Might it be the case that Saddam is really a military genius, and
that he decided to lose the first stike and to win the war in the end. Did he
simply do everything to make the Americans believe that they destroyed his
government, including all those silly messages about the Americans being
destroyed, while everybody knew that they were marching into Bagdad? But did he
not simply let them come in quickly while letting his elite troups going into
hiding? The bombing campain of the past weeks is showing that a group of people
(most likely Saddam and his elite troups) are very effective at causing maximum
damage with minimum resources, not showing any mercy at all for the possible
victims. Even the Americans now have to admit that they don't have the whole
situation under control.
Square grids and Rule 30
Rule 30 is the
name of a cellular automaton that creates chaotic patterns, meaning that no
periodic cycles have been discovered. There is a simply way of creating a set of
24 square tiles with
six different lables on the corners that can only be tiled in a chaotic manner
based on Rule 30. This proofs that there exists a set of square tiles that be
used to tile an infinite grid, but only in a non-regular manner. Using the first
six letters of the alphabet and a labelling the corners in a cyclic manner, the
set can be represented by: acac, aebc, acbd, aead, bdaf, bdbe, bfaf, bfbe, caca,
cadb, cbea, cbfb, daca, dadb, dbea, dbfb, eaca, eadb, ebea, ebfb, faca, fadb,
fbea, and fbfb. It would not surprise me, if there would be
a smaller set with the same properties.
This morning it was 8.2 degrees Celsius when I left home. The summer is now really
over. Yesterdays posting about sqaure tiles is incorrect.
First of all, it easy
to see that pattern can be extended in the "forward" direction of the cellular
autonoma, but it is a little harder to show that it can also be extended in the
"backward" direction. I do not know if such a proof exists for Rule 30. So, it
is not clear if an infinite grid can be tiled at all. But what is more, there
does exist (a rather trivial) regular tiling, namely, using the tiles
acac and caca. So, the whole argument is broken. (I did find an alternative way
to create a set of tiles that would implement Rule 30 using four states and 32
tiles. But that is rather irrelevant, I guess.)
(Rule 30 follow-up,
Yesterday evening, I saw a program about Friedrich Gulda, a
rather unorthodox pianist that did many wierd things (such as appearing naked on
stage), which often made people think that he had become mad, but who posessed a
rare musical talent for playing almost any type of music.
Square tilings follow-up)
Even great man fall down
Wim Kok early in his career started to work for a union. After some
time he became the head of the largest union here in the Netherlands, and in
this function he became a wide known figure for defending the rights of weaker.
His transfer to national politics by becoming a member of the Labour party was
welcomed. And also there his popularity grew, and finally he served as a prime
minister of our country. In 2000, he spoke out against the 'exhibitionistic
self-enrichment' of top management, refering to the yearly increases of the
remuneration of senior managers and directors of often more than 10%, while the
wages of normal workers were stabilized to improve the economical state of the
country. He argued that the government should take measurement for preventing
this to happen. The argument of CEO's was that their salaries were not
competative with international (American) companies. But there never were any
signs of a substantial brain-drain of managers due to the income gap.
Last week, Ahold announced that for the first time in its existance it was
forced to fire people as part of a 10 million Euro cost reduction after it came
in major troubles earlier this year as a result of financial manipulations of
one of its subsidaries, which also made the CEO decide to resign. Yesterday,
Anders Moberg was presented as the new CEO. Some turmoil broke out under the
stock-holders when they were told that his yearly remuneration would be around
10 million Euro. (Even if he is told to leave the job due to mismanagement after
half a year, he will still be rewarded with 3 million Euro!) Yet the instutional
investors accepted the new CEO. The stocks did drop about 3%, but this mainly
because the CEO did not present any clear plans for reviving the company. Even
in difficult economical times, CEO's earn more and more.
After Wim Kok left politics, he became member of several supervisory boards
of large companies, namely ING, Shell, and KLM. This is common practice under
"retired politicians". These memberships provide Wim Kok with a stable and
steady income without having to work long hours, allowing him to develop all
kinds of other activities. Last month he was forced to agree with a 60% income
raise of the top managers of one of the companies during the coming three years.
Of course, he could have opposed the decision or have resigned his membership,
but he felt that it was in the importance of the company that it would pay a
competative salaries to its managers.
This evening, we went to the wedding of
Edwin and Astrid, our new neighbours. We arrived a little earlier
but that was no problem. The other neighbours arrived a little later.
There was a band. At first Andy was a little
scared by the loud sound, but when this was over he came closer and
started to move. At one point when we were all standing around the
dancing floor watching the newly weds do their "first dance", he
suddenly started to dance in a very wild manner, jumping from one leg
on the other and waving his hands and shaking his head. He made many
people laugh. I was completely stunned by what he was doing,
especially because he seemed totally in control and not at the least
like going to fall. And that for a boy with hypotony, who only started
walking less than two years ago.
It indeed seems very weird that he cannot walk in a straight line
but at the same time has no problem dancing in a wild manner. I
just had to think about a program about robots on Discovery Channel.
What comes to my mind is this one leg robot jumping around the room,
which seemed such an amazing achievement.But then they explained that
jumping on one leg is actually much easier than to make a robot walk
on two legs. Jumping on two legs is also much easier than standing
on two legs.
Whether this explains everything, I don't know. I come
to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with his
sense of balance (in his ear). It also seems that he
now has sufficient control over his arms and legs. It
is also clear that his muscles are strong enough. His
hypotony is caused by the neurological problem that his
nerves do not transport signals as well as they should.
This means that his brains should give a stronger
signal to get a "normal" response. This also explains
why the muscle tension of the relaxed muscle is lower,
which also explains his increased flexibility.
I think that the main cause of his "drunken" manner of
walking, lies in the fact that his proprioception
(sensing the position of the body) is rather weak, and
that he knows much better where his legs and arms are
when he is moving them compared to when he is not moving.
He is often flapping his arms when he is sitting and a
Not Jesus but Judas died on the cross
Once every so often, someone reading my website, feels the
urge to contact me with respect to my faith. Many simply state that they are
happy to find a fellow Christian. But there are also people who send me a honest
looking email, but then when I reply to them, suddenly show their true
intentions and try to challenge my faith.
This morning, I received such a "second" email from someone who claims that
not Jesus but Judas died on the cross. Often I find that these people support
their believes with a selective reading of the New Testament. Some even held
theories that some part of the New Testament are false, while other parts should
be considered as divine revelation. I find such positions to be utterly
doubtful. You either trust a source, or reject it as a whole. Do you really
believe that if God is who He claims to be in the New Testament that He would
not be able to prevent the New Testament to be corrupted to such an extend that
His original intentions get lost, and that additional revelations would be
needed? Of course, if you do not believe in an almighty God, then you cannot
believe that the New Testament is a divine source of revelation. You can also
held the position that the whole of the New Testament is not divine, and that
Christianity is a false relegion build on fairy tales. But if you believe that
the New Testament contains both divine truth and satanic lies, then what gives
you reason to believe that there is another source of revelation that has not
been defiled as well, because if an almighty God is not able to preserve one
revelation, why would He be able to preserve another revelation?
This person argued that Jesus did not die on the cross because He asked God
to "remove this cup from Me", and that God made it so that everyone believed
that Judas was Jesus. First of all he made the claim that God always honours the
requests of His prophets. Which seems a little odd to me, as it makes the
prophets more powerful than God Himself. In all Gospels the sentense is followed
by: "yet not My will, but Yours be done" (or something equivalent), and in two
of the Gospels the request is preceeded with the clauses: "if it is possible"
or: "if You are willing". From other passages it is clear Jesus submits His will
to the that of His Father. See
Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42, and John 6:38) So, from the context it is
clear that Jesus did make a conditonal request, not an absolute request, and
that above all He wanted the will of His Father to be done.
But even if God had granted the wish of Jesus, how did He orchestrate the
swap, because during the time that Jesus was praying in the garden, Judas must
already have been on his way with the guards from the temple, and it is only
shortly thereafter that they meet and kiss each other, and Jesus is taken in
custody. Was it during this encounter that God clouded the eyes of all present,
and swapped the two? But what about the New Testament writing that Judas (now
Jesus), after receiving his payment, commits suicide? And why did Judas take up
his role as Jesus without any resistance, when he made plans to have Jesus
captured even before He made his plea with God? The only way out seems that the
four Gospels do not tell the truth with respect to the reported facts. But if
they are not reliable with respect to these facts, how can we trust that it is
even true with respect to the plea that Jesus made?
more faith related entries)
I would seriously consider to vote for candidate Georgy Russell, if I would have been
living in California. Except that I do not agree with her position on abortion
and gay marriage. If she would know a little more about post-abortion trauma,
she might realize that abortion is not always the best choice a woman can be
offered in case of an unwanted pregnancy. But for the rest she has some sound
ideas. I love it that she can both uses vi and emacs. (Question 6A from the
I just ran across the problem of extending the behaviour of a
class in a derived class, where the derived class needs to deal with some
additional cases that are not provided in the base class. In this kind of
situations, you would like to have a possibility of a kind of "in-lining" of the
method of the base class, instead of calling the method. This also often happens
in event-handling, I think. You need some kind of mechanism for the method to
tell that it has dealt with a certain case and that the result can be passed on.
In C++ this is not possible without the use of additional variables, or to
The Qur'an states that not Jesus Christ, but Judas died on the cross.
was just an ordinary person, he could never have reconciled the sins of man.
Actually, the Qur'an does not teach the concept of salvation through faith, only
by works, so their is no need for a saviour. Muslems believe that satan caused
the Bible to be corrupted, and that God sent Muhammad to correct the errors.
They confess that the Qur'an is without error. In their view, satan is a rather
powerful being. The little twist however is that the New Testament tells that
Jesus defeated satan with His resurrection from death. As far as I know the
Qur'an does not teach that satan was defeated. From this we must conclude that
from the viewpoint of Islam the New Testament contains the satanic
lie that satan was defeated. This is a little odd, I would say. Why would satan
want to let everyone know that he has been defeated, and that faith in God is
enough to be saved? It could be, reasoning along the lines of Islam, that he
wanted to prevent people from being saved through their works, but why would he
then include the "lie" that sign of true faith are good works? (See the letter
by James.) Then he should have included the messages that one only needs to say
the magic words, and could on doing whatever one wants.
Now Islam is not the only religion or sect rejecting the claims that Jesus
was God and died for our sins, and that salvation is by faith in Him. Even the
Roman Catholic church
condems everyone to hell, who believes that faith alone is sufficient. Two
other examples are Jehova Witnesses and Mormonism. If the messages of the New
Testament is true, and satan is defeated, one could conclude that satan has been
trying very hard to stop his defeat to become known.
(More faith related entries)
Andy is in Group 1 of "De Huifkar". "De Huifkar" is a school for
children with learning disabilities. Yesterday evening we had an introduction
evening with teachers and the assistances. They also showed us a video that they
had made last week. It is very interesting to see how they teach them to read
(now still only pictograms), to write (circles, dashes and arcs), and to explore
the world. The teachers told us that the group is very nicely working together.
From the teachers, I heard that Andy is very enthusiastic and seems to pick up
things quite well.
Yesterday evening, I saw some fragments of
The Last Temptation of Christ,
while also looking at a documentary about two men filming a FDNY crew on
September 11, 2001. The movie emphasizes the human nature of Jesus Christ. I do
believe that He did suffer from all the temptations that we suffer, and that He
might have had doubts, but I think the way He portrated in this movie is far
from the point. From the Gospels we get the image of a very mature stable
character, the perfect example of a masculine man, full of compassion and with
great authority, with an amazing charisma attracting many, yet not showing any
sign of seeking power or glorification. He was in the strenght of His life, at a
mature age, when He started His public ministery. He already walked with God for
thirty years. But He still needed to take time (whole nights sometimes) to seek
the fellowship with His Heavenly Father. And on several occassions (the baptism
and the transfiguration) He received special encouragement. I guess we might
need eternity to comprehend the depth of His combine human and divine nature.
On some points the movie is really of the mark totally, an almost occult. He
was really shocked by the scene where the Jesus in the movie took out the heart
out of his chest to show it to his disciples. Disgusting!
Today, I went into the city with Annabel
and Andy. We drove to a parking lot outside
the city and took the free shuttle bus service to the city center.
Concordia, acenter for amateur
art classes, had an open day (to advertise the new courses) and
Annabel wanted to go in. There was an opportunity to make a drawing,
and we decided that Andy and I would go ahead while she stayed behind
to make a drawing. When we were in the libary,
she came back with a painting of a girl.
Of course, I am biased, but I did find the painting rather
artistic. She told me that she started with a curve, and then got
the idea to make it into a girl. She also mixed the colors from the
three primary colors and white.
Fun with fusion:
Freshman's nuclear fusion reactor has USU physics faculty in awe. Craig
Wallace build a working nuclear fusion reactor from spare parts. Don't worry a
fusion reaction is going on, but it is only a few atoms every second that do
fusion. Nevertheless, it is an amazing achievement.
Yesterday, it was Prinsjesdag, the third
Tuesday in September, the day on which the government present their plans for
the coming years. These plans contained a total of 17 billion Euro of cuttings
in government spending. This has caused a lot of turmoil, because it looks like
the weak in society are going to pay most of this. We will also be affected by
this because we have a handicapped child. The government defends its actions
saying that we are in a recession, and that otherwise the dept of the government
would increase above the 3% which has been agreed upon between the Euro
countries. At the moment, both Germany and France are above this percentage, and
are not taking measures to reduce it substantial in the near future. It
looks like the Netherlands wants to be nicest boy of the class. Most economic
experts, even those of the ruling parties, are not convinced that the proposed
cutting are really the best way to resolve the current economical situation.
Every month about 14 thousand people lose their job, and there is still no sight
of any improvement yet. The support for the Christian Democrats has dropped
dramatically, while the support for the Liberal parties has remained the same.
It is clear that our current government is having follows a rather "right-wing"
approach towards dealing with the economy. It looks like they are going to loose
during the next elections. I think that many people are disappointed that the
Christian Democrats did not form a coalition with
the Labour party.
I never knew we had a village here in Netherlands starting with a digit. Actually,
there are two of them: "1e Exloërmond" and "2e Exloërmond". In Dutch
"1e" and "2e" are shorthands for first and second.
Playing on 19x19
Yesterday evening, Annabel played Go
against a third Dan player on a 19x19 board. He concluded at the end of the game
that the board was still too big for her. She simply lost the overview. But she
did make some strong moves, and the player did make a big mistake at the end of
the game by not securing a group, as one of the bystanders noticed. My strength
is around 15 kyu. I wonder if I ever will make it till 5 kyu. I am afraid I am
already too old to make any substantial progress.
We have huge memories
According to the paper
Discovering the Capacity of Human Memory, the capacity of the brain is in the order of
108432 bits. That is far more than the memory of all computers
together, and even it Moore's law hold it will take many centuries. But even on
practical considerations, this number seems to be way to high.
Sixth Dutch Kabuki day
I have been looking forward to this day, because it is already
two years ago since the Fifth Dutch
Kabuki day was held. There were less people than the last time.
This was also due to the fact that they had request to leave the
brothers and sisters of the children with Kabuki at home. We
left Annabel with
my mother, who lives
just ten minutes driving from the place where the day was held.
Of course, Andy came with us. There were
16 people with Kabuki syndrome ranging from 4 till 25 years,
together with their parents.
There are now 42 people with Kabuki known in the Netherlands,
27 girls and 14 boys. More than half of them are in the range
of 6 till 15 years.
Some people were delayed because of a traffic jam and some
mechanical problems with their car. Around half past eleven
Prof. Dr. C. Schrander started her talk about the recent findings
in literature. Seven years ago the Dutch Network started with
just three children. She expressed her happiness about how
the Network had grown and about our mutual cooperation.
She went through the long list of article that had appeared.
Many articles were about isolated cases of people with Kabuki
having some kind of problem. A relation with Kabuki was not
always apparent. She told however that an article from Tawain
had raised her awareness with respect to the typical shape of
the lips. It seems the bottom lips are often rather thick in
the middle and that sometimes two pits in the lower lips can
She also told us that she with some specialst around the
world are planning on writing a large overview article
about a large group of people with Kabuki children. If I
understand it correctly, this will be a group of article
dealing with the medical, the psychological and language
aspects. They are rather critical about selecting which
individuals were included. Only if all of them agreed that
an individual did have Kabuki Syndrome it was included in
this study, otherwise not. Then the talk was continued by
her husband, Dr. J. Schrander, a general
paediatrician, working at the same academical
hospital. He told us about the check list that is being
developed (as another result of the above mentioned
After the talk we had a simple bread lunch and time to just
talk with each other. We also took the opportunity to take
a group picture of everyone with Kabuki. (Someone also took
a picture of everyone taking pictures.) Then at around three
o'clock we came together to discuss some issues in the large
group. Around four o'clock we closed the meetings, and most
people left quite quickly afterwards. The next Kabuki day
will be in two years.
(Fifth Dutch Kabuki day and
Seventh Dutch Kabuki day)
Yesterday morning, I also heard the news that some doctor in America
claims to have found the cause of the Kabuki Syndrome. According
to him the defect is found on chromosome 8. One of the characteristics
of the Kabuki Syndrome is that there is no visible defect on the
chromosomes. There are many syndromes that do have a visible
defect. The most visible defects are those where there is
an abnormal chromosome count (such as with Down syndrome).
Less visible defects are translocation defects, which occur if
a part of a chromosome has been swapped with another chromosome.
We have two chromosomes of each type, except for the sex chromosomes
where we either have XX (female) or XY (male). Now lets name
the chromosomes A and B and their parts a and b. A person with
a translocation thus has chromosomes Aa, Ab, Bb and Ba. Usually,
this does not cause any problems for the bearer, because all the
genetic material is there in the right quantity, and that is what
counts. However, if this person get children with a partner that
does not have the translocation (Aa Aa, Bb and Bb) the children
get one pair of A and B form each parent. This leads to four types
of children with approximately the same incidence:
It is likely that the children with the extra or missing genetic
material will have some development problems. Most often these
are so sever that they led to a miscarriage. It is thus possible
that a translocation will never be discovered, but that there is
simply a high rate of miscarriages, some of which may occur very
early. It is also possible that one type of child does have a chance
to survive, but with development problems. Such a child is likely
to have brothers and sister that are also carriers of the defect,
and it is likely that they will too get children with the same
type of development problems. If the chance that a child does
not survive is very high, then it can take a very long time before
a family is found where more than one case does occur. However, in
that case it is likely that the development problems should be severe.
With the Kabuki Syndrome we do not see any severe development
problems. So far, no families with multiple cases, or a high rate
of miscarriages have been reported. It is thus rather unlikely
that the defect is caused by a translocation.
- Aa Aa Bb Bb -- a perfectly normal child, with no translocation
- Aa Ab Bb Ba -- a bearer of the translocation
- Aa Ab Bb Bb -- this child has one copy of a and three copies of b
- Aa Aa Bb Ba -- this child has three copies of a and one copy of b
It is suspected that with the Kabuki Syndrome a small piece of
genetical material is missing or damaged. Such genetical defects
are difficult to find, because we have so many different genes. But
before people have been able to find gene defects to be responsable
for certain inherited diseases. It is possible that the damaged
part is so big that it is actually visible in the pattern of
GTG and RBA patterns on the chromosome. (However, such abnormal
patterns were not found with Andy, who
belongs to the group of accepted cases for the overview article
that Prof. Schrander reported about yesterday.)
The news report also seems to suggest that the defect that was
found, is inherited from the mother. This raises the question why
they are not affected by it, while some of their children are.
I do not know of any mechanisms (other than a translocation) that
could explain this for a non-sex related chromosome. And one would
also expect that they would transmit the defect to some of their
children, which then too would have an increased rate of getting
children with the Kabuki Syndrome. Which is not what we have see in
reality so far. This theory also conflicts with the observation that
the age of the fathers is substantial higher compared to the general
population, which seems to indicate that the defect is caused during
the sperm production.
I am afraid that there just has been some miscommunication
and that there is another reason why it is sufficient to have
the blood from the mother. I think we just will have to wait
until the official announcement comes. Maybe it would have
been better if this news had not been leaked out, because it
seems to have caused more confusion than is neccessary.
Summer drawing to an end
This morning it was 14.5 degrees Celsius outside. At the moment the
temperatures are above 20 degrees again, for the 115th time again
this year, if I am not mistaken. A new record. 1947 still holds the record for
the summer with the highest average temperature. The sky is still blue, but the
weather forecast says that it is going to rain later this day. The prediction is
that tomorrow the temperature will not get higher than 15 degrees. Yesterday,
Annabel wanted me to set
up the little swimming pool in the back of the garden. I declined her request,
although in the sun it was hotter than inside. She kept on whining about it.
This morning, the
temperature was 11.1 degrees Celsius when I left from home. Last night we had a
little rain, and it looks like more showers are heading towards us. It just
started to rain while I write this. "Jaap de Hoop Scheffer" is going to be the
next secretary general of the NATO. I guess there is going to be some confusion
about the spelling of his name. His surname is a double surname consisting of
"de Hoop" and "Scheffer". Such double surnames find their origin in nobility.
This morning it was 6.2 degrees Celsius. It really has become colder
since yesterday the astromical fall started as 12:47 local time. I am afraid it
is also going to be a cold day with respect to software patents in Europe. Today
will be the vote, and if one reads
European Parliament's Daily Notebook on gets the impression that the proponents are
making some convincing statements. Why would we need a law to limit
patentability of software, when current law forbids it. Arlene McCarthy is
stating that she is against patents like the "one click" patent, but doesn't say
a word about that other patent that was already granted to Amazon by the European Patent
Office. It seems the new law does
prevent patents like the "one click" patent at all. My conclusion is that
politicians and technology do not go well together.
more on software engineering.)
This morning it was 5.8 degrees Celsius when I left home, but with the forcast
of clear skies all day long, temperatures may go up to 20 degrees during the day.
Yesterday evening, Annabel and I went to the
Go club. I played against a 5 Dan player and lost with 45
starting with 9 stones forhand. Much better than the last time I played against
him. Annabel played two games and lost with 8 and 15 stones.
Yesterday, European Union voted on the
Patent Directive. Although the directive was accepted, it was accepted with
many ammendmens which seems to forbid "pure" software patents. The law does
allow patents on devices that rely on software, but the patentability of the
software itself seems to be excluded. It seems that the
quite happy about the outcome. It also appeared that Mrs Arlene McCarthy was
backed-up by Mr
Frits Bolkenstein, a former Dutch member of parlement. Already in that time
he was known for his controversional statements. During this time in 1996. Frits
Bolkestein, member of the supervisory board of the Dutch branch of Merck, Sharp
& Dohme, wrote a letter to health minister EB, "dear Els", asking her to
promote admission of a specific drug. (Dutch:
Lees wat Jan Marijnissen hierover schreef.)
It is becoming more and more clear that Iraq did not have Weapons of Mass
Distruction at the time that the United States started the war. This clearly
demonstrates that political leaders should not be trused on their words, if
these are not supported by solid facts. In this sense both Bush and Blair have
acted very undemocratic. Although both of them are trying to hide the fact that
spread misinformation, in the end both will have to pay for it. People have
shouted that the real reason for attacking Iraq was oil. Now I begin to think
that it the United States wanted to move out of Saudi Arabia, because their
presence there was one of the reasons for the attach on the WTC on September 11,
2001. Now that the US is moving away from Saudi Arabia, they are thinking about
aquiring nuclear arms themselves to protect themselves against countries like
Iran. So in the end Iraq may become surrounded by countries with nuclear arms.
The US promised that the United Nations would play a significant role. It
seems he is finally going to give in with respect to this promise. Nevertheless
it seems that also the world wide role of the United Nations is on the decline.
Yesterday, Annabel for the first time went to the
swimming of the "Enschedese Watervrienden". The lesson took one hour, and it
was after eight that we arrived home and could have our dinner. She went there
just for a try-out. Afterwards they told me that she could stay, but the problem
is that she still cannot do 25 meters of crawl, and for that she has to follow
another swimming course on Friday. I find it a little too much to do both, so I
think she will have to wait a little. The training was rather nice, and I
watched some girls performing syncro swimming in a group of seven, in a pair and
on their own. Next month the national contests are held. One of the girls was an
old colleague I know from former employer.
John Walker - the war on drugs
Yesterday, John Walker complained about the Dutch Government
respecting the privacy of its citenzens too much with respect
to the war on drugs. He said that the Dutch Government is not
doing enough to fight the production and distribution of XTC.
The Dutch police have been more and more successful in catching
XTC, but John Walker says that this is only evidence that the
real problem is only growing. He also suggested that we should
change the law with respect to criminal informants and wire taps,
such that more criminals will be put behind bars. Criminal informants
are forbidden under Dutch law, because in the past it has led
to corruption taking place. And with respect to wire taps, we
are a country where there are already far too many wire taps
being set. What disturbes me most is that someone from the U.S.A.
government is suggesting that we should change our laws. We are
a sovereign country. I feel that the Dutch government is already
doing too much with respect to this, like handing over Dutch citizens
to the American authorities without having substantial evidence
that they committed any criminal acts.
It seems our whole family got infected by some virus last weekend. It started
with Andy, who probably
picked it up at school, and now we all got it. So far, I did not get a fever
like the others, but my bowels have not been properly working since Thursday
This afternoon, Annabel and I saw a rainbow
while driving through the city. For me it is quite long ago that I saw
a rainbow. Annabel told me that she had just recently seen a double
rainbow while she was biking with Li-Xia to
school. I tried to explain to her that there is always a double rainbow,
but that we simply cannot see it. As an illustration I asked her if she
could see the difference between a stack of one million apples and a
stack of one million and one apples. When she answered yes, I understood
that she didn't get it. I tried to take a picture of it, but it already
had fainted to such an extend that on the picture you can only see it if you know where it is.
Science and politics do not mix
The advice from first-hand experts are often ignored by their managers.
SARS directives still ignore expertise of health-care workers: "The Ontario
government ignored the expertise of its front-line health-care workers during
the SARS health emergency and continues to issue directives on "the new normal"
that are not feasible, a public hearing was told Monday." And: "Nurses report
that when they raised alarms about patients, right back in the beginning, those
alarms were ignored or minimized." You hear this over and over again when things
really go wrong.
The song Dancing Queen from Abba
is running through my head. It must be because I heard it during a program about
Abba that I watched this weekend. Funny how a song can run through your head
with all the details, almost like you are listening to it.
Just now it was announced that KLM
(Dutch Royal Airlines) will be taken over by Air France. It is not clear why KLM
did not choose for a strategic alliance. Although Air France has made certain
promises about keeping the identity of KLM ("it is a strong brand"), experts
fear that KLM will be eaten by the four times bigger Air France company once the
powerful France unions are going to exercise their influence. A financial paper
wrote: "It is big versus small, arrogant versus smart, relation versus
transaction". KLM will lose its predicate of "Royal" because it is no longer a
Dutch company. Will this also force them to change their name from KLM to LM, I
In the Netherlands we have this custom of giving people three kisses
on the cheek (really just in the air). So it is more something of giving three
very short hugs, while making kissing sounds in the air. For some people this is
even too much, and they are promoting buttons for informing how many times they want to be kissed.
Artificial Development is builing an
artifical cortex based on Spiking Neural Networks. Back ground information can be found in the book:
Spiking Neuron Models.
And how does the brain learn? read
Spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP)!
This months interesting links
August 2003 |
October 2003 |