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.

Weekend Fun

It’s been a fun weekend! Here’s what I did. Watched Jrette’s dance show, snappy and lively! Inspired by Kate Feluś’s fine recent book Secret Life of the Georgian Garden, I made syllabub (whipped cream with lemon juice & rind, wine, sugar and a dash of grand marnier), and ate it while checking on the (encouraging)…

April Pieces Of My Mind #3

Movie: Little Big Man. Tragicomedy about the Old West and the fate of the Native Americans. Grade: OK. Submitted my tax returns. Always super easy, which is one of the benefits of having a low income and few assets. I’ve researched my ancestry fully four generations back and found no madman, sorcerer, ape or sea…

April Pieces Of My Mind #2

There is no year zero in the common era. 1 BC is followed by AD 1. This is because Dionysius Exiguus worked around AD 500, long before the Indian concept of mathematical zero reached European scholars via the Arabs. I don’t quite understand why the guy in Springsteen’s “The River” is so super sad. It’s…

April Pieces Of My Mind #1

“If I blow my top — will you let it go to your head?” W.F. Gibbons Hit jackpot on the car radio riding with Jrette and her buddy today. First some Tuvan throat singing. Then a fat version of the Marseillaise with orchestra, choir and a solo soprano who sounded like Piaf. It’s important that you…

March Pieces Of My Mind #3

Been helping Jrette study French for a test. Love making up absurd sentences for her to translate. “On my right is Charlemagne. He is wearing Father’s pink beret. If you take Father’s beret he will not be very nice. But Charlemagne gets to borrow it.” Finally got it. The name of the crowdfunding site IndieGogo…

Anticipation

14 months of no teaching gigs and several bad professional disappointments have brought me down a bit. So I checked my calendar for things to look forward to in the coming months. April. War games exhibition at the Army Museum. Katana sword exhibition at the Royal Armoury. Fieldwork at a promising site in Östergötland. May.…

March Pieces Of My Mind #2

“Qualitative research” seems largely to mean “anecdotal material with no statistical representativity”. I’m starting a support group for people who think the novel American Gods is not great, not bad, not particularly memorable. Woah-ho, dude. Lucid dreaming is when you train yourself to a) know that you’re dreaming, b) direct events in the dream. This…

March Pieces Of My Mind #1

A great thing about a cross-country skiing holiday is that you don’t feel any obligation to make good use of the ski-lift money you’ve paid. Because you haven’t. Gene drives. Amazing, potentially scary piece of science news. Insert code to actively edit the next generation’s genome into the current genome. In order to comment on…

My Ancestry

Inspired by Karin Bojs’s and Peter Sjölund’s recent book Svenskarna och deras fäder, I’ve looked into my ancestry by means both genetic and genealogical. Here’s a few highlights. Like most Stockholmers, I’m of mixed rural Swedish stock. My great grandpa’s generation contains 16 people born mainly in the 1880s. Only one of them was born…

February Pieces Of My Mind #3

Couldn’t quite catch a word in an old Blur song. Turned out to be “jumbojet” with the stress placed on the wrong syllable. JumBOjet. Grötrimslyriker, as we say in Swedish. The Swedish Anti-Theft Association offers tags for keyrings. You put the tag on your keyring and pay an annual fee, and then if someone finds…