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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 bitch 'Frieda'.

And her big son 'Kosmo'.

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Monday, October 31, 2016

Horror Weekend :-(

Perhaps surprisingly, I'm not talking about Halloween. No, the horror started saturday evening when our oil-fired central heating decided to give up the ghost :-( Luckily, we don't have sub-zero temperatures here yet. Error 30-3 (or a similar caliber) so the handbook tells me to try a manual restart (MS technology, turn it off and on again); but no luck despite 3 tries, so I called our plumber's emergency service number and he promised to come out sunday morning at 8 a.m. [that's going to cost 50% extra :-( ].

A cold night, with extra blankets, later, he rolled up on time :-)

Turned out to be a problem with the igniter / burner, so he wire-brushed the igniter and wiped over the burner, then tried a restart. No luck. So he traipsed up from the cellar and fetched a new igniter from his van then traipsed down into the cellar again. Exchanged the igniter and tried a restart. Success this time, so he wrote his bill then disappeared.

So we were grateful because we had heating in the house again. Then I went down into the cellar :-( Stupid man had brushed the soot off the igniter and burner, trodden in the fallen soot then traipsed up and down a flight of carpeted stairs and across 7 rugs leaving big black sootprints on all of them :-(

We had to spent 2 hours cleaning the rugs and the stair carpet (using i.a. oven-cleaner!) to get the goddamn soot out :-(

You'd think that a professional heating-technician would have thought about the soot and wiped it off the cellar floor tiles before trampling it all over the place. The dark side of the force, putting the boot in! :-(

Comments (1)
Doug (Canada) referring to my line "A cold night, with extra blankets, . . ." wrote " Well old man (I can say that because you've got 3 years on me :) ) that's what spouses are for are they not :)" And a couple of dogs ;-)

Friday, October 28, 2016

The times, they are a'changing

The times, they are a'changing. Especially when folk-singers are given Nobel prizes for literature. Were it my choice, I'd have given it to somebody who can actually write well, e.g. Jonas Jonasson. But apart from that, we Yurpeens need to remember to put the clocks back an hour at the weekend, when we revert from CEST (central european summer time) to CET (central european time). Other regions have different changeover dates and some don't use DST (daylight-saving-time) at all. In Germany, the majority are now against DST.

Time zones are defined very pragmatically, not exactly 15° wide (=360°/24), as we can see from this map. Greenland spans 4 segments of 15° but uses just one time zone. China too. In Russia, the +6 zone is not used at all, the +5 zone abuts directly on the +7 zone. The borders of the +2 hrs zone are very jagged so that certain towns are in the zones which offer them better economic opportunities. And just look at the international date line; several years ago, the Concorde flew in that area from Wednesday back into Tuesday and then straight into Thursday without going through Wednesday again, nice timing by the pilots for that stunt : Concorde, the time machine ;-)

An interesting anecdote : Back in 1980, Germany began using summer time, but Switzerland did not introduce it until 1981. Germany has an exclave in Switzerland Büsingen am Hochrhein, which did not change over to summer time, preferring to stay in step with Switzerland. As an anachronism, the Common Locale Data Repository STILL lists the enclave of Büsingen separately, even 36 years after that one-time need arose ;-) Also, I've been told that there is a town in Australia which celebrates the New Year twice, being exactly on the line between two time zones.

So, at the weekend in Germany, we will put the clocks back by one hour. It remains to be seen whether on November 8th, the USA's basket of deplorables put their clocks back 156 years :-( Let's hope not!

Comments (1)
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " Hi, Stu! Popular culture fades and very little of it has permanent value. I guess a lot of rich oldsters wanted Dylan honored. On the big time switch: Since we are in the tropics, the difference between the longest and shortest days is small, so we don't have "daylight savings time."" You also have rapid sunsets compared to ours :-) "And the dawn comes up like thunder. Out of china across the bay." (Kipling)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Plans for the Tronald Dump Camp-pain(sic!)

Now that we thankfully have the third debate behind us and a mere 16 days until the USA votes, it is time to fantasize about what new extreme ideas the Tronald Dump campaign might come up with every 3 days to get more votes ;-)

< begin satire >

  • In the interest of claiming absolute transparency, the Tronald has his wife come on stage wearing the most diaphanous nightwear you have never seen.
  • The Tronald buys up all the yellow cabs in NY and parades them down Broadway, because people wanted to see all his taxis.
  • In an effort to win over the transgender community, the Tronald claims Hillary is a He-male scandal...
  • The Tronald explains his short fingers as being due to groping a Vagina Dentata, so not his fault.
  • The Tronald buys a tall sailing ship "because at least IT is rigged right"...
  • Come the fifth of november, the Tronald tells us about Guy Fawkes day in the UK, reciting "Gunpowder, Treason and Plot"...
  • On the ninth of november, the Tronald decides to emigrate to Germany not because of Hair Fuehrer's march on the Feldherrenhalle (of which he approves), nor because of the Reichskristallnacht (ditto), but because he has german roots and has heard they are looking for a new president when Gauck retires next year (Gawd help us here!) :-(

    < end satire>

    Comments (2)
    David (NY,NY) grinned "That's bigly funny ;-)" Thankyou.
    John (UK) joined in "...continuing in your style : When accused of being a misogyn rapist, the Tronald denied it, saying he didn't even KNOW a Miss O'Jean ;-)" Nice add-on, John. Anybody else got some more? :-)

  • Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    Hitler's birth house to be demolished

    Austria has decided to demolish Hitler's birth house in Braunau-am-Inn. Neo-fascists and anti-fascists had both smeared graffiti on it which needed to be scrubbed off on a regular basis. Austria doesn't want it to become a shrine for fascists and so have decided to pull it down from the ground-plate up. A new building will be erected there which is to look completely different.

    This is what it looked like when we rode by in 2015; the black markings on the ground floor walls are scrubbed graffiti.

    There was a gravestone-sized memorial stone outside, it is not reported what will happen to that. I hope it won't be a graffiti target too.

    The inscription reads "For peace, freedom and democracy. Never again fascism. Millions of dead remind us."

    Comments (3)
    Petra (A) wrote "They are walking this back already, See this story in Der Spiegel."
    Doug (Canada) has an english version of the walk-back, here.
    Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " If I ruled the world they would tear Hitler's house out and make a children's playground out of the lot. And on the topic of Trump's media empire to be: He's just gone live on Facebook!" Oh dear :-(

    CATerday, October 15, 2016

    Donald's Desire

    What a topical name for a kitten ;-)

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Clinton vs Trump 2nd debate

    On the day America celebrates someone who didn't discover America (which is named after Amerigo Vespucci, not Amerigo Dummini, although the latter seems increasingly likely), we were entertained/shocked by the disgustingly base level of the Clinton vs Trump 2nd debate. Well, we only got excerpts and summaries over here in Yurp, but these are some of the things which appalled...

    Firstly, who won? Opinion here seems to be 70/30 that Clinton won. Whatever a "win" buys you, that's unclear. One would need to poll undecided voters in the swing states to get a feel for what winning a debate means.

    Trump came across as an bully, spewing invective and going for personal attacks. He told 33 falsehoods then accused Clinton of lying (pot/kettle). Clinton remained calm, smiled, and made her analytic and policy points well but without the fire of Elizabeth Warren (whom I would like to have seen as Clinton's VP). Trump promised to jail Clinton if (IF) he wins, he seems to be running for dictator, not president. He also has not understood that Bill isn't running for anything. One of his arguments summarises to "Bill was more successful at pulling women than I ever was, so therefore I'd make a better president". WTF? Trump also said Hillary is a stayer, which kills his stamina-argument like forever! Dumb!

    Clinton very cleverly did not deliver a final blow to Trump, leaving him in the race as her opponent, so the GOP can't swap him out (Pence+1 strategy). The GOP is going to have to carry to term : I wonder how they like that ;-) Meanwhile the GOP rats are deserting the sinking shit (sic!).

    Trump stalked Clinton around the stage, always trying to stay within pussy-grabbing distance. How weird was that? Afterwards when the family came on stage, even Trump's own daughter wouldn't let him kiss her. That says a lot!

    So now all we have to worry about is Russian cyber-warriors hacking the vote, which given the unrecountable nature of US voting machines, is a very real possibility. Remember in the last vote in Russia, Putin got 146% of the vote in some regions :-(

    Meanwhile, just looking at the objective numbers, Obama has made America great again. Hugely! The Donald doesn't realise/admit this. He also doesn't realise that prospective future business partners now have a TV-borne insight into what a dishonest man he really is!

    The next 4 weeks are going to be trashy. Hugely so :-(

    Comments (6)
    Doug (Canada) notes "The GOP does not have the legal authority to drop him. Once he was confirmed as their candidate at the convention that was, short of a new convention, it." So they try to psych him into stepping down (=Pence+1), but he's not that kind of person.
    Karl (D) grins "Pussy-grabbing explains why the vulgarian is short-fingered : Vagina Dentata ;-)" Grin ;-)
    Doug (Canada) again, quotes Trump "Donald Trump tweet : " Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!" I believe this is called Dolchstoßlegende :)" Yup, the backstabbing defence of losers everywhere.
    Ed (USA) tells us "Who won the debate? Kenneth Bone, the guy in the red sweater ;-)" Okay :-)
    Hattie (Hawaii) notes " This election is all about gender. It's taken this whole worrisome election cycle for that to become clear to everyone. I knew it from the first." ... remember when Mooselini was the battiest politician in a US election? Those were the days ;-)
    Peter (UK) wrote " My outlook on the this term is trump is going to start his own tv channel not for president but for the commercial office of tv reality show he does not seem interested in getting any policies out of his camp would he start a youtube channel makes money these days. so there..." OTOH, he's ruining the Trump brand...

    Sunday, October 9, 2016

    Moving Targets

    We bikers only need the slightest excuse to saddle up and ride our motorcycles to somewhere (un)exciting and new as long as it is via the hilliest and twistiest roads possible ;-) And so, about 4 or 5 years ago, we took a trip to the the middle of the European Union (EU). The local mayor there, like others before him, was proud of his unearned "accomplishment" and had erected some flagpoles in a field on a hillside to mark the centre. Others before him, elsewhere, had carved monuments in stone or had brass plaques cast: all believed it would fetch tourists, all failed to realise the temporary nature of their claim to fame.

    And now, with the Brexit looming, somewhere else will become the centre of the EU and as soon as we find out where it is, whoopee, there's another place we'll need to visit, somewhere east of the present position :-)

    Just a couple of years ago, Frank and Ulrike and I went to visit the middle of (mainland) Germany, Niederdorla, where there is a man-sized stone carved with the details. You would think that this is NOT a moving target. However we learned that there are no less than five (5) districts claiming to be at the centre of the country, each having its own method of defining the "middle". Thus we "needed" a sunday ride to visit all five, naturally by the twistiest routes possible ;-) I was still recovering from my bout of Irish pneumonia at the time and so just rode along until the breakfast break and then dropped out (under 200 kms for me). We breakfasted in the deconsecrated church in Hannoverisch-Munden, where Dr. Eisenbart is buried.

    Then the remaining 4 bikers took off to visit the five centres of the country.

    Niederdorla, (N 51.163375°, E 10.447683°) where this carved stone and a tree at the southern end of an artificial lake mark the centre as where a 2D version of Germany would balance.

    Krebeck uses a 3D-Model to claim the centre is at N 51.590556°, E 10.106111° where there is a plaque on a stone in the middle of the woods.

    Landstreit (N 51°, E 10.333333°) claims to be the centre of the mainland at the end of a lane in the middle of nowhere, so points instead to the nearby castle Wartburg as a famous landmark nearby (6 miles away). Zero points for effort by the local tourist board :-(

    Dingelstädt-Silberhausen (N 51° 18.915' E10° 19.162') claims to be the centre of the country including the offshore islands* but hasn't even marked the place with a plaque or stone. Also zero points, for laziness:-(

    Heiligenstadt-Flinsberg, claiming the maximal distance to the nearest state borders as the centre at N 51° 18.857' E10° 11.282', has at least a plaque :-

    All five centres having been located had, of course, to be celebrated in the usual biker tradition with a beer for each one:-

    Volker, who only rides about twice a year, felt that this short 480 km ride was such an accomplishment that he had T-shirts made for each participant ;-)

    We need to teach Volker what Iron Butt really means. Needless to say, their trip led them under the summer thunderstorms so that, despite a northerly diversion, they got soaked :-( Nevertheless : Well done lads :-)

    Now we need to plan some new targets aka destinations for next season :-)

    BTW, the way to get the best fun out of life is to go for new targets, moving targets, all the time :-)

    Comments (5)
    Cop Car (USA) asks " What? No one claims to be the center by population?" My bad; I should have made it clearer that we were talking about the geographic centre (which the Flinsberg plaque explains). The centre by population is near Spangenberg, which is in the same general area as the other five :-)
    Ed (USA) wrote "You could get another center by averaging the extreme points (N-S and E-W)" Indeed. That would be in Niederdorla too, just a few hundred yards from the one I wrote about above.
    Jenny (Ibiza) expands on Ed's question and asks " Where ARE the extreme points?" For the mainland : List(N), Selfkant(W), Oberstdorf(S) and a road just north of Görlitz (E). The border is only about 3500 kms long, so that sounds like a feasible 10-day lazy ride :-)"
    Pierre (F) asks "Why do you write 'target' when you obviously mean 'destination'?" It's the same word ("Ziel") for both in German, so I was probably thinking the blogpost in German and translating mentally on the fly into English? My bad.
    Petra (A) notes "I like the last sentence of your blogpost. But it doesn't have to be by a motorcycle ride!" Indeed not! My old university friend and sometime roommate Mike is really into hiking. He's just finished a hike through a Swedish national park and is now hiking through Turkey. Here's his online diary.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2016

    Recycled-silo art

    Hawaiian blogger Hattie has recently been venting a minor spleen about public art, viz. "Seattle has some of the worst public art I have ever seen!", so I thought I'd show her some art I encountered here at the weekend. We were riding our motorcycles along some of the twisty back roads on the way to Bodernwerder when we came across this piece of art :-

    Looks like a farmer has converted his defunct silos in an otherwise empty grazing field miles from nowhere into "a work of art", but who is the artist?

    The first name that sprang to (what passes for a) mind was Hilma af Klint with this 1907 painting. Then the use of primary colours had us thinking of Joan Miro´. Or more likely Piet Mondrian perhaps? Or less likely Cesar Manrique? Probably none of these four is right. So which artist's style is being used here folks? Any opinions? Some of you art historians should be able to help???

    Comments (4)
    Kirsten (D) wrote that she "..doesn't know who the artist is. It is an example of "object art" which started with Picasso and has gained followers since."
    Derek (UK) sent a conspiracy theory link to a current BBC article asking Was modern art a weapon of the CIA? What wasn't ?
    Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " Now those I like. Fun, whimsical, lively and well placed in their setting. Nice." I forgot to mark their position on my satnav, so I'm not sure if I could find them again :-(
    Petra (A) suggests "Baba Yaga's huts, maybe?" No. Them ain't chicken-legs.

    Sunday, October 2, 2016

    Happy Brithday, Chaim ;-)

    Jewish friends of mine in New York had a baby son last sunday, so tomorrow is the big day when he gets circumcised (8th day of his life).

    I was going to send a congratulatory card, but every single one, yes, all of them, contained the same typographical error ;-)

    So instead, they'll be getting a fruit cake from a coffee shop/bakery in Wales ;-)

    Comments (2)
    Petra (A) wrote "...And just in time for the New Year; happy 5777 :-)"
    John (UK) complains "What terrible puns/homonyms! Reminds me of the three Hebrew scrolls at Pearl Harbour Tora!Tora!Tora! (Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!)" Not that old chesnut! Anyway, the japanese pilots at Pearl harbour did NOT radio Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Tora!Tora!Tora!). They more likely radioed "To Ra! To Ra! To Ra!", where "To" means "Attack" and "Ra" means "Torpedo". So they were saying "Torpedo Attack! Torpedo Attack! Torpedo Attack [successful]!". I think this is more likely than Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! which the american radiomen misunderstood.

    Recent Writings
    Horror Weekend :-(
    Times a'changing
    Plans for Tronald Dump
    Hitler's birthplace.
    Donald's Desire
    Clinton vs Trump #2
    Moving Targets
    Recycled-silo art
    Happy Brithday ;-)
    Botanical info wanted
    Tour through a submarine
    Nelson's Victory
    The cake that Hils made
    Body Doubles
    The coward who ran away
    Seeing Llareggub
    They know we're here!
    The Kennedy Homestead
    Always On :-(
    Kissing the Blarney Stone

    Ain Bulldog Blog
    Balloon Juice
    Cop Car
    Earth-Bound Misfit
    Fail Blog
    Finding life hard?
    Hattie (Hawaii)
    Mostly Cajun
    Not Always Right
    Observing Hermann
    Rants from t'Rookery
    Spork in the drawer
    Squatlo Rant
    Yellowdog Grannie

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