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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 called 'Kosmo'.

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mondrianesque Bulldog ahoi :-)

As you may know from my left sidebar, SWMBO and I are fans of the English Bulldog. Our current dog is called Kosmo; here are two photos which Alex took.

What you may not know, is that I am a fan of the cubism style art of Piet Mondrian. This is an abstract style so straightforward that I can copy it myself, as many others have done.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when driving into the coastal village of Carolinensiel we saw this rooftop statue :-) Afaik, Mondrian never drew a bulldog nor made such a resin/fibreglas statue, so it's just somebody else copying his style. But worth taking this photo nevertheless :-) We stopped and rang the bell of the house (a shop) on which this huge bulldog was placed, to ask for more info, but sadly there was nobody in :-(

If the shop had had smaller, transportable, copies, I might have bought one :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Norwegian Bliss

My hefty cardiac problem of march 11th led us to realise we were going to have to work faster at ticking things off my bucket-list :-(

One of the items on that list was to see the Ems-passage of a big cruise ship; so we went to see Norwegian Bliss going down-river from Papenberg to Emden, last week.

Meyer's shipyard in Papenberg makes two huge cruise ships each year but has the disadvantage of being about 25 miles inland !!! The only connection to the sea being the rather shallow river Ems from Papenburg to Emden. So they take advantage of the high tides in spring and in fall to convey their 2 ships per year to the sea. Even so, they have to use the tidal barrier of the river Ems to contain the high tide on those days for a day or so, so that there is enough water under the keel to move the ships down-river to the sea. And the Ems has to be dredged regularly { at taxpayers' expense :-( } also. There are places with only 8 to 12 inches of water under the ship!

If the cruise ship moved forward downriver, its propellers would suck water from beneath the boat, causing it to squat down by about 4 inches. So the ship moves backwards (under its own power) downriver so its propellers push water beneath the boat, raising it 4 inches instead :-) There are 2 tugs for the pilot to make lateral fine adjustments of the route, one at the upriver end (attached to the ship's bow) and one pulling the blunt stern aside as necessary. Movement is still slow, to avoid disturbing the riverbed, max. walking pace, taking 12 hours or so for the 25 miles.

We drove to the Ems tidal barrier to get a close-up look at the ship. Our first glimpse of the ship saw it towering over a village, twice as high as Gandersum village church!

We had to park about a mile from the Ems tidal barrier but we were in plenty of time to see the ship approaching, we and about 3000 other spectators.

After about an hour's wait for the highest tide downstream, the Ems tidal barrier was opened and the tugs aligned the big ship carefully - like threading a needle - so the ship could move through the lock-gate in the Ems tidal barrier (less than a foot to spare on each side). The beam of the ship has to be designed for it to fit through the lockgate. Transit of the barrier has to be timed to coincide with high tide.

A tight fit through the lockgate in the Ems tidal barrier, side winds would be bad :-(

The ship is HUGE. 4000 passengers in cabins - most with balconies - on 12 decks. Three more bulleyed decks for crew. 168,000 gross tons. Over 360 yards long and a 45 yard beam. Painted with whales, because it will be doing arctic cruises.

About 100 workmen still on board, putting finishing touches in place and fixing anything not yet functioning correctly.

That was really impressive, I'm glad we saw it. Enjoy my photos :-)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Stone Age Megaliths

During the last ice age (300,000 to 125,000 BC), glaciers moved south from the Baltic and up the nearby Ems valley in a layer 200 to 400 meters thick. They transported soil and boulders, forming moraines at the edge of the glaciers, which remained as the ice retreated north.

Northwest Germany was initially a tundra landscape but as the temperature rose to 2-3 degrees hotter than the present, became mixed oak forests. During the Neolithic (stone age) period (4000 to 3000 BC) mankind adopted a sedentary lifestyle (agriculture and animal husbandry instead of hunter-gatherer societies). They put the ice age relics, huge boulders, to good use, building megalith graves for their dead (their own houses were made of wood).

A large number of these megaliths can be found in the Ems valley, north of Osnabrück. They define a stone-age "road" from what is now Osnabruck to Meppen and then Meppen to Oldenburg. Written records from the early middle ages show that this "road" had been in use for millenia. So we went to see the megaliths last week, ticking them off our bucket-lists.

Some graves have lost their capstones, but you can still see the outline of the walls, e.g. in the photo above. Nine tombs though are in good condition, this one below has 12 orthostats, 2 endstones and 3 capstones still in the original places.

I just wonder how these neolithic tribes managed to get the walls into place and even more so, how they got the capstones onto the tops of the tombs. The capstones each must weigh several scores of tons!

Quite an achievement by our forefathers, imho!

Comments (1)
Engrumpled Curmudgeon (Canada) wrote "Well by then Egyptians were already skilled at moving heavy stones, thanks to ET, so they came over and taught the proto-Germans how :)" Yeah, Doug, but they did it across sand not through an oak forest.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bad Signs... ;-)

We know that the beautiful people stay in expensive hotels, so there must be other places where the others stay.

This place is in Neuharlingersiel, a small and neat coastal town on the East Fresian coast of Germany. I doubt that the owners know what their name means in English, or they would have chosen to give a better (more neutral) name to their hotel ;-)

Comments (3)
Cop Car wrote " Never heard of the word, so thanks for furthering my education. Many people wouldn't dream of changing their own names, even if they don't care for the name to which they were born. Last year, in our own ward in our small Kansas Town, we elected a man named "Swindle" to the city council. He's an assistant professor of geology at Wichita State University, specializing in issues relating to groundwater and soils, and has experience in engineering and environmental consulting. And, oh, yes, there is a golf course in Wichita named L.W. Clapp Golf Course - in Clapp Memorial Park." It's Brit slang.
Johannes (D) noted "But 'Minge' would be even worse! ;-)" Quite embarrassing, as its a regular hotel ;-)
Pergolator wrote " Glad to hear your voice again." Thanks, Chuck. It was a damn close call, incredibly painful, but now I've just got the bruises and pain where I collapsed and fell; heart seems to be OK again :-)

Monday, March 12, 2018

RIP Ralf Waldmann :-(

Ralf Waldmann, who was a german professional motorcycle racer for many a year, later a MotoGP TV expert commentator, died of a heart attack(?) in Ennepetal on saturday, aged 51. He was twice vice-world-champion. We will miss him, his cheery humour and his sheer racing talent (e.g. at the Brit GP in 2000, he came up from last, trailing by a lap, to win!).

Requiescat in pace, Waldi.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Peak Flu ?

I have spent much of this week in bed, due to the flu, which has been spreading rapidly across Germany these last 4 weeks.

The blue colour represents normal infection levels (i.e. low), green moderately raised, yellow high, and red obscenely high. The leftmost map was the situation at the end of january, centre map was early february, the rightmost map shows late february. Black lines show state boundaries. The white ring marks my domicile.

Of course the low temperatures of these last 2 weeks (ten below zero down to 15 below here) encourages the flu :-(

At my age (73) I am regarded as a high risk so I'd had my flu shots in november. Thus the infection hasn't been TOO bad for me. I didn't go to the clinic because they're really overloaded with flu cases right now. Over 236 dead so far and many far worse off than me. A few days in a warm bed, warm drinks, cough medicine etc (all the tried and true housewives' remedies) now has me past the peak and on the road to recovery. Granma used to say : a hot grog, ⅓ hot water, ⅓ honey and ⅓ strong rum won't cure the flu but at least you'll enjoy it ;-)

Nevertheless blogging will continue to be be light for a while :-(

Update March 11 : Close call cardiac problem wednesday 4 am. Emergency ambulance run into hospital, where they put a stent into a 95% blocked artery. So I'm back home now 'cos they saved me. KellyAnn was right. Wow, that really hurt! But blogging should resume in a week or so :-)

Comments (4)
Engrumpled Curmudgeon (Canada) wrote "No doubt the flu has you "groggy" :)" It's knocked me flat, Doug.
KellyAnn (USA) tells me There are 4 ways to die from the flu! Not sure I wanted to know that, lass, but thanks for the link anyway.
Cop Car wrote " The article on influenza, the link to which Kelly Ann provided, explained things simply and well. A local friend, here in Derby KS, has just spent several days in hospital having surgery to address organ failures experienced in the aftermath of her having had influenza. Her medical team had determined that she had suffered several small, "silent" heart attacks and they feared that she would need to be put on dialysis - temporarily, if not permanently. The last I heard, she was no longer expected to need dialysis. I've not seen her husband to get an update. (I've been suffering from a "common cold" and don't care to contribute germs to add to their other problems.) She is about 20 years younger than Stu, so I'm particularly pleased at how well Stu seems to be recovering. (A comment that he left on my blog shows that his funny bone is still operative, at least!) " Thanks, CC. I'm now just feeling exhausted as the symptoms recede. I got out of the house today though :-)
John (UK) wrote "Get well soon Stu. Meanwhile the media here are hyping a flu pandemic :-( " Yes, but remember 1918, the Spanish flu, was very real and killed scores of millions :-(

Recent Writings
Mondrianesque Bulldog
Norwegian Bliss
Stone Age Megaliths
Bad Signs... ;-)
RIP Ralf Waldmann
Peak Flu ?
Indoor MC Trial
Where's Waldo?
Timetravellers' vocab.
Calculated Nostalgia
Ignorant advertising :-(
The Berlin Wall
Starship Two
Burns Supper Flop
Folkstone's Funicular
Hurricane Frederika
What Norwegian...
Police Museum
Size Matters?
Poles Apart
(Non-)Xmas Dinner
Mele Kalikimaka
Saving Charlie Brown
Challenging Patchwork
Bitcoin Bubble
Bill Bailey videos
Letter to Elon Musk

Ain Bulldog Blog
Balloon Juice
Cop Car
Earth-Bound Misfit
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Mostly Cajun
Not Always Right
Observing Hermann
Rants from t'Rookery
Reading in Reykjavík
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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