Eunoia

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About
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 after the death of his old dog, Kosmo, he also has a new bulldog puppy, Clara, since September 2018 :-)


Some of my bikes


My Crypto Pages


My Maths Pages



Friday, November 27, 2020

Local Lockdown Library

This is mostly a rural area. Around the city of Paderborn there are a bunch of small villages, most too small to support a public library. So we have a mobile library - the book bus - which makes 73 stops in 43 villages over a 3 week tour cycle. Users are 50/50 children and pensioners with the odd non-working mum taking her kids there.

But due to the Corona virus, the book bus no longer comes as the authorities are fearful that it might carry the virus from village to village. And so we have had to come up with an alternative solution, keeping the readers on their fix of books regularly. To this end, what used to be the village's central telephone booth has been decommissioned (since everyone appears to have a mobile phone nowadays), the coin box and phone removed, and has now been resurrected as a mini-library, see photos below. Actually it is more a book exchange than a library; no librarian, nor burocracy, nor censorship, but it does keep the books dry and is open 24/7 :-)

Initially with no stock, supporters and users brought their own books. The ex-telephone booth (photo left) now (1 month later) holds about 150 books on 6 shelves (see photo right). Top to bottom they are : 3 shelves of novels, one of non-fiction (text-)books, a shelf of detective stories and thrillers (for teenagers?) and the bottom shelf is for children's books and comics. The right photo shows a fascinated five-year old, who has just learned to read, selecting her NEXT book :-)

. . .

I looked at the shelf of non-fiction to see what the villagers had been learning about during the Corona-necessitated lockdown. Three books about pregnancy, two on parenting, four on learning business English, one on learning vacation Spanish, two travel guides and three on the wrong shelf.

Given that this is a predominantly Catholic village I was surprised to see a copy of Fifty shades of Gray there, albeit on the top shelf where the kids wouldn't see it ;-)

All of this book-sharing is organised by the people of the village. It didn't appear to have a light for night use as a library; the village teenagers can continue to use the ex-phone-booth at night for snogging maybe? I don't know if it is disinfected regularly (as the phone box was), there was no virus-disinfectant spray dispenser there. Maybe I'll place one in there as a suggestion :-)

Let us see how long this great little autonomous cooperation can last before being vandalised!

Comments (1)
Doug (Canada) sent a link telling me about the Little Free Libraries in Winnipeg, Canada. He later added "I should have elaborated - this is a world wide movement. There are apparently many tens of thousands around the world. See https://littlefreelibrary.org/" Yes, Doug. I'm not claiming ours is any way original. We just picked up a good idea and ran with it :-)


Monday, November 23, 2020

Extreme Hotels

Due to the Covid lockdown here (Germany), the pubs are shut, the restaurants and hotels too. Since only essential travel is allowed, we haven't been getting out at all :-( So this story is from last year.

The discussion at the pub round table was about "exotic" hotels, but drifted over to the most "extreme" hotels at which we had ever stayed. Extremely low and extremely high.

When I lived in Palo Alto, I chartered a plane there and flew it via Fresno to Death Valley (the airfield at tiny Stovepipe Wells). Death Valley is at 280 feet below sea level, so I thought this would be my lowest. It turned out that Stovepipe Wells is 10 feet above sea level though. The climb out to see Telescope Peak (at over 11,000 feet) was a real struggle, due to the density altitude & heat there :-(

My most extreme (deepest) hotel it turned out was under water, just below sea level, Jules' underwater lodge, which is at Key Largo (FL), about 30 feet below sea level, so the only way to get there is to scuba dive to it! I recommend the Florida lobster dinner there :-)

There is a luxury hotel 500+ feet down the Sala silver mine in Sweden, but none of us had ever been there (no wonder at over 500 Euros per night!)

However other friends had been on a vacation in the Middle East and had stayed at a hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea, a Holiday Inn, in Jordan which is more than 1,400 ft below sea level, the Earth's lowest elevation on land. So they won the beer for staying at the lowest hotel.

The discussion then turned to the highest hotels. I have stayed at the Adler Lounge (8,599ft) which is at Kals am Großglockner, in Austria. But also at an even higher one, in Switzerland, the 3100 Kulmhotel, Gornergrat (10,170 feet) which has magnificent views of the Matterhorn. It is easily accessed by a mountain railway which goes all the way up there. It also houses an observatory, so has a great view of the night sky from a high altitude :-) Cautions : You will be short of breath there and may get a headache, as I did. It is the 7th highest hotel in the world.

However, our Dead Sea travelling friends had also stayed at the Everest View hotel which is higher, at 13,000 feet. Easily accessible, being just a 40 minute drive from the nearest altiport, they said. So they won the second beer too, for the highest hotel. There is a higher hotel in Columbia(?) (South America) I'm told, at about 15,000 feet. The Everest Base Camp for comparison is at over 18,000 feet :-)

So which are the lowest and highest hotels at which YOU have stayed ?


Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Sound of Silence

One of my favourite songs from way back (1960s) was Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence. Recently, a version by Tim Hawkins has appeared, same tune but different lyrics (Sounds of Starbucks), and it's hilarious! Go watch!

So I asked myself just how silent is it here in my house at 02:30 am?

This musical interlude is by way of an introduction to today's blog-entry. One of the (far too) many Apps on my smart phone is a sound level meter. With it I can check the noise levels of my motorcycles, cars, lawnmower etc etc, but also quiet sounds too. Here's the App:-

The display has three main parts : at the top it shows the currently measured loudness (here 32.5 decibels on the dial) over a sampling interval I'd set to 400 milliseconds. Lower down it graphs the previous 30 seconds and logs the minimum, average and maximum loudness over this 30 second period.

Centre left lets you store the noise you just sampled or replay previous samples. Centre right lets you pause or 'rewind' the current sample. Just below the current noise level shown on the dial (32.5 dB) there is a comparison value (in German), so you know what the number means. Examples : 10=breathing, 20=mechanical clock ticking, 30=whispering, 60=conversation, 90=motorcycle, 100=subway/tube/metro, 120=thunder overhead, 130=ambulance siren, 140=gunfire.

One night when SWMBO and the dog had gone upstairs to bed, I tried measuring just how "silent" it was in the living room at 2 a.m. Not at all really! 30 dB from the upstairs TV, perceived as "whispering". With that turned off, there was 20 dB from the 19th century grandfather clock in the hall, correctly registered as clock-ticking. With the clock temporarily stopped, I had to hold my breath (12dB) to hear the very quiet sounds. These turned out to be the fridge running in the kitchen and the water circulating through the heating pipes (both just below 10dB).

To avoid these last two, I went out into the garden (at 2:30 am). That turned out to be louder : someone in the neighbourhood playing music, the far-off sound of traffic on the A44 autobahn, and owls hooting totalling 12 dB.

So much for The Sound of Silence !

Comments (5)
Billions of Versions... wrote " Having worked at the phone company, we always referenced DBrn, or as from Wikipedia, the symbol dBrn or dB(rn) is an abbreviation for decibels above reference noise. Wikipedia show 57 different versions of what a decibel is." You are right Mike, but the App doesn't state what their reference level is :-(
Billions of Versions... replied " I reaching way back in my brain for this, but I think 0 DBrn is equal to 30 DB(A)." Okay. I wouldn't know.
Jenny (Ibiza) asked "What are the missing comparisons for 40, 50, 70, 80 and 110 dB?" 40=library, 50=quiet office, 70=restaurant, 80=heavy traffic, 110=concert, and 140 I mistranslated, it should read 140=artillery fire.
Schorsch (D) complains "Your blog stories used to be much more adventurous - you are getting old!" Getting old is better than the alternative. Besides, due to these Covid shutdowns, we get out less :-(
Marie (F) laughs "I just love the (deliberate?) continuity slips in that video. How his piercings jump around on his face, drop off, re-appear etc etc :-)" Me too.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Guten Morgan!

O ne of my motorcycling friends, Michael, is also an anglophile, witness the fact that about a decade ago he built his own Norvin which was the 1960s British superbike. Each one is artisanal, that is not built by a factory but by an individual. They all shared the 1000cc Vincent V-twin (making about 55 bhp) in a Norton featherbed frame. FWIW, a modern Moto3 single makes about 60 BHP from 250cc.

This photo shows Michael with his Norvin NE-RO 51 which I took at the Tönenburg meeting back in 2015. George Brown's sprinter back then was called Nero too :-)

But now Michael has bought himself a birthday present on four wheels, it being a 1984 Morgan, see the photo below

He found it for sale in Yorkshire (in the UK) and is currently shipping it over to Germany before a no-deal Brexit bites. So next summer he will be able to join the rest of us vintage sports car enthusiasts, such as Richard with his Triumph TR6, Ferry with his Lotus, and yours truly with my old 1985 Porsche 944. Michael's 1984 Morgan houses the small 2 liter engine, it's a model Plus 4 with a Triumph engine. I guess it's about 88 horsepower (reaching 100mph) but with some simple tuning should be able to get up to 105 horsepower. Believe it or not the frame is made of wood (ash wood) which was restored professionally in 2015 so it's only 5 years old a good age for such a wooden frame, which is unlikely to cause any problems in the coming decade. Congratulations Michael on this your birthday present to yourself !

Guten Morgan, Michael :-)

Comments (1)
John (USA) drooled "Cool Pix : Thanks. Nice Morgan too."


Friday, November 13, 2020

Unlucky for some :-(

Today being a Friday the 13th, superstitious people think everyone gets only bad luck. As reported in our local paper today, this cow certainly did :-

Said cow was being taken to the slaughterhouse in Miltenberg (Franken) and was being unloaded there. Realising where it was, the cow panicked, ran through village front gardens, swam the river, ran down the railroad tracks into a school yard, going berserk there. Police were called and because it couldn't be calmed and might endanger the schoolchildren, shot it on the spot.

Friday the thirteenth reputation confirmed :-(

Meanwhile in Canada, Doug sent me this accident report for friday 13th :-

A truck loaded with thousands of copies of ROGET'S THESAURUS crashed, losing its entire load. Witnesses were stunned, startled, aghast, taken aback, stupefied, confused, shocked, rattled, paralyzed, dazed, bewildered, mixed up, surprised, awed, and dumbfounded!

Comments (1)
Billions of Versions... wrote " Nice finish, ending, closure, completion, resolution, cessation, culmination, terminus, termination, and summation to this post." All credit due to Doug :-)


Monday, November 9, 2020

Biden Harris anagrams ;-)

Although the impeachment didn't work out, it seems the USA is finally getting rid of Lord Dump-Tan :-)

So now I'll have to come up with some anagrams for Biden Harris.

Some folks have been suggesting that the President-Elect should pardon tRump for his multiple sins, I would prefer to see them Brandish Ire :-)

Today when they name the Covid-19 specialist group, we'll get to see some good Brains Hired :-)

Going by her press photos, Kamala might need some Hair Binders. But in respect to tRump, I got Ha, Liar's Karma for Kamala Harris.

Even VP Pence might rejoice to hear the call HI, Sin Barred! The politics of Joe Biden will be Be Joined :-)

That's all I can come up with right now. Any of you blogreaders got any more?

Comments (3)
Jenny (Ibiza) wrote "Oh well done, Stu. Those are ALL great :-)" Thankyou.
Ivan (RU) anagrams my name "Stuart Savory, getting Your Vast Tsar ;-)" Okay Ivan, but if I had written my name in 1962 in Russian as Ctyapt Cabopu, I get a Cuba Pact Typo, probably part of the 1962 missile scare ;-)
Not anagramming, but sending a good pun, old friend Derek writes from Canada "Why can't Trump return to the White House? Because it's FOR BIDEN" Heh,heh.


Friday, November 6, 2020

Flying the Shuttle Carrier 747+ Aircraft

While we are waiting for the results of the US elections, here's another guestblogger article, this one from pilot friend Klaus in Alaska, who forwards a quick "trip report" from the pilot of the 747 that flew the shuttle back to Florida after the Hubble repair flight. A humorous and interesting inside look at what it's like to fly two aircraft at once.

Well, it's been 48 hours since I landed the 747 with the shuttle Atlantis on top and I am still buzzing from the experience. I have to say that my whole mind, body and soul went into the professional mode just before engine start in Mississippi, and stayed there, where it all needed to be, until well after the flight...in fact, I am not sure if it is all back to normal as I type this email.

The experience was surreal. Seeing that "thing" on top of an already overly huge aircraft boggles my mind. The whole mission from takeoff to engine shutdown was unlike anything I had ever done. It was like a dream... someone else's dream. We took off from Columbus AFB on their 12,000 foot runway, of which I used 11,999 feet to get the wheels off the ground. We were at 3,500 feet left to go of the runway, throttles full power, nose wheels still hugging the ground, copilot calling out decision speeds, the weight of Atlantis now screaming through my fingers clinched tightly on the controls, tires heating up to their near maximum temperature from the speed and the weight, and not yet at rotation speed, the speed at which I would be pulling on the controls to get the nose to rise. I just could not wait, and I mean I COULD NOT WAIT, and started pulling early. If I had waited until rotation speed, we would not have rotated enough to get airborne by the end of the runway. So I pulled on the controls early and started our rotation to the takeoff attitude. The wheels finally lifted off as we passed over the stripe marking the end of the runway and my next hurdle (physically) was a line of trees 1,000 feet off the departure end of Runway 16. All I knew was we were flying and so I directed the gear to be retracted and the flaps to be moved from Flaps 20 to Flaps 10 as I pulled even harder on the controls. I must say, those trees were beginning to look a lot like those brushes in the drive through car washes so I pulled even harder yet! I think I saw a bird just fold it's wings and fall out of a tree as if to say "Oh just take me". Okay, we cleared the trees, duh, but it was way too close for my laundry. As we started to actually climb, at only 100 feet per minute, I smelled something that reminded me of touring the Heineken Brewery in Europe ....I said "is that a skunk I smell?" and the veterans of shuttle carrying looked at me and smiled and said "Tires"! I said "TIRES???OURS???" They smiled and shook their heads as if to call their Captain an amateur... okay, at that point I was. The tires were so hot you could smell them in the cockpit. My mind could not get over, from this point on, that this was something I had never experienced.Where's your mom when you REALLY need her?

The flight down to Florida was an eternity. We cruised at 250 knots indicated, giving us about 315 knots of ground speed at 15,000' The miles didn't click by like I am use to them clicking by in a fighter jet at MACH .94. We were burning fuel at a rate of 40,000 pounds per hour or 130 pounds per mile, or one gallon every length of the fuselage. The vibration in the cockpit was mild, compared to down below and to the rear of the fuselage where it reminded me of that football game I had as a child where you turned it on and the players vibrated around the board. I felt like if I had plastic clips on my boots I could have vibrated to any spot in the fuselage I wanted to go without moving my legs...and the noise was deafening. The 747 flies with its nose 5 degrees up in the air to stay level, and when you bank, it feels like the shuttle is trying to say "hey, let's roll completely over on our back"...not a good thing I kept telling myself. SO I limited my bank angle to 15 degrees and even though a 180 degree course change took a full zip code to complete, it was the safe way to turn this monster.

Airliners and even a flight of two F-16s deviated from their flight plans to catch a glimpse of us along the way. We dodged what was in reality very few clouds and storms, despite what everyone thought, and arrived in Florida with 51,000 pounds of fuel too much to land with. We can't land heavier than 600,000 pounds total weight and so we had to do something with that fuel. I had an idea...let's fly low and slow and show this beast off to all the taxpayers in Florida lucky enough to be outside on that Tuesday afternoon. So at Ormond Beach we let down to 1,000 feet above the ground/water and flew just east of the beach out over the water Then, once we reached the NASA airspace of the Kennedy Space Center , we cut over to the Banana/Indian Rivers and flew down the middle of them to show the people of Titusville , Port St.Johns and Melbourne just what a 747 with a shuttle on it looked like. We stayed at 1,000 feet and since we were dragging our flaps at "Flaps 5", our speed was down to around 190 to 210 knots. We could see traffic stopping in the middle of roads to take a look. We heard later that a Little League Baseball game stop to look and everyone cheered as we became their 7th inning stretch. Oh say can you see...

After reaching Vero Beach , we turned north to follow the coast line back up to the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). There was not one person laying on the beach...they were all standing and waving! "What a sight" I thought... and figured they were thinking the same thing. All this time I was bugging the engineers, all three of them, to re-compute our fuel and tell me when it was time to land. They kept saying "Not yet Triple, keep showing this thing off" which was not a bad thing to be doing. However, all this time the thought that the landing, the muscling of this 600,000 pound beast, was getting closer and closer to my reality. I was pumped up! We got back to the SLF and were still 10,000 pounds too heavy to land so I said I was going to do a low approach over the SLF going the opposite direction of landing traffic that day. So at 300 feet, we flew down the runway, rocking our wings like a whale rolling on its side to say "hello" to the people looking on! One turn out of traffic and back to the runway to land...still 3,000 pounds over gross weight limit. But the engineers agreed that if the landing were smooth, there would be no problem."Oh thanks guys, a little extra pressure is just what I needed!" So we landed at 603,000 pounds and very smoothly if I have to say so myself. The landing was so totally controlled and on speed, that it was fun. There were a few surprises that I dealt with, like the 747 falls like a rock with the orbiter on it if you pull the throttles off at the "normal" point in a landing and secondly, if you thought you could hold the nose off the ground after the mains touch down, think again...IT IS COMING DOWN!!! So I "flew it down" to the ground and saved what I have seen in videos of a nose slap after landing. Bob's video supports this!

Then I turned on my phone after coming to a full stop only to find 50 bazillion emails and phone messages from all of you who were so super to be watching and cheering us on! What a treat, I can't thank y'all enough. For those who watched, you wondered why we sat there so long. Well, the shuttle had very hazardous chemicals on board and we had to be "sniffed" to determine if any had leaked or were leaking. They checked for Monomethylhydrazine (N2H4 for Charlie Hudson) and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4). Even though we were "clean", it took way too long for them to tow us in to the mate-demate area. Sorry for those who stuck it out and even waited until we exited the jet.

I am sure I will wake up in the middle of the night here soon, screaming and standing straight up dripping wet with sweat from the realization of what had happened. It was a thrill of a lifetime. Again I want to thank everyone for your interest and support. It felt good to bring Atlantis home in one piece after she had worked so hard getting to the Hubble Space Telescope and back.

TL;DR? Well here's a short (9 minute) video for y'all :-)

Thankyou Klaus for forwarding this trip report, I'm sure that Cop Car and other pilots enjoyed it.

Comments (3)
Cop Car wrote " I did, indeed, enjoy Klaus's report, Stu. Thanks! It reminded me of when I flew my parents from Kansas City MO into the Tulsa OK airport (circa 1980). While on long, straight-in approach to KTUL runway 18R, the tower called to alert us that the Boeing 747/Shuttle combo was on approach to 18L. It was a real treat for my mother (who worked on A-26 aircraft at Douglas during WWII) and father (who worked at a FBO during WWII) - and for me (in 1980 a structures group leader at Cessna). I was surprised that the 747 combo approach speed was not that much different from ours (Cessna Turbo 210). I hope the crew on that flight understood the joy they were giving us observers. Congratulations to Klaus for greasing the combo on."
John (USA) wrote "Thanks for the post. Great! More MC please." Not the motorcycling season here right now, but I'll see if I've got an older trip report,John.
Billions of Versions..., aka Mike, wrote " Thanks. I'd never seen that video before. Very interesting. And who knew that they could have dumped the shuttle to fly itself if need be. Speaking of cool plane videos, have you ever seen this one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg73GKm7GgI&ab_channel=D.%5B%5D%5C%2F%5B%5D.C I watch (listen) to this every once in a while." Yes, the infamous LA speedcheck; infantile but amusing :-)


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

NOT about the US election

Not everyone is interested in the US election although it'll be on all the TV channels today, even here in Germany :-( So for you folks, here's an anecdote about Einstein's chauffeur, sent to me from Canada by my old university friend Derek, to whom many thanks :-

When Albert Einstein was making the rounds of the speaker's circuit, he usually found himself eagerly longing to get back to his university work. One night as they were driving to yet another dinner, Einstein mentioned to his chauffeur (a man who somewhat resembled Einstein in looks & manner) that he was tired of speech-making. "I have an idea, boss," his chauffeur said. "I've heard you give this speech so many times, I'll bet I could give it for you." Einstein laughed loudly and said, "Why not? Let's do it!"

When they arrived at the dinner, Einstein donned the chauffeur's cap and jacket and sat in the back of the room. The chauffeur gave a beautiful rendition of Einstein's speech and even answered a few questions expertly. Then a supremely pompous professor asked an extremely esoteric question about antimatter formation, digressing here and there to let everyone in the audience know that he was nobody's fool. Without missing a beat, the chauffeur fixed the professor with a steely stare and said, "Sir, the answer to that question is so simple that I will let my chauffeur, who is sitting in the back, answer it for me."


Link to the previous month's blog.
Recent Writings
Local Lockdown Library
Extreme Hotels
The Sound of Silence
Guten Morgan!
Unlucky for some :-(
Biden Harris anagrams
Flying the Shuttle Carrier
NOT about the US election
End of Days?
Where's the Mass?
A different Halloween
Lord of the Flies ;-)
Meeting the Daily Llama
Post-Covid Trump
JU-52 major overhaul
Who needs a catapult?
RIP Jimi Hendrix
Shi shi : a poem
Multiple Choice questions
My favourite scenic roads
Old Oak Down :-(
Sex during Corona
3rd A-bomb for Japan
Taking the Mick
Berlin Wall day
Nukes´ 75th anniversary
Cov-idiot Karens :-(
First Encounters

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Billions of Versions...
Cop Car
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Finding life hard?
Greg Laden
Hackwhackers
Infidel753
Mockpaperscissors
Mostly Cajun
Observing Hermann
Pergelator
Silicon Graybeard
Starts with a Bang
Yellowdog Grannie

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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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