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Diary, June 1996

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Monday, June 6, 1996

Losing keys, or losing my mind

Last Saturday, I could not find my keys any more. We decided to go into the town, and I put on my coat. In the evening we search for a long time, turning almost who the house upside down, and still could not find them. Then I checked my coat again. And surprise, surprise, there I found my keys in one of the pockets. How is it possible. Am I losing my mind?

Abstract Intelligence

I believe there are many forms of intelligence, as I have observed many people who solved certain types of problems much faster than I, while there were also problems that I solved much easier. I would define abstract intelligence as intelligence related to abstraction.

Each form of intelligence can be measured (to a certain extend) in quantative numbers. Below I would like to give an initial list of measurements that I feel would be related to abstract intelligence:

(To be continued in following entries)

Tuesday, June 4, 1996

Bert playing the organ

Bert is a friend of me who used to live with me, but was forced to move out when I was going to get married. But by accident he could get an appartment in the same building. Last year he got married as well, so now he is living up-stairs with Cornelise. Yesterday evening they were visiting us (to finish some left-over cake), and I remind him that he promised to play some organ pieces from Bach. When he was still staying with me, I always enjoyed listing to him playing the organ. For a long I wanted to buy some CD's with the pieces that he played. So, Bert and I left Cornelise and Li-Xia (with Annabel) down-stairs, so he could play something for me. First he played the toccata from `Toccata and Fuga in D Dorish' (BWV 538 ?), and parts from `Toccata and Fuga in F Major', `Toccata and Fuga in C Major', but not the very famous `Toccata and Fuga in D Minor' (BWV 565 ?) (although he can play that one as well). Furthermore he played the first parts from `Fantasia and Fuga in G Minor' and `Fuga in G Minor'. He also mentioned the `Pascalia' to me.

Thursday, June 6, 1996

Today is a 6-6-6 day. Those of us who are superstitious should be careful :-).


Since Saturday the temperature has gradually increased to summer-time levels. It is becoming hot in the building again.

Today I finished my comments on the first chapter of ``Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance''. Today I also completed a stable version of the CoCoA parser/type-checker. Please let me know if you want to get the sources.

Friday, June 7, 1996

Today I received an email from Robert Harley containing some of his contributions for my collection of signature programs. I checked out his home page, and found some interesting things (with numbers), and a image of the the only simple perfect square of order 21 found by Prof. A. Duivestijn.


License for InterNet use

The Tattoo urban legende is appeared in the newsgroups again. Someway I think it would be good if people should follow a short course about the netigquets and the working of the InterNet before they are allowed to post on the newsgroups.

Carolyn's diary

It seems her diary has now its own site at

Monday, June 10, 1996

Last Saturday evening I watched the program Omega from EO. During the program I heared two first-hand stories of Messianic Jews (believing that Jesus is the Messiah) having seen angles. It seems that many of the Jews that came to believe that Jesus is the Messiah had dreams and/or visions.

Books by Shinzo Maeda

I dropped a query at the Netherlands Antiquarian Booksellers' Network for his books.

Tuesday, June 11, 1996

A diamond

Yesterday afternoon, I was on my way biking to get
Annabel from the day-care centre, when I saw something flashing on the street. I noticed that it was not a usual flash, as from a piece of glass, but that there was a spectrum sweep, implying some kind of prisma. I notice a blue coloured stone at from the spot, where I saw the flash. But because I was in a hurry, I had to go on.

After I got Annabel, I passed the spot where I saw the flash, turned and found a diamond shaped object. I could not study it in detail, because of Annabel on the bike. While biking home, I thought of bringing it to `lost & found'. This morning I found it in my pocket, and finally could study it. It became clear to me that it was just a worthless piece of glass, roughly shaped in the form of a diamond.

Drawing graphs

If you like make nice drawings of graphs, you should have a look at the GD96 Graph-Drawing Contest.

Kite Aereal Photograph

I looked at the pages about Kite Aereal Photograph. It seems to be a realy funny hobby.

Monday, June 17, 1996

A verse

    I am Thy servant;
        give me understanding,
    That I may know Thy testimonies
Yesterday, I picked this verse, when we had our monthly `The Lord's Supper' celebration. There is something very special in this eating of a piece of bread and this drinking of a sip of wine. It is not always the same, but yesterday, when the person handing me the cup of wine said: `The Lord blesses you', it was if
Jesus Himself stood in front of me, and the only thing I thought was: `Yes Lord, I know'. At that moment I felt both how unworthy I am to be loved by Him, and how He has accepted me in His love.

(more faith related entries)

Geek Site of the Day

This morning I received the following email message:
From: Scott Louis Ruthfield
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 00:01:02 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>

This is just to inform you that your site has been chosen as today's
Geek Site of the Day. Considering the massive number of sites
(implicitly) competing for that honor, I do hope you're pleased. Feel
free to check out the site ( and
link to it if you'd like.

I got this reward for my Signature Program page. Maybe now the time has come to make my Geek Code. Here it is:
Version: 3.1
GCS d+ s: a C++$ UC+L+S+$ P L++ E- W++>$ N++ o? K? w-- V Y PGP
t+>-- R-- tv- b+>+++ e+++ h---- r+++ y+++
Decode it. (Made with the Geek Linker made by Robert C. Williges)

Drawing graphs

In my previous entry I mentioned the graph drawing contest. Please have a look at the Graph Drawing Tools and Related Work, if you are still interested in this.

New moderator for comp.society.folklore

Today, I found about 11 new articles in the comp.society.folklore news group, including one from the new moderator, Eric Fischer, saying: I guess my email to Joel Furr was not serious enough.

Thursday, June 20, 1996

Today I analysed the server log files, to see how many people accessed my page about signature programs as a result of the Geek Site of the Day announcement. Here are the numbers: Not bad for a page which gets about 5 hits a day on average. So far, I did not receive any email with comments or additions. This again proves that WWW is a rather one-way thing.

Further analysis shows that 202 people looked up the diary entry of February 14, 1996, explaining why I call Li-Xia my `girl-friend'. About 111 people queried Li-Xia's home page. About 451 people retrieved my home page, 37 looked at the page of Annabel, and 24 looked at our family album.


Monday, June 24, 1996

To China

Last weekend we decided to think about going to Urumqi, China, to visit Li-Xia's family.


Urumqi can be found in the upper-left corner of the map of China, or in upper-right part of the map of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The Day 22 of the 10-40 window project gives some interesting information about Urumqi. Read about Turpan. WebFest has a report about The Heavenly Lake (link broken) near Urumqi. Joyce Kozloff made the Urumqi Ceramic Panel as part of the Around the World on the 44th Parallel project. Project 98 in the Major Technology Projects Scheduled for 1993-2000 consist of improving the highway between Urumqi and Turpan, going through the village Dahuangshan (which is only known for a famous song refering to it, but apart from that really of no importance at all). I travelled on this highway on October 29, 1993. I wonder whether it has been improved by now. At that time it was still a two lane road of average quality. All of China's nuclear tests were performed in Lop Nor, which is about 265 kilometres south-east of Urumqi.

There are some people coming from (around) Urumqi that have a home page:

Quote from C.S. Lewis

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'THY will be done.' All that are in Hell choose it. Without that self-choice, there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek, find. To those who knock, it is opened.
(C.S. Lewis: The Great Divorce, Chap. 9, pp 72-73.)

Felix Cattenburg

Felix is 32 year old inhabitant of Amsterdam who has to undergo a liver transplantation. He is keeping a diary (in Dutch) of what is happening to him. To day the first examinations started.

Wednesday, June 26, 1996

Going to China

Yesterday we made the reservations for our flight to Beijing. We will be flying to Beijing on July 27 (arriving there the next day), and coming back on August 25. On Sunday July 28 we want to fly to Urumqi. That seems to cause some problems. We can make reservations here in Holland, but we have to pay the tickets there. They could not even tell us the currency. This sounds a big problems. We have to bring USD probably, as travel checks might not be acceptable. Then it can happen we have to exchange the dollars for FEC (Foreign Exchange Currency). Exchange into Yen is still not possible, and it is illegale to import/export Yen. I did not know this. We still have some Yen at home. It is also not clear where we have to pay the tickets: at the airport, or somewhere in Beijing which is about 2 hours driving, depending on where you have to go. As we stop over for 7 hours, driving to Beijing might be possible, but I cannot imagine if we what happens if we meet a trafic jam.

When we had dinner in the mensa, we met a Chinese friend. He told us that he too is going to Beijing (that is where he comes from), and that he will go there before us. He remarked that he might be able to buy a ticket. That would be very nice, as we might also get the Chinese price for Li-Xia, who has the Chinese nationality, which might save us some money. Foreigners usually pay around 80% more.

The (weekly) Houll Diary

John Coutts is keeping an on-line diary which is more of a weekly.

Sorting a list

Most sorting algorithms work on arrays. Lawrence Kirby made a request on comp.lang.c for (Quick) sort algorithm on list. This made me think about my fast variation of the bubble sort algorithm. When writing the list version, I discovered a bug in the versions that already have been there for more than a year. From this I must conclude that nobody ever tried them, and/or discovered the bug.

Thursday, June 27, 1996

Today I analysed the server log files (again), to see how many people accessed my page about signature programs. Here are the numbers: What surprises me is that there is again an increas of accesses this week. On last Tuesday the page was read most frequently. Maybe someone has posted the page somewhere else. This calls for an Alta Vista search.

Further analysis shows that 504 people looked up the diary entry of February 14, 1996, explaining why I call Li-Xia my `girl-friend'. About 268 people queried Li-Xia's home page. About 616 people retrieved my home page, 84 looked at the page of Annabel, and 65 looked at our family album.

Going to China

This evening we paid for the tickets for our flight to Beijing, which means we are going. They could not make reservations for a flight from Beijing to Urumqi. So it seems true that you cannot buy tickets for flights inside P.R. of China outside the country. This means we have to resort to friends, to help us with buying the tickets, which might turn out cheaper. But who knows, maybe we get stuck in Beijing and have to stay there for four weeks.

Walking through the city

This evening I went into the old-church building in the centre of the city, because there was a photo-exhibition from young photographers (studying at the local art school). There was a stricking contrast between the pictures seen through the coloured glass-in-lead and the pictures on display. One picture showed a naked girl on completely white background, with stretched out arms, holding a remote control in one of her hands, suggesting that it was a self-portrait. This picture combined the two things that seems to grip these young artists most: (naked) bodies and themselves.

Friday, June 28, 1996


This morning I dreamt that Annabel could speak. She finally has started speaking some words. This afternoon she said `papa' through the phone. She is also very busy at the moment, and causing us a lot of problems while shopping (and such).

Trip to China

This morning I asked for information about vacinations. Our vacinations from three years ago, are still valid, but Annabel might need some shots.

Li-Xia tried to contact Uncle Lin in Beijing. He is the head for the internal paper for the national weather forcasting institute. He also wrote some books about the climate of China. Although we call him Uncle Lin, he is not really an uncle of Li-Xia (although they share the same surname), but he is a cousin of the wife of a cousin of Li-Xia's mother. But in a society in which family is rather important people tend to extend the concept of who is family to a broader group of people than in our society. She failed to phone him, and it looks if the phone number changed again. Phone number change too often in China as a result of the chaotic growth of the telephone system.

We also quickly wrote a letter, with copies of our passports to Uncle Lin.

People standing in a circle

There was a nice puzzle posted on alt.puzzles: I quickly wrote a small program for it, which generates the following output:
  2   1
  3   3   2
  4   1   1   2
  5   3   4   1   2
  6   5   1   5   1   4
  7   7   4   2   6   3   5
  8   1   7   6   3   1   4   4
  9   3   1   1   8   7   2   3   8
 10   5   4   5   3   3   9   1   7   8
 11   7   7   9   8   9   5   9   5   7   7
 12   9  10   1   1   3  12   5   2   5   6  11
 13  11  13   5   6   9   6  13  11   2   4  10   8
 14  13   2   9  11   1  13   7   6  12   1   8   7  13
 15  15   5  13   1   7   5  15  15   7  12   5   5  12   4
 16   1   8   1   6  13  12   7   8   1   7   1   2  10   3  11
 17   3  11   5  11   2   2  15  17  11   1  13  15   7   1  10  12
 18   5  14   9  16   8   9   5   8   3  12   7  10   3  16   8  11   8
 19   7  17  13   2  14  16  13  17  13   4  19   4  17  12   5   9   7  12
 20   9  20  17   7  20   3   1   6   3  15  11  17  11   7   1   6   5  11   2
... and more 
I do not see any obvious structure in the numbers returned. I do not believe that there exists a simple closed expression using N and K. It must at least be something recursive.


Another AOL Teenage Runaway Gets Caught

From:        (TELECOM Digest Editor)
Date:        Mon, 24 Jun 1996 13:09:13 EDT
Newsgroups:  comp.dcom.telecom

Call it love at first byte I guess.

James Wilson, 15, of East Dundee, Illinois is the latest America On Line teenage chat user to run off to meet a new friend from online. He rode his bicycle to Chicago, bought a $149 Greyhound bus ticket to Boston and then *walked* twenty miles to Hingham, MA -- just to meet a girl he corresponded with on his computer.

This time it really was an actual female -- a fifteen year old Hingham girl he had chatted with for four months every Friday and Saturday night via America Online. During that four months he had saved up money from his paper route and from mowing lawns.

She was expecting him and they planned to meet at her home last Wednes- day afternoon, although she had no idea of the pains he went through to meet her. Later she expressed amazement at the effort he had gone to for the planned meeting.

James, an honors student at St. Edward High School in Elgin, Illinois originally planned to ride his bike all the way, but he gave up on that after about a forty mile bike ride from his home to the Greyhound Station at the junction of Interstates 90, 94 and 57 on the south side of Chicago.

He finally got to Hingham and a mere half-block from the girl's house Wednesday morning at 3:00 a.m. (he left home Monday morning; boarded the bus later Monday and arrived in Boston Tuesday in the late afternoon) when he was stopped by the Hingham police for being out after their curfew. It did not take long for police to find out the kid was already listed as missing by his parents back in Illinois. By 6:30 a.m. just three hours later James was on a plane from Boston back to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago where Chicago Police met the plane with his parents when it arrived later that morning. James never did get to meet his computer pal.

Hingham police Lt. John Kichler said James had planned to wait until a decent hour in the morning to actually go to the door of the house. Police did confirm that the planned meeting was 'legitimate', i.e. the person he planned to meet was a girl his own age. Kichler noted that, "This is our first Internet love affair in Hingham, and I am sure it does not happen to many people across the country."

James now complains that he has been 'severely' grounded. He is not permitted to leave his house, his AOL account has been cancelled and the money from his paper route and lawn mowing job have to be turned over to his parents entirely to help pay for the plane ticket from Boston back to Chicago.

He said he still hopes to meet his online friend face to face but agrees it will probably not be in the near future.

The girl and her parents were embarassed by the whole situation and she has been warned by her parents about giving out addresses and phone numbers to people over the computer.

Call it a modern day Romeo and Juliet story I guess, but one which had a safe if not altogether happy ending for Romeo.

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