Kalmar Campus Break Room View

This is the view from the staff break room in the humanities building at the Kalmar campus of the Linnaeus University. To the lower left is the university building. I haven't been here much during the 14 months since I began my stint as some-time lecturer at Linnaeus. Most of my teaching has been at the other campus in Växjö.

A few things surprise me about this break room. For instance, I am not used to having colleagues showing up and joining me for tea and a chat. It's nice! Also I haven't seen a training tower for sea captains anywhere else – top right in the picture. And perhaps most surprising is the fact that though my foothold here is tenuous, this is actually a university campus where I work. The lunch dude asks ”Are you a student?” before I pay, and it always gives me a little thrill to reply, ”No, I'm a teacher.”

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I was trying to work out what that tower is.The only thing I could think of was a water storage tower, which are common on points of high ground in my home town, but seemed an unnecessary accessory in Linnaeus. How interesting. Do they stand up there and bellow things like "Avast ye lubbers!" and "Splice the mainbrace!"?

Long may you enjoy your long overdue and well deserved current status. There is little more degrading than to be asked for one's occupation and to have to respond "I'm retired." One feels so effete and worthless that it is worth never retiring, just so you never have to say it. Die with yer boots on, that's the only way. I'm currently planning to do that some time during the early hours of Friday morning. I shouldn't joke - one of my former colleagues and a good friend died almost exactly that a year ago - fell dead in his chair after working non-stop for 3 days and 3 nights without stopping. A healthy work life balance is strongly recommended to all in high pressure occupations.

By John Massey (not verified) on 06 Nov 2013 #permalink

I hope Kalmar has saved the old water tower, a tiny but charming building. I got my training as a military meterological assistant (air force) in Kalmar, I recall the big old church was undergoing renovations. Unfortunately the fighter wing based in Kalmar has been retired so you only get to see the usual transport aircraft.

"A healthy work life balance is strongly recommended to all in high pressure occupations."
Strongly seconded.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 07 Nov 2013 #permalink

OT : While enjoying the view and listening to music, consider this advice: "Imam: Only Gay Men Play Musical Instruments
Assorted comments: “Imam don’t like it? Rock the Casbah, rock the Casbah…”, “Seems like someone tried to form a garage band to pick up the ladies but was unsuccessful at both”.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 07 Nov 2013 #permalink

It's a fine Friday morning, 25 degrees and sunny, I have survived, and I am wearing no footwear at all. It was a close thing, though.

I don't want to burden busy lives, but if the Kalmar water tower still survives, I would love to see a photo of it some time.

By John Massey (not verified) on 07 Nov 2013 #permalink


By John Massey (not verified) on 08 Nov 2013 #permalink


If you have to build a water tower which, by its nature, is likely to dominate the skyline for a long time, you may as well make it decorative or imaginative. Then the local population might regard you with fondness instead of endless resentment for having saddled them with an eyesore.

Some in America and Australia are truly hideous.

By John Massey (not verified) on 08 Nov 2013 #permalink

Södervärn water tower obviously inspired the Russian Enegia heavy lift booster.
"Eyesore" Lemme guess. Lowest bidder?
BTW in Lycksele an old watertower was converted to the coolest apartment in the world.
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I wish the towns coud add a small superstructure for recreational use whenever they build water towers. Imagine if the schools could use them for basic astronomy education, bird spotting etc. Or you could anchor your private steampunk airship there...

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 08 Nov 2013 #permalink

I forgot to mention the medieval castle in Kalmar (substantially added to during the baroque).
-If you sail a bit north through the Kalmar strait you arrive to the island Blå Jungfrun, with a terrain so distinct that witches were assumed to congregate there (it might however be a convenient place for Deep Ones).

And Lycksele is not the only place with a watertower converted for residential use -a Bond villain's must-have!

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 08 Nov 2013 #permalink

Not visible from Kalmar is the 120 million year old meteor crater (ca. 100 km away) that now forms lake Mien (not to be confused with Mien language among the Hmong people in China).
Paleozoic sedimental rock in the region is also interesting because of microscopic inclusions that come from meteorites. Stone from a quarry nearby has made it possible to map the frequency of meteorite impacts in the shallow sea that once covered much of the continent.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 08 Nov 2013 #permalink

JV looks much more alive. Computer-enhanced version of sepia photograph?
I dream of a program that could conbine data from the stylized paintings of the past with tomography data from the skulls to reconstruct pre-photography faces.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 10 Nov 2013 #permalink

Yeah, 'colourisation'. I like the physical reconstructions from hominin crania.

Maybe with 3D printing they could reconstruct pre-photography faces and bodies, and then print them as statues, so you could stand next to Vendel Period people or whatever.

They could do some interesting things with the Pompeii casts - it should not be a difficult problem to laser-scan them and print statues of how the people might have looked while alive.

By John Massey (not verified) on 11 Nov 2013 #permalink

Reconstructing the Pompei casts in a lifelike manner would be ghoulish -being fried alive by a pyroclastic event is probably one of the worst ways to die. Maybe a program could reconstruct them in a neutral "rest" state....

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 12 Nov 2013 #permalink

No, I meant reconstruct the way they could have looked during normal life, pre-eruption. The casts would just enable the scaling of the physical dimensions.

By John Massey (not verified) on 13 Nov 2013 #permalink