July Pieces Of My Mind #1

Olavinlinna Castle
  • Saw a reference to some rather odd psychological research into aggressively xenophobic internet trolls. These are men (mostly) who act disagreeable and are not open to new ideas or pieces of foreign culture. “The main findings that we see repeated in study after study is that these individuals score really low on the parameters AGREEABLENESS and OPENNESS.” Oh really? Tautology, much?
  • Drove Jrette to the bus for YMCA camp where she will be one of the sailing instructors. Her fifth summer there. ♥️
  • Like a trout returning to spawn in the river where it hatched, I’ve gone to where my parents honeymooned. I wanted to see an inland Finnish summer like the ones in Paasilinna’s novels.
  • Olavinlinna is the sister of Stegeborg that I have studied quite closely, each built in the 1470s by one of the powerful Kalmar Union magnates, the Axelsson Tott brothers. Both had the excellent taste to sign their work with heraldic devices and founder’s inscriptions.
  • Highway diner food in Sweden is often pretty grim. But in Finland it is excellent! Unlimited kalja, Finnish kvass, with your lunch! Kiitos!
  • We don’t talk enough about Guglielmo Querton Xoni, the glorious man commemorated with a statue in the 1984 text adventure game The Tracer Sanction.
  • Sudden “man, I’m dense” insight. The reason that the Finns call Sweden Ruotsi after Roslagen is this: when you sail across the Baltic from Finland Proper via the Åland Isles, you land in Roslagen.
  • Finnish donuts are are flavoured with cardamom.
  • Just learned that Westminster government ministers serve actively as MPs. All Swedish MPs are what the English call “backbenchers”.
  • The virus that causes tick-borne encephalitis can pass from a cow into its milk. This means that you can get encephalitis from eating unpasteurised cheese. Not kidding.
  • Apparently disgruntled toddlers cry differently in different languages. English-speaking ones go WAAAH. Our own Swedish-speaking ones used to go ÄÄÄÄH. This morning on the Finland ferry our breakfast was disturbed by a pair of cute little sisters who went IIIH, the vowel in green beans.
  • Movie: The Zero Theorem (2013). Harassed IT-guy loner is assigned a pet project by company management to prove that everything is pointless, makes friends with a cam girl and a script kiddie. Largely shot in a disused Bucharest church. Grade: OK.
  • Thinking about democracy, it’s struck me that though everyone says that higher education is vitally important, nobody dares say that people without higher education lack something vitally important.
  • ‘Oh frabjous day! / Cab Calloway!’ / He chortled in his joy.

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 “July Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. The Swedish voting system means you primarily vote for a party, but you have the possibility to get a particular candidate higher on the list.
    If an MP serves in the government, the deputy takes over in parliament. Likewise if an MP gets sick or needs to take leave for an important reason. At least that is how it works on a local level, I assume parliament is the same. It is 40 years since I was active in politics, things change.


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