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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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

World's biggest butterfly

Next item on our sorted bucket-list was to go to a butterfly farm to see the world's biggest butterfly : Atticus atlas.

Atticus atlas is native to India, we were told. It can span up to 32 cms (over a foot). They sleep during the day with their wings spread, the wingtips being patterned to look like a snake's head to frighten off any potential predators. During the larval stage they eat a lot to achieve this size (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, anyone?). When the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis (pupa) it only has 5 or 6 days to live. This is because it doesn't have a digestive tract, mouth or asshole! When it flies around at night, it is just a flying genital organ aiming to reproduce and lay eggs before it dies of hunger. Nature has evolved some weird things allright!

For comparison, this tiny (3 mm) ladybug landed on my car windscreen while I was parked, so I was able to use a macro lens to get this shot :-)

Comments (1)
Marion (D) asked (I translate) "Were you in the butterfly garden of Prince Sayn-Wittgenstein?" No, lass, we were in Klotz, near Boltenhagen on the Baltic.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Dining at a King's table

Now back to reporting on our bucket-list tour.

One of the items on our bucket list was "Dine at a King's Table". How likely though is it that we mere plebs get invited to a royal banquet, regardless of which nation's monarchy? Said probability would have to be a very small number, and most probably imaginary to boot ;-) However the way the bucket-list item is specified, it does not require the royalty to be present at the same time as us :-) It just has to be the same table ;-)

So we came up with the idea of taking lunch in the Old Swede Inn (Alte Schwede) in Wismar.

Wismar was in the past 1653-1903 under Swedish Rule. The redbrick Old Swede Inn (Alte Schwede) in Wismar dates back to 1380 AD. So when the Swedish Royal Family toured the area a couple of decades ago, they dined at the Old Swede Inn. Plaques and photos on the wall above the table where they sat commemorate this event. So we were able to sit at the same table, even in the Royal Couple's seats, for our meal, thus satisfying at least the letter of our bucket-list item :-)

While waiting to be served, we could admire the old model ships from the Swedish occupation period, strung from the ceiling as decoration. Wooden hulls and leather sails, heavily varnished.

The other thing that caught my attention was the inn's telephone exchange, wood and bakelite, probably over a hundred years old, but still in use. I puzzled over how it worked, with its combination of pin-sockets, push-buttons and rotary dial. Rather steampunk, we agreed :-)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Another good man gone :-(

Wednesday of this week saw the unexpected death of our popular landlord of the village pub, Elmar Borggreve, aged 81 :-(

Not only did he run the pub, Elmar was a driving force behind the sports club and the music club. He will be sorely missed. It has not yet been announced when the funeral will be held (as there are two public holidays in the coming week), but there will surely be several hundred people there, filling the church and graveyard to overflowing, even if it does pour with rain.

Don't know what will happen to the village pub either, we'll have to wait and see :-(

R.I.P Elmar Borggreve.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Time-Travel sculpture in Wittenberge

Down river from Tangermuende we visited the Hanse town of Wittenberge to see the famous Time-Travel sculpture on the river banks there. 'Hanse' is the old German word for Convoy, it being convoys of small trading ships which connected the towns in the Middle Ages trading network through the 13th to 17th centuries. Each ship was of the type called a Kogge (=Cog).

In this bronze sculpture (by Christian Uhlig, from Steglitz and cast in the lost wax process by Horst Borchardt, Kunstgießerei, Schönermark near Kyritz), the Time Travellers are aboard such a Cog. The sculpture rocks back and forth on a redbrick plinth representing the river of time, leisurely, but always forwards! The passengers are figures from history and their symbols at the same time. There is the warrior of the Middle Ages with helmet, as well as the brave citizen and the boatman punting the cog along the river of time, the 18th century bailiff or the builder's wife. The devil is always on board too, at all times. The citizen steers the ship ahead. A fool (knave) is also on board. He would like to punt in the opposite direction. The cow enters one city gate and a VW car comes out at the other gate, representing the flow of time from 1200 to today.

Dimensions: The Cog is about 125 x 110 x 80 cm, total height 230 cm.
Inauguration: 14 July 2001.
Location: "Time Travel" is placed exactly where the extensively renovated old town meets the river Elbe, very close to the place where, in ancient times, the Elbe Gate secured the city. There are other sculptures there too : a flute player and a double-bass player, but the Time Travel sculpture is imho the best one :-)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Last week, SWMBO, the dog and I went for a trip around northern Germany, checking things off our bucket list. The first thing we wanted to see was a well preserved Hansa town, so we went to see Tangermuende on the Elbe river.

The Hanse was the forerunner of the Common Market in Europe; it was a traders' network stretching from St.Petersburg in Russia across the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages and declined slowly after 1450 AD.

Tangermuende has been restored in the Gothic redbrick style typical of the age.

A bank restored in the Hanse Gothic redbrick style of the Middle Ages.

On the left a protective tower at the town wall's south gate. On the right, a hotel dating back many centuries, the left side thereof being of wattle and timber.

On the left I'm sitting in a pub yard, which has been restored in medieval style. Before it was a pub it was a prison, before that a firestation, and initially a church. It still has the church interior converted partially into a bar ;-) The photo on the right shows SWMBO and the dog sitting in the old confessionals of the original church.

I particularly liked this ornate public mail box going back a few centuries :-)

The following posts will all be photos from our other stops on the tour :-)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Write a Halloween Joke

So the challenge down at the pub at the weekend was to come up with a new joke for Halloween which should be based on a TV series. You have the rest of this month. If you blogreaders want to join in, mail me your joke and I'll put it in the comments here and submit it for you on Halloween.

Here's my try, based on TBBT, my favourite TV series.

Sheldon: Knock, knock, knock.
Penny: who's there?
Sheldon: Zombie!
Penny: Zombie who?
Sheldon: Zombie who loves String Theory!
Leonard: OK, I'll bite: WHY does the zombie love String Theory?
Sheldon: Because String Theory has Branes ;-)
Comments (5)
John (UK) wrote " Extending your joke : String Theory has Brains? I thought that was Boltzmann ;-)" Very geeky ;-)
Cop Car wrote " Conservatives don't like string theory and want to ban branes. They believe that homological mirror symmetry is immoral, so shouldn't be studied." Also very geeky ;-)
Petra (A) wrote "Based on any Sports News program : There will be a soccer match on Halloween; winner will be the team with the most ghouls ;-)" Groan!!!
Ed (USA) wrote "From the Jimmy Kimmel show : Q: What are Trump's options come the end of the month? A: Trick or Tweet ;-)" Bigly groan!
Hattie (Hawaii) has a Trump poem instead :-
"Fall leaves are red
Fall skies are blue
Pumpkins are orange
And so are you!"

Did you know that there are at least two other words which rhyme with Orange? ;-)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sputnik turns 60 today

Exactly sixty years ago today the Soviet Union won the race into space when they launched Sputnik 1 into a highly elliptical orbit around the Earth, mankind's first artificial satellite, what an achievement!

Piep! Piep! Piep! - and your's truly - a geek just turned 13 that year - was listening to that piep on a radio I'd built myself (two pentodes and a triode). What a thrill! Dad and I went out into the back yard - skies were dark back then - and watched as it was scheduled to pass over, a ceremony we would repeat for Juri Gagarin etc etc and which I still repeat every time the ISS comes over :-)

Sputnik 1 was a 2 foot aluminium sphere, weighing just under 84 kilos, with 4 antennae broadcasting on the medium wave (if I remember correctly). It survived just 3 months (~1400 orbits) before the orbit decayed to a fiery re-entry , when it burned up. R I Piep.

It sure scared the hell out of the USA at the time, implying that the Soviet Union could put an ICBM warhead anywhere in the US. The US didn't achieve an orbit until 1st February 1958, with Explorer 1. But by this time the USSR had made a second strike, launching kamikaze dog Laika on november 3, 1957 (the 40th anniversary of the October revolution) in Sputnik 2 (1300 kilos) into orbit. No barks on the radio though; Russia didn't tell us until the collapse of the USSR that Laika had died on launch, due to overheating :-(

Belated congratulations to Sergej Koroljow, chief constructor, who built Sputnik's R-7 rocket, forerunner of the Sojuz launch vehicle still in use today.

Comments (2)
John (UK) notes "I remember it as being on short wave." Could be, it was a long time ago and my memory is deteriorating (age takes bytes out of it ;-)
Cop Car wrote " Hunky Husband (then, my fiancé) and I heard Sputnik's signal using equipment belonging to a local amateur radio club, in which we were members. It was an exciting time for scientists/engineers." Thanks for sharing the NASA audio link :-)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Autumn leaves arrives

This is the time of year when the leaves change colour, Indian Summer to some, Autumn Leaves to others. So I thought I'd show you some of the colours in our village. Mouse over pix for texts.

Comments (1)
Cop Car wrote " Thank you for sharing with us your beautiful trees. Autumnal glory!" De nada :-)

Recent Writings
World's biggest butterfly
Dine at a King's table
Another good man gone
Time-Travel sculpture
Write a Halloween Joke
Sputnik turns 60
Autumn arrives
TBBT viewing tip
Reforestation numbers
Patchwork Quilt Expo
Thankyou, Cassini
Sweden changed sides.
Bat-shit crazy signs :-)
3 Neat Eclipse Photos :-)
Great American Darkness
Rare SG41 found!
Hollywood Humour
Thin Man Fail
Visit to Venice
Lake Garda Mountains
LBGT marriages legal
Stagger McFly

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
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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