Recently, an 8-year old girl found a sword in a Swedish lake. While heavily corroded, scientists were able to determine that it was 1,500 years old-ish. That’s pre-Viking era, and steel swords from the time would have been very rare in Sweden. But while the science is nice and all, some people are having a bit of fun calling this girl the Rightwise-Queen-of-All-Sweden because of some loose parallels with the Arthurian legends. Fortunately, the Guardian is on the case, and dispatched interviewer Moya Sarner to record the girl, Saga Vanecek, describing the experience and its importance in her own words.
There is much to love about the interview, but perhaps the best part is that this is a kid who clearly has a good sense of her own priorities. Asked about her claim to the throne, Vanecek says
I wouldn’t mind being queen for a day, but when I grow up I want to be a vet. Or an actor in Paris.
Any mammal, bird or reptile would be lucky to have you, Saga, whether they’re directing productions in Paris or not.
In the coverage of recently published research revealing that stone tools in China – which research suggests were crafted by individual members of Homo erectus – date back 2.1 million-fucking-years, we get this gem contributing to our understanding of why this finding is so important in understanding the habits and abilities of our ancestors and not just their birth dates:
Another key finding is that the new dates show that “already before 2 million years, hominins were able to cope with a range of environmental conditions,” says archaeologist Wil Roebroeks of Leiden University in the Netherlands, who is not a member of the team. During the long span of occupations at Shangchen, which is about the same latitude as Kabul, the climate fluctuated from warm and wet to cold and dry. “They must have been freezing their buns off,” adds paleoanthropologist Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
That’s right, just try reading that entire last sentence out loud and in one take without interrupting yourself laughing. Pure brilliance.
I found myself thinking wistfully of the Ayn Rand School For Tots yesterday, and wished that the solution for ICEolated children could be just as easy:
Or things get … weird:
At the touch of his lips it swelled and lengthened. His expert skills left me gasping. I couldn’t tear my eyes away as he ensorcelled me with pinches and tugs, and especially the rapid rotation of his wrist. And then, two minutes later, it was over. There was nothing left but the mess on his face, in his hair, clinging electrically to his clothes. I cried knowing I had exploded the best balloon giraffe I would ever see and threw the sewing needle away in shame.
With another Unity song.
And while we’re at it, one of my favorite covers of all time:
Have a good day folks. Be productive if you can.
From a friend whose field is closely related to linguistics and whose master’s program required a whole damn lot of it:
Wonkette is in fine form today. In addition to Five Dollar Feminist summarizing the news from a court case in which a professional calligraphy corporation in Phoenix decided that they did not want to produce
place cards for a super-gay wedding, the commenters have gone gloriously nutso with pet pictures I can’t even begin to describe for fear my tears of laughter will entirely short circuit my laptop.
It’s hard to even even on this one:
I respect all human beings. I even have to respect, you know, criminals. But I’m sorry I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person and isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation. …
So Stormy, you want to bring a case, let me cross examine you. Because the business you’re in entitles you to no degree of giving your credibility any weight.
Oh, but that’s not all.