Martin Rundkvist's blog for 2006. Archaeology, skepticism, Sweden. And books and music and stuff.
Continued at Aardvarchaeology.
"Stinking Bishop [...] has a sticky yellow-orange rind and smells of old socks. The paste is soft and creamy, the flavour is delicious and, although full and distinctive, it is not quite as pungent as the odour may imply! At certain times of year the paste becomes firmer and slightly crumbly. The cheese is similar to the famous French Epoisses which has been banned from the public transport system in Paris."Having 750 grams of Stinking Bishop delivered to my door in the Stockholm suburbs would cost me £42, $83, €63, SEK 560. This translates to SEK 750 per kilogram. A pretty stiff price, but I know people who could and would pay it.
(A subway train stops at the Östermalmstorg platform and the doors open.)[More blog entries about humour, Sweden; humor.]
Driver: "... and watch out if you enter carriage number one. The floor may be slippery. It will probably also smell of fish, because someone's sat down and cleaned a salmon."
Spruce. Poz-18592. 1265±30 BP. 685-775 cal AD (1 s).
Willow. Poz-18593. 1210±30 BP. 775-875 cal AD (1 s).
"I like to give people a chance, but any fuckwit who can look around in this 10-degree December and not notice that something is fucked up with the world, is just not worth any more of my air, and is clearly beyond help."The next Tangled Bank will open on J.R.R. Tolkien's birthday (3 January) at Viva la Evolucion! Don't miss it -- just don't. And until then: don't forget your kerosene can. You never know when you'll come across an indoor evergreen tree that needs liberatin'.
Mr Martin Rundkvist,
COPY TO THE SCIENTOLOGY´s ORGANIZATION (CALLED RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER) THAT RECEIVES REPORTS CONCERNING THE ATTACKS OF KJELL Wxxxxxxx AND LISA Axxxxxx.
According to the information you placed on the internet "..... Kjell and Lisa appear to be high-ranking Scientologists.....". Please note, Kjell and Lisa are not high ranking Scientologist. I have a copy of a letter from SCIENTOLOGY that states approximately that KJELL AND LISA are declared as being the CRIMNAL type of PERSONALITIES and they do NOT HAVE THE RIGHTS OF BEING MEMBERS OF THE church for the crimes that they are committing.
Lumna cormóres narAnd in Swedish:
peler ar mardor,
or ambar alanar
caitar i mordor,
íre mir lóna már
Ela i calmacolinde,
Natten går tunga fjätThe tune is a traditional Neapolitan one, and the original Italian lyrics, coincidentally, are decidedly Tolkienian: Sul mare luccica l'astro d'argento..., "The silver star gleams over the sea...".
runt gård och stuva.
Kring jord som soln förlät
Då i vårt mörka hus
stiger med tända ljus
Just like everyone in Middle-earth is always ready to deliver a snatch of an old heroic lay, so Tolkien's landscape is full of ancient monuments. The Barrow Downs, Weathertop, Moria, Argonath and Amon Hen, Dunharrow and the Paths of the Dead; the examples are many. They contribute to an illusion that Middle-earth is much larger than the story we happen to be reading, much older; ourselves and the main characters of the narrative we're following are incidental figures and not a central condition for the existence of the world. The painting continues outside the frame, and behind the central figures we can make out a busy background of history.Says Deborah Sabo of the Arkansas Archaeological Survey (Thanks to Beregond for the heads-up!):
"Tolkien ... imprinted the time-depth of his legendary world on the land, through place-names, ruins and monuments. [A]rcheological places provide the setting of many incidents within the book. ... Taken together, these places form a cultural landscape that is experienced by hobbits, dwarves, elves, men and orcs in distinctive ways."Dr Dimitra Fimi of Cardiff wrote her PhD thesis on "The Creative Uses of Scholarly Knowledge in the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien". She will be teaching an on-line course titled "Exploring Tolkien: There and Back Again" starting on 12 February 2007.
"This on-line course will examine Tolkien's awareness of northern European mythologies and languages as well as other aspects of his scholarly background, such as anthropology and archaeology."I've never gotten round myself to systematically identifying Tolkien's archaeological sources, but I do know there are at least two Swedish ones. Early Iron Age rock carvings of mounted warriors at Tegneby in Bohuslän show up among the goblins' cave art in The Father Christmas Letters. And Laketown in The Hobbit looks a lot like the 12th century AD pile dwelling in Lake Tingstäde on Gotland.
"A question arises, if we had manufactured this device, surely there must have been more of them, and why haven't we found others? [...] These mechanisms weren't needed by the masses because we already had timepieces and complex astronomical devices. [...] I see the similarities in world Mythologies and religions and realize...these stories are CLOCKS."I agree that nobody in the ancient world really needed accurate clocks. But that doesn't explain why the Ancient Greek clockwork devices didn't become more popular -- for two reasons.
"People already knew the movement of the stars and their sense of time was much more profound and integrated in their lives than the universe is in most of our lives. [...] They knew more about the movements of the heavens and it's importance to everyday life than a grad student in astronomy does today."I don't know why Candy Minx thinks so. The historical and archaeological record rather suggests that detailed astronomical knowledge was cultivated only within the educated castes of certain highly differentiated civilisations, such as those of Mesopotamia or Greece. Nobody else was very interested since the knowledge wasn't of much practical use and education was a rare luxury. The Greek philosophers prided themselves on performing investigations for their own sake: they certainly didn't want to be seen as engineers.
"I wonder that any man among us lived and kept his sanity through that hideous day of discovery. Not Hoffman nor Huysmans could conceive a scene more wildly incredible, more frenetically repellent, or more Gothically grotesque than the twilit grotto through which we seven staggered; each stumbling on revelation after revelation, and trying to keep for the nonce from thinking of the events which must have taken place there three hundred, or a thousand, or two thousand or ten thousand years ago."Then, as I was writing the above, my RSS reader told me "Large mass grave found in the Balkans". The site is apparently located near Zvornik in eastern Bosnia and contains the remains of 700 people murdered for reasons no less atavistic than what befell the victims of the insane de la Poer family in Lovecraft's tale. Only this didn't happen three hundred, or a thousand, or two thousand or ten thousand years ago. It happened in 1992.
In Australia [...], the indigenous people get very generous welfare (education, housing, medical, etc) support. In some cases, this is deserved but misdirected; tribal populations in the outback get a massive amount of funding, but [...] can't solve the problems inherent in a basically Stone Age culture trying to co-exist with the 21st century. And on the other hand, we have people who identify themselves as being Aborigines, because one of their 34 great, great, great grandparents were Aboriginal [...], and also getting more generous welfare than a fifth generation Anglo-Saxon/Celtic Australian (or a 2nd generation Swedish-Australian, or a 1st generation African-Australian).I say, get off the reservation. Leave the ghetto. In Australia, it would probably be better not to give Aborigines (however such a group may be defined) money to stay in the outback. Better to use it to fund free education and public construction projects in the cities and encourage people in the outback to take part of them. That way, most Australian Aborigines would pretty soon move to the cities, become reasonably affluent and lose touch with non-adaptive traditional lifestyles. It'll be hard to discriminate against Aboriginal-looking people once they all have MBA degrees.
Heng sheng hua gong chang qing shi zhou nienSo much for the poetry. Our beautiful new cups are in fact promotional items, high-end gifts for the employees of my father-in-law's dye factory on its tenth anniversary. But who will ever know? The inscription looks great regardless of its meaning.
Ji shu bu
"Eternity rising transformation work factory celebration ten cycle year
Artisanship artisanship department".
"The Eternally Rising Chemical Factory, Tenth Anniversary