September Pieces Of My Mind #1

The Futuro is a reinforced plastic skiing cabin designed by Matti Suuronen and produced in 1968–78. This one is on the outskirts of Örebro.
  • Dr. Henry Jones’ academic work has never been very important to me. But I agree with him that punching Nazis is a core task for the archaeological profession.
  • Reading Arthur Machen yesterday, I learned that Welsh country folk would cut labyrinths in the turf, calling them Troy Town, and perform folk-magical rituals in them. In Sweden we get identical labyrinths built from pebbles at 13th century fishery sites, and we call them trojeborgar — Troy Strongholds.
  • Movie: Nope (2022). Remote movie-horse ranch is terrorised by giant airborne man eating manta-jellyfish monster. People of colour are in Western movie situations. Grade: OK.
  • In Swedish cities it’s easy to find alcohol and soft drinks late in the evening, but not the cake and hot chocolate that I want.
  • I’d be fine with using nuclear power as a stop gap while we develop and build out volume with clean energy sources. But in fact it would take too long to build the nuclear power plants — decades. We have to get CO2 emissions down last year at the latest.
  • Stockholm restaurants have started to serve bread in paper bags instead of baskets. Excellent, I always put the whole thing into my backpack.
  • The “tea” at the motel Friday morning was nasty, so I drank half a cup of coffee instead. Knew I wouldn’t have any opportunity to take a nap. Then I was unexpectedly SUPER STRESSED OUT FOR NO REASON when driving to site.
  • Machen is not mentioned in Tolkien’s biography nor in the letters volume.
  • After age 45, my mental stack space shrank. I used to be able to queue a lot more function calls. Now they often just drop off the list when a new call is made, for instance on Facebook.
  • Two days ago, the former US president called the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice “vicious monsters”. Stable genius?
  • Movie: Swan Song (2021). Elderly small-town Ohio beautician and drag performer escapes from care home to do his favourite customer’s hair and make-up one last time — for her funeral viewing. And all the memories come back. Grade: good!
  • Odd how nobody talks about Bojan Križaj anymore.
  • King Gizzard is a majestically productive and inventive band. Now they’re releasing three albums at once, all probably in different styles!
  • 60% of Sweden’s power production is from hydro, wind and solar. Nuclear is 31%. I had no idea that we’re burning so little fossil fuel in our power plants.
  • I like to start my day with tea and writing.
  • The guitar driven first minute of Depeche Mode’s 1988 cover of “Route 66” sounds like Jesus and the Mary Chain.
  • The entire extent of my knowledge of Barstow CA has been that this is where the drugs start to take hold of H.S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing. Now I’ve just discovered that Barstow is also one of the places along Route 66 where you can get your kicks!
  • According to many music historians, The Kings of Rhythm recorded the first rock song in 1951, and so they have a pretty good claim to being the first rock band.
  • If at any point we should disagree on a matter of science, then it’s important that you remember that you’re just a social construction.
  • Truth-neutral history of science is deeply annoying.
  • Time to re-read The Queen And I, Sue Townsend’s funny 1992 novel where the UK abolishes the monarchy and the Windsors end up in council housing. Unlike several of the former royals, E2 gets a friendly and sympathetic treatment.

Author: Martin R

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

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

  1. There were also some labyrinths made along the Eastern coast. I am told most of them were made after catholicism was abbolished, so maybe the previous “rich” church ceremonies had fulfilled a need for folk magic that now found another outlet.

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  2. “I’d be fine with using nuclear power as a stop gap while we develop and build out volume with clean energy sources. But in fact it would take too long to build the nuclear power plants — decades. We have to get CO2 emissions down last year at the latest.”

    Well, you can always do like the Germans – buy coal and natural gas from Uncle Vlad.
    The fact that both of these produce a lot of CO2 doesn’t seem to concern the ecologists.
    Vlad doesn’t ask for much – just looking the other way while he is directly or indirectly restoring the primacy of Russia over the former Eastern Popular Republics.

    Not that we French are much better than Germans. We also needed to keep Vlad a friendly business partner, and our previous presidents decided we should exit the nuclear system. So we certainly didn’t built more power plants, and we didn’t fully maintain the existing ones. And now the current park should be kept working a few more years. Oops.

    If you have the chance, go read “Le Monde sans fin, miracle énergétique et dérive climatique” by Christophe Blain and Jean-Marc Jancovici (I’m afraid it’s only in French for now). Or find texts or interview from the latter. Jancovici is a French engineering consultant specialized in energy and climate change, and, well, his take on the situation is a bit depressing.

    Yeah, we are late. Very late.
    To “build out volume with clean energy sources” will also take decades, and if you think that large fields of windmills or solar panels don’t have downsides, ecologically speaking…
    For one thing, current large-scale projects intend to mobilize arable land to set all of those green energy sources. Understandably. Not everybody has a handy desert or a mountainous region next to the big cities which need the energy, and it’s cheaper to build and maintain if done in the prairie next doo, compared to the top of a mountain. Or even the top of a building, apparently (and believe me, it’s annoying me no end that even ecologists – the French ones in my parents’ village, anyway – are very shy, if not against about putting solar panels on houses and buildings)
    And it’s not like there is plenty of such arable land to go around. Tough decisions will have to be made.
    Oh, speaking of windmills, sellers of natural gas love windmills. Because, when the wind falls, one needs a quickly-reacting production to maintain a steady offer of electricity, and natural gas-powered power plants are the solution chosen by plenty.

    Another sobering fact from the book I quoted is that, since 1900’s, any new source of energy has never substantially replaced the previous used sources. The coal has replaced part of the use of wood, but that’s it. Every other energy was just added to our endlessly growing consumption.
    If we really want to do something, we will have to reduce, quite strongly, our energy consumption.
    That’s going to be difficult. I’m convinced, and even I would only accept so much sacrifice.
    As Jancovici said, we will either reduce our consumption by austerity, which is a choice, or by becoming paupers, which is not a choice.

    Liked by 1 person

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