I write, therefore I am
With this variation on a famous statement by the philosopher Descartes, I would like to express that the act of writing about what happens in my life is important to me.
Noise Engine 1In the evening, I went to TkkrLab, where there were but a few people. I bought a breadboard from the vending machine and went to experiment with the 40106 IC from the 4000-series integrated circuits, which has six inverting Schmitt triggers. I used three of these to make a circuit. For a short demo, see the Noise Engine 1 YouTube video.
WitheredThis afternoon, I discovered that the little cestnut tree has withered. I must admit that I have not watered the flower pot is planted in and that it must not have had enough water due to the extreme dry and sunny weather of the past weeks. I will try to remember to water it in the coming weeks.
Resistance against measuresThe resistance against the COVID-19 measures is increasing in particular agains the 1.5 meter distance rule. Yesterday, the weather during Ascension day was quite nice, so many parks, beaches and recreation areas were crowded and many people ignored the distancing rules. Some people from the catering industry have started a facebook group agains the measures, which are difficult to apply when they are allowed to open on the first of June. There is also criticism from scientists, like a Ira Helsloot, professor of Safety Management at Radboud University, who states (Google translate translation from Dutch): "If you look back in the statistics, we know that the 'intelligent lockdown' would not have been necessary."and continues to explain that all other measures, like staying home when having a cold, had the greatest effect. There are also people pointing at the evidence for aerosol transmission of COVID-19, especially in crowded, noisy indoor locations, where people are talking loud and/or singing. If transmation does not happen through aerosols, as the RIVM is claiming, there is no need to keep the 1.5 meter distance when people are not coughing and/or sneezing. There are also people who have a problem with the fact that the government (and the RIVM) are still aiming for herd immunity and not aiming at containment. In the worst infected region, around 10% of the population has been infected. In other areas, like ours, it is around 3%, but in most areas it is even lower. And even in our area the percentage is probably so high due to a number of localized outbreaks. The RIVM is stating that a vacin may not be effective and that herd immunity is the only possibility. But at the current rate it is going to take years before the required infection rate is achieved, and it is still an open question whether someone who has been infected, will remain immune for many years or that the virus will mutate, because corona viruses are known to cause repeated infections in people throughout their lives. See also this interesting timeline with respect to COVID-19 in The Netherlands.
Dew walkingConny and I followed the old tradition of 'dew walking' ('dauwtrappen' in Dutch), which involves going on a bike trip early in the morning of Ascension Day. We left at about a quarter past five. When we came outside of the city, we noticed mist over a lot of fields and also over the lake at Ruthbeek. We planned to scout for border poles along the border with Germany. Yesterday evening, I had compiled a route. This are the border poles that we found:
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
-1.8° CelsiusLast night, between 5 and 6, the temperature at Airport Twenthe at 1.5 meter height dropped to -1.8° Celsius, while at 10 cm the temperature dropped to -6.9° Celsius. This broke the record of -1.2° of 1973. This type of low temperatures, do happen more often during this period of the year, and a lot of records have been broken in the past twenty years, which seems a little counter intuitive. One reason that the temperature dropped so low, is that the air is relatively dry. This causes clouds to disappear during the night and air to cool faster. We get this dry air because of winds from the North and the East. It has been this type of weather sinds the start of April with only a little rain, less than the driest year, 1976, on record. It is caused by high pressure systems North passing over Scandinavia.
Superclean DreammachineI found a website of the radio program Superclean Dreammachine. This program was made and presented by Ad Visser and ran from May 15, 1968 to September 29, 1980. (He also presented the TV show TopPop.) I often listened to the radio program because it had a mix of alternative music styles often with synthesizers. I even remember having listened to some dummy head recordings supposively made in Egypt, but I am not totally sure it was part of this program. Several times, I recorded the program on a cassete tape. I did this on May 29, 1978. The recording referred to on the website is this recording. The show started (some songs from) with the album Shpritsz. The next part was announced with: "The legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Luister naar de muziek van ex-jazz musicant Rick Wakeman. Sinds kort weer terug samen met The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra." I liked it very much and listened to it many times. I still have the tape somewhere in the attic. I tried to find the recording and I even ordered The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table only to discover that this was not the recording I was seeking after. Tonight, I discovered that it was actual the LP The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays Rick Wakema that was play. I am happy that I have found this recording after so many years.
Monday, May 11, 2020
ZonnebeekThis morning, Conny and I went biking and walking around the Zonnebeek estate. We walker around the forest for almost an hour. There were quite a lot of mosquitos. Half way we had a look at the american style country house, which was build around 1907 by (Jan) Bernard van Heek and Edwina Burr Ewing, who came from Nashville, Tennessee. They donated a large part of their art collection to Rijksmuseum Twenthe. They also donated the Buursezand, a large nature area, to Vereniging Natuurmonumenten. We continued biking a came along another marke stone, the Leppepaal or Leppinkpaal, which is in the middle of a field. It is standing at the border of the marke Usselo and Buurse. We continued biking and crossed the Buursezand.
Friday, May 8, 2020
Test and trackYesterday evening, our government presented the provisional road map for ending the lock-down measurements. During the press conference, the government said they would focus on testing and tracking. The plan is that from June 1, tests will be made available to everyone, not just restricted to certain professions, as it has been up to now. The number of positive cases are slowly dropping, so it would be no problem. There will also be an experiment with opening some care homes. As far as I know, the one that Andy lives at, is not included. No mention was made about mental health care, which some people are dissapointed about, because hairdresser are allowed to open again. In the past months, our government has been stating over and over again, that face mask are not useful, but now they are stating that non-medical grade face mask should be worn when making use of public transportation. The motivation for this is that the 1.5 meter distancing is not possible in public transportation. (There is still a shortage of medical grade face mask.) There is no evidence that the 1.5 meter distancing rule has been the most effective measurement with respect to stopping the spread of the SARS-Cov-19 virus, but it seems it has been declared to the holy rule that everyone should stick to, while experts recently announced that people still having trouble with proper hand washing procedures.
"Digital" mirror dateToday is a "Digital" mirror date, the first for the date formats MM/DD/YYYY and YYYY.MM.DD, and the second for the format DD-MM-YYYY. This is the fifth special date of this year. the SARS-CoV-19 virus in the research about immunity for the virus. They want to use this tests in their ongoing research about herd immunity, but also for the extraction of antibodies that could protect vunerable people agains becoming infected. Some weeks ago, the already concluded that about 3% of the population had been infected. With the current number of new infection, I cannot believe this percentage has reached 10% by now. This while for herd immunity you need somewhere between 29% and 74% infection rate based on the estimated of the infection rate. It is difficult to estimated the actual infection rate, because all the lock-down measurements make it substantially lower. Without these measurements, you might need more than 50% infection rate for herd immunity. To me, this research in herd immunity seems rather useless. Would it not be much beter to use the test all the people who think that they were infected and do some reseach into what are the major risc factors for getting infected and what are the most effective counter measurements to be taken to avoid another outbreak? I heard some story about someone who got infected on a skiing trip, but did not infect his family members while being in quarantine when he was ill. It seems that Iceland has succeeded in eradicating COVID-19 by extensive testing and tracking. It seems that the Dutch public health services do not know if they are ready to test teachers now that primary education is going to be reopened next week and that they are not able to actively track cases that test positive. It sounds like bureacrating problems are preventing them from doing this.
Border and marke stonesConny and I went on a biking and walking trip again. We first visited the Groot Brunink estate again. We found a small path throught the fields that Conny did not know yet. After we had walked around for about an hour, not counting the short break we took (during which Conny took a picture of me), we continued on bike. We first biked to the border with Germany. There we found the marke stone, named Werthepaal, which is at the cross point of four markes, three in the Netherlands: Esmarke, Usselo, and Buurse, and one in Germany: Alstätte. This stone also marks the border with Germany. It was placed there in 1743 but in the seventies it was lost for some time and when found again, placed on a new foundation at the original location. We continued along the border to the South. We found another border stone, with the offical number 840-B, called: "pfael an der Mesemate". We biked through 'Witte Veen', where it was quite busy, and Conny lead me to another marke stone named Veenpaal. This one looked quite new, and indeed, it was not an original stone, but a replica, placed there in 2013 and officially revealed on November 14, 2015. At home we took some time to do some research about border stones.
BooksI got the following two books:
Friday, May 1, 2020
Annabel noted that the small chestnut tree, that I feared had died, was growing again. It has some bright leaves. The stem seems thicker and has a strange twist a few centimeters above the ground. This is an interesting development. This afternoon, I took a picture, which is displayed on the right.
Groot BruninkToday is Koningsdag, a national holiday to celebrate the birthday of Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, our king. Due to COVID-19 many of the traditional celebrations have been cancelled. Conny took me on a biking/walking trip to the Groot Brunink estate. We biked to the start of the road called Weustinkhoekweg and parked our bikes there. We walked around for about one and half hour and also took a short break during which Conny took a picture of me. I really enjoyed the beautiful landscape, which is so typical for the area where we live. It really felt like being on a holiday. When biking home, we took a little detour, and Conny showed me the Berktepaal, a stone that marks the border between the two 'markes' of Usselo and Buurse. A 'marke' is a medieval collective of larger farmers who jointly regulated the management and use of their common land. The word marke (related to the English 'mark') is also used to indicate the area that belongs to a village. At home, I read about the history of these border poles and learned some interesting facts about the life as it was here in the past.
BookAt 16:45:53, I bought the book De Voorstelling: Nederlandse kunst in het Stedelijk Paleis written by Rudi Fuchs and Lien Heyting in Dutch and published by Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 2000, ISBN:9789076588155, from charity shop Het Goed for € 2.25.
BookAt 19:08, I collected the book AKI eindexamen fotografie 2001 with a preface by Rutger Ten Broeke in Dutch and published by AKI in 2001 from a private person. I paid € 4.50 for the book.
April 28In the evening, our government announced the measurements with respect to COVID-19 for the periode after April 28 as the had promised to do when they announced the intelligent lock-down. Some of the restrictions will be lifted (mainly with respect to primary school children) and some have been extended (mainly with respect to public events that require a permit). They did announce that testing would now also become available for teachers as it has been available for caregivers. The idea to losen restrictions for young children is that they according to the RIVM there is not much evidence that they do spread the virus. Today, the RIVM is some other publication, did state (translated from Dutch by me): "Analysis of clusters of patients shows that spreading also takes place by persons who do not (yet) have any complaints or symptoms." On their website, the still state that there is no evidence for this. And somewhere else they state that although it might be possible, it is still unclear to which extend this constributes to the spread of the virus.
Earlier this week, Professor Marc Bonten complained that the available testing capacity is not optiomal used and that this mainly due to bureaucracy. He remarked that it usually takes four to five days before a test result is reported to the person who was tested. It seems that it is much easier for the government to issue measurements for other than to change their own organization. Also the process for developing an app, has been rahter chaotic. The governments asked groups of experts to evaluate proposals, but in the resulting shortlist of seven apps, there were some which violated privacy. The groups also complained that they were not given any guidelines on how to evaluate the proposals.
Monday, April 20, 2020
BooksToday, I got the following books:
3%Today, it was reported that with 3% of four thousands of people who donated blood in the past weeks, antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus were found. The donors are representative for the population between 18 en 79 years, but not all regions are equally represented. The number is expect to be between 2.5% and 3.5%. Based on these figure, one could conclude that about half a milion people in the Netherlands have had COVID-19. As of today, there are 29,214 people who tested positive and 3,315 of these have died so far. Looking at the death numbers from the national bureau of statistics it might be that the actual number of people who have died might be twice as high. This would be in accordance of a fatality rate of about one or two percent. It is clear that the elderly are hit hardest and among them the men. Below a table by age with in the first two columns the population in thousands (split in male and female), in the third column the number of registered infections, in the fourth column the number of people (having been) hospitalized, and in the last columns the number of casualties.
pop. inf. hosp. cas. m f m f 0-4 444 422 62 37 0 5-9 470 447 10 2 0 10-14 490 467 40 6 0 15-19 538 514 204 21 0 20-24 548 532 963 40 0 25-29 569 553 1313 84 3 30-34 543 515 1297 102 2 35-39 517 515 1115 147 4 40-44 510 619 1290 217 3 45-49 617 615 1885 436 8 50-54 642 635 2488 656 18 12 55-59 617 615 2762 874 38 15 60-64 546 551 2327 1009 66 30 65-69 492 501 1793 1091 138 65 70-74 445 468 2294 1404 236 131 75-79 283 324 2525 1351 433 196 80-84 181 241 2596 1004 450 281 85-89 92 159 2407 617 410 295 90-94 30 71 1397 183 146 220 95+ 6 20 429 27 30 84
Dune (2020 film)In the past days, the first still shots for the upcoming Dune film were released in the article Behold Dune: An Exclusive Look at Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and More. What I am most afraid of is that visuals will be more important than the story of the book, which is actually quite tragic: a teenage boy, losing both parents (one through death, the other through alienation), on a very lonely journey, falling into a trap he cannot escape. It is only recently that I begin to understand the deeper story that Frank Herbert, maybe partly unconsciously, wrote into the novel. Yes, on the surface, the story reads a heroic adventure where the main character defeates all his enemies, but on the deeper level, it is just the opposite. This why so many people were deeply disappointed by its sequels, that make it all the clear that the hero is no real hero. Brain Herbert, the elder son of Frank Herbert, said that he tried to preserve his fathers heritage when reviewing the screenplay written by Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth, and Jon Spaihts, but I am afraid that he is not in touch with the deeper story but only with the surface story. (I agree with the author of The Irony of the Gom Jabbar, that: "Frank passed the Gom Jabbar, Brian did not.") And I am afraid that this is also true for the directory, Villeneuve, and the screenwriters. Denis Villeneuve already made some remarks that this movie was going to be a 'Star Wars for adults'. And now again, he makes Jessica into "warrior priestess" and jokes "It's better than 'space nun.'" The latter characterization is probably more problematic than the first, because Jessica was far from being a nun, as she is deeply in love with Leto and the mother of Paul. Also the organization she is part of, is political, not religious. I am afraid that it will be a long time before the literary qualities of the novel will be recognized.
BookAt 15:25:44, I bought the book Masters of Rietveld: Dutch Design Education in the 21st Century edited by Mieke Gerritzen, written in English, and published by All Media Foundation in 2008, ISBN:9789081165525, from bookshop Broekhuis for € 24.95. I already had considered to buy this book for many years. An important reason to buy it now is to support the bookshop, because I fear that they are going to a rough time due to much fewer people visiting the shop.
-- contact -- Frans
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