﻿ Eunoia : Stu Savory's Blog - May 2023
Eunoia
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Eunoia, who is a grumpy, overeducated, facetious, multilingual naturalised German, blatantly opinionated, old (1944-vintage), amateur cryptologist, computer consultant, atheist, flying instructor, bulldog-lover, Porsche-driver, textbook-writer 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 bulldog, Kosmo, he also has a new bulldog, Clara, since September 2018 :-)

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

Sunday, May 28

## Where are you?

Time for the story about Schorsch´s pub quiz.

Schorsch asked the question : You walk one mile south, then one mile east, then one mile north and are back where you started from. Where are you? After a while someone came up with an answer : the north pole.

But that is a very unlikely answer. Here are infinitely many others.

Draw a circle around the south pole, one mile in circumference. Draw another circle a mile further north. From any point on that northern circle (there are infinitely many such points) walk one mile south. That puts you on the southern circle. Now walk one mile east, the circumference of that circle. Now walking one mile north brings you back to your starting point. So there are infinitely many such starting points, making the north pole answer highly unlikely.

But not just that, if you had drawn a circle around the south pole whose circumference was a half mile, then walking around that smaller circle twice would give you a valid solution too. And for any integer number N of orbits of smaller circles of circumference 1/N you get valid answers too.

So Schorsch, your north pole solution is even less likely. You need to specify the puzzle more precisely.

Sunday, May 21

## Maltese cathedral clocks

There is an amusing superstition on Malta.

Malta is an island nation in the Med, suitable for a short vacation such as over this last long weekend. The main religion is Catholicism. The main cathedral there is St.Pauls, shown in the photo below.

Notice the two clock faces are on the same side of the building. Village churches here in Germany with multiple clock faces have them on different sides, so that agricultural workers can see the time from different directions from fields a mile away or more, to know when to go to mass.

Notice too that the two clock faces on this maltese cathedral show different times. This is by superstitious design, not chance. The clockface on the left shows the correct central european time, so you know when to attend mass. The clockface on the right superstitiuosly shows the wrong time, to mislead the devil so that he misses mass, I was told. Catholics have some crazy beliefs!

Billions of Versions... wrote " I’m glad you told me what the time difference was all about. I thought the church might split itself between two towns that were arguing about what time it was" Consistent time zones in Europe came about as a result of the introduction of railways and their timetables.
Jenny (Ibiza) asks "Any other island superstitions?" Yes. The danish island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea just south of Sweden, has a circular church so that the Devil cannot hide in the corners.

Thursday, May 11

Time for some more book tips, again.

Back in the thirties fascists in Germany took to burning books to suppress opinions with which they disagreed. Nowadays in authoritarian neo-fascist theocratic parts of the USA they are banning books from schools and libraries for the same reason. Here are twelve of the books they are banning :-

Think of this as a Venn diagram of the dystopia in which we find ourselves.
I am glad to say that I have read ten of these twelve, so I still have two left to read before they disappear. They are Gattaca and Brazil. You should read all twelve before they too disappear in the USA.

Unrelated, Cop Car just wrote to me :- Just a note to let you know that I (finally) got around to reading Marks’ “Between Silk and Cyanide” (mentioned in a comment to your posting of January 2014). The proximate cause of my hunting it down (from a small public library in a small suburb just northeast of Wichita) was a reference to it in a James R Benn “Billy Boyle WWII” novel. The vagaries of my mind mean that, even though I recalled that you had once listed your code/crypto books, I do not recall the themes of the 17 Billy Boyle WWII novels that I’ve read nor in which one “Between Silk and Cyanide” was referenced. Thanks for putting the listing out. I need to follow up by reading more of those books! P.S. “Between Silk and Cyanide” was one of those books that I could not put aside. Engrossing.

So for CC and any others interested I can recommend The Codebreakers by David Kahn. David was the official historian for the NSA, so the book is pretty accurate. Not completely, because I can see where the NSA removed certain passages to keep them secret (ha,ha). But so badly you can tell what they were trying to cover up :-)

David and I last met at a cryptography conference in Germany about a decade ago; trying to discourage fans, he would only sign me a copy of that book for a signed copy of one of mine ;-) I won! He has written a number of other books about spying and code-breaking, all good imho. Look them up on your local Amazon.

Cop Car wrote " I’m pretty sure that, like you, I’ve not read “Gattaca”. I’m not sure about “Brazil” and “Logan’s Run”. The rest I’m sure that I’ve read, but I wouldn’t wish to be quizzed on them ; )" I doubt I remember more than the gist too.
Pergelator wrote " I've read a few of the books, but I've also seen several of the movies. Gattaca and Brazil were both great movies, Brazil was a standout." Seen neither. My fave movie was Clockwork Orange.

Sunday, May 7

## Corona tion stuff

My headline today is thanks to yesterday´s local paper whose software for splitting words up at the end of a line seems to be based on the idea that one of the halves of the split word has to be a complete word in its own ??? When I came across the "word" tion on the start of the next line , it took me a while to realise their SW thought it was talking about Covid, a healthcare subject much in the press of late ;-)

So yesterday we went to a coronation dinner arranged by a Canadian monarchist friend Matt who runs a restaurant in a nearby village. Matt´s email offered "typical British food". So in the hope of getting some very Brit emulsified high-fat offal tubes, we went there for dinner. But it ended up being Chicken Tikka Marsala, presumably because the UK now has an Indian prime minister. Dessert was Eton Mess, which my wife actually liked (´cos it was actually cranachan?)! I had had enough for school lunch back in the fifties.

Covering the mirror is a traditional UK precaution, begun by Bram Stoker, in case any of the older Royals do not reflect in the mirror ;-)

When we got home, it was just in time to see a TV rerun of Charles being presented with the Holy Hand-Grenade of Antioch, so I turned the TV off again. Amen; so William come.

Billions of Versions... wrote " I couldn’t make myself watch any of it. I did see snippets as I changed channels." As usual, Piers Morgan is shocked by the reality that 78% of UK young people dislike the monarchy. See here.
Carol (UK) has a J.Draper video about coronations that went wrong.
Brenda (UK) wrote "For the first time a woman carried the sword of state!" But it wasn´t even Excalibur!
Brenda(UK) wrote "Wrong! Excalibur was thrown back into a lake upon Arthur´s death; the other ´sword in the stone´ Excaliber (there were two) shattered in battle. So Charles´ sword of state was never Excalibur, it dates from about 1780." Ah yes, the Lady of the Lake. Thanks for reminding me.

Thursday, May 4

## Star Wars Day

May the Fourth be with you!

The Star Wars series was a cash cow for Hollywood, which is why they made a dozen episodes, starting in 1977 with episode IV and going on to 2019 Episode IX. George Lucas had by 2022 personally made some 6.4 billion dollars. Episode VII was the most successful, raking in 2.05 billion dollars while costing only 245 million to make. Thats a ROI of over 800%. Some cash cow.

As I write this, I realised I didn`t know which actors played the major non-human roles, because I never saw their faces, like R2D2, C3PO and partly Darth Vader.

Turns out that R2D2 was played by 3ft 8 inch English dwarf actor Kenneth George Baker (24 August 1934 – 13 August 2016) who could squeeze into the droid body.

C3PO was also played by an Englishman, Anthony Daniels; no relation to Stormy.

Darth Vader (when masked) was portrayed by numerous actors: e.g. David Prowse (also English) physically portrayed Lord Vader while James Earl Jones has voiced him in all of the films.

I don´t have the time today to watch all 12 episodes again; you try!!!

Billions of Versions... wrote " My SIL is a Star Wars collector. He has an old large display case full of collectables." I always thought SIL meant sister-in-law: now realise you mean son-in-law.
Brenda (UK) wrote " On thursday Carrie Fisher (Leia) who died at the end of 2016, was posthumously admitted to the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Her star is just a few steps from the star of Mark Hamill." I did not know that, thankyou.

Link to the previous month's blog.
Recent Writings
Where are you?
Maltese cathedral clocks
Corona tion stuff
Star Wars Day
RIP Dame Edna Everage
Peter´s Party
Giger´s Easter Monday
Theocratic Nonsense
Leftover from April one
April Fools
Slowhand turns 78
Einstein's Birthday
International Women's...
Season start; open day
50 years on
New "weather" balloon

Blogroll
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?
Hackwhackers
Infidel753
Mockpaperscissors
Not Always Right
Observing Hermann
Pergelator
Rants ... Rookery
Starts with a Bang
TheTimTraveller
Yellow Dog Grannie

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