In the past week, I investigated a very simple
version of the Racing
horse game. In this version, the players
can only have one horse running. And as soon as
they can arrive at the end or jump over it, they
win. I wanted to know if the short track would
give a better chance for winning than the long
track and I found some interesting results. I
wrote a simple
program to calculate the chances. My first
discovery was that the longer track gives you
a greater chance of getting one of your horses
at the end. For the long track that chance is (about)
40.9%, where as for the sort track it is only 37.3%.
From this you can calculate that in 37% of the
games both players use up all their horses before
reaching the finish. Which means that the game is
undecided. The change that a horse on the short
track reaches the finish with no horse on the long
track reaching the finish is 22%. The other way
around the chance is 25.7%. Now when on both tracks
a horse reaches the finish, the short track has a
slight preference, but it is not sufficient to win
the game. The overall chance for the short track
to win is 30.1% against 32.1% for the long track.
In 0.7% of the cases both horses arrive at the same
turn at the finish. So, if you are smart, you tell
your opponent that you are willing to take the longer
track, but that as a compensations you want to start
first. Then your odds to win the game are 32.8%.
It sound counter intuitive that taking the shorter
track is an advantage. The reason is that the density
of the holes is larger. This becomes more obvious
if you think about a very short track with many
holes. It is obvious that the placing of the holes
also makes a difference. Any concentration of holes
is a big disadvantage.
This afternoon, I had to bring Annabel to a birthday party of a friend. When I
drove back from there, it started to rain. But I soon
noticed that the rain looked a little like
snow flakes. I did not notice
any snow staying on the ground or trees, which did not
come as a surprise, because it is much too warm. This
is the first time this winter that there is something
resembling snow falling from the sky. Rather disappointing.
About half way the sun appeared between the clouds
while it was still raining. I looked to the side to
see if I could see any rainbow, but there was not any.
I guess that snowy rain does not make good rainbows.
A little further however, I did notice a fragment
of a rainbow.
This morning, I read that prof. dr. Ernst Stolz (68)
thinks that Natalee Holloway died from a very rare
allergic reaction to prostrate liquid. To be honest,
a had to laugh about this explaination. If the story
of Joran van der Sloot is true, then it is far more
likely that Natalee died from an overdosis of
party drug GHB. GHB is a very notorious drug because
it is so easy to get an overdosis, and especially in
combination with alcohol it can be very dangerous.
Personally, I think it is this part of the "confession"
of Joran that makes it quite credible, because he gives
a description of the symptoms without knowing the cause.
As far as I know, nobody every made any statement about
Natalee using GHB, but if someone would come forward
that makes a statement about this, it is quite likely
that Natalee was still alive after the shaking that Joran
described. (GHB can cause seizures and coma.)
(The explaination of prof. Stolz also conflicts with
Joran's statement that she started to shake just when
he wanted to ask her to give him a blow job, which
makes it unlikely that she every contacted his sperm.)
Although many people are convinced that Joran's
confession is true, I am not absolutely sure about it.
Especially if you realize that Joran was an addictive
poker player (already for many years) and often played
with big money (thousands of Euro's), one can realize
that he would like to make an impression on a business
men that offers him pot and discusses with him the
possibility of joint criminal activities. The fact that
Joran and Patrick kept on sending SMS messages in using
Poker slang up until the broadcast on Sunday evening,
seem to support this. It seems that Joran is willing
to talk to the police and make statements showing that
his earlier "confession" cannot be true. One of such
statements is that the payphone he supposedly used is a credit
card payphone that can only be used to phone to the America.
Personally, I think it is quite unlikely that Joran will
be arrested and convicted. I which case he could make a
case against Peter R. de Vries for violating his privacy. It is
likely that Joran will not be able to live a normal life
in the Netherlands for the coming years, as some people
already have shown the willingness to lynch him.
This evening, I attended the monthly meeting organized
by the local Alzheimer's Disease association. Usually,
I go by bike, but because I was a little late and because
the weather looked rainy, I decided to go by car. The
building was on a oneway street and I had to make some
detour to arrive from the right direction. I was already a
little late and noticed that there were many empty
parking places but that all had some sign above them
indicating that these were disabled parking places.
But because it was evening and because they were all
empty, I thought I would be safe. I cannot remember ever
having parked on such a parking place for more than a few
minutes. When the eveing was over, it was raining terribly
and when I ran to the car, I noticed a small piece of paper
behind the wiper. It was completely soaked and while sitting
in the car I tried to read what it said. After some
studying, I found the amount: € 130. When the
paper had dried up, I could read that the ticket was
written at 19:37 by the officer with the number 2926
for not showing the proper permit while being parked
on a disabled parking place. I guess that the next time
I will be going by bike again. It is more than ten years
ago since I got my last parking ticket.
This morning, when I told about the traffic ticket that
I got yesterday, I heard that a colleague had got a
traffic ticket at exact the same place for the same
offense. It immediately lifted my feelings, that I am
not the only one who thought it would be safe. I think
that the lesson that I have learn is that if you think
that it is safe, it is likely that you are not the only
one, and that for that reason someone might already have
discovered the pattern and makes use of it. I guess that
the officer who gave me the ticket visits this place
on a regular basis.
Today, the weather was very nice. The maximum temperature
in Twente was 13.7 degrees Celsius, which is very high.
I think that many people considered this as the first
day of the spring. This night
the temperature may drop below zero.
Today, it was the first time this year that my colleagues
went outside to sit in the sun during lunch time. The sky
is blue and there is almost no wind. Although the official
temperature was about 13 degrees Celsius, but it felt much
warmer when I went outside to have a short look at them.
Last year, it was on March 12
that they went outside for the first time.
Since Friday evening, I have been hit with the flue. On
Saturday morning, my body temperature was 38.7 degrees Celcius,
according to the digital thermometer that I use.
It has been a long time ago since it has been that high.
On Saturday, I did not do much. On Sunday morning, my temperature
was 38.2 degrees Celsius. In the afternoon, it went up a little
to 38.4. Yesterday, it was 37.8 in the morning and 37.9 in
the afternoon. This morning it was 37.1, which may seem
reasonable normal, but on my digital thermometer, my default
body temperature measures around 36.2. I did feel beter
than yesterday, but not good enough for starting to work
This evening, I went to the university to play Go. When I
arrived, Taco was just ordering some tea for himself and
asked me what I wanted to drink. Because there was nobody
else we decided for a game, where I got eight stones ahead.
A little later Araldo arrived and much later, Rudy came as
well and started a game against Araldo. At about two thirds
of the game, I started to make some big mistakes. When we
started to count, I made some remark that I would have no
points left, and that is exactly what happened. Taco got 59
In the past week, I let a program calculate all the solutions
for the Chinese Wooden Puzzle
using three pieces for all possible type of pieces, except
the U and T piece, inside a 9 by 7 frame. A total of 286768
solutions were found, with 122836 different color patterns.
A total of 30709 unique solutions were found.
One of the most 'connected' solution found was:
This evening, I applied the algorithm that I had implemented to
determine the most and least connected solutions of the
Chinese Wooden Puzzle inside a
9 by 7 frame to the earlier solutions. This algorithm simple
counts the number of neighbouring squares with the same colours.
If there are many neighbours with the same colour, it means that
the pieces of the same colour are more closely together. The
pieces are least connected if the number of neighbours with the
same colour is as low as possible. I discovered that both for
the 6 by 7 and the 6 by 10 frame their is exactly one solution
with the lowest possible number of connections. These solutions
This evening, I went (alone) to the university to
play Go. Shortly after I arrived, Araldo
came and we decided to play against each other where I would
get six stones ahead. It felt like fighting all the time. About
half way the game, I felt that he had got to much of the center.
In the last part of the game, I made some mistakes, and
after losing about 30 points, I decided to resign. I have
to admit that lately I feel less and less motivated to
play Go, also because it seems that Annabel has lost
Geert Wilders plans on broadcasting a highly critical film
about the Qu'ran. Although the contents of the film, with
the name Fitna,
is not known, it already has been drawing reaction from around
the world. Today,
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has urged
Geert Wilders to consider the possible consequences of
his planned anti-Qur'an film. He stressed that Mr Wilders
cannot ignore the fact that it was already provoking heated
reactions around the world.
The full statement of the Prime Minister, in Dutch is:
Nederland staat voor vrijheid en respect. Mensen verdienen
respect voor wat hen ten diepste beweegt, hun geloof, hun
eigenheid. Grondwettelijke vrijheden dienen te worden verdedigd.
Extremisme en terrorisme dienen te worden bestreden.
Niemand van ons kent op dit moment de inhoud van de film die
door de heer Wilders is aangekondigd. Niettemin is al duidelijk
dat deze buitengewoon heftige reacties oproept. Wij veroordelen
alle bedreigingen, ook die aan het adres van de heer Wilders en
wij roepen regeringen op zich aan de beginselen van het
internationaal recht te houden, zoals de daarin vervatte plicht
buitenlandse belangen en burgers en bedrijven te beschermen.
Tegelijkertijd hebben wij de plicht een ieder duidelijk te maken
dat de handel- en denkwijze van een individuele
volksvertegenwoordiger niet samenvalt met die van de regering.
Wij verdedigen de kernwaarden van vrijheid en respect. Wij
garanderen de vrijheid van meningsuiting en de vrijheid van
godsdienst - voor moslims evenzeer als voor alle anderen. Wij
proberen van dag tot dag te werken aan een vreedzaam samenleven
en samenwerken van alle bevolkingsgroepen in Nederland. Op dit
punt is het kabinet een heel andere mening toegedaan dan de heer
Wilders en verschillen wij fundamenteel met hem van mening.
Ieder van ons, ministers en volksvertegenwoordigers, hier en in
het buitenland, heeft de verantwoordelijkheid de consequenties
van zijn of haar woorden continu te wegen. De vrijheid om dit
te doen is binnen de grenzen van de wet gegarandeerd. Zij is
ons veel waard en wordt door ons voluit verdedigd.
Wij doen een beroep op een ieder om de komende tijd in vrijheid
èn verantwoordelijkheid te handelen, daarbij alle consequenties
van die handelingen onder ogen te zien en wat van waarde is voor
ons allen niet in gevaar te brengen.
Het was en is onze verantwoordelijkheid om de heer Wilders te wijzen
op de mogelijke consequenties van zijn daden. Vrijheid ontslaat
niemand van verantwoordelijkheid. Nu al moet rekening worden gehouden
met ernstige risico's voor Nederlanders en Nederlandse belangen in
verschillende landen. Het is onze plicht de heer Wilders daarop te
wijzen. Daarom spreken wij dit hier openlijk uit. Het gaat hier immers
om de veiligheid van Nederlandse burgers en bedrijven in het buitenland.
Om de Nederlandse krijgsmacht die missies vervult. Om het bredere
belang van Nederland, de waarden waarvoor wij staan en onze reputatie
in internationaal verband. Wij roepen hem op al deze aspecten in zijn
beoordeling te betrekken.
What bothers me about this statement is that our Prime Minister
is suggesting that Geert Wilders will be, to some extend at least,
responsible for the violence that his film could cause. But it should
be clear that any form of violence is always the full responsability
of those who express the violence.
As a reaction, Geert Wilders said: "The cabinet is capitulating to Islam.
I will never, ever do so."
Yesterday evening, Arabist Professor J.J.G. Jansen said that it would indeed by
a capitulation to Islam if the government would forbid this film.