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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 :-)

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Monday, August 27, 2018

Dog put down :-(

On friday we had to put our old (11½) bulldog down. Kosmo had a malignant cancerous growth in his chest which pushed his lungs out of the way as it grew. And grew. And grew even more. Until he could barely breathe. So we had to decide to help him as the growth was inoperable. The difficult point was deciding when, but we finally agreed on last friday. The vet came and Kosmo greeted him happily, he knew the vet could help him. As he slipped peacefully away we wept like small children. It's so hard; a dog is family :-(

There will now be a paws.

Comments (14)
Petra (A) wrote "Sorry to read that. My thoughts are with you." Thankyou.
Cop Car wrote " I am sorry for your loss and, as SWMBO had written, I'm pleased that you were given a few extra days with Kosmo. (For your "dog people", you might steer them to the photos and words of SWMBO.) Kosmo would be proud of you for seeing through your grief to provide that one last pun. (Yes, I anthropomorphize.)". More photos to follow in a forthcoming SWMBO blog.
Doug (Canada) wrote "So sorry to hear about Kosmo. Our furry friends are family. We have them for such a short time. Take care!" Thanks, Doug.
Biker friend Volker (D) wrote "My condolences - I can understand your grief." Thanks, Volker.
Manu and Dirk (D) , Anne and Peter (D), Marion (D) and Gabi (D), Ralf und Ellen (D), all biker friends, and Klaus (Alaska) sent condolences (in German). Thanks to all :-)
John (USA) wrote "Just a note to say that I'm sorry that you lost Kosmo. As my grandfather told me, try to remember the good times you had with him." Indeed, and they were many :-)
Liz wrote "I am so sorry. A dog is family, you're right. So very sad. Sending you both love ( - and prayers!)" Thankyou, Liz :-)
Ed (USA) says to "Get a new pup asap!" SWMBO is already following your advice :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Classics Racing in Schotten

Sunday's motorcycle ride saw five of us ride about 180 km south to Schotten (in the state of Hessen) to see the 30 th classic motorcycle races there.

Disappointingly, in the place where the competitors' campsite used to be, there is now a building site. This meant that the scope of the classic races was much smaller than in previous years. No factory bikes from MV, Gilera, Yamaha, Honda etc. Instead a preponderance of home-built sidecar outfits. The upside of this was a plethora of taxi rides for teenagers on the sidecars, just look at the fun the kids were having :-

I expect that many were green, black and blue from the pounding you get laid down on that almost unsprung platform. Been there, done that, got the bruises ;-)

I prefer the solo classes. This is the start T+¼ sec into one of the races.

Because there were so few solo machines there this year, the usual classes grouped by bikes' age were not in effect, so you had e.g. an old BSA A10 up against a Suzuki RG500 :-(

One of the few factory racers there was Siegfried Merkel's (no relation) MZ RE125 dating from the 1963 world championship. It got about 28 HP from an ⅛ liter single cylinder disc-valved two-stroke. Surprisingly, painted blue not the usual green & silver.

But my favourite self-built oldie was this Norton Featherbed-framed, Velocette KTT engined 350cc special :-) Huge Manx tank, superfluous for short-circuit racing, reverse-coned megaphone exhaust for more torque, and the contemporary 2LS drum brake :-)

Comments (1)
Ed (USA) asks "So how do those last two bikes compare?" Well both deliver 28 hp. The MZ does so from 125cc, is a 2-stroke single and dates from 1963. The KTT engine does so from 350cc, is a 4 stroke OHC single and dates from 1938 (frame is a Norton Featherbed from 1952ff). At their peak, racing 2-strokes delivered 400 hp/litre. Modern racing 4-strokes (MotoGP) reach 260 hp/litre.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Two bee or not two bee

While my SSIL (senior sister-in-law) was visiting, she went through our garden with her camera set to macro (i.e. with an increased lens-to-sensor distance) poking inside the flowers to get shots of the bees pollinating the flowers. Here are two of her better shots :-

And this one (not two bee) is a Cabbage White butterfly also pollinating the flowers.

Comments (2)
Cop Car wrote " Your SSIL produced some lovely photos. I've seen many bees (our maternal grandfather and my elder brother kept bees, many years apart); but, that is really up close and personal. I count your SSIL as a talented person with a camera." Perhaps your EB can answer my question : what makes the pollen stick to the bee? Honey? Or is the bee/ pollen naturally sticky in their own rights?
Cop Car replied " EB is no longer here; but, I believe static electricity is responsible for the attraction that the hairs on a bee have for pollen grains." Thanks, CC.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Birthday News

When I was in Anroechte last sunday (see the Local Fossils Post last week) there was a provincial trade market all along Main Street. Local handymen - builders, roofers, painters etc - each had a stall. Bigger stalls displayed tractors and agricultural instruments, mostly attachments for tractors using standardised interfaces such as rotating shafts, towing hooks, hydraulic lines etc. Even a bank offering finance if you needed to buy a tractor etc. All very provincial.

But one of the stalls was run by the local newspaper - The Patriot (established 1848) - pushing their advertising column-inches. However, they have also scanned in 170 years of front pages from their analogue archives. As a free offer, if you told them your date of birth, they would see if they had that day's front page digitised and print out a free copy for you in size A3.

So I told them mine, 8th June 1944, just 2 days after D-day, because I wanted to see what the provincial German press was reporting back then. Censored battle-front reports, propaganda, who Hitler had met the day before, and even fake news to pacify the worried population. See below.

The first thing I had to get used to was the Fraktur typeface, still popular during the Nazi era, which made it a little more difficult to read.

Translation, to show you the way the German news was slanted at the time :- "Geneva, June 7: The bloody sacrifice that the Anglo-Americans have made with the invasion is the price that Roosevelt and Churchill pay to Moscow..." The propaganda blames Stalin - at the Teheran conference - for forcing the Anglo-Americans to invade , presumably to ease the pressure on the East Front.

The map of the English Channel does not show where the invasion was happening (Omaha beach etc), nor does it give numerical estimates of the forces involved. I assume this information was classified or they did not want to upset the local German population. The lower articles claim the invaders had been mostly pushed back into the sea and had suffered heavy losses. However the article does admit to a 40km wide bridgehead still on land. No mention of the German losses nor of the absence of the Luftwaffe. The tone of the article is very much heavily edited news and propaganda.

To make things appear diplomatically normal - what, me worry - there were excerpts from Hitler's timetable for June 7th. He received the Hungarian President, the new Kroatian consul, and some other diplomat who had been swapped out. Three or four column-inches were devoted to the Allied invasions of Italy, the Balkans and Tallin (Estonia). A short list of the foreign towns bombed but no mention of any bombing of the Fatherland. A count of the Allied planes shot down, but no report of any Luftwaffe losses.

I found it interesting to see this WW2 propaganda and (partial) reporting. Better than the History channel, because uncompressed and REAL history.

I also gave the newspaper people SWMBO's birthdate, but there was no front page archived for that day :-( By that date in 1945 the Allies would have rolled over the Anroechte area on their way to Berlin . . . hence no German newspaper.

Comments (2)
My mailserver was down yesterday so Cop Car wrote in her own blog as a reply to a comment of mine there " Undoubtedly, among my friends, your birthday was on the most exciting of their birth days. How great that you obtained the front page of Der Patriot; but, if you’ve not already done so, you might seek one from a newspaper that was nearer your place of birth. Most news of the war was slanted - not only for purposes of maintaining morale but for security. Just two days before your birth, a Tulsa newspaper had the headlines shown at: I lived in Tulsa, at that time." It was by pure chance that I got it for that date. Effortless.
Maria (D) says "I have problems reading that font nowadays." Because you are young. Like I have problems reading stuff written in Sutterlin.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Momus was here

The Greek God of Irony - Momus - was eventually expelled from the company of the Gods on Mount Olympus because of his sharp-tongued spirit of (unfair?) criticism. So we only rarely hear from him. His place was taken in ancient Greek theatre by Eiron - hence our word Irony.

Momus wrote in the papers yesterday though. The article was about Assad, the current dictator of Syria, who killed many of his own countrymen using poison gas so they couldn't breathe. Turns out Assad's wife is called Asma :-(

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Some Local Fossils

90million years ago this place used to be a sea. And just 30 miles west of here lies the small town of Anroechte which has a huge quarry and its own quarry museum. So on sunday I rode my trusty motorcycle a half-hour over there to look at any fossils in the quarry museum which is only open for 3 hours on the first sunday of each month.

The first half of the stone quarry museum documents how the stones were/are quarried, cut into oblong blocks for e.g. gravestones, carved into statues or ground up for use in road-making. Not very interesting for me.

Much more interesting - and the purpose of my visit to see - were the various fossils found embedded in the stones there. This fossil - five feet across - is an Ammonite (a sea creature from 90 million years ago) rather like the modern Nautilus. At the top are also ferns and leaves from back then.

The next exhibit showed Dinosaur eggs, type and age unstated though :-( Each of them is about a hand-span across, a bit bigger than an ostrich egg.

Quite impressive too are the Inoceramus mussels, up to a foot across.

Finally - very decorative - a small 4 inch ammonite , halved and polished.

Meanwhile Russian scientists have dug up 300 samples from their permafrost, two of which contained deep-frozen nematodes (worms) about 42,000 years old. They managed to thaw them carefully and resuscitate them! The nematodes continue to live now for several weeks. Back from the dead? :-)

Comments (1)
Cop Car wrote " Back from the un-dead! How nice that you have such a museum so nearby. Interesting." It is quite small though, I was through it in about half an hour.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Iron Annie down :-(

Sad news today :-(

One of the three Oldtimer Junkers 52 flown by Ju-Air in Switzerland crashed on level ground in the mountains above Flim at an altitude of about 8,300 feet amsl. Three crew and 17 passengers all dead :-(

The JU 52 shown above was built in the thirties, restored and flown by the Swiss air force, later restored and flown by Ju-Air as one of three.

The crash site in the newspaper photo below appears level and not too rough for an emergency landing imho. It is at an altitude of 8,300 feet; but we have been having very hot afternoons in Europe, so the density altitude may have been much higher. Landing speed at sea level is only 57 knots, more at higher density altitudes; but they were regularly used for alpine crossings so the engine-out ceiling must have been OK, even if I don't know what it actually is. Photo shows no tracks, so it must have plummeted in :-(

No more details available (to me) yet, so we shall have to wait for this afternoon's press conference and later the full accident report.

Condolences to all relatives of the 20 dead.

Recent Writings
Dog put down :-(
Classic Racing, Schotten
Two bee or not two bee
Birthday News
Momus was here
Some Local Fossils
Iron Annie down :-(
Dark Side of the Moon
Sunday's oldtimer meet
Helsinki Body Language
Bastille Day Bloopers
Lost Letters
Biker News
Go forth and multiply
Factorial fun!
150 years of typewriters
Canstein Highland Games

Ain Bulldog Blog
All hat no cattle
Balloon Juice
Cop Car
Earth-Bound Misfit
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Greg Laden
Mostly Cajun
Not Always Right
Observing Hermann
On her Bike
Rants from t'Rookery
Starts with a Bang
Yellowdog Grannie

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This Blog's Status is
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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