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Stu Savory ;-) School report for Stu Savory
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

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Give generously ?

For just $600 a year - that's $1.64 a day - you too can feed a homeless and starving American.

OTOH, may be it's a good plan to reduce the rampant obesity there, so save your money :-(

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Dead Stick Landing

One of my roles in this lifetime, besides being a physicist and a computer scientist, has been that of being a flying instructor, teaching people to fly, mostly for PPL (private pilots' licences). And one of the things you drum into the students' heads is to always have a mental process running "If the engine stops NOW, where will I go?", bearing in mind the altitude, wind direction, etc to choose a suitable field. Especially true when flying vintage aircraft. This guy got it right :-)

Our local airfield EDLP has the QUAX club for vintage aircraft, maintaining them in a flying condition, so that club members can fly them. This pilot was bringing D-EKUM from Mönchengladbach to EDLP for maintenance. D-EKUM is a rare vintage plane, the 1957 prototype of the Rheinflug RW-3, an underpowered pusher configuration but with retractable gear and a good (1:25) glide angle. Later series versions got a 65 hp Porsche motor and finally a 150 hp Lycoming.

In this case the pilot had taken off from Mönchengladbach (where the plane had originally been built) heading to EDLP when he soon suffered a power loss (cause not stated in the press report), called a Mayday, chose a field for an off-airfield landing, told Mönchengladbach he was going down, and made a precautionary landing in a field , stopping short of a local road (see photo). Although the pusher-prop design of the aircraft is such that there will not be an (expensive) prop-strike even if landing with the gear up, he chose a field smooth and flat enough to land with the gear down.

Textbook dead-stick landing; congratulations to the pilot and whoever his flying instructor had been all those years ago :-) Should be easy to repair the plane and fly it out of the field and on to EDLP.

FWIW: the dead-stick referred to is not the control column, it is the (fixed-pitch, wooden) propeller, which is useless (hence 'dead') in such an off-field landing.

Of course, when we're flying gliders, we have a lot more off-field landings and so are good at them :-)

In my flying career (4800+ hrs) I've only had one power loss incident causing me to glide to a precautionary landing. The fuel line split where it runs through the cockpit, bathing my feet in fuel. All electrics off immediately! With no fuel, the engine stopped of course. But I was high enough to be able to glide to an airfield with a workshop even if I did have to land downwind. I was out of that plane and running away before it had even come to a complete stop, just in case it caught fire, even though I'd turned the fuel and ignition off :-) All went well though. Merely a change of the fuel lines and my underwear required, then I could continue my journey :-)

Comments (3)
Cop Car wrote " Over here, landing after power loss is not "precautionary". It is "required". Glad you scrambled away from the aircraft and are still here to tell us about it." With a partial power loss, rough-running or some carb-icing, assuming I was over land, I'd make a precautionary landing, total power loss means you are committed.
Jenny (Ibiza) asks "Why not just go back to the starting airfield?" He may not have had a sufficient altitude; I warned about that situation back in May of 2014, go re-read that please.
Back in July, my Alaskan bush pilot friend Klaus sent me this photo of a Cessna C185 on amphibious floats. The pilot had tried a water landing but not checked that the wheels were retracted, so the plane flipped on splashdown, killing the pilot. Personally, I always recite out loud 'This is a water landing, so wheels up and rudders down' or 'This is a landing on the ground, so wheels down and rudders up!' . I learned to fly floats in a J3 Cub and a C182 in the mid-70s in Sausalito; happy days :-)

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Salmon Pie

Many bloggers seem to be showing photos of their Xmas blowouts, so I'll just join the meme today. It's a filleted whole salmon, basted in an estragon sauce, then baked in a flaky pastry pie. It was really Deeeeelicious!

And before John asks, it was washed down with a couple of Krombacher Pilsner beers :-)

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Local call from ET, maybe?

Mankind has always wondered if he/she was alone in the universe and invented God(s) to provide an answer, even if there was never any feedback from them.

In a more recent timeframe, the scientific method came into use and the SETI project was established. SETI is an acronym meaning Search for ExtraTerrestrial intelligence. Often, this is done by radio telescopes listening for technosignatures from (around) other stars. One of these radio telescopes is the Parkes radiotelescope in Australia where it can see stars only visible in the southern hemisphere. One such star is Proxima Centauri, the small red star closest to our sun (only 4.2 light years away). There are two known exoplanets orbiting it, Proxima b is in the habitable zone (i.e. any water there would be liquid), but Proxima Centauri flares a lot, unstably, so it is not known if Proxima b would be habitable.

In April and Mai 2019 the Parkes radiotelescope was pointed at Proxima Centauri to investigate the aforementioned flaring. But, surprise, surprise, they received a narrowband (almost monochromatic) L-band signal on 982.002 Mhz with a blue dopplershift consistent with the 11 day orbital period of Proxima b :-) The signal was observed for 30 hours as part of the Breakthrough Listen project. This event has been named BLC 1. The signal was not otherwise modulated. It has not been possible to reproduce this observation :-(

Of course, the signal may most likely (99.9%) be of terran origin, or a satellite orbiting Earth nearby. After all Parkes reported a "signal" several years ago which turned out to be a staff member using a microwave oven to make lunch.

On the other hand there is a small chance (0.01%) that the signal came from ET, making a local call aimed at its nearest neighbour, Sol. I would dearly love to believe so :-)

What do you think about this?

Comments (4)
Jane (USA) wrote "If you thought our racism here was bad, wait until you see our species-ism!" Xenophobia, far-out edition.
Doug (Canada) wrote "I assume it is some, as yet, unexplained local interference. It doesn't make sense for it to be a calling card from ET as it was an unmodulated signal. To carry discernable information wouldn't it would need to be modulated?" Maybe it's just a navigation aid or a 'keep off' signal, as in the Alien movie?
David (NY,NY) fears ". . . it is a most inappropriate time for an alien to say 'Take me to your leader!'; imagine having to say 'Come back on January 22 please.' " That's just USA oriented, David. We have to ask 'Who speaks for Earth?'. I wouldn't want it to be anyone with the moral and ethical integrity of Trump, or Putin, or Xi, or the Pope, or Von der Lyin (EU). Maybe it should be António Guterres? (I admit that I had to google who is the current Secretary General of the United Nations, shame on me).
Paul has a more detailed discussion of BLC1 here.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

My last Great Conjunction

For the last few nights we have had clear skies here just after sunset and so have been able to see Saturn and Jupiter getting ever angularly closer to being in the same direction as seen from Earth. Their angular separation will be at a minimum at just 6 minutes of arc on monday, which is known as a Great Conjunction, just after sunset here. However, the weather prediction here is such that we will have cloud cover then, preventing me from seeing it well tomorrow. So I'm posting this today in the hope that at least you good folks may actually get to see it. This is what you can hope to see under ideal conditions [screenshot of a PC simulation, so that you see the names of some of the moons of Saturn (upper right) and the Galilean moons of Jupiter (lower left) too].

I had the best seeing on thursday and friday evenings, both Jupiter and Saturn brightly visible to the naked eye, so I got out my trusty table-top telescope, pointed it SW, put in the shortest eyepiece I have (4mm, giving a magnification of 150x) and got a view like that shown above. A clear disc of Jupiter with the four Galilean moons Callisto, Ganymede, Io and Europa. Around ringed Saturn I saw Iapetus, Rhea and Titan and smudges that might have been the moons Diane and Tethys. That scope has too small an aperture to resolve those last two moons reliably.

I didn't even bother using the larger 8 inch aperture light bucket. Even with binoculars you should be able to see those 4 moons of Jupiter at least. So go take a look southwest low in the sky on monday evening; I wish you good seeing.

Great Conjunctions (Saturn behind Jupiter) are quite rare, I'll never see another (due 2080 AD). There was one in 7 BC, a triple conjunction, which Kepler thought might have been the Star of Bethlehem. So when is the next coming thereof? "And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born ?" The next triple conjunction will be in 2239 AD, it was not on June 14, 1946 [Donald Trump was hatched then].

Update : Saw nothing at the closest point, as expected, due to 100% cloud cover :-(

Comments (2)
Jane (USA) asks "Why the italics near the end?" It's a quotation, the last two lines of W.B.Yeats' poem The Second Coming.
Ed (USA) asks "Explain the Trump remark!" Humans are born, lizards are hatched from eggs, so I'm implying he's one of the lizard people ;-).

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Murder-Witness ? Alexa!

For the first time, afaik, a German court of law has accepted Alexa as a (sole) witness of a crime, and a murder at that!

This is the story of how beautiful blonde Nataliya L.(45) was strangled to death by her ex-bf, Dieter E.(54), who already had a criminal record for stalking.

Most of you will know what an Alexa is. For the others, Alexa is the client end of a client-server system run by Amazon. It is a loudspeaker doubling as a microphone (and perhaps a local system for controlling the lights etc). Alexa is ALWAYS listening! Amazon stated to the court that Alexa forgets what it hears unless it hears the attention-getting keyword "Alexa!", upon which it forwards the following phrase(s) to the Amazon server for processing. Amazon then processes the acoustic signal, timestamps it and archives it.

On december 3rd 2019 Nataliya let Dieter into her apartment. They drank whisky and white wine and later had sex. Alexa was listening to everything. At 23:54 he gave an instruction to Alexa, so Amazon time-stamped the instruction and recorded his voice, thus proving that he was in her apartment at that time. At 03:16 he ordered Alexa to "Go to sleep!". Amazon time-stamped this and archived it too. The court records as reported did not state what else Alexa recorded in the intervening period, such as the death struggle when he strangled her from behind. The time of death was in the time-window that Alexa had recorded. But Alexa always is listening. The accused used his right to remain silent during his trial, so Alexa was the sole witness.

The court (in Regensburg) accepted Alexa as a witness and ordered Amazon to turn over the recordings as archived by them. Thus Dieter E. was found guilty by Alexa's indirect evidence and was sent to jail on a count of murder for ten years.

What do you think of that???

Comments (2)
Carol (UK) wrote that "Wikipedia has a good summary of some privacy concerns about Alexa."
Cop Car wrote " Surely Dieter deserved more than 10 years imprisonment?" That's up to the judge. We don't have the death penalty in Germany any more, as you do in the USA.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Roast me!

Well, I've been getting complaints that this blog is getting lamer and individual entries shorter. Obviously, I must take the blame for this. However, part of the problem is the Covid lockdown : basically I'm not getting out of the house except for shopping for vittels. So there are no trip reports (hotels all shut) and I've seen less scurrilous things to write about :-(

So this is your opportunity to roast me :-) But please let me have some constructive feedback too. Let me know what you would like to see me write about and I'll see if I can take it from there :-)

You are free to choose what you roast me about, but you are not free of the consequences of what you choose. Just like in real life ;-)

Comments (9)
Cop Car wrote " What? You want us to tell you how to run your blog? The only comment that I can make is that you don't have to travel to entertain me. I enjoy reading bits of everyday trivia concerning a blogger's life. It helps to reinforce my belief that people are people, that physical surroundings may differ, but how we deal with our surroundings is very human. As in the past, I shall continue to ignore postings on subjects that are less favored by me. Blog on." We'll see.
David (IL) wrote "You used to do high-grade maths and science stuff; go back to doing that". We'll see, but my brain is deteriorating.
Ed (USA) "Yes it's gotten boring lately. Even if you can't travel, do aviation and motorcycling stuff again." John wanted more MC stuff too, I seem to remember.
Jenny (Ibiza) suggested "Translate your old short stories from German into English!" Could do that, but the poems wouldn't rhyme :-(
John (USA) wrote " I've always been of the belief that blogs were for the edification and enjoyment of the author, not the reader. That I follow your blog is based on that. Do what you do for as long as you want. Don't worry a bit, not even a little bit about your readers." Don't agree, John, I want to entertain others too.
David (NY, NY) forwarded this cartoon.
Billions of Versions... (Mike) wrote " You can't hit a home run every time with a blog post. You have to stay entertained yourself to keep the blog going. I'm coming up on a mile marker on my blog. Post number 5000. Do I go on or bail out? I'll probably go on, but sometimes I just want to cash in my chips and leave." Come January, it'll be my 20th year of blogging, Mike, and I sometimes get tired.
Morag (UK) roasts "What a pansy mustache!" Prussian style, ca. 1910.
Chacko (USA?) suggested "You could do a post on Chuck Yeager, who died on Dec 7, (the date of Pearl Harbour) at the age of 97." I think that's already been done by authors better than I am, so no. Sorry.

Friday, December 11, 2020

French is not always French ;-)

There are afaik 7,117 natural languages spoken on this world. That'd include Esperanto but not Klingon. Of these 7117 I only count myself fluent in four of them and it's too late to start learning 7113 others. Let alone learning to distinguish the clicks in - say - Xhosi, which I tried (and failed) in South Africa.

But I was talking (via Zoom) to an Englishman the other day who claims he uses a lot a French phrases in English : but he doesn't, because those "French" phrases of his would never be used by a native Frenchman. Here are some examples :-

  • At the end of a concert, a Brit might shout Encore. In French we'd shout Bis, which also means More. I wonder what they do in Canada?
  • Frenchmen wonder what en suite means in a Brit B&B or hotel catalog - toilet in the room - because it's not a term they use.
  • Brits say innuendo, thinking it's French, but a Frenchman says insinuation.
  • No Frenchman says Double Entendre to a punny dirty joke, maybe Double Sens instead.
  • A Brit might use the phrase lingua franca, which actually comes from the italian, in French I'd say la langue véhiculaire. Again, I wonder what they do in Canada?

This doesn't happen when German words/phrases are adopted into the English language. Kindergarten still means Kindergarten etc.

In English we use phrases in Latin sometimes as well, I wonder if a Roman from 2000 years ago would have used them in the same sense, or even at all?

Comments (2)
Schorsch (D) complains "Your blog is getting less interesting by the day. Must try harder!" Okay. But I'm running out of ideas to write about :-(
Ed (USA) also complains "Booooooring :-(" The Covid lockdown stops me visiting any/all interesting places to report upon :-(

Monday, December 7, 2020

Not always 5 & 5 digits

Not wanting to blog about Pearl Harbour today, I thought I'd write about our everyday expectations. Digital ones . . .

On average, the inhabitants of our village have less than two legs. Surprised by that? That's because we have one diabetic amputee, so the average is about 1.998 legs per person. Similarly we expect people to have 5 fingers (well, 4 plus a thumb) per hand. Or 10 toes (5 & 5). But there are deviations.

The lady shown above has SIX digits on each hand. I bet she has a problem buying gloves; probably only has mittens. I wonder if she counts to base 12 instead of 10, like some regions of Britain did in the middle ages?

The picture below shows a lady with the expected ten toes. But not 5 and 5, instead six in the left foot and four on the right. Mere digital deviations.

Neither of these two photos were photoshopped, but the one extreme below is either photoshopped or the guy made himself some neatly painted slippers. I suspect photoshopped; he didn't even bother to clean his nails either :-(

I got to wondering about six digit hands or feet. An estimated one in every 700 - 1,000 babies is born with polydactyly, which means they have extra fingers on their hands or extra toes on their feet or both. Because polydactyly is so unusual, some people may consider it a malformation or anomaly, but it is just a statistical variation. But some people are asymmetrical, e.g. thalidomide (Contergan) babies. It doesn't make them any less talented though, e.g. Thomas Quasthoff, an internationally acclaimed bass-baritone, who describes himself: "1.34 meters tall, short arms, seven fingers with four right, three left . . .", so don't knock them!

Comments (2)
Earth-Bound Misfit wrote " Stu, those feet don't belong to the same person. No woman on this Earth is going to shave only one leg." Point taken. But I did once know a girl who shaved herself a negative-brasilian :-).
Finding life hard? (Liz Hinds) wrote " That's me! Glad it's on my foot not hand. Getting wide shoes is easier than many-fingered gloves." I'd think so.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

No More Fucking :-(

There is a tiny village (population 104) in Austria, about 33 km NNW of Salzburg, called Fucking. If you're coming from Germany and get to Petting, which is a village in Germany, just cross the border river Inn to get from Petting to Fucking.

In the local dialect it is pronounced Fugging, but the way it is spelt encourages anglo-saxon tourists to stop off and take a photo of the village limit sign. I will confess to having done so myself while on a motorcycle tour of the region. The UK's Top Gear team of automobile nuts - puerile as ever - even made a TV program about it :-)

But vandalism is a problem, as some of the tourists (or students from Salzburg?) steal the signs. One year eight times, another fifteen :-( Thus the area council (back in 2005?) reset the signposts in massive concrete bases and welded the mounting screws more thiefproof. To no avail. The village signposts were still being stolen, even if it was less often :-(

Now the area council (Tarsdorf) has voted to rename the village as Fugging in accordance with the local pronounciation in the hope of reducing the thefts. However there is another village called Fugging about 300 kms east, towards Vienna, so let's hope they don't object.

So this renaming, due to take place on 1/1/21, is to stop the vandalism. Some prudes might think it was just to get rid of the vulgar village name. In which I case would point them to England which has a plethora of vulgar place names as shown in this collage :-

Had I been in charge of renaming the village, I'd have called it Golfing, killing two birds with one stone, a new village name and tempting Lord Tan Dump out of the White House. That'd be the Unfucking of the United States ;-)

Comments (4)
Jenny (Ibiza) wrote "With that headline, I was expecting something really quite obscene!" What, from me ??? ;-)
Doug (Canada) wrote "There are a lot of such place names here in Canada : Dildo NFLD and Come By Chance NFLD. Not to be out done, other provinces have Balls Creek NS, Balls Falls ON, Crotch Lake ON, and last but not least SK reaches new heights with Big Beaver leading to Climax." Somewhere near Medicine Hat (Alberta), as I remember, was a place called Fanny Hill (q.v), but that may have been in Montana (USA).
Doug (Canada) replied "Fanny Hill is a mountain in MT not a town or city." I know. It's an academic joke that Fanny Hill is an English translation from the Latin "mons veneris" ;-)
Ed (USA) tells me that "The UK's Top Gear team of automobile nuts also visited Intercourse, Pennsylvania." Doesn't surprise me.

Link to the previous month's blog.
Recent Writings
Give generously ?
Dead Stick Landing
Salmon Pie
Local call from ET ?
My last Great Conjunction
Murder-Witness ? Alexa!
Roast me!
French is not always...
Not always 5 & 5 digits
No More Fucking :-(
Local Lockdown Library
Extreme Hotels
The Sound of Silence
Guten Morgan!
Unlucky for some :-(
Biden Harris anagrams
Flying the Shuttle Carrier
NOT about the US election
End of Days?
Where's the Mass?
A different Halloween
Lord of the Flies ;-)
Meeting the Daily Llama
Post-Covid Trump
JU-52 major overhaul
Who needs a catapult?
RIP Jimi Hendrix

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?
Greg Laden
Mostly Cajun
Observing Hermann
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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