Archives for September, 2009

Psychedelic Circus

Somebody calls you and you answer quite slowly: a girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Hello Maastricht

I like to travel light. My luggage for a five-day conference stay in the Netherlands barely fills a small back pack. Apart from what I wear and carry in my pockets, I’ve got: Netbook computer + charger Smartphone charger Camera + charger + transfer cable. The travel camera is pretty small, but its memory card…

Giant Vertebra Belongs To Recent Sperm Whale

Follow-up: in July last year I wrote about a giant vertebra that had been found in a lake in northern Sweden at 210 meters above sea level. The find spot hasn’t been near the sea since the end of the latest ice age. This meant that the bone might be very old. But already in…

Copulation Music

Musical styles can have really weird names. There’s sauce music (salsa), meringue music (merengue), juvenile delinquent music (punk), record collection music (disco), LSD warehouse music (acid house), popular music (pop), you name it. But some of the most intensely loved musical styles have names that mean “copulation music”. “Jazz” was once a verb meaning “to…

GothNet

In a somewhat less subculture-savvy move, an Internet service provider in Gothenburg has chosen to call itself GothNet. Nothing on their web site suggests that they have any inkling what “Goth” means to most English-speaking people today. The etymology is complicated. First there was a bunch of Germanic-speaking tribal groups in the 1st Millennium AD:…

5th Century Regional Brooch Design

Here’s a piece of fragmentology. In the 19th century a brooch (inset) was found at Vistena in Allhelgona parish, Östergötland. It’s a copper-alloy piece decorated with embossed silver sheet panels in the Nydam style, approx. AD 375-450. In 2008 a member of my metal detector team found part of a similar brooch at Sättuna in…

Cordwood House

Yesterday I joined my friend Dendro-Åke, his cousin and their charming wives to check out an example of an old exotic building technique near my home. On Skutudden Point near Baggensstäket (an area I keep writing about, it’s just full of history) are a number of little 19th century buildings along the shore, and at…

Autumn Travel Plans

Dear Reader, if you are in the Netherlands, in England or in Finland and you either a) want to meet me, or b) want to avoid meeting me, I have some important information for you. I am planning to visit those countries over the coming seven weeks. Beware or drop me a line. You have…

Velvet Bolete Orgy

My wife and I made a short mushrooming excursion to Lake Lundsjön after lunch. Little more than half an hour in the woods garnered us only four species, but huge amounts of one: velvet bolete. We went home early simply because we didn’t need more mushrooms. I’m stewing them with cream. Never had shingled hedgehog…

Urban Plastic Owl

On my way to the Library of the Academy of Letters today I spied something unusual. Somebody on the second floor of Storgatan 30 is having pigeon trouble. They’ve studded the window ledge with nails and stuck a plastic owl to the front of the house. Those owls are pretty popular. My mom once found…