--> Most recent Blog
Search this site
And her big son 'Kosmo'.
Some of my bikes
My Crypto Pages
My Maths Pages
Friday, November 27, 2015
Thanksgivingesterday the USA was celebrating Thanksgiving. As part of the celebration the US President, not unexpectedly, pardoned Turkey.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
In Memoriam : Albert Einsteinoday we celebrate the centenary of the publication of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Here's his Swiss passport :-
General relativity postulates that mass (gravity) distorts space. Within a year of Einstein's 1915 paper an expedition set out to a location on the line of totality of an eclipse of the sun to measure the apparent angle of the stars. This is shown in my sketch below which is NOT TO SCALE.
I shall not repeat last week's mistake of reproducing his calculations; instead I'll quote to you three of my favourite sayings of his :-
Monday, November 23, 2015
Driving School Roofiding my trusty motorcycle through the village of Niederntudorf the other day, I noticed the village driving school has a neat slate roof.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Baggage Blooperhe crash of that russian jet in Egypt, due to a bomb on board, reminded me of an incident - way back before 911 - which happened on an airline flight which I once took.
We had all(?) 117 boarded and were seated, the baggage handlers finished loading the hold and - having counted the bags - reported (to the purser) "142 checked bags loaded". Well concealed panic as the purser saw his loading sheet read "141 bags checked". Oh dear :-(
The cabin crew went down the aisle, two stewardesses independently counting the passengers. Yes, both got 117, the same as the number who had checked in. So no suspiciously missing passenger; that was a relief.
So there was an extra bag???
The purser ordered the bags all unloaded again. The baggage handlers lined them up alongside the left of the plane, where - I thought - had there been a remotely triggered bomb, the explosion would have ripped into the plane, destroying it :-(
By now it was raining - a medium drizzle - but the purser called upon all those who had checked baggage to disembark down a rickety and slippery-when-wet push-up staircase. So we did and joined the queue to identify our bags which the baggage handlers then reloaded. If a remotely triggered bomb had gone off, the shrapnel would have wiped out all the passengers, the baggage handlers and the purser too :-(
At the end of this procedure - all the disgruntled and wet passengers having reboarded - there was one bag left on the tarmac! The bomb?
Nowadays, airport security would have whisked it away and had the bomb-disposal squad explode it preemptively in some remote bunker at the edge of the airport. Back then - suicide bombers not being a known phenomenon - the purser had all the passengers look out of the left side windows to see if anyone could identify the bag.
Some bright(?) bimbo then piped up "Oh, that's mine. I just didn't want to go out in the rain because I've just had my hair done" !!!
Multiple booing then ensued with a demand that the stewardesses give the bimbo hemlock instead of coffee with her meal (my own suggestion) ;-)
So it turned out just to have been an initial miscount by the baggage handlers, but I was relieved that such elementary security checks were in place :-)
Apparently not so in Egypt :-(
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
E = m.c2ack in 1905, 110 years ago TODAY, Albert Einstein published what has become the most widely known equation in the world. He forgot to include it in his first paper on Special Relativity and so published it in a second paper, quasi as an afterthought.
And so, to celebrate this equation, I'll show you how I'd go about deriving it (a little calculus will be necessary, so skip this posting if it gets too hard for you). Excuse my handwritten maths, it's faster scanning paper than me trying to typeset the maths ;-). Einstein's proof was different and longer.
We use Einstein's two postulates : The speed of light is constant, and physical laws are the same in all frames of reference. Now here's my derivation* :-
In the first equation, below, we write the kinetic energy K as the integral of a force F applied over a spatial distance s.
Then we remind ourselves of Newton's second law of motion for the force F. Force is the rate of change of momentum, which we write thus :-
Next we substitute Newton's second law of motion into the kinetic energy integral, then transform from integration over space via integration over momentum to integration over velocity, thus getting :-
And by setting the kinetic energy to zero (velocity zero in our frame of reference) we get E = m.c2 :-) Easy, peasy but 110 years too late ;-)
Ah, that was good. Been some time since I flexed my mathematical muscle:)
Monday, November 16, 2015
Self-Driving Car got a ticket ;-)he headline last week which I enjoyed most was Google Self-Driving Car Pulled Over By Police. Apparently, it was driving too slowly and caused an unneccessary backup in traffic. A motorcycle cop "stopped the car". How?
Can the car hear the police siren (N.B: different sounds in different countries)? Does it then pull over?
Can the car see a flashing blue light in the mirror? Does it then pull over and stop or just move over to let the emergency vehicle pass?
Can the car recognised it is being flagged down by the biker cop next to it?
Does the cop have to overtake and then brake to force the car to stop? Can it recognise a police bike/car from the rear? What stops the car then pulling out to overtake the stopped-cop static obstruction? If the cop then tries to shoot the car for trying to escape, where should he aim? What if the car was black?
Whom did the cop ticket? Did he also ticket the car for driving without/ failing to show a licence? Why doesn't the car have a numberplate?
OKay, Okay, I know that in this particular case there was a Google technician on board. So he probably just reverted the car to manual mode and stopped it himself??? But what if the car had been autonomous with nobody on board? What happens then? And WHO (sic!) gets the ticket?
If an autonomous car is involved in a minor accident (maybe just scraping another vehicle) does it stop? If not, who/what gets charged with "fleeing the scene of an accident"? Can the autonomous car lose its right to drive until the software is fixed to cure that? Does this apply to all cars with the same SW?
Inquiring minds want to know :-)
Google, I know you read this, so would you answer these questions please ;-)
Friday, November 13, 2015
Hawker H25 (PR) disaster in Ohioust in time for Friday 13th, a pilot friend mailed me about an aircraft accident (in Akron, Ohio, USA) near his university (Case Western in Cleveland) which took place I guess on tuesday afternoon local time.
It is reported that a Hawker H25 10-seater business jet clipped an overhead wire, causing it to crash into a housing block. As I remember Akron Fulton airport the approach from the SW goes over the Interstate 77 intersection, so it must have been an excessively low approach from the NE where the nearest buildings are about 500 yards from the runway threshhold. Weather conditions were "poor, with low visibility and fog", so it sounds like busted minima to me. Sure, the USA still has overhead power lines and telephone lines, but I think these would have been below the treeline there??? Anyway, the crash site is about 2½ kms from the threshhold, on the extended centerline, so the altitude should have been at least 400ft. It's a LOC/DME approach (i.e. no glideslope) to runway 07, so Minima are at about 500 feet (sic). But just 20 kms or so north is Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (KCLE) where runway 24 has an ILS (with glideslope) and thus a 200 feet minimal altitude, a much better choice IMHO given that weather. I would have diverted there regardless!
Since I had no mental image of what a Hawker H25 jet looks like, I googled for an image of a "Hawker H25", and this is what Google just gave me:
So, PR disaster for Google too :-(
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Rolling Homee arrived home from our annual motorcycle tour (High Tatra this year) at 7:06 pm, just 6 minutes late, after completing 4255 kms, visiting 7 countries, accident-free and having had a real adventure.
Tour completed :-)
What could have been planned better? As part of the planning phase, I should have checked the opening times of all the places we wanted to visit via their web sites in advance. That would have saved 2 disappointments. Similarly, we should have bought tickets online the day before visiting the more popular attractions. Also my light airflow textile suit trousers split at the seam (see below). Frank thinks this was due to Slovakian beans ;-) But it was due to inferior goods :-( The shop (Polo) refused to replace them as they were 2 months out of guarantee, although only used 8000 miles. Should I have worn my leathers? No, because it got very hot (39°C) on several days. I also got hit on the thigh by a stone thrown up from a truck I was just overtaking (see below). Again leathers could have prevented the bruise.
Also, my backpack was not such a good idea as the Czech minor roads were quite bad. So my spine hurt. Next trip I'll invest in a pair of saddlebags :-)
Monday, November 9, 2015
Schmalkaldenhe last sightseeing stop of our 2015 motorcycle tour was to see the old market town of Schmalkalden, NNW of Suhl. The green corner house on the market square has an oriel window providing an area in which the occupants could peer out and see the activities below and along both side streets while remaining invisible themselves.
Most of the old frame houses had stone ground floors below the wooden frames, an early fire precaution. These are beautifully restored :-)
To be completed...
Friday, November 6, 2015
Suhl motorcycle museumhile in Suhl we naturally also visited the motorcycle museum there. It is conveniently right next door to the weapons museum and recognisable by the AWO bike on a pole outside. Simson and AWO bikes were built in Suhl. During the DDR era (East Germany) their most popular AWO model was a 425cc pushrod cardan-drive single; a cutaway of the engine was one of the first things we saw in the museum.
Suhl had been building motorcycles for a while, even before WW2, this is a 1927 Rennsteig, built by Hermann Schilling & Co. It uses a british 350cc SV Blackburne engine in a rigid frame. Acetylene lamp, no electrics.
At the other end of the performance spectrum, they had a 1960s era Manx Norton racer, 500cc DOHC single delivering 55 hp to the rear wheel.
To be continued . . .
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The Weapons Shops of
n the last day of our 2015 motorcycle tour we made our first stop at the weapons museum in Suhl.
Suhl is a town famous for gunmaking. Although the museum is on a main road, there is a large parking lot just across that road.
The museum is recognisable by the flag outside and the brass statue of a huntsman on one of the benches by the entrance.
In Memoriam : A. Einstein
Driving School Roof
E = m * c-squared
Self-Driving Car ticket
Hawker H25 (PR) disaster
Suhl motorcycle museum
Gun Museum in Suhl
Chaos of the clocks
Back to the Future Day
Kunovice Aircraft Museum
Ain Bulldog Blog
Finding life hard?
Not Always Right
Rants from t'Rookery
Spork in the drawer
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
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.
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