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Today, we went into the city with the four of us. It has been some
time ago that we did do so. After having bought some bread from
't Stoepje on the market, we
went to Bertus Workel
where we Annabel bought some charcoal for drawing. Since last Wednesday
she started with a drawing course at Concordia. Then Andy wanted to go into
some shop, because they were selling some video tapes. He exactly
knows in which shops they sell video tapes. While we walked around
the shop, we saw a lady sitting in a wheelchair who was dressed in
back from top to toe leaving only her eyes visible. She was pushed
around by a Dutch lady wearing normal clothes. Then I realized that
this might become a familiar sight in the coming decades. The prediction
is that by 2050 half of the Dutch population will be Muslim. But still
I found it rather shocking to encounter a woman wearing a burka
(not yet like the one they Taliban enforce), the kind of clothes
that fundamentalist muslims demand their wifes to wear.
We had our lunch at McD, where I had a vegetarian burger. From
there, we split up. Annabel went with me and Andy with Li-Xia.
At some corner we saw a man selling
Easy Surf Steps.
Annabel had a try, and immediately wanted to
have one. We walked to the bookshops. At Broekhuis we bought an educational game for learning to read music, called
De Notenkraker by A.W. Bruna. (Really a very nice CD-ROM, I discovered at home.)
Then we went to De Slegte where I
bought two books: Lila by Robert M.
Pirsig, the sequal of Zen and the
Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for € 2.99 and
Maastricht 148, a book with 148 black and white pictures
taken by Kim Zwarts with an introduction by Bart Verschaffel, published
by Uitgeverij 010 Publishers,
Rotterdam in 2000 for € 7.50. A bought these at 13:24. In the
evening, I started reading Lila.
(more on Lila,
more on Maastricht 148)
First accepted slashdot submission
Four times before, I tried to submit a story to slashdot. Today, it was the
first time that a story was accepted. Of course, I am a little proud about it. It contains my gmail
email address. We will see what will happen with it.
This morning, we were woken-up by Annabel and
Andy because today we are married for eleven years.
Eleven years ago it was also a Wednesday (just like in 1999).
Li-Xia got a small white dolphin and I got a
chocolate bar. We both tasted a piece of the chocolate bar before we got up.
(Actually, I already had gotten up around six o'clock, and I was the one who
woke-up Annabel just after seven before I jumped in bed again.)
Yesterday, I played a game of Go against Bas, a
4th Kyu player. I recorded the game and send it to him. Tonight
I received his analysis (SGF, remarks in Dutch).
I studied it, and added some remarks (in English) to the
PostScript file that I generated earlier from
the original SGF recording. The conversion program that I wrote cannot
deal with branches.
One kilo of bugs in your belly
In this article it says: "Microbes in
the gut can weigh up to one kilogram in a normal adult human, and collectively can
contain more genes than the host." It seems that we are symbiotic life forms in the
end. I am happy that mainstream science is starting to recognize this fact and
pushing research in this area. Another hidden "organ", I would say, that plays an
important role in our body.
Annabel and I, biked into the city to do
some shoppings. We first went to De Olijf, a shop where they sell olives and olive oil. This was
the first time I went to this shop after I heard about it yesterday
from a colleague. I bought half a liter of extra vierge olive oil
from Alcala la Real in Spain. It was tapped from a can in a bottle
that I had to buy separately, but which can be reused as often as
Next we went to buy bread and then we walked over to McD, where
I ordered a Happy Meal® for Annabel and a vegetable burger for me.
The toy with the Happy Meal® was a small weather station. On one
side it had a compass with which you can measure the wind direction.
On the other side it has a rain meter. It waited quite some time for
the vegetable burger. There are not so many people who order them,
so they don't make them in advance. When I went to inform, it appeared
that they had forgotten about it. Although it was around noon it was
not busy at. I waited some more, and then decided to ask my money back.
When I got some money back I saw two boys play around in the kitchen.
I was rather dissapointed about the whole think. I had another raisin
Right before I got up, I was thinking about having to put on gloves
because of cold weather. When I checked our thermometer, it was 4.8 degrees
Celsius outside, cold enough to get my gloves for the first time this "winter".
Today, I came across the page
Triangles, Inscribed and Circumscribed Circles, which has some
interesting formuleas with respect to triangles.
Before, I had derived the following formulea for the area
of a triangle given the length of the side as a, b and c:
a4 - b4 - c4) / 4
Although I did search for a simpler way to write this expression, I never
found that it could be rewritten as:
sqrt((a + b + c)(-a + b + c)(a - b + c)(a + b - c)) / 4
Or if you define s = (a + b + c)/2 as:
sqrt(s(s - a)(s - b)(s - c))
The Greatest Dutch election
Yesterday evening, Li-Xia and I watched opening
program of De Grootste Nederlander
(the election of the greatest Dutch person ever). During the program the top hundred
greatest Dutch were announced and the ten finalists were made known. In the coming
weeks there will be a program about each of them and a possibility to vote. There
is only one living person among the then finalists, and that is Johan Cruijf. I would
not choose him, but I also would not mind if he would win. Pim Fortuyn is also with
the ten. I would be very disappointed if he would win. (During the clip that introduced
him, the cover of a gay magazine with a nude male was visible for a second clearly
showing a penis. Typical Dutch, I would say.) Anyway, the program made me feel proud
to be Dutch, because although we are a relatively small country, we did produce some
world famous people like: Erasmus, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh,
and Anne Frank, to mention some of the other finalists.
Tonight, when I went to the Go club, there were only strong players.
Except one other person there were only Dan players. I played
against Taco, a third Dan player (SGF,
PS). Even with him getting a nine stone handicap,
he won with 122 points. So, even according to my 18 Kyu rating, I lost
with twelve stones. But really, with such a difference in strength, it
is very hard to say anything.
This morning, I found a large adult head louse on my head. This means that there
is a rather high chance that someone in my family is infested. I have put it in
the sample bottle that I carry in my pen case. I
will see how long it takes before it dies. Then when I finished my breakfast, I
discovered that it was one hour earlier than I thought. I found out that my alarm
was one hour ahead of time. I must have done something wrong while setting
the alarm time yesterday. I decided to go to my office early because this afternoon
we are having the birthday party of Annabel.
Around one o'clock the children for Annabel's birthday
party. We let her invite her whole class because she had not been able to give
a birthday party in the past two years. There are six boys and ten girls in her class.
They all had to colour a drawing to get a free drink later on. When everybody had
arrived, there was some cake and some lemonade for everyone. Then around 13:25 we
went to the busstop and took the bus to the train station and from there we took
another bus to Go Planet
and walked over to Chimpie Champ, an indoor play garden for "apes from 1 to 12
years old". As soon as we got inside, they took of their shoes and dumped their
coats on a table, and were gone. I sat down on a chair near the table and
continued reading in Lila. I am not very impressed
by the book, especially with respect to the philosophy that Pirsig is presenting.
Although I do think that he makes some clever observations. Another difference
with respect to ZatAoMM is the story is not told
from the first person perspective. The kids continued to run around and play
games like "the boys catch the girls", and all the time I was expected to see
some child come back with some bleeding. Around four o'clock the party started.
They got some drink and Annabel had to open all the presents. Then they could
play again untill 16:50 when the dinner arrived. About an hour later, and
after some more playing, we went home, where we arrived around a quarter to seven.
Andy was going round saying "Name is!" and the children got there last drink
before the parents came to take them home.
This evening, after the party was over, I first checked Andy for head lice, and I did find many. On one hand it is nice that
he has short hair, but on the other hand he is not very cooperative as
he cannot sit quiet and does not like his hair to be fixed. Annabel was
also infested, and so was Li-Xia (just a few). That means there is going
to be a lot of combing the coming week. I took some pictures of a head louse.
Here is one that I took with the web
cam, and here is one that we took
through the toy microscope of Annabel. Through the microscope we also something
move in the back of the apparently dead head louse, was it a baby head louse?
It all was very interesting to study it through a microscope.
Going to the Go club
Tonight, Annabel and I went to the Go club.
We were the first, and it took some time before the other arrived. I
played against Ton where he got an eight stone
handicap. About half way, I gave up, because he killed one of my groups.
We did some analyses of the game (SGF,
Annabel played two games against Henny. The first game she played equal,
with Henny having a seven stone handicap. The second she lost with nineteen
points. At the end of the evening, there was a boy, named Michiel who wanted
to learn the game. Annabel played hit-Go (where the first person killing a
stone, wins the game) against Michiel, and just kept on beating him.
Yesterday evening, I attended the annual parent meeting for the school
that Annabel is attending. There was
some discussion whether the voluntary contribution system should be
changed. For many years every family payed the same amouth no matter
how many children attend the school. The contribution is used to pay
a number of activities at the school (such as the Christmas and Eastern
celebrations). In the past years some parents expressed the desire to
change this. So last night we were given the option to choose from three
options. Option 1 being the current system, Option 3 being the system
where you pay a fixed amouth per child, and Option 2 be something in
the middle. We received a voting paper with the following table on it.
|children||option 1||option 2||option 3|
|4 or more||32.50||40.00||90.00|
At first I felt that Option 2 did not make sense. Families with one
child would choose for Option 3 and families with more than one child
would choose for Option 1. Assuming that all options would bring the
same reveneus, I concluded that at least 60% of the families had only
one child attending school. For that reason it seemed that Option 3
But than I realized that if you have two children attending school,
it is not very likely that they will be in the same class, and that
there will be also years when only one child is attending. If you have
two children, and they are two years apart, then there are four years
that one child is attending, and 6 years that two attending. (In the
Netherlands, primary education starts at the age of 4, and there are
eight grades.) I calculated that in that case Option 2 is the cheapest.
For a family with three or more children, Option 3 would still remain
the best option.
Then during the discussion, the numbers were presented. Not all
options gave exactly the same revenues. There were 80 families with
one child, 46 with two children, 6 with three children, and 2 with
four or more children. A total of 134 families with 190 children
attending school. Then later, I realized that the number of children
attending school, is not necessary equal to the number of children
in the family, because some of the children might still be too young
to attend school, or already have left the school. I wonder whether
it would be possible to estimate the size of the families assuming
a certain average distance between successive children in a family,
and based on that calculate the outcome.
After the break, the outcome of the vote was revealed. 26 of the 44
families present voted for Option 1. This either can be explained
by the fact that the parents from families with more than one child
were over presented, and/or that many parents felt that the current
system was okay (I did).
Tonight, I played Go against Araldo, a 1 Kyu
player. He started with a nine stone handicap. I played a rather
careful game (SGF, PS)
and after some unexpected move by which I killed a White group, Araldo
decided to resign. The others feel that I am really stronger than
18 Kyu. But why then do I still lose from Ton?
This months interesting links
September 2004 |
November 2004 |