Archives for January, 2010

Golf Ball Autopsy

Not everyone knows what’s inside a golf ball. I do. Or I thought I did. When I was a kid a friend of mine taught me how to open golf balls. You need a hacksaw (Sw. bågfil) and preferably a vise (Sw. skruvstycke). It’s impossible to open them with a knife or wire cutters –…

Reading in French

I hardly ever read books in French and I hardly ever read books by Nobel laureates. In the first case, my grasp of the language is shaky and I have no good entry point into French literature: I don’t know what to try. I think the last French-language book I tried reading was Les Trois…


Everybody knows that English has borrowed the words ombudsman and smorgasbord from Swedish. But did you know that rutabaga is another Swedish loan? And that it was borrowed from a rural Swedish dialect, not standard Swedish? “Rutabaga” is an American word for the kind of turnip known to Englishmen and Australians as swede. Indeed, the…

Dear Reader, remember the remote-controlled Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity? How long is it since the last time you thought of them? Spirit landed on Mars six Earth calendar years ago today, Opportunity on 25 January — and both still work fine! Sadly, though, Spirit has been stuck on the edge of a small dust-filled…

Gaming Room

My old Tolkien Society buddy Indûr and his wife rents an extra room in their apartment building. It looks like it used to be the caretaker’s office. Now it’s a gaming room.

Rowan Trees

Frost on rowan trees in Fisksätra at sun-up on New Year’s Day. (Note the blackbird.) [More blog entries about photography, trees; foto, träd, nacka.]

I Was Outside of My Own Head

I found this sign at the Slussen commuter train station the other day.