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Stu Savory ;-) School report for Stu Savory
Eunoia, who is a grumpy, overeducated, facetious, multilingual naturalised German, blatantly opinionated, old (1944-vintage), amateur cryptologist, computer consultant, atheist, flying instructor, bulldog-lover, Porsche-driver, textbook-writer 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 bulldog, Kosmo, he also has a new bulldog, Clara, since September 2018 :-)

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

Friday, August 25

Flight of Death

There are times when I suddenly notice where authors get their characters´ names from. For example J.K.Rowling may have taken Death´s Flight = Flight of Death from the French Vol de Mort ;-) ???

She may have also seen this WW1 soldier´s gravestone, giving her another name for a character in her almost endless series of succesful books.

If she ever wants to kill Harry off - as the Brit royals may do - she could just put a photo of his gravestone in her last book and declare that a flight of death killed him ;-)

What do you think? Too constructed?

Copyright © Ole Phat Stu on August 25, 2023 permalink Comments Email

Monday, August 21

Seeing Saturn

This week is a great time for observing Saturn. You see, on wednesday 23rd the Sun, Earth, and Saturn are aligned all in a straight line. This means that Saturn is visible (cloud cover permitting) all night long. It is in the east just after sunset and in the west just before dawn. Not only that, but Saturn is at its nearest to Earth, so appears bigger. You can even see it with the naked eye. Most people have binoculars at home, I even have a small astro-telescope. So any night this week, if there are no clouds, you should be able to get a great views. This photo is from 2020.

Billions of Versions... wrote " I may try but the weather seems to know when I want to look at something in the sky and goes no no no." Sadly, we had too much cloud cover last night too.

Copyright © Ole Phat Stu on August 21, 2023 permalink Comments Email

Friday, August 19

Do photons exist?

So there was a discussion in the pub last night about whether photons really exist.

I summarise :- One guy explained that we could "see" the cosmic microwave background radiation, so photons which had started their journey just after the Big Bang and only now arrived here, so had existed on their journey for 13.8 billion years.

The other guy objected, saying we should look at it from the point of view of the photon, asking WHEN did it exist? Travelling at the speed of light, time stops. So the time between creation of the photon and its detection (which destroys it) is zero as the photon perceives it. So if it exists for zero time, then it can be said to NOT exist!

What do you think?

Marcel (B) wrote " I may be overthinnking this, but if the photon travels 13.8 billion lightyears in zero time, then it can teleport without using a wormhole!" Teleportation, that´s it!!!

Copyright © Ole Phat Stu on August 19, 2023 permalink Comments Email

Wednesday, August 2

Being Bemphites

My first student days were in London, UK. There I joined inter alia an historical society which did role-playing e.g. as Londoners in the Roman or middle ages. But one time the role-challenge was "learn to do a job from early history and demonstrate it!" , so I decided to learn to be a bemphite as that did not need much effort (I first thought).

For those readers who do not know what a bemphite was, think of them as pacers from the time of Alexander the Great (356 BC – 323 BC), king of Macedon. He created one of the largest empires in history, stretching all the way from Greece to northwestern India (over 6000 kms).

Beside his many thousand infantrymen and cavalry, Alexander took several bemphites in his military campaigns. Their job was to measure the distance they travelled. They did this by counting the number of steps they had taken. It took a year or more of training to standardise their pace-length to 75 cms. So a double pace was 1.5 metres and 1000 double paces defined a mile.

Four friends and I spent a weekend trying to standardise our strides to 75 cm across the grass of e.g Hampstead Heath and got our standard deviation down to about 2 centimeters, quite an achievement we thought. But that was on the level, going up hills and down dales varied a bit more :-(

The next part was also hard. Count up to 1000 double strides, without error, neither omitting nor duplicating a number. Easy, you think? NO!!! Arabic numerals had not been invented by 336 BC, so we had to count in ancient Greek, without making a mistake. Ancient Greek (Attic) numerals were like a fore-runner of Roman numerals, so no positional notation.

Attic numerals came into use perhaps in the 7th century BC. They were acrophonic, derived (after the initial heta=one) from the first letters of the names of the numbers represented. They ran 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 to 1000, written as 1 (heta), P (pente), D (deka), hangman sign (deka in pente), and H (hekaton), heka in pente, to X for 1000. So e.g. 49 is DDDDPIIII. Try saying that out loud (dekedekadekadekapentehetahetahetaheta) while you are concentrating on maintaining your stride length! Do not slow down or confuse the Heta with rough breathing ;-) I found it very hard to do both at once.

Plus we got interrupted by strangers asking what we were doing and asking what language we were all talking (Ancient Greek numbers) ;-)

At our demo, I lost count thrice but was saved by my 4 fellow Bemphites who reset me, as I did for them elsewhere. Crazy things we did as young students.

Geeky, educational, fun ;-)

Cop Car wrote " You went through an interesting and challenging exercise, Stu. At your size, you probably found it more of a challenge than most to shorten your pace to match the standard length set by the ancients. Not as interesting but of more practical use was the exercise that we students did in a plane surveying course. That course was required of every student who intended to get a degree from the school, and I took it during my first semester (Sept 1955). Our first day of class, we hit the street on which a surveyed mile had been established and counted our steps traversing the distance in either direction in order to establish, each of us, our own pace length. Thankfully, we were not required to count as you and the ancient Greeks counted." Did you do it least 5 times to get your standard deviation too?
Cop Car replied " No, Stu, this was a practical exercise. If we wanted more accurate measurements than our paces gave us, we used a chain. We did have to correct lengths that we obtained with a chain for temperature effects. Our notes were required to be taken in 7H pencil without erasures (to be presented to the legal system – in court, perhaps) and a ridiculous number of decimal places were required to be carried. (I no longer recall how many nor do I have my surveying notes.)" We were taught always to provide an error estimate for any measurement made.
Schorsch (D) wrote " OT: You are mentioned in the HNF blog today again! " The price of fame, man ;-)
Ed (USA) complained "You are using highbrow words I had to look up again : bemphites, attic, acrophonic, thrice. Keep it simpler please." I´ll try :-)
Jenny (Ibiza) echoed Ed "What Ed said" I´m (very) trying ;-)
Billions of Versions... wrote " I laughing at the comments. I'm right there with them."Wilco.

Copyright © Ole Phat Stu on August 2, 2023 permalink Comments Email

Link to the previous month's blog.
Recent Writings
Flight of Death
Seeing Saturn>
Do photons exist?
Being Bemphites
5 stupid signs
Credit card thief :-(
Busy, busy, busy
Ticks in the garden?
Pythagorean Reciprocals
Oldtimers overpriced?
Canstein Highland Games
Visiting the falconer
No word in English
80th solar orbit begins
WW2 Warbird down :-(
Where are you?
Maltese cathedral clocks
Recommended reading
Corona tion stuff
Star Wars Day

Ain Bulldog Blog
All hat no cattle
Balloon Juice
Billions of Versions...
Cop Car
Earth-Bound Misfit
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Not Always Right
Observing Hermann
Rants ... Rookery
Starts with a Bang
Yellow Dog 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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