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Diary, October 2001

   Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
         1   2   3   4   5   6
     7   8   9  10  11  12  13
    14  15  16  17  18  19  20
    21  22  23  24  25  26  27
    28  29  30  31

Tuesday, October 2, 2001

Palindrome date

Today is 10/02/2001, which, if you leave out the slashes is a palindrome. There are only 331 palindrome date like this. The previous palindrome date like this was a long time ago, namely december 31, 1321. The next one will be January 2, 2010. Of course, there are other kinds of palindrome dates, if you leave out the extra zero's, then January 1, 2211, when written like 1/1/2211, is also a palindrome date. And if you only write the last to digits of the year, then 8.9.98 also becomes a palindrome date.

Correction on July 18, 2002: Elaine Young of the University of Oklahoma told me that her students had pointed out to her that August 31, 1380 is the previous palindrome date. And that is correct indeed.


Sunday, October 7, 2001

Andy's fourth birthday: "blowing out" the candles

Today, was
Andy's fourth birthday. In the afternoon we had a cake with four candles. He was smiling happily when we brought in the cake and put it before him. We asked him to blow out the candles. But instead of blowing, he stretched out is hand to one of the candles, and discoverd that the candles are hot. He started to scream of course. Luckily, he had not really burnt his hand or fingers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Omega-3 fatty acids

We read about some research that showed that fatty acids may be benefitial for certain types of children with a number of Myelination related disorders. We decided to also give
Andy some additional Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from fish oil. The food that he gets now does contain a lot of things, but no fish oil.


These web pages

We received an email from Planet Internet, our provider, that due to a software error, our web pages had been erased. Later on I heard read that a script had been running for three hours erasing the web pages of 20000 members. Only about 10% of these did really contain a web page. The messages contained a statement that they would prevent this from happening again in the future. I asked them (by email) if they were going to make back-up in the future. Again my web pages were unavailable. This time I could do something about it, namely, upload them again. Their non-existing page error response, still contained some message refering to World Access having joined with Planet Internet. I also made some remark about this to them.


This evening, during a news program on Dutch television, there was a reference to an article from the Frence magazine "Le Monde" that suggests that the 9/11 attack was organized by a fundamentalistic group operating from Saudi-Arabia, and that it was not obvious that this group was directly controlled by Bin Laden. Fourteen of the suspected hijackers are from a certain area in Saudi-Arabia, and for the kind of attack they performed it was not neccessary that they would have gone to any of the training camps in Afghanistan.

It is clear that in Saudi-Arabia there are fundamentalistic groups that are very much against their government, which is supported by the USA. It should be noted that Bin Laden too is from Saudi-Arabia, and that he hates the USA because of their presence in Saudi-Arabia. So, without doubt he shares the sympaties with the hijackers. Saudi-Arabia in nothing resembles a free and democratic country. No, it is a country of oppression and active prosecution of Christians. Every year, workers from the Philipines with a Christian background are put in prison, simply because they exercised their faith. The goverment, with the support of the USA, suppresses the population, but at the same time leads a very immoral and hedonistic life. Why would the USA support a corrupt and undemocratic government? They only answer can be: Oil. And indeed the USA goverment has made agreements with Saudi-Arabia to buy oil, (far) below the market price. It is this oil that contributes to the wealth of America. It is obvious that the USA will never attack Saudi-Arabia, and seems to totally ignore the fact that most of the hijackers came from their. Instead it wages war against Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the region, which endured the most terrible hardships.

Of course, I do not deny that Osama bin Laden is a horrible terrorist and that the Taliban are a terrible government as well. The Taliban too oppress their people and has put the death penalty on becoming a Christian. However, it is a great question whether the current campain against Afghanistan will contribute to the war against terrorism as much as the USA government wants us to believe.

(next and follow-up)

Wednesday, October 10, 2001


Today, I found some mushrooms in our garden at a spot where they were also last year. I took a picture of it.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Tai Shun Tea

In the last packages we received from our family in China, there was also some tea from Tai Shun, the area where Li-Xia's parents are coming from. It is indeed a very nice tea with a little sweet taste.

Palindrome date

Today, it is a palindrome date according to the MM/DD/YY format: 10/11/01.

Friday, October 12, 2001


Today, we went with the whole family to Schiphol, our national airport just South of Amsterdam, to catch
Li-Xia's mother. We arrive around half past two. The weather was extremely nice for the time of the year. The official arrival time of KLM flight 898 was 14:55, but we aready had seen on teletext that it was a little delayed. We wanted to go to the observation deck to watch the planes. But the observation deck was closed, probably as a safety precaution with respect of the september 11 attach in NYC. We arrived a little before three o'clock at exit number three. On 15:07 we saw that the plane had landed, and the real waiting started. Because of the problems Li-Xia's mother faced the last time, we did not expect to see her soon. Li-Xia walked to the windows to the lugage claim area to see if she could see something. I just waited at the exit, just in case. And then no less than twenty minutes after the plane had arrived Li-Xia's mother came out, and I brought her to Li-Xia. We were all very surprised. She told us that she could just walk on after she showed us the letter we had written, they even walked with her to the place were she could get her lugage.

She told us that KLM had allowed her to sit in an empty chair in the first class section. She had a lot of room, and even managed to sleep a little.

Finally, she is with us. It is almost a year ago, on November 13, 2000, that we started with applying for a temporary residence permit.


Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Voting in a referendum

I for the first time voted in a referendum which was held in Enschede. This referendum was about whether
an area known as the Usseleres should be made into an industrial area or not. I voted against. It is a unique cultural, argricultural, and nature area, and I think the main reason for the government to make into an industrial area is because it is an easy way of earning money.

The referendum is only valid when 60% of the people have voted. First of all, this is above the normal percentage of people that vote for national and local elections. It also means that people who are in favour of it, should not vote, because they only make the chance higher that the 60% limit will be reached. Moreover, there is also the possibility that 59% of the people have voted, and that 95% of them voted against. In this case more than 50% of the population is against it, but the governement can put the voting aside as invalid. If all the people who are in favour abstain from voting, then at least 60% of the people need to be against it. Isn't that funny!

As a last remark, I should state that the purpose of this referendum is to get an idea of the opinion of the people of our city. No matter what the outcome is, the city counsel can still continue with there plan to make the Usserleres into an industrial area.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Outcome of the referendum

Only 26.3% of the people who were allowed to vote did indeed vote. Of these 84.7% were against it, and only 14.9% were in favour of the plan. (0.28% of the voters, voted blanco.) This means that at least 22.3% of the total population is against it, and at least 3.9% in favour of it. 73.8% did not express its opinion. Now, it is of course possible that all these people were so smart not to vote, because otherwise the voting limit could have been reached. It is thus theoretically possible that 77.7% of the people agree with the plan of the town counsil to make the Usserleres into an industrial area. At least they did not object against it.

Saturday, October 20, 2001


The American law is very clearly: if the government of the USA needs some product that is protected by a patent for the general interest, they can decided to ignore the patent. The patent holder does not have any means for preventing this, and at most can ask for compensation. In the past year, the American government has used it influence to stop other countries, including South-Africa, from adopting the same kind of laws with respect to patents on AIDS medicines. One of the medicines used in AIDS treatment is the medicine Ciprofloxacin. A months ratio costs about 350$ is the USA, however, in India you can buy the same amouth for just 10$. Currently, the USA is considering to ignore the patent, and buying a so called "generic" version of Ciprofloxacin.


Wednesday, October 22, 2001

Palindrome date

Today, it is a palindrome date according to the MM/DD/YY format: 10/22/01.

Thursday, October 23, 2001

"Fake" rainbow

While I was biking to my office the sky coloured purple because of a low set sun shining against the clouds. A little later, I noticed a fragment of a rainbow in the clouds. But the clouds were not the kind of clouds that looked like there would be rain coming from. I also noted that the rainbow stopped in mid-air, which also seemed a little odd to me. Finally, I concluded that this was not a real rainbow, but a cloud rainbow, caused by the sun shining against the bottom of those clouds. (I took a picture of the sky.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2001


While everybody was working quietly, we suddenly heard a bang, followed by the sound of breaking glass. It appeared that one of our "SQL Server 7" posters had dropped from the wall. Luckily, it was only that. Nobody got wounded.


This afternoon, when Annabel wanted to go upstairs, she found Andy half-way up the stairs. We have to be careful now, as it is not very safe for him to crawl up the stairs alone.

Today, we also received the results from his last test. According to this these his average level of development is now around 22 months. I think that the score is rather low because his speaking is still a problem. The report did mention that we should focus on speaking. At this moment he is only actively using "Ja" (yes) and "Nee" (no). He does know a lot of the names of people around hem, and a dozen or more other words. His understanding goes much further.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Ciprofloxacin (Cont'd)

Today, I read a message about Ciprofloxacin on CNN's website. It stated the following:

By John King
CNN White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration said Wednesday it reached an agreement with German pharmaceutical-maker Bayer to purchase the anthrax antibiotic Cipro for 95 cents a pill -- down from the previously discounted price of $1.77 per tablet.
As part of the agreement, the government will make an initial purchase of 100 million tablets for $95 million. In addition, Bayer will donate 2 million tablets to the government's supply.


The funds for the purchase are included in a $1.6 billion emergency proposal made by President Bush earlier this month and now pending before Congress. Bayer had been under pressure to reduce its price per pill and increase its production of Cipro, the company's name for its patented version of ciprofloxacin, in the wake of the anthrax crisis in the nation. Some officials had suggested Congress allow other companies to make cheaper, generic versions of the drug.

It seems that the American government got its way. Although the Amtrax treat is frightening it is very unlikely that more than one thousand people will be affected.


Saturday, October 27, 2001

Moving around the computers

Lately, the monitor attached to the andy computer to occasionally blank black for a second. This morning I decided to make the ester computer into our main computer, and to rearrange the way these two computers were placed at our computer desk in the living room. It took some hours to rearrange everything, to connect all the cables, and to install and configure the software, but then every thing was up and running again.

Sunday, October 28, 2001

A new beginning

This evening, I attended a meeting at our church where we received some background information on what is happening in Afghanistan. It is amazing how all around the world Christians are praying for Afghanistan, and some believe that God is going to do great things under the Pastu, the people group from which also the Taliban have come from. The evening really made me think about the purpose of my life, and what I have been doing with my life.

Monday, October 29, 2001

Massacre of sixteen Christians

Yesterday, sixteen Christians were killed, five were were critically injured and many more wounded in a church in Pakistan when a group of terrorists on motorcycles entered the church and started shooting indiscriminately with automatic weapons for a full five minutes, after which the left as swiftly as they came. It seems that the Christians in Pakistan are going to suffer from the stike against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

I also heared that the eight Western aid workers that are being held by the Taliban in Kabuk on charges of proselytizing are healthy and safe.

( Shelter Now home page

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