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 :-)


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Monday, October 25, 2021

Procrastination Man

'Twas 1958 when I first started writing this story for an SF short story competition. I was 14. Never did get around to finishing it because I couldn't find a good ending to it. But it's been 63 years now, so I'll just publish it "as is" ;-)

"Well, I finished building the time machine and have just given it the first test. Seems to have worked, I've gone back to 2021 now. So the next/first step will be to invent it, design it and build it. I'll do that next year. Or maybe 2025 or even 2035. Doesn't matter, now that I know that it works."
"But what if you die before finishing it and testing it?"
Impossible, because I'm here now. So I have to have finished it before I die!
"So procrastination makes you immortal?"


Friday, October 22, 2021

A visit to Wanfried

Fed up with staying in due to Covid, we decided to take a little tourist trip last saturday, driving about 100 miles east to Wanfried, the highest freight harbour on the river Werra.

2 to 500 years ago transcontinental sailing ships came via the North Sea to the sea-harbour at e.g. Bremerhaven offloading their import freight there. Such freight was transferred to smaller, single-sail riverboats and shipped south up the river Weser to its confluence (the Weser doesn't have a source, it starts at the confluence of the Fulda and the Werra rivers in Hann.Münden). From there the freight is shipped south up the Werra to Wanfried where the Werra gets too shallow to be navigable (unless you are in a kayak). So the imported freight was offloaded into a freight storage hall on the quay in Wanfried, later to be transferred to the centre of the country e.g. Mühlhausen via horse- or ox-drawn carts. In the other direction agricultural goods were taken by cart to Wanfried freight hall, there to be loaded onto the little freight boats and shipped north downstream for export or distribution along the riverside.

The old freight hall has been restored as a riverside pub/restaurant now. It contains a 3D model of the old harbour as it looked around 1800 AD, quite busy as you can see. Some of the little ships would be horse-drawn barges as the Werra is too narrow to sail against the prevailing SW wind when coming upstream. The old frame buildings are still there, looking great :-)

The photo below, taken from the bridge, shows the old freight storage hall, now a riverside pub which also has tables and seating outside on the quay.

That little freight boat is being restored to working order again. The photo below shows you how small such freight riverboats were 200+ years ago.

We had lunch in that riverside pub. SWMBO had a freshly smoked trout straight from the river, I had a HUGE rack of smoked ribs from a wild boar. Delicious!
After lunch we had a walk through the old town with its frame buildings, several centuries old. The one shown below is the town hall with stone-walled courtyard.

Just across the road from the brown and white town hall is the town's hotel The Swan built centuries ago for the merchants using the harbour. A frame building too, it is painted red in the traditional ox-blood.

Even modern businesses are housed in the centuries-old frame buildings; below is the BMW motorcycle dealership. The top floor needs fixing up again, I see, as the daub is flaking off again :-(

A nice day's trip; Wanfried is worth seeing.

Comments (2)
Billions of Versions... wrote " The 3D model looks like it has some nice detail to it." I believe the men, horses, wagons, cannons and freight are model railway accessories and the ships, houses etc were hand made.
John (UK) corrects me "Hi Stu, obviously not being picky but doesn't daub flake off of wattle? All the best, keep it up." You are right; corrected; my bad.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Bernd's medal, revisited

Back in september, I told you about friend Bernd getting a medal, the Bundesverdienstkreuz auf Band (Federal Cross of Merit), for volunteer service to the community for 40 years or so. On monday we got together with half a dozen old friends and I'd asked him to bring his medal along for all to admire. Here are two photos in more detail. We are all so proud of him :-)

Wow! just Wow! I'm speechless...

...and, to be honest, just a little envious ;-)


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Kirk boldly went...

William Shatner, aged 90, who played Captain Kirk in Star Trek for many a long, long, long year, boldly went to space today aboard Bezos' little rocket. Finally. But boldly? Not really. Not as the captain on board, nor even as a pilot. Just locked up in an airtight can in the best traditions of Laika and Ham or indeed Schroedinger's cat. A can controlled from the ground and otherwise fully automated - just like Gagarin's ship - he and 3 others barely reached space (getting to 106 kms) and after 10 minutes - only 3 of which were weightless - it was all over. Much ado about nothing. Albeit, the 4-passenger box had windows (not Linux) but Shatner didn't get to see even a single Klingon ship let alone a Vulcan :-(

Still, it was a freebie, Bezos paying (just for the advertising publicity). They didn't even take the opportunity of naming the tin can "Enterprise" :-( Star Trek was first broadcast in September of 1966 and I am proud to say I never saw a single program thereof; 55 years of being unnerdy :-)

Comments (2)
Billions of Versions... wrote " Well, I can’t say that. I did watch Star Trek. And as the series moved on, the sets got better and better. Watching the original series now is like watching the old Buck Rogers series." To each his own.
Schorsch (D) points out that"While Bezos' rocket can barely manage the 100 km lower bound for space, Musk's Space-X can reach orbit and carry people and loads to the ISS. !!!" Yep, not just marketing hops!


Monday, October 11, 2021

Mailserver back up again :-)

Just to notify anyone trying to email us. Our Mailserver is back up again. But please repeat any mails sent after October 3rd please, as they may well have got lost.

On a similar note, when Whatsapp returned after the Facebook crash last week, I had a negative number of messages??? WTF does that mean?


Friday, October 8, 2021

Mailserver down :-(

Just to notify anyone trying to email us. Our Mailserver is down. So I'll have to wait until next week to get the mail service provider to fix it. Seems to me that his Xfer spooler is running out of memory.

So hold off mailing us for a while please, lest it get lost. I'll put up a notice when it is running again. Then repeat any mails after October 3rd please.


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Multiplying Roman Numerals

Back in spring I was teaching a class of 12-year-olds arithmetic to different bases (e.g. 8,12,16 etc) and the subject of Roman Numerals cropped up, so we did some arithmetic in Roman Numerals.

Now addition is dead easy, just tip all the digits/letters (I,V,X,L,C,D,M) into a common heap, sort them l2r large to small, then simplify any multiples (e.g. IIIII=V, VV=X, XXXXX=L, LL=C, CCCCC=D, DD=M) . Example 28+32 = 60 is XXVIII+XXXII put in one heap getting XXVIIIXXXII, sorted is XXXXXVIIIII, simplified is LVV = LX which is 60 as expected. Subtraction is similarly easy.

Multiplication in Roman Numerals is a little harder. We chose two numbers, e.g. 17 and 23 which you can multiply in your head in less than a second because there is a shortcut known as difference-of-squares. 17=20-3 and 23 = 20+3. the shortcut is that (a+b)*(a-b) = a2-b2, so 17*23=400-9=391. Like I said, in your head in less than a second!

Now do it in Roman Numerals without knowing that shortcut. I showed them a method of multiplication used by e.g. russian grandmothers (babushka), you may not know it yet.

Write the smaller number in the left column and the larger in the right column as shown below.
17 23, now halve the left column, (rounding down if needed) and double the right one,
8 46, and repeat
4 92, and repeat
2 184, and repeat
1 368, stopping at 1 in the left column.
Now just add up the entries in the right column which have an odd number in the left column, so 23+368=391, the correct product of 17*23 :-)

Having understood the method, the class then did it in Roman Numerals, halving and doubling in Roman Numerals can be done in your head or with paper and pencil if needed (or a damp clay tablet and a stick).
XVII XXIII
VIII XXXXVI
IIII LXXXXII
II CLXXXIIII
I CCCLXVIII
Adding up the entries in the right column which have an odd number in the left column, we got XXIII+CCCLXVIII= CCCLXXXXI which is 391 :-)

Comments (1)
Pino (Italy) jokes "I, for one, dislike even the smallest Roman Numeral." Nice pun, Pino.


Link to the previous month's blog.
Recent Writings
Procrastination Man
Wanfried on the Werra
Bernd's medal, revisited
Kirk boldly went...
Mailserver back up again
Mailserver down :-(
Roman Numerals
Fortuitous names ;-)
Party strongholds
Election imminent here
30 years of MC Tours
World of Beers
Nine Eleven
GovernMental Joke
Afghanistan Joke
TWAICE revisited
Bicycle-Bernd's gong
Bierbaums Nagel
RIP Charlie Watts
Sky Lights
Going Walkies...
First Nuke
Mobile banking truck
James Bond's mnemonics
Flooding here in Germany
Bastille Day
4-2-3 and 31
Scrap Metal Statue
Oldtimer Quiz
Americans abroad

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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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