Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, public speaker, chairman of the Swedish Skeptics Society, atheist, lefty liberal, board gamer, bookworm, and father of two.

Boardgaming Retreat

I spent last weekend at the annual boardgaming retreat organised by my friend Oscar. This was my fifth retreat, and I enjoyed it greatly. Oscar negotiates a good off-season all-inclusive deal for 25 of us at a small rural hotel, and then we spend two days gaming and sharing meals. People bring huge numbers of…

November Pieces Of My Mind #1

No, Kim Stanley Robinson, when two groups of characters meet and tell each other what they’ve gone through recently under the reader’s watchful eye, you shouldn’t write that dialogue. Because the reader already knows. Back when my father-in-law the engineer had just come to Sweden from China and worked as a waiter, he used to…

Stockholm Film Festival 2014

Before this month I’d never attended a film festival in any concerted way. But I was inspired by Ken & Robin’s podcast to do so, and got myself a membership card for the Stockholm Film Festival, 5–16 November. The festival’s excellent web site made it easy for me to choose which viewings to attend. And…

I follow the decommissioning of Sweden’s churches keenly for several reasons. I like churches, the older the better, but I don’t like the Church much. And I take great interest in the West’s ongoing secularisation process. Before, I’ve blogged about how Maglarp Church was torn down, about how Örja church was sold as housing and…

October Pieces Of My Mind #2

What are the best arguments to keep your home wifi password protected? I think it’s a pain in the ass. My retired neighbour makes prophecies of doom involving child pornographers standing around with laptops outside my fence, distributing contraband files and leaving me to do the jail time. I tell my students that the two…

Landsjö Castle Plan Develops

I’m giving a talk on Landsjö castle to the Kimstad Historical Society next week, and while preparing my presentation I made a sketch plan of this summer’s discoveries regarding the plan. The ruin just barely breaks the turf, so we didn’t know much about the castle’s layout beforehand except that it had a 60-metre straight…

Anders Winroth (born in 1965) is a Swedish historian who received his PhD from Columbia in 1996 and now holds an endowed professorship in history at Yale. He has written several books on the Viking Period for lay readers, the latest one of which I’ve been given to review. The main contents of The Age…

My whole housing development recently changed Internet Service Providers. We now have optical fibre from Ownit, offering hundreds of megabits per second. It works just fine. But there’s a security issue and Ownit aren’t taking it seriously. All over Sweden, Ownit are deploying wifi routers that work out of the box. If you want to…

October Pieces Of My Mind #1

The Relentless Babblings of the Darkmire Soothsayer: “And then there shall come a day when things will be lost and people won’t know where things really are and brothers will run away for absolutely no reason at all and fathers won’t know where other fathers are or where they once were. And friends will walk…

I did a fun exercise with my Umeå archaeology freshmen Monday: a role-playing debate about the ethics of burial archaeology. The framework was a hearing at the Ministry of Culture regarding a planned revision of the Ancient Monuments Law. I assigned randomised groups of up to 4 students roles as archaeologists, neopagans, the Swedish Church,…