Open Thread For December

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Author: Martin R

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

248 thoughts on “Open Thread For December”

  1. As I have mentioned before, the villagers at opposite sides of the border river to Finland get to celebrate New Year twice, first in Finland, then they walk on the ice to the Swedish side and celebrate one hour later.

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    1. I get to celebrate twice – once on 1 January, and a second time at Chinese New Year (which this year will be on 22 January and will be the Year of Bugs Bunny.

      I’m sick of this winter business – I think we should all go to Colombia and go cycling with Shakira. Not sure why this video is so washed out. Sorry about the rude dancing. No I’m not.

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  2. NOOO!
    The actor Bert-Åke Varg has died.
    He was 90 years old, so it was not surprising but I grew up with him on TV (he did children’s programs, too) so it feels like losing family.
    .
    Quote from Youtube:
    “I have a Russian Xmas calendar . Every time I open a window, an oligarch falls out”.

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  3. What is in the night sky January 2023 (If you have clear skies) ?

    Mars occultation, a small comet.
    Venus and Saturn passing near each other as Venus is rising in the evening sky.
    Mars is visible near Aldebaran, but will fade rapidly.

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  4. The temperature is consistently below freezing and this reduces the formation of really slippery “blankis”.
    Stockholm is not so fortunate, so Martin and others could easily fall and get fractures.

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  5. Anita Pointer has died of cancer aged 74. Ruth is now the only one left of the original four.

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  6. Avatar 2 is on track to beat Top Gun as the biggest film of 2022. Which seems like a bit of a cheat because it’s not 2022 any more, but I’m not complaining because I detest Tom Cruise and adore Zoë Saldaña.

    I’m furious with myself for not nailing down my own copy of Colombiana (2011) when I had the chance. I watched it three times, but three is not enough.

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    1. The Alien franchise was unusual, in that the sequel Aliens was just as good as the original Alien, if not better.

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  7. Harry needs to catch up with the research – “unconscious bias” has been proven not to exist.

    There are ample amounts of conscious bias without needing to make stuff up.

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  8. Meanwhile, there is a report that Meghan has compared her wedding to the release from prison of Nelson Mandela (I’m going to assume she meant her second wedding, not the first one). Erm…what? Mandela’s grandson Zwelivelile Mandela is reported to be unamused. His grandfather spent 27 years in prison for opposing Apartheid.

    Zwelivelile advised the Duchess of Sussex “to pull up her sleeves and better the lives of ordinary people in England and in the United Kingdom. For the personality she is, she can do a lot of good in the global community by adopting the causes that Madiba (his grandfather) championed.”

    That sounds like excellent advice to me.

    I find all of this terribly confusing – I look at photos of Meghan Markle and see a rather ordinary looking white woman. OK, maybe my eyes/brain are not calibrated the same as someone living in a majority white society, because I can go for months without seeing another person of European ancestry, but calling her black is just bizarre.

    On the other hand, the pathetic Netflix documentary they made is being painted as a major strategic error which has alienated the British public, when in reality it is just banal, innocuous and boring, but at least mercifully short. They got stuck in a bit to the tabloid press and paparazzi, which was well deserved, but even then they could have been a lot more critical than they were, and I wish they had made that the major thrust of the whole thing and called for major and serious action against the tabloids and the paps, which are a societal menace. If British people are going to be all offended by that little doco (if it even deserves the name), they need to review their priorities, because they have a hell of a lot more to worry about than that bit of lightweight froth.

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