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I write, therefore I am

With this variation on a famous statement by the philosopher Descartes, I would like to express that writing about what happens in my life is important to me.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


At 11:41:38, I bought three books from bookshop Broekhuis with 62.5% discount. Since yesterday, there is a 25% extra discount. For books that were already discounted with 50% from the original price, this means a 62.5% discount. The books are:
  • The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice, ISBN:9780751551037, for € 4.12.
  • Een brief van Gerard Reve by Nop Maas, published by Stichting Literaire Manifestaties Enschede, for € 0.935 EUR.
  • Goeie god, wat een oog! Jan Wolkers & Claude Monet by Onno Blom, published by Stichting Literaire Manifestaties Enschede, for € 0.935 EUR.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

(Re)opening second hand books

This morning, I went to bookshop Broekhuis where they opened the third and fourth floor with the second hand books from former Polare/De Slegte bookshop on the otherside of the street. The fourth floor, with mainly fiction, was not open yet, but I was allowed to have a quick look. Before, there used to be an exhibition area and some rooms on the third floor. Now the broke away some walls, making the floor look larger and giving it more day light with a window looking out over the square outside. Although they have the same books as before in the other shop, I noticed some books that I had never seen before. One of them being The Night Is Large: Collected Essays by Martin Gardner. I paged through the book, but did not buy it.

Still one month before the former Polare/De Slegte bookshop will close. The number of new books that are being sold with 50% off has increased in the past weeks. It would not surprise me the percentage will be increased and that also the other books will be further reduced in price.

Geocaching riddle

My brother-in-law asked me if I could help him to solve some geocaching riddle. The description (in Dutch) explains that the code is using run-length encoding, but with omitting the values. It suggest that there are two values and the first should be a zero. I wrote the following JavaScript program to solve the riddle:

v = "112332111122213172312351133"
  + "263212321216131112262621111"
  + "217231221111211333521111224"
for (b = k = i = 0; i < v.length; i++, b = 1 - b)
    n = parseInt(v.substring(i,i+1))
    for (j = 0; j < n; j++)
        if (++k % 8 == 0)

This produces the following output:

Now you only need to use a binary to ASCII converter to get the answer.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Little magnolia bush

Here a picture of our little magnolia bush. It is barely one 1 cm tall, with only two small leaves. This morning, I have tried to remove the seed that one of the leaves grew through (instead of pushing it out), but I did not succeed completely, because it was stick to it. I remember that the chestnut plant grew much faster. There is a very thin branch coming from the middle of the two leaves, so maybe it will grow taller this year. From some short article from a local newspaper, I think this is a Magnolia stellata "Royal Star".

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book sale

At 13:48, I bought the following three books from bookshop Broekhuis from the book sale that is being held in the former Polare bookshop with a 50% discount from the original price:
  • A: A Novel by Andy Warhol, ISNB:9780099528784, for € 6.45.
  • Bart Chabot Greatest Hits 2: Verzamelde gedichten 2005-2009 by Bart Chabot, ISBN:9789023441335, for € 12.45.
  • Van Dale officieel lingowoordenboek: oefen- en meespeelboek voor lingoliefhebbers, ISBN:9789066488397, for € 4.97.

Thurday, April 10, 2013

Palindrome dates

Today is a palindrome date when written in the (M)M/(D)D/(YYY)Y format: 4/10/2014. When the (M)M/(D)D/YY format is used, this is also a palindrome date: 4/10/14 and this is the case for all dates up to and including 4/19/14 and also the date 4/1/14.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


This afternoon, it was already rainbow weather. Around 18:50, we saw the rain blow along the window outside. Five minutes later, the sun started to shine again, and Annabel went outside to find out that it was still raining a little bit. She also noticed a rainbow, and I went outside as well. I took several pictures, also a close-up. The sky cleared-up, and the rainbow disappeared.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Sunday, March 30, 2014


Annabel and her boyfriend spend some time cleaning the back garden. He thought that a little twig behind the garbage containers might be a grapevine. Because it was growing between the pavement and the wall and in a rather dark place, I removed some stones of the pavement and planted it in a different spot. I also replanted three little oak trees from the lawn to another spot. We also cut of the chestnut tree in the back garden. It was almost as high as our willow tree. We cut it to just below the fence. The willow also required pruning. The boyfriend of Annabel suggested that maybe next winter it could be turned into a traditional willow tree by cutting all the branches just above the crown of the tree. That seems to be a good idea.

Tuesday, March 26, 2014

Closure of Polare

Today, came the news that bookshop Polare, before De Slegte, will be taken-over by bookshop Broekhuis on the opposite side of the street. This will include part of the personel and the stock of second-hand books. Starting from next week, the second-hand books will be moved to the third floor of Broekhuis, which now often is used as an exposition room. The purchase and sale of used books will continue on April 15. The Polare shop will close on May 15. I guess that until that time the remaindered books on the first floor will be sold for reduced prices. The recent books will probably also be added to the stock of Broekhuis. I expect that after next week, the Polare shop will start to look quite empty.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Birth of a magnolia

Honestly, I had given up hope with respect to the magnolia seeds that I planted on the first, but this evening, to my surprise, I saw something come out of the ground. I was a little afraid that it would not work-out because one time, I let the earth dry up. After that I covered the pot with some transparent foil.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Garage sale

At the end of the afternoon, there was a garage sale nearby our company. I bought a Creative SBS260 stereo sound system, a painting made in 1982 by Irma Kuiper (with the text "Waterlandschap 4" Gouache 50/65 on the back) and the following books for € 30 together:
  • Nlxl by Karel Tomeï, ISBN:9789055945924.
  • School maken in het hart van het land by Ad van Liempt and Janny Ruardy (editors), ISBN:9789089280329.
  • How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker, ISBN:9780393318487.
  • Unified Theories of Cognition by Allen Newell, ISBN:9780674921016.
  • Handbook on Ontologies by Steffen Staab and Rudi Studer (editors), ISBN:9783540408345.
  • Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative by Mieke Bal, ISBN:9780802078063.
  • Language Prototyping: An Algebraic Specification Approach by Arie Deursen, J. Heering, and Paul Klint (editors), ISBN:9789810227326.
  • Performance Analysis of Parallel Systems: A Hybrid Approach by Henk Jonkers, ISBN:9789090085357.


When I came home this afternoon, I took the picture on the right of some flowers in our magnolia in the backgarden. About half of the flowers have opened about half way. Last week Monday, I already thought they would have opened by the end of last week, but that only seems to happen now, I guess because temperatures had dropped again. The weather is going to be nice the coming day, so I expect that many flowers will open soon. Compared to other years, it is a number of weeks earlier that the flowers start to bloom. The experiment with the magnolia seeds, so far, has not lead to any visible results. I am a little worried that the seeds have died because one time I let the soil become too dry. I will give it some weeks, and then I will dig up the seeds.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

More sequences

I thought a little more about sequences that I could contribute to the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS). I thought about the sequences related to Six of six colours on six by six squares. I worked on the program that I used for this and tried to verify it with the sequences in the OEIS. So I looked at the sequences related to Latin squares. But I could not find a match with the sequence the program generated. At first, I thought that there was an error in the program. With some modifications, it could produce sequence A002860: Number of Latin squares of order n and sequence A000479: number of Latin squares of order n with first row 1,2,...,n. But it did not produce sequence A000315: Number of reduced Latin squares of order n. But when I looked up the definition for reduced Latin squares, I realized that it involves swapping rows and columns as well. My 'normalization' was only 'rotating' the square along the eight symmetry axes of a square. Swapping rows and columns would destroy the property that every combination of 'colours' are exactly four times neighbours. Below a table with the numbers for the various sequences:

4 touching 121810972???
4 touching (ascending) 1134532460519??
4 touching (normalized) 11177332638??
Latin squareA002860121257616128081285120061479419904000
Latin square (ascending)A000479112241344112896012198297600
Latin square (normalized) 11112192145164?
Latin square (reduced)A000315111456940816942080
Latin square + 4 touching 121216869601211040?
Latin square + 4 touching (ascending) 11275816827213
Latin square + 4 touching (normalized) 111411312913

Saturday, March 15, 2014


April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
Alzheimer's Disease
Trip to China 2010
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