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Stu Savory Handsome
Eunoia, who is a grumpy, overeducated, facetious, multilingual ex-pat Scot, blatantly opinionated, old (1944-vintage), amateur cryptologist, computer consultant, atheist, flying instructor, bulldog-lover, Beetle-driver, textbook-writer, long-distance biker, geocacher and blogger living in the foothills south of the northern German plains. Not too shy to reveal his true name or even whereabouts, he blogs his opinions, and humour and rants irregularly. Stubbornly he clings to his beliefs, e.g. that Faith does not give answers, it only prevents you doing any goddamn questioning. You are as atheist as he is. When you understand why you don't believe in all the other gods, you will know why he does not believe in yours :-) Oh, and he also has a neat English Bulldog bitch 'Frieda'.

And her big son 'Kosmo'.

Click to see a scrollable panorama of our village.

Geocaching Stats

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Weddingday, April 29, 2011

The USA is still number 1 :-)

I've just read Badtux, the Snarky Penguin's blog for this week, and learn that he is upset about the state of his country. I quote "...I think something has gone way wrong with America...", in particular, his 6 main worries are :-
  • A broken media.
  • Apathetic narcotized population.
  • A broken political system.
  • A broken social infrastructure.
  • A broken *physical* infrastructure.
  • A broken educational infrastructure.
Please go read his informative, if troubled, essay.

But there is good news too. I found this poster in the internet showing nine areas in which the USA leads the world! Go USA ! ;-)

Personally I'd have added "Obesity", but I guess it wouldn't fit on the poster.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Samuel Morse's 220th anniversary today

... .- -- ..- . .-.. | ..-. | ..--.. | -... | ..--.. | | -- --- .-. ... . | .-- .- ... | -... --- .-. -. | .. -. | -.-. .... .- .-. .-.. . ... - --- .-- -. | --..-- | -- .- ... ... .- -.-. .... ..- ... . - - ... | --..-- | | - .... . | ..-. .. .-. ... - | -.-. .... .. .-.. -.. | --- ..-. | .- | --. . --- --. .-. .- .--. .... . .-. | .- -. -.. | .--. .- ... - --- .-. | .--- . -.. .. -.. .. .- .... | -- --- .-. ... . | .- -. -.. | . .-.. .. --.. .- -... . - .... | .- -. -. | ..-. .. -. .-.. . -.-- | -... .-. . . ... . | ..--.. |

.. -. | - .... . | ..- -. .. - . -.. | ... - .- - . ... | --..-- | -- --- .-. ... . | .... .- -.. | .... .. ... | - . .-.. . --. .-. .- .--. .... | .--. .- - . -. - | ..-. --- .-. | -- .- -. -.-- | -.-- . .- .-. ... | --..-- | -... ..- - | .. - | .-- .- ... | -... --- - .... | .. --. -. --- .-. . -.. | .- -. -.. | -.-. --- -. - . ... - . -.. | ..--.. |

-- --- .-. ... . | -.. .. . -.. | --- ..-. | .--. -. . ..- -- --- -. .. .- | .- - | .... .. ... | .... --- -- . | --- -. | -. . .-- | -.-- --- .-. -.- | -.-. .. - -.-- | --- -. | .- .--. .-. .. .-.. | ... . -.-. --- -. -.. | --..-- | | . .. --. .... - . . -. | ... . ...- . -. - -.-- | - .-- --- | ..--.. |

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why I'm an Atheist (with Yeti shaman) :-)

J ed asked me on Good Friday why I'm an Atheist. Rather than write a long text - which probably would not be read - I'm appending various pictures I found on the web; they should be easily understood even/especially by those persons who sent me those 7 hate mails over Easter.

Mouse over pictures for my message please . . .

BTW: "Why I'm an Atheist" anagrams to "With Yeti Shaman"; concidence or deduction using religious logic or tea-potty divine intervention? I believe? Sure ;-)

Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holy Sex-pack, Batman! ;-)

Sometimes those oh so holy arty medi-evil(sic!) monks employed by The One True Church® slipped up in their idol paintings and revealed the church's true interests ;-)

Like, do those stomach muscles look like normal abs to you? Normal male abs look like this sixpack.

What the artist has painted here looks more like oversize genitals erecting themselves out of his loincloth to me; even mine doesn't reach up to my ribcage ;)

No wonder all those gay goy priests are depicted shown in hero worship! Even Mary Magdalene appears fascinated, even to the extent of fondling herself ;-)

The penis : meatier than the sword ;-)

Lends a whole new meaning to their belief that their god is omni-potent ;-)

And probably explains The One True Church®'s obsession with blowjobs ;-)

Comments (3) :
Three hate mails deleted.

Good Friday, April 22, 2011

Go(o)d Friday Humour ;-)

I came across this while surfing the Stumble Upon site, a source of the weird and wonderful stuff you find on the web. Natch, I've been saving it for today.

Comments (5) :
Jed (USA) asked "You're always knocking Christianity; why? Tell us why you are an atheist (small A)." OK, I'll show you some Atheist cartoons next week and you can all see if they show you why I prefer Atheism :-)

Four hate mails deleted.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Dear :-)

My better half, Cornelia, variously known as Dearly Beloved, SWMBO, The Missus, but mostly just as Neli, has a birthday today. So both of us are 66 now for the next six weeks. Mit 66 Jahren, da fängt das Leben an... Many thanks on this day, dear, for sharing half of your life with me. And many happy returns. Ich liebe Dich :-)

Comments (3) :
Kees Kennis wrote "Congrats to your dear wife". Thanks man, I'll tell her.
Carol (UK) wrote "She doesn't look a day over 50, so congratulations to both of you, you lucky man!" True, and I consider myself lucky :-)
Wendy (AUS) seconded that with "Your wife looks just lovely and, I agree, she doesn't look a day over 50. I'd say you are one lucky man. (I'd say she's one lucky woman, too.)" Flattery will get you everywhere, Wendy ;-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

John 8:32 ;-)

Comments (1) :
Kees Kennis wrote "You are obsessed with her, aren't you, admit, and the truth will set you free ;-)" Ignorami in power scare me, be they Bush or bush-owners, because they are not susceptible to logical argument.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Shields up, Scotty!

Wow, where do I start answering the questions in Wednesday's comments without giving you a 2 year course in nuclear physics? By keeping it superficial and using no maths? Here goes :-

Don asked "Do thin plastic suits duct-taped together REALLY stop radiation?"
Jenny (Ibiza) asked "Could you swim safely in a reactor pool?"
Brian (UK) asked "Why are reactors lit in blue?"

The common theme is radiation shielding, whence the Star Trek Quote in the header ;-) Radioactivity is particles being emitted from nuclei due to nuclear instability. The most common types are α(alpha), β(beta), and γ(gamma) radiation. The α particle, two protons and two neutrons, is a nucleus of helium. As massive as 7,000 β particles, it has a very short range (less than a 1/10th mm). So those thin plastic suits duct-taped together will keep α particles from reaching the skin. You'll need a face mask too, Don, to stop you inhaling them, letting them reach the lungs etc where they could do real damage. The β and γ radiation will NOT be stopped by a thin plastic suit :-(

β particles are just high energy electrons with a greater range of penetration than α particles, but still much less than γ rays. The radiation hazard from βs is greatest if they are ingested. The flashes I sometimes saw when working in a nuke environment were caused by β particles hitting my retina/optic nerve.

The electromagnetic γ (=gamma) ray is like an X-ray but with an even shorter wavelength (=higher energy) and is extremely penetrating. The gammas are what we need to shield against. But how much shielding do we need?

A background dose for a human being can reach 10 millisievert (mSv) per year (smoker, flight personnel, living near a coal-fired power plant) or roughly one microsievert (μSv) per hour. Working one shift in a 1 Sv/hr environment will kill you and even 1Sv will give serious radiation sickness. So let's look for a shielding to cut the γ radiation from 1Sv/hr to 1 μSv/hr.

We need to consider each isotope separately, because they emit at different rates and energy levels. Iodine(I131) needs 10 cms of lead or 79 cms of aluminium or 86 cms of concrete or 193 cms of water shielding for the aforementioned example. Cesium(I137) needs 12 cms of lead or 89 cms of aluminium or 97 cms of concrete or 213 cms of water shielding. Plutonium and Uranium each need about 2/3 of that. So, yes, Jenny, you could swim safely in a reactor pool if you kept at least 2½ meters away from the pile. And this is why people can work safely in a reactor building as long as the cores are covered by about 2½ meters of water.

And it is this water, Brian, which causes the blue glow; it is not artifical lighting. The β particles come tearing out of the pile at over ¾ of the speed of light in vacuo, which is faster than the speed of light in water! The water slows them down quickly (within about 1-2 meters), getting polarised in the process. As the water's electrons return to normal, the atoms emit Cherenkov radiation which is that bright blue glow you see around the pile of a reactor in water.

Was that understandable?

Comments (2)
Ivan (RU) complains "Understandable yes, but those numbers for γ rays can't be right. Please check them!" Oops, my bad! You're right Ivan. Arithmetical error. That's what comes of doing the calculations in my head; well done spotting that 25% error Ivan. I've corrected the numbers now. Sorry! :-)
Sebastian wrote "Hi. Once again one of my pedantic emails ;) You wrote: 'You'll need a face mask too, Don, to stop you inhaling them, letting them reach the lungs etc where they could do real damage.' In this context that sounds like the problem would be inhaling the alpha-particles. Of course the alpha-particles itself are harmless once they re slow enough to be inhaled (because they are just helium at that point) and a simple face-mask would not filter them out anyway. What you need a face-mask for is to prevent you inhaling dust which gives off alpha-particles." That's correct of course; sloppy writing on my part, sorry.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I learned yesterday that one Thorsten Hermes - an online dealer - registered STFU® as a trademark here in Germany six years ago. So when another online dealer started selling T-shirts bearing that 4-letter sequence, they got served with a cease-and desist order and had to pay for trademark infringement, and for Thorsten Hermes' lawyer.

Am I allowed to say WTF?

Whatever! Let me say PKFQ (Please Keep F*cking Quiet) to whoever grabs such trademarks, 'cos I've been using that version for years! It's colloquial!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Units of Radioactivity

Down at the car shop yesterday we were talking about the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Yesterday, I was told, the japanese government uprated their disaster to Level 7, the same as Chernobyl 25 years ago. One of the hunters told us he had recently shot a wild pig in the bavarian forest but was not allowed to eat it because it still had over 4,000 Bequerels of radioactivity from the Chernobyl fallout 25 years ago; 800 Bequerels is the official edibility limit here. He wanted to know (rhetorically) how many more decades this situation was going to last and would Fukushima make it worse?

The next guy butted in with "Bequerels? What are they? The TV talks about radioactivity in Sieverts. How do you convert Bequerels to Sieverts ?"

Well it isn't that easy. There isn't a number like 3 feet to a yard or 1760 yards to a mile (that'd be a conversion). You have to do some calculations. But let me give you an analogy first. Bequerels measure the number of radioactive decays per second and are like counting the number of people passing you on the sidewalk. Sieverts are like asking what their total weight is. So you can't just convert from one to the other. Sieverts are a measure of dosage. Some of the isotopes in the radioactivity emit more than one gamma ray quanta and at different energies. So you have to add up the contributions of each individual isotope. And the dosage you'd get depends too on how far away you are from the source (inverse square law). That said, over here you only need consider the longer lived isotopes. Iodine131 has a half life of 8 days, so after 80 days it is down to a thousandth of its original activity. But Cesium137 has a half life of 30 years, so it will take 70+ years until our hunting friend's bavarian forest feral pig gets back to an edible level.

If you want to try converting Bequerels to Sieverts, I can recommend the calculator on this site. Just consider Cesium137, forgetting the Iodine131, Strontium90 and Plutonium, although the latter has a half-life of over 24,000 years :-( Also test the effect of varying distances, e.g. 1mm, 1 cm and 1 meter. That should give you a feel for the conversion calculations, and indicate why the TV guys don't try to confuse you with the math they don't even understand themselves ;-)

Meanwhile, in the YouTube window, I give you Kraftwerk :-)

Comments (3) :
Jenny (Ibiza) asks "Could you swim safely in a reactor pool?" Short answer: yes. Longer answer on friday,OK?
Don (USA) asks "Do thin plastic suits duct-taped together REALLY stop radiation?" Partially, yes. Longer answer on friday, OK?
Brian (UK) asks "Why are reactors lit in blue?" I'll answer on friday, OK?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Minimalism :-)

Last wednesday Carol (UK) asked "So can you show us some of the minimalist paintings you like? The acid test of 'like' is 'buying them' ;-)" Here are three of them, Carol, painted by and bought from, my friend Udalrike :-)

Of course the frames are square; the distortion is caused by the close-up lens. Mouseover the paintings to see their titles.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The skies over Scotland :-)

Photo sent to me by my geocaching friend Thomas, to whom many thanks.

Comments (1) :
Morag, blogging from Skye (sic!), asked "Is that one of your Minimalist Art Pictures?" No, they're to follow later in the week.

Friday, April 8, 2011

May the 5th force be with you!

M y socks were just knocked off! Kimota! ;-)

And not just mine, but probably those of particle physicists and theoretical physicists everywhere. News just in from the Fermilab Tevatron team (in Chicago) announces data from their unsuccessful search for the Higgs-Boson which indicate that there may well be a 5th force! We already know of four forces in the Standard Model :-

  • The Strong nuclear force, which holds the nuclii of atoms together
  • The Weak nuclear force, responsible for radioactivity and fusion
  • Electromagnetism and
  • Gravity
The data seem to indicate that the 5th force operates at extremely short ranges. Significant theoretical work has already been done on a possible fifth dimension, with the fifth dimension being 'rolled up' to the sort of ranges we are talking about (Planck distance). Kaluza-Klein theory used the fifth dimension to unify gravity with the electromagnetic force (something which the Standard Model does not even cover!); e.g. Minkowski space and Maxwell's equations in vacuum can be embedded in a 5-dimensional Riemann curvature tensor. FWIW, Kaluza-Klein is a gauge theory with gauge group the circle group. So next, CERN in Geneva needs to re-examine their LHC (Large Hadron Collider) data (looking for a 144BeV [=160 proton-masses] W-Boson).

This is exciting news indeed, I await more with bated breath ;-)

Comments (1) :
Ivan (RU) comments "It may just be a statistical fluctuation, after all it was only at 3σ level; wait for a 5σ result!" True. Or a Nobel prize?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What is Minimalist Art?

As Winnie the Pooh might have said : "I am a bear of very little artistic talent", which is why I have recently developed an interest in Minimalistic Art, some of which is so simple, I think "I could do that myself!". I mean, just look at Malevitch's 1913 painting Black Square, or Mondrian's picture Composition Number 10. What can be so hard about that? OK, OK, so it took Mondrian 3 whole years (1939-1942) to do that? I would consider 30 minutes at max! Maybe he had VERY slow-drying paint? ;-)

Now sculptures, being three dimensional, might take a little longer. How about 3 days for the one on the left? 50 pieces of identical length sawn off a wooden stringer, planed and filed smooth, with a hole bored in the centre, threaded on a central rod, offset by identical angles, then glued together. I would have called it "Stairway to Heaven" or "Jacob's Ladder" or "DNA Helix".

So I guess the focus has to be on having a good idea in the first place :-

Like this (unknown) artist. Take a V-10 aluminium engine, clean off all the oil and dirt, place a piece of plate glass on top and hey, presto, you have an artisanal coffee table :-) The next artist, a local sculptor, takes pieces of old motorcycles, old ball bearings, cutlery etc etc and solders them all together to make really neat model motorcycles (about a foot long), like this one :-

So where does craft stop and real art begin? Where does art-is-anal minimalism fit in? I must admit I can't answer either of those questions.

So I started with the idea of drawing a minimalist beach-scene landscape using MS Paint (with all its restrictions), giving myself at max 5 minutes :-

Is that minimalism? Is it even art? Art-is-anal art? Or faux-art? Let me know.

I think I'll just go back to blogging ;-)

Comments (2) :
Carol (UK) asks "So can you show us some of the minimalist paintings you like? The acid test of 'like' is 'buying them' ;-)" OK, wilco.
Paul (USA) grins :- "Yes, stick to blogging ;-)" Fair comment ;-)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Win a FREE Porsche on the Internet!

I was pwned on April 1st :-) !!!

Greed will be the end of me ;-) I have friends who work at a nearby Porsche car dealership. They set me up just fine at the end of march. One said to me "... we've got a new internet competition coming up, only valid in April. Go to [this address] for the competition, it will ask for your name and address and email then ask you one hard but not-TOO-difficult question. If you answer right, you will be led to a site where you can get your prize, a classic sportscar! But don't screw it up, because you will only get one chance ! :-("

Well, dear readers, I fell for it - forgetting about April Fools' Day :-(

So, come April 1st, I went to the URL they gave me. Being a cautious guy, I checked first to see if it was a known phishing site. Not so, so I proceeded to look at the site. As expected, it farmed my name and address and email and asked one question : "What make of car would Leonardo da Vinci drive if he were alive today?"

Now since my friends work at a Porsche car dealership, I guessed that the answer was going to be Porsche. But hold on, THAT was TOO obvious. But what's with Leonardo da Vinci? Why him and not some famous classic racing driver like (say) Ascari, Moss, or Jim Clark? What was special about Da Vinci that the others didn't have?

Reading the Wikipedia entry for Da Vinci, I found a little detail "His journals are mostly written in mirror-image cursive." Could that be the clue? Holding my breath I carefully typed in Porsche backwards (= mirror image sequence) :- "ehcsroP" and was rewarded with a flashing screen congratulating me on being the winner of a classic 1981 bright red Porsche 944 in 'as new' condition and giving me a link to an address where I could collect it.

Heart pounding with excitement and still having forgotten about April Fools' Day, I nevertheless remembered to check this second URL against the list of known phishing sites. Not so! Holding my breath, I clicked on this link.

Well, yes, I had won a classic Porsche 944 in red :-) But I had been had! :-( It was a paper cut out model! Print it out in sheet-filling size but on stiffer than usual paper (I used some 120gr/qm greeting-envelope A4 paper instead of the usual 80gr/qm), then cut it out and glue the tabs appropriately. You too can now have your own classic Porsche 944 as a desktop model :-)

Well done lads, you set me up perfectly! I was your April Fool 2011 :-)

Comments (1) :
Liz Hinds wrote : "What a great way to be caught on April Fool's Day. Your friends must have put in a lot of effort." Write two simple web pages? About 2 hours work, I guess. Coming up with the idea? Priceless! But I have a whole year to come up with my revenge for 2012; revenge is a dish best served cold ;-) [First said (afaik) in the 1841 French novel 'Mathilde' by one Marie Joseph Eugène Sue: "la vengeance se mange très-bien froide"]. How's your white Porsche doing?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

US Warthog down :-(

A US ground attack aircraft, an A10 Thunderbolt (nicknamed a Warthog, because of its ugliness) crashed yesterday over here in the Eifel hills just 300 yards from a small village. The crew ejected and landed safely. I would think twice about trying to extinguish the ensuing fire if I were in the local fire brigade. After all the Warthog has that huge Gatling gun up front with umpteen hundred rounds of tank-busting munitions and underwing missiles and drop tanks of which no details were known by said fire-brigade! Ouch :-(

Comments (2) :
Charles (USA) has an A10 Thunderbolt video; he writes "The Warthog is not so much an airplane with a gun, it is more like a really big gun with wings."
Schorsch (D) asks "How much does the plane slow down by when the gun is fired?" Well, let's see, Schorsch. The plane flies at about 300 knots usually (roughly 156 m/sec) and weighs some 19 tons. The magazine can hold 1350 rounds, each weighing about a pound, of which the bullet weighs lets say 200 grams (guessing, in the absence of facts). Muzzle velocity is 1000 m/sec. So 1350 * 0.2 * 1000 = 270,000 kg-m/s of momentum, divided by those 19 tons implies 14.3 m/sec = about 28 knots. BTW, the magazine would be empty after only 17 seconds!

Friday, April 1, 2011

PAD-D-D : now with 3D ;-)

This early PC* tablet was made in Mesopotamia around 3100 B.C. FWIW, Mesopotamia covers modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran. It was the region in which the first writing/recording systems were developed, just preceeding cuneiform script. Note the clever use of a 3D graphical interface. This was common to the basic apps: ideogrammatic writing, database processing and less-than-instant messaging.

The ideograms are to be read right-to-left, top-to-bottom. This particular clay tablet** has database records showing the crops harvested in that year. The first four frames use darkened dots to represent standardised amphorae of grain. Frame 5 shows that grain is partially missing - someone had had their hand in the jars - thus proving that Bankers existed even at this early date ;-)

Interestingly, the penultimate frame shows a pot as a starter leading to a crack, implying that the early Iranians were drug-crazed crack-pots even then ;-) Around the same time, King Mircosaft introduced the non-ideogrammatic cuneiform writing interface. Cuneiform documents were written on clay tablets, by means of a blunt reed for a stylus. The impressions left by the stylus were wedgie shaped, thus giving rise to the name cuneiform (from the Latin cuneus, meaning "wedgie"). Mircosaft gave us wedgies from the start!)

Stu Savory on April 1, 2011 permalink Comments Email

23 Recent Writings
FWIW : 23 is the number of the Illuminati, folks ;-)
USA is still at #1 ;-)
Morse @ 200
Why I'm an Atheist
Holy Sex-pack, Batman!
Good Friday Humour ;-)
Happy Birthday Dear :-)
John 8:32 ;-)
Shields up, Scotty!
Units of Radioactivity
More Minimalism :-)
Under Scottish Skies
A 5th force?
Minimalism in Art
Win a free Porsche! ;-)
US Warthog down :-(
iPADDD : now with 3D ;-)
Honeypot Paranoia ;-)
Map Distortions Redux
Elizabeth Taylor, R.I.P
Map Distortions cont'd
Map Distortions
Common Interests ;-)
Heinz Nixdorf, RIP.
Half Lives :-(

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