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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 called 'Kosmo'.

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Monday, April 30, 2018

Gauss @ 241

Today is the 241st birthday anniversary of the famous German mathematician Gauss, so Google has done a doodle in his memory.

Left to right, the segments represent 1) his profile, 2) (top) his contributions to astronomy, 3) (bottom) the 17 sided polygon he wanted on his gravestone (but they didn't know how to carve one although Gauss had come up with a trigonometrical construction method), 4) three different Gaussian (=normal) probability distibutions, 5) a theodolite as used when he mapped the country, 6) three bars representing the symbol for congruance which he introduced in 1801.

Back when Germany's currency was the Deutschmark, we had a 10 DM note dedicated to his memory :-

The front side shows Göttingen university building with the astronomical observatory behind it. Superimposed on this is a sketch of the normal distribution. On the right is Gauss in 1840 as portrayed by A.Jensen (but they flipped the image). The other side of the note shows a sextant (actually a viceheliotrope) which he used to survey the Kingdom of Hannover by triangulation 1820-1844 as shown in the bottom right. The concentric rings behind the sextant represent his work on magnetic fields and the faint elliptical lines represent his astronomical work, e.g. calculating the orbit of Ceres in 1801.

Educate people by putting science on the currency! Way to go!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Find the page :-)

So someone had removed a sheet (=double sided page) from a paperback book. The sum of the remaining page numbers was 15,000.

So which pages had been removed?

I'll give you a minute week to work that out. Yes, you have sufficient information ;-)

Comments (4)
Dari (China) wrote "51" but when I pointed out that a sheet of paper has 2 sides and hence 2 page numbers, corrected this answer to 25 and 26 which is the right answer :-)
Cop Car wrote " I started to do your page-torn-out exercise; but, screwed it up my first time through and didn't want to take more time out of my yard work. Haven't gotten back to it and am hoping that you print the answer before I have to grind it out some more! ;)" See above, Dari got it right.
Pergelator used a spreadsheet and then wrote " I found two answers. Either the book has 173 pages (the back side of page 173 would be blank), in which case the leaf holding pages 25 & 26 would be missing, or the book has 174 pages, in which case pages 112 & 113 are missing." Only the first, because pages 112 and 113 can't be on the same sheet because odd pages are always on the right by convention, so 113 isn't on the back of 112.
Ed (USA) asks "So explain slowly, step by step, how to solve this." First off, I find out how many pages were in the book when it was whole. The sum of the first N integers is N*(N+1)/2 . Gauss knew this at the age of eight in 1785. This is about N squared/2. Which is just a bit more than 15000, we were told. The square root of 2*15,000 = 30,000 is between 173 and 174 as Pergelator found with his spreadsheet. So if the whole book had 173 pages, the sum of its page numbers would be 173*174/2 = 15051. So the missing pages would sum to 51, giving 25 and 26 as the answer. If the whole book had 174 pages, the sum of its page numbers would be 174*175/2 = 15225, so the missing pages would sum to 225, giving 112 and 113 as the answer. But as I explained above, odd pages are always on the right, so 112 and 113 cannot be on the same sheet. That all clear now, Ed?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Making up ;-)

Mr. Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko, who is the Russian ambassador in the UK has an excellent command of idiomatic English. Recently he decided to try to defuse the situation with the ex-double agent Sergei V. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. He decided not to reference the recent bone of contention. He invited them to dinner at the redbrick Porton Hotel, which is the only hotel in Porton Down. It has two bars and a restaurant. So he kicked off with pre-dinner drinks in the saloon bar, asking "So, what's your poison?" ;-)

Comments (2)
Engrumpled Curmudgeon (Canada) opined "Boo Hiss Groan stolen :)" So someone else had the same punny idea?
Pergolator asked "Do you mean Porton Down? And do you mean that you made up this story, or do you mean that the Russians and the Brits are trying to patch up their differences? I suspect you mean both." Yes, I did. So I've corrected the original joke. Thanks for the heads-up. It was just intended as a pun.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday 13th

So what gives Friday 13th its paraskevidekatriaphobic reputation in Europe ?

1307, November : Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar.

1869, November : Rossini died.

1873, May : Austro-Hungarian empire, 120 firms all go bankrupt on the same day.

1927, May : Berlin stock exchange crashes.

1928, April : Loose, Köhl and Von Hünefeld make the first transatlantic flight east to west from Ireland to Greenly Bay in 36½ hours in a Junkers W33 :-)

1956, April. Vienna stock exchange building burns down.

1962, April : in Hamburg the Star Club opens, opening band is The Beatles :-)

1972, October : An IL62 crashes at Moscow airport, killing 174. On the same day a plane of the Uraguay air force crashes with 45 on board in the wilderness , 16 survivors. Survival of the 16 only possible by corpse-cannibalism :-(

2012, January : Cruise liner Costa Concordia rams a coastal reef killing 32. Captain Francesco Schettino jumps ship, doesn't stay on board till last :-(

And I'm sure there are lots more I've missed...

Monday, April 9, 2018

Bomb's away! :-)

Good news first : the big bomb which caused the mass evacuation of Paderborn (26,307 people) was defused successfully at 17:02 yesterday afternoon, so now things are getting back to normal :-)

Logbook :
08:45 Remaining 150 Patients being evacuated from Brothers hospital. DRK Hotline (Call 880) in good use.
09:30 Old people's homes evacuated. 1075 helpers active. Entry roads blocked off. Free bus services out of the danger zone.
10:15 Fire brigade drives through all roads in the evacuation area, tannoy announcements that everyone has to leave by 12:00. Now 1158 helpers active.
10:50 Mayor visits all reception halls where evacuees can seek shelter.
11:10 All hospitals, old-folks homes, hospice and campus empty.
11:30 Open air church service of "thoughts and prayers" so the religions feel involved.
12:15 Bomb has been dug out and the 3 fuses prepared for removal. Main road B64 and B68 blocked off, air-space closed (P), last train will leave at 13:27 then the rail line blocked off.
13:15 Still people in the danger zone as seen by police helicopter and drones. Removed (forcibly?) by police.
14:25 Danger zone reported empty.
15:30 Defusing begins. 3 experts take turns so that each gains experience of the HC4000 bomb. 2 mechanical fuses and 1 membrane fuse.
17:03 All fuses removed. Bomb can be loaded by a crane onto the removal truck.
18:15 Exterior zone opened for returning occupants.
19:05 Only the Husen road still blocked, for the removal truck carrying the inert bomb, to leave.
19:30 Defusers (Rainer Woitschek, Karl-Heinz Clemens, Gerd Matthee) thanked and given a celebratory drink. Danger-zone occupants may now return.

The fuses were date-stamped 1944.

The bomb will now be driven to the secret disposal area, the TNT washed out into small containers which are then dried and burned. Usually the casing is cut up for scrap, but maybe Paderborn will keep it whole for a museum display?

The only thing that went wrong was that the town's information server went offline (crash due to overload?) because there were so many people accessing it from 16:00 onwards to see if the danger zone had been reopened yet.

I had expected to read of break-ins, burglaries and thieving in the danger-zone, but the police presence was so heavy, the local paper hasn't reported any.

Comments (2)
Cop Car wrote "You wrote " - police presence was so heavy - " So, had things not gone well, you might have been short a police department? P.S. Glad that all is well." Police drones watching from above, police cars on the perimeter (exit roads) afaik. Theoretically, the only people in the danger zone were the 3 bomb-disposal experts. So only them and the observation drones would have been hit by shrapnel had the bomb exploded. A tent was put over the bomb afaik to discourage media-drones ignoring the P airspace (but there were none).
John (UK) wrote "Sounds like they thought of everything :-)" Can't be sure, because I wasn't involved in the planning ;-) Now the 2 hospitals nearest to the bomb each have a radiology/nuclear medicine department with radioactive materials to use e.g. on cancer patients. And I'd guess the physics department at the university has some too. The only thing worse than a big bomb going off would be a dirty bomb going off. So I would have relocated all the radioactive materials from these 3 sites to a radiology department in another town. Maybe they thought of that, but there was no report in the local press. Or maybe I'm just being overly cautious?

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Evacuation needed

Just before easter, a Paderborn X family (whom I have anonymised so they don't get hounded by reporters) were excavating in their back garden, presumably to install a cistern or an oil tank or similar, when they came across a long metal cylinder (about 10 feet by 2½ feet in diameter) which they thought was an old oil tank and decided to remove it before proceeding with their own installation. Half way through the excavation they noticed the presumed old oil tank had no inlet/outlet pipes attached! Then the penny dropped. What they had found was an old WW2 bomb :-( Stop work and back away rapidly!

Inspection by the local bomb disposal squad confirmed the suspicion, an unexploded 1.8 ton WW2 Brit bomb with 3 rusting fuses :-(

Rule of thumb for bomb disposal is to evacuate an area with a radius of 1 meter per kilo of explosive, so that's 1.6 kilometers (a mile), before attempting to defuse the bomb. The bomb is in the city of Paderborn, just south of the centre. So that means that 26,307 people have to be evacuated! The area includes four hospitals, five old-folks homes, a hospice, the complete university campus, a major shopping mall and the student quarters. Traffic on the trunk road B64, the railway line and in the airspace above the city will need to be diverted.

So planning this evacuation has taken a week. All incoming roads will be blocked off sunday morning at 8am, the area should be completely evacuated by noon. Then the brave man, dressed in his heavy kevlar layers (as if that would help him if 1.6 TONS go off next to him), will carefully attempt to remove the 3 rusty old fuses. If all goes well, and it usually does because the bomb-disposal squad are real professionals, he should have the 3 fuses removed sometime during the afternoon, whereupon a special crane can load the defused bomb onto a truck for transportation that evening to the place where the bomb can be dissembled/sawn up. Then the all clear can be sounded and 26,307 people can return to their homes, patients returned to the hospitals, and normal operations(sic!) can be resumed.

I've mailed old friends who live in the evacuation area to offer them to come visit us sunday afternoon until the all-clear is sounded, because we live over a dozen miles from the evacuation area.

Next blog-post (monday?) will tell you how it went :-)

Cop Car asks " Does Deutsches Rotes Kreuz play a role in such evacuations?" I would assume they and the fire brigade and the ambulance services are responsible for relocating the hospital patients (especially the intensive care ones). They have 3 teams of 33 people involved on sunday, and do the central coordination of the 1100 volunteers helping. I'll see what gets reported on monday in the local papers and summarize. Update : one of the relocated patients didn't survive the relocation :-(
John (UK) asks "What kind of bomb is it?" It is an HC4000 (=4000lbs); it would take down every building within 100 meters and damage those a couple of hundred meters further out (a so-called block-buster). It has 3 independent fuses, but these are mechanical fuses, so much more predictable than chemical time-delay fuses, say the bomb disposal squad.

Easter Monday, April 2, 2018

Manifestations of god(s)

Today is a suitable day to write about the manifestations of god(s), or, to give it its proper name, pareidolia.

People's brains lead them to see (imaginary) things in unusual places.

Diana Duyser claims she made a piece of toast that looks like the Virgin Mary and even sold it to a casino for $28,000 ! I wonder how she (or anyone else) knows what the virgin mary looked like. It looks more like Greta Garbo to me.

Nowadays, of course, you can buy toasters to print selected images, or even photos which you upload to the toaster yourselves! #MePareidolia ;-)

In a more unusual piece of pareidolia, someone else claims to see Jesus on his dog's backside, not just on the road to Emmaus ;-)

But(t) is it just Christianity that is pareidolic? At least, since Islam prohibits(?) making likenesses of Allah and Mohammed, we don't get any pareidolic images from that religion.

However I may have found one from Hindi myself ;-)

This is a photo of the base of the General Sherman tree in the Sequoia National Park (USA), the world's largest tree by trunk volume.

Look to the left of the hole in the trunk and you might see the head of Ganesha, the Hindi elephant god. Trunk, tusk bases, eyes, ears, crown. If you need help, I've annotated the photo, below.

So how about that? Ganesha in the world's largest tree :-)
Or maybe I should have posted this a day earlier?

If you have any good examples of pareidolia, mail me a link or a photo as a comment please.

Recent Writings
Gauss @ 241
Find the page :-)
Making up ;-)
Friday 13th
Bomb's away! :-)
Evacuation needed
Manifestations of god(s)
Mondrianesque Bulldog
Norwegian Bliss
Stone Age Megaliths
Bad Signs... ;-)
RIP Ralf Waldmann
Peak Flu ?
Indoor MC Trial
Where's Waldo?
Timetravellers' vocab.
Calculated Nostalgia
Ignorant advertising :-(
The Berlin Wall
Starship Two
Burns Supper Flop
Folkstone's Funicular
Hurricane Frederika
What Norwegian...

Ain Bulldog Blog
Balloon Juice
Cop Car
Earth-Bound Misfit
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Mostly Cajun
Not Always Right
Observing Hermann
On her Bike
Rants from t'Rookery
Reading in Reykjavík
Starts with a Bang
Yellowdog Grannie

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Blog Dewey Decimal Classification : 153
FWIW, 153 is a triangular number, meaning that you can arrange 153 items into an equilateral triangle (with 17 items on a side). It is also one of the six known truncated triangular numbers, because 1 and 15 are triangular numbers as well. It is a hexagonal number, meaning that you can distribute 153 points evenly at the corners and along the sides of a hexagon. It is the smallest 3-narcissistic number. This means it’s the sum of the cubes of its digits. It is the sum of the first five positive factorials. Yup, this is a 153-type blog. QED ;-)
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