December Pieces Of My Mind #3

  • Field archaeology aims to separate the universe into spoil, samples and finds.
  • I’m working on a feature-length documentary film consisting entirely of business-related material about Ewing Oil Ltd. from the Dallas TV series.
  • Avatar II is over three hours long. No way am I watching that in the theatre.
  • Hey Civilization players, I’m thinking of barring half of my population from education, and instead making them take care of the children. Is this a winning strategy?
  • Quiet afternoon before the 24th, which is when us Swedes celebrate Yule. Cooking and baking. Babysitting my ex’s cute but highly strung young dog. It saw a hare on our walk but it didn’t pay much attention to it.
  • I recently learned that the area of Greenwich, Connecticut where I lived as a little kid was home to the Siwanoy band of the Wappinger people until 1640. They spoke a dialect of Munsee, an extensively documented language.
  • My kid called and told me my first published piece of writing, a role-playing scenario from when I was 17, is great and he intends to run it for his buddies. The best present!
  • Hear ye, hear ye, be it known to all that my Christmas nap after skating in the winter sunset was ~100 minutes long!
  • Movie: Love Actually (2003). A bunch of potential couples are frustratingly incapable of declaring their feelings for one another, but eventually they do before the end credits roll. Stars everywhere. Grade: OK.
  • Thomas Zimmer wrote in The Guardian that “Much of the moral panic over ‘cancel culture’ … is a reaction to the fact that traditionally marginalized groups gained technological means to affect the political debate.” This is also true of the rise of right-wing populism. Largely because of online discussion platforms, working-class men are increasingly voting crypto-fascist. One of the “traditionally marginalized groups that has gained technological means to affect the political debate” is the neo-Nazis.
  • Listened to a very ambitious academic podcast about inflation where it was painfully clear that the university researchers invited to speak knew nothing about this subject before about AD 1500. Kept conflating inflation of a nominal-valued modern currency with Medieval coinage debasement (increased copper content in the silver). Completely blank about the Roman source material.
  • I read an academic book recently where the author made no attempt to separate his top-level general argument from endless bottom-level anecdotal detail. Of course the latter completely drowned out the former. It was all just undifferentiated body text. Man, have you never become aware of the fact boxes in other books? This book would have been 10% body text, 90% fact boxes.
  • A memory from the brief period in my teens when I was learning to code in Turbo Pascal. I couldn’t find a persistent bug in the most ambitious program I’d written, so I asked a guy at my favourite BBS to check it for me. His reply wasn’t super helpful to a learner: “I couldn’t find the bug either so I re-wrote your code from scratch and now it works, here you go”.
  • Movie: Resolution (2012). In an attempt to get his old high school friend off meth, a man chains him to the wall in the rural cabin where he’s squatting. Then the sober friend inexplicably starts finding new film clips of the pair on various old media strewn around the vicinity. Grade: OK.
  • A Swedish social work student bought a BA thesis online, the university flunked the thesis, the student made a complaint to the National Board for Consumer Disputes.
  • Mat Kaplan of Planetary Radio has an excellent radio voice, very pleasant to listen to. But in clips from 20-30 years ago, goodness me, he sounds pretty much like Zeus! Incredible golden basso!
  • This is funny and kind of heart-warming. A party’s youth section is usually a little extreme, operating in a friendly semi-opposition against the grownups in the mother party. Now that the Swedish Conservatives have formed a government whose existence is predicated on the support BOTH of the Liberals and the Crypto-Fascists, the Conservative Youth Section has gone into pro-Liberal opposition. The Youth Section is advocating policies that would disintegrate the governing coalition if their elders insisted on them.
  • “Freebirthing” is when you go though pregnancy and labour without any medical checkups. Cf. other exciting alt-med modalities such as free-pneumoning, free-broken-legging and free-diabetesing.
  • Very proud of how Jrette continues her paternal tradition of organising events for her buddies.

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 “December Pieces Of My Mind #3”

  1. Kudos to Juniorette. I got stressed out whenever I tried to organise events in my youth. And then I would keep second-guessing myself for any detail that might have been done better. It was always unpleasant.
    Freebirthing seems like “Never mind if the umbilical cord will strangle the baby during birth “.


  2. Climbing a steep cliff without safety equipment is a cool sport, but the climber is not risking another person. The woman about to give birth has a “passenger” that has not given consent to doing cool stuff.

    -And yes I do not have the equipment to give birth, but *this* is not “mansplaining”. I am pretty sure women MDs mostly share my concern when some people discard the hard-won knowledge about how to make pregnancies safer.
    What if you have an out-of-wossname pregnancy where the egg attaches to the wrong side of the wall, I forget the medical term.
    -What if the fetus has a non-viable aberration that means it can not survive birth? A gene that will lead to death during the thirties?


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