January Pieces Of My Mind #1

We built a snow entity. I shall miss Cousin E.

We built a snow entity. I shall miss Cousin E.

Waiting to blow

Waiting to blow

  • The introductions to academic paper anthologies often consist of descriptions of the contents. I never read them. That information is in the title to each contribution. Pointless.
  • H.G. Wells became public domain on 1 January!
  • My new project is writing a Latin grammar in Pidgin English.
  • Have you ever been to a Yule Spruce Looting event?
  • The blotter pad at the bottom of a supermarket meat tray would probably work well as a wound dressing or a panty liner.
  • Be it known that I cooked 1/4 of a goose with wine, garlic, onions, celery and carrots for dinner, and that the Rundkvist ladies ate several helpings each.
  • Movie: Stranger Than Fiction. Meta-literary story about a man who finds his life being narrated by an unwitting novelist. Grade: OK.
  • Free academic style tip. Do not write “Ben’s car was quite a large car”. It’s redundant. Write “Ben had a large car”.
  • Most of Kungsträdgården in Stockholm doesn’t deserve to be called a park. It’s a tarmacked surface with many small holes in which trees grow.
  • Told Junior I’d had toast & marmalade for a night snack. “Isn’t that kind of a 50-y-o thing?” “I’m just five years and a few months from 50.” “Really?! You seem more kind of 30ish to me.”
  • Birds need to eat more in the winter to stay warm. Realised recently that they also have way less daylight to find each day’s meals by.
  • “Nervous breakdown” is not a clinically used term in psychiatry or psychology. There is an academic literature about what laypeople might mean by it.
  • Reading a paper about the insertion of large mosques into 1960s council housing projects on Stockholm’s fringes. The author hints that all people want to shop and/or practice religion. And I realise that I am a strange man, whose lifestyle would create strange town planning if more people were like me. I am hostile to shopping and religion. I don’t need public urban spaces. I want to spend my time at home or at my friends’ homes, with occasional trips into the woods or to museums. I want to order minimal quantities of needful stuff on-line.
  • My study debt is down to $3,100 = SEK 28,000. It bought me a PhD of highly questionable market value.
  • I put all the nasty chocolates in the compost bin.
  • Why doesn’t government bailout of failing banks make them public property?
  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t “coin spill” a type of archaeological context that has been discovered and named by amateur detectorists? It means small coin hoard.
  • I wish I could avoid all news about the US for four years with a possibility for extension.
  • Always surprises me when fellow Lefties romanticise extralegal action. If we take that direction, then what argument can we advance against neo-Nazis doing likewise?
  • Love the shave and shower at the end of illness.
  • A huge proportion of Sweden’s able-bodied males were culled young in the 17th century because they were conscripted and sent south to die from dysentery or more rarely musket wounds. It’s a typical population bottleneck with an unusual selection mechanism. I wonder what it did to our genetics.
  • I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the only art anyone really needs is @70sscifiart.
  • Received a couple of paper manuscripts to review. Encouraging to feel useful.

Comments

  1. #1 Thomas Ivarsson
    Malmö
    January 9, 2017

    The problem with todays internet fact collection was predicted by Monty Python in the 1960-1970s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7GBwO3_czc

  2. #2 Eric Lund
    January 9, 2017

    When I was your daughter’s age, my mother had only recently given up pretending to be 29, and even then only because it was becoming awkward to do so while acknowledging that I am her son. Perhaps your wife has come to a similar realization–she could get away with that in Junior’s case because he was the child of a previous relationship (Mom considered for a while claiming that we were our father’s children from his first marriage, which was true), but now that your daughter is in her teens the pretense is getting too hard to maintain. If your wife has been pretending that she’s 29, it makes sense for Junior to think you are in your 30s–there is something unseemly in many societies about husband and wife being too far apart in age (although it does happen, with the husband almost always being the older partner, and some societies regard this as being normal).

  3. #3 Martin R
    January 9, 2017

    My wife is Chinese. She unsuccessfully tries to convince people that she’s over 25.

  4. #4 JustaTech
    January 10, 2017

    “The blotter pad at the bottom of a supermarket meat tray would probably work well as a wound dressing or a panty liner.”

    In a larger format (with a blue underside) they’re used as liquid absorbers on counters in labs (and called diapers) or used as dog housebreaking supplies (called piddle pads).

  5. #5 Martin R
    January 10, 2017

    Someone told me that Swedish kitchen staff call them “meat diapers”.

  6. #6 BirgerJohansson
    January 10, 2017

    OT
    No day like today http://satwcomic.com/no-day-like-today
    And now it is ten days to the Trumpocalypse…

  7. #7 birgerjohansson
    January 11, 2017

    “H.G. Wells became public domain on 1 January!”

    So if you make a parody of the bad film versions of War of the worlds you do not need to pay the Wells estate. Good
    – –
    Those in Sweden who missed out on the documetary of the hidden underground of ancient Rome can see it again Sunday Jan 15, 16.05 at SVT2 .

  8. #8 birgerjohansson
    January 11, 2017

    Image: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures the Earth and its moon http://phys.org/news/2017-01-image-mars-reconnaissance-orbiter-captures.html

    If you want to calculate theangular separation between Earth and the Moon as seen from Mars in this picture, consider that the Earth-Mars distance was ca. 16 000 times the diameter of the Earth .you can then work out the angular diameter of Earth and apply this on the Moon-Earth separation in the image…

  9. #9 Phillip Helbig
    Tyskland
    January 11, 2017

    “So if you make a parody of the bad film versions of War of the worlds you do not need to pay the Wells estate. Good”

    You never had to. Parody is allowed; it is not considered copyright infringement. What you can’t do is, say, write fan fiction and claim it is OK because it is parody if it is not parody. (In some cases, copyright owners don’t prosecute fan fiction, but they always could. On the other hand, maybe it’s good not to call attention to it. If you don’t know what I am talking about, welcome to the world of KS stories in Star Trek fan fiction.)

  10. #10 Eric Lund
    January 12, 2017

    I wish I could avoid all news about the US for four years with a possibility for extension.

    I can understand the sentiment. I probably need to take more news breaks myself. But as a USAian, I definitely don’t have the luxury of avoiding news about the US, and given that we are eight days from handing the nuclear launch codes to a madman, I’m not sure anybody else in the world does, either.

    Today I learned that I may have to find a new supplier for my clothing needs. I have been buying most of my clothes from L. L. Bean in Freeport, ME. They make good stuff, especially for this climate, and they are sort of local (corporate HQ is about 130 km from where I live). But one of their board members, a granddaughter of company founder Leon Leonwood Bean, is a wingnut Donald Trump supporter, and today Trump tweeted an endorsement of L. L. Bean’s products as a show of gratitude for Ms. Bean’s donations (which exceeded the legal contribution limits by a large factor). The guy who actually runs the company does not approve of his crazy aunt’s political activity, but she’s still on the board of directors.

  11. #11 BirgerJohansson
    January 13, 2017

    What the….”Republican Budget Bill Raises Debt Ceiling by $10 Trillion” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2017/01/11/republican-budget-bill-raises-debt-ceiling-10-trillion/
    (earlier quote by Donald Trump: “We’re gonna stop our deficits, we’re gonna stop our deficits, we’re gonna do it very quickly.”)
    The only Republican to vote against it [the Republican bill raising the ceiling] was Rand Paul.

    If I was a cynic I would say that the Republicans have a totally different policy when they are in opposition compared to when they are in power. Which is absurd, because a Republican would never lie or deceive.

  12. #12 birgerjohansson
    January 13, 2017

    Headlines from satire sites:

    -Future generations to wonder why ancestors built Stonehenge A303 tunnel
    -Trump threatens Iran and promotes Budweiser in single tweet
    -Woman ‘living in moment’ finds that unfortunately it is connected to other moments
    “Hospitals not on fire yet”, insists May
    Trump: “If there was a blackmail sex video, it would be the best one ever!”
    Universe in chaos as Pavlov’s dogs may or may not attack Schrödinger’s cat
    “Come back when he shags a dead pig, says jaded Britain” -Sex claims against Donald Trump are ‘lightweight’ and do not even involve a farm animal, according to Britons.

  13. #13 Eric Lund
    January 13, 2017

    If I was a cynic I would say that the Republicans have a totally different policy when they are in opposition compared to when they are in power. Which is absurd, because a Republican would never lie or deceive.

    The overwhelming majority of US Republicans claim to be Christian, yet display a remarkably casual attitude about bearing false witness. Which is hardly an obscure rule of the faith; it’s one of the Big Ten (either eighth or ninth, depending which version of the Ten Commandments you use).

    They also ignore the one about taking the Lord’s name in vain, and the admonition of Yeshua bin Yosef not to pray in public.

  14. #14 BirgerJohansson
    January 16, 2017

    A 3,000-year-old city wrecked by militants, left for looters https://phys.org/news/2017-01-devastated-militants-year-old-city-left.html
    Fantasy: A practical use of Narnia http://xkcd.com/1786/

  15. #15 BirgerJohansson
    January 16, 2017

    Fw: Choked by smog, Beijing creates new environmental police https://phys.org/news/2017-01-smog-beijing-environmental-police.html

  16. #16 BirgerJohansson
    January 17, 2017

    Fw : Kangaroo attacks Melbourne jogger ‘like a damn truck’ https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/17/kangaroo-attacks-melbourne-jogger-like-a-damn-truck
    Meh. Wild animals are wild. Come back when you get chased by a sasquatch or yeti.

  17. #17 BirgerJohansson
    January 17, 2017

    First humans arrived in North America 10,000 years earlier than believed https://phys.org/news/2017-01-humans-north-america-years-earlier.html

  18. #18 Eric Lund
    January 17, 2017

    Wild animals are wild.

    There are parts of the US where you do not want to let pets outside overnight if you want to see them in the morning–one or more of coyotes, cougars, etc. could get them.

    A few years ago a bear was living within 2 km of my house. A co-worker, whose house is on the edge of the woodland preserve where the bear was living and often spends spring weekends outside preparing his sailboat for the summer season, thinks that at one point he said hello to the bear. I think the bear was relocated.

    Collisions between cars and moose are also an issue in this part of the US. If you are ever forced to choose between hitting a moose at speed and hitting a brick wall at speed, go for the brick wall–you might live to tell about it.

  19. #19 Martin R
    January 17, 2017

    Yeah, moose/elks are scary when they wander onto the road. Long spindly legs, centre of gravity right about the level of your nose when you’re driving. Boars are more like the brick wall.

  20. #20 BirgerJohansson
    January 18, 2017

    Take this with a grain of salt: “Preserved fortification, donkey stables dating to King Solomon discovered at TAU’s Timna Valley excavations” https://phys.org/news/2017-01-fortification-donkey-stables-dating-king.html

    A catalog of habitable zone exoplanets https://phys.org/news/2017-01-habitable-zone-exoplanets.html

    Pop culture; Breaking out of the conformism http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/pop-music

  21. #21 BirgerJohansson
    January 18, 2017

    The Vogons have landed !
    Immortal poetry http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2017/01/17/the-vogons-have-landed/ Actually, this is not Trump’s inauguration poem. It was not commissioned or approved by Trump. Someone was just really inspired by him and wrote it.

  22. #22 Eric Lund
    January 18, 2017

    Birger@21: I have to side with the commenter at PZ’s post who said that a real Vogon would have thrown the author out the airlock after the third line.

    There is also some well-deserved pushback on the notion that Trump is the best that Clan McLeod has to offer. (His mother was a McLeod.)

    OTOH, we are talking about someone with whom flattery will get you everywhere.

  23. #23 Eric Lund
    January 19, 2017

    This morning’s post by Orac is about a study of acupuncture as a treatment for colic out of Lund University (no relation to me). As I noted in comments there, IANA Swedish lawyer, but this sounds like child abuse: sticking needles in a baby without any expectation of benefit for the kid.

  24. #24 BirgerJohansson
    January 20, 2017

    Today the world witnesses an important event: Sweden’s population passes the ten-million mark
    — — — — —
    What the hell, here are some headlines to distract you from you-know-what.
    “Uniting behind Brexit a bit hard if you think it’s shit”
    “Couple having house extension ‘nightmare’ should shut up now”
    “Obama leaves White House unflushed”
    “Man thinks fellow cafe customers will enjoy sound of videos he is watching”
    “After Brexit we set sail for America, says May”
    “Streaming explained to relatives for ninth time”
    “Ken Loach plans gritty Teletubbies reboot”
    also; “Prince William to return to slaying dragons” http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2017/01/19/prince-william-returns-to-slaying-dragons/

  25. #25 BirgerJohansson
    January 20, 2017

    Milton Keynes 50 years on (readers of the Laundry trilogy knows the dark secret of the concrete cows)https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/20/50-reasons-love-milton-keynes-concrete-cows-wd-40

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