October Pieces Of My Mind #2

Occasionally the Blockhusudden bike ferry’s route is crossed by a bigger ferry.
  • Asimov, commenting on Sherlock Holmes, mentions “the English caste system” without even stopping to wink at the reader.
  • During last night’s Delta Green session, the players got the idea that maybe the erratic behaviour of the staff at an exotic physics experimental station was due to them having piped some of their data into a sound system earlier. So they played “Macarena” really loudly on repeat to clean everyone’s mind up. When this didn’t help and people started to get violent, the player characters in their desperation killed several of the staff with a fire axe — with Macarena” still really loud on repeat.
  • Sweden is one of the world’s least religious countries. Oddly, we just got a vice premier from the political branch of the Pentecostal Church. Hello?
  • Wetland archaeology day conference. Looking forward to learning and speaking. Feels good to be welcomed back to my old departement! It has not always been so.
  • Reading Cory Doctorow’s 2013 novel Homeland, where the rag-tag protestors who organise in obscure corners of the Internet against the government are unequivocally good guys. Eight years later they stormed the Capitolium to overturn an election.
  • Wonder what happens when 45’s incoming litigation load and lawyers’ willingness to extend him credit reach the point where he can no longer even respond to the attacks.
  • “I should love to perform ‘There Are Fairies in the Bottom of My Garden’, but I don’t dare. It might come out ‘There Are Fairies in the Garden of My Bottom’.” /Noel Coward
  • For my UK friends who take an interest in Scandy politics: Sweden just got a new Tory government whose every move has to be approved by our UKIP equivalent AND our LibDem equivalent!
  • The drones that Iran sells to Russia are so slow that the Russians have begun using them as guided missiles, crashing them into things. This is being called “kamikaze drones”, though they are of course by definition not crewed. The first Japanese kamikaze missions were flown in October of 1944, and are generally read by historians as a sign of desperation.
  • Suddenly it hits me: I should really have incorporated John LaZar’s immortal line “It’s my happening, and it freaks me out!” into my birthday party speech.
  • To everyone who has noted that the Royal Academy of Letters has given travel grants to Martin Rundkvist this spring and to Martin Lundqvist this autumn, I just want to emphasise that there is no substance whatsoever to the hurtful rumours that I am the same person as myself.
  • Movie: Castaway on the Moon (2009). Two young people living in self-imposed isolation. He is a Robinson on a litter-strewn wooded sandbar in an urban river, she an apartment shut-in with a telephoto rig at her window, overlooking him. A shy conversation begins. Grade: great!
  • The biggest language that has not yet produced a Nobel-winning work of literature is Hindi. Comparisons are difficult though because the number of published works per speaker varies wildly from language to language.
  • Ukraine 2022: Birth of a Nation.
  • Donating blood. The med student intern who takes care of me arrived as a refugee from Syria in 2015. She speaks Swedish and is on her fourth year in med school. How many Hate Party voters can boast of anything similar?
  • Say “murdered union activist” and people from most countries will assume that the murderer acted at the initiative of business owners. The most well-known Swedish case though, Björn Söderberg in 1999, is completely different. Söderberg was murdered by neo-Nazis because he blew the whistle on one of their number who had infiltrated the local union club at the stationery warehouse where Söderberg worked.
  • I love the Arctic Monkeys. I do not love big stadium concerts with huge TVs hanging from the ceiling. So I’m skipping their Stockholm gig.

Author: Martin R

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

7 thoughts on “October Pieces Of My Mind #2”

  1. As for kamikaze attacks the Japanese were desperate and might rationally have surrendered, but expecting right wing dictators to be logical is unrealistic. In fact, human beings in general are not logical creatures so expecting humans to be rational is almost unfair.

    However, Kamikaze attacks were actually a rational tactic. Given their inferior planes and pilots, Japanese air missions were suicide anyway, so on the basis of damage inflicted per pilot lost, Kamikaze raids were the only logical approach. Similarly, given Putin’s commitment to victory at all costs, combined with failure to win on the battlefield, the current Russian raids on infrastructure and the civilian population are the only choice left. They will presumably fail, as such raids by all sides in WW II were ineffective, but will cause great suffering, which I’m sure makes Putin happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many military historians believe that given the insane suicidal militarism of the Japanese before and during WW2, nuking them into submission actually saved a huge number of civilian lives in the perspective of a decade or two.


  2. I thought that kamikaze drones were a distinct class of weapon: basically a slow cruise missile which can be guided by radio until it strikes, rather than just hitting a pre-programmed target. Apparently both sides in this war are using weapons for things they were not designed for though.


  3. Just learned that in August the official population of Finland was 5’555’577. Unfortunately nobody seems to have noticed when it was 5555555.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. After the ice age the population was zero. So there must be a date when it was 5555555.

        Lately there have been more deaths than births, but immigration has been bigger than emigration. The total effect is increase. Which scares some people shitless.


      2. Your logic is impeccable.

        What scares people in Hong Kong is that the population is decreasing, despite HK being one of the most densely populated areas on earth and you might think people would welcome a bit more breathing space.

        In the cases of both Finland and HK I find the thinking hard to comprehend.


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