Nav Tools

--> Most recent Blog

Comments Policy
Maths trivia
Search this site
RSS feed for Stu Savory's Blog RSS Feed

Site Meter

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 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, July 31, 2014

Healthy Hiatus

Am healthy but away from the blog for a fortnight. I recommend you read the blogs in my blogroll (see right sidebar). Mails will be held but not read.

Meanwhile here's a limerick I heard, about all these pesky midges.

A mosquito was heard to complain
That chemists had poisoned her brain.
The cause of her sorrow
Was para-dichloro-

That's DDT by the way :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Butterflies galore this year

This year we really do have a large flutter* of butterflies in our garden, half of them Peacocks like the first two shown here. Last year the flutter was 90% Cabbage Whites, I wonder what caused the change?

Both of these are females, I haven't seen a male Peacock yet, but they must be around here somewhere. They all seem to home in on this one particular kind of flower, as I took the photos there were dozens of them.

The second most frequent (25%) kind in our garden this year is the Comma, orange and black with scallopped wings, as shown below.

The third most frequent (20%) kind in our garden this year is the Small Tortoiseshell, as shown below, recognisable by the bright trailing edge.

The remaining 5% are Cabbage Whites, with the occasional Red Admiral too. When the rainshower came just now, the whole flutter disappeared. Where do they go to shelter? Any of the huge raindrops would knock them for six!

Comments (2) :
Jenny (E) smiled "Oh what nice photos!" Thankyou. Opportunistic rather than planned though :-)
Doug (Canada) wrote "My fave [collective noun] has always been A Murder of Crows - seems so apt" See this story then ;-)

Friday, July 25, 2014

E-book advice, please

I am toying with the idea of doing a self-published E-book and would like the advice of others who have done this.

Previous books I have done had the traditional partition of jobs. Mine, as author, was to write the text (the easy job). Professional publishers then proof-read, corrected, chose a font and a type size, set the text, formatted the pages, chose a cover, did the marketing, did the sales and took the profits, passing a pittance on to the author ;-)
So I need some feedback on these publishing processes.

Some of you blogreaders (e.g. Friedhelm) chose to use a PDF format and have to worry about all the layout details yourselves, perhaps advantageous for a heavily illustrated work like his.

Others like Liz Hinds wrote regular text (unillustrated) as in her first E-book This time next year used the Amazon process to produce a Kindle e-Book. Liz told me "I published my novel first as an e-book. I did it through the Amazon kindle process. It was reasonably straight-forward although perhaps not as simple as they suggested. But that might have been me rather than the process. Then I used Lulu to publish as a paperback."

My collection of half a dozen short stories would be text only, so maybe the Kindle route is easiest? I'm looking for an easy - least effort on my part - solution. So far, I have downloaded a free program "Kindle for PC" and have learned that the reader can choose the size of the font, the number of

words per line, colour of the page, brightness and choose one or two column presentation, all dynamically. So it seems I need to spend no time doing this kind of formatting. Indeed, Amazon has a free E-book covering the Kindle publishing process which I shall read in the next few weeks. But their view may be simplified as Liz has suggested, so I would like other readers/ E-book self-publishers opinions on this and any other alternatives. Also, I see that Cnet has a web page on some basic options, which I shall read.

Going the Kindle route also means not having to worry about the sales side (OK,OK, they take a 30% cut for doing this). I see that Friedhelm chose to do the sales and marketing himself, I must ask him why. I don't want the hassle of having to set up an E-shop just for this; better to let Amazon handle it.

All your comments, feedback and suggestions via Email please :-)

Update 28/7 : Well, that was disappointing, not a single reply so far :-(

Comments (2) :
Rowan Rowan wrote on 4/9/14 : " Just came across your blog today for the first time. I can't give you advice on self publishing as such, but I know you can create an ebook using Calibre software, which is free. You can write your book in Word, save it as HTML (it's one of the save options for Word documents), drop it into Calibre and get it to convert it to epub (format used by Nook, Kobo, and countless other brands) and/or mobi (Kindle format only). You don't need to do anything regarding font size or anything, it does it all itself, and the e-reader has the ability to change the font size in any case. I don't know if Calibre has the option to embed DRM limitations, I suspect not. There are a bunch of other formats you can covert to (including PDF) but I barely know what half of them are, and don't care that much as they aren't useful to me! And, as an avid reader of ebooks, I applaud your decision not to use PDF which is a god-awful format for an e-reader. You can only really view them properly on a computer or iPad. You can also use a jpeg file to create your cover, you just have to tell Calibre where to find it when it converts your HTML file. I don't know how much of a problem layout would be for you. It's kind of second nature to me (like maths to you) so I don't really think about it, I just do it. As for editing, anyone who can write decent English (and there are surprisingly few of those around, even in English speaking countries) can edit your work. Of course, a professional will do a better job, but $$$$. Professional editing costs about E30ph, a decent editor will get through about 11,000 characters including spaces per hour - word count in Word will tell you how many characters you have. If you go the Amazon road, they won't promote you as such, but they will take a cut of any money you do get. It's a good idea to get every person who ever knew you to give you a review to get your rating up. As a consumer, I'm not going to fork out my hard earned on an unknown author with hardly any reviews (or none). I think Amazon may do a thing where they flog off ebooks cheaply in exchange for reviews. I know nothing about promoting a self published ebook, I only wish I did as I have nearly completed my first novel! Better get back to it now. I hope this helps." Thanks for that advice Rowan. When you get your eBook out, send me a link for a mention here :-)
Renke (D) replied " Below my (by far not as nice as the one written by Rowan) contribution I sent in July : D
Most likely you got no reply because your readers are epublishing dorks (at least I am one...) :) one quick idea: If you're already using (Open|Libre)Office you could take a look at the ePUB extension - should be an easy way to get some experience with ebook creation and you can directly compare the PDF output with the epub export (if you don't own a reader Calibre is a free software for nearly all ebook formats)."
Thankyou :)

Tuesday 22/7

PI day in Yurp = 22/7 :-)

Because Americans write their dates in the format MMDDYY, they celebrate PI day on March 14th (314) in particular at 1:59:26 a.m. (3.1415926 precisely). In Europe we write the dates in DDMMYY format. However there is no 14th month nor does April have 31 days, so we cannot get a 314 at the front of the date :-( However, the American 314 is only an approximation, so we Yurpeans can do another approximation on the 22nd of July by using slashes as separators thus 22/7 (=3,1428571428571428571428571428571 repeating every 6 digits). This is only about 0.04% from the true value of PI. Of course 355/113 would be even better, but hard to realise as a date ;-)

Most people think of PI as the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. However, there are other geometric definitions too. Let me show you how to construct one :-

Starting with the line segment AB as a radius draw circles centered on A and on B. The circles will intersect at points C and D. Connecting C and D with a straight line will bisect the line AB at point G. Draw a circle centered at G which touches both A and B tangentially. Call its radius r. The circumference of the circle centered at G is thus 2*PI*r. But you knew that!

The circles centered at A, B and C each have radius 2*r. The angles ABC, BCA and CAB are each 60° because ABC is an equilateral triangle. The three angles sum to 180° (a semicircle). So the length of the three arcs AC, CB and BA sum up to PI*2*r. PI is thus the ratio of the circumference of the 3-lobed curve ABC to its diameter AB. Q.E.D.

This is just one case, showing a 3-lobed curve ABC of constant diameter AB. But it is true for any number of lobes. In the general case, PI is the ratio of the circumference of any curve of constant diameter to that diameter. Not many people know that ;-)

Now go off and enjoy some pie; class dismissed!

The photo above shows the PI wall in the Math Museum in Giessen. Starting in the centre, the digits of PI spiral outwards covering the whole wall.

Comments (2) :
Christine (NZ) enthused "That was a nice simple proof; even I could understand it :-)" Thankyou.
Ed (USA) asked "So how many of these 'constant diameter' curves are there?" Infinitely many; one for each integer over two. The curve with an infinite number of lobes we call a circle :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tranquility Base remembered

45 years ago man landed on the moon. It was July 20th in the USA, July 21st 03:56:20 Central European Time in Germany. I bought these three commemorative medals later that year.

They have a 5 cm diameter, are 4 mm thick and made of pure silver. Ostensibly this dictates their market value, but space geeks like me value them for the achievement represented. Thanks, Werner von Braun & team!

Purportedly the first words said after landing on the moon were Armstrong's "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed!". This is not true! Actually, the VERY first words said upon landing on the moon were by Buzz Aldrin :- "Contact light! Okay, engine stop. ACA - out of detent." Armstrong acknowledged "Out of detent" and Aldrin continued, "Mode control - both auto. Descent engine command override off. Engine arm - off. 413 is in." Then and only then, did Armstrong say "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed!" Myth busted ;-)

Just as well that it was already July 21st in Germany, because July 20th was already taken : Germany remembers July 20th for a totally different reason.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Functionally illiterate? ;-)

Blogreader Ed (USA) suggested on monday that bloggers are literate because they can by definition read and write. Not true! I can only assume that Ed has never been outside the USA; because if you are in a country where you don't know the language, you are functionally illiterate. Even if you could hire a car there, you are lost if you cannot read the road signs. Local road signs may not be to the 'norm' you are used to in your country. Here are some examples, Ed :-

Just going from the triangular shape of the sign, I would assume that this Persian street sign says "Yield", but I'm just guessing.

This information board is in Hebrew only. Unless you are Jewish, you may not be able to read it. It seems to end in a signature, and contains a numeral "1950". Is this a Christian year on an Israeli (Jewish) info notice? A width or height limit in millimeters? A weight limit? Can a Jew give us a hint in the comments please? 'cos I'm functionally illiterate in Hebrew.

On this sign, I can't even understand the graphic! Functionally illiterate!

Now look at these two. The left one (Oz) has a plain yellow diamond which over here means there is a crossing ahead but I have the right of way. But what does the graphic of the motorcycle mean? Right of way for motorcycles only? Right of way for crossing motorcycles? Exactly opposite implications, so I'd slow to a crawl at the crossing and be prepared to stop. That may cause a local to rear-end me though :-(

The sign on the right might be a one-way street with some restrictions? Or parking restrictions to the left of the sign? I don't know, because I'm functionally illiterate in that country and so should keep off the roads!!!

This one is from Australia again. Perverts ahead? Unexpected flashes (of light) ahead? Flashers (e.g. for railway or pedestrian crossings) ahead? I have NO idea. Can some Ozzie please comment and explain? Even knowing the language I'm effectively functionally illiterate in this case :-(

Finally, look at these two. On the left: Food stop? Or pedestrians (=pies?) to proceed on the right? You guess.
On the right: Recreational area, but what recreation exactly? ;-)

So yes, Ed, I DO know what it is like to be functionally illiterate! ;-)

Comments (2) :
Cop Car (USA) has a similar problem " There are those of us who cannot fathom what the pict-o-grams in our own countries mean. I am frequently at a complete loss. If I'm lucky, Hunky Husband is at hand to translate for me. The same could be said when it comes to interpreting the information being asked when I fill out a form. Unless I am given a subject/verb/object, I can come up with 50 different ways to interpret the question." 50? I can usually only manage fortytwo ;-)
Ed (USA) replied "Well I HAVE been outside the USA! I was in western Canada (Vancouver) just last year :-)" Ego te absolvo ;-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Friedhelm Würfel's new book :-)

Old friend and blogreader Friedhelm Würfel has written a third book and produces it as an eBook in PDF format. You can order it here (N.B: It is written in German). A Kindle version is in preparation.

Being the generous bloke that he is, Friedhelm has sent me a signed hard copy, for which many thanks. As usual for him, it is of excellent quality.

In his first two books, Friedhelm describes his adventures travelling up the swedish and finnish coastlines in his homebuilt (sic!) boat. This time, he travelled by bicycle from his home village of Schmölau (in northern Germany) up to Hammerfest in northern Norway, about 3000 kilometers, over a period of 30 days. I'll stick to my motorcycle, thankyou, lad!

Having just got the book, I haven't yet read it, just scanned through. It is richly illustrated, over 100 photos like these spread over the 173 pages.

As soon as I have finished reading Ian Stewart's book "Flatterland", I'll start on Friedhelm's new book. Meanwhile, here's what the author looks like, scanned and blown up from his book, so excuse my poor scan quality.

Obligatory plug : If you can read German, why not support such adventurers by buying their travel books? Armchair comfort for 'your' adventure too ;-)

BTW, I wrote about his other two books here and here :-)

Comments (1) :
Jenny (Ibiza) asks "Why did he go via Sweden (see map)?" As I said, I haven't read the text yet, but I presume because it is flatter that way.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Oblongs :-)

At the local kindergarten, small children are taught pre-school skills, e.g. learning to count. The smaller ones can count to five, then ten by using both hands. Brighter kids count to 20 by taking off their socks and shoes and using their toes as well. One unusually talented lad claimed HE could count to 21 and took off his pants to demonstrate ;-)

Be that as it may, this story is about using kindergarten property for purposes for which it was not intended. They have lots of brightly coloured cardboard tiles so the kids can make pretty patterns. Think monochromatic beermats without any ads on them.

So, on open day, I taught the kids a 'game' called Oblongs. Starting with one tile, then 2, then 3 etc, see how many different oblongs you can make by laying the tiles next to each other, colours didn't matter. The picture below shows a row (1 by 5) of five tiles, which is unique, then one of the two oblongs using 6 tiles (2 by 3). With 12 tiles you could have 1 by 12, 2 by 6, or 3 by 4. The oblongs should be longer than they are high or at most square. We did it all the way up to 21 tiles :-)

Then one of the teachers came over "And what game are you playing?" she asked. "Making funny patterns?" she puzzled. So I told her that I had just taught the pre-schoolers some elementary number theory. They now knew how to factorise composite numbers and how to generate the squares and the primes (those being the only ones whose sole oblong is one unit high). Since the tiles had several colours, we could tackle set theory next :-)

"But they don't learn to multiply until primary school, and primes MUCH later, when they can divide!" she remonstrated.

"Oh tough", I replied, "They can learn anything much sooner if you make an easy game of it!" Exit stage right, chortling ;-)

PS: Don't try this with gummi-bears or lego instead of bigger tiles, 'cos pre-schoolers may will eat them :-(

Comments (9) :
John (UK) added "That's neat! You also implicitly taught them what a Remainder is and could have covered Modulo-arithmetic too." Indeed, but they can't even do regular arithmetic yet, until primary school.
Jenny (Ibiza) grins wryly and said "21, heh, heh! Knowing you, I'm surprised you didn't ask the teacher lady to demonstrate counting to 22 ;-)" No comment ;-)
Schorsch (D) added "With yesterday's soccer, I hope the row for 3 was :-)" Nice one! Go team, go!
Ed (USA) wrote (bitterly?) "You have no idea what it is like to be bad at math do you? Or unable to read/write/spell right?" I know plenty of people who can't do mental, or indeed any, arithmetic without a calculator; it's a curse of our times :-( As regards functional illiteracy, yes I do actually, so I'll do a post on that soon, OK?
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " Stu: How I wish I could have had a math teacher like you! :What I think is that kids need to learn basic math concepts while their brains are still developing, so that they will develop roomy spaces for them. My math brain is about the size of a pea due to disastrously bad math teaching in my early school years. . Aloha." Einstein once said ' Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.' (probably referring to Differential Geometry). Our difficulties just start at different levels; I stumble over Lie groups when doing quantum mechanics for example and really struggle with String Theory. Physics has gotten much less fun since the mathematicians snuck into the field :-(
Ivan (RU) sighs "The tile diagrams are obvious now you've pointed them out. The hard part must have coming up with the idea. Well done!" Actually, it was intuitive, effortless and immediate. The idea just popped up when seeing the tiles being used to make 'pretty patterns' :-)
Nikki (D) wrote "Just read a nice joke about a mathematician in BILD newspaper today : An NZ farmer asks rhetorically "That's a big flock of sheep, I wonder how many there are?". The mathematician takes a glance and says "3746". The farmer asked "How do you know?", the mathematician replies "Count the legs and divide by four" ;-)" He, he. Nice one from ewe ;)
Ivan (RU) replied "What is intuitive and immediate for you is hard work for the rest of us. Can't you give us an example of your mental processes when doing math?"" I can try. I look at the following equation and soon start quietly singing an old Janis Joplin song to myself, let me show you why...

The top line contains two expressions of the form x2+y2+Constant. Recognisable as (concentric) circles of radius 9/8 and 1 respectively. The bottom line is clearly symmetrical about the Y-axis, there are two steep lines which meet at the inner circle (radius 1). The two middle lines are clearly mirror images about the Y-axis, each a pair of shallow lines diverging from the inner circle perimeter. So - by mere inspection, not solving the inequality - what we have is the Mercedes-Benz logo (a three-spiked inverted-Y star inscribed in two concentric circles). And the Janis Joplin song that I sang to myself was Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz :-)
Ed (USA) wrote "Jeebus, Stu, you DO think different from the rest of us! But you didn't explain what all the 'min' and 'max' are for??" They are just to limit the length of the lines.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

24th wedding anniversary today :-)

Ecce! SWMBO 69, me 70, celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary and going for silver ;-)

Comments (3) :
Doug (Canada) opined feelingly "How SWMBO deserves a medal for putting up with you for so long :)" Indeed she does :-)
Cop Car (USA) added "Wonderful! Congratulations on your and SWMBO's being able to put it all together for 24 years. You are obviously enjoying the trip!" Sure we are :-)
Ivan (RU) thinks "Birds of a feather... ;-)" Nest together? Yes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Multitasking test

Part 1) using a stopwatch, time yourself writing this data block onto a sheet of paper line by line.

3 1 4 5 9 2 6 5 7 8 0



Part 2) using a stopwatch, time yourself writing this data block onto a sheet of paper column by column.

Typically line by line takes 27 seconds, column by column 42 seconds. This is because you are doing more context-switching in the latter case as you move from digits to letters to roman numerals. 30 context switches as opposed to just 2. Each context switch takes about ½ second for a typical person it would seem. How did you do? Drop me an email comment pls, telling me your gender and age. With enough data, there may be statistically significant results. Don't cheat to game it for the result you want. No points for bragging either!

Comments (3) :
Cop Car (USA) replied " Part 1: Female - 73 - 31 seconds; Part 2: Female - 73 - 41 seconds. When reading along a line, I can see and remember a continuous set of at least 5 - 8 characters (depending upon the spacing). In going by column, there are only 3 characters that I "see" at a time. It's faster if I only have to glance at the screen 6 times rather than 10 times. Why I can't automatically remember 6 characters in a 3X2 grouping is beyond me; but, perhaps if the matrix were square the results would be closer. P.S. Of course, part of the difference between my results of Part 1 and Part 2 is the aging that I experienced between the two runs ;-)" The matrix is not square, CC, but decidedly oblong, to induce the context-switching effect.
John (UK) answered "Male, 25, 34." OK, thanks John. See you in October?
Yolanda (NL) unlurked and wrote "Been lurking around your website for a few years now, never commented. Results: By line 33.5s; By column 32.3; Female, 38 years old. Keep up the good work :)" Welcome to the ranks of blog-commenters, Yoli, and thanks for the surprisingly symmetrical data.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mobile phone humour ;-)

would be the first to admit to failing to exploit all the capabilities of the modern mobile phone. Kids 60 years younger are better at it. Let me tell you about my phone problems, particularly with the camera...

The first problem was that it is a mobile phone I bought second hand from off of E-bay. From an Australian, it seems :-(

The second problem is that when I try to take a photo of a nice landscape or of a bikini belle at the beach, I invariably end up with a T*-Rex style close-up of my own nose (the dong, the dong, the luminous dong) :-(

Incompetent advisor #1 at the pub thinks that's because I'm standing too close; I should use the delayed-shutter release and stand further away ;-)

Incompetent advisor #2 at the pub thinks it's because I'm standing on the wrong side of the mobile phone. So I tried taking his unasked-for advice ;-)

I must still be doing something wrong, as you can see, and because the bikini belles I saw on vacation in Dubai are all underexposed ;-)

This post inspired by Smythe's Andy Capp cartoon ;-)

Comments (4) :
Renke (D) complained " I'm disappointed: No toilet selfies :)" Can't do those when the camera is stuck on close-up ;-)
John (UK) complained "I've been expecting you to do some football world cup humour :-(" OK. How about this : The shops here in Germany sell diary-style booklets so you can do your TV planning to watch your team on TV. Unlike the ones on sale in England, they have more than one page ;-)
Doug (Canada) wrote helpfully "Um - most mobile phones have a front and rear camera and it appears that you are forgetting to tell it which one to use :) Look in your camera settings - I don't know what make/model you have so I can't help with that. On my Samsung S3 it's just a button to push on screen to switch back and forth." This was not meant to be taken seriously Doug, just my attempt at 'iggerant' humour! But thanks anyway:)
Jenny (Ibiza) grins "Love the joke about niqab-wearing women being underexposed ;-)" Dark humour, OK? ;-)

Friday, July 4, 2014

US spy plane shot down

50years ago this year, during the cold war, a US T-39 Sabreliner "strayed" into East German airspace and was shot down by a Russian MIG-19 near Vogelsberg in the state of Thuringen.

So, since we were in a bike tour in the vicinity, we rode over to take a look at the memorial at the crash site. Although we parked as near as possible, just four old bikers climbed the ½ mile up the hill to the crash site, the rest were too damned lazy, no sense of history, these youngsters :-(

The memorial has a large gravestone with a plaque, a simple white wooden cross, three flagpoles and a couple of young trees. Built and maintained (after the Iron Curtain fell) by volunteers who were young lads in Vogelsberg when they witnessed the shoot-down and subsequent crash.

The cross bears photos of three aircrew killed, not exactly beginners!

The memorial stone bears a simple plaque naming the crew.

The Wikipedia account of the incident gives the US account, dilettante(?) pilots "on a training flight" north-south along the border (in the ADIZ!!) accidentally (turning hard east at 500mph) and "straying" (60 miles east) into East German airspace in an unarmed plane. Remember that Gary Powers' U-2 was unarmed too. The Russian version had the Sabreliner crammed with electronics, presumably recording radar signatures of the nearby (7 miles north) Russian frontline airbase at Dermsdorf (now EDBS). Dermsdorf scrambled a MIG19 who intercepted and fired several warning shots to divert the T-39, which did not respond, and so the MIG put several rounds into the Sabreliner, shooting it down (it had no ejection seats).

We also rode by the old Russian frontline airbase at Dermsdorf (now EDBS) which still has some historic Cold-War fighters and a bomber on display.

There was a ditch and a chain link fence preventing me getting any closer to the old MIGs, so these are the best photos I have, sorry.

Freedom thought : the Fourth of July is a good day to post this account...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Minimum wage day?

Today the German parliament will vote on a federally-mandated minimum wage (€8.50/hr, with a few exceptions). Standard microeconomic theory claims increased minimum wage = decreased economic prosperity. But countries in Scandinavia with high unionisation and higher union rates don't seem to be much less prosperous????

Personally, I pay my gardener and housekeeper, who each come once a week, more than this minimum wage AND their social security / health insurance contributions, because I firmly believe that good work deserves a good wage and noone should have to live on the poverty line. But then, I'm a socialist, not a capitalist; standard microeconomic theory can go shove it, IMHO :-)

Comments (5) :
Barbara (UK) asks "So where exactly IS the poverty line in Germany? I thought yours was a rich country???" Funny/sad answer : Outside the welfare agency doors and around the corner :-( Serious answer : Poverty is (arbitrarily?) defined as having income 60 percent below the average (median). In 2012, this poverty threshold was €869 monthly for a single household, and €1,826 for a family of 4 with 2 kids under 14.
Denny (USA) asks "What are the exceptions?" AFAIK : Minors, compulsory-practica, newspaper deliverers, seasonal (crop-picking) workers and (for 6 months) people previously unemployed for more than a year.
Ken (USA) asks "How many people will benefit?" About 15% of the working population; salespersons, waiters, taxi-drivers etc.
Anon (D) comments cynically "And at the opposite end of the pay scale, CEO-in-spe Klaus Deller, who signed a 3 year contract with the Schaefflers, was fired before he'd even started work, but gets €11 million for ZERO days work :-(" That stinks to high heaven! Not only because it is about €2000/hr, but I suppose there is no law stopping capitalists from throwing their money out of the window, money they could have given their poorer employees as raises :-(
Michelo (BOL) sighs "Here in Bolivia the government has just LOWERED the minimum work age from 14 to 10 because there are so many poor families!" So presumably these children will be doing the unqualified jobs their parents were doing, but at a lower wage, and the parents get fired? :-( How stupid is that?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Steam powered car will blow you off!

Just a single photo today for those of you who have never seen under the bonnet/hood of a steam-powered car. Steam engines - like DC electric motors - have maximum torque at zero revs. So this 1920s car makes fast starts at the traffic lights, blowing off(sic!) modern cars :-)

This particular car was based in the car museum at Melle, which also has Brigitte Bardot's Morgan and a couple of Wankel engined cars too.

This post is for Renke and other Steampunk fans :-)

Recent Writings
Healthy Hiatus
Butterflies galore
E-book advice, please
PI day in Yurp = 22/7
Tranquility Base redux
Functionally illiterate?
Friedhelm's new book :-)
Oblongs :-)
24th wedding anniversary
Multitasking test
Mobile phone humour
US spy plane shot down
Minimum wage day?
Steam powered car
A visit to Mühlhausen
Douglas Adams T-Shirt
Singed in the Treetops
24 years on
Ancient Oak :-)
Reading their minds ;-)
Faith in your product!
Cantor Dust ;-)
Sunday's Steam
Turned 70 on Sunday
Sehr geehrtes Facebook
Low Approach to EDXH
Frieda turns 9
Steinertsee model railway
The Meaning of Life ;-)
Hannoversch Münden
RIP Friedel Münch

Ain Bulldog Blog
Balloon Juice
Cop Car
Earth-Bound Misfit
Echidne of the snakes
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
The Alternate Brain
The Magistrate's Blog
XE Express
Yellowdog Grannie

Archive 2014:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun
Archive 2013:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2012:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2011:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2010:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2009:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec

Link Disclaimer
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.

This Blog's Status is
Blog Dewey Decimal Classification : 153
FWIW, 153 is a triangular number, meaning that you can arrange 153 items into an equilateral triangle (with 17 items on a side). It is also one of the six known truncated triangular numbers, because 1 and 15 are triangular numbers as well. It is a hexagonal number, meaning that you can distribute 153 points evenly at the corners and along the sides of a hexagon. It is the smallest 3-narcissistic number. This means it’s the sum of the cubes of its digits. It is the sum of the first five positive factorials. Yup, this is a 153-type blog. QED ;-)
Books I have written

Index/Home Impressum Sitemap Search site/www