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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

Sunday, April 23, 2017

UN World Book Day

Notwithstanding my blogpost datelined March 5th, the United Nations have decided that THEIR world book day will be held today, April 23rd, obviously a MUCH more suitable date. Not obvious? Shakespeare died on April 23rd 1616, as did Cervantes, as did El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. All in 1616, so today is a much more suitable date. FWIW, William Wordsworth also died on this day in 1850, as did William Hartnell (the first Dr. Who) in 1975.

Be that all as it may, it gives me another stab at the perennial question "What one book would you recommend to get children from 8 to 80 addicted to reading?"

Ignoring the drug-laden fantasies of a mathematician (viz. "Alice in Wonderland"), I've chosen Norton Juster's 1961 classic "The Phantom Tollbooth". Mine is the 1996 35th anniversary hardcover reprint, ISBN 0-394-81500-9, 256pp. Your local library should be able to get you a copy.

What book would you recommend?

Addendum, since we are talking about fiction : if we are to believe Sir Isaac Newton, April 23rd is also the day Jesus was crucified in 33 AD ;-)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rosy Posy :-)

In her annual vain attempt to keep up with me age-wise, SWMBO had another birthday yesterday :-) This is the posy I bought her.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Elephant ears / Blinkers

Back in the fifties, the UK had steam locomotives pulling the trains. As a child I'd noticed that the faster trains had blinkers up front (what americans called "elephant ears"), whereas the slower (e.g. shunting locomotives) didn't. I'd assumed this was for streamlining.

Curiously, the speed record holding A4 locomotive "Mallard" didn't have blinkers but was otherwise streamlined. As diesel engines and electric locos were introduced, they didn't have blinkers, but I deduced nothing from this.

Recently, an old rail fan has explained this to me. As steam engine design (e.g. smokebox) improved, back pressure in the cylinders was reduced and thus the uplift of smoke exiting the chimney had been reduced. This meant that drivers were sometimes blinded (vision obscured) by the smoke at speed. So these blinkers were added. Turns out they are smoke deflectors, vertical plates attached to each side of the smokebox at the front of a steam locomotive, designed to lift smoke away from the locomotive at speed so that the driver has better visibility. Nothing to do with streamlining at all!

You learn something new every day :-)

John (UK) wrote " Hope you are on the mend. I too was a bit of a trainspotter but its news to me that blinkers are smoke deflectors." Just got back out of hospital, sigmoid colostomy reversed (gut now all back internally), so am mending slowly :-)
Cop Car (USA) wrote " Having had several family members employed by one or another railroad company in the 1930s, living near a track in the early 1940s and touring a nearby roundhouse several times during the 1940s and 1950s, I should think that I would remember had any of the engines that I observed been equipped with smoke deflectors. I recall none. Nor do I remember seeing such installations on the narrow-gage engines in Colorado in the 1980s. I'll have to check with elder brother the next time I see him." Narrow gauge trains aren't fast enough to need them???
Cop Car (USA) replied " Good thought, Stu. The trains that I watched (and the narrow gage on which I rode) probably didn't travel at speeds greater than 50-60 miles/hour. I would guess that the 1940s engines' top speeds were in the 70-90 miles/hour range. Few were passenger trains and none stopped in the little wide place in the road where we lived. Our mail was caught by the bagful on stantions next to the rail." I guess blinkers are for 90mph+
Brian (UK) asks Cop Car "What was the acceleration(on pickup) and deceleration(on catching) for those mailbags?" I'll let CC answer that.
Cop Car (USA) replied " It takes longer to write out than to calculate the mailbag's acceleration during pickup. Since I know nothing about the materials (or, indeed, the design) of the pickup arm or bag, I shall enter the world of frictionless planes, massless springs, and perfectly plastic collisions to calculate average acceleration, dv/dt. Assumptions: S0 = starting speed of the center of mass of the mailbag = 0 ft/sec S1 = ending speed of the center of mass of the mailbag = train speed = 60 mph = 88 ft/sec D = distance moved by the center of mass of the mailbag in going from S0 to S1 = (pick a number) = 1 ft T0 = starting time = 0 second T1 = ending time = distance moved/average speed = 1 ft/[(88 ft/sec - 0 ft/sec)/2] Then a = (S1-S0)/(T1-T2) = (88 ft/sec - 0 ft/sec)/[1/(88 ft/sec - 0 ft/sec)/2] = 3877 ft/sec^2 Since this equals nearly 125 g's, I don't want to be riding on the mailbag. More knowledge/better assumptions might help! Oh, yes; mailbag delivery was by throwing/kicking the bag from the train. One might assume that the floor of the mail car was 4-8 feet above the point of impact and, further, that deceleration was during the final one or two feet of the drop (from the time the bag first touched ground until it settled). My assumptions on that problem wouldn't be worth any more than my assumptions on the pickup problem. P.S. Please, Brian, don't make me use any of the theory of elasticity that I'm s'posed to have learned. Unlike Stu, I haven't kept up with such things, nor was/am I nearly as smart as he was/is. P.P.S. Any errors you see in the above work are undoubtedly typos - lol." Yes, 40-150 g depending on assumptions.
Karel (CZ) tells me "The German 05 001, which went almost as fast as the Mallard, was both streamlined AND had short blinkers just around the chimney stack, which seems to confirm your smoke-deflector theory" Yes, I've seen it in the Nürnberg rail museum.
Hera (DK) asks "So how do you tell a fast train from a slow one when they are just standing in the station? By the size of the engine?" No, obviously a fast engine (e.g. Mallard) needs lots of power and so is big. But so is a load-hauler (e.g. Big Boy). Go by the size of the steam-loco's driving wheels. Big = fast, see photo at , because steam engines have no gearboxes. Small = slow(er). A load hauler will have medium size wheels and lots of them to transmit the torque. Local commuter trains and narrow gauge trains are slower and have smaller driving wheels.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kosmo turns ten :-)

Our alpha male bulldog, Kosmo, turned ten yesterday in the best of health, I'm pleased to say. This is how he watches TV :-)

His mom, double-plus alpha bitch Frieda, is coming up on 12. We hope she makes 12, but she is fighting a tumor on her aorta and bronchial tubes which makes life difficult for her, slowing her down a lot. Kosmo treats the grand dame with even more respect now she's getting weaker.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

For older bikers ;-)

As the years roll by, the average biker gets older. Marketing-oriented companies recognise this and this season have announced new models for the older biker. Manufacturer Hardly-Ableson now produce a rollator for the hardly able rider. Optionally, the rollator can be bought with a motor. This is a traditional 45° V-twin, 1250cc, producing 15 bhp, as used in their regular bikes. Top speed and acceleration enable old dodderers to keep pace, and the mufflers are so efficient that hearing aids will be needed. For safety reasons the rollator comes equipped with a potent horn, in case the senior riders no longer have one one of their own.

We fully expect this model to be sold out by tomorrow, so order today only!

Doug (Canada) tells me this is a real thing! " Well I'm sure it will be an improvement over . OMG these guys are serious ."
Hattie (Hawaii) opines "It isn't as if you could ask guys to grow up! " Give us just this one day a year, when we go back 60+ years :-)
Ed (USA) wrote "What you call a rollator, we call a walker." Thanks for the tip.
Yellowdog Grannie (USA) has blogged " A biker is someone who places a container of highly flammable liquid on top of a hot metal block and puts them between his/her upper thighs while balancing on two wheels!" True, and we're addicted to it. Added points for getting your knee down on the road at speed ;-)

Recent Writings
UN World Book Day
Rosy Posy
Elephant ears / Blinkers
Kosmo turns ten
For older bikers ;-)
Brexit begins
Abel prize for Yves Meyer
Merkel met Trump
Internat. Women's Day
World Book Day
Racing in the USA ;-)
Sigmund Jahn turned 80
Book Tip for Geeks :-)
Making Murrika grate...
I'm gutted, again :-(
Too many !!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm gutted :-)
..., One Cup
Fake News
Better Photos
Cold Snaps
Romani ite domum!

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

Archive 2017:
Jan Feb Mar
Archive 2016:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2015:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2014:
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.
Link Disclaimer
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 ;-)
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