May Pieces Of My Mind #2

I don’t know what “the winter of 1473” means. January and February? November and December? Just got home from a sunny bike ride that was also incidentally my least successful geocaching expedition ever. I was in Hammarby Sjöstad, a recently built and densely populated urban area. The only way a geocache survives in such an…

Dungeons & Archaeologists

The original roleplaying game, 1974’s Dungeons & Dragons, set the template for a hugely popular genre that persists to this day as RPGs, boardgames (such as Descent) and video games (such as World of Warcraft). The core activity in these games is to enter underground complexes of rooms and tunnels (dungeons), defeat their various inhabitants…

Activities and Roles at the Castle

I’m writing an interdisciplinary book about lifestyles at Medieval strongholds in Östergötland province, Sweden. The central chapter “Activities and roles” is currently 8,900 words. Here are the section headers. Agriculture at arm’s length Baking bread Brewing Animal husbandry and the eating of meat Hunting and the eating of game and wildfowl Fishing and the eating…

Supported by a grant from the King Gustavus Adolphus VI Foundation For Swedish Culture, osteologist Lena Nilsson has analysed the bones we collected during excavations last year at two Medieval strongholds. Two weeks with 19 fieldworkers at Birgittas udde produced only 0.4 kg of bones, because the site has no culture layers to speak of and the sandy ground…

The latest inland ice was 3 km thick and its weight left a big dent in Scandinavia. Since deglaciation (which is, on the geological time scale, a current event) the dent has been straightening out. This causes land uplift. But just outside the edge of the dent, it causes the land to sink. Southernmost Scandinavia…

May Pieces Of My Mind #1

Contraceptives really changed society radically. Prior to them literature is full of references to people being too poor to get married. Because getting married was the same thing as having children. I’m disappointed with streaming movie services. I thought they were like music services, where it’s a rare exception if some older band’s catalogue isn’t…

Weekend Fun

It’s been a fun weekend! Here’s what I did. Watched Jrette’s dance show, snappy and lively! Inspired by Kate Feluś’s fine recent book Secret Life of the Georgian Garden, I made syllabub (whipped cream with lemon juice & rind, wine, sugar and a dash of grand marnier), and ate it while checking on the (encouraging)…

April Pieces Of My Mind #3

Movie: Little Big Man. Tragicomedy about the Old West and the fate of the Native Americans. Grade: OK. Submitted my tax returns. Always super easy, which is one of the benefits of having a low income and few assets. I’ve researched my ancestry fully four generations back and found no madman, sorcerer, ape or sea…

April Pieces Of My Mind #2

There is no year zero in the common era. 1 BC is followed by AD 1. This is because Dionysius Exiguus worked around AD 500, long before the Indian concept of mathematical zero reached European scholars via the Arabs. I don’t quite understand why the guy in Springsteen’s “The River” is so super sad. It’s…

April Pieces Of My Mind #1

“If I blow my top — will you let it go to your head?” W.F. Gibbons Hit jackpot on the car radio riding with Jrette and her buddy today. First some Tuvan throat singing. Then a fat version of the Marseillaise with orchestra, choir and a solo soprano who sounded like Piaf. It’s important that you…