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Diary, November 2007

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 25  26  27  28  29  30

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Balloon contest

On Sunday, September 9, our church held a balloon contest, and Annabel also released a helium filled balloon, just for fun. Today, they announced the result. Seven cards had been returned. One was without name. One was just from an address 2 Km away. But the funny thing was that todays speaker had lived at the address for most of his youth. It happened that the furthers away, was the balloon of Annabel. It was found by a man living in Rocherath in the South of Belgium near the German border, 209 Km away. Rocherath is a village in Büllingen, a German language-speaking municipality. Rocherath at 650 meter is the highest village in Belgium. Annabel got a book as her price. This is the second time that she wins a balloon contest. The first time was with a primary school she attended in Almelo.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Unique child

This afternoon, I went to the school of Andy to talk about his education plan. It is a very detailed plan with many subdivisions. For each subdivision it states the pervious goal, some observations, the new goal, and a motivation. All the goals are taken from a master plan. We also discussed how Andy want to keep an eye on everything that is going on around him. Although the clearly stated, as they did before, that Andy is not autistic, they did remark that he had some autistic-like behaviours. At the end they said that there is no child like Andy in the whole school. That means that he is rather unique child.

Playing Go

It was quite late when Annabel and I left for the university to play Go. For this reasons I thought there was no need to bring a board and stones. But when we arrived around nine, it appeared that there was only one board, because the people who usually bring the board and stones were absent. Shortly after we arrived, Daan suggested that he would go home to catch a set. When he returned, he invited me for a game. He had not played for some years and used to be a 7 Kyu player. We decided to play without handicap. In the middle of the game it looked like I had a stronger position. But he managed to steal a substantial number of points by playing sharp. At the end of the game, we both thought that we had lost, but it turned out I had lost with eight and a half points (including the komi). However, if you consider his former strength, than the result is not bad for me. In the meantime, Annabel played two games against Araldo. The first, on a 19x19 board with nine stones ahead, she lost with about twenty points. The second, on a 13x13 board with four stones ahead, she lost with only two points.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Flight from the Enchanter

This morning, I finished reading the book The Flight from the Enchanter by Iris Murdoch. I think I have to agree with the Times Literary Supplement review, which ends with "yet few possibly will have any great feeling of satisfaction when they put it down". I found the start of the story very boring. The first real action only comes in about the middle of the book. I also feel that the characters are like bouncing balls in the sense that any real interaction never seems to endure long. Often they seem to be abondend due to unexpected events taking place. In a sense this gives me a very unsatisfactory feeling, like nothing is really happening in the book.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I read on the website of a local newspaper that the police had found 176 kilo of illegal fireworks in a barn in the street where I live. That means we are missing a nice fireworks display at new years day. Now that I read this, I remembered hearing some fireworks go of in one of the past days.

Playing Go

This evening, Annabel and I arrived around half past eight at the university to play Go. We found Taco waiting. I asked him for a game and we decided on a nine stone handicap for him. Not much later Rudi arrived. Right at the start I made a big mistake and after a desperate attempt to save my stones, I lost them. In the middle game it looked like it was rather balanced, but Taco managed to eat away some points here and there, and I lost with 24 points. In the meanwhile, Annabel had played one game against Rudi on a 19x19 board, which she resigned. Then the played three games of Hex. Then she also played a little against me, while I was still playing against Taco. We finished the game. On the way home she complained that she did not like playing against Rudi because I sees through all her tricks. I told her that in a sense she is much faster than me, but that she has to learn to abandon to play tricks and learn to play on a higher level.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything

Today, I looked through the paper An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything by A. Garrett Lisi. Much of what is written in this paper goes far beyond my comprehension. It has some nice figures with all kinds of symbols and colours. It would not surprise me if this paper will become a corner stone in modern physics. The theory is based on the algebra E8, which is the most complex of its kind. Another interesting fact is that Garrett Lisi is surfer. Later, I discovered that some websites depict this paper as nonsense and say that Lisi is a crank.

Friday, November 16, 2007

An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything (Part 2)

I found a nice explaination on Slashdot bu Daniel Barkalow. It reads: For more on this, see the Wikipedia article.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sky burial

This afternoon, I finished reading (the Dutch translation of) the book Sky burial by Xinran Xue. When I bought the book yesterday from De Slegt, I had not thought I would finish it so soon. A found it a very facinating story and very informative about life in inland Tibet. I wonder how many people in Tibet still live in the manner as described in this book.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. When we arrived Taco was already there, and not much later, Rudi arrived. After we waited for some time, Rudi suggested that he would play simulatiously against Taco and me. I was given nine stones ahead. Annabel was busy with doing her homework for Frence. After she was done, she asked me to play against her. So, I too ended up playing simulatiously. I played two games against her in which I was given two stones ahead. Both games she lost. About halfway the second game, Martin Medema arrived. We had not seen him for a long time, but the last time he had made a promise to Annabel. (On January 5, 2005, he taught her Havannah.) He had a present for Annabel with him, the book Genieten van het Heelal (Enjoying the Universe) by Rob Walrecht. I lost with 32 points in my game against Rudi.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

New computer

Today, Annabel and I went into the city and we bought a new computer, a Q-Motion with XP, and a new monitor from Media Markt. After I installed the computer, I noticed that the fan makes a lot of noise, far more than any other computer we have owned. I found this rather disappointing.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

The computers

After having fixed a leak in our waterbed, I spend the rest of the day installing the new computer, which I named johan. This computer replaces the place of lixia. Two days ago, we already placed it on the kitchen table, after we moved lixia to the low table in the living room. (The kitchen and the living room are joined in our house.) This evening, Annabel and I moved lixia to her room. Earlier this week, I already laid a network cable to her room. I have concluded that it is the case fan of johan that makes all the noise. I think I am going to replace it myself, because if I have to do it through Media Markt it will at least take two weeks before. Anyway, I am also considering to install the extra hard disk and the video-capturing card from lixia because Annabel does not make use of these.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Chinese Wooden Puzzle

This evening, I wrote a small program to process an output file produced by the program for finding solutions for the Chinese Wooden Puzzle, which I develop earlier this year. I modified the program slightly, to find all solutions where there are only two pieces of each kind within a 10 by 6 frame. The output file is about 15 Mbyte and contains 239433 solutions. It contains 141906 unique solutions. The small program I wrote was to normalize all solutions with respect to the two symmetric axes. I had expected that it would find four (or a multiple of four) equivalent solutions for each unique solution. But to my surprise, for many unique solution, there was just one. It found 64486 unique solutions. The question now is, where is the error?

This months interesting links

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