Archives for October, 2008

Garmin’s Swedish Grid Confusion

I’ve been using Garmin’s handheld GPS navigators since the spring of 2005; two models running the same firmware. They have been invaluable in archaeological fieldwork, pinpointing finds and test pits swiftly and accurately in situations where you would once have counted steps to the nearest landmark and put an X on a small-scale map. GPS…

Monday night me and Moomin went to an of Montreal gig at Medborgarplatsen in Stockholm. Amazing stuff. Seven musicians on stage, everybody swapping instruments all the time, three mimes prancing around in weird masks, psychedelic animated films on the backdrop, and a solid 90 minutes of intricate pop music, everything tightly rehearsed. I’m glad I…

Hey There, Berghs Students

Every once in a blue cheese, a son of Ming the Merciless invites me to speak at an advertising school in Stockholm, Berghs School of Communication. (Yes, they have adopted an English name to sound cooler. No, they didn’t put the genitive apostrophe in. I find that really painful.) I talk about cyberculture, on-line communities…

Happy 90th Erik Nylén

Erik Nylén in 1987, holding a ship’s vane inspired by 11th century ones, standing in front of Krampmacken, a replica of a 12th century sailing boat. “Krampmacken” means “the brine shrimp”. Photograph by Rune Edberg. Thanks Rune! One of my archaeological heroes turned 90 last Saturday. Professor Erik Nylén is huge in Swedish archaeology. His…

After over a year’s near-invisibility on the net, cyberculture guru R.U. Sirius resurfaces as editor of H+ Magazine, a web zine about transhumanism. Explains Wikipedia, transhumanism is a “movement supporting the use of science and technology to enhance human mental and physical abilities and aptitudes, and overcome what it regards as undesirable and unnecessary aspects…

Fornvännen’s Autumn Issue

Fornvännen (“the Friend of Ancient Things”) is one of the main journals of Scandy archaeology and Medieval art. It’s been issued 4-6 times a year since 1906, for the past several decades on a quarterly schedule, and I’ve been a co-editor since 1999. The first 100 volumes have been scanned and are available on-line. Later…

Genius on the Edge

I worry about of Montreal’s musical motor, pop genius Kevin Barnes. He first got records out in 1997-98, when he was an elegantly naivistic singer of sad love songs. Then he shot like a lysergic rocket straight into Pepperland with four beatlesque albums in 1999-2004. On his 2005 album he suddenly said goodbye to his…

A few hours ago, activists broke into two Swedish arms factories and vandalised weapons destined for US and Indian military forces. Among other things, they rendered twenty m/48 Carl Gustaf bazookas inoperable. This really takes me back. An older cousin of mine used to be an activist in the Plowshares Movement. In 1993 him and…

Think Before You Radiocarbon

Recently I organised a few days’ excavation that didn’t turn up the kind of stuff I was hoping for. Still, I brought some materials home that may serve to shed some light on what exactly it was we dug into. All those nondescript little pits, all those sooty hearths full of cracked stone — when…

Hopeful Buttons

Dear Reader, it’s been nearly a year since I asked you to press any buttons. If you like Aard, and haven’t already done so, would you please do me the favour of pressing a few buttons in the left-hand column, right below my profile? Good grades make blogger happy! Thanks. And while I’m at it:…