Archives for January, 2008

Finnestorp War Booty Sacrifice

A miniature face on a gilded cast copper-alloy display buckle, 5th century AD One of the many things us Swedish archaeologists envy our Danish colleagues is their numerous large and well-preserved finds of Iron Age war booty. Clearly people in modern-day Denmark had the custom of sacrificing war booty in holy lakes, and when they…

ICQ Gender Wars

A pretty Chinese maths teacher said hello to me on ICQ the other day, hoping to marry a Westerner. This inspired me to dig out and re-post the following entry from November 2006.For many years I have spent most of my working days alone at a computer. Alone, but thanks to the internet and messaging…

Anthro Blog Carnival

The thirty-third Four Stone Hearth blog carnival is on-line at Greg Laden’s. His blog is, err, like, laden with archaeology and anthropology.

Here’s a healthy chunk of video footage from the session on blogging about humanities and social sciences that I chaired at the NC Science Blogging Conference Saturday before last. Much of it shows me and Jennifer Jacquet looking blank as we listen to people speaking off-camera.

I wrote this last night in Florida, but the hotel wifi was on the blink, so I couldn’t get it on-line. I am now at Newark airport in New Jersey, having just eaten my first bowl of matzoh soup. Oy vey, good stuff! Audience frowning in concentration I’ve been to gaming conventions and academic conferences…

Volunteering at the JREF

Spent yesterday volunteering at the James Randi Educational Foundation, doing manual work and getting to know people. I moved furniture, cleaned up trash, painted a door and pasted errata sheets into books. And everybody was so nice to me! Loads of good conversation and silly jokes. I’m here as a representative of the Swedish Skeptics…

Took a walk around the local geocaches, ended up trapped for half an hour in a nightmarish retirement community. Endless identical white single-story houses with garages and immaculate lawns, the streets deserted in the baking January afternoon. I was half-expecting octogenarian Stepford wives to come hobbling after me with trays of synthetic cookies. Many of…

Sim Florida

Descending toward Ft Lauderdale airport this morning, I was shocked by the expanse of suburban sprawl stretching to the horizon below me. A huge drained swamp, all flat, covered by an intricate pattern of canals and streets and plots with low single buildings, broken only by a few golf courses and one or two cluster…

Wish I Could Do That In Linux

Back in April, I installed Ubuntu Linux on my oldish Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop, bought in early 2005. Ubuntu’s rapid boot process and snappy action has made it my favourite operating system (while I continue to run Win XP and Mac OS on other machines). The sense of non-commercialism is also nice. But of course…

Build Your Life on Eternal Truths

I just popped out for a burger at Arbee’s, and I chose a seat with a good view of the full moon riding high over a Shell gas station. On the wall of the station was a large luminescent white sign bearing the words “Build Your Life on Eternal Truths”. Chapel Hill has a huge…