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Diary, January 2002

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    27  28  29  30  31

Tuesday, January 1, 2002


We decided to get some Euro ourselves this afternoon. When we arrived at the cash dispenser, there was a queue. While waiting in the line, more and more cars were driving by. It seems we were not the only one who got this idea. At 14:03, we asked for 150 Euro, and got the following bills:
Amounth Model Serial number
5 P006B4 P03044415646
5 P006B4 P03044415655
20 G001G5 P03250217665
20 G001G5 P03250217674
50 G006E2 P03211094269
50 G006E2 P03211094278
It looks like the last digit is a kind of check sum, as the sum of all digits of each note are equal to 37.

In the evening, we spend some time looking through all our coins that we collected over the years, and deciding which we are going to keep, and which we are going to donated to the Coins for Care initiative.

Thursday, January 3, 2002

Falling star

This evening, I again saw a falling star while walking from the shed to our house in the back garden. This one was not moving so fast as the one I saw less than a month ago.


Friday, January 4, 2002

Euro coins

Today, I got my first "foreign" Euro coin. A 50 Euro cent coin from Ierland. The year stamped on it was 2002. In the Netherlands the year stamped on it always refers to the year it was stamped. I have seen Euro coins with the date 1999. I do not believe that the Irish follow the same convenstion, otherwise the coin must have stamped no more than three days ago, which seems very unlikely.

Here in the Netherlands there will be some kind of experiment trying to determine the roulations speed of the Euro coins. Some people calculated that the average speed of a coin is about 3 kilometer (2 miles) per day. The Euro coin from Ierland seems to have traveled with a much higher speed.

Friday, January 11, 2002

Galactic center

I started to use the X-ray picture of the galactic center taken by the Chandra satelite as the background picture of my PC at work. See also here, here, here, and here for more information about the Galactic center.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Snare spectra

Lately, I have been thinking about analyzing the spectra of some music. The traditional way of making spectra is to use Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT). Althought FFT is a very fast algorithm, it also does have its disadvantages, because it assumes that the fragment of the signal is periodic, which is often not the case. To compensate this, you have to apply some correction. Thinking about how our ear works, I came up with the idea to simulate the snare response of a certain sound signal. (In our ear there are many little snares, in case you did not know.) A snare can be modeled as a mass, a string and a damper. After some fiddling with the formuleas, I arrived at: In this formulea s stands for the signal to be analyzed. The parameter f is the own frequency of the snare and the parameter dt is the size of the timestep of the signal, which is the inverse of the sample frequency. The parameter d is the damping factor. The energy of the system (expressed by sqrt(x2 + v2)) is an indication of the strength of the signal. With a low damping factor the response of the system becomes more discriminative, meaning that it only response to signals with a frequency close to f, but the response is also slower. A high damping factor will make the system responde faster, but it will also make the system less discriminative with respect to the frequency. The main question now is, what is the typical damping factor for the human ear? Does it depend on the frequency, e.g. higher damping factor for higher frequencies? It looks like the time discrimination of the human ear is about 30 miliseconds. That would mean a damping factor of about 1/20. Then e-d.dt is approximately 0.95.


Friday, January 18, 2002

The interview

Tonight, we watched the interview of Willem-Alexander and Máxima, who are getting married on February 2, 2002. I found it rather interestings to watch. It looks like they really fit together, that they love each other for who they are, and that they have realistic expectations of their marriage. I was especially pleased to hear that in the three weeks after they met for the first time, they talked with each other over the phone for three to four hours every day. They also remarked that they soon discovered that, althought they grew up on completely different continents, they have much in common with respect to their upbringing and with respect to their norms and values.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Drinking and eating

This afternoon, Andy drank a little water from a cup after they brushed his teeth on the day-care center. This evening, he swallows some (50 ml) baby fruit meal without much problem. Since the start of the month we are trying to feed him this through the tube in his mouth. In the beginning, he would responde with gagging. He still does not like it, although he does not seem to have a problem with swallowing at all.

Friday, January 25, 2002

Kay Hammonds

Kay Hammonds organized another auction for a marriage. This time she has statede some additional Terms and Conditions. Firstmost she states Making a bid that you cannot substantiate may result in prosecution by the Seller. She lists the following extra requirements: Furthermore, she wants a confirmation email send to her personal email. The latest person who made a bet is Ben Webb. I found two people with that name on the web. One being a some kind of consultant, the other being a (briliant) student. The futhur will learn who is the Ben Webb to marry Kay.

Child abuse in Japan

March 22, 2000:
Police grill a 26-year-old mother and her live-in lover on suspicion of abusing her baby girl to death.

May 8, 2000:
A 35-year-old woman is arrested for beating her 6-year-old son to death after the boy refused to eat a rice ball.

May 15, 2000:
A 28-year-old woman was arrested for beating her 2-year-old son to death because he was disobedient.

June 3, 2000:
A 4-year-old Yokohama boy dies after his mother's 22-year-old live-in boy friend repeatedly kicks him for "discipline."

July 21, 2000:
A woman and her lover beat her 9-year-old son for two days - causing his death - because he could not complete his math homework. "We took turns to beat him continuously from Monday night through to Wednesday morning."

Aug.20, 2000:
A 26-year-old man is arrested for rubbing ointment in the eyes of his girlfriend's 3-year-old boy whom he did not like.

Oct. 18, 2000:
A 10-year-old boy died after being bound naked on the verandah of his house here and left unfed for over 40 hours by his parents.

November 16, 2000:
A 31-year-old woman has been arrested after she bound her 3-year-old son and brutally battered him to death because he wouldn't listen to her.

January 19, 2001:
A 31-year-old woman has been arrested for allegedly strangling her 4-month-old infant to death because she was simply tired of caring for him.

January 24, 2001:
A 27-year-old mother was arrested Tuesday for killing her 9-month-old baby by repeatedly kicking and stamping him in the stomach.

January 26, 2001:
A 3-year-old boy died Thursday after his father savagely lashed out at him for taking too long to put on his shoes.

February 26, 2001:
A 30-year-old woman abandoned her newborn baby in front of an apartment building because she didn't know "how to deal with him."

February 27, 2001:
A 17-year-old mother smashed her baby boy's head into a concrete floor because he wouldn't eat his lunch, has been arrested, police said.

March 9, 2001:
A jobless father was arrested Thursday here after savagely bashing his 3-year-old daughter to death for stealing and eating his dog's food, police said.

April 4, 2001:
A 33-year-old housewife is arrested for abusing her 2-year-old son to death.

April 26, 2001:
A woman and her lover stripped her 7-year-old child naked and tied him upside down to discipline him.

August 18, 2001:
A mother has admitted beating her son and giving no food to him for several days, and killing him before dumping the body into a canal, police said.

Septemner 24, 2001:
A man was arrested Monday as his 4-month-old daughter died of asphyxiation after he stuffed her in a cardboard box covered and covered it with quilts because she wouldn't stop crying.

October 6, 2001:
A Tokyo woman who "disciplined" her 19-month-old daughter for refusing to pick up her toys by pouring boiling water over her has been arrested after the child died.

October 10, 2001:
A woman has been arrested for killing her 3-week-old son found in a pile of laundry left inside the washing machine of their home.

Some 90 percent of the children fatally abused in 1999 were 5 years old or younger, and eleven of them died before their first birthday, a poll reveales. However, the attacks did not always result in death. In one case a mother and her common-law-husband poured boiling water over her son, an elementary school boy, resulting in serious injuries which prompted police to question his parents.

Compared to 1999 figures, the amount of physical abuse increased in 2000 about 1.5 times while that of neglect doubled, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Of the 18,804 cases, 9,337 or 49.7% of them concerned physical abuse, followed by 6,869 cases of neglect (36.5%), such as not feeding children properly.

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