Yesterday we had a guest entry from Lars Amréus, the Director General of the National Heritage Board about the signage with fringe theories at a much-visited archaeological site in southern Sweden. As I read it, the main take-away message is ”Sorry, I know this used to be our job but it isn’t any more”. So…

July Pieces Of My Mind #2

Los Alamos means “the poplars”. A friend lent me J.P. Hogan’s 1980 novel Thrice Upon A Time. It’s set in 2010 but has pre-PC “mini” computers the size of fridges, with text terminals and command-line interfaces. Four years before Neuromancer… 1970s computer designers: “What? You folks run your screens in graphics mode all the time?…

The Director General Responds

It seems that my comments yesterday on the small issue of signage at Ales stenar touched a nerve regarding something bigger, having to do with the National Heritage Board’s overall societal role in relationship to archaeology and public outreach. Lars Amréus is the Board’s Director General, an archaeologist and Qaisar Mahmood’s boss. He has kindly…

Bob Lind has yet again managed to get the National Heritage Board to abdicate its responsibility at Ales Stenar, a beautiful 7th century AD burial monument near Ystad in southern Sweden. Bob has self-published odd interpretations of the site that have found no traction among professional archaeologists. He has kept vigil at Ales stenar for decades, lecturing…

July Pieces Of My Mind #1

Swedish 1960s translation of the Game of Life. I just found a uranium mine. According to Boardgame Geek, there are 13,879 better boardgames than this. I bought a Kindle and I like it. Better than reading on my phone. No screen glare. Weeks between recharges. Bigger page. As a boy I was shocked to learn…

Hiking In Abisko

Abisko national park is in the mountains of extreme northern Sweden, Sámi country, reindeer country, where half of the year is lit by constant sun and the other half is frigid darkness and aurorae. Getting there takes 17½ hours by train from Stockholm Central. There’s a sleeper train with no changes, so if you only…

June Pieces Of My Mind #3

It would be quite nice if writers feared for their lives over the difference between publishing city and printing city in bibliographies. Then they would be more motivated to get it right. My parents are great. They’ve got so much hiking gear, at 74 they still know exactly where they keep it, and they’re happy…

Academic recruitment procedures in Sweden are a mess. There are at least four strong contradictory forces that impact them. Meritocracy. As Head of Department you are legally obliged to find and employ the most qualified person on the job market, even if it’s just for six months. This is after all the public sector. Labour…

June Pieces Of My Mind #2

Boiled cauliflower is bland and boring. But try slicing it and baking it at a high temperature in the oven with oil and salt. Good stuff! Archaeoscience friends! The other day when I was feeling happy I had the idea that you guys should develop a method to measure lifetime happiness in human bone. Preferably…

June Pieces Of My Mind #1

My wife receives her second university degree today. In addition to her 15 years in journalism, she is now also a trained psychologist. Go YuSie!!! I assume 45’s lawyers cleared the covfefe tweet? Small but very satisfying discovery. In 1902 a Medieval coin is found at Skällvik Castle. The finder makes a detailed drawing of…