Nav Tools

--> Most recent Blog

Comments Policy
Maths trivia
Search this site
RSS feed for Stu Savory's Blog RSS Feed

Site Meter

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 he also has a neat English Bulldog bitch 'Frieda'.

And her big son 'Kosmo'.

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Thursday, December 22, 2016

..., One Cup

My doctor is of the opinion that I drink WAY to much coffee, and that I should restrict myself to just one cup of coffee a day.

So treated myself to a new cup for Xmas ;-)


Comments (3)
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " That should cover your needs! We grow pretty good coffee here. We harvested some for a friend not so long ago. But what do we do? We have a Nespresso machine! Dumb isn't it. Happy New Year from the 4th Reich". HNY2U2 :-)
John (USA) wrote " That's a fine cup! Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!" HNY2UnUrs2 :-)
Doug (Canada) wrote " Well that cup will do for a nightcap but too small for my breakfast cuppa :)" So take a triple expressi thereof.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fake News

Fake News is (are?) not a new phenomenon. It even goes back before Goebbels. For example, many people believe that Santa Claus was invented by Coca Cola back in the 1930s. Not true.

Based on St. Nikolaus, the chubby, cheery, present-bringing, red and white clothed symbol was indeed used by Coca Cola for advertising purposes in the 1930s, but he was first drawn by a German immigrant - Thomas Nast - in 1862. Thomas Nast drew the figure weekly in Harper's Weekly magazine, initially in a short light brown coat. Over a period of 30 years Nast changed the clothing to the red and white we know today and his figure was picked up by Coca Cola.

As part of the positive image, St. Nikolaus' Austrian apprentice, Krampus, represented as a beast-like creature generally demonic in appearance, was excluded. Krampus punished children during the Yule season who had misbehaved, and used to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair. Pedophile maybe? Or just the OTC (One True Church) trying to enforce obedience amongst juveniles (why, we wonder? ;-)

So we can even claim that Santa Claus was a Nasty invention ;-)

Apropos Nasty : OT : And Trumpus (rhymes with Krampus) is an honourable man; so are they all, all honourable men...

Comments (4)
Cop Car wrote "That's a new one on me. I had not heard the "news" that Santa was invented by Coca Cola. Obviously, I've not kept well-informed." Then you should read this Irish version of the story here.
Cop Car replied " Thanks for the link, Stu. Unfortunately, all I can get to come up is the headline + raucous sound track." I've mailed you a screenshot :-)
Doug (Canada) has his own Secret Santa fake news ;-)
Hattie (Hawaii) remarks wryly "And in other fake news: America welcomes its new overlords!" I'm bigly shocked; this is unpresidented! :-(

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Better Photos

As Barbara pointed out in a previous comment, I take snapshots rather than good photos. I let the camera do all the work. But when I wanted good photos of our ageing dogs, I got friend Alex to come over and take them. She has a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) - I think it's a Canon - and she really knows how to exploit it, doing all the settings (focal length, aperture, shutter times etc) manually.

Just look at her excellent control of depth of focus in the two photos above! Dogs are pinhead-sharp and the carefully chosen background blurry.

Now look at the timing on this one. Fast shutter speed to stop the motion as Kosmo launches himself at her. Six pix a second in sport mode and choose the best shot. Midfield (Kosmo) sharply in focus, fore- and back-ground blurry. Alex really knows how to use her camera to best advantage!

Now THAT is what I call a photographer with talent! Thanks, Alex :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cold Snaps

Winter is arriving. At the beginning of november we had the first autumn/fall frosts which caused our walnut tree to shed all its leaves. On december 3rd Kansas blogger Cop Car reported in her blog that a cold snap had caused her ginko tree to shed all its leaves overnight. Now we have a cold snap here too, reaching down to -10°C, which even caused our winter-apple tree to lose half its crop. What a pity for us, but the birds benefit as I leave the apples on the lawn for their winter sustenance :-(

Sunday was quite cold so we headed into town to the Advent-market and tried out the three different varieties of hot mulled wine (hic!) :-

This morning was double-digit cold again, so I had to drive carefully, because some of the roads are just a sheet of ice, even if it is decorative ice :-(

Needless to say that my motorcycle & oldtimer have been put in the garage.

Have a safe winter, you blogreaders of the northern hemisphere!

Comments (6)
Doug (Canada) reports It's about to get very cold over here.
Barbara (UK) asks "Does 'Cold snaps' mean short periods of subzero temperatures or photos taken in the cold?" Both. You're the first to notice the pun, and that includes me. Have a cold schnaps :-)
Nils (D) notes "OT : RIP John Glenn" :-( And Buzz Aldrin is ill in NZ, his doctor is called David Bowie, how's that for a Space Oddity :-)
Marion (D) outed herself in the pub last friday as a lurker here by commenting "...just the small same set of commenters" ;-) That's because I don't allow spontaneous comments, I read them first before putting (most of) them online. Folks, if you want more comments, try sending some! :-)
Jenny (Ibiza) asks "OT: Is your blogroll shrinking?" Yes, some chicken US bloggers have quit after Trump was elected :-(
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " Don't worry that I'm going away! I'm not afraid of the Trumpster! Those shots of your dogs (above) are really nice. But I like your pix too. " Thankyou.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Romani ite domum!

Two political choices in Europe yesterday, but only one turned out good. The good news relates to the election of the president of Austria. The Austrians wisely rejected the far-right candidate; Americans could learn from them. The bad news is from the referendum in Italy which is potentially dangerous for European stability and that of the Euro. Their anti-reform choice got me thinking Romani ite domum!, Latin for "Romans go home!", a classic skit from Monty Python's "Life of Brian" :-)

Italian ministerpresident Renzi had proposed modifying the constitution to make Italy (more) governable (is that a word?). The Italians rejected it, so Renzi will resign today. So the italian banks may collapse and have to be rescued by the EU. Problematic! The Euro has fallen to its lowest since 20 months :-( German economist Hans Werner Sinn thinks Italy may even leave the Euro, being unable to cope with mounting debt. Italexit after Brexit? Certainly Italy can expect a new election.

Romani ite domum! ? Itali ite domum!

Comments (2)
John (UK) remarks "Great video; John Cleese is always funny ;-)" Yes, he also played the rebel leader Reg in the Life of Brian.
Ed (USA) objects "Don't blog in latin, nobody will understand you!". Probably true, but people with no Latin miss some great jokes. Example : within the Trump appointees there will be an economic policy subgroup set up called the American National Interest group, acronym ANI. What they fail to realise is that ANI is Latin for "Assholes" ;-)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Mr. Goldenballs

For over a thousand years the Merchants of Venice controlled the trade routes across the Mediterranean. The Serene Republic of Venice was founded in 697 AD and was taken over by Austria in 1797 AD. That's 1100 years! Venice controlled the Adriatic coast, Crete and Cyprus and monopolised the trade from the Orient into Europe. A profitable business.

The republic was ruled by a group of self-defined noble families (aka Oligarchy) who practiced an internal "democracy". The Doge - the titular head of state from 726 AD on - was "elected" by the aforesaid oligarchy. Over those 1100 years, over 150 men were elected as Doge until they died, some after only 1 year (coincidence?), one ruled even for 34 years.

This was how "elections" were done:- Senior members of the leading families chose a small number of lectors by lot. These lectors then chose additional buddies to "help" them as lectors in the first stage. These lectors then chose a smaller number, etc etc for perhaps several stages. The final stage of lectors then chose the new Doge from amongst themselves.

In the early republic, the lectors were chosen by lot, to make it an apparently fair election. Wax balls were prepared, some including a slip of paper bearing the word "Lector", some were empty. For example, in 1268 AD, Doge Rainieri Zeno died. The 2nd stage had 30 lectors, so 30 wax balls were prepared, 9 with paper slips in them. A small boy then handed out the balls from an opaque bag, so choosing the nine lectors for the final stage.

By the 17th century, silver and golden balls of the same size were used for the final stage(s). And so the new Doge earned the dubious title of Mr. Goldenballs, a title only mentioned cautiously in private lest the Doge got upset about it ;-)

So this was the first Electoral College; draw your own parallels to 2016 ;-)

Comments (4)
Ed (USA) grins "Goldenballs - great title for a new Bond movie" Surely! :-)
Hattie (Hawaii) suggests " How about Mr. Gold-plated Balls for Mr. Trump? " Yes, he does seem to goldplate everything in his apartment doesn't he. ;-)
Barbara (UK) wrote "I just love your history lessons!" Thankyou :-)
Cop Car refers to my line " - Senior members of the leading families..." and asks " I assume that "men" could be substituted for "members"? " So do I, but my history teacher didn't say that explicitly back then, feminism wasn't a thing in the fifties, women's voting rights notwithstanding. Johann Bachofen refers to early oriental matriarchies in Venice too, but he came much later (1861). So I think you are right, after all, all the Doge were men. BTW, the electoral rules as I described above date from 1268.

Recent Writings
..., One Cup
Fake News
Better Photos
Cold Snaps
Romani ite domum!
Mr. Goldenballs
F1 poor Loser
Meal of the Year
Term Limits?
Nailed it!
The Trolley problem
Fall arrives
Horror Weekend :-(
Times are 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

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 2016:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov
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 ;-)
Books I have written

Index/Home Impressum Sitemap Search site/www