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The Good Women of China
This evening, I finished reading the book
Verborgen stemmen (The Good Women of China) by
Xinran, which I started
reading on December 25, 2009. I bought the book on April 5, 2009 from De Slegte for
€ 2.50. The book contains a number of gripping but also
shocking stories from women in China. It tells about a side of China
that you do not read about in the official history. Very interesting
In the evening it started to snow
again, and the snow everywhere on the ground, but also on
the trees and plants. At least a few centimeters of snow.
I received an email from Susan Shaffer,
reminding me that today is a palingdrome
date. It is indeed for the formats MM/DD/YYYY (01/02/2010) and YYYY.MM.DD
(2010.01.02). She also made a suggestion for upside-down dates, which are
dates that look the same when read upside-down. The closest upside down
year is 1961. All upside-down dates are in the past or the far future.
10 cm of snow
This morning there was about 10 cm (4 inches) of snow outside. Because there was, and still is, no wind, the snow
piled high up on the branches of the trees and the plants. I took
some pictures this morning.
This morning and also this afternoon, we got a little snow in Enschede. Yesterday evening Amsterdam and the area North of
Amsterdam was hit hard by a lot of snow, causing traffic jams that lasted
till two o'clock at night and started again at six o'clock this morning.
The snow that fell last weekend is still here. It has been a very long
time ago that we had such a long period with snow, and it looks like it
is not going to be over soon. The biggest problem is that the country
is running out off salt.
Yesterday, the KNMI issued a weather alarm for today, stating that it was
better to stay inside. The reason for this was a strong wind from the
East in combination with heavy snow fall. But this morning there
was only a little fresh snow. Nevertheless,
I decided that I would go and do some shoppings. It was not as cold
as I had expected. But in the afternoon it started to snow till about
eight o'clock in the evening. It was very loose snow, which was easily
blown away. But still around here it did not cause major problems.
In the North of the country more snow fell and the wind also was
stronger. It seems that the problems there are much worse.
Some snow fell during the night and also during
the morning it snowed with big flakes of snow. But the temperatures are
rising and barely above zero, which cause the snow to melt at certain
And again it is a palindrome date, the second time this month. This time it is when
you write it in the format MM/DD/YY, which gives: 01/11/10.
Last Thursday, I found the book Ingang tot Het Bureau (Entry to
The Institute by J.J. Voskuil (which is a summary with page numbers of the seven volume
novel by the author) in De Slegte in the new
arrivals section. I didn't buy the book, but later that evening, I changed
my mind. I thought about passing by the shop on Friday morning, but I didn't.
On Saturday, I went to shop again, but did not find the book anymore. When I
made some inquiries, I was told that some employee who was not present at the
moment, had cleared the new arrivals section and put many books at the right
place. This afternoon I went again, and found the said employee. He remembered
where he had put the book. He had put it under biographies, the only section
that I did not search on Saturday. At 17:45:45, I bought the book for € 5.
Tonight, I went to the university to play Go.
When I arrived, Rudi and Araldo where playing and Taco was watching them.
I sat across Taco and we greed on a seven stone advance for me. Rudi and
Araldo finished earlier and they watched us playing the end game. Of coure,
I made some small mistakes, and I thought I was getting behind, and ready
to resign. But we played our game till the end, and it turned out, I had
lost with one point. I was quite happy with the result. We replayed the
first part of the game.
Fixing video recorder
This evening, I set out to repair the play button of our video recorder,
which stopped working a few days ago. I opened the lid by taking out
three screws, and it was obvious why the button did not work anymore.
It had been broken off on one side, which made the arm move to the left
(seen from the front) and miss the switch installed on the circuit board.
I immediately thought about putting a piece of LEGO on the left to stop
it from moving in that direction. I removed the front, which contained
the button, to have a better access. I took me a few minutes searching
in the attic to find my box with LEGO and about a minute to find the
smallest possible piece from the basic sets of stones. With some tape,
I put the red piece inside the video recorder. (Then I took a picture.) It did work as designed.
And, as usual, it took two attempts to but the thing together, because
after the first attempt the tape door would no longer open when the
tape was ejected. It is a long time ago I did some hardware
During lunch time, I passed throught the city and I noticed that
there was a Winter Sale at bookshop
Broekhuis. I could not resist the temptation to go inside and
check all the books that where on sale for half price. I found
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
by Xiaolu Guo. At 13:22:34, I bought it for € 5.87.
Next, I went to bookshop De Slegte
where they were also selling books at half price. I looked
at some of the books, but could not make up my mind. I
went up-stairs to the new arrivals section. There I came
across the book Christ the Ethernal Tao by Hieromonk
Damascene. At 13:38:56, I bought it for ten Euro. The books
that both contain Chinese characters. In the evening,
I started reading the first book.
Prof. C. Hoede
Today, I discovered that Prof. C. Hoede died exactly one
year ago when I came across a in memoriam (in Dutch) written by Hajo Broersma. It is he who offered Li-Xia job here at the Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Programming group
at the University of Twente, without which I would never
have met her. For an overview of his work on Knowledge Graphs,
see the memo 25 Years Development of Knowledge Graph Theory:
The Results and The Challenge. I think I first met him
the fall of 1982 when he taught a class on Combinatorics (of
something like that).
And again it is a palindrome date, the third time this month and the second
when you write it in the format MM/DD/YY, which gives: 01/22/10.
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
Today, I finished reading the book A Concise Chinese-English
Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo, which I started reading last
Thursday after I bought it. It is a novel about a young
Chinese girl being send to England by her parents to learn
English. Soon she meets an older man with whom she gets a
relationship. She carries a dictionary with her. Most of the
titles of the chapters in the book, which are often not more
than four pages long, are entries taken from the dictionary.
It is quite a funny book, but it also deals about some very
serious issues and at some points it is even deep.
Today, the winter sale at bookshop
Broekhuis was 75% off. At 16:15:17, I bought the following books:
- van Dale Jaarboek Taal 2009 for € 7.37.
- Spellingscarrousel by Wim Daniës for € 0.62.
- Tokyo pop out map for € 1.75.
- Philip Akkerman 2314 Self-Portraits 1981-2005 for € 18.75.
I also watched the exhibition of Bernard Dorbeck.
In the evening, I started to read
the book Spellingscarousel about the various reforms of the
Dutch spelling rules.
It has been snowing in the past day again. This morning there
was a blue clear sky, but also a thin layer of fresh
snow. In the evening there was more
snow. This evening, I discovered some interesting data on the site of the Royal Netherlands
Meteorological Institute which also contained some data about
snowfall in various parts of the country. I wrote a program
to compare this data with my own observations through the
years. This resulted in an interesting list containing a
little more than nine hunderd days in which I saw some form
This months interesting links
KMZ file of movements.
| December 2009
| February 2010
| Random memories