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.

March Pieces Of My Mind #2

Pretty groovy example of restaurant spelling the other day: “A là cartè”. ”From what black wells of Acherontic fear or feeling, from what unplumbed gulfs of extra-cosmic consciousness or obscure, long-latent heredity, were those half-articulate thunder-croakings drawn?” I know I’ve said this before, but it is such a remarkable fact that it bears repeating. Dungeons…

Palm Oil Non Sequitur

Weird argument in the World Wildlife Fund’s magazine for why Swedes shouldn’t avoid buying palm oil. “Sweden has such a small population that it doesn’t matter to the environment whether we buy environmentally destructive palm oil or not. The big markets are in other parts of the world. But if we buy environmentally certified palm…

Viking Crucifix

Metal detectorist Dennis Fabricius Holm made a pretty sweet find yesterday: the third known Birka crucifix. These little wonders of 10th century goldsmith work are named for the first find, made in 1879 when Hjalmar Stolpe excavated in the cemeteries of Birka near Stockholm. In addition to the crucifix grave 660 contained, among other things,…

March Pieces Of My Mind #1

If you block the Autobahn with droves of bananas, is that then ein Obstruktion? Tim Minchin has a huge hit right now in Australia with a song urging a strangely reluctant cardinal to come home from the Vatican and answer some questions about the clergy’s crimes against children in the 70s and 80s. Enormous areas…

Satnavs and the Sunk Cost Fallacy

One of the best pieces of economic advice I know is ”Don’t throw good money after bad”. Or in other words, when you consider whether you should continue to invest in a project, don’t let the sum you’ve already invested figure into your decision. To do so is known as the ”sunk cost fallacy”, and…

Machen’s Impostors

Arthur Machen’s 1895 book The Three Impostors, or The Transmutations, is a delightfully strange read. It consists of a short frame narrative interspersed with six standalone stories told inside the frame. Spoilers and musings follow. First the background to the events, which the reader learns only in the sixth and last story inside the frame.…

Ten Years Of Portable Internet Access

On 2 February 2006 I took delivery of my first smartphone, or handdator as I called it in my diary – “hand computer”. On the following day I got the machine on-line. It was a Qtek 9100, with a slide-out mechanical keyboard that I still really miss, a tiny screen, a stylus and a crappy…

February Pieces Of My Mind #2

I’ve decided that although immigration and refugees are important political issues, I’ve been reading too much about them lately. Redistribution of wealth and flattening the pyramid is even more important. Because wealth equals power. I don’t give a damn about the US primaries. A brother of Queen Euphemia of Norway was Bishop of Cammin, whose cathedral…

2015 Osteology Report For Stensö Castle

As with the bones from the 2014 fieldwork at Stensö Castle, Rudolf Gustavsson of SAU in Uppsala has again analysed the bones we found this year (report in Swedish here). And as expected, there are no human bones: this too is mostly food waste. The body parts represented indicate that trench D just inside the…

February Pieces Of My Mind #1

I wonder what kind of event lead to entire 20-metre dinosaurs becoming fossilised as articulated skeletons. There’s been a lot of psychological research into the mental differences between conservatives and lefties. Chris Mooney’s The Republican Brain summarises it well up to 2012. And the refugee situation has really brought this out to me. I follow some…