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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

Thursday, February 29

Leap Day '24

Early in the Roman empire they used a lunar calender of 365 days and so their seasons drifted off by about a day every 4 years. Meanwhile the Egyptians had tried to synchronise their calender with the flooding of the Nile river and had added a day every four years to keep in step. Then, in 46 BC, along came Julius Caesar and heard about this improved Egyptian calender and decided to adopt it by decree for the Roman empire. Since the Roman year started arbitrarily in March, he just added the extra day at the end of their year, whence the 29th of February as the leap day. This calender reform was named after him and became known as the Julian calender.

The Julian calendar is a solar calendar of 365 days in every year with an additional leap day every fourth year (without exception) giving 365.25 days per average year. The Julian calendar is still used as a religious calendar in parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church etc. However the long term average for year length is 365.2422 days, which means the Julian calendar gains one day every 129 years. In other words, the Julian calendar gains 3.1 days every 400 years.

So in October 1582, by which time the Roman empire had devolved into the Roman catholic church, the papal bull Inter gravissimas issued by Pope Gregory XIII, introduced the Gregorian calender as a modification of, and replacement for, the Julian calendar. This made the average calendar year 365.2425 days long, a better approximation to 365.2422 days. The Julian calender had drifted away from the equinox, so thursday 4 october 1582 was followed by friday 15 October 1582; remember this when calibrating your time machine ;-) BTW, the last country to adopt the Gregorian calender was Greece, as late as 1923 !!!

The current rule for leap years is : "Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400." Actually, even this calender is still slightly off. It has an error of about one day per 3,030 years. This is because the Earth's speed of rotation is gradually slowing down, as the moon drifts away, which makes each day slightly longer over time. So in the 19th century the astronomer Herschel proposed a modification, "Make the year 4000, and multiples thereof, common instead of leap.", but this improvement still has not been officially adopted.

So what events have happened on a leap day? Here are five.
1880 saw the breakthrough when both ends of the Gotthard tunnel met.
1892 saw the first performance of "Charly's Aunt".
1916 Arthur Hale was awarded a patent for cloverleaf junctions on the autobahns.
1940 Gone with the Wind got 10 Oscars, a record.
2004 Lord of the Rings ; Return of the King was awarded 11 Oscars, a new record.

Do you have a birthday today? German law (BGB) states that after 18 years you legally become an adult just after midnight on February 28th. 55,000 Germans have a birthday today; worldwide about five million.

Copyright © Ole Phat Stu on February 29, 2024 permalink Comments Email

Sunday, February 25

Favourite Flyer?

Writing from New Zealand, Barbara-Anne asks "I see you have been flying for some 50 years now. So what is your favourite flyer, and why?"

Well, lass, that has changed over the years as the type of flying changed for me. So here are some old photos, hence excuse the lack of their quality.

I started off in the early seventies learning to fly Rogallo kites (glide ratio about 1:3) in the hills of Santa Monica (USA). Back in Germany I liked the Adler hangglider (ratio 1:8?) in the hang-gliding school in the Sauerland hills.

So bought this yellow one, which I later crashed in a stall. Yellow is better seen by rescuers than green if you crash into the foliage :-(

Moving on to regular gliders/sailplanes, I found I was not very good at finding thermals. So the glider I most enjoyed was this pre-WW2 trainer, an SG38 (glide ratio 1:10). You sit right out in the front, have NO instruments, and are catapulted off a hillside by a dozen friends running down the hill pulling a rubber rope ;-)

Moving on to powered planes, with about 200 hours of experience, at first I enjoyed aerobatics in a small biplane single-seater, a Pitts. The Pitts can pull 9G and push -6, but I could only manage +6/-3G. Then I met SWMBO so needed more seats.

Meanwhile I had tried about 20 different types from MS880 via C172 to a Bonanza, but then settled for this 1969 PA28-140. Four seats (3 if I filled the long range tanks), fixed undercarriage, fixed pitch prop, thinking "what isn't there can't go wrong". It served us well for a quarter century all around Europe :-)

Photo by his passanger Rosemary when I was formating on Anton's Bölkow 208.

I only flew twins if somebody else was paying - you need separate ratings for each twin type. My favourite was Alan's Piper Aerostar, a quite fast 6 seater, which I preferred to the Cessna 310 and the MU2. Photo of the full IFR office.

Only disadvantages I found, the offset pedals and forward CG (Centre of Gravity).

Copyright © Ole Phat Stu on February 25, 2024 permalink Comments Email

Wednesday, February 14

Valentine's Day

So today is Valentine's Day.

Here's one kid's opinion . . .

Reposted by Ole Phat Stu on February 14, 2024 permalink Comments Email

Friday, February 9


American blogger lady Cop Car has mentioned that both her husband and daughter bang their heads on the door frame when getting into her car. Imagine if she had a european car instead of a US car . . .

BTW, here, headbangers are heavy metal music fans.

Cop Car wrote " Aww, Stu, the only topless vehicle I’ve ever owned was a Junker bi-plane – and that was just part ownership. The ungainly sizes of vehicles on American roads are ridiculous. (Thanks for the link.)" I thought you had a share in a Bücker Jungman????
Cop Car replied " Thanks for catching my mental blip, Stu. I can’t imagine where my brain was when I wrote that - and can’t find the email that I sent...." Junkers = corrugated aluminium low-wing monoplane, Bücker Jungman = wood and fabric biplane like this one shown below. P.S. Yes, I DO know one should not touch ANY prop in case the magnetos are on, it's a bad habit I have from having to hand-start this beast.

Copyright © Ole Phat Stu on February 9, 2024 permalink Comments Email

Thursday, February 8

How big is a Megaton bomb?

Talking to Ed (USA) last week, he referred to my 2022 photo of Fat Man, the Nagasaki atom bomb, shown below and asked "If a 21 kiloton atom bomb is that big, how much bigger is a megaton atom bomb?"

This is a misapprehension. The Fat Man had a big external sheet steel casing, so that any possible machine gun bullets from a potential japanese Zero fighter plane would not get through to damage the delicate atom bomb mechanism which depended upon retaining its 5 ft. diameter spherical shape. There is no atom bomb bigger than about 50 kilotons.

The bigger yield nukes are all hydrogen bombs (aka Thermonuclear bombs).

Then I realised most of my readers have never seen one, so here is a photo of the american B28 thermonuclear bomb. Much smaller as you can see, thanks to design "advances". Fits on a fighter-bomber. It has a yield upto 1.45 megatons afaik. I chose an (unclassified) photo with loading personnell for scale purposes.

I wrote about the largest possible nuke back in 2014. The smallest nukes are socalled "suitcase" nukes which fit in a backpack or were used as an Honest John warhead.

Billions of Versions... wrote " More than you ever wanted to know about all the world's nukes. (Wikipedia)." Thanks for the link Mike.

Copyright © Ole Phat Stu on February 8, 2024 permalink Comments Email

Sunday, February 4

Almost, but not quite, true

So back in the sixties we were doing some chip designs and Steven was building a floating point unit, when I teased him by telling him he could test it on the identity 4 + ℼ5 = e6.

Of course both and e are transcendental numbers, going on forever and never repeating themselves so he needed a high precision to test this identity.

Now this supposed identity is almost, but not quite, true; so it took a week of debugging attempts for him to discover I was pulling his leg.

Using e.g.the calculator in Windowz I get 403,428793 for e6. And for 4 +ℼ5 I get 403,428776 ; a slight difference of about 4 parts in 100 million ;-)

Billions of Versions... wrote " You got me looking on Google where I ran into this... "How did Google calculate pi? Iwao's team used the y-cruncher program and Chudnovsky algorithm. Their calculation ran for 157 days before finding the 100-trillionth decimal place — a 0. They then verified the final numbers with the Bailey–Borwein–Plouffe formula. In total, the process used a whopping 515 TB of storage and 82 PB of I/O. Jun 9, 2022 " I thought the 31 trillion number was still good. Nope, 100 trillion by the same gal. A long while back I decided to calculate the first million digits of pi using pifast on my 386 computer. It took 36 hours." As a student I learned to recite PI to 100 places, for a beer. Now I know just 30 or so.

Copyright © Ole Phat Stu on February 4, 2024 permalink Comments Email

Link to the previous month's blog.
Recent Writings
Leap Day '24
Favourite Flyers
Valentine's Day
How big is a Megaton?
Almost, but not quite...
Trash TV
Holocaust Memorial Day
Tetrating Pi
Ferris Wheel Fun
A new puzzler record
Dire prediction for 2024
Xmas floods in Germany
Wright Flyer @120
Is Rudolph trans?
Not just Pearl Harbour
The first motorcycle
Sets of equidistant points
Fat Books
Saved by the bell
Guy Fawkes Night
Rocket Man
Banging the patient :-(
Bulldog Piggy Bank
Misleading the Muslims

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
Starts with a Bang
Yellow Dog Grannie

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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.

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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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