Archives for December, 2009

Obsolete Portable Music Players

These are my obsolete portable music players. A post-1985 cassette player, a 2000 minidisc player and a 2002 iPod whose sole means of communication with the outside world is a firewire socket. In the 90s I didn’t listen much to music while on the move. Since 2006 I use a smartphone as my mp3 player.

Don’t Miss the Geminids

Tonight the Geminid meteor shower peaks. My wife and I were out last night and saw loads, about one big fat shooting star a minute. Don’t miss the year’s best meteor shower! It’s because the Earth passes through the sandy exhaust trail of a comet. Tomorrow night will be good as well.

Home-Made Sausages

Part of the Swedish Christmas celebrations is that many people turn to traditional cooking. Yesterday my dad’s wife & mine made sausages. They were really nice, way better than their limp and grey pre-cooking appearance suggested. But they were hardly traditional, containing mouflon and elk in addition to the pork (“whatever’s in the freezer”) and…

Fun with a Big Drill

A scary but pretty funny accident happened in central Stockholm the other day. A work crew was drilling for a geothermal heat pump when suddenly the drill went into an open subterranean cavity. There wasn’t supposed to be one there according to the plans they had been given for the job. When they tried to…

Locked Inside an Ethics Box

You know these contrived situations you’re supposed to imagine yourself in prior to discussing some problem of ethics? I came across one in a recent Radiolab episode that reminded me of why I don’t like thinking inside those boxes. It’s wartime. You’re hiding in a cellar with your infant child and a bunch of other…

Reform English Libel Law

In mid-2008, UK science writer Simon Singh fell afoul of the weird and archaic English libel law. After he wrote in The Guardian that chiropractic lacks scientific support and that such treatments are bogus, the British Chiropractic Association sued him for libel. And in England, a libel case is always a major pain for the…

Mulled Wine and Waning Family Ties

Around this time of year, Swedes like to throw little brief daytime parties with mulled wine and ginger bread cookies. Usually they’re on weekends, of course. In my mother’s family there’s been a tradition for decades of organising mulled-wine parties for the descendants of my maternal grandfather’s parents. This year my mom sent out invitations…

Fornvännen’s Summer Issue On-Line

The July issue of Fornvännen has come on-line in all its free full-text glory less than six months after paper publication. Påvel Nicklasson publishes his second paper on the forgotten early-19th century antiquarian, J.H. Wallman, and relays information about a Late Roman Period snake-head gold ring found in a highly unusual context. Ny Björn Gustafsson…

Antiquity’s Winter Issue

The on-line version of Antiquity’s winter issue (#322) was published just the other day. Here are some highlights (links to abstracts, papers then hidden by a pay wall): A pair of “ornamental trousers” found in an exceptionally well preserved 1st century BC grave in the Tarim basin in Xinjiang. These fancy pants were apparently made…

Anthro Blog Carnival

The eighty-first Four Stone Hearth blog carnival is on-line at Spider Monkey Tales. Catch the best recent blogging on archaeology and anthropology! Submissions for the next carnival will be sent to Krystal at Anthropology in Practice. All bloggers with an interest in the subject are welcome to volunteer to me for hosting. The next vacant…