Today, it is 42 years ago that I was born. This morning I was
awaken by my family. The present that I got from them was the
"Two towers" video. In the morning, I biked to the city center on my
own and looked around. Just last Thursday a new shopping center
had openend. When I went in I wondered whether we are really having
a recession, or that this is just some idea of us. I also walked
to the bookshop "De Slegte" seeing
if there was a book that I could buy. It has been a long time ago
that I bought a book. To my surprise, I came along the book
Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and
decided to buy it. I was especially charmed by some of the very
detailed maps of the routes taken during some of the chasing scenes
from the movie.
In the afternoon, my mother came to visit
us. She stayed for dinner. In the evening, Li-Xia
and I watched the "Two towers" movie without any breaks. She too was
impressed by the performance and character of Gollum/Smeagol.
This morning, when I went
through the tunnel under highway A35, I heard some hissing sound, and noticed a
small spray of water on my front tire. The tire was not flat yet, so I decided
to turn around and bike home. Just when I got out of the tunnel on the other
side, I noticed a rainbow. I managed to get home biking.
And then it really
started to rain. So, there I was, standing in our shed, turning the bike upside
down and locating the hole. I found it without problems, but I could not find
the thing that had caused the hole. Often that means you will get a flat tire
again in a few days. When I finished fixing the tire, the rain had stopped
almost, and I saw some patches of clear sky appear again.
Thailand jails Machiel Kuijt for life
jails Dutchman for life. Last Friday, Machiel Kuijt was taken to an appeals
court and despite his acquittal in March 2002, he was sentenced to life in
prison on drugs charges. Neither his lawyer nor the Dutch embassy were informed
about the court meeting, which was originally planned on November 17. Also no
formal hearings took place since his acquittal. After his acquittal on March 11,
2002, Machiel Kuijt was held in prison waiting for a ruling of an appeals court,
because the Dutch government didn't want to take the responsibility for
guaranteeing that he would stay in Thailand, afraid of losing face if he would
fled the country. The Dutch
ambassador only visited him once, immediately after a news paper report
about the terrible conditions in the Klong Prem prison.
Machiel was arrested mid-1997 with an Italian friend en route to the Bangkok
airport after a vacation in the southeast Asian country. He was accused of
co-involvement in the drugs trade after half a kilogram of heroin was found with
his former Thai girlfriend and her brother.
The ex-girlfriend later testified that Machiel had no involvement at all. She
received a punishment of 33 years of imprisonment.
Meanwhile, if his life sentence remains in force, it will not be possible for
him to serve out his time in a Dutch jail because the Netherlands and Thailand
have not signed a treaty in relation to the transfer of prisoners. Justice
Minister Piet Hein Donner recently rejected calls for the nation to entry into
such a treaty.
The authority to bless
I joined the meeting of the cell group of our church that I belong to. During
the evening, we arrived at the topic of blessing, and how this has worked in our
lives. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are given the authority to bless others
in the name of Jesus. This authority is not restricted to pastors and ministers
as some want us to believe, but is given to all who have been born again.
Blessing someone is not the same as praying that God may bless the person, but
is speaking out a blessing (either aloud or silently) in the form of:
"<insert name>, I bless you in the name of Jesus".
(More faith related entries)
Some creationists argue that there are no positive mutations. However, there is
a rare mutation
that makes one live longer.
Today, we read in the school notebook that Andy enjoys
eating smarties (a kind of M&M).
At home we also gave him some. It seems he is really getting an interest
in eating new things now. Of course, he is also very much stimulated by
the children around him at school.
Yesterday evening, I watched an episode of the Children of Dune
miniseries syncronized in German. (Annabel, who
watched the first five minutes, remarked: "why do their lips not move with their
voice".) Afterwards, I concluded that I watched the last episode. From what I
remembered from the book, there seems to be many differences. This has prompted
me to reread the book.
Yesterday, I started thinking about use of
Rule 30 for
square tilings. This morning, I discovered
that it is indeed possible to extend the pattern in
the "backward" direction.
The proof of it is rather simple (except if you have problems with reasoning
about infinite sequences). Of course, I was first searching in the wrong
direction, but that usually happens. Given a infinite sequence of zeros
and ones, a new sequence in the "forward" direction can be constructed
by taking each group of three digits from the sequence and produce a
zero or one for the new sequence, making use of Table 1. In this table,
A, B, and C represent the three digits from the original sequence, and X
the digit of the new sequence. (If the digits under X are read as the
binary number (00011110) then this is equal to decimal number 30, which
explains why it is called Rule 30.)
|A B C||X|
|0 0 0||0|
|0 0 1||1|
|0 1 0||1|
|0 1 1||1|
|1 0 0||1|
|1 0 1||0|
|1 1 0||0|
|1 1 1||0||
|B C X||A|
|0 0 0||0|
|0 0 1||1|
|0 1 0||1|
|0 1 1||0|
|1 0 0||1|
|1 0 1||0|
|1 1 0||1|
|1 1 1||0|
In Table 2, I have simply shuffled around the columns such that the A
digit stands apart, and I also sorted the rows on the values for C, B, and X.
From this table you can see that for each
combination of values for C, B, and X, it is possible to find a value
for A. If we would try to set apart the columns C or B in the same manner,
then it will turn out that there is not a row for each combination of
values for A, B, and X, respectively, A, C, and X.
If one wants to construct a sequence preceding a given infinite sequence,
and one already has a partial solution consisting of a sequence (possibly
infinite to the right, but not to the left), one can always extend it to
the left using Table 2. In fact, the table shows that there is exactly
one infinite extension to the left. But if the partial solution is not
finite to the right, there is not a simple way to extend it to the right
(because not each combination of values for A, B, and X occurs in Table 1).
However, when one fails to extend a partial solution to the right, one
can always correct this, by selecting a value that does work, and correct
the whole sequence to the left. For an infinite sequence, one might have
to do this an infinite number of times, but it will always work!
(follow-up on repeating patterns,
follow-up on jigsaw pieces)
This evening, I cooked some curly kail hotchpotch.
I used less potatoes than usual. About 1.5 kg. I also used only half of the
pork cubes. But I did add one finely sliced union which I fried
in some oil, and I also used some milk, which we specially bought
for the occasion. Annabel is going to
finish the rest of the milk in the coming days, she has said.
Repeating Rule 30 patterns
Yesterday, I also discovered that there are many repeating
patterns that one can make with Rule 30, if one starts with a infinitely
repeating sequence. I also started writing a small C
program for finding all such sequences. Today, I perfected this program,
which can find all repeating patterns starting with sequences with a
width of upto 30. See this page for the
results. Above in the right corner is the 17x17 repeating pattern.
Red morning skies
This morning it was 7
degrees Celsius when I wanted to leave. I decided to leave my gloves and cap at
home. And indeed, they were not needed. The clouds above had all sorts of
colours ranging from yellow, to orange, red and pink. The trees outside my
office, now have lost all their leaves.
Say a lot with a few words
Andy, due to his low muscle
tone and poor motor abilities, still is not speak much, but sometimes he says a
lot with just a few words. This morning, Li-Xia
encountered some difficulties with putting on his shoes, and he said "sorry".
When they were finally on his feet he said: "better". And then he said "ready"
and gave her some kisses.
This morning, I received the following, rather mysterious email:
After reading several of your HTML-pages "i" can say
to you :you are clarified (glory to them who knows ,
becourse they will see God)
After this initiation (i and the father are one )on 24 mei 1979
''i'' hope you made your realisation.(I am Gabriel THAT
stands in the presence of GOD ).
''I'' (God knows)
made my realisation on 28 august 1992 in the
Initiation comes alone,it only nocks on your door.
Realisation comes when you know you are Gabriel .
In the evening, I send the following reply:
I am not impressed by this mysterious email
neither do I understand its purpose. Please do
not bother me with any ideas that do not have
a solid foundation in the Bible, for example,
are based on an onorthodox interpretation
of some verses. I take the Bible as the only
trustworthy revalation of Gods Word.
P.S. Although most of my web pages are in
English, Dutch is still my first language.
(Yes, it should have read "revelation" instead of "revalation".)
I added the P.S. because the email was sent from
a Dutch domain. It could well be that the sender
is not a native English speaker.
At 15:58, while coding, I had a
random memory of Meindert and I going into the old "Schuttersveld" factory and walking
around the empty buildings which were going to be demolished soon, and him
taking a clock home. It must has been around 1985.
Last night, I received an email from the person that send
me a mysterious email last Wednesday,
requesting me to send him the address of a monastery close
to Losser (a village outside of Enschede) which lies in
Germany. This morning I looked at some map and concluded that it must be
that he was refering to. ("Kloster" is German for monastery.)
I emailed him the address and telephone number. I wonder
whether he is a R.C. priest, and whether he wants to pay
me a visit. We will see.
I am rather proud of my achievement with respect to losing some weight.
When I started in May I was still around 84 kg. In the past weeks, my
weight has dropped till around 78 kg. I have made a graph of my progress. The biggest change that I have made with respect
to my diet, is to try to eat only vegetables during
dinner time. Lately, I also have started eating (at least) one tomato per dinner.
This morning it was 12.0 degrees Celsius outside when I left for my office.
The temperature almost remained stable through the night. This is a rather
unusual condition. Outside my window there are some people taking away leaves.
One person has a blowing device, the others are doing it in the old fashioned
way. Whenever I see these kind of people working, I often realize that
Andy might be walking outside and doing the same kind
work in about twenty years.
It looks like the US Dollar is dropping. Yesterday, the Euro broke a new
record since its introduction. The world has been lending the US incredible
large amounts of money in the past decades, if that steady flow of money is
going to be reversed, we could face a real recession, much worse than the one we
are seeing now.
Hugo B., the man who caused the fire on November 20,
last year, was sentensed with three years of imprisonment followed by
compulsory psychological threatment. But because he has already been in
detention awaiting his trail for one year, and because in the Netherlands
criminals usually are release after twothirds of their imprisonment on good
behaviour it is likely that he will be released after one year. He also can
have the psychological threatment in a normal psychological ward, instead
within a closed institution as it usually the case. It was concluded that
his bad relationship with his parents played a major role in his deviating
The Top Givers
One can say a lot about Bill Gates, but not that he is greedy. According to
Business Week he and his wife are the Top Givers in the USA.
This evening, I listened to a recording of the Moonlight sonata by
Beethoven (Adagio sostenuto from Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor,
Op. 27 No. 2). And it made me think about analyzing it. So, I ripped
it to my harddisk, looked at it in a wave editor, and began thinking
about methods to analyze it. Is it really that hard
to write a program
which can determine the notes being played and the exact properties of
these. I also concluded that you need about 50 msec in order to hear
a tone being played.
Clock and computer
This morning, I showed Annabel the digital
clock that my brother once made. It uses four 5mm LED's for each segement.
He never took the effort to build a case for it. The components were
simply screwed on a piece of wood. Annabel said that she wanted to have
it for her bedroom because you can read it at night without having to
switch on the light. I looked around and found a red shoe box. And with
some cutting and duct taping, I got it all into the box and working
again (some wires were broken). A picture to proof it.
While being in the attic, I also decided to take apart
our first PC named
annabel and try to make it into a minimal configuration still
being able to do something usefull. After about an hour the desk
upstairs was filled with loosely connected parts that could be
booted into Linux (version 1.1.59) and be operated from a terminal
on the COM1-port.
This afternoon when went to the library, Annabel
and I looked upstairs for the music scores for Für Elise by
Beethoven. I did find it in a collection of pieces from Beethoven.
I thought that she should now be able to play it. But when we looked at
home, I discovered that the left hand was too hard for here. And even the
right hand did pose some troubles, as her hands are small and she is not
yet good at making positioning her hands fast and accurate.
I was waiting in the back of the church to see if there was any
one needed translation, when the service started. There were still
some empty seats in the front of the church. When I sat down, the
speaker of today asked me if I would mind if he came to sit besides
me. I said no, and immediately moved one seat further. Although he
does not have much formal training, he used to be a carpenter, I
consider him as one of the best speakers that I know. He is simply
very much himself when he speaks, not afraid to make any mistake
or to say or do something strange, ready to make fun of himself or
remark about someone yawning (as he did this morning). He also always
brings an object with him as an illustration for something, or as
a starter. You might get the impression that he kind of clown, and
indeed he usually makes you laugh several times during his preaching,
but that is not the case. I think he is one of the best speakers I
know because he has this rare ability to preach about a well know
verse (one that you know almost by heart) and make it sound like it
is the first time you read it. During our singing time, I saw him
look through the three little sheets of paper containing his notes.
At first I was surprised that he did have notes at all, because I
never got the slighest idea that he was using notes. But maybe he
does not look at his notes at all, but simply takes them with him
in case he would need them. I also saw that he was going to preach
about Revelation 2, and that while we just had someone last month
preaching about that letter to the Ephesians, which seems to a
favourite passage of many preachers. But again he managed to surprise
us in his preaching about this passage.
This afternoon, I decided to try to make some
case for the computer
parts that were laying on the desk in the attic. Please see the
results of my Case Demoding on a separate page.
Ways of thinking
I once passed the entrance test for Mensa, meaning that for one specific test,
(which is said to be an accurate test for a certain mental skill) my score is
higher than 98% of the general population. That entrance test consisted of
three such tests.
On the other two I scored much lower. Does that mean that I have an IQ of 140, and
should be considered as a gifted person. In primary school, I did not perform
exceptional. I was more of an average student, and with respect to reading and
spelling even far below average. I was also not under-performing as many gifted
people are said to be doing. I do remember that I was often bored, but I think
my main problem was that I was dreaming away most of the time. I was even not
very good at doing basic math, simply because I did not see the reason to do all
those sums when I understood the theory behind it. I really wonder if I am that
smarter than the average person. Maybe it is just that I have a different way of
thinking. I am getting the impression that I have a rather diverting thinking
styles and that often my head is filled with the most wildest ideas, and that is
the reason why I am often day dreaming. I am often having a hard time
concentrating on doing "boring" work, and that even during those times, my mind
goes on generating random associations in the form of
Yesterday evening, I talked with the teacher of Annabel
about her progress. Although I am not in the position to assess her intelligence,
I notice some of the same patterns with her. She too is not performing very well
and often playing and dreaming away instead of finishing her work. Because of this
she often needs to be corrected and hands in sloppy work. Of course, I do not
want to be one of these parents complaining that their child is really an
under-performing gifted person. (She did beat me twice with Go,
just before I went of to see the teacher.) And, of course, it is very important for
her to learn to concentrate on her work. I did talk with her afterwards, and we have
decided to implement some changes.
(As a follow-up to a discussion on the
Personally, I feel that "extreme make-overs" and how these are
displayed in the media are not praising God and actually rather judgmental with
respect to our handicapped children, who by the standards of the world are even
less perfect. That is why, I as a Christian, and as the father of a child with a
serious mental handicap, have some moral and ethical problems with how cosmetic
surgery is presented in the media. And I believe that we as Christians should
collect treasures in heaven and not fix ourselves while our brothers and sisters
in other parts of the world suffer hunger and are the subject of prosecutions.
According to an article in the Süddeutsche, the Munich police has been complaining
that the episode "Im Visier" of the Tatort (Scene of the Crime) crime series
is too realistic in the sense that it has revealed confidential information
about how the police operates during an hostage case. A rather revealing
complaint. If they would have kept their mouth, the viewers would probably
have viewed it as fiction.
Yesterday evening, Andy suddenly had a blue
lip. This morning, he had some red spots just under the skin, so, I took him to
the hospital for a blood check, because we fear that his platelets count will be
low, just like two years ago in December.
It did not go very smooth, because they had trouble finding
a vein, so finally they put the needle in his hand. Afterwards he was allowed to
select a little present, as usual. He selected a ring and wanted it on his
finger. He was very happy about it, and all the nurses were talking how the
little ring made his day.
Around half past twelve, I was phoned by Andy's teacher telling that
he got more and more red spots. I contacted the hospital. The results
of the blood test had arrived, and I was requested to bring Andy in
as soon as possible. Around ten past twelve we arrived at the hospital.
We heard that Andy's platelets count was 9 this morning. Indeed rather
low, but not as low as the last time. Our pediatrician subscribed some
Prednison. He did not have to stay in the hospital because he is not
ill, and the other blood parameters were normal. Tomorrow his blood need
to be checked again to see if the Prednison is working. I wonder how many
rings Andy will bring home before the end of the year. The one he picked
this morning, now lies on my keyboard.
This morning, Li-Xia took Andy
to the hospital for another blood check. This afternoon, we heard that the
platelets count is still on 9, the same as yesterday morning. But looking
at his symptoms it looks like he has improved. It might have been the case
that the count did get much lower yesterday morning, and that it actually
has been on the rise since he started to take the Prednison yesterday
afternoon. I wonder whether we will be phoned to have his blood checked
gain tomorrow. It has to be checked again next Monday. I am not so worried
about the count still being low, but that it will become a chronic condition.
"Lootjestrekken" is Dutch for a procedure where a group of people draw
lots for giving each other "surprise" gifts, most commonly used by
teenagers who want to celebrate "Sinterklaas". The problem with this
procedure is that there is always a chance that someone draws himself
near the end of the process of drawing lots, in which case the whole
procedure has to be done again, because otherwise you can figure out who
has drawn you, and not knowing from whom the gifts is, is half of the
fun. The surprise gifts usually are accomplished with a short poem making
fun of the person receiving the gift. These poems have to be read aloud
when the group is present. Now there is a site that helps you with the procedure and has the advantage that not
all people need to be present during the execution of the procedure.
Yes, we got one again, if you write two digits for
the year, and use the Dutch (or Chinese) way of
writing down dates, you get 30-11-03 (or 03.11.30)
This months interesting links
October 2003 |
December 2003 |