NOIBN

Category archives for NOIBN

I’m angry and confused. Death has never hit this close to home with me before. Anders was one of my best friends, a frequent guest at my table. I knew him for over 20 years. And now he’s dead at 45, apparently of a heart attack. I’m stunned and full of disbelief. By profession an…

Days On A Roof

My dad is building a guest house and an octagonal two-story sauna on the steep scarp from his house down to the sea. Things suddenly got very hurried, and I was called in as a building hand to help get the roof onto the sauna before winter. So in addition to a lot of travel,…

Dorrik Stow’s Vanished Ocean

In his fine new book Vanished Ocean, geologist Dorrik Stow uses the biography of one of our planet’s vanished oceans to teach the reader a wide range of veeery long-term perspectives on geological history. The ocean that geologists call the Tethys came into being when the Pangaea supercontinent coalesced in the Late Permian, 260 million…

A thought about normal sexual behaviour. “Normal”, in the statistical sense, has nothing to do with “healthy” or “morally sound”. It simply means “the most common range of values in a variable”. Now, across all of child-bearing age humanity, what is the normal attitude to getting sexually penetrated? Is it yes please or no thanks?…

Inhabilitated

Universities in many European and Asian countries offer an upgrade to your PhD that turns the owner into a “habilitated doctor“, that is, someone who is allowed to teach PhD students. In Sweden, the recipient of the upgrade is called a docent, which is funny because “docent” means “museum guide” in US English. It’s not…

In February of 2007 I wrote about a giant sinkhole that had opened in Guatemala City. “The pit was emitting foul odors, loud noises and tremors, and a rush of water could be heard from its depths.” These sinkholes are the same kind of geological feature as similar to the cenotes into which the Maya…

A Likeness of Mohammed

Get this. Perennial provocateur artist Lars Vilks lectures about free speech at the University of Uppsala just an hour’s ride from my home — and is attacked by audience members chanting about Islam! It’s time for a re-run of my own likeness of Mohammed from February ’06. This is a picture I just drew of…

I’ve been staying away from Twitter for fear that it would eat my life. But I guess I have at least to try it. So, Dear Reader, feel free to follow my tweets! And tell me who I should follow. Ideally, I want people who tweet something really witty like every second day and who…

Dear Reader, you need to listen to the Drabblecast. I just listened to the latest episode and was completely blown away by the vast amount of work, wit and musical talent that goes into each episode. Norm Sherman is like this uncapped oil well that’s constantly shooting a big fat unstoppable wad of creativity into…

After about twelve years of regular use my Braun 5515 sounded like a chainsaw, so I decided to buy a new electric shaver. Mind you, I had repeatedly replaced all the bits I could: the mesh, often; the knife, several times; once even the accumulator pack. But I figured that having someone replace the worn-out…