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Diary, March 2017

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Friday, March 3, 2017


At 10:19, I bought the book Documenta 11, Platform 5: Austellung | Exhibition: Kurzführer | Short Guide edited by Gerti Fietzek, written in German and English, published by Hatje Cantz Publishers in 2002, ISBN:9783775790871, from charity shop Het Goed for € 1.95.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Spring day

It was said that today would be a nice, almost spring like day. After having visited Li-Xia, I went to Gronau, just across the border in Germany, so see if I could find a nice hard plastic 0.5L bottle, but I could not find one. Next I went to TETEM art space. About half way, while I was biking, I took of my coat, because I began to sweat. At TETEM, I had a look at the exhibition AKI Electrique, which was quite interesting. Next I watched the documentary Biohacking: we need an upgrade by Floor Brock and Laura Okkersen.

At 15:03, I bought the book Less Than Zero written by Bret Easton Ellis in English and republished by Pan Macmillan in 2010, ISBN:9780330518888, from bookshop Broekhuis for € 11.95. Around 15:08, I bought my first soft serve ice cream for one Euro.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


At 17:55, I received the free book Campus in context written by Peter Timmerman and Gert-Jan Hospers written in Dutch and English published by Stichting Stad en Regio & Studium Generale UT on Friday, November 25, 2016, ISBN:9789082550917 from the University of Twente.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Autism Spectrum Disorder

In the past months, I tried to find an answer to the question whether I do have autism spectrum disorder (a form of Asperger Syndrome) or that it is caused by a combination of high non-verbal intelligence with normal verbal intelligence (Too Smart for Words), introversion, near-sightedness (The Theory Behind the Nearsighted Geek), and/or family situation (eldest of five born within four years and four months).

For this I did Faux Pas Recognition and Projective Storytelling Cards tests. The Faux Pas Recognition test is a test for adults whether the have a theory of mind. In each faux pas story, you are told something that is known to first actor in the story and then a second actor is introduced who makes a remark that would be offensive with respect to what you know about the first actor. If you feel that the second actor has made an awkward remark, you might have missed that the second actor did not know about the special fact known to you about the first actor. With some of the stories, I felt that the second actor did made an awkward remark, but then I realized my mistake, when an additional question was asked to me about the story. I noticed that I had problems focussing on the story and processing all the details, because it was at the end of the day, and I already had done a lot of talking. That I did not score very well on this test, might be contributed to other factors, like my language processing problems and being slightly exhausted due to my introversion. I do know that do have a theory of mind, because I am quite good at explaining things (like the rules of Go). I know that I am good at judging what the other person is understanding of the problem and finding ways to increase the understanding.

The Projective Storytelling Cards test consists of a number of drawing of all kinds of social situations and you are being asked what is happening. I probably scored low on this test, because I was taking a rather analytic approach. For some of the situations, I could make up a story about what might be happening, but because I did not have any way to verify it, I did not mention it, becuase I wanted to be factual. In some cases I even could think of several situations and with one situation, with father and a child standing around a pregnant woman, I remarked that pregnancy can be over shadowed by many worries. I am sceptical and a divergent thinker, which prompts met to often generate alternative explainations, where others are satisfied with the most obvious answer.

It is true that as a child I did not have many friends, but it also seems that I did not care much, probably because other boys of my age did not share my interests and I was ahead of them with respect to comprehension of science (astronomy, space flight, electronics and such). I was also an easy child, not having any rigid behaviours or limited interest. It is true that I was not much interested in social activities and that I lacked some abilities with respect to this. My uncorrected near-sightedness during the first seven years of my life probably did hinder my development in this area, not being able to see facial expression from more than a few meters away.

It is true that I do not have many friends and that most contacts with friends are organized, but the friendships I have are not superficial. It is also a fact that intelligent people usually have less friends. I am able to build friendships with both men and women. It is true that I have strong daily routines, but that is mainly because I do not want to spend time thinking about these every day matters. It also true that I stick to some strange routines of recording certain events, but that is mainly a means of giving meaning to my life and/or to give me a feeling of achievement. It is true that I am sensitive for artificial smells and tastes (such as alcohol and artificial sweeters) and that I am sensitive for touch. But although these things are often found with people who have autism, they are not characteristics. I also have no problems with sensory overload. I do noticed, that now that I get older, that I have more problems with concentrating when there are a lot of distractions around, but I understand that that happens to all people when they get older. I cannot remember having experienced a typical autistic meltdown, but I have experienced a type of shutdowns, which seem to be different (at least with respect to cause) from autistic shutdowns. There have been moments that I felt so emotional or rational confused, that I did not know how to proceed further, because every move seemed to make things worse. At these times, I just need to be alone to organize my thoughts. If people press me to make a move during such shutdowns, they only make things worse. The best way out is usually giving me the opportunity to write in my diary. It always helps me to write about what I am feeling of thinking, as a way to organize my emotions and thought and take some distance from them.

Although some people have concluded that I am within the spectrum, and then only at the most lowest level of severity, I tend to conclude that I am probably not, because there are other factors that could explain my behaviour, just like not every nerd is on the spectrum.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Internet of Women Things

Today, I went to see the Internet of Women Things exhibition at TETEM art space. I sniffed the ten bottles from Smell Dating that contained a piece of T-shirt worn by someone for three days and rated their attractiveness. Some other woman who did this before me, was quite sure for some of the bottles whether T-shirt inside it was worn by a man or a woman. I noticed that my judgement (attractive, neutral, or unattractive) did match, except in one case, with the highest number of votes as shown to be cast by others. The person with the highest number of attractive votes, was a "27 years old, single, gay, male, smoker, eats everything". He did receive more unattractive votes than neutral votes, which might suggest that some people can smell if a person is gay. There were three persons who got more attractive than neutral and more neutral than unattractive votes. There was also a person with zero attractive votes. Although the instructions on the website says that you should not use a deodorant while wearing the T-shirt, the woman before me immediately said: "She is using my deodorant" when she smelled one of the bottles. Quite weird to intensly smell the T-shirts of some strangers, while it is not done to do this when you meet someone for the first time, at least not very consciously.

I also met with Marina Toeters from, who had just given a small workshop (for children) about how to intergrate LED's into clothing. I told her about Eth:0 and how I met a woman also working on wearable electronics. She showed me some of the things she had brought. I also told her a little about TkkrLab and how we have people solving problems with respect to programming small devices. She also worked on Cliff: the automatized zipper and I shared the idea of using a spiral to open and close a zipper that I had got when looking at it. While biking home, I thought some more about it and I also shared the idea with Annabel.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Om mani padme hum

Last Friday, I met a woman who had some handcrafted singing bowls. She showed me that they had some text on the outside, and told me that she did not know the meaning and would like to know it. I got a little interested in singing bowls. I discovered that handcrafted singing bowls are made from bell metal, which is a type of bronze with about 78% copper and 22% tin by mass. Machined singing bowls are often made from brass. I came along the page about Om mani padme hum and noticed that the Tibetan text very much looked like what I remembered from the symbols. This morning, I met with the woman again, and we studied the symbols. I wrote them down, actually not writing, but more drawing. Some information about how the characters should be written can be found in Tibetan Calligraphy and Tibetan Language correspondence course. I spend some time studying the Tibetan alphabet. After some puzzling, I arrived at: (If this does not display correctly, please visit how to configure your browser for Tibetan script.) This breaks down into: Then I realized that I should also be able to get this from the wikipedia page. There it gives: Which is different for the last character, which uses: It seems that TIBETAN VOWEL SIGN AA + TIBETAN VOWEL SIGN U is rendered in the same way as TIBETAN VOWEL SIGN UU, probably because of Unicode normalization. For the first character one could also use ༀ TIBETAN SYLLABLE OM. On one of the bowls, there was also a shorter mantra with only three syllables. I am not sure how the middle character should be rendered. I came up with: The middle character consists of TIBETAN LETTER A with either  ྄ TIBETAN MARK HALANTA or  ཱ TIBETAN VOWEL SIGN AA. I guess it should be rendered as Om ah hum, also known as the mantra of purification, as sang by a children choir.


When I arrived home, I noticed that some flowers of our magnolia had opened. I took a moment to smell the scent of the flowers.

Thursday, Maart 30, 2017


When I came home, about half of the flowers of our magnolia had opened. I took time to take some pictures. Also this macro picture shown on the right.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Rodin: Genius at work

I went to Groningen where I met with woman who I know through Go. We went to visit the exhibition Rodin: Genius at work at the Groninger Museum. Personally, I am more attracted to abstract art, but I have to admit that I was impressed by this exhibition. I had never realized how much of a thinker Auguste Rodin was. I also did not realize that he had people for him work on some of his most famouse works. I a sense, he was a rather modern sculputer and exploring new directions. I was also impressed by the mascularity of his male figures and the femininity of his female figures. We also saw the rather erotic statue on top of a book, mysteriously called "Ecclesiastes", probably in refering to it famous second verse of that book in the Bible.

We also went to see the exhibition of the collection of Groninger Museum. There we found Cluster 6 by Peter Struycken. I also liked Winterlandschap 1839 by Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, the works by Wobbe Alkema, and Elzenboompjes, huizen en Martinitoren by Job Hansen.

Afterwards, we walked around the city, visiting some shops: Second hand bookshop and art dealer Albert Hogeveen, Kunstkadootje, and Wirwar, a games and puzzle shop. We also sat on a bench on a small square near the entrance of the faculties of Dutch literature and law of the Universiy of Groningen. At the market we got some vegatables and prepared us some meal. In the evening, we visited the bar where the members of the Go club from Groningen come together to have some drinks and play a game of go, if they are in the mood. I had to leave rather soon, in order to catch the forelast train home. That was a good decision, because the transfer at Zwolle was very tight, and I might have missed it if I had not ran. I made a KML file for Google Earth of the route that I walked in Groningen (view in Google Maps).

This months interesting links

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