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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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Lewis Hamilton : F1 poor loser :-(

Formula One is not something I would usually watch on TV, I'm more of a MotoGP man. But Sunday's race promised to be interesting dirty-trick-wise and the weather was such that we preferred to stay in.

Hamilton would have to win and his team-mate Rosberg finish at most fourth for Hamilton to remain world champion. Rosberg could finish third and still become the new world champion even if Hamilton won.

So Hamilton - as usual the faster man - put himself ahead and then deliberately drove as slowly as possible (but not letting Rosberg overtake) so that their rivals Vettel and Verstappen could catch up and (so Hamilton planned) both pass Rosberg or crash into him. Rosberg meanwhile did not even try to overtake Hamilton lest he(Hamilton) run him off the track to crash.

Vettel caught up and passed Verstappen to prevent him attacking Rosberg. So by the grace and sportsmanship of Vettel, who did not attack Rosberg, none of Hamilton's dirty tricks worked and the new world champion is Nico Rosberg :-)

It used to be better when they all raced instead of playing dirty tactical games!

Comments (1)
John (UK) notes that "Hamilton's team ORDERED him TWICE to drive faster, but he ignored them :-(" Anarchy, they should fire him.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Meal of the Year :-)

Today is the day that Americans (subset USA) celebrate Thanksgiving, usually by having a 'ginormous turkey. Of course, this year they got their Turkey on November 8th. Bigly! There'll be no pardon :-(

Thanksgiving is often seen by many as the best meal of the year. But is it? So I'll take this opportunity to select the best meal we've had all year. In 2015, it was this seafood Gumbo, eaten in Lanzarote :-

And this year, so far, it has been these delicious spare ribs, an invitation by our friends Ulrike and Frank, to whom many thanks :-)

We should all be grateful for getting food as good as this. But even in the USA there are poor people surviving on food-subsidies (food-stamps), and so IMHO the Donald needs to listen to the lyrics of Pink Floyd's "On the turning away" :-(

What's been your best meal this year?

Comments (2)
David (NY,NY) points out that "...the "foodstuffs" most bought using food-stamps here are sugary soft drinks :-( How much healthier (=less-obesity) if the food-subsidy was in the form of e.g. fruit and vegatables!" Mostly I agree with that, but it means the local authorities would have to do the logistics as well:-(
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " Ah, food. We had pizzas to die for yesterday, along with fresh greens salads and, baby back ribs, in the most unlikely place: a restaurant near Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii! This after a nice hike where we viewed footprints from the 18th century, left in hardened volcanic ash deposits by barefoot Hawaiians. Unlike most well off people in the U.S. I shop in the same supermarkets as food stamp users. It's a very mixed bag. Sure, there are the men buying food and paying separately for their booze and cigarettes and the moms filling up carts with the junk food the kids like, but there are also a lot of very sensible food consumers who need this help. I hope Trump does not get away with cutting back food subsidies. " I hope so too, although, like David, I think sugary soft-drinks should be excluded too, in a fight against obesity.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Term Limits?

As Goethe wrote in Faust II verse 1112 "Two souls dwell, ah! within my breast".

On the one hand, we have the USA which has term-limits for the POTUS (but sadly none for Congress and the Senate); I would have liked to have seen Obama as President for a third term. #anyonebuttrump

On the other hand in Germany here, we have no term limits and so we get Merkel running for a fourth term in next year's elections, as if twelve years weren't enough already :-( But Gabriel and Schulz (SPD) are no real alternatives and neither are Seehofer or Soder (CSU). #noneof them

So, are you for or against term limits? And for which institutions?

Comments (2)
Petra (A) sent this link to Bento article (in German).
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " Be grateful for Merkel. She has principles. Even if you're tired of her and don't like everything she does, she follows her moral compass. We've got Trump." She upset a lot of voters with her open-borders policy. But that wasn't my question, which was more abstract and general.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Nailed it!

Sixty odd years ago, we were taught this proverb in school and then asked to summarise it.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail!

Eddy thought it was not a proper poem because it used the same word (lost) to rhyme. Barbara thought it was to remind her to take her pony to the smithy to get its shoes checked, but most of us realised it was telling us to pay attention to every little detail towards our goal.

The proverb was in a story by Freidank around 1230, but is often told about Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485 "A Horse! A Horse! My Kingdom for a Horse!", Act V, Scene 4 from the Shakespeare play Richard III (written 1591).

Skip forward several years, nay, decades, and I was one of three lucky-dip winners at our country fair and our 'prize' was to spend a day with the smith, learning to 'smithy' :-)

I remembered (and recited) the proverb as we were told that our first project would to be hammer out a horseshoe-nail, tapered and square in cross section. You would not believe how hard that is! We were provided with an oversize leather apron each, protective goggles, tongs and a hammer. Of course, fire, bellows and an anvil were also provided.

Firstly were were taught how to hold the workpiece in the tongs and how to hold the hammer. Neither was easy, as the nail was to be tapered but the nail's cross-section was to remain square. Secondly to get the temperature of the workpiece just right and then hammer it forcefully but accurately. The first couple of tries failed miserably; it is quite hard to hammer forcefully but accurately! My first tries pinched the neck of the nail too hard below the head, cutting off the length I'd finally managed to taper :-( It took us several hours(!) just to make one simple nail :-( Talk about unproductive!

The second project was to make an axe-head. I bashed away, getting a roughly shaped blade to be ground sharp later. But I couldn't see how to make the hole in the head for the wooden handle :-( Finally I took another workpiece and bent it back on itself to make a ring. I got the size of the ring right by bending it around a wooden broom handle (which caught fire and had to be replaced twice). Then, borrowing the help of another prize-winner, so we had two sets of tongs, one with the blade and one with the ring, I hammered (welded) them together. Not the way a proper smith would have done it, but it was in one piece and looked about right :-)

Unfortunately, I'd squashed the ring a bit, so had to whittle down the head-end of the axe-handle (provided) a bit to get the axe onto its handle. A bit loose though, so had to make a wooden wedge and hammer it into the top of the handle once the axe-head was on it. Not to sure how secure that was, nor how brittle the head was after my attempt at hardening it :-(

The final project was to make a 3-link chain, but (thankfully) time ran out before I could work out how to get the centre link closed :-)

Come evening, we were all sweated up, with aching hammer-arm muscles, and with GREAT respect for all the expert knowledge a smith has to know. And I'd thought it'd be easy, just bashing bits of iron. NO WAY!!!

So I hadn't managed the chain, and the axe was probably too dangerous to use, but otherwise I could say I'd nailed it :-)

Comments (2)
Jenny (Ibiza) opined "You don't exactly have the physique for it ;-)" Partially : I have the beer belly already ;-)
John (UK) wrote "Sounds crazy; I'll add it to my bucket list. What's the craziest left on yours?" I'd like to fly one of those water powered jet-packs, but I doubt I'm fit enough :-(

Monday, November 14, 2016


Got up early this morning as I had to drive SWMBO to the railway station. Since the skies were clear (at 4:44 am) and cold(-5°C) I grabbed a camera and took this handheld shot of today's supermoon. The moon was shining so brightly that the shot is overexposed though :-(

The moon orbits the Earth in an ellipse (as discovered by Kepler) and its distance from the earth varies each month between 357,000 and 406,000 kilometers. Today it is at its nearest (perigee), especially as the planets are lined up so as to exert an additional pull. It is visually larger (bigly?) by 14% in diameter (= 30% in area) and so shines with 30% more light than at apogee.

Before anyone asks, this planetary alignment - or the supermoon - did not cause the earthquake in Christchurch (NZ) yesterday.

Perigee-szygy is actually this evening (central european time). If you miss seeing this supermoon today due to cloud cover there will be another mid-december, the last before 25 November 2034 AD.

Comments (5)
Schorsch (D) complains "...there is no scale on your photo" Sorry. But Der Spiegel has a good comparison of the apparent sizes of the moon at apogee (furthest) and at perigee (nearest) here.
Petra (A) wrote "OK, so its bigly, so what?" Biggest since 68 years!
Schorsch (D) wrote "Sadly, 100% cloud here tuesday :-(" Yes, 8/8 cloud cover here too. I was lucky yesterday.
A post on Cop Car's blog inspires me to mention the focal length I used : zoomed to the max at 720 mm equivalent (for 35mm cameras), my Lumix TZ61 camera, while overexposing, was still stupid enough to flash AT THE MOON! :(
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " The moon was yuge here. There were some broken clouds and a moon river over the Bay. Fantastic." Glad you saw it. I liked the photos on your blog :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


You did what? You chose the fascist orange shitgibbon as your next prezzy? The way we Yurpeans write dates it's 9/11 :-(
First the 9/11 march on the Feldherrenhalle (q.v) then the 9/11 Reichskristallnacht (q.v), then the WTC 9/11. And Today is the Donald's 9/11. The Day After!
So poor old Hillary got shot down in flames. Again.

But of coarse (sic!) the Donald doesn't like people who are AC/DC ;-)
And he'll be plotting savage revenge on all who mocked him :-(

But The Donald still has a tight schedule. He will appear again on :-
November 28th : Trump University Fraud Trial and
December 16th : Trump teen-rape pre-trial.

If he's convicted : congratulations, President-in-spe Pence :-)

Comments (6)
Doug (Canada) wrote " btw - the teen rape trial will not be going ahead she once again dropped charges. This time out of fear for herself and her family. " From his brownshirts [⅔ of USA is SA] :-(?
Schorsch (D) asks whether "The USA now has the DTs?" or maybe symptoms like the UK's BRegret.
Anon (USA) corrects me "Surely you meant US President-in-spe Putin?" :-( Anon (UK) grins "Now nobody ever need apologise for being anti-american again ;-)" And valid worldwide too :-)
Mary (USA) points out that "...Clinton got more votes than Trump." True, but Trump's were in the swing states. Of course, we don't know how many of his were russian cybervotes :-(
Anon (D): "What borders on insanity? Mexico and Canada!" Good one, girl ;-)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Trolley problem

Some of you may remember that back in secondary school we had a class called Ethics 101. It was there that I first heard of the Trolley problem (see diagram on the left).

There is a piece of railroad track like an inverted letter Y. A trolley (green square) is rolling ever faster down the track. The track forks. There are two workmen on the left fork who will be killed if the trolley hits them. There are five workmen on the right fork who will be killed if the trolley hits them. Uptrack of the workmen is a switch (points in english). Ethical question : would you set the switch to kill the smaller number of people?

Spock (of Star Trek fame) once said "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" which would justify doing so.

However, our (German) constitution dictates that "Human dignity is inviolable" and so you may not make this (or the other) choice at the switch, suggesting you should just let the trolley run over the switch (however it is set) and let "fate" decide. Schrödinger's switch. That's the legal position here; different countries, different rules. Or perhaps none at all?

Recently here, Ferdinand von Schirach's play "Terror - your judgement" was on TV internationally. The play tells the story of an air-force pilot who shoots down a 250 passenger airliner hijacked by terrorists who are aiming it a stadium of 70,000 people. Passengers send an SMS that they are about to storm the cockpit. The air-force pilot has 30 seconds to decide what to do. It's a version of the Trolley problem.

The air-force pilot shoots the airliner down. The play shows the air-force pilot on trial for murder (on 250+ counts). Should he be convicted or acquitted? The TV audience got to phone in their choices. German audiences voted in 440 cases out of 471 for acquittal. Swiss 25 out of 25. Austria 17 out of 18. Hungary 3/3. Venezuela 17/18. Japan 4 out of 4 for conviction!

Ethics aside, under german law the fighter pilot would (have to) be convicted. And then maybe pardoned immediately? How would you vote?

Back to the Trolley problem : we'll see how the USA votes on tuesday with the american voter in the role of Ferdinand von Schirach's fighter pilot . . .

Comments (3)
Barbara (UK) asks "If Trump wins on tuesday, does Melania get the title "Third Lady" ?" Maybe, but only in the Irish pronunciation ;-)
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote "... As to ethical dilemmas: Sophie's choice. Don't forget Sophie's choice!" I read the novel (great!) but haven't seen the movie.
Schorsch points out that " Germany it is also a crime NOT to touch the switch (unterlassene Hilfeleistung), which would help the two or the five!" Yes, Catch 22 :-(

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fall arrives

First frosts have defoliated our walnut tree. Nevertheless the crop of walnuts this year makes up for last year's crop failure.

The back garden lawn is invisible in places, due to all the fallen leaves.

There are places where the leaves are ankle deep!

After these photos, it took two hours to clear most leaves from the lawn!

Comments (1)
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " Hi, Stu. Just catching up to you. Would I ever like to get some of those walnuts! They are great in pesto, better, I think, than pine nuts." Most are OK, but a few are savagely bitter. And we can't tell by mere inspection which will be the bitter few :-(

Recent Writings
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
Nelson's Victory
The cake that Hils made
Body Doubles
The coward who ran away

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
Spork in the drawer
Squatlo Rant
Yellowdog 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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