Archives for March, 2008

Anthro Blog Carnival

The thirty-sixth Four Stone Hearth blog carnival is on-line at Afarensis. Archaeology and anthropology, and this time dealing exclusively with koryū. Explains Wikipedia: “Koryū is a general term for Japanese schools of martial arts that predate the Meiji Restoration (the period from 1866 to 1869 which sparked major socio-political changes and led to the modernization…

Wikipedians, Check This Out

I’ve discovered that the Wikipedia entry about Falun Gong is heavily biased. Indeed, before I took it upon myself to insert a few words about the criticism the organisation has met with, the article was entirely about a) how good FG is (and I disagree), b) how nasty the Chinese government is (and I agree).…

At PZ’s suggestion, I’ve twiddled some knobs behind the scenes to force the blog to speak utf-8 instead of iso-8859-1. This will hopefully allow you guys to write even stranger comments than usual. Maybe I’ll even be able to stop writing stuff like “& a u m l ;” Please try it out! Såy sömëthïng…

An blind activist buddy of mine is on the war path. This time it’s about guide dogs on Swedish Rail: “Three years ago I got a guide dog. It turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done. Since then, my life has changed fundamentally. I exercise to an extent that I…

9-y-o Junior has had a remarkable streak of luck involving the kids’ fantasy movie Spiderwick Chronicles. First he managed to check his e-mail just as the book-club he’s a member of sent out a mass-mailed invitation to yesterday’s pre-screening of the film. Then, when he and I sat down to watch the thing, the Spiderwick…

Happy 51st birthday, PZ Emcee of Pharyngula!

In every story there is a villain, and his adversary is either a hero or a hapless victim. But we don’t live in a story. Most people with democratic opinions see the Chinese government as a group of autocratic villains with a history of persecuting good people. When such a government persecutes a religious movement,…

Great Science Fiction Podcast

I’ve been a devotee of Escape Pod, the weekly science-fiction short-story podcast, for 2.5 years now. Its audience has grown and grown and grown until Escape Pod is now the world’s second-largest paying market for sf short fiction regardless of medium. It’s second only to Analog! Steve Eley, who runs the thing, is a fixture…

Sweden’s first town was a place called Birka, frequently mentioned in Viking Period written sources such as Rimbert’s book about Bishop Ansgar. The town was on an island in Lake Mälaren near Stockholm. Its remains are extensive and highly visible, and have been the object of constant archaeological attention since the birth of the discipline.…

Back to the Bronze Age Again

Yesterday I began my return to the Bronze Age. For most of my career I’ve mainly worked with the Late Iron Age, a period that dominates the landscape of agrarian Sweden completely through its cemeteries and place names. But my first published piece of research, indeed the first research I ever did, concerned the Late…