June Pieces Of My Mind #1

Lindesberg
  • Interesting how very few religious bigots will attack me for saying that I find all religions silly, but lots of them will pounce if I call their guy or book specifically silly.
  • The woman in my area who set fire to her ground floor apartment and left without alerting any neighbours has been sentenced to something that translates as “forensic psychiatric care with special discharge examination”. There was no barbecue, as she claimed. She just poured lighter fluid on the living-room floor, dropped a lit match and left. The district court comments, “we see this all the time, people with poor impulse control who get drunk and light fires in response to life problems”.
  • Send the Marines! I found a tick on my Balzac!
  • Idea for a new fresh kind of crazy right-wing extremist in the US: you’re not paranoid and hostile to the federal government, your Bible prophecy warns about the state government!
  • This I did not know! “The phonetic values of most Linear A syllabograms were already known from B, but the language expressed in Linear A has remained a mystery.” Linear A kan be read out loud, but it’s like me reading Swahili out loud and not understanding a word.
  • At a recent academic ceremony, the Rector of Uni Łódź Elżbieta Żądzińska said i.a. “There is only one nauka [Wissenschaft / vetenskap / scholarly and scientific inquiry in the wider sense]. We are meeting at the University of Lodz to celebrate your doctoral and postdoctoral promotions, but in fact we are celebrating your entire nauka-related achievements and contribution to world nauka. Because nauka cannot be practised individually, alone.” I agree wholeheartedly, but I wonder if prof. Żądzińska (a biologist) knows how controversial the idea of unitary, cumulative, rationalist science is in some sub-cultures in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Always refreshing to me when someone from the natural sciences ignores or is genuinely unfamiliar with social constructivism.
  • Idea for a covers album: keep the lyrics of famous pop tunes, write new melodies.
  • Polish niedźwiedź, ‘bear’, goes back to a Proto-Slavic *medvědь, ‘honey eater’.
  • China was ruled by actual Communists for only 30 years. It’s been a capitalist dictatorship since Deng’s pronouncement in 1979, “To Get Rich Is Glorious”.
  • Movie: Lost City (2022). Romance writer and her hunky but inept cover model end up in improbable romance plot on jungle island. Lots of jokes about genre conventions in this star studded action comedy. Grade: good!
  • I wonder what Lempel and Ziv are doing these days. Maybe they’re buddies. Maybe they play boardgames and go hiking.

Author: Martin R

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

4 thoughts on “June Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. Ah, Martin, your covers album idea is such a great one … it’s been done before! Your taste in music, as one hears of about these pages, probably precludes you being familiar with the olde French group Nouvelle Vague? Think lyrics to songs by The Cure, The Clash, Joy Division and whatnot set to bossa nova beats.

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    1. Haven’t heard NV! The French artist I’m most familiar with is J.M. Jarre, since my synth-pop 80s. But I do have a Depeche Mode tribute album that includes a lounge-style easy-listening version of “Master and Servant”.

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  2. “Polish niedźwiedź, ‘bear’, goes back to a Proto-Slavic *medvědь, ‘honey eater’.”

    Similar to Beowulf, bee-wolf, since bees produce honey. (Much of Beowulf actually takes place in Sweden.)

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    1. I will now think of world no. 1 ranked male tennis player Daniil Medvedev as Mr Honey Eater.

      He’s barred from playing Wimbledon, which in turn the ATP has stripped of ranking points because they consider it unfair to bar individual athletes like Honey Eater who has publicly expressed his wish for peace, which is about as far as he can go without putting his family in Russia at risk.

      And a complete tangent – former no. 1 Novak Djokovic, who was infamously detained and then deported from Australia in advance of the Australian Open this year for being unvaccinated, has now been told that he will not be permitted to play in the US Open because he is an ‘unvaccinated foreigner’ – so won’t even be permitted into the country. He recently tried to enter to compete in the tournament at Indian Wells in California, but was denied entry to the country.

      Meanwhile, the fully vaccinated Rafael Nadal sails on – he won the Australian Open, then the French Open (almost ridiculously, for the 14th time, despite having a congenital condition in his foot which basically means a critical bone in his left foot is gradually but inexorably dying – osteonecrosis, so he had to have injections to deaden the nerves in the foot to reduce the pain enough to be able to play, but that meant having to play on a numb foot, which is very risky – and difficult, I imagine), and he has now announced that he will play at Wimbledon. He doesn’t care about the ranking points, he’s going for glory. If he can win Wimbledon and then the US Open, he will be only the second man in history to win the fabled Grand Slam. He already holds a record high of 22 major tournaments following his victory in the French, and is only the second man in history to have won all four of the majors at least twice, the other one being the doggedly unvaccinated Djokovic.

      If he can do that, I think he will probably then retire, because his wife has just announced that she is pregnant, and he is the sort of person who would definitely want to be a ‘present father’. And once he has retired, he can then if he chooses to have a bone graft to replace the dying bone in his foot – it’s not guaranteed to work, but if it does, it would mean he would be able to continue to walk, instead of spending the rest of his life either on crutches or in a wheelchair.

      Nadal has played his whole career on this foot (obviously), taking pain killers to enable him to play, but it has now become too bad for that to be enough. As a teenager he was told he would not be able to have a career as a professional tennis player because of his foot condition, but he did it anyway, and he’s still going aged 36. It’s really quite remarkable.

      When he first turned professional and I had watched him play, I predicted that he would be a future world no. 1 and possibly the greatest player of all time, and a lot of people laughed at me. And that was before anyone knew he had been born with a rare bone disease in his foot. And a natural right-hander who plays tennis left-handed (he does everything else right-handed). If he wasn’t real, you couldn’t make him up – it would all be too ridiculous.

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