February Pieces Of My Mind #1

  • Heard a talk by a senior policeman involved in the big drug gang take-down after the French military cracked Encrochat encryption in 2020. And it seems to me that not only was this technological breakthrough necessary for the police’s success. Technology is in fact necessary for the intricate day to day operations of a successful crime gang. In other words, it’s not that the police were lucky that the gang chose to use mobile phones. The gang could not have chosen to operate without them.
  • Bought a set of pyjamas, and months later an ancient memory surfaces: I used to keep my jammies under my pillow.
  • There should be a wizard named Glyph Rychard.
  • We all know that you can’t pray away the gay. But more importantly: can you gay away the pray?
  • The study of Italian 60s and 70s horror-crime cinema is known as giallogy.
  • Was I the only one who thought that the excellent phrase “I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair” was original with P.J. Harvey in 1992?
  • Pope Francis did something good: proclaimed that anti-gay legislation is sinful. There are definitely jurisdictions where a) the Pope’s opinion, b) the concept of “sin” are important.
  • I was a young dad (26). I’m not young anymore. But something struck me: I’m still young in relation to my kids’ age. A lot of dads retire around the time their youngest kid moves out. Jrette is ready to move out when I still have 20 years left of my working life.
  • Dammit, I need to start buying gig tickets farther in advance. Missed out on both Goat and King Gizzard. /-:
  • Movie: The Apartment (1960). Underling in a big office lends his apartment several nights a week to company executives so they can see their mistresses there. Until he gets involved himself with one of the young women. Grade: great!
  • I have never displayed a poster at a conference. From my first international conference at age 24, I have always been speaking.
  • I’m endowing a big research institute to focus on the detailed study and classification of crashed computers. Exactly what are they doing?
  • Let’s all agree that March is a month of spring. In that case, there’s only four weeks left of this winter. OK? Please?
  • A reenactor very kindly called me generous with my time as a scholar. I don’t think he realises that I’m generous in the same way that Jehovah’s Witnesses are generous with Watchtower Magazine. 999 out of a 1000 passersby would much prefer not to talk about either Jesus OR the Vendel Period.
  • Failed to spot the comet with hiking binoculars, but had a nice look at the Orion nebula and the Pleiades.
  • I am a dwarf and I’m digging a hole / Diggy, diggy hole
  • There’s a pork futures warehouse in Pratchett’s Discworld. It is used to store potential future pork until it instantiates.

Author: Martin R

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

14 thoughts on “February Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. The only “gig” ticket I have bought in my life was last fall, when John Cleese passed by with his “Last time to see me before I die” performance.
    (I am not comfortable with crowds, but Cleese made it worth it)
    Bands: The B-52’s have been around more than 45 years, but I only started listening to them seriously this month. They are a national treasure.

    About pattern recognition: the changing beehive hairdos makes it difficult for me to correctly identify Cindy and Kate, the two brilliant female vocalists.


  2. Very few films from 1960 are worth viewing today. And it gets worse the furher back you go.
    Changing values, and the rising bar for humor, production values et cetera makes me appreciate the few remaining old gems more. A few Hitchcock classics stand out. Kurosawa. Bergman. There are some comedies but I cannot name them without checking IMDB.


  3. Taiwanese polls (i.e. polls conducted by Taiwanese researchers in Taiwan) show that 70% of Taiwanese adults support the One China policy and wish to retain the status quo. This can be fact checked by anyone genuinely concerned for the Taiwanese people.

    They obviously have their own views about how China should be governed which differs from the status quo.

    – The End.


  4. Films: The Swarm by German author Schatsing was a badly writren novel with an original concept:
    An ancient swarm intelligence in the ocean decides to rid the world of the terrestrial parasites that are messing things up. No need for high tech when the biosphere itself gets weaponised.

    In theory this could be made into a good film, but the current film project I just learned of will almost certainly be a disappointment. The multi-nation film collaborations have an even worse track record than the single nation films. This is not going to be another Jurassic Park or Inception.


  5. Heartbreaking stuff, especially if you are a parent of a teenage kid.
    One of the Thai children that were saved from a cave was a football prodigy.
    He was found dead at a football school in Britain. Lots of condolences are coming in.

    And this reminds me of a psychological necessity; shielding off the emotional impact of big disasters – the earthquake, the Breivik mass murder – while still experiencing empathy for tragedy on a human scale; this kid, the death of Amy Winehouse.


  6. Thieves needing technology- it has been found thieves need things like street lights to function for them to be efficient in their “work”.
    Moving longer distances in pitch darkness is not effective.


  7. Movies: this weekend, Umeå has “The Bad Film Festival” (“den dåliga filmfestivalen”) -an evening with three genuinely bad films (dr. Butcher MD, Troll, New York Ninja).
    I am too lazy but I would recommend it for enthusiasts of “so bad they are good” films, try next year.


  8. No comets, but Venus is climbing in the evening sky. Around March 1st Venus and Jupiter will come close.
    The actor Richard Belzer aka detective Munch has died. Every time I read a death notice, I feel my bones age. I find if very hard to be philosophical about this no matter how hard I try.


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