Geert Wilders puts cartoons on the Internet
Geert Wilders, a Dutch
right-wing politician has put the set of Danish caricatures
depicting the Prophet Muhammad that have caused outrage in
the Muslim world on the web site of "GroepWilders", his political party.
These caricatures were originally published in Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper.
I just read that France Soir, a French newspaper also printed some.
Tonight, Annabel and I went to
the University to play Go. When
we arrived there is was Snowing
a little. It had been snowing in the morning as well
but not so much around our place. But closer to the
University the trees were all white. Annabel and I
played against Jan-Willem. She got a 13 stone advance
and won with about forty points. I got a 8 stone
advance, and I resigned near the end, because I made
some stupid moves and lost a group of stones.
When we drove home, it was snowing again.
Chief editor fired
The chief editor of France Soir, Jacques Lefranc,
was fired, because of caricature that was printed on
the front page of the newspaper yesterday.
The newspaper is owned by the Egyptian tycoon Raymond Lakah.
The Danish caricatures also can also be viewed from
this online article of the Dutch right-wing magazine Elsevier.
The German newspaper Der Welt also has printed one
of the Danisch caricatures on its front page.
Luckily in the Middle-East there are also people who realize
that all the objections that some Muslims raise, are
ridiculous. The Jordanian newspaper Al-Shihan published
three of the caricatures. Jihad Momani, the editor of the
newspaper is asking fellow believers to be reasonable. He
also explained that many Muslims are agitating against
caricatures without even having seen them.
Yes, in August, about 1400 Dutch soldiers will go to Uruzgan
in Afganistan to help establish piece in the region. Many
people in the Netherlands doubt whether we should do this,
but yesterday night our parlement with a large majority
decided to send the soldiers. Only some small parties were
opposing it. The main reason for opposing it, is because
there is a great risk that the Dutch soldiers will be
fighting instead of building up the country. In the past
year the situation in Uruzgan has not been improving and
the American are still continueing operations "Enduring
Freedom", arresting locals as terrorists. There is a great
fear that both operations will mix and that the Dutch soldiers
will get into all kinds of complicated situations. Yesterday
evening, the debat was shown life on Dutch television. I
watched it for almost three hours. When the debat started
the outcome was already clear.
With respect to the Danisch caricatures, President Karzai
of Afghanistan said "Any insult to the Holy Prophet - Peace
Be Upon Him - is an insult to more than a billion Muslims."
One of the reasons why the Dutch government want to send
troops to Afghanistan is to establish democracy in that
country. But how is democracy possible if there is no
freedom of press. Karzai is known to be a rather moderate
muslim, but even does not seem to respect our freedom of press.
Why than should we listen to his plea for supporting his
country by sending troops to Uruzgan, I wonder?
Later I heard that Karzai also had said that Muslims
should be forgiving
Yesterday night, I heard the tap in the bathroom
drip and got out of my bed to close it. When I closed it the knob broke off.
It was no longer dripping. The knob on the hot water tap already
broke off some months ago. The tap, which I installed on
November 4, 2002, already has
been dripping for a long time. I made an attempt to repair
the rubber in the hot water tap, but that did not work out
as intended, after which I simply closed it. It was already
last year during the summer that I had thought about thinking
to repair this tap and to replace it with one with ceramic
This morning, Li-Xia took the knob
with her into the city with the idea to buy a new knob so that
we could at least use the tap again. When she game home she told
me that she had ordered one at the shop where we bough the tap
in 2002. In the afternoon, I decided to go the shop and look
around. It took me a long time to decided what to do, and I
even went back home to take some measurements. Finally, I decided
to buy a new tap made by Plieger with ceramic disc valves and
flexible tubes. I was quite happy with it, also because I got
20% off because it was on sale, and only had to pay €28.
Around half past in the evening, I decided to install the new
tap. After having closed the water, I saw through the 10mm
thick tube connecting the hot water tube, with the idea that
I was going to connect the flexible tube on it. But when I
tried it, just to see if it would fit, I discovered that the
flexible tube needed a 12mm tube. I had been afraid that this
kind of disaster was going to happen. I ran downstairs, took
the car and drove back to she shop, only to discover that it
was closed. Some years ago, these shops used to be open from
9 till 9 except on sundays. I drove home and went upstairs
again. After some thinking, I discovered that the 10mm tube
was fit inside an elbow and that the otherside of the turn was
on a 12mm tube. I removed the turn and found out that the
flexible tube could be connected to it. I attached the new
tap on the otherside and with the help of Li-Xia, I tested
it. The connection was dripping a little, but I could stop
that with tightening it a little more. I decided to just leave
it as it was, and wait until a better time to install the new
tap, because I was afraid that we would be in some trouble if
I would fail to connect the other flexible tube on the cold
The Rule game
I woke up in the middle of the night, because my nose was
full and I did not feel so well. In the morning I discovered
that my body temperature was about one degree higher than
normal, and came to the conlusion that I had caught the flu.
But when I was awake I got this idea for the Rule game.
It is based on Elementary Cellular Automations. The idea is that
the players step by step choose a rule and fill an empty
triangle. The triangle points down and has an odd number
of cells on the top and each following row has one cell
less on both sides. The goal of the game is to fill the
bottom cell with your own colour. Players take turns by
filling a cell in the top row or a position in the rule
with the colour of the opponent. After each move open
cells that can be calculated are filled. The game ends
when the bottom-cell is filled. A draw is not possible.
Last weekend, I read read some story about how Einstein
was influenced by Lorentz. It was Lorentz who came up with a solution
for an ether (Luminiferous aether) that matched some recent observations.
It was Einstein who used this solution (the
Lorentz transformations, I presume) in his theory of
special relativity to show that then ether is not needed.
But that does not mean that it could not exist, as I suggested
on July 18, 2000. It also means
that my intuition about this was not incorrect. Of course,
something that cannot be observed in any possible way cannot
be part a scientifical theory, because there is no way to
Nin jiom pei pa koa
This morning, Li-Xia was so kind to
bring me a bottle of Nin jiom pei pa koa, which she had just
bought. I went to work again today, but I still cough a lot.
Flag burning by highschool kids
This afternoon, a group of about 150 highschool kids (between
the age of 14 and 18) held a demonstration against the Danish
cartoons in Maastricht. Although they had not requested for a
permit to held a demonstration, the police allowed them to
continue. On the square "Plein 1992" (named after the European
treaty that was made in that year), they burnt a paper flag
with the Danish flag drawn on it.
This morning, I decided to repair the tap.
Li-Xia helped me. The greatest problem was
removing the old tap, because the nut with which the tap was connected
to the washbasin was rusted. We had to take off the whole washbasin from
the wall. After that it was a matter of putting everything together.
Luckily we did not encounter any problems with leaking fittings.
In the past evenings, I have been working on a new version of
my Nonogram solver that implements some of the ideas that I
have expressed before. The
resulting C++ program
still did not come very far. The picture shown on the right
shows what it found, where grey is used for unknown cells. You
can compare this with the original picture.
Luckily, I still have some ideas to improve the program.
Losing with two points
This evening, Annabel and I went
to the university to play Go. We left
a little later than normal and when we arrived, Rudi, Marcel
and Ton were already sitting there. Ton asked me for a game.
Later Annabel played a 19x19 game against Jan-Willem, who at
the same time was playing against Taco. Although
she was given an advantage of 13 points, they decided not to
count with how many she had lost. Ton and I played an intense
game. He was given a six stone handicap. I felt that I made
some big mistakes, but when we counted there difference was
only two points. The last ten minutes all the others had been
watching us play our last moves.
Today, after making some small improvements to the Nonogram solver (the C++ program), it did find a lot more, as can be
seen in the image on the right. But there is still a long
way to go to solve it, I am afraid.
In our multi-party system, parties have to form coalitions with
other parties if they want to form the government. Next year
there will be elections, but now already the decisions that
some parties are made by possible coalitions that could be
formed after those elections. Those parties do not want to
agitate possible coalitions candidates.
At the moment the European Commission wants to enforce countries
to accept certain laws with respect to what is a criminal offence
and what is not. It seems that now the European Constitution was
rejected, the European Commission is trying the achieve the same
effect with small changes in the law, hoping that these will be
passed by the national governments, because there is not sufficient
opposition from the people. And because most politicians are only
interested in their popularity among their voters, they tend not
to strongly oppose proposals if nobody seems to worry about it.
The current proposal would seriously damage our nation sovereinity
with respect to justice. The labour party does not want to support
a motion against it, because that the minister of Justice, Donner
has said that he would quit his job if the motion was accepted.
The labour party want to form a coalition with the Christian
Democrats, the party to which Donner belongst to. Strangly, the
two other parties besides the Christian Democrats that form the
government also want to support the motion. Now it seems that only
the two parties that might form a coalition for the next government
are not supporting the the motion.
Going to China
This afternoon, we booked our tickets (through the internet) for going
to China this summer. On Monday July 24,
we will fly with flight KL897 from KLM
from Amsterdam, Schiphol at 17:00 to Beijing, Capital Airport arriving at 8:35
the next morning. On Tuesday we will fly to Urumqi and stay with our family for almost three weeks.
Around August 12 we will fly back to Beijing, and stay there for
some days. On Thursday August 17, we will take flight KL898 from
Beijing at 10:35 and arrive in Amsterdam on 14:35.
Now we have to arrange many other things. I already have made
an appointment on March 3 for getting a new passport. All four
of us have to be present at the application because Annabel and
Andy will be added to my passport and Li-Xia has to sign for this.
We also need to have new passphotos. I already send an email to
the KLM service desk to inform them about Andy's condition and
to ask them what we should do with his food. He is still on tube
feeding and needs about 1 kilogram per day. I have asked them if
we can take it with our lugage. I also have send an email to
Nutricia, to ask them about the possibilities to send it by
parcel mail to China. We probably will do the visa application
through a local travel agency. I already downloaded the application
forms and we did some work on filling them in.
Nutricia: liquid formula
This morning, I got an answer from Nutricia with respect to
the liquid formula that Andy is using. It is possible to transport
it by plane as long as it is stored in a room with a temperature
higher than 5 degree Celsius. A medical statement is required. Such
a statement would allow us to care more. But we also will need to
check with the Chinese customs whether we are allowed to import it.
Web sites that deal with customs are:
Both web sites are in Chinese and seems to be geared towards
companies. Maybe we should contact a Dutch company specialized
in exporting, such as Katte.
I decided to send a question to Sorgente, a Dutch organisation for people using liquid diets.
In the afternoon, I received a reply from KLM. They told me to
contact KLM CARES. I send them an email with the same questions
as before. I also found a Dutch web forum discussing experiences of people bringing liquid
formula to China. So it seems that it is possible.
In the evening, Li-Xia found
numbers of the different customs offices in China. She also
studied the web site of
Nutricia in China.
This morning, Li-Xia phoned to the customs
office in Beijing. They told her that it was no problem to bring the
required amouth of liquid food into China. I think we should still
bring an official statement from our GP stating that Andy needs this
as food, because it has been prescribed to him by a doctor.
I received an email from Sorgente in reply to my question from yesterday.
They did not have any additional information, but did send me a TIFF image
contaning some remarks of things we should think about.
I also received a (standard) reply from KLM CARES. They pointed me at a
page with additional information. It looks like we and our GP have
to fill in some forms. Furthermore, they ask me to contact them by phone.
When Annabel and I arrived, Rudi was explaining
some things to two new students that had come. They already knew some of the
rules of Go, but were a little confused about how the
games end. Then they wanted to watch a game. Ton had arrived and challenged me.
Annabel played against Rudi and the two new students follow the game. Annabel
lost with about 50 points when she got 13 stones ahead. Then the two students
played against each other. I did not do very well against Ton and lost with 23
point with a six stone advance. Ton managed to put pressure on a weak
group of mine. For a long time the group was even dead, a thing that Ton
did not realize. Luckily, I was able to save it, but it allowed Ton to
win many points.
Dinner in the city
This evening, Li-Xia, Annabel, and I went into the city. We first looked around a little
bit and then Annabel and I had our passphotos taken for the new passport
that I need. Tomorrow, Li-Xia will take Andy there as well. Next we went
to Camel for dinner. When Annabel took a bite, one of her teeth became
loose, which hurted. About five minutes later, she asked me to pull it
out. Then we looked around the city a little more. It was around nine
that we arrived at home.
At home, I tried to connect my SparcStation 5 to the Internet. I did
not get very far. Even DHCP did not work. Let alone that I succeeded
in pinging the router. I tried to understand some pages about
Solaris Client DHCP and read the
Unix Manual Page for in.dhcpd.
In the past weekend, I spend some time working on the Nonogram solver
again. I did a lot of rewriting, and implemented
a new searching strategy. (Latest
source.) But after a night of computing, it did not
make much progress; about 9 extra points were solved.
Very wet snow
This morning, we noticed that it was wet outside but we did not
see any rain. When I went outside, I saw white things
fall from the sky. On the grass I noticed a patch of snow. Last Sunday,
there was some very thin snow falling from the sky, and yesterday
there I saw some snow flakes falling from the sky. All in all not
Yesterday evening, I made some small modifications to the Nonogram solver, and let it run the whole night. It found an additional
44 points. All of them being empty spaces. No new full spaces have
been found. (Latest
source.) This morning, I made another very small modification
and started it up. If progress continues at the current rate, one
would expect it to be solved in about half a year. But for the
same reason, it could go much faster, or prove to be unsolvable.
Of course, it is possible that there are millions of solutions.
At the end of the day, the solver suddenly makes some big progress,
resulting in the picture on the left. I wonder how this will progress
in the coming days. Some of the thickest areas are resolved now.
At the end of the afternoon, a colleague of mine noticed a sports car
in the parkinglot. It turned out to be a
DB9 Volante, which costs about 227,000 € if you buy it
new here in the Netherlands. According to the license plate, the car
was sold about four days ago.
January 2006 |