming service record what you watch when. And it converts a one-time purchase to a subscription, so if you ever have to cut back on expenses you have nothing for your money.


  4. Imagine the evolved land-living dolphins finding the dental crown 80 million years from now. In a fossil chipmunk nest. What conclusions will they draw?
    Cassovaries with teeth and forelimbs – you have just described real velociraptors.
    “Celebrating the brilliant Gilbert Gorrfried”


  5. “I’m amazed by war in the Internet age where you get a list of the soldiers and officers involved in war crimes while they are still on campaign.”

    You can also participate in the war yourself. Not just collect and analyse data (Bellingcat), but also do DDoS attacks (Anonymous), sprad propaganda or debunk it (various social media) etc. There have been first nespaper wars, first TV wars, first real time wars, but this time we have the first interactive war where the audience can join. Unfortunately that probably means it will never end, even if the land operations cease.

    Liked by 2 people

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