This morning, there was a thin layer of snow
on the ground. The layer is so thin that it did not even cover everything.
We just have a cold week behind us with the temperature dropping as low as
12 degrees Celsius below zero, and although temperatures are around zero
now, they are expected to drop again next week. It for the first time in
many years that it has been possible to skate on ice outside, which
already has led to some casualties of people falling through the ice.
Here a small graph of the temperature profile from
the closest weather station of the last week.
This morning, when I went outside, I heard the cracking sound of
snow under my feet. There was about half a
centimeter of snow on the ground. But not on the trees and plants.
During the day there was some more snow, but because the temperature
is above zero, the snow also started to melt away.
In the evening, we got some more serious snow, about one centimeter,
which also stayed on the trees and plants, and thus turned the world
This morning, the world is white because of the snow that fell during the night, about two or three centimeter.
During the rest of the day, it did not snow any more. Because the
temperature rose barely above the freezing point of water, the snow
stayed for the rest of the day.
In the morning there was a thin layer of fresh snow
and this afternoon there was some more snow around
Enschede, which I did not see, because I was out of town.
A lot of the snow from last weekend and Monday is
still here, because the temperature mostly stayed
below zero degrees Celsius. Especially yesterday
evening, it was rather cold. When I biked home yesterday
from the Alzheimer Café the temperature was around
-14 degrees Celsius. It dropped even a little further,
but after midnight, when clouds came in from the North-West
temperatures rose. Just before sunrise the temperature was
around -6. There was also an interesting temperature profile
during the night where the South-East part of the Netherlands
was almost 20 degrees Celsius colder than the North-West part
of the country.
Today, we had some very light snow
falling from the fog that was present during the day.
In the evening, when I left the office, I saw millions
of ice crystals glitter under the streetlights. All the
thin branches of the trees became white, which also is
a beautifull sight.
The above graph shows the temperature from noon January 4
till noon today from the closest weather station. (In the
figure the evening and night have been marked with grey.)
Today, it is the first time in six days that the temperature
comes above the freezing point. As a result of this,
the snow that fell last week, is still
present. It is still unclear whether the cold will continue
This evening, we had to peel potatoes for a califlower
oven dish. We needed 700 gram potatoes. Annabel wanted
to weigh the potatoes before peeling, but I remarked that
about 10% would be lost during the peeling. Annabel
did not believe this. We decided to perform a measurement.
One potato weigh 136 gram and we calculated that after
peeling it would weigh 122 gram. I peeled it and when we
put it on the scale it weigh 114 gram. She argued that
during that I had both peeled the skin and remove the
pits, and that most weight was lost by removing the pits.
We did another experiment. We started with a potato that
weigh 190 gram. After peeling the skin it weigh 166 (a loss
12.6%) and after removing the pits (spots where the roots
grew out) it weigh 160 (an additional loss of 3.2%).
The first potato had lost 16.1%, which is only 0.3% more
than the second. So, clearly, the first must also have
lost more than 10% of the weigh by peeling.
This evening, I went to the university to play Go. It has been more than a month ago. When I entered the building, I already
heard music, which was coming from the open stage
evening organized by Apollo. During the night, one after the other band
wound get on stage and perform for some time. Not long
after me, Taco arrived, and we agreed to play with a seven
stone handicap for him. Araldo also arrived and watch us
play. At one point, my group in the left down corner got
into trouble, and I soon felt that it was lost. I still
made some desperate attempts to save it, but when I was
convinced that it was lost, I resigned. Then Taco showed
me how I could have saved it. Araldo asked (shouted) if
any of us wanted to play, and I suggested that he should
play against Taco. After going to the restrooms, I watched
their game. Araldo had to resign. Although it was already
late, I asked Taco if we could analyse our game, we did
make a start, but after 35 moves we were not sure about
the next move, and decided to quit our analyses.
This afternoon, I arrived around a quarter to four
at bookshop Broekhuis to
discover that they now had a 80% discount on all the books
that were on sale. The shop was filled with people some of
them big piles of books under their arm. Soon, after started
searchin, Li-Xia found me. She was
also in the shop. I selected the following items:
Li-Xia helped me carrying the books I selected. She also
gave some advice, and suggested that I should buy Fleur.
I had seen the book by Bart Chabot last sale, but later regretted that I did not buy it. I
was very happy to see it again. We left the shop around
a quarter to five and went to bookshop "De Slegte", where she showed me a book about
Chinees defense structures. Quite an interesting book, especially
now that I am following the Great Wall on Google Earth, but it costed almost 60 euro, which I found
a little too much.
This afternoon, Annabel bought
me some bright orange Mr.Lacy flatties shoe laces. In the evening, we put them
on my walking boots and I took a picture. Annabel has a group, called Ruilen van veters, on a Dutch social network site about
(ex)changing shoe laces. It already has 450 members including
me, so I felt I had some obligation to change my shoe laces.
Li-Xia often fries some
peas for me, because I like to eat some when I feel a
bit ungry in the evening. Early this morning, she also
fried some, but they turned out a little sticky. When
I looked at them, this afternoon, I felt like making
a pea soup out of them. I looked around the internet
a little, because I never made some pea soup myself,
and decided to give it a try. I added some water to
the deep frying pan. Next I added two thinly sliced carrots,
two chopped unions and one chopped potatoe. Also added
about two teaspoons of turmeric mixed with some other
I put it on a low fire and let it simmer while often taking
a look and stiring a little. At first I was afraid that had
added too much water, but after about one and half hour
the soup became quite thick, and I declared the pea soup
ready after I tasted some. (Picture.) Li-Xia also enjoyed eating the soup
(picture) and even
Annabel gave it a try.
She did not like it very much.
Today, the court decided that Geert Wilders should be prosecuted with respect to
his statements about Islam and his film Fitna. After the attorney general declared
that there was no reason for prosecution, some people
started a procedure to fight this decision.
De meeste uitlatingen zijn in de opvatting van het hof
tevens beledigend, nu zij de moslimgelovigen wezenlijk
in hun religieuze waardigheid aantasten. In de opvatting
van het hof heeft Wilders ook door de symbolen van het
moslimgeloof aan te tasten wel degelijk de moslimgelovigen
According to the Court of Appeal most statements are
insulting as well since these statements substantially
harm the religious esteem of the Islamic worshippers.
According to the Court of Appeal Wilders has indeed
insulted the Islamic worshippers themselves by affecting
the symbols of the Islamic belief as well.
In the past months there has been some debate about the
abolishment of an article of the law with respect to blasphemy.
But the government, represented by Minister Ballin, wants
to extend article 173c, which speaks about offending
groups of people, such that it also includes statemenst about
the faith or convictions of groups of people. So far, Wilders
only has made statements about the Islam in general or about
the Quran, never about Muslims. Now it seems that the court
has already adopted the extention, which is regarded by many
as a grave restriction of the freedom of speech in the Netherlands.
This evening, I went to the university to
play Go. Because I left a little late,
I found Rudi and Huub talking. We talked a little more, before
Rudi played simultaneously agains Huub and I. Huub played
slightly faster, and lost with 19 points. Rudi had a seven
stone handicap while playing against me. I made some mistakes
in the last part of the game, and was quite sure I had lost.
But Rudi said it was close, and when we counted, we discovered
that we both had fifty points, and Rudi exclaimed:
Jigo. As far
as I can remember it is our first game that ended like this.
(Partial game record.)
This morning, I finished reading
the book Zibaldone, which is a translated anthology by
Frans van Doornen of
Zibaldone di pensieri by
I bought this book on Saturday, April 26, 2008
from bookshop De Slegte for 4 euro.
I started reading it on May 2, 2008. It took me a long time to
finish this book, because it is not very easy. For some time,
I just put it down and read other books. About a month ago I
picked it up, and finished reading the latter half of the book
rather quickly. I don't know if this is because the second half
of the book is easier to read, or for some other reason. It is
not a book I would recommend to everyone to read, as some parts
are hard to grasp. But once in a while, he makes some interesting
observation. Generally speaking, his view of life on earth is
rather pessimistic, or "realistic" as an pessimist would say.
This afternoon, I discovered that I am not the only one
who collects rubber bands. I found
this bike, with at least one kilo of rubber bands around the handle
bars. I could not resist taking a picture.
Today is the first day of the year 4706, the year of the ox,
according to the Chinese calendar. This is both the year of
Andy and I, meaning that this
year we will have our 12th and 48th
birthdays, respecitively. The Chinese also believe that your
year is good, so will be the next eleven years. Today, also
the Spring Festival started, the most important holiday for
This afternoon, I got an email from Ton, with who
I used to play Go often. He is now
very much into playing Hex and even had
a website about
This evening, I arrive quite late at the university to and I
found Rudi and Huub already playing a game. I watched them
play. Rudi had got a nine stone handicap, but he won with
about thirty points. Next, Huub and I played a game where
I got a four stone handicap. At one point I felt I should
resign, but Rudi made a suggestion about a move that looked
rather innocent. I immediately understood the idea behind it,
but Huub did not see it, and I could connect a group of mine
that was dead. Then I also managed to create another living
group. But it was obvious that I was obvious that I was a
lot behind. I lost with more than fourty points.
(Game record as I recalled it.)
Today, when I went into the city, I came along the bike
that I photographed last Saturday
with all the rubber bands
around the handle bars. But now it looked
different because someone had set the rubber bands
Andy has not learned to use
a handkerchief to clean his nose, and simple uses the
sleeve of his left arm. The past week he has been
suffering from a cold and some of his nasal mucus
was sticking on his cheek. Both Li-Xia and I had made some attempts to remove
the dried-up mucus, but he strongly resisted us. This
afternoon, Li-Xia wanted to make another attempt, and
again failed. But then she got a mirror and showed him
his face. The funny thing is that Andy immediately
requested Li-Xia to remove the mucus.
This months interesting links