17 April 2014

Bang bang (my baby shot me down)

My brilliant cousin Maya Kurki was recently in The Voice of Finland, but if you missed her singing there here's a clip of her singing Bang bang (my baby shot me down).

06 April 2014

Marimekko & Banana Republic

Finally some photos of the pieces of the collection are starting to emerge! Here's a couple I've found from two blogs.

Photos above from here.

Photos above from here.

The Banana Republic website still has no information about this, so I guess we'll have to wait a little longer for the official launch day and price information.

01 April 2014

Nazi War Diggers, National Geographic, and archaeology

The past week has seen archaeologists raise serious concerns over the methodology used in a National Geographic Channel (NGC) program "Nazi War Diggers", originally scheduled to air in May 2014. This program was supposed to show the hosts go around eastern European battle sites and preserve history before it was looted. (I'd like to put a quote of their own description, but their website has been taken down. More of that below.)

So NGC created a website for the show, and the description of the main hosts, or "experts" already made me drop my jaw: "Pharmacist by day, chairman of the WW2 Relic Retrieval & Preservation Group (RRPG) by night and weekends" Stephen Taylor, "metal detectorist" Kris Rodgers and "militaria dealer" (retired U.S. Marine Major) Craig Gottlieb. No archaeologists seemed to be part of this group that was going out to excavate old battlesites.

A further set of photos and a short video clip was released, in which the team, without any evidence for a qualified supervisor, proceeded to pull out a bone next to a half exposed skull. They then proceeded to misidentify the bone. In the end the camera showed Gottlieb crying, apparently touched by the death of the person. I have to say, I was shocked by the video and the complete lack of methodology and ethics showed by the team, and could not believe this was going to be aired. The website claimed that they were working in close connection with local museums and authorities (which has been proven partially inaccurate) but this was not visible in the behaviour and actions of the team. This sends a dangerous message to the public: that this is the right way to approach historical sites and human remains. After a number of archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and others contacted NGC, talked to the media, blogged, and tweeted about their concerns, much of the material was deleted from the website. Among others, Gottlieb's quoteI feel that by selling things that are Nazi related and for lots of money, I’m preserving a part of history that museums don’t want to bother with”, and the video clip in question.

Long story short, NGC has now pulled the show indefinitely, and I could not be happier.

I gave you this very, very short and insufficient recap, to bring this topic to your attention. But in case you are interested in the detailed reasons why this sort of show was considered so inapproriate and unethical, you could start with this video from archaeosoup on youtube (where you can also see part of the clip in the end starting at 10:18).

The follow-up video discusses the problems with methodology, the history of the production of the show, and what we all could do in the future.

And in case you are interested in further details, the blog Conflict antiquities, run by a researcher at University College London, gives you details about the progress of this controversy along with screen caps of some of the deleted content. Here are the relevant blogposts starting from the oldest:
Finally, to end on a happier note, there's a Center for Battlefield Archaeology at University of Glasgow for anyone who is interested in studying battlefields. I spent a year studying Classics and Archaeology in Glasgow and I must say that it will be a fantastic choice!

26 March 2014

Game of Thrones season 4

I'm beyond excited to see the new season, especially now that I've read the books and know what's about to happen!

Here are the four trailers launched so far: