Archives for August, 2012

Postcard from Hazor

My cousin Annika kindly forwarded me this postcard from a budding archaeologist just out of high school and on his first dig. I translate: * Hazor-Haglilit July 15th, 1990, 12:05 [Sunday] Shalom! Mainly I’m digging. At the same time we exchange some language teaching – my new Israeli acquaintances call each other “whitstevell” in passing…

The people behind the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone made an odd design decision. They got rid of the standard fastening point for a strap. And the backshells on the market don’t have a fastening point either. But I really want a strap to be able to pull my phone out of my pocket and…

Fazer Chinaman Gone, Leaves Hat

Fazer has removed the cartoon East Asian from one of two versions of the packaging for their chocolate-covered puffed rice. Only the conical straw hat remains, an “abbreviated motif” as Karl Hauck would have put it. Tørsleff still has the guy on their gel agent. Gabob recently published the fine boardgame Wok Star which is…

Subway Ticket Booth Dream

In this guest entry, my friend Milka Zelić reports on the gritty realities of public transport in Slumberland: It wasn’t enough that I had a rough time at work last night. When I finally got to bed I ended up working a second shift. Because of construction work on the subway a temporary ticket booth…

I’ve blogged before about authors who write fiction in the first person past tense but clearly have no idea of in which situation or at what point in time their narrator resides while telling the story. This is one of the problems with David Tallerman’s 2012 novel Giant Thief. But what made me quit reading…

Martin Carver in the editorial to the current issue of Antiquity: If the PhD is an apprenticeship, why does it include no formal training in fieldwork—our method of recovering primary data? Quite apart from the fact that the world is already full of academics who don’t know how to dig (but think they do), not…

Here’s an interesting legal conundrum. The pseudo-archaeological power duo Bob Lind and Nils-Axel Mörner have been excavating without a permit again (as confirmed to me by the County Archaeologist). But the site they have chosen is a disused quarry of indeterminate age. Though protected by the letter of the current law, such a humble and…

Hubbard’s Caveman

Kai gave me this lovely piece of old Scientology propaganda. The 1968 book Scientology: A History of Man is a re-titled edition of something L.R. Hubbard completed in 1951-52 and disseminated under the title What To Audit. After the formerly secret teachings about Xenu the evil space emperor etc., this is probably the most widely…

I Got A Uni Job

My professional goal since undergraduate days 20 years ago has been to divide my working hours between indoor research, fieldwork and teaching. And so I applied for my first academic job in June of 2003, shortly before my thesis defence. When I saw the list of applicants (this stuff is public in Sweden) and checked…

Name That Moth

Early this morning this little guy found a really good crack in some wood where s/he could sleep during the day. Unfortunately the crack turned out to be the space between the gate to our yard and the door jamb, so all day the sleeper has been see-sawing to and fro as we have opened…