Archives for November, 2012

Odd & Annoying Survey Methodology

Our municipality has contracted a survey firm to evaluate the after-school activities for children that it supports. Circus school, piano lessons etc. Questionnaires have been sent to (some? all?) enrolled children. My kid is in three of these activities. I got three almost identical questionnaires, interpreted them as a mail-merge glitch, responded to one and…

Annushka

I found this lovely portrait on Wikipedia. 18th century portraits almost exclusively show people with European looks. But here a Russian painter has painted a Kalmyk girl in 1767. The Kalmyks are a Western Mongolian group living in south-west Russia. The girl looks just like Juniorette’s buddy whose parents are from Afghanistan and Korea! This…

Boardgame Retreat

This past weekend saw my third annual boardgaming retreat: 48 hours in good company at a small Nyköping hotel during the slow season, all meals included. Me and my buddy Pieter took a walk upriver to the first bridge and back past the castle ruin late on Saturday night, but otherwise I spent my waking…

All the monotheistic religions have a problem known as Theodicy or The Problem of Evil. Simply put, it’s the question “How can there be evil and suffering in the world?”. The religions in question posit that their god knows everything that happens, so he isn’t ignorant of the shit that’s going on. And they posit…

The former Swedish state church has been reasonably independent for twelve years. Now Juniorette’s school plans to send the kids walking in festive procession with flaming torches to the Swedish church’s local branch for an “Advent gathering”. Good fun no doubt, and Juniorette would probably be most displeased if I made her stay in school…

Pieces Of My Mind

These days I usually stick short updates of things I’m thinking about on my Facebook feed, and use the blog for longer pieces. But some of those snippets make me kind of happy, so here’s a selection of recent ones. I never give money to beggars. Instead I make an annual donation to Stockholm’s biggest…

Flute Clock Reborn

My part-time employers the Academy of Letters are charmingly unworldly in a muscular way. They’re not a government body and are beholden to nobody except King Gustav III who laid down their bylaws in the 18th century. He hasn’t cramped their style in quite a while. And they are quite comfortably funded indeed through various…

Check it out in full, for free! Kim von Hackwitz on miniature Middle Neolithic battle axes around Lake Mälaren Roger Wikell & Jörgen Johnsson on the re-discovery of a runic inscription on a cliff side near Stockholm Herman Bengtsson & Christian Lovén on indications in Medieval church art about the contents of a lost longer…