The date 01/01/01 is at least as beautiful
Last year there were many people getting married on the first day of the
year. I wonder whether there is anybody who got married on this day,
as it is a national holiday and townhalls are officially closed.
Sometimes, you come across things you can almost not believe.
Suneido is one of these:
an integrated software development environment with relational database,
freely available as Open Source. The download is about 1.6M bytes.
The IDE of Suneido is an Suneido application developed in Suneido.
I sign of quality are the references to TEX, Smalltalk and Lisp,
and, last but not least, XP (unit testing framework).
Before Christmas last year, there was an article in a Dutch
magazine that dealt with the question whether Jesus Christ was
a historical person or just a myth. In the article there
were some errors that gave the impression that the author
did not know the New Testament very well. But anyway this made
me think about the subject quite extensively. Of course, I
read Chapters 4 and 5 of "Evidence That Demands a Verdict"
(ETDAV) by Josh McDowell. Although these chapters give a good
overview of the available material, and quote some famous
scholars in the field, the defence of the statements being
made does not go very deep. Actually, the book is not more
than a collection of notes. Therefore it is not very strange
that some of the opponents of the
Christian faith have tried to tear it down, see for example:
The Jury Is In. I think that the
exposition by Jeffery Jay Lowder about Chapter 5 of ETDAV
is very good and balanced. Although Lowder is not a Christian,
he concludes with:
I think there is ample evidence to conclude there was a
historical Jesus. To my mind, the New Testament alone provides
sufficient evidence for the historicity of Jesus, but the writings
of Josephus also provide two independent, authentic references
As for McDowell's other sources for the historicity of Jesus,
I think they are inconclusive.
However, there are
other web pages
that are far more critical
about the historicity of Jesus. It seems that this is one of
those subject that you either consider as irrelevant or that
you are biased about. I have wondered whether it would be
possible to give a reliable, unbaised indication of the
historicity of Jesus Christ. I have come to the conclusion
that an enormous amouth of knowledge is required. Far more
than any human can comprehend. That would mean that any
comprehendable argumentation would always depend on statements
of authors that have to be trusted without verification.
You would need an in depth knowledge of ancient history, and
of the languages, cultures, ideas, and convictions of the people
in the past twenty centuries living in Europe and the Middle East.
So, I would label it carefully as a
Seemingly Trivial Problem.
The clickomania puzzle
game has already infected several people around
me, which is not so strange, because I have been advertising
it. Since I started playing, I already gained some experience.
At the moment, I haven't problems anymore to finish a four
color puzzle of 15 rows and 14 columns, within a few tries.
There is no simple strategy that will work always, I have concluded.
Although it is possible to construct many four color puzzles that
cannot be solved, they are a small minority of all the possible
puzzle. Even with two colours, you can construct puzzles which
cannot be solved completely: just fill the squares with alternating
colors, then there is nothing to click on from the start.
With more colors, it only gets easier to construct puzzles which
cannot be solved.
A good tactic is to immediately click on groups of squares of the
same color, where each square has a square belong to the group below
it or under it.
The natural strategy to work from the top to the bottom seems to
work well. But sometimes the strategy to start at the bottom, also
gives good result, in particulary if the corners are filled with lots
squares surrounded by only squares of other colors.
It seems that at the start of the game one should concentrate on
areas where there are lots of squares that cannot be clicked on.
Sometimes it can be worthwhile to see how these can be untangled,
even with bracking up groups higher on the board.
I know there is a little program, which is very good at playing
clickomania. I haven't downloaded yet, because I want to find out
the "best" strategy by myself. I have been thinking about such a
program myself. I guess that this program has a function to assign
some value of solvability on each possible game position, and that
it does a simple search from the given board position for a better
board position. At least that is how I would do it.
Just today, I realized that even before you can answer
the question whether Jesus Christ is a historical figure,
you have to define what you mean with that. Simply stating
that it means that there was someone called Jesus, who is
the one being refered to by the New Testament writings is
not sufficient. In those days the name Jesus was quite a
common name. When can we say that the Jesus mentioned in
the New Testament writings is refering to one of these
persons with the name Jesus? How many of the facts about
his life should match, because it is quite likely that not
all the stories tolded about him are 100% correct? What
measure of deviation do we still accept as being sufficient?
I think that the above mentioned
Jeffery Jay Lowder does not believe that Jesus Christ
rose from the death, although he does believe that there
was a historical Jesus. But can you really hold such a
claim, if you do not believe that such a crucial event in
the life of Jesus as we read it in the New Testament did
not actually happen?
It seems that Andy begins to discover himself. This
afternoon we saw him sitting in front of the oven looking at his reflection in
the glass door, pointing at his nose and hair and at the time saying "nose" and
"hair" in his own kind of Dutch. He repeated this several times.
In the evening, when we showed him our family web
page with all our pictures. When we asked who was who on the pictures, he
started pointing at himself when we pointed at a picture of him. This is the
first time that he pointed at himself.
Lately, Andy starts to walk around the table all by himself. He cannot walk
freely yet. He also can stand against the couch for a considerable amounth of
This morning, I saw (the Dutch translation of) the book
"The seven habits of highly effective people. Restoring
the character ethic." by Stephen R. Covey laying on the
desk of my boss.
I could not keep myself from paging through the book, and
looking at the heading, figures and tables. (From certain
books you can get 50% of the information by just doing this.)
When I looking at the chapter dealing with the second principle,
I came across a table describing what happens if people put
certain things in the center of the life, and I was asking
myself, which one I fitted best. I noticed that I had something
of everything of the ten or so thing mentioned. Then I looked
if the author also had put "God" in the list. No he had not.
I paged further, and came to a figure of a circle with in
the middle the word "Principle" and te ten things put around
it in segments. Suddenly, this figure looked very familiar,
and I remembered having seen it yesterday in church with the
word "Principle" replaced by "God" when the speaker put it
on the overhead. I wondered whether he had taken it from this
book. First, I considered that he maybe got it from some other
source, but upon reading some of the text, I noticed that
yesterdays speaker had used exactly the same example as
mentioned in the book.
Today, I found the home page of Han de Bruin, another mathematician.
Besides many other interesting things, It contained a reference to the image beside here,
which although it looks very much like a picture, was produced by means of a computer.
Hans Boehm did some interesting work on Garbage Collection.
His freely available Garbage Collector includes the CORD library
for manipulating large strings. It reminds me of an idea that I
had a long time ago, about creating a similar package.
After having temperatures below zero in the past week,
now they have gone up again. This afternoon it started
to snow. I raised the blinds. With temperatures above
zero, the snow disappears as soon as it hits the ground.
Looking out of the window this morning, revealed that it
had snowed again. A little more than yesterday. There
was about one centimeter of snow. And this time there was
also snow on everything, not only the ground.
Right now, I am looking outside my office, and everything
is white. There was at least one inch of snow this morning.
Today temperatures will go up again to 5 Co, they
said on the weather report. The snow might be gone by the
end of the day. I should enjoy it, now it is still here.
It might be the last snow of this winter.
I failed to get Suneido
running under my Dutch version of Windows 95. Today,
I managed to install Windows 98 Second Edition on the
second disk of my DX2 66Mhz PC. That disk was
bootable, because I am using lilo. After this,
I had a very first glance at the Suneido Integrated
Software Development Environment, and got impressed
by it completeness. It really has everything you need.
I haven't starting programming yet, but it will be soon, I guess.
The setup of Windows 98 SE did something with my
Windows 95 installation on the first hard disk.
Somehow, I did not like this, because is seems that
Windows 98 SE was doing a lot more swapping.
Because it was getting late, I decided to let it wait till
Back to the Windows 95 disk that
didn't want to
boot. I first tried lilo, but that did not
fix it. Next, I ran fdisk from a Windows 95
start-up disk, but that too did not solve the problem.
Then, I decided, in a last attempt, to run sys
in order to make the disk bootable again, possible
destroying the Windows 95 installation, but it
did not, it fixed the problem. So now I can boot:
Windows 95 on the first partition of first drive
Windows 98 SE on the second drive, which,
actually, is seen as the C: drive.
Linux, Slackware 1.2
on the third partition of the first drive,
using the second partition as a swap file.
Today was the birthday of a missionary of
the church I
attend. This evening, I attended a meeting about this
missonary who is abroad at the moment. We listened to a
tape and watched some videos. At the end of the evening
we could take a book-mark as a memory. These book-marks
were made by local people and consisted of a small piece
of cloth with embroidery. I picked a grey piece with
a purple embriodery, which I had spotted before. Some
others remarked, that mine was indeed a very nice one.
I asked if they wanted to have it, but no one said yes.
I treasured the book-mark as something very special. As
a special gift indeed. Looking at it more careful, I
noticed that also the back of the embriodery looked nice,
showing the craftmanship of the person, woman I suppose,
who made it. This made me think about how this gift, and
the materials it was made of, had traveled through some
remote places in the world, places that I might never
be able to visit even.
This evening, I read an interview with Stephen Covey
the author of the book that got in my hand
about two weeks ago. At the
bottom of the article it mentioned that he is
a devouted Christian. So the phrase "God as
the principle" was may not so strange at all,
and the speaker was not wrong in replacing
the word "principle" by "God". Although Covey
did not put it there, he might have done it.
In the interview he states that the habits
(or principles) are laws given by God. I was
also surpriced that he considered the concepts
of "moral intelligence" and "spiritual intelligence"
to be equivalent, and considers it as the most
important form of intelligence. (I have to admit,
that I have some hesitations with combining the
words "moral" and "spiritual" with "intelligence",
but I understand what he means to say.)
Somehow, I wonder why he did not write a book with
the title "The seven habits of spiritual
Christians". Maybe he will in the future.
December 2000 |
February 2001 |