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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 bitch 'Frieda'.

And her big son 'Kosmo'.

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Autocompleted Dating Profile ;-)

Just last week, Twitter blogger Technically Ron published a great idea : he started writing a dating profile and let Google autocomplete his entries. It was hilarious! The Daily Mail (UK) wrote an article about it. Exigez l'originale, as the French would say :-)

How does Google do autocompletion? Using Markov Chains. Google refers to its inverted database and finds that immediately after words B and C, word D occurs with probability Pd, word F occurs with probability Pf, and word G occurs with probability Pg. It then suggests a list of alternatives whose transitional probabilities exceed a certain threshold; usually 3, 4, or 5 alternatives. If one matches what you wanted to write, then you can just select it, saving the effort of typing in the whole word (and avoiding typos :-).

Neat, I thought, and decided to try it myself, choosing the most scurrilous autocompletion suggestion and even different search engines. I also extended his idea by providing a link to whatever the search engine suggested, especially if it suggested a cliche´. The words preceding the inserted colon are what I typed in, the word(s) after the inserted colon are the chosen autocompletion suggestion. Here's a typical result :-

My name is : Legion.

My height is : 6' 2 lyrics.

My weight is : killing me.

My occupation : to stop the inauguration of Satan.

I excel at : many things.

I enjoy : long romantic walks to the fridge.

I'm looking for : ways over water.

Etc. etc.

How weird is that then? And often hilarious. Give it a try yourselves & post your results. We'll be laughing at with you :-)

Comments (2)
Jenny (Ibiza) said "Yup, that's weird all right!"
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote "Romantic moments : Nothing like a midnight snack ;-)"

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Five planets in a row :-)

It is only every 15 years or so that we get 5 planets visible at once to the naked eye, all lined up in a row across the night sky. Last friday we had clear skies here (see previous blog article) and good seeing in the subzero air and so I got to see them all just before dawn. The image below shows a computer simulation of where they are, my photo was not good :-(

About ¾ hour before dawn is the best time to look. Then you can just see Mercury in the south-east before it becomes hidden in the rising sun's glare. Moving over ca. 10° further south, you cannot miss Venus, shining brightly. In fact, even with field binoculars, you can see that Venus displays a disc.

In the SSE, just above and to the left of the star Antares, you can see Saturn - also with the naked eye. Using my tabletop reflecting telescope I could even see the rings of Saturn (looking like jug-ears actually, the scope's only got a 3 inch mirror). Almost exactly south, you can see the reddish glow of Mars. You'll need a scope to see it as a disc, maybe even barsoom in on it ;-)

Over past the southwest, at a slightly higher elevation, one can see Jupiter clearly. I used my scope to see the four Galilean moons of Jupiter.

You can see this display until about mid-February, although Mercury gets harder to see later.

All very spectacular, but then I went back to bed to get warm again :-)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Faerie Ice :-)

We don't see this very often. Ground level radiation fog overnight deposits as "Faerie Ice" in glittering crystals in the bare branches and twigs of winter's deciduous trees.

The photo does not do justice to the splendour of -8°C reality :-(

Comments (1)
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " Looks wintry. All the snow and ice places seem to be getting snow and ice now. I kind of miss it, being in Hawaii, but not that much, especially not those arthritic aches and pains that cold weather gives me. However, the visuals can be beautiful, as your photo shows." Today the snow is melting here already :-(

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ireland Tour tips please :-)

We are planning to tour Ireland by motorcycle this summer and so would appreciate any tips from blogreaders on things and places we MUST see.

So far, we plan on arriving in Belfast on the ferry from Stranraer, then via Giants Causeway, Londonderry across to the Wild Atlantic Way in an anticlockwise direction via Galway, Sky Road, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, Ring of Kerry, Limerick. Then back via Blarney, Cork and departing from Rosslare 9 days later, avoiding Dublin and the central areas.

Yes, we are consulting YouTube for other bikers' videos etc. So I'm really looking for insider tips from any readers in Ireland or those of you who have done a vacation tour there. Tips please by email to this Email address :-)

Thanks in advance, and say if you do NOT want your tips published in the comments section here. The more the merrier, begorrah :-)

Comments (6)
Frank (D) suggests "Titanic Ship Museum, 1 Olympic Way, Belfast. And Rock of Cashel." Good ideas!
Renke (D) suggests " Distilleries_in_Ireland and Breweries in Ireland. Only half-kidding, Have fun!" Coincidentally, Bushmills is almost exactly on our planned route, so we'll do a distillery tour. The only problem is choosing one which is at a planned evening stop, so that we don't ride any more that day.
Noel (UK) suggests "Do the Ring of Kerry clockwise, like the tourist busses, makes passing easier on the single track roads.". OK.
Mary (IRL) warned "I live here so 2 warnings : if you are here 9 days it'll rain for 6, to be sure, so bring 2 sets of dry clothes and a hairdryer. Also, watch out for potholes. If in Dublin, drop by for a cup of tea :-)" We looked at the climate tables, so know to expect rain (but not about the potholes). We'll be avoiding Dublin, sorry.
Mary (IRL) replied "You prefer Belfast to Dublin? Go directly to jail. Do not collect £200 ;-)" Sounds interesting, may spend some time in there ;-)
Mary (IRL) added "BTW: You'll need an adapter for your mains power plugs, from German 2 round pins to Irish 3 square pins" Thanks for the tip.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Teasing the Teacher ;-)

This little anecdote goes back to my primary school days, I was nine at the time. There were four of us who had banded together to discourage the class bully from beating us up just because we were bright kids (aka know-it-alls) : Terrible Tony, Horrible Harry, Winnie the Ninny and Stupid Stu (yours truly). We called ourselves The Gang of Four, a name which became so infamous that over a decade later the Chinese copied it - as they did everything else it has turned out ;-)

One of our favourite games was Teasing the Teacher by pretending to have misunderstood what he was teaching : yes, folks, this was so long ago that there were male teachers in primary schools!

In the preceding weeks he had taught us about fractions and the need convention of reducing them to their minimal form. Example : Reduce e.g. 42/56 = (3*14)/(4*14) =3/4 by dividing both numbers by their Greatest Common Divisor (GCD), here 14. While waiting for the slower members of the class to catch up, The Gang of Four found there were four number pairs which coincidentally also followed another rule; so we learned these four and teased the teacher with them :-)

When the teacher got us kids to demonstrate we had understood reduction of fractions on the blackboard for numbers the other kids called out, The Gang of Four went into action. When Terrible Tony was up front, one of us called out "19" and another "95" . So Terrible Tony carefully wrote on the blackboard 19/95. Then he said "There's a nine on the top and on the bottom, so they cancel out, and so 19/95 = 1/5" ;-) While the teacher - who thought we had genuinely misunderstood - gently said "That's not how it works! next...", Horrible Harry got up front and The Gang of Four called out "49" and "98" : so Harry wrote 49/98 on the board, crossed out the nines and got 49/98 = 4/8 :-) The teacher remonstrated "Well yes, but you should have written 4/8 = 1/2" before seeing we'd used the same trick :-) When it was Winnie's turn, we called out "16" and "64", so he wrote 16/64, crossed out the sixes, getting 16/64 = 1/4, again correct but using the wrong method ;-)

When it was my turn, The Gang of Four called out "26" and "65", so I wrote 26/65, erased the sixes, and got 26/65 = 2/5, again correct but using the wrong method ;-) Teacher got all hot under the collar that this "method" had worked four times in succession and insisted in showing us the GCD method again, as slowly as possible.

I often wondered if he realised he had been set up because these are the ONLY two digit number pairs for which the cancellation "rule" works :-) Later, when I was in secondary school and out of his reach, I sent him a Xmas card just saying 143,185/17,018,560 . On the second line I cancelled out the 18s on both top and bottom, getting 143,185/17,018,560 = 1,435/170,560 which is also correct, but not in smallest factors: Maybe then the penny dropped ;-)

RIP Mr. Beresford, a good - and patient - village primary school teacher :-)

Comments (4)
Cop Car (USA) wrote " Thanks for the laugh! " - this was so long ago that there were male teachers in primary schools!" I am older than you, Stu, and I had zero male teachers until 8th grade (which was a part of the high school where I attended in Kansas City MO). Then, in college, I had zero female teachers - until the middle of my senior year (at which time I transferred to a larger university in which Physics was a part of the Liberal Arts & Sciences school). Of course, after the transfer of universities, to force atonement for my 3.5 years in engineering school, I was forced to take 4 courses in physical education (not offered for females in the old school), 1 course each in public speaking, money & banking, literature, psychology, sociology, and philosophy - in addition to the technical courses that I would have been required to have taken in the old school (the second semester, each, of E&M Fields, Classical Mechanics, solid-state physics). Obviously, I did not finish within the one semester that I would have required at the old school." Wow, your tertiary education was much broader than mine! Ours was blinkered down to Physics and Maths.
Cop Car (USA) replied " I wasn't pleased with having a semester added to my bachelor-level endeavors, then; but, I've since come to appreciate the breadth of knowledge to which I was exposed. Of course, in graduate school, it was back to 100% technical." Indeed!
Schorsch (D) wrote "FWIW : 16,666/66,664=1/4 , just cancel the four sixes top and bottom :-)" Useless to know, thanks anyway :-)
David (NY,NY) wrote "That was funny; now try the current US version. :-)" Nice!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Sixth Continent

While the conference on Global Warming was going on in Paris last year, the question cropped up at our local pub "What would Antarctica look like if all the ice melted?". Some searching of the Internet has returned the following map, a polar projection looking down from above the south pole, because the usual cylindrical Mercator projection cannot show polar regions. I wonder what fossils will show up there.

Of course, if all the ice melted, global sea level would rise, so the coastlines shown are only an approximation. Antarctica average elevation is about 7,500 feet so it wouldn't be affected much by the sea-level rise.

The Maldives average 6 feet amsl, Kiribati too, so they will disappear off the map. Closer to home, the Netherlands average 98 feet and Denmark 112 feet. With the 40 foot sea-level rise expected by 2100, half of Holland's population could be flooded out, quite a bit of Denmark and the northern German plains will be submerged, in the USA much of Florida, Louisiana and the eastern seaboard will be flooded. Goodbye Galveston, New Orleans, Miami, New York etc. :-(

As if we didn't have enough problems here with the million refugees who arrived last year - not to mention the TEN million en-route - we'd have to make room for the Dutch and the Danes too. Maybe we should start now teaching the refugees not just German, but also how to swim :-(

FWIW, I live above 800 ft amsl. How about you all?

Comments (6)
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " We live on a bluff overlooking Hilo Bay. We are up about 150 ft. and set well back from the edge. As you may know, the town of Hilo has experienced two tsunamis in the past. Information here on the extremely cool Pacific Tsunami Museum web site." Sounds safe :-)
Doug (Canada) wrote "1140 ft". Sounds more susceptible to avalanches than tsunami!
Piet (NL) said sadly "We live below sea level :-(" Bummer :-(
Cop Car (USA) wrote " As you are aware, I live in flat-land, Kansas USA - at about 1775 feet amsl. The airport at which I learned to fly is about 6 or 8 miles distant and is at 1830 feet amsl. Of course, when I lived in Florida USA I was at 0.5 feet amsl and when I lived in New Mexico USA, about 6000 feet amsl." Did you have density altitude problems in New Mexico? I remember being surprised by them when flying to Samedan (CH) in my underpowered PA28-140. Also, it was unexpected how high Greenland is (over 10,000 ft).
Cop Car (USA) replied " Not that I recall - mostly, I'm sure, because I was always well aware of the issue. The only time I recall even worrying about density altitude because of geographic altitude was in taking a Cessna P210 load of skiers to Aspen. On the return trip, taking off from Denver (old airport), I really hugged the ground for a long time. Fortunately, the runway was really long. I've had a lot more worries on density altitude because of heat in Kansas and Missouri - especially at above 100 degrees F." Samedan's runway is long too, so that's OK. Courchevel altiport (LFLJ), is short and high , up a blind slope one-way towards a mountain wall, which makes it scary :-(
Pergelator (USA) asks " Why would you make Antarctica 6th? Why not 7th? Or 1st?" I was taught (at primary school) there were 5 continents: Europe, Africa, Asia, America, Australia. And so I put Antarctica sixth, in the sequence discovered by Europeans(?). Some geographers combine Europe and Asia into Eurasia. In parts of the world, students learn that there are just five continents: Eurasia, Australia, Africa, Antarctica, and the Americas. Others count North and South Americas as separate continents, making 7. YMMV.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Border Control, local style ;-)

The German civil service is being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. This includes the digitalisation of much of their data including a combined cadastral map and real estate book which is the responsibility of the individual states. Surprisingly, the states agreed on a common database format, making the data interchangeable between states for the first time ;-)

A comparison of the data from the state of Lower Saxony and what used to be Westphalia (now a subset of the state NorthRhine-Westphalia (NRW)) which share a 154km common border showed discrepancies. Some pieces of land "overlapped", implying they belonged to BOTH states and other areas belonged to neither (=No Man's Land). The last border surveys - done seperately by each state - were 200 years ago and nobody had ever noticed the discrepancies! Which just goes to show how irrelevant they are!

So now this common border is being surveyed again, this time with modern differential GPS equipment (DGPS), no expense spared, to resolve differences which noone has cared about for the last 200 years :-(

But my interest was piqued by the issue of how this arose. Official sources merely murmering something about "different coordinate systems". So let's look at some of the possible sources of error.

Historical issues : The name "Westphalia" was applied to several different entities in history, but after 1648 (The Treaty of the Peace of Westphalia which ended the 30 Years War) it had its own capital city as did Lower Saxony. Both thought they knew where they were. Hah! It was not even clear where the Null meridian was! In 1718 the French declared it went through Paris; in 1738 the Brits declared it went through Greenwich. Germany did not adopt the Greenwich meridian until 1885, well after the border survey under discussion. So the two capital cities indeed used different reference systems at the time.

Survey tolerances : Surveying at the time was done by triangulation. The surveyor measured a baseline AB (see diagram below) using a standard measure of length. The metre was originally defined in 1793, so may(?) have been used for the survey. Lower Saxony (Kingdom of Hannover) might have used their Ruthe (=4.671 meters) , the Cassel Ruthe - probably used in Westphalia(?) was 4.026 meters, so even the units of length were different.

Be that as it may, the surveyor observes a point C visible from both ends of the baseline AB and measures the angles BAC and ABC using a theodolite. The theodolite became a modern, accurate instrument in 1787 with the introduction of Jesse Ramsden's famous great theodolite in the UK. There were no (accurate) German theodolites at the time, so we don't know what instruments were used for the surveys 200 years ago. Let's assume a simple theodolite ; in another blogpost I'll tell you about a theodolite I built as a geeky school project, aged 13 (me, not the theodolite ;-)

Arriving at point C, the surveyor chose the next point D, also visible from A and repeated the process. Ditto for E,F,G and H. And so the position of H could be calculated even though it was invisible from A and B. Inaccuracies in the angle measurements lead to inaccuracies in the distance calculations, increasing with the square root of the number of steps taken in the triangulation.

Map issues : Lambert introduced his conformal conic projection in 1772; orthodromes (great circle routes) are straight lines, area is (almost) conserved. This would have been used 200 years ago. The sketch below shows how this projection is made. Two latitudes B and D are chosen where a line ABCDE parallel to the tangent at latitude C is drawn. The map is projected onto this plane. So points around the map centre (below C) are shown as closer together than around the Earth's curvature. Correspondingly, points around the map edge (below A and E) are shown as further apart than around the Earth's curvature. This is the projection distortion. And of course each state centered the map differently, i.e. different latitudes for B and D, so different distortions ;-)

The result of all this was that differences of scores of metres crept in 200 years ago, necessitating the new survey being done this year with DGPS.

There is a historical cornerstone where the states Lower Saxony, NRW and Hessen meet - not far from the Skywalk above the river Weser - based on the 200 year old surveys; I wonder if they'll (have to) move it? ;-)

Comments (3)
Klaus (USA) - who used to be a surveyor here in Germany - wrote " About 45 years ago I was doing some surveying in Cologne during my engineering studies,we did use a "Wild theodolite" (Made in Switzerland), no GPS connection at that time. If one of your blog readers like to go deeper in the German history of the theodolite I can recommend: "Geschichte der Geodaesie in Deutschland" by Wolfgang Torge, you can find it if you google it or at the German national library." Thanks Klaus, you probably know more about theodolites than I have ever learned :-)
Cop Car (USA) wrote " Ah, yes, how very much I enjoyed the plane surveying course that I was required to take during my first semester at university. How amazed was I one week to find the8-penny common nail that we had into the dirt where we stopped after surveying ½-way across the local golf course, the previous week. This was accomplished using level and chain. Our notes were kept in 7H lead pencil markings in a bound book - to protect the integrity of entries in case of legal action. No doubt Klaus' experience as a professional was much more impressive - and - surely in more interesting locations. He could probably spin some yarns." What is a "the8-penny nail"?
Cop Car (USA) replied "should have input "the 8-penny common nail". " OK.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

3D Blogging attempt

My better half, SWMBO, wanted a SmartPhone for Xmas, specifically a Galaxy S3neo, because that is the model her friend Ulrike has, to whom she could turn for help if necessary. So I bought her one and a provider contract, pre-loaded it with a suitable set of Apps, and now she has started down the sloping path towards becoming a Smombie ;-)

Smombie is the 2015 word-of-the-year here in Germany; it is a portmanteau word, a contraction of Smartphone Zombie. This is a state of being(?) wherein the users walk around staring only at their Smartphones and ignoring/missing what is happening in the real world around them :-(

Be that as it may, we can rely on Amazon to push associated stuff one might "need" for the phone. But I did buy one suggestion : a cardboard VR (Virtual Reality) viewer. Folded together, there are two lenses for close-up focus, a nose cutout, a slot across the back to hold the Smartphone (secured by a rubber band) and two thumbholes in the bottom to let you access the touchscreen. Here's a view partially from below showing all these.

The pretty pictures printed on it include a QR-code which takes you here. Presumably there are equivalent pages in other languages too. Scrolling down the German page, there are 12 videos, viewable around 360° (overhead as well), giving Virtual Reality views of 12 places in Germany. The attitude sensor in the Smartphone "knows where you are looking" and changes the viewpoints appropriately. Quite well done, methinks. Like.

I couldn't see how to make such 360° photos myself (tutorial links welcome, any suggestions?), but the basic dual-lens setup should enable me to view stereoscopic photo pairs. That is true, they were quite good too, so I've decided to try to take some stereoscopic photo pairs myself, to see if I could "blog in 3D". Here are my first faltering steps.

You too will need such a VR stereoscopic viewer to see these pairs in 3D.

The format of this blog imples that each foreground image is only 300*225 pixels in size so the 3D results are a bit grainy, chunky and pixelly :-( Lesson one, for HiRes images, the stereoscopic photo pair should be behind a link, where they could have a much better resolution. Lesson two, this image pair does not fill the 3D view (depending on your SmartPhone screen resolution). So zoom the view until it does, making it more chunky :-( Lesson three, moving the camera 70mm (distance apart of your pupils) is not enough to give a 3D effect on mid-ground (small) objects.

So my next attempt photographed the VR-cardboard viewer placed well in the foreground. The 3D effect became more apparent. Lesson four : do not turn the camera, keep it parallel to the first photo you take.

Lesson five : be aware of where the shadows fall, in particular your own :-(

Lesson six : animals are much more difficult for you to take a stable photo pair. They may react to the flash of the first photo, moving their heads or blinking. At least with humans, you can tell them to keep still and stare at the same spot off camera until you have taken BOTH photos :-)

All in all, this attempt to blog 3D stereoscopic pairs proved much more difficult than had imagined it would be. I'll need to practice quite a bit first if this (links to 3D photopairs in the background) is to become a regular feature.

Would those of you readers with 3D VR viewers please mail me some feedback, both on how you see my photos and giving tips of your own on how to improve them ?

Comments (5)
Alan (USA) wrote " I've been enjoying reading your blog for some time now; you have an interesting variety of topics which are always worth a look, thanks. I think your motorcycle posts caught me first while googling vintage bikes. I never commented before, but I was moved to respond to your 3D photography. I don't have anything useful to say about *making* 3D pictures, but I thought you might be interested in more about *viewing* them. You don't actually need any equipment to view them! This site has some interesting info. Your images, with the left eye image on the left, can be viewed by the 'parallel viewing' method, though I had to shrink the page images a bit to handle that. This is like how you view those 3D random dot 'magic eye' images. I find the 'cross eyed' method easier with larger images. This requires a bit of graphical editing to move the left eye image to the right hand side. I found the middle image with the xmas decoration to be the most compelling. Hope this might be of interest." It certainly is. Just goes to show the feats the human brain is capable of! (Sorry about ending that sentence with a preposition).
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " This looks great. Couldn't we put 3D photos and art on the Internet? All these electronic toys are so much fun, and we are just beginning to explore their potential." Sure we can put at least stereoscopic pairs in the net, e.g. photo-pairs of your pottery :-) But I don't know what proportion of our readers have virtual-reality viewers? The path I am exploring assumes that most people have a smart phone, so there is only the minimal investment in one of these cardboard viewers needed. But Alan suggests we don't even need that, but can twist our brains to see in 3D even without such devices! Let's see what other feedback comes :-)
Karel (CZ) suggests "You could get better resolution while keeping the pic pair in the foreground in the middle column of your blog by turning them 90°. Then each pic could be 800*600 , one below the other in the middle column. Viewers would just need to turn their head sideways." Not sure that would be user-friendly, man, but I'll give it a try (offline first). Result : doesn't work because the Smartphone changes its display to portrait-orientation instead of landscape-, when vertical :-(
Schorsch (D) quips "Rule 34 demands that you show us porn pix in 3D." What is 3D porn? A gay ménage à trois? Butt no!
Frank (D) points out that "...You can view the 360° views you linked to (and others) without a VR eyepiece. Just hold a tablet at arms' length and move it around to see where you want to!" Good idea, but I don't own a tablet.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

Some thoughts on New Year's Day. Like, WHY is it new year today? It wasn't always that way. After all, the word 'December' comes from the Latin word for 10, 'November' from 9, 'October' from 8 etc. Extrapolating backwards, the Romans' first month must have been March :-) Indeed it was, they celebrated New Year on March 1st.

At least up until 154 BC (= 600 AUC ab urbe condita after the founding of the city). The Iberian Celts (what we call Spain today) rebelled in december of that year. At that time, the Romans changed their rulers (=consuls) at the beginning of each year. But this time they didn't want to change rulers in the middle of a rebellion, declared 600 AUC as finished after only 10 months and started 601 AUC (with new rulers) in January so that they could suppress the rebellion without changing horses midstream :-)

In a primary school spelling-bee, I remember being mocked for confusing calendars with calenders; one kid even brought a colander to school next day to see if I could spell that. Children are cruel :-(

When the Roman empire collapsed (476 AD) everybody established their own calendars (which are an arbitrary convention after all). The Iranians chose March 21st (the beginning of astronomical spring). At least they had some astronomy! The Scots, English and Germans arbitrarily chose the alleged date of Mary's annunciation (March 25th, conveniently 9 months before Xmas). Byzantine chose September 1st, because that was the day they believed the world had been created (Stupid! Everybody knows it was Usshered in on October 23, 4004 BC, sometime in the afternoon). The French chose Easter, which meant that their New Year became a Movable Feast; rather unpractical!

Solar calendars were introduced to be able to predict the seasons; important for agricultural societies in areas of higher latitudes. In equatorial regions less so; there are some such regions whose calendars are based on the orbits of other planets!

The arbitrary calendar chaos went on until 1691 (sic!) when Pope Innocent XII put his foot down and decreed that the 601 AUC start on January 1st would be the global norm. (NB. the One-True-Church year still starts on the 1st Advent ;-) Between 1582 and as late as 1926 other countries dropped the (drifting) Julian calendar and changed over to Pope Gregory's version which is now the global norm (?) - losing 11 days in the process.

Global norm? Hah!!! Jews have different rules; nothing new there! They started year 5776 on September 14th 2015. Muslims? different again. Their year 1437 started at sunset on October 14th 2015. China won't start their Year of the Ape until 8th February 2016.

But to all of you who still follow the global-norm/Innocent papal decree/Roman rebellion-suppression fixup : Happy New Year :-)

Comments (5)
Pergelator (USA) mailed the first comment of the year " I had never heard of a calender before. Even spell check doesn't know what it is. And why would primary school children be concerned about them anyway? Unless they were destined to be apprenticed to industrial machine engineering. As for Ussher, are there any written records older than 4004 BC?" Spelling Bees often use more obscure words. It was there that I learnt that the fifth taste is called Umami :-) I assume your spell-check is limited to American? FWIW, Jiahu symbols, carved on tortoise shells in Jiahu, date from ca. 6600 BC; Vinca signs (on the Tartaria tablets), date from ca. 5300 BC; The Dispilio Tablet dates from the late 6th millennium BC; Cuneiform script goes back to 4th millennium BC.
Jenny (Ibiza) wishes "A happy and healthy New Year to you and all your readers" Thankyou!
Doug (Canada) sent this Wikiwand definition for Pergolator " A calender is a series of hard pressure rollers used to form or smooth a sheet of material such as paper or plastic film. In a principal paper application, the calender is located at the end of a papermaking process (on-line). Those that are used separately from the process (off-line) are also called supercalenders. The purpose of a calender is to make the paper smooth and glossy for printing and writing, as well as of a consistent thickness for capacitors that use paper as their dielectric membrane." So now we know :-)
Renke (D) wrote " Rockchip introduced a new calendar - November has 31 days :) The Linux kernel patch commit message is great:) A happy year 3182 (Discordian calendar) !" Tough when you can't even trust the hardware :-(
Petra (A) asks "Was there a year zero?" For Christians, no! For Buddhists, Hindi, astronomers and the ISO 8601 standard, yes! See Wikipedia entry here.

Recent Writings
Autocompleted Profile
Five planets in a row
Faerie Ice :-)
Ireland Tour tips please
Teasing the Teacher ;-)
The Sixth Continent
Border Control
3D Blogging attempt
Happy New Year
Best of 2015
Behold, a child is born
Vainglorious FAIL
The Furor :-(
Book Tip
Counting my sins ;-)
Happy Han Hooker
New 20 Euro note
In Memoriam : A. Einstein
Driving School Roof
Baggage Blooper
E = m * c-squared

Ain Bulldog Blog
Balloon Juice
Cop Car
Earth-Bound Misfit
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Hattie (Hawaii)
Making Light
Mostly Cajun
Murr Brewster
Not Always Right
Observing Hermann
Rants from t'Rookery
Scary Duck
Spork in the drawer
Squatlo Rant
Yellowdog Grannie

Archive 2015:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2014:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
This blog is getting really unmanagable, so I've taken the first 12 years' archives offline. My blog, my random decision. Tough shit; YOLO.
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ENGLISH : I am not responsible for the contents or form of any external page to which this website links. I specifically do not adopt their content, nor do I make it mine.
DEUTSCH : Für alle Seiten, die auf dieser Website verlinkt sind, möchte ich betonen, dass ich keinerlei Einfluss auf deren Gestaltung und Inhalte habe. Deshalb distanziere ich mich ausdrücklich von allen Inhalten aller gelinkten Seiten und mache mir ihren Inhalt nicht zu eigen.

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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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