Archives for December, 2010

Best Reads of 2009 and 2010

Looking for a good book? Here are my best reads in English of the past two years. 2009 The Colour of Magic. Terry Pratchett 1983. Lavishly ornate humorous fantasy. Dancing with strangers. Inga Clendinnen 2003. On contacts between the first English penal colony and the aboriginals at Sydney Cove in 1788-92. On the Origin of…

Happy Gamer Manages to Get Wife Interested

Yesterday my buddy Swedepat showed up at 13:30. (That’s his name to help distinguish him from Irish Pat.) I hadn’t been able to find a third or fourth gamer on short notice. But our plan was to try out the new games in my house, and we started off with Juniorette’s Christmas present, Forbidden Island.…

Hesse’s Immortals

One of the songs my old band played was a tune that Anders had written to a poem by Hermann Hesse. It’s in his 1927 novel Steppenwolf and treats one of the central themes of the book, the idea that immortal genius (such as that of Mozart or Goethe, Hesse felt) might exist on a…

2010 Enlightener & Obscurantist Awards

The Swedish Skeptics’ annual awards for 2010 were just announced. Åsa Vilbäck, MD, receives the Enlightener of the Year award, “… who has described diseases and treatments in an unbiased and informative manner on her TV show Dr. Åsa on Swedish state television. By upholding a good popular science standard on her show, Åsa Vilbäck…

When I turned 25 my friend Sanna gave me a little poetry anthology that I have since treasured. Kathryn & Ross Petras’s Very Bad Poetry (1997) is a lovely read. One of the versifiers most voluminously represented there is W.T. McGonagall (1830-1902). After quoting his words, “The most startling incident in my life was the…

Recent Archaeomags

Archaeology mags have accreted on my shelf, though something’s happened to my subscription to the always enjoyable Current Archaeology. I’ve written the editors. Populär Arkeologi 2010:4 opens with a look at the garishly painted reality of Classical sculpture. The only place where you could see white marble statues in ancient Greece and Rome was actually…

I Speak My Mind

Dear Reader, are you of such a bent that you are not content with reading what I write in English? Is your inclination also to hear me speak in Swedish? Is that what you want, now? Is it? Say it! Is it? Let’s be frank. I think we both know what sort of pleasure-seeking little…

Eager For Better E-Book Deals

I’m eager to start reading more e-books. I rarely re-read books (except for work), and my friends rarely borrow paper ones from me, so I have little reason to hang on to paper books. E-books would be just the thing. But the prices aren’t any good. I either have to pay more for an e-book…

Cynical Boardgame About Archaeology

Thebes is a multi-award-winning 2007 German board game by Peter Prinz. I just bought it on a tip from my buddy Oscar, who found a good offer on-line and thought of me because of the game’s theme. It’s about archaeological expeditions in the early 1900s. The box is big, the production values are lavish, and…

According to a fresh press release from the County Museum of Bohuslän in Uddevalla, western Sweden, the museum’s maritime archaeologists are studying a well-preserved shipwreck whose construction date lies in the AD 1210s or 1220s. The shipwreck is in shallow water in the Jore fjord and was identified on aerial photographs by the local firm…