Archives for March, 2008

Swedes have taken up US Hallowe’en customs only very recently and half-heartedly, the whole thing being driven by merchants. But we do have something like trick-or-treating: the Easter Crone custom of Maundy Thursday. Traditionally, there’s no Easter Bunny in Sweden. (My mother once shocked our American nanny by serving a rabbit for Easter dinner.) Instead…

Please Warn Me About Stupid Ads

Seed’s recently taken up with a new advertiser, Proximic, that tries to put relevant ads into bits of the page that us Sbloggers don’t control ourselves. Unfortunately, they do this in a mechanised manner that treats “relevance” in a simplistic way. This means that Sbloggers who criticise something may find their sidebars advertising this very…

Last night I had the pleasure of catching two of my home town’s best live music acts, each playing in a basement venue a couple of hundred meters apart on Stockholm’s southern island. The Crawfish Cook and the Skandalites are both 60s-70s cover bands, but since they cultivate genres I usually don’t listen to, they…

Pimp my Grant Proposal

As I mentioned the other day, I’m hoping to do some Bronze Age research once my current project about Dark Ages magnate farms is done. The Swedish Research Council’s annual application deadline is less than two weeks from now, and I’ve put a grant proposal together. The project title is In the Landscape and Between…

Manson Cult Forensic Archaeology

Having done some surface investigations with non-destructive methods, a group of volunteer investigators including Patti Hearst’s Sharon Tate’s sister calls for the excavation of the Manson Family’s last hideout. “Vass said that, considering the quantity and the types of markers of human decomposition found, the cadaver dog’s response, and the probing exercise, he found enough…

I’m a Wikipedia Inclusionist

Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia and most of its contents are naked text that hardly takes up any disk space. Thus there is no reason to limit the subjects its contributors can write about. Fans have written hundreds of detailed articles about Pokémon characters. This is fine with me though I have no interest…

Unsuccessfully Grokking Prostitution

Dear Reader DuWayne asked what I think about prostitution. By way of answer, here’s a re-run of an entry on that issue from May 2006. Two years later, I am no wiser. News reports from the German brothel industry pending the World Soccer Championship have set me a-thinking about prostitution. It’s one of those tricky…

German Incest Case

Locksmith Patrick Stübing and Susan Karolewski are a German couple with four children. They are also full biological siblings. “Eeeeewww”, I hear you say. And I agree. Eeeeewww. But why do we feel that way? The incest taboo is as close to a cultural universal as you can get, and is most likely genetically determined.…

Dungeons & Archaeologists

Lore Sjöberg at Wired celebrates the achievement of recently deceased gaming wizard Gary Gygax with an entertaining look at what it would be like if Dungeons & Dragons characters behaved like archaeologists. May 16 We have nearly finished our initial survey of the outer flagstones of the dungeon entrance. Already we have made wonderful discoveries!…

PLoS ONE Journal Club

PLoS ONE, the Open Access science journal, has finally published something with an archaeological bent: a fine genetics paper about the original peopling of the Americas. As part of their effort to stimulate scientific conversation about the journal’s papers, they’ve put a “Journal Club” on-line where discussion can take place. Myself and Greg Laden offered…