Today was my birthday. This morning,
I got two stone dogs from Andy and
Annabel. In the afternoon,
Bert and his two children, Timon and Macy, visited us. They
brought presents for Annabel and Andy. From Bert I got two
bottles of fruit juice, one with apple juice called
and one with pear juice called
I also received a card from the weekly magazine
Intermediair, informing me
that now that I am 45, I will no longer receive the magazine for free.
It costs € 129.90 per year, but they offer me a € 45
reduction for the first year, if I enlist myself within two months.
I will also receive a € 20 book token.
Last night we had the first storm of this winter, and behind this
storm cold air is flowing into the country.
In the evening, Annabel and I went to the
university to play Go. When we arrived, Araldo, Rudi,
Joeri, Marcel, and Taco were already there, and shortly after us, Rob and
Edze arrived. I had brought a package of cookies with me, and it turned out
there were exactly enough in the package for everyone. Araldo invited me for
a game. I started with an eight stone advance. Quite early in the game, I
made a big mistake, but nevertheless, the game went up about equal. At the
end, I lost one of my groups in the corner, and realizing that I had no change
to win, I resigned. It was getting near ten o'clock anyway. There was nobody
for Annabel to play with, so she played with her DS light.
This morning, I came across an email in our spam box, which was an
advertisement from Dutch quality shop De Bijenkorf. It contained the picture of this pretty, but also
rather slim, young lady.
Death penalty for Saddam Hussein
I am against the death penalty. Even in the case of Saddam Hussein.
The man is probably a psychopath and should be locked up in a mental
home for the rest of his life. It is probably also better to give
him a life long sentense instead of the death penalty, with respect
to the tensions between the Sunni and Shi'a populations in Iraq.
I am also worried how some leaders in the world view this judgement.
A quote from a BBC article:
When it came, the president's response was measured. He called the
verdict a milestone.
Our Prime Minister declared that he feels that the death penality
fits the manner by which Saddam Hussein has treated the people
of Iraq. He added that the Netherlands is against the death penalty.
Also the Dutch Minister of Foreign was satisfied with the verdict.
He declared that although the Netherlands is against the death penalty,
he understands that the capital punishment has been given in case of
such serious crimes.
Hans van Baalen, member
of the Dutch House of Representatives for the People's Party for
Freedom and Democracy, said that it was the only proper punishment
for someone that has caused so many deaths. He also said that in
principle he is against the death penalty, but that in exceptional
cases there is no other option.
He pointed out that the lawlessness of Saddam Hussein's rule had
now been replaced by the rule of law - and then he delivered the
punch line: "Had it not been for the sacrifice of our men and
women in uniform, this verdict would never have happened."
The sad fact is that in the past four years many more innocent people
have been killed in Iraq, than have been killed during the reign of
Saddam Hussein. And, just to play the devils advocate, was it not the
case that Saddam Hussein fought a war against terroristic elements in
his country that wanted to kill him?
Tomorrow, we will get new furniture in the office.
This meant that after lunch many people started to empty the cupboards.
One of my colleagues at one point shouted to me: "Here I found a paper
with the name of your wife on it." He was correct. Many years ago, she
followed some course that was given by two people from our company,
and the papers belonged to that course. A lot of old things were thrown
away and some people came to move all the old furniture away. We were
allowed to take some furniture home. I took my chair and my desk home.
I arrived around noon at my office and found my room full with new
tables. But the tables had different colours. When I made a remark
about it, I was told that the right tables had not arrived yet. Later
I understood that only the table tops need to be replaced.
A feeling for direction
This evening, Annabel and I went
to the university to play Go. Araldo
challenged Annabel for a game. I waited to see if Ton would
arrived, but 35 minutes past eight, Edze asked me for a game.
I started with eight stones ahead. Araldo made some mistakes
against Annabel. First he let her beat six stones, and next
she captured one of his groups. But he still won with 32 points.
But actually that is not a very bad score for Annabel.
I too encountered some bad trouble when playing against Edze.
At one point I was just playing to quick, and I lost one group.
But earlier on, I had already lost a group of stones that were
not lost at all, had I played the right moves.
I finally lost with something like 84 points.
Edze suggested to give me some advice and we replayed about
half of the game. He also pointed out how some of my moves
at the start of the game, caused me to lose the game. He said
that although he does not always the right move, he has a
quite good feeling for direction, and that I should also
work on this.
"Deventer" murder trial (Cont'd)
Today, some judge decided that grave of Mrs. Wittenberg should
be examined to check if there is a knife inside. This afternoon,
this was done. Around three o'clock the big stone from the top
of the grave was lifted. In the evening I heard that no knife
was found, but that some metal objects were found.
In the past few day, I spend some time solving what I call
the Small Chinese Wooden Puzzle. This puzzle is made by
taking one piece of each color from what I call the
Chinese Wooden Puzzle, which I described on July 29.
With the use of some programs I wrote earlier with respect
to Discrete Piece Fitting puzzles,
it was not that hard. Today, I spend some time, presenting
the results in nice way, for trying to fit the pieces
in a 3 by 10 rectangle and
in a 5 by 6 rectangle.
The numbers found here, also say something about the lower
bound of number of ways the five sets of pieces of the
Chinese Wooden Puzzle (without additional restrictions)
can be fit in the 15 by 10 rectangle. The number of ways
a 3 by 10 rectangle can be filled is 1640 and the number
of ways a 5 by 6 rectangle cen be filled is 3496. If
we combine all the ways these can be combined into
a 15 by 10 rectangle we get: 962,444,349,067,755,520.
This evening, Annabel and I
watched the first episode of the Dutch "Beauty and the Nerd".
Last Tuesday, we watched the second half of the second
episode. We are fans of the twins
Erik and Arjan, because they are from Enschede. They are the same
two guys that appeared on the cover of Intermediair in
September last year.
Playing against Edze again
This evening, Annabel and I went
to the university to play Go. We were rather
late and when we arrived Marcel was playing against Juri and Rudi
against Taco. Edze was also there, but because we played against
each other last week we decided to wait and
see if anybody else was coming. I watched the game between Marcel
and Juri trying to guess their moves. It was Marcel who resigned
and then Edze asked me to play against him because nobody had come.
I started with an eight stone advance. At one point I realized
that a could lose a number of stones if I would not make a connecting
move, but I thought it might be better to first play some other
move that Edze would have to response to. But somehow, I lost the
initiave, and Edze could capture the stones. In the end he won
with 69 against 52 points. He commented that all my stones were
connected and that he had four groups. He complemented me with
my "connection" strategy and how it had resulted in a much better
result than last week.
Extremely soft weather
Today, the weather was extremly soft
for the time of the year. Here in Twente the highest temperature was
17.5 degrees Celsius. Look at this
graph for the temperature during the whole day.
Bonus interest points
Today, I got a letter from my bank telling that I had many
bonus interest points and that with these points I could use
these points for half of the price of the products from their
online shop. The worth of the points is the same as the
amouth of interest you have got. If you want to use all your
bonus points, it means that you have to spend your interest
points in there online shop. Okay, you buy things for half
of the official price, but that means that in most cases
they are still making a profit. But all together I find it
ridiculous. I am not asking for my bank to open a shop. I
rather want them to pay me interest.
Beauty and the Nerd
This evening, we watched the Dutch version of
"Beauty and the Nerd" again. The girls
had to collect some objects in a French speaking village
to test their knowledge of French, and the boys had to
cook a flambéed crêpe. With the girls,
Rachel, the partner of Erik, won. Erik told that he was
afraid that he would have to face his brother Arjan in
the finals, and came up with the idea of selecting his
brother and send him home through the shout-out. But
after the winners made their selection known, he regretted
his choice and told him that he would win the shout-out.
Arjan was quite sure that he and his partner Debby would
win the shout-out against Christophe and Fanny, but they
lost because Debby gave one wrong answer. Arjan had
written a goodbey letter telling that he did not blame
anyone in case he would lose, which was read by Erik to
the others, and Debby made the final remark that she
had discovered that many boys that look nice on the outside
or not nice on the inside, and that she had discovered
in the past days that boys that do not look nice on the
outside can be very nice on the inside.
Today, there are general elections in the Netherlands.
The votes I casted for Li-Xia
and myself were the 11th and 12th
in our polling station.
This evening, Annabel and I
went to the university to play Go.
When we arrived, Juri was waiting for us. Not much later,
Taco and Edze arrived. I suggested that we could play
Atari-Go, with pen and paper. I first played a game
against Taco on a 5x5 board, and next one on
a 7x7 board. With the you-cannot-pass rule,
he won the first game and I the second.
When Rudi and a little later Marcel arrived with the
stones and boards, Marcel started to play against Rudi
and Taco played against Juri. Edze invited Annabel to
play some games of speed Go. They played three games
on the 13x13 board within ten minutes and then proceeded
with a game on the 19x19 board. I bought them some drinks
and got €.30 from Juri to buy myself a cup of tea.
Finally, I played against Edze. I was doing quite well,
until I got myself into a complicated situation for which
there were several possible exits, but I missed them all.
I resigned after my position became hopeless. Edze felt
that my sense of direction, which he talked about
two week ago, had improved.
27 rubber band
This morning, while biking to work, my eye caught some
rubber bands. Before I could brake,
I saw some more, and when I had stopped, I noticed that they were
everywhere. I parked my bike and started to collect them. And while
collecting, I noticed some more. When I was ready, I
counted 25 rubber bands, but when I got on my bike, I
noticed two more. That resulted in a total of 27 rubber
bands. I have never found so many at one place.
Again extremely soft weather
Today, the weather was again
extremly soft for the time of the year. Here in Twente the highest temperature
was 17.5 degrees Celsius. Look at this graph for the temperature during the whole day.
This evening, Annabel and I went
to the university to play Go. We did
bring a playing set with us. When we arrived Juri was waiting,
and I invited him for a game. We decided on a seven stone
advance, because the last time
he had to resign with a nine stone advance.
Soon, the music started. The student organisation for
cultural activities called Apollo had organized an Apollo Open Podium evening.
According to this page the following bands played during the evening:
Planetary Sounds, Let's Call it a Day, Paper Jam!, CupSizeD,
The Hullies, Thocke, Drienerlalala, and Duck 4 Cover. I do
not know which of these bands played while we were there, but
some of them made a lot of noise. Edze en Annabel started with
a game on paper, and after the others had arrived, continued
playing on a board, but they continued using a piece of paper
to "talk" with each other. Juri tricked me in responding to
a ladder-breaker. If I would have ignored it, and played the
right move, he would have resigned. But after I realized my
mistake, we continued playing and he won with 57 over 28 points.
Nevertheless, Juri told me that I did play quite strong, except
for some mistakes.
Warmest Fall in 300 years
During the past three months the average temperature in
the Netherlands was 13.6 degrees Celsius. This is the
highest in the past 300 years.
Last year the average
temperature over the same period was 12.0 degrees Celsius,
which itself was already a record for the past hunderd
years, and probably also in past 300 years. There are
three factors that contributed to this exceptional high
average temperature, and each of this factors made about
an equal contribution. The first factor was the hot
summer we had, which caused the seawater temperature of
the Nordsea to become much higher than normal. The second
cause was the fact that the wind direction was predominantly
South, bring us lots of warm air from the South. The third
factor was the global rise of the average temperature.
This months interesting links
October 2006 |
December 2006 |