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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

Monday, December 30, 2019

Good Omens DVDs and Puckoon book : prezzies

F or entertainment over the holidays we ordered a couple of great media. The first was this DVD-pack (2 DVDs) containing the new TV mini-series (6 programmes) adaptation of the Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman book "Good Omens". This adaptation's screenplay was written and produced by Neil Gaiman himself at Pratchett's dying behest. And it is really THAT good! Sure, there are bits of the book left out and minor differences, but it really is worth seeing!

Dual soundtracks (German and English) - not all the puns come across in German of course - are included. You'll need to find out your own order-numbers on Amazon depending on which language(s) you want on the sound tracks, there's no point me telling you the number for German.

Angel Erziraphael (played by Michael Sheen) and demon Crowley (played by David Tennant of Dr.Who fame) cooperate to prevent the Apocalypse. It helps if you have read the Revelations of St. John the Divine at the end of your bible to understand the details of the Xian Apocalypse being referred to. Very funny, indeed it is HILARIOUS!!! & much recommended.

There are various short excerpts, trailers etc. to be found on YouTube, to get you hooked.

The other prezzy was a very funny book, "Puckoon" by Mr. Spike Milligna - the well known typing mistake - originally published in 1963 if I remember correctly; this is the 1973 reprint. Synopsis: In 1924 the Boundary Commission is tasked with creating the new official division between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Through incompetence, dereliction of duty and sheer perversity, the border ends up running through the middle of the small town of Puckoon. Houses are divided from outhouses, husbands separated from wives, bars are cut off from their patrons, churches sundered from graveyards. And in the middle of it all is poor Dan Milligan, our feckless protagonist, who is taunted and manipulated by everyone (including the sadistic author) to try and make some sense of this mess . . . ISBN-13: 978-0140023749

Also very funny, indeed it is HILARIOUS and much to be recommended. Indeed, at this stage of BoJo's Brexit negotiations very relevant again :-(

Comments (1)
Liz wrote " Loved the Good Omens show. We watched it on Amazon Prime (I think). I love the opening sequence too. Also read Puckoon many years ago but can't remember anything about it now. As for our esteemed Prime Minister - still makes me feel sick. Hope 2020 gives you plenty of opportunities to rant." What did you watch/read at Xmas?

Friday, December 27, 2019

Khoroshevskoye Shosse 76W

That is the address of the russian military secret service (GRU) in Moscow. You can recognise it by the four storey semicircular entrance to the 8 storey block with a helipad on the top, all secured behind a ten(?) foot see-through wall of which the Donald would be proud.

Now Russia had A.A.Komorow working as an attache´ in the russian Embassy in Berlin. He stupidly got himself a parking ticket in Berlin, and, being a "diplomat" he didn't pay it. Diplomats are not liable to pay such fines, he thought correctly. However, since the fine was not paid, the Berlin traffic police noted the car's number plate and wrote to the registry office in Moscow to get the owner's address. They duly answered that the registered car owner was A.A.Komorow and gave his address as Khoroshevskoye Shosse 76B.

And Khoroshevskoye Shosse 76B is an apartment block, not 300 meters from Khoroshevskoye Shosse 76W (=GRU HQ), owned by the GRU, for the agents working/in training at GRU HQ. The agents who did the nerve-agent attacks in Salisbury (UK) were also registered at this apartment block. So for avoiding the measly 43€ parking fine, the russian "diplomat" gave himself away as a GRU spy!

Germany has since expelled both him and Evgeny Sutskiy, suspected of the murder of Z.Khangoshwili (a Georgian agent) in Berlin back in August.

That reminds me of the historical UK children's rhyme "For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."

It's the little things that give you away.

Comments (1)
Ed (USA) opined "Yes, Putin is the most dangerous leader!" We think otherwise here. A recent survey in Germany of who we found the most dangerous leader gave : Trump (USA) 41%, Kim (North Korea) 17%, Chamenei (Iran) 8%, Putin (Russia) 8% and Xi (China) 7%. Trump is seen as the most unpredictable. This was before Johnson won the UK election ;-)

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Winter Solstice

There are things we were taught as children that are so obviously wrong that I'd bang my head on the wall when told them! By adults already!

Like today a neighbour repeated the myth that "The days get shorter in winter." No they don't. The days get longer in winter. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. After that the days get longer. The winter solstice is also the start of winter. Therefore the days get longer as winter goes on. QED!!!

Then we have people telling us that the sun is a yellow star. Obviously wrong! Look out of the window and see that the fresh snow is white! Like the sun whose light it reflects. The sun only appears yellow when you look at it at a shallow angle through all the crud in our atmosphere, the shorter wavelengths having been diffracted out of the way.

"The sun rises in the east and sets in the west". Only at the equinoxes. Look at dawn and/or sunset today and it'll be 23° south of the east-west axis. Look at dawn and/or sunset at the summer solstice and it'll be 23° north of the east-west axis. Because this is the angle at which the Earth's axis is tilted.

And no, we don't have winter / summer because we are further from / nearer to the sun! The seasons are due to the aforesaid tilt of the Earth's axis.

How stupid can people be? Jesus wept!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Torn ligament :-(

If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise...
Well I was, because I tore a ligament. Or maybe a tendon. Whatever. Ligaments connect one bone to another bone, tendons connect muscle to bone, and fasciae connect muscles to other muscles. One of them. But it still hurts a bit in my shoulder 2 days later. Praise be to paracetamol!

Being an Atheist, I don't celebrate Xmas with its pagan trimmings like Xmas trees. But, as a pagan, I do celebrate Winter Solstice, for which I sometimes have a little pine tree in the living room. But none of your store-bought, needle-shedding, expensive non-oeco imports! No. I grab an axe and put on some rubber boots and go visit the local forester who assigns me a section of the woods to choose my tree from and leaves me to it. Anything less would be namby-pamby!

I don't own a smelly, loud, power saw. I use a regular axe. So I chose a small tree this year, scrambling over slippery ground to get to it. Now rubber boots are not as well-fitting as hiking boots and I slipped a bit as I swung the axe. The axe bounced off its intended target, it may not have been sharp enough, and I hurt my shoulder.

So what did I learn from this?

  • I have an axe to grind ;-)
  • Do not go to work into the woods alone.
  • Backing a car out of the forest with a damaged shoulder is painful.
  • Don't forget to take your mobile phone with you on every trip.
  • Don't wear loose footwear.
  • I'm getting too old for these capers, not as fit as I should be.
It could have been worse, I might have hit my foot instead. The pain is wearing off now, should be completely gone by the weekend. Be grateful for small mercies.

Comments (3)
Cop Car wrote " Ooh! That hurt! I'm sorry to hear about your painful shoulder, Stu. I rarely [use] our axe for downing trees, anymore. At least for this old woman, the axe is better left to grubbing out roots after a bow saw has felled a tree. (Would you please grind our axe when you do yours? A dull axe is an accident waiting to happen.)" Thanks for your sympathy :-)
Ed (USA) asks "Why do you write Jesus was not there at Christmas?" Your bible tells you that "Shepherds watched their lambs" then. Lambs are born in spring, even in Palestinia, by december they would be sheep. The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336 AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first christian Roman Emperor). Christianity thus usurped the winter festivals of Yule (pagan) and Saturnalia (roman) then.
John (UK) wrote "(Note for Stu: stop playing with axes and use a 'cut on pull stroke' pruning saw - mine is a Felco)." That's what Cop Car recommended too,John. Bit late for me now though. It's still hurting :-(

Friday, December 13, 2019


Paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek words Paraskeví (meaning "Friday"), and dekatreís (meaning "thirteen"), is the phobia (meaning "fear") of Friday the 13th. Lots of people have it, especially Brit politicians today as the results of the UK general election becomes known.

And it's BoJo :-(

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson - to give him his full name - campaigned on the promise to push Brexit through (Get-Brexit Dunny). So now there will be the usual fight as to whether it is to be the soft Brexit version agreed with the EU months ago (mostly Theresa May's deal) or a No-Deal Brexit. All accompanied by the creaking sounds of the UK falling apart as Sturgeon (SNP) pushes once again for Scottish Independence.

Still, the alternative would have been Corbyn as PM; an unpopular Marxist. So maybe the Brit voters chose the lesser of two evils. Shit happens either way.

The Brexit date - when the UK leaves the EU - is currently set for 31 January 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed a deal with the EU, but it still needs to go through Parliament. The default position - if no deal is passed - is that the UK would leave without one, in January 2021.

And Asteroid 2019 XO1 shaved by Earth today, so that was another near miss :-)

Saturday Update : Headline clipped today from our local paper ;-)

Comments (4)
Cop Car opined of the saturday headline " The headline sounds right; but, the photo shows a mime trying to escape his invisible box." Indeed, he may have boxed himself in with too many promises. We shall see.
Doug (Canada) sent this great cartoon :-)

Carl (UK) wrote "How dare you label our esteemed PM as disgusting meat. He is really a beloved family [sic] man who we raced to vote for so we can be rid of Johhny-foreigner [unless they are subjugated] and go back to the glory days of er, um 1957. Anyway, we won the war and dont care if we lose Scotland [except for the Whisky]." You sound like Four Dinners; where did he go? I used to read his blog regularly.
Doug also wrote "The dissolution and final destruction of the UK economy continues unabated. In other news Scotland voted almost completely for SNP so expect them to leave the UK (well at least the 25% of me that is Scots hopes so) and Northern Ireland gave the Sinn Féin (IRA political wing) a few more seats so reunification is till a pipe dream (always will be so long as religion plays such a big part in their societies)." So it's a DQ (Disunited Queendom) not a UK?

Monday, December 9, 2019

Custom Bike Show 2019

Yesterday, I went to nearby Bad Salzuflen to see the 2019 Custom Bike Show, the world's biggest, they brag. Here are some of my photos, so the non-bikers amongst you can just skip this posting if you like ;-)

Let me start off by showing you three factory bikes which were also on display, so you can see what is considered normal nowadays. The top photo is of a Royal Enfield Interceptor, now made in India, not GB, which is retro 1960s style 50 HP parallel twin, 650cc, aircooled. A very clean design.

This is a Ducati V-twin Scrambler. Water-cooled. Desmodromic.

The torque monster, a Triumph Rocket 3, 2500cc, 167 HP, 221 Nm torque.

Now onto some road-legal custom built bikes. This is a BMW Cafe Racer.

And this is a Moto Guzzi Cafe Racer, not quite finished yet.

Surprisingly to me, this old side-valved Harley No.42 is road legal!!!
No chain guard, no front mudguard, no silencer, but registered road legal!

Now we move on to the ridiculously exotic show-only scurrilous bikes. This one has a 21 inch front wheel, no front brake and is too low to corner :-(

This Harley-based Low Rider wouldn't take much to make it road-legal.

The wide-belt primary drive makes this one impractical; looks like the nitro-flask isn't even connected, and the tank is impractically small.

Now let's move on to some of the artists and artisans showing off their work. This Polish(?) artist uses scrap bits and pieces to make model motorcycles.

Further along were some excellent airbrush paintings on petrol tanks. But it was unclear to me where the filler-cap on the right tank was :-(

This gentleman makes scurrilous leather goods, from Jack Daniels hats to boots shaped like medieval pest masks! I took a business card :-)

Finally, the winner for minimalism. Rigid frame, tiny pea-can brake drums and a stationary motor (from a lawnmower, I think). Lightweight though ;-)

The exhibition was huge, took me 4 hours to go around it just once, overcrowded, loud (with people running engines and the wall-of-death demo), but not so expensive as last time I was there. 15 Euro entry, 5 Euro parking, but only 3.50€ for a coffee and a (small) bacon/cheeseburger was only 5€, you pay that at Burger King nowadays too. A quite enjoyable show!

Comments (4)
Ed (USA) asks "No biker babes? or grinder-gays?" Well yes. An excessively athletic and lithe poledancer; I've never been as fit as her. And a topless, thonged, girl getting her body painted on a stage in front of a crowd of letching, open mouthed, dribbling hardly-able-sons; I found that rather degrading for her. No gays with bottomless chaps this year, but a stall selling dildos and fleshlights - presumably this was the DIY corner.
Ulrike (D) whats-apped "Great photos, as usual." Thankyou. BTW, the county court in Munich on friday banned the sale of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Apps in Germany because they misappropriate technology patented by Blackberry. We'll see what happens there soon.
Janina (D) tells me that her "dad was there too, running the Holy Rollers stand". Afraid I missed it though.
Schorsch (D) asked "Did you buy anything?" Yes. Since I am now officially an ancient biker( I am 75), I bought this funny but appropriate T-shirt :-

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

PISA STEM results worsen here

Well, the newest PISA results are in, and Germany has - despite all efforts - gotten worse :-( PISA tests measure 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance in mathematics, science, and reading. We are now only 20th amongst the nations tested; still above the OECD average, but getting worse. Not only the USA is dumbing down :-(

Some of the deterioration is due to an increased number of asylum-seekers, war-refugees and other immigrants who cannot read (German) adequately and so slow the whole class down [thankyou Mrs.Merkel :-( ]. Another contribution is the ADHD of the internet generation who read less books.

A press report showed that more teenagers can recognise a photo of Justin Bieber and/or Miley Cyrus than of Albert Einstein :-( Help save our STEM !

So here's a test for y'all. How many of these 21 photos can you recognise?

Mail me your results top to bottom, left to right, for inclusion in the comments; anonymously if you so declare.

Comments (4)
Ed (USA) asks "Where would you place without the immigrants? And where did the USA come?" 8th instead of 20th. The USA came 13th.
Jenny (Ibiza) replied " I know nine. And you?" Thirteen only :-(
Pergelator wrote " I think Albert E is at the left end of 2nd row. That is the only one that sparked any kind of recognition." Not even bottom right?
Ed (USA) continued by sending this cartoon :-

Recent Writings
Good Omens & Puckoon
Khoroshevskoye Shosse
Winter solstice
Torn ligament :-(
Custom Bike Show
PISA results worsen
Hundertwasser brewery
Free Lunch :-)
In Germany's oldest Inn
A History of Economics
The Day the Wall fell
Transit of Mercury
Harley Outfit restored!
Halloween costume 2019
Harry and Meghan ;-)
Fall fungi
Mathematical mega-mug
You shall not pass!
Not so Nobel prizes
Bitch !
Oktoberfest opens
Airpower 2019 videos
I don't understand Time

Ain Bulldog Blog
All hat no cattle
Balloon Juice
Cop Car
Earth-Bound Misfit
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Greg Laden
Mostly Cajun
Observing Hermann
Starts with a Bang
Travels With an Alien
Yellowdog Grannie

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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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