Aard T-Shirts? Help Needed!

A company has offered to sponsor Aard with 15-30 free printed t-shirts bearing the design of my choice, delivered to a US address. I’d like to accept their offer, and so I need help from my readers.

1. I need a hi-res design to put on the shirt. I only have the blog’s venerable masthead as a lo-res file, and the anonymous artist who made it four years ago doesn’t reply to email on their old address. If you want to submit a design, please write me for info on how to go about it.

2. I need a regular commenter based in the US who is willing to take delivery of the t-shirts and send them on to their destinations on my dollar.

My current idea about how to share the shirts around is to give two each to the people who help with the task as detailed above, ten to the most active commenters of the past year, and then organise a lottery for the remainder among any readers who sign up. (Don’t sign up yet, that comes later.)

Update 22 August: I’ve selected a design by Joseph Hewitt.

And by the way, I’m on Google+ now if you want to follow me there.

I hate that expression. Actually, I’m on Google+ regardless of whether you want to follow me there or not. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s like the inexplicable Swedish preface to saying something, Jag kan säga att si och så, “Well, I can say that blah blah blah”. I always reply “Great, feel free to do so!”. Another logic peeve is “All X are not Y”, when what people really mean is “Not all X are Y”.



  1. #1 Janne
    July 25, 2011

    “Could you pass the salt?”
    “Why yes. Yes I can; I’m quite sure of it. Why do you ask?”

    It’s a wonder I managed to keep any friends at all.

  2. #2 Martin R
    July 25, 2011

    Preach it, brother!

  3. #3 Birger Johansson
    July 25, 2011

    The hero was known and praised all over the wo… actually, known and praised all over the local county, except for those that had never heard of him, and a few in his home village who had heard about him, but did not beleive the stories.
    — — — — — — —
    Are there any original cephalopod images around? Maybe you can borrow from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, or from XKCD.com ? Richard Corben pic with bloke holding sword /looting temple? Image of Lisa Simpson finding a skeleton in a dig, or pic of M. Rundkvist running from a booby-trapped temple followed by a giant stone sphere.

    Beware of bronze-age logotypes that have suffered from interpretation drift, like the swastika. Skulls may have been popular with Azteks, but are not recommended.

  4. #4 Bob O'H
    July 25, 2011

    pic of M. Rundkvist running from a booby-trapped temple followed by a giant stone sphere.

    Martin doesn’t strike me as the sort of person to run from boobies.

    Hmm, how about a cartoon of Dr. Rundqvist metal detecting on a boardgame?

  5. #5 Barn Owl
    July 25, 2011

    Hej, Martin – I’m in the US, and would be willing to take delivery of the shirts (as long as their production doesn’t involve sweatshop labor), and to send them on to their destinations. You know where to find me.

    I vote to keep the aardvark in the design, regardless of whatever else is included. Images from runestones would be great, too.

  6. #6 Martin R
    July 25, 2011

    Bob, Norm Sherman at the Drabblecast once ran this piece where he’s gibbering about some horrific bulbous pendulous spheroid aliens called the Kardashians…

  7. #7 mugabe
    July 26, 2011

    Dennis wins a T-shirt.

  8. #8 Birger Johansson
    July 26, 2011

    Example of cool motif from Modest Medusa: Chainsaw unicorn!

    …so out least favourite troll is threatening with execution now? Can somebody get some Canadian court to order him to take his medicines? Death threats would sound even less appealing to the courts now, after the Norway event.
    And the choice of “piglets” as a degratory term only works inside the Abrahamaic religious tradition. Anybody who knows his history is aware that the boar was seen as a noble animal by the iron age cultures in Northern Europe (we still have aristocratic families with a boar in their coat of arms, 1000 years after the old religions were replaced).

  9. #9 Martin R
    July 27, 2011

    Birger, I apologise for leaving Mabus’s threats up on the blog for too long today. He usually only threatens us bloggers, not other commenters. He’s been doing it for years full time and is not known to be violent. Anyway, if he even keeps track of who he’s threatened, you’re probably not near the top of the priority list. I wouldn’t worry.

    Anyway, I agree, you are indeed a noble boar. Wilhelm Holmqvist, Helgö’s original excavator, used to recite this ditty during fieldwork:

    “Kommt du schöne Eberhelm,
    Kommt nun bald zu Wille-helm”

  10. #10 Martin R
    July 27, 2011

    Mugabe, Dennis what!?

  11. #11 Matt B.
    July 29, 2011

    lol, funny song, that. (And I mean lol in the original sense: I did actually laugh out loud).

    Martin, perhaps you can answer a question that has bothered me for a long time: Not only did Holmqvist sing in German but many of the early Swedish excavations are published in German. Why is that?

    Not that it bothers me as a German but it is strange. Especially since the same is not true for Norway and Denmark.

  12. #12 Martin R
    July 29, 2011

    The reason that Swedish archaeologists published in German before WW2 was that they wanted to be read internationally and expected German to be the most widely used language among their target audience. The reason that the Danes and Norwegians didn’t was probably Danish nationalism: Prussia had invaded Denmark in 1864 and annexed Schleswig-Holstein.

    The 1927 second edition of Hjalmar Stolpe’s Vendel cemetery monograph is in French. When Mats P. Malmer had his 1962 PhD thesis translated, he chose German, and soon regretted the choice as he later told colleagues. Between those years lie the heyday of German-language publication in my field. But Lena Thunmark-Nylén has also until quite recently kept to German in her tomes on Viking Period Gotland, probably because she was finishing a series started in 1914.

  13. #13 Matt B.
    July 29, 2011

    Thanks Martin. That’s pretty much what I suspected. Still strange that Holmqvist should sing in German, though…

  14. #14 Birger Johansson
    July 29, 2011

    Imperial Germany was the biggest customer for the Swedish lumber industry as well as for the mining companies. Choice of language for science reflected the German dominance on many other fields as well as the extraordinary achievements by German Universities. The Swedish preference for German language in science continued right up to 1945.

    If the Kaiser had not been an idiot, Germany would have comfortably outpaced its rival countries in Europe in just about every field. Unfortunately, he thought in outmoded terms of military conquest of huge territories instead of winning market shares through good economic policies. Prussians valued military sciences over economy, and fucked up. Incidentally, they bought into Herbert Spencer’s social darwinism as well as the fallacy of colonies.
    — — — — — — —

    T-shirt illustrations: Is there any good art around depicting the archaeological digs of Lovecraft’s stories?

  15. #15 Martin R
    July 29, 2011

    I don’t remember a single archaeologist or excavation in Lovecraft. Just a lot of people running around in tunnels. There are some geologists in At the Mountains of Madness, though.

  16. #16 Steven Blowney
    July 29, 2011

    1. Yes, I think the t-shirt logo should have an aardvark in it, perhaps examining Martin’s head.

    2. Should this t-shirt be released, I would like on in extra-large.

    3. Ah! The pleasures of detecting nationalistic attitudes through archaeological publications. My favorite is the summaries in “Soviet Archaeology” (now “Russian Archaeology”). Before 1978 (?) the summaries of the major articles were in French; after that time, they were in English. Who knows what’s next?

  17. #17 Birger Johansson
    July 29, 2011

    Blatantly OT: For Swedish-language skeptics.


    I thought aardvarks were related to groundhogs, but they are apparently distant relatives to shrews and other insectivores. One shrew described at Greg Laden’s blog actually uses echolocation.
    Future hybrid shrew-DNA archaeologists will be able to get dumped in a catacomb and find their way out without a light. Are there any other extra senses you would like, Martin? I mean senses, not natural weapons. The current fights between rival archaeologists are ugly enough when sticking to mere written venom.

  18. #18 Martin R
    July 30, 2011

    I’d like built-in metal detection and characterisation with a two-metre range, please.

  19. #19 Birger Johansson
    July 31, 2011
  20. #20 Birger Johansson
    July 31, 2011

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