Archives for December, 2007

Over at Respectful Insolence, a lot of people have been discussing the relationship between skepticism and scientific consensus, a topic I brought up recently. And commenter Alvaro has pointed out a kind of counterexample, to whit, that the consensus among US psychiatrists had defined homosexuality as a psychiatric condition up through 1974. This is classic…

Aard’s First Birthday

It’s been a year now since I started blogging at Sb (after a bit more than a year at Blogspot). Looking at the server stats for December 1-28, Aard is ranked #31 out of 66 blogs here for traffic, with a daily median readership of about 650 uniques, including about 130 identifiable returning readers. (Meanwhile,…

Toxic Dump Too Close For Comfort

I’ve known for some time from the local papers that the site of the old Tollare paper mill is badly polluted. It’s only 1.6 km from my home, on the opposite shore of the Lännerstasundet inlet (one of the main historic shipping routes into Lake Mälaren). A couple of years ago, a large area in…

Charles Redwine on Muscogee Pottery

Guest entry! Charles Redwine treats us to some really good finds porn with commentary: 17th and 18th century native American pottery from Kasita/Cusseta near Columbus, Georgia in the US. Unfortunately, Charles found out that there was some problem with the publication rights to the pix, so he asked me to remove them from the entry…

Google Reader is an excellent blog reader, among whose strengths is that it resides somewhere off your computer. This means that you can read blogs from several machines without having to mark a lot of old entries as read. Nor do you have to subscribe to the same feed more than once. Looking at Aard…

Church of Santa

Town life in Sweden started small in the later 8th century with Birka. The country’s capital, Stockholm, is a late town by Swedish standards, having been founded only in the mid-13th century. One of the oldest extant buildings there is the great church beside the royal castle, Storkyrkan. Here, Satan Santa was worshipped for nearly…

Skepticism and Informed Consensus

A discussion in the comments section of the recent Skeptics’ Circle reminded me of something I learned only after years in the skeptical movement. A real skeptic always sides with scientific consensus. This may sound really unsatisfying and self-contradictory at first. Isn’t skepticism about critical thinking? About being open to any idea (or none) as…

Bandwidth Blues

Here’s something for the gearheads. At home, we’ve got a permanent Comhem broadband fiber connection offering 10 Mb/s down & up. Its actual performance is about 9 down and 10 up, which is OK. I like to have a swift uplink since I send a lot of large files and keep my data on a…

Scandy readers will be very familiar with this. As we learned from “Hatten Är Din”, “Ansiktsburk”, “Fiskpinnar” and other Turk Hits back in 2000, you can get wonderfully absurd results if you listen to a song in a foreign language and pretend it’s actually sung in your mother tongue. Now, a talented Ansiktsburk poet has…

Two pieces of news to illustrate the state of the academic labour market in Swedish archaeology. The good news is that an old coursemate of mine has secured a teaching job. He’s 46, he completed his PhD in 1999, he’s got a decent publication record, he has solid teaching experience and he has unusually ample…