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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 after the death of his old dog, Kosmo, he also has a new bulldog puppy, Clara, since September 2018 :-)

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Bierbaums Nagel

This is about another walk in the woods, this time near Borlinghausen. When you get to the top of the highest hill, you suddenly get to see this observation tower, until then hidden amongst the pines. It is called Bierbaums Nagel which translates as Beer Tree's Nail, fwiw. There is a nice story about how it came to be built, which I'll relate below.

In 1849, Julius Bierbaum, banker and owner of the Borlinghausen farming estate, had the observation tower built to provide an income opportunity for the poor rural population, he claimed. The tower was really a gift for his wife, who came from Kassel (30 miles away) and suffered from homesickness, so that in clear weather she could see the Hercules statue, the landmark of her native city Kassel, from the tower. She undertook the arduous climb on a donkey, which is why this path was (or is) called the "Donkey Path".

Bierbaum's nail is located in the southern part of the Egge mountains about 200 m east of the Egge way, which runs through this low mountain range, about 1.5 km west-northwest of Borlinghausen. It stands on a small open area of a mountain that is predominantly heavily forested at 431 m above sea level.

In good visibility, the tower's observation platform offers a view that extends to the Köterberg in the north, the Schwalenburg near Willingen in the south, the Desenberg in the Warburger Börde in the east and the Herkules in Kassel (south-east), among others. There is no high landmark to the west.

The Borlinghausen hiking club has carved a plaque and mounted it on the outer staircase. I see it says "Nagel" (nail), but I think that was a typo from 1849, because "Nadel" (needle) would have been more appropriate for an observation tower.

Comments (1)
Cop Car wrote " If Nagel is not a typo it must be alluding to 'For want of a nail, a shoe was lost'. That watch tower was quite important!" I doubt that. Americans often think Franklin wrote that, but he was quoting an anon proverb. The earliest German equivalent would have been around 1138 AD, which Bierbaum might have known about?

Thursday, August 26, 2021

RIP Charlie Watts, second best rock drummer

Tuesday saw the death of the Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts, at age 80. This has been reported widely in the world's press; go read it there. Some of these (young?) reporters claim "Watts was the best drummer of his generation".

This is imho NOT TRUE ! He was only second best to Ginger Baker, imho.

The best drummer of that generation was Ginger Baker, by far and away, who played inter alia for Cream. I know, because I was there in London in the sixties, having attended concerts by both groups! I also heard concerts by Alexis Korner's "Blues Incorporated" for whom both of them, Baker and Watts, played early in their careers.

If you want proof that Ginger Baker was the better drummer, watch this famous Cream drum solo of his , playing "Toad" :-

For comparison, I did a YouTube search for "Charlie Watts drum solo" ; There aren't any! Zero; Zilch; No evidence whatsoever! I think that is a statement in itself :-( YMMV.

What is your opinion of the two drummers?

Comments (2)
Ed (USA) opines "I'd put Buddy Rich at second place!" He's good too.
Cop Car wrote " Having never heard of Ginger Baker or Charlie Watts, let alone ever having heard them play, I can’t compare their performances to those of Buddy Rich or Gene Krupa; but, I appreciated one comment left at the Buddy Rich video playing the drum solo from 'Something’s Coming' to which Ed linked: 'Imagine you're in a death metal band and feel like you are pretty good. Then grandpa comes over, throws out your double bass pedal and shows you who's boss.' The Greatest Generation didn’t just fight wars: they could swing!" I'm no fan of Death Metal.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Sky lights

A couple of weeks ago we had the Perseid meteor shower. The word "Meteor" comes from the old Greek word meaning "high in the air". Sometimes nowadays people call them Shooting Stars. "Meteorites" are the ones big enough to reach the surface of the Earth despite ablation by entry to the atmosphere. The Perseids are the ones which appear to emanate from the Perseus constellation. Actually they are debris from the tail of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Our local newspaper showed this great photo of them.

The foreground is the extinct (since 13,000 years?) volcano "Desenberg". But the photo is misleading; the exposure time was 7 hours to capture 39 meteors. So that's one about every 10 minutes. Great photo though in the local paper.

Just last week we had some great sunsets here, so my wife walked up the southern hill to get some sunset photos. She crowed that she had got a meteor AND the moon in the same photo, above the setting sun (see her photo below).

So I had to explain that it was NOT a meteor at the 10 o'clock position; it was the contrail of a passing high altitude jet. And furthermore that could not be the moon at the 12 o'clock position, due to the relative positions of moon and sun, the sun could not illuminate a full moon there. It might be illuminated by Earthshine, but I thought she had by pure chance seen Jupiter at that 12 o'clock position.

After all, the moon is much larger and subtends the same angle in the sky as the sun, which is why we get full eclipses. So we zoomed into the smart-phone photo shown above as far as possible, getting this shot. (below).

If we had a really big telescope for observing, we could have expected to see this :-

But even using my small table-top reflector, I got this photo of Jupiter and its four Galilean moons. Photo taken back in 2011.

However, SWMBO is rightly proud of photographing Jupiter at sunset with a measly smart-phone camera :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Going Walkies a little again :-)

Well, I can no longer hike long distances, so we just go for a walk in the woods with the dog nowadays. We drive singletrack dirt roads to the trailhead. They look like this. Passing places every mile or so.

Parked the car at the trailhead, and stagger off into the woods with the help of my walking stick. SWMBO and the dog are far faster than I am nowadays.

Sometimes the trail forks and the fork is not well signposted, so it's navigation by looking where the sun is in the sky and the time; inadequate GPS reception under the trees :-( In this photo, the main trail goes ahead but the fork we need goes off up to the right, through the dead trees.

But if you want to read about really adventurous hiking, may I recommend the hiking diary blog of my old university friend Mike the Hike. Mike is the tall guy standing fourth from the right behind John and myself in this reunion photo taken at Oxford a decade or so ago. Mike has been on a 13-day hike starting at Vermillion Valley Resort and then disappearing from civilisation for a fortnight. That is in the Sierra Nevada (USA) back country, just a mile off the Pacific Crest Trail. So naturally his diary is better and the photos are MUCH better than my local ones. When he gets back into civilisation, he gets a WiFi signal again and his hiking diary pops up with the previous entries all at once. So here it is for your enjoyment.

On his previous trip he hiked through Patagonia. I've never been there, so I enjoyed reading about his 2020 trip. In 2019 Mike hiked across Scotland. Fifty-odd years ago I hiked a week 85 miles west to east along Hadrian's Wall. Continuing to the coast at the eastern end, you come to Alnwick Castle used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. Nowadays all I can do are car trips with short walks at intervals. So next week I'll tell you about the 13th century Trendelburg Castle we visited.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

First Nuke

I first wrote this short SF story in 1984, appropriately between Hiroshima Day and Nagasaki Day, for a russian science-fiction/alternate-history fantasy magazine, which is why it is signed with my name in russian (cyrillic) letters. Later that year I rewrote it in German for a fanfic magazine. That's the version on my website here. Never did get around to rewriting it in English, so this again being the days between nuke anniversiaries, I've fed it through a machine translation tool since these are now good enough to get a reasonable translation. I prefer the DeepL translation tool, I find it better that Google's translator tool. YMMV. Let me dedicate this story to John (UK), whom I know reads this blog, and to the rest of the Class of 66 with whom I studied physics back in the sixties :-)

The Tunguska meteorite.
(c) Ctyapt Cabopu, 1984.

This diary I take with me radiantly to my grave, so that no one will ever know my husband's terribly dangerous secret! Amen.

But I want to tell everything right from the beginning. I was born Sklodowska, baptized Marie. I was born in Warsaw on the seventh of November, 1867. My dear husband, Pierre, was already there, namely since the fifteenth of May 1859. I grew up temporarily in Poland, temporarily in Russia and finished my studies of chemistry with a doctorate at the University in Paris. I met my dear Pierre at the Paris University, he had studied physics there. Actually, he was quite a famous researcher even then. He had just turned twenty-one when he discovered piezoelectricity with his (somewhat less talented) brother Jaques. I was thirteen at the time and had no idea, but nothing, of the existence of my dearly beloved Pierre.

I remember going to his lectures later as a young student, not because I wanted to study physics, but simply because he looked so handsome with his pitch-black curly hair and his stiff, white-starched shirts. I actually fell in love with him very early on, but he hardly had time for an insignificant little foreign student. Impudent as I was, I asked his brother Jaques how I could meet him then. He said he would introduce me formally, but Pierre could only be impressed by strong ideas and strong academic performance. Long story short, I made an effort and got straight A's everywhere; including Pierre's class in the physics exams in the summer of 1894.

From then on he took me seriously. We walked long evenings in the Bois du Boulogne on the outskirts of Paris and became close. He mostly talked about his research on heated magnets and about a confused-sounding idea that atoms could also be divided. Occasionally, when we saw clochards, he would start to pontificate spiritedly about the socialist works of a certain Friedrich Engels and a certain Karl Marx (the latter from London).

Pierre told of his youth. When he was just twelve years old, the first workers' communes were founded as socialist idylls in Paris. Outraged, he told how the rulers mercilessly shot, expelled or, if necessary, imprisoned the poor communists (as he called them). Pierre had a lot of sympathy for these workers in their poverty, although he himself belonged rather to an upper class. His talk then also became more and more confused, more and more fanatical.

In 1895, Pierre made another discovery. He showed experimentally that ferromagnetic materials lose their magnetism at certain high temperatures. From then on, this reversal temperature was named after him and the associated physical laws were also made known worldwide by name as his laws. We celebrated. In the evening he asked me THE decisive question, which I immediately answered in the affirmative, and so we got married on the wave of success in the same year. I was 28 at the time and my beloved Pierre was already 36. We were very happy!

After the wedding night, in the morning light, we only talked about our dreams, goals and world views. Not very romantic, but so what? Pierre told a rather curious story - and as his just-married wife, I'd have to take his word for it - that he kept experiencing in a dream. Pierre claimed that even at the moment of his birth he had this dream.

"It was like telepathy, Mariechen" he reported "I saw the smoky atmosphere of a London pub. Two gentlemen unknown to me, who called each other Fred and Carl, were talking about the aims of a socialist world. They even drew up what they called a 'manifesto' that evening. You, Marie, I'm sure it was Marx and Engels! When I was 11, in 1870, I had that crystal clear dream again. When I was 24, I had the same dream again in all its details. But it went on. I was chosen to support this socialist idea - namely the idea of revolution against the capitalist Tsar of Russia - with a super weapon of my own design! The next day, as a young man, I read in the Paris newspaper that the famous economist Karl Marx had died in London. That was in 1893, Marie. I left immediately for London for the funeral. From the grave in Highgate Cemetery, I wandered around North London somewhere in confusion. A London pub magnetically attracted me. I went inside. Marie. It was the very pub from my dream, I swear! There are sometimes supernatural forces that you have to give in to! That dream came again on that wedding night. It went on, though; I now know that the gun from the dream somehow has to do with split atoms. We must explore that now!"

After reassuring my Pierre, I decided to ignore his somewhat confused worldview but support him in his work. After all, I was his wife now!

Pierre had a theory that if atoms were divisible, it would have to be the heavy atoms in particular. Perhaps there would be atoms so heavy that they would disintegrate under their own weight! So we started to investigate uranium. Uranium is extracted from tar. We had to treat about a ton of this nasty sticky black stuff to get an ounce of uranium. We were a great team. Pierre was a brilliant physicist and I was not a bad chemist. So one helped the other. We were on the hunt for even heavier elements. It was a wonderful, even happy time, albeit with hard work. And what was important to me, Pierre seemed to have forgotten his confused dreams of the workers' state and socialism.

In 1898, after three years of hard work, the breakthrough came. I isolated a new, an artificial element that does not occur in nature. In honor of my fatherland, Poland, I named it polonium. Then things went from strength to strength. My dear Pierre and I, together we isolated a self-dividing element! The glasses of every electroscope collapsed within seconds in the presence of the element. We called this element radium, the radiant! A few months later, Pierre was on a lecture tour, I managed, together with our colleague Schmidt, to prove this radio-activity (as we had called the mysterious radiation) also in thorium. All physicists and chemists of Europe applauded; an exhilarating feeling!

The next two years of our marriage were particularly harmonious. Spurred on by the success of our work, we were as if newly in love; it was a glorious time! My dearest Pierre had a new idea. Since uranium apparently splits in the atom, releasing heat and neutral particles, if the uranium were sufficiently large, there could always be more neutral particles released than absorbed by neighboring atoms. Thus, he calculated on his slide rule, with about five kilograms of uranium there must be a steady flow of energy to be gained, or even a small explosion because of the heat released. However, he first had to divide his uranium mass into two smaller masses so that it would not melt. Then he had to let the two halves come together very quickly (before they could melt due to mutually generated heat) and - voila - the five kilos of uranium had to explode like 500 kilos of TNT, he thought. In order to perform this experiment he started to isolate huge amounts of uranium - which unfortunately went very slowly (about 12 grams per week). He carefully stacked the obtained amount in several places in the house, far apart, so that the predicted thermal melting could not occur. He was fully occupied with this, and I, as a chemist, of course always helped him.

In 1900, however, a significant turn came. We were both invited to Zurich (Switzerland) to lecture on our work at the university there. My dear Pierre bragged about his new theory, but without mentioning that he had been isolating and storing uranium for the past few months.

Then disaster struck us there, which ultimately destroyed our marriage. During our lectures at the university, a very pretty compatriot of mine was sitting in the audience, who in the meantime lived and worked in Berlin. She was only 30 years old and very pretty, a certain Miss Luxemburg. She had a doctorate in law from Berlin. I could see that my Pierre found her very attractive. In her company was a Russian exile of the same age, a certain Vladimir Illyich Ulyanov, also a lawyer. At the end of the lecture, they both hurried to address my poor Pierre. Unfortunately, they were both fanatical followers of this Karl Marx; socialists and communists of the worst kind! They were always talking to my Pierre in such a way that he was again burning for this damned socialism.

The bearded Ulyanov told terrible stories from capitalist Russia under the tsar. He, Ulyanov, at only seventeen years old, had seen his brother beaten up and killed in the most brutal way by soldiers of the Tsar. He vowed revenge even then, he said. When he was eleven, in 1881, Tsar Alexander the Third ascended the Russian throne. Immediately the policy of repression began. Industrialization swept over the hitherto agrarian Russia. The number of wage-earning workers doubled. When Ulyanov turned 20, repression intensified.

In 1890, the tsar had repealed laws protecting women and children. Ulyanov saw his chance for revenge against the tsar and participated in the workers' movement - partly as its leader - under the cover name 'Lenin'. His protests against the ruthless exploitation of the working class angered the tsar and Ulyanov was exiled to Siberia for three years in 1897. The Trans-Siberian Railway was under construction at the time; it already reached as far as Irtusk on Lake Baikal. Ulyanov was first sent there by rail, then by ship northward along the river to 50km south of the garrison town of Wanavara. He was then taken on bad taiga roads to a lonely army camp 40km to the north, where he was to spend three years in exile.

In 1898 the Social-Democratic Workers' Party was founded in St. Petersburg and Moscow. This party managed to establish letter contact with Ulyanov in his exile. In his letters, Ulyanov incited the SDAP against Tsar Nicholas II. When the Tsar learned of this correspondence in the early 1900s, he immediately sent Ulyanov into exile in Switzerland. And so, unfortunately, we met this fanatical would-be revolutionary who was more bent on revenge against the tsar than doing anything for the workers' movement. The latter was only a means to an end.

Unfortunately, my otherwise faithful and quite unworldly husband, Pierre, had been downright bewitched by the pretty Miss Luxemburg. He followed the suggestion of the two to put his planned bomb at the disposal of the workers' revolution. He told of his recurring dream of Marx and Engels in the London pub 40 years ago and said that he knew even then that he would have to fight for this cause. He could not be saved and after our return to Paris he worked day and night to fill his stock of uranium.

In 1902 I heard about the terrorist activities of the Naradniki group in Russia. However, I did not tell my Pierre about it, because I did not want him to put his bomb at the disposal of these heinous terrorists.

The next year was very successful for Pierre. Together with Monsieur Bequerel, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics! It was a great social recognition of his work. However, he soon grew tired of all the parties and celebrations. He felt that after winning the Nobel Prize, there were no higher goals left in this disdainful nouveau riche society. He now wanted to concentrate exclusively on his bomb for the working class; the project on which Ulyanov had insisted on the strictest secrecy. Pierre calculated that after three to five years of distillation, he would have enough uranium for two of his bombs; one to test his idea and one for the labor movement. He had only very vague ideas about how the bomb would be used for the working class. He left that to Ulyanov. But he knew that the bomb was his own contribution.

I tolerated his hard work, even if I no longer helped directly. Because at least he was at my home and not with that fanatical Ulyanov or in the arms of the pretty Miss Luxemburg.

Ulyanov wrote to us in 1904 that in the meantime the Trans-Siberian Railway had been completed in Russia. And what did the Tsar do? He immediately used the logistical advantages of this railroad to start a war against Japan! Many Russian workers were transported to the front and died there an agonizing death. On January 22, 1905, workers demonstrated in front of the Tsar's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. They were mercilessly gunned down by the tsar's guards. Bloody Sunday. Ulyanov again saw an opportunity. He returned to Moscow under his cover name Lenin and immediately began to fight for the cause, even organizing a revolution. On October 26, the first workers' council was formed. But on December 10 in Moscow the uprising, which was under Ulyanov's leadership, was completely crushed. Ulyanov had to flee again into exile from the Tsar's revenge.

In March 1906, unfortunately, Ulyanov reappeared in Paris. Pierre thought he now had enough uranium for two bombs. Ulyanov should only take him to a place where he could make a secret test with the first bomb. Ulyanov suggested his place of exile in Siberia. He also thought Pierre was too famous to just disappear; it would attract too much attention. And so, with my brother-in-law Jaques, they planned how to fake a fatal accident. Then everyone would think Pierre was dead. I was brought in because I had to play the role of the grieving widow. I was strictly against it, but I saw that my beloved Pierre could not be changed. The main thing was that he was still alive, I thought. I could safely live on after his two experiments with him abroad, he said.

So on April 19, Jaques mysteriously obtained a still-warm corpse from a Paris hospital. The corpse would be dressed in a suit of Pierre's, and papers of Pierre's would be placed in his pocket. Pierre himself went into hiding with Ulyanov. Jaques drove his horse-drawn carriage (too) fast through the Bois du Boulogne; the carriage overturned, and the next day it was already in all the Paris newspapers that my beloved Pierre, the most famous French physicist, Nobel Prize winner, etc., had met his untimely tragic death in a traffic accident!

While I was playing the role of the grieving widow, my husband was traveling with this fanatic Ulyanov across the green border to Russia. In the fall I received a short letter from Moscow, he was doing well, Pierre said. He had now learned some Russian and the plan was going much slower than he thought. For the Tsar's soldiers were lurking everywhere.

In 1907, the tsar even changed the electoral law in favor of the owning class. This meant that the working class no longer had a chance. Pierre and Ulyanov gave up the democratic struggle on Moscow's streets; they decided to take the path of violence. Pierre's bomb was to be used. They hid the uranium in many small pieces of luggage and made sure that they always transported these pieces far apart. They then traveled, by trans-Siberian railroad to Irtusk. From there, I received a letter (though not until several weeks later) from my beloved husband, Pierre.

They embarked in Irtusk and traveled north via Wanawara to Ulyanov's old hideout in the taiga of Siberia. I received a letter from Pierre from Wanaware in 1908, but not until months later, for Wanawara was a godforsaken place deep in the Siberian taiga.

Pierre wrote that they had had to ponder for a long time how to get the two small halves of his bomb together fast enough. No mechanical spring or the like would be fast enough, because Pierre had already calculated that the last 30cm distance between the parts actually had to be overcome in less than a thousandth of a second. Otherwise, the two halves would simply melt due to their mutual influence. They came up with the idea of using one half as a bullet in a cannon and attaching the other half just before the muzzle of the cannon. Although the cannon would be lost in the resulting explosion if the equivalent of 500 kilograms of TNT were indeed achievable, this was the only way to conduct the test. Then, in mid-May, Ulyanov and his gang broke into the army barracks at Vanavara one night and stole a horse-drawn howitzer!

The next morning must have been a terrible shock to the commander, for his only howitzer was gone. Pierre ended his letter by reflecting that he wanted to do the test at the end of June, since that was the time when the meteor shower from ß-Taurids always descended on Earth. If anyone saw his explosion, they could always talk their way out of it by saying it was just a meteorite impact.

The letter did not reach me in Paris until June 30. Excited about Pierre's letter and somehow intrigued by his plan, I dug out his old theoretical calculations from the locked box in the attic. In order to somehow bridge the huge distance between me and my beloved husband and also to somehow participate in his immanent experiment, I began to recalculate his calculations.

And a cold shiver ran down my spine! Because he seemed to have miscalculated enormously! If his two five-pound uranium masses hit each other at just under two Mach, the result would not be a 'small' explosion equivalent to 500 kilograms of TNT, but an explosion equivalent to 20 thousand tons! My dear Pierre had miscalculated by a factor of a ten thousand! How could that be? Probably he had used his newfangled slide rule. It was said that this was the easiest way to multiply. The mantissa to three digits! But, unfortunately, one would have to keep track of the exponent in one's head. And my dearest Pierre had not done that. I began to cry. Because I had no chance to warn him. There, in the Tunguska region of the taiga in Siberia, he was almost ten thousand kilometers away from me. And he would detonate this insane bomb today, just as a rehearsal, just as an experiment!

Such an explosion would be almost unimaginable! With an ear-shattering thunder and a terrible shock wave Pierre's bomb would blow over 1000 square kilometers of the Siberian forest. According to my calculations, the seismological sound wave would go around the world almost twice, like an apocalyptic earthquake. The whole trees of the Tunguska region would be flattened. The explosion flash alone would be seen in Irtusk, over 800 kilometers away! The explosion crater would not be only a few meters in diameter as in the bombs we know, no, according to my calculations this crater would have to have a diameter of over one kilometer.

And my poor Pierre did not suspect what was coming; he would die immediately in a huge fireball! He simply miscalculated by a factor of a few thousand, my poor Pierre. Almost mad with fear for my dear husband, I ran screaming out into the moonless night into the street.

It was midnight, and the moonless sky over Paris was almost as bright as day. People were reading newspapers on the sidewalk, far away from any faded streetlight. Others were playing boules on the sand of the horse paths. And at that moment I knew that my dearly beloved Pierre, the first man to build a uranium bomb, was surely dead. From that brightest of nights, my life lost its meaning. Even my own Nobel Prize in Chemistry, three years later - that was in 1911 - could not console me, for my beloved Pierre was dead without hope, killed by his own discovery. The rest of my existence is therefore not worth mentioning. Therefore, I close my diary here and now.


Marie Curie, née Sklodowska.

* * * Translated with (free version) * * *

Comments (4)
Iwan (RU) observed that "The first version you wrote in Russian was for a Russian readership. They would know the geography of the places you mentioned. They would know the history of the Russian revolution. They would know the names of all the people you mentioned. Now you translated for Americans. They would not know Russian geography, nor the history of the Russian revolution, nor most of the names you wrote about. That is why the new version will flop, although the translation is good." Now you say that Iwan, I think that is why I didn't translate it in 1984.
John (UK) wrote "Thanks for the tale and dedication (if I am the John) [you are]. My lesson from science is that all work leads on to 'more work required'; so can I suggest for you: 'The role of miscalculation in the history of Mankind'." Like the bit in the Bible that says PI=3 (I Kings 7:23) ? Actually the BBC has covered miscalculations already quite well.
Peter Knippel (D) wrote "Hi Stu, Perhaps you remember me. I used to be the NCN wizard, who joined thé scottish AI freak on several adventures (on and off business). One of which was the famous flight from Southend, UK back to PB-Lippstadt on a week-end in May 1979! With you and the mec from Glas Koch as thé pilots. Just found your blog by chance." That's over 40 years ago, so sadly I remember nothing thereof . Welcome to my blog though.
Lily (B) wrote "Madame Curie's notebooks are STILL so radioactive that it is not safe to handle them!" Wow, no I did not know that.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Village gets a mobile banking truck

Today, we got a new (mobile) banking service in our village. There used to be a static bank in the neighbouring village, but that got closed down and replaced by a tiny room with three automata instead, ATM etc. This proved to be less popular, the bank might be losing customers, so the bank started today with a mobile bank, (wo)manned by regular bank staff. One of the tellers has a licence to drive 7.5 ton trucks, so she doubles as the driver. The door/flap on the left opens upward to reveal an ATM if you need cash; the top flap serves to shelter you from any rain.

The door on the right (behind the V-logo) opens to give access to a waiting room and a tellers' counter for the usual (human) banking services. I was told they will come here every monday afternoon between 13:30 and 15:00. Good service, but I was able to give them a couple of tips, such as adding non-slip mats when boarding in the rain and adding those clips to hold your walking stick whilst doing your bank business and a retractable fabric roof for those waiting outside in the rain. The mayor missed this PR opportunity :-(

This being the first day, the local state-wide TV channel sent a news team to report on the "event" ; that's what passes for news in these parts ;-)

So I got video-ed whilst I was using the new bank truck; maybe I'll be on TV this evening, I'll let you know. I returned the indiscrete invasion-of-privacy by photographing the TV team since they had also video-ed me without permission; the blogger's revenge ;-)

Nope, I wasn't on TV. They showed an older man (85) whose father took out a mortgage with that bank pre-WW2, passed the debt onto said son, who eventually paid off the debt. Publicity for the old bank.

Link to the previous month's blog.
Recent Writings
Bierbaums Nagel
RIP Charlie Watts
Sky Lights
Going Walkies...
First Nuke
Mobile banking truck
James Bond's mnemonics
Flooding here in Germany
Bastille Day
4-2-3 and 31
Scrap Metal Statue
Oldtimer Quiz
Americans abroad
Mooney Fly-In
G7 meet in Cornwall, UK
Trump pants
77 today
Attic analogs
My first camera
Anti-American chat ;-)
2nd Jab :-)
Cornering faster
Career plans ruined :-(
Sophie Scholl @ 100
Wolf in our woods :-(
Another old friend gone
Nice Curves!
RAF Museum Duxford
Yuri Gagarin anniversary

Ain Bulldog Blog
All hat no cattle
Balloon Juice
Billions of Versions...
Cop Car
Digby's Hullabaloo
Earth-Bound Misfit
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Observing Hermann
Scotties Toybox
Silicon Graybeard
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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