Tuesday, October 2, 2001
Today is 10/02/2001, which, if you leave out the slashes is
a palindrome. There are only 331 palindrome date like this.
The previous palindrome date like this was a long time ago,
namely december 31, 1321. The next one will be January 2, 2010.
Of course, there are other kinds of palindrome dates, if you
leave out the extra zero's, then January 1, 2211, when written
like 1/1/2211, is also a palindrome date. And if you only
write the last to digits of the year, then
8.9.98 also becomes a palindrome
Correction on July 18, 2002:
Elaine Young of the University of Oklahoma
told me that her students had pointed out to her that
August 31, 1380 is the previous palindrome date.
And that is correct indeed.
Sunday, October 7, 2001
Andy's fourth birthday: "blowing out" the candles
Today, was Andy's fourth birthday.
In the afternoon we had a cake with four candles. He was
smiling happily when we brought in the cake and put it
before him. We asked him to blow out the candles. But instead
of blowing, he stretched out is hand to one of the candles,
and discoverd that the candles are hot. He started to
scream of course. Luckily, he had not really burnt his hand
Tuesday, October 9, 2001
Omega-3 fatty acids
We read about some research that showed that fatty acids
may be benefitial for certain types of children with a
number of Myelination related disorders. We decided to also
give Andy some additional Omega-3
fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from fish oil. The food that
he gets now does contain a lot of things, but no fish oil.
We received an email from
Planet Internet, our provider, that due to a software
error, our web pages had been erased. Later on I heard
read that a script had been running for three hours
erasing the web pages of 20000 members. Only about 10%
of these did really contain a web page. The messages
contained a statement that they would prevent this
from happening again in the future. I asked them (by email)
if they were going to make back-up in the future.
my web pages were unavailable. This time I could do
something about it, namely, upload them again. Their
page error response, still contained some message
refering to World Access having joined with Planet Internet.
I also made some remark about this to them.
This evening, during a news program on Dutch television,
there was a reference to an article from the Frence
magazine "Le Monde" that suggests that the 9/11
attack was organized by a fundamentalistic group
operating from Saudi-Arabia, and that it was not
obvious that this group was directly controlled by
Bin Laden. Fourteen of the suspected hijackers are
from a certain area in Saudi-Arabia, and for the
kind of attack they performed it was not neccessary
that they would have gone to any of the training
camps in Afghanistan.
It is clear that in Saudi-Arabia there are fundamentalistic
groups that are very much against their government,
which is supported by the USA. It should be noted that
Bin Laden too is from Saudi-Arabia, and that he hates
the USA because of their presence in Saudi-Arabia. So,
without doubt he shares the sympaties with the hijackers.
Saudi-Arabia in nothing resembles a free and democratic
country. No, it is a country of oppression and active
prosecution of Christians.
Every year, workers from the Philipines with a
Christian background are put in prison, simply because
they exercised their faith. The goverment, with the
support of the USA, suppresses the population, but at
the same time leads a very immoral and hedonistic life.
Why would the USA support a corrupt and undemocratic
government? They only answer can be: Oil. And indeed the
USA goverment has made agreements with Saudi-Arabia to
buy oil, (far) below the market price. It is this oil
that contributes to the wealth of America. It is
obvious that the USA will never attack Saudi-Arabia, and
seems to totally ignore the fact that most of the hijackers
came from their. Instead it wages war against Afghanistan,
one of the poorest countries in the region, which endured
the most terrible hardships.
Of course, I do not deny that Osama bin Laden is a horrible
terrorist and that the Taliban are a terrible government
as well. The Taliban too oppress their people and has put the
death penalty on becoming a Christian.
However, it is a great question whether the current campain
against Afghanistan will contribute to the war against
terrorism as much as the USA government wants us to believe.
Today, I found some mushrooms
in our garden at a spot where they were also last year.
I took a picture of it.
Tai Shun Tea
In the last packages we received from our family in
China, there was also some tea from Tai Shun, the
area where Li-Xia's parents are coming from. It is
indeed a very nice tea with a little sweet taste.
Today, it is a palindrome date
according to the MM/DD/YY format: 10/11/01.
Friday, October 12, 2001
Today, we went with the whole family to Schiphol,
our national airport just South of Amsterdam, to
catch Li-Xia's mother.
We arrive around half past two. The weather was
extremely nice for the time of the year. The
official arrival time of KLM flight 898
was 14:55, but we aready had seen on teletext
that it was a little delayed. We wanted
to go to the observation deck to watch the planes.
But the observation deck was closed, probably as
a safety precaution with respect of the september
11 attach in NYC.
We arrived a little before three o'clock
at exit number three. On 15:07 we saw that the
plane had landed, and the real waiting started.
Because of the problems Li-Xia's mother faced the
last time, we did not expect to see her soon.
Li-Xia walked to the windows to the lugage claim
area to see if she could see something. I just
waited at the exit, just in case.
And then no less than twenty minutes after the
plane had arrived Li-Xia's mother came out, and
I brought her to Li-Xia. We were all very surprised.
She told us that she could just walk on after
she showed us the letter we had written, they
even walked with her to the place were she could
get her lugage.
She told us that KLM had allowed her to sit in
an empty chair in the first class section. She
had a lot of room, and even managed to sleep
Finally, she is with us. It is almost a year ago, on
November 13, 2000, that we started with
a temporary residence permit.
Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Voting in a referendum
I for the first time voted in a referendum which was held in
Enschede. This referendum was about whether
known as the Usseleres should be made into an
industrial area or not. I voted against. It is a unique
cultural, argricultural, and nature area, and I think
the main reason for the government to make into an
industrial area is because it is an easy way of earning
The referendum is only valid when 60% of the people have
voted. First of all, this is above the normal percentage
of people that vote for national and local elections. It
also means that people who are in favour of it, should
not vote, because they only make the chance higher
that the 60% limit will be reached. Moreover, there is
also the possibility that 59% of the people have voted,
and that 95% of them voted against. In this case more
than 50% of the population is against it, but the
governement can put the voting aside as invalid.
If all the people who are in favour abstain from
voting, then at least 60% of the people need to be
against it. Isn't that funny!
As a last remark, I should state that the purpose of
this referendum is to get an idea of the opinion of
the people of our city. No matter what the outcome
is, the city counsel can still continue with there
plan to make the Usserleres into an industrial area.
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Outcome of the referendum
Only 26.3% of the people who were allowed to vote
did indeed vote. Of these 84.7% were against it,
and only 14.9% were in favour of the plan. (0.28%
of the voters, voted blanco.)
This means that at least 22.3% of the total population
is against it, and at least 3.9% in favour of it.
73.8% did not express its opinion. Now, it is of course
possible that all these people were so smart not
to vote, because otherwise the voting limit could
have been reached. It is thus theoretically possible
that 77.7% of the people agree with the plan of the
town counsil to make the Usserleres into an industrial
area. At least they did not object against it.
The American law is very clearly: if the government
of the USA needs some product that is protected
by a patent for the general interest, they can
decided to ignore the patent. The patent holder does
not have any means for preventing this, and at most
can ask for compensation. In the past year, the
American government has used it influence to stop
other countries, including South-Africa, from adopting
the same kind of laws with respect to patents on
AIDS medicines. One of the medicines used in AIDS
treatment is the medicine
Ciprofloxacin. A months ratio costs about 350$
is the USA, however, in India you can buy the same
amouth for just 10$. Currently, the USA is considering
to ignore the patent, and buying a so called "generic"
version of Ciprofloxacin.
Today, it is a palindrome date
according to the MM/DD/YY format: 10/22/01.
While I was biking to my office the sky coloured purple because of
a low set sun shining against the clouds. A little later, I noticed
a fragment of a rainbow in the clouds. But the clouds were not
the kind of clouds that looked like there would be rain coming from.
I also noted that the rainbow stopped in mid-air, which also seemed
a little odd to me. Finally, I concluded that this was not a real
rainbow, but a cloud rainbow, caused by the sun shining against
the bottom of those clouds. (I took a picture
of the sky.)
While everybody was working quietly, we suddenly heard a bang,
followed by the sound of breaking glass. It appeared that one of
our "SQL Server 7" posters had dropped from the wall. Luckily,
it was only that. Nobody got wounded.
This afternoon, when Annabel wanted
to go upstairs, she found Andy half-way
up the stairs. We have to be careful now, as it is not very
safe for him to crawl up the stairs alone.
Today, we also received the results from his last test.
According to this these his average level of development is
now around 22 months. I think that the score is rather low
because his speaking is still a problem. The report did mention
that we should focus on speaking. At this moment he is only
actively using "Ja" (yes) and "Nee" (no). He does know a lot
of the names of people around hem, and a dozen or more other
words. His understanding goes much further.
Today, I read
a message about Ciprofloxacin on CNN's
website. It stated the following:
By John King|
CNN White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration said Wednesday it reached an
agreement with German pharmaceutical-maker Bayer to purchase the anthrax
antibiotic Cipro for 95 cents a pill -- down from the previously discounted
price of $1.77 per tablet.
As part of the agreement, the government will make an initial purchase of
100 million tablets for $95 million. In addition, Bayer will donate 2
million tablets to the government's supply.
The funds for the purchase are included in a $1.6 billion emergency proposal
made by President Bush earlier this month and now pending before Congress.
Bayer had been under pressure to reduce its price per pill and increase its
production of Cipro, the company's name for its patented version of
ciprofloxacin, in the wake of the anthrax crisis in the nation. Some
officials had suggested Congress allow other companies to make cheaper,
generic versions of the drug.
It seems that the American government got its way.
Although the Amtrax treat is frightening it is very
unlikely that more than one thousand people will
Moving around the computers
Lately, the monitor attached to the
andy computer to occasionally blank black for a second.
This morning I decided to make the
ester computer into our main computer, and to rearrange
the way these two computers were placed at our computer desk in the
living room. It took some hours to rearrange everything, to connect
all the cables, and to install and configure the software, but then
every thing was up and running again.
A new beginning
This evening, I attended a meeting at our church
where we received some background information on what
is happening in Afghanistan. It is amazing how all
around the world Christians are praying for Afghanistan,
and some believe that God is going to do great things
under the Pastu, the people group from which also the
Taliban have come from. The evening really made me
think about the purpose of my life, and what I have
been doing with my life.
Massacre of sixteen Christians
Yesterday, sixteen Christians were killed, five were were critically
injured and many more wounded in a church in Pakistan when a group of
terrorists on motorcycles entered the church and started shooting
indiscriminately with automatic weapons for a full five minutes, after
which the left as swiftly as they came. It seems that the Christians
in Pakistan are going to suffer from the stike against the Taliban
I also heared that the eight Western aid workers that are being
held by the Taliban in Kabuk on charges of proselytizing are healthy
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