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Losing keys, or losing my mind
Last Saturday, I could not find my keys any more. We decided to go
into the town, and I put on my coat. In the evening we search for a long
time, turning almost who the house upside down, and still could not find
them. Then I checked my coat again. And surprise, surprise, there I found
my keys in one of the pockets. How is it possible. Am I losing my mind?
I believe there are many forms of intelligence, as I have observed many
people who solved certain types of problems much faster than I, while
there were also problems that I solved much easier. I would define
abstract intelligence as intelligence related to abstraction.
Each form of intelligence can be measured (to a certain extend) in
quantative numbers. Below I would like to give an initial list of
measurements that I feel would be related to abstract intelligence:
(To be continued in following entries)
- The number of levels of abstraction someone can deal with.
An example of this is, is with how many pointer nestings
one can deal with: a pointer to a pointer (in C), trees of
trees, and graphs labled with graphs.
- The number of abstraction levels that one can deal simultaniously.
- The ability of doing model switches and translations between
different levels of abstaction.
- Ability to generate alternative ways of abstraction.
Bert playing the organ
Bert is a friend of me who used to live with me, but was forced to move
out when I was going to get married. But by accident he could get an
appartment in the same building. Last year he got married as well, so now
he is living up-stairs with Cornelise. Yesterday evening they were
visiting us (to finish some left-over cake), and I remind him that he
promised to play some organ pieces from Bach. When he was still staying
with me, I always enjoyed listing to him playing the organ. For a
long I wanted to buy some CD's with the pieces that he played.
So, Bert and I left Cornelise and Li-Xia (with Annabel) down-stairs,
so he could play something for me. First he played the toccata from
`Toccata and Fuga in D Dorish' (BWV 538 ?), and parts from
`Toccata and Fuga in F Major',
`Toccata and Fuga in C Major', but not the very famous
`Toccata and Fuga in D Minor' (BWV 565 ?)
(although he can play that one as well). Furthermore he
played the first parts from
`Fantasia and Fuga in G Minor' and
`Fuga in G Minor'.
He also mentioned the `Pascalia' to me.
Today is a 6-6-6 day. Those of us who are superstitious should be careful :-).
Since Saturday the temperature has gradually increased to summer-time
levels. It is becoming hot in the building again.
Today I finished my comments on the
first chapter of ``Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance''.
Today I also completed a stable version of the
CoCoA parser/type-checker. Please let me know if you want to get
Today I received an email from Robert Harley containing some of his contributions for my collection of
I checked out his home page, and found some interesting things
and a image
of the the only simple perfect square of order 21 found by
Prof. A. Duivestijn.
License for InterNet use
urban legende is appeared in the newsgroups again. Someway I think
it would be good if people should follow a short course about
the netigquets and the working of the InterNet before they are
allowed to post on the newsgroups.
It seems her diary
has now its own site at carolyn.org.
Last Saturday evening I watched the program Omega from
EO. During the program I heared
two first-hand stories of Messianic Jews (believing that
is the Messiah) having seen angles. It seems that many of the
Jews that came to believe that Jesus is the Messiah had dreams
I dropped a query at the Netherlands Antiquarian Booksellers' Network for his
Yesterday afternoon, I was on my way biking to get
the day-care centre, when I saw something flashing on the street.
I noticed that it was not a usual flash, as from a piece of glass,
but that there was a spectrum sweep, implying some kind of prisma.
I notice a blue coloured stone at from the spot, where I saw the
flash. But because I was in a hurry, I had to go on.
After I got Annabel, I passed the spot where I saw the flash, turned
and found a diamond shaped object. I could not study it in detail,
because of Annabel on the bike. While biking home, I thought of
bringing it to `lost & found'. This morning I found it in my pocket,
and finally could study it. It became clear to me that it was just
a worthless piece of glass, roughly shaped in the form of a diamond.
If you like make nice drawings of graphs, you should have a look
at the GD96 Graph-Drawing Contest.
I looked at the pages about Kite Aereal Photograph. It seems to be
a realy funny hobby.
I am Thy servant;
give me understanding,
That I may know Thy testimonies
Yesterday, I picked this verse, when we had our monthly `The Lord's Supper'
celebration. There is something very special in this eating of a piece of
bread and this drinking of a sip of wine. It is not always the same, but
yesterday, when the person handing me the cup of wine said: `The Lord blesses
you', it was if Jesus Himself stood
in front of me, and the only thing I thought was: `Yes Lord, I know'. At
that moment I felt both how unworthy I am to be loved by Him, and how He
has accepted me in His love.
(more faith related entries)
Geek Site of the Day
This morning I received the following email message:
From: Scott Louis Ruthfield
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 00:01:02 -0500 (CDT)
This is just to inform you that your site has been chosen as today's
Geek Site of the Day. Considering the massive number of sites
(implicitly) competing for that honor, I do hope you're pleased. Feel
free to check out the site (http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~indigo/gsotd) and
link to it if you'd like.
I got this reward for my Signature Program page.
Maybe now the time has come to make my Geek Code. Here it is:
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
GCS d+ s: a C++$ UC+L+S+$ P L++ E- W++>$ N++ o? K? w-- V Y PGP
t+>-- R-- tv- b+>+++ e+++ h---- r+++ y+++
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
(Made with the Geek Linker made by
Robert C. Williges)
In my previous entry I mentioned the graph drawing
contest. Please have a look at the
Graph Drawing Tools and Related Work, if you are still interested
Today, I found about 11 new articles in the
including one from the new moderator, Eric Fischer, saying:
Hi. I'm the new moderator of comp.society.folklore. I hope reading
this group will turn out to be more interesting than wading through
the crossposts and flame wars that alt.folklore.computers has been
infested with lately.
I guess my email to Joel Furr was not serious
Joel Furr sent me a batch of articles he had received during his time
as c.s.f moderator, so they're posted now.
With this sudden burst of new articles, you may be feeling inclined to
post something. Well, don't do it just now, because it looks like the
moderation address still doesn't point to me yet. In the meantime, if
you want to post something, you can mail it directly to me, but please
include a Newsgroups header so it's clear that it's intended as a
posting rather than just as regular mail.
Today I analysed the server log files, to see how many people
accessed my page about signature programs
as a result of the Geek Site of the Day announcement. Here are the numbers:
Not bad for a page which gets about 5 hits a day on average.
So far, I did not receive any email with comments or additions.
This again proves that WWW is a rather one-way thing.
- Monday, June 17: 373
- Tuesday, June 18: 305
- Wednesday, June 19: 213
- Thursday, June 20: 93 (only half way the day)
Further analysis shows that 202 people looked up the diary
entry of February 14, 1996, explaining
why I call Li-Xia my `girl-friend'.
About 111 people queried Li-Xia's home page.
About 451 people retrieved my home page,
37 looked at the page of Annabel, and
24 looked at our family album.
Last weekend we decided to think about going to Urumqi, China, to visit Li-Xia's family.
Urumqi can be found in the upper-left corner
of the map of China,
or in upper-right part of the map of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The Day 22 of the 10-40 window project gives some interesting information
Read about Turpan.
WebFest has a report about
The Heavenly Lake (link broken) near Urumqi.
made the Urumqi Ceramic Panel as part of the
Around the World on the 44th Parallel project.
Project 98 in the Major Technology Projects Scheduled for 1993-2000 consist of
improving the highway between Urumqi and Turpan, going through the
village Dahuangshan (which is only known for a famous song refering to it,
but apart from that really of no importance at all). I travelled on this
highway on October 29, 1993.
I wonder whether it has been improved by now. At that time
it was still a two lane road of average quality.
All of China's nuclear tests were performed in Lop Nor, which is about 265 kilometres
south-east of Urumqi.
There are some people coming from (around) Urumqi that have a home page:
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God,
'Thy will be done'
and those to whom God says, in the end, 'THY will be done.'
All that are in Hell choose it. Without that self-choice, there could be no
Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.
Those who seek, find. To those who knock, it is opened.
(C.S. Lewis: The Great Divorce, Chap. 9, pp 72-73.)
Felix is 32 year old inhabitant of Amsterdam who has to undergo a liver
transplantation. He is keeping a diary (in Dutch) of what is happening to him. To day the first
Yesterday we made the reservations for our flight to Beijing.
We will be flying to Beijing on July 27
(arriving there the next day), and coming back on August 25.
On Sunday July 28 we want to fly to Urumqi.
That seems to cause some problems. We can make reservations
here in Holland, but we have to pay the tickets there. They could not
even tell us the currency. This sounds a big problems. We have to
bring USD probably, as travel checks might not be acceptable. Then it
can happen we have to exchange the dollars for FEC (Foreign Exchange
Currency). Exchange into Yen is still not possible, and it is illegale
to import/export Yen. I did not know this. We still have some Yen
at home. It is also not clear where we have to pay the tickets:
at the airport, or somewhere in Beijing which is about 2 hours driving,
depending on where you have to go. As we stop over for 7 hours, driving
to Beijing might be possible, but I cannot imagine if we what happens
if we meet a trafic jam.
When we had dinner in the mensa, we met a Chinese friend. He told us
that he too is going to Beijing (that is where he comes from), and that
he will go there before us. He remarked that he might be able to
buy a ticket. That would be very nice, as we might also get the
Chinese price for Li-Xia, who has the
Chinese nationality, which might save us some money. Foreigners
usually pay around 80% more.
The (weekly) Houll Diary
John Coutts is keeping an on-line
which is more of a weekly.
Most sorting algorithms work on arrays. Lawrence Kirby made a
request on comp.lang.c
for (Quick) sort algorithm on list. This made me think about my
fast variation of the
bubble sort algorithm. When writing the list version, I discovered
a bug in the versions that already have been there for more than
a year. From this I must conclude that nobody ever tried them,
and/or discovered the bug.
Today I analysed the server log files (again), to see how many people
accessed my page about signature programs.
Here are the numbers:
What surprises me is that there is again an increas of accesses this
week. On last Tuesday the page was read most frequently. Maybe someone
has posted the page somewhere else. This calls for an Alta Vista search.
- Monday, June 17: 372
- Tuesday, June 18: 303
- Wednesday, June 19: 213
- Thursday, June 20: 202
- Friday, June 21: 170
- Saturday, June 22: 101
- Sunday, June 23: 87
- Monday, June 24: 390
- Tuesday, June 25: 414
- Wednesday, June 26: 160
- Thursday, June 27: 43 Sofar
Further analysis shows that 504 people looked up the diary
entry of February 14, 1996, explaining
why I call Li-Xia my `girl-friend'.
About 268 people queried Li-Xia's home page.
About 616 people retrieved my home page,
84 looked at the page of Annabel, and
65 looked at our family album.
This evening we paid for the tickets for our flight to Beijing, which
means we are going. They could not make reservations for a flight
from Beijing to Urumqi. So it seems true that you cannot buy tickets
for flights inside P.R. of China outside the country. This means we
have to resort to friends, to help us with buying the tickets, which might
turn out cheaper. But who knows, maybe we get stuck in Beijing and have
to stay there for four weeks.
Walking through the city
This evening I went into the old-church building in the centre of
the city, because there was a photo-exhibition from young photographers
(studying at the local art school). There was a stricking contrast
between the pictures seen through the coloured glass-in-lead and
the pictures on display. One picture showed a naked girl on completely
white background, with stretched out arms, holding a remote control in
one of her hands, suggesting that it was a self-portrait.
This picture combined the two things that seems to grip these young
artists most: (naked) bodies and themselves.
This morning I dreamt that Annabel could speak. She finally has started
speaking some words. This afternoon she said `papa' through the phone.
She is also very busy at the moment, and causing us a lot of problems
while shopping (and such).
This morning I asked for information about vacinations. Our vacinations
from three years ago, are still valid, but Annabel might need some
Li-Xia tried to contact Uncle Lin in Beijing.
He is the head for the
internal paper for the national weather forcasting institute. He also
wrote some books about the
climate of China.
Although we call him Uncle Lin, he is not really an uncle of
Li-Xia (although they share the same surname), but he is a
cousin of the wife of a cousin of Li-Xia's mother. But in
a society in which family is rather important people tend to
extend the concept of who is family to a broader group of people
than in our society.
She failed to phone him, and it looks if the phone number changed
again. Phone number change too often in China as a result of the
chaotic growth of the telephone system.
We also quickly wrote a letter, with copies of our passports to
There was a nice puzzle posted on
N people are standing in a circle formation, let's assume we are
arbitrarily decide on a certain man to be number one.
Another man shoots down the first person then counts to K and shoots the
person that stands on the K position (K is given) he then continues
counting in a circle until only one person is left.
The question is what is his position? the answer should be expressed in
terms of K and N.
I quickly wrote a small program
for it, which generates the following output:
3 3 2
4 1 1 2
5 3 4 1 2
6 5 1 5 1 4
7 7 4 2 6 3 5
8 1 7 6 3 1 4 4
9 3 1 1 8 7 2 3 8
10 5 4 5 3 3 9 1 7 8
11 7 7 9 8 9 5 9 5 7 7
12 9 10 1 1 3 12 5 2 5 6 11
13 11 13 5 6 9 6 13 11 2 4 10 8
14 13 2 9 11 1 13 7 6 12 1 8 7 13
15 15 5 13 1 7 5 15 15 7 12 5 5 12 4
16 1 8 1 6 13 12 7 8 1 7 1 2 10 3 11
17 3 11 5 11 2 2 15 17 11 1 13 15 7 1 10 12
18 5 14 9 16 8 9 5 8 3 12 7 10 3 16 8 11 8
19 7 17 13 2 14 16 13 17 13 4 19 4 17 12 5 9 7 12
20 9 20 17 7 20 3 1 6 3 15 11 17 11 7 1 6 5 11 2
... and more
I do not see any obvious structure in the numbers returned. I do not
believe that there exists a simple closed expression using N and K.
It must at least be something recursive.
Another AOL Teenage Runaway Gets Caught
From: (TELECOM Digest Editor)
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 13:09:13 EDT
Call it love at first byte I guess.
James Wilson, 15, of East Dundee, Illinois is the latest America On Line
teenage chat user to run off to meet a new friend from online. He rode
his bicycle to Chicago, bought a $149 Greyhound bus ticket to Boston and
then *walked* twenty miles to Hingham, MA -- just to meet a girl he
corresponded with on his computer.
This time it really was an actual female -- a fifteen year old Hingham
girl he had chatted with for four months every Friday and Saturday
night via America Online. During that four months he had saved up
money from his paper route and from mowing lawns.
She was expecting him and they planned to meet at her home last Wednes-
day afternoon, although she had no idea of the pains he went through to
meet her. Later she expressed amazement at the effort he had gone to
for the planned meeting.
James, an honors student at St. Edward High School in Elgin, Illinois
originally planned to ride his bike all the way, but he gave up on
that after about a forty mile bike ride from his home to the Greyhound
Station at the junction of Interstates 90, 94 and 57 on the south side
He finally got to Hingham and a mere half-block from the girl's house
Wednesday morning at 3:00 a.m. (he left home Monday morning; boarded
the bus later Monday and arrived in Boston Tuesday in the late afternoon)
when he was stopped by the Hingham police for being out after their
curfew. It did not take long for police to find out the kid was already
listed as missing by his parents back in Illinois. By 6:30 a.m. just
three hours later James was on a plane from Boston back to O'Hare
International Airport in Chicago where Chicago Police met the plane
with his parents when it arrived later that morning. James never did
get to meet his computer pal.
Hingham police Lt. John Kichler said James had planned to wait until
a decent hour in the morning to actually go to the door of the house.
Police did confirm that the planned meeting was 'legitimate', i.e. the
person he planned to meet was a girl his own age. Kichler noted that,
"This is our first Internet love affair in Hingham, and I am sure it
does not happen to many people across the country."
James now complains that he has been 'severely' grounded. He is not
permitted to leave his house, his AOL account has been cancelled and
the money from his paper route and lawn mowing job have to be turned
over to his parents entirely to help pay for the plane ticket from
Boston back to Chicago.
He said he still hopes to meet his online friend face to face but
agrees it will probably not be in the near future.
The girl and her parents were embarassed by the whole situation and
she has been warned by her parents about giving out addresses and
phone numbers to people over the computer.
Call it a modern day Romeo and Juliet story I guess, but one which had
a safe if not altogether happy ending for Romeo.
May 1996 |