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May 28th, 2010 11:30

Today is …
Turing day.

From Wikipedia:

28. may "1936 – English mathematician Alan Turing submitted his paper "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem" for publication, introducing the Turing machine, a basic abstract symbol-manipulating device that can simulate the logic of any computer algorithm. "

Those of you familiar with computing theory will know the importance of this. To those of you unfamiliar with the "Turing Machine", it is THE (theoretical) COMPUTING model since anything a programmable computer can do can be done/modelled by it. Thus the Turing Machine is a very useful tool for studying/classifying problems.

I once programmed an Excel spreadsheet to work as a Turing machine.

Kendrik May 29th, 2010 19:53


Originally Posted by pibbur (Post 1061012824)
Turing day.
I once programmed an Excel spreadsheet to work as a Turing machine.

Microsoft Lawyers are now working to retcon World War 2 History to prove that Turing based his work on an Excel spreadsheet and thus Microsoft saved the world ;)

May 31st, 2010 08:07

.. World No Tobacco day.

I'm not sure about how useful dedicating one day to this. But smoking among men is declining in the Western world, but not in developing countries. And seemingly not among women, where at least in some countries consumption is still increasing. (Which is really bad, as women are more at risk when smoking than men).

Anyhow, happy no tobacco day.

June 4th, 2010 10:50

From Wikipedia

4th of june 1996 – The maiden flight of the Ariane 5 expendable launch system failed, with the rocket self-destructing 37 seconds after launch because of a malfunction in the control software, one of the most expensive computer bugs in history.

So, next time you complain about bugs in games - hopefully you understand that it's really nothing (A JOKE!!!!).

BTW - nothing to do with bugs in software, more like a hardware "bug": The Sleipner A platform is a combined accommodation and production platform at the Sleipner gas field outside Norway. An accident happened in 1991 during towing of the hull. It sank 210m to the bottom of the fjord. This was caused by a construction error.

Since the hull cost around 2 billion NOK, it was a rather expensive mistake. But (since no humans were harmed), I really would have liked to be there. Imagine standing on one of the towing ships, watching 2 billion NOK disappearing rapidly into the seas…..

GothicGothicness June 4th, 2010 10:59

There is plenty more where that came from…….

Alrik Fassbauer June 4th, 2010 11:31


Originally Posted by pibbur (Post 1061013783)
It sank 210m to the bottom of the fjord. This was caused by a construction error.

Maybe later generations will use this as an example of what's called mow "industry archaeology" ?

Because a similar thing happened to the Vasa/Wasa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship) - an construction error … Did cost the lives of about 20 people, according to Wikipedia …

June 5th, 2010 20:44

1 Attachment(s)
5th of June.

First som geeky stuiff
In 1977 the Apple II went on sale.

In 1995 for the first time a Bose-Einstein condensate was produced (from rubidium gas, cooled down veeeery close to absolute zero). A Bose-Einstein is a special state of matter predicted in 1924/25 by - surprise, surprise - Satyendra Nath Bose and some german named Einstein. It's a rather important thingy - read about it in Wikipedia

Then som friendly neighbour history (from my viewpoint):

In 1849 Denmark got a new constitution. They're still celebrating it, I think. Congratutations (even if, cough, cough, we got ours 35 years before, while leaving Denmark). Happy national day, D'Artagnan (and other danes here)

But among the imo really important things that happened on 5th of June was the appearance of Tank Man, in 1989, the day after the Tiananmen square massacre. The picture below is one of the pictures I think define the 20th century.

June 7th, 2010 15:55

7th of june. Some grrreat news on this day:

- 1494 – Spain and Portugal signe a treaty dividing the New World between them.
- 1892 - Benjamin Harrison became the first us. president to attend a baseball game
- 1975 - Sony released the Betamax Videorecorder.
- 1982 – Priscilla Presley opens Graceland to the public (except the bathroom)

- 1905 - Norway left the Swedish-Norwegian union. Yay!!

June 8th, 2010 19:37

8th of june.

1783: Laki@Iceland, began an eight-month eruption killing 9000 people and causing seven years of famine in Europe, and (indirectly) the French Revolution. Nothing compared to the aviation affecting ash-clouds from Eyjafjallajökull, of course, but still.. Rumour has it released 120 million tons of sulphur dioxide, equal to a Mount Pinatubo eruption every three days all through 1991.

Geeky news:
1995: the first version of PHP (version 2) was released.
1887: Herman Hollerith receives a patent for his punched card calculator.

793: Vikings raid the abbey at Lindisfarne in Northumbria, commonly accepted as the beginning of the Scandinavian invasion of England. THEY STILL FEAR US!!!!!!

June 9th, 2010 11:04

9th of June

Things have happened today as well.

What's really impressing is the following sequence, takes some planning:
53 : Roman Emperor Nero marries Claudia Octavia
62 : Wife of Roman Emperor Nero, Claudia Octavia is executed.
68 : Roman Emperor Nero commits suicide, after quoting Homer's Iliad.
1997 : Maybe not on the 9th of June. Roman Empreror Nero is reborn/resurrected as CD burning Software.

What we learn from this:
1. Don't marry royalty.
2. Don't read the Iliad. Actually, I don't mean that, because my daughter would kill me if she heard me saying that. Which leads to
3. Don't critisize The Iliad in front of relatives specializing in ancient languages and litterature.

Other things:
1873 : Alexandra Palace burns down after being open for only 16 days. Roman Emperor Nero probably had nothing to do with that.
1979 : Ghost Train amusement ride@Luna Park, Sydney catches fire. Roman Emperor Nero probably had nothing to do with that.

1934 : Donald Duck

Corwin June 10th, 2010 08:08

Were there any fiddling contests held on this day? :)

July 23rd, 2010 16:09

…the day after yesterday (22/7) which was Pi day. Why? Because 22/7=3.142857….

Corwin July 24th, 2010 00:19


Originally Posted by pibbur (Post 1061018698)
…the day after yesterday (22/7) which was Pi day. Why? Because 22/7=3.142857….

I assume that was YOUR day then!! :)

July 24th, 2010 03:35


Originally Posted by Corwin (Post 1061018739)
I assume that was YOUR day then!! :)

Oh yes. Too bad it's over.

Even better (or worse since I missed that too). 20/7 should be considered e-day, since 20/7=2,714285714, which like pi day got 2 decimals right.

Now, what other mathematical days is there? I'm sure you're all dying to find out. What I can say immediately is that we've got no sqrt(2) day, since we get no more than 1 decimal for that number. And there is obviously no i-day, since no date division approaches sqrt(-1). *sighs*

And at 0.0000000000000000000000000000000006, Plancks constant is much too small. Even if we switch to that silly american notion of dates. Which I refuse to do. On behalf of the physics-people out there: *Sighs*

Help me out here, plz!

However. On the 19th of june day we're very close to John 3.16. Unfortunately 3.166666667 rounds upward to 3,17. But pretty close, anyway. So you see, it's not all about mathematics.

BTW, my birthday (29/12) is 2.42-day (rounded upwards from 2.416666667). I don't know any named constant for that date. *SIGHS* But we could - if we include sports call it Patrick Sjöberg day, since 2.42m is his personal high-jump record (european record too). Or Kleinpritzer-See-day, since the surface area of that lake in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern@Germany is 2.42 square kms. Or Haddad-day after the (at 2.42%), most common surname in Lebanon. I ASSUME that Wikipedia is reliable in these matters. I think I prefer the lake, btw (Happy Alrik and Jaz?)

Hmm. This is getting too silly, so in my next post I'll switch to something completely different.

July 24th, 2010 18:07

… is a day that not much happened, at least very little I care to write about now. But

- 1487: Citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands strike against ban on foreign beer. Considering how close they are to Belgium which makes the best beer in the world , this is easy to understand.

- 1862: Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the United States dies. For some reason I found that interesting.

Now it's back to FO3.

July 25th, 2010 12:26

… the day we congratulate the city Caracas with its 443th birthday.

It's 10 years since the first and last crash of a Concorde passenger jet. Thus switching Concorde from the safest airplane to one of the most accident prone aircraft.

Other news:
"1948 – In Test cricket, Australia set a world record for the highest successful run-chase in history during the Fourth Test of The Ashes series against England". I haven't got the faintest idea what this is about, but I do recognize the word "cricket", and that it concerns Australia, so I post this as a homage to Corwin and other aussies here.

BTW: is the word "crikey" the austrailan word for "cricket". (I (think) know it's not, I'm just trying to make fun of the aussies and their language)

In 1788 Wolfie M. finished his 40th symphony, just a month after the 39th. Almost as productive as Frank Zappa was, that one.

In 1861 the United States Congress passes the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution, stating that the American civil war is being fought to preserve the Union and not to end slavery. Good that for once(?) it's clear what the war is about. Unlike for instance a certain war down there, SE of where I am at the moment.

Well tomorrow is a new day, and as we all know, tomorrow never knows

Corwin July 26th, 2010 00:21

Pibbur, if you have a few hours sometime, I'll explain the intricacies of Cricket to you!! :) And NO, Crikey has nothing to do with Cricket, unlike Howzat!!

I will emntion that there are now 4 versions of the game, all different. The Long Test Match (5-6 days), the Shorter domestic game (usually 3-4 days), the One Day Game (50 Overs per side)(which is usually played as a day/nighter) and the 20/20 Game :D

July 27th, 2010 12:32

… Starcraft day?
… Intel Day (27/7=3.86. You know, the CPU)

Other notable things
- 1921: The dicovery of insuline is announced. A very important step for treatment of diabetes (type 1, mainly)
- 1928: We continue our treatmen of the wonderful world of cricket. Tich Freeman became the only bowler to take 200 first-class wickets before the end of July. An englishman. Obviously they play cricket there as well (I know they do, just trying to be funny).
- In Latvia they celebrate "Day of the Seven Sleepers"
- In Finland they celebrate "National Sleepy Head Day", accompanied by the tune "Hold Back the River" by Wet Wet Wet.

GothicGothicness July 27th, 2010 13:34

Sleepy head day sounds like something for me………………………………………… ……………

July 27th, 2010 13:44


Originally Posted by GothicGothicness (Post 1061019034)
Sleepy head day sounds like something for me………………………………………………………

I should probably mention one thing: They're supposed to throw water at said sleepy head.

July 29th, 2010 10:41

… a day for geeky stuff:

29/7=4.14 (approximately). Question 4.14 on the comp.lang.c FAQ is "How are integers converted to and from pointers?". So I declare this day as integer-conversion day.

Other things:

- 1947: ENIAC (the first general purpos electronic digitall computer) was turned on after having been moved to a new location in Aberdeen@Maryland. With 100KHz Clock frequency (divider=20) and afaik <1K RAM, don't know about the GPU, you probably would need to upgrade a bit before running Dragon Age. Another issue for gamers is that it took a couple of days to terminate the running program and load a new one. Obviously it had no boss-key.

- 1958: NASA is established.

- 1987: Thatcher and Mitterand signed the agreement to build a tunnel under the English channel. Yay! Trains!! Eurostar!!!

One final (non geeky) thing:
- 1901: The Socialist Party of America was founded. And after that America was never the same again.

I'm sorry that I didn't find any Aussie stuff worth mentioning.

GothicGothicness July 29th, 2010 11:05


- 1958: NASA is established.
A funny thing is 1960 which is just two years after that a man went to one of the renown betting firms in London and bet a sizable sum on that a man would be on the moon before the end of the decade…… to much delight of the betting firm, they considered him a complete lunatic and gave the odds of a 1000 times the money.

I guess they should have consider him a genius instead?


July 30th, 2010 17:36

… the day in 2003 when the last old style VW Beetle was produced, at the factory in Mexico.

Say no more!

August 1st, 2010 13:05

… a day when several important things happened

1774: Joseph Priestly invented oxygen.

1907: Lord Baden-Powell invented the first scout camp. Naturally, we will celebrate the event by a song: Be Prepared (Tom Lehrer)

1981: MTV invented the music video tv show. The first entry was Video killed the radio star. What's really strange is that the two guys responsible (Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes) some time after joined the prog. rock group "Yes", resulting in the album "Drama".

30BC:Roman emperor Octavian (better known as Augustus?) invented roman rule over Egypt. AFAIK lady C wasn't too happy about that.

1498: Christopher Columbus invented Venezuela

Pladio August 1st, 2010 14:34


Originally Posted by pibbur (Post 1061019501)
1774: Joseph Priestly invented oxygen.

Invented oxygen ? :D

August 1st, 2010 15:31


Originally Posted by Pladio (Post 1061019504)
Invented oxygen ? :D

Sure, we didn't know about it before, thus it didn't exist. Same with Newton and gravity.

Pladio August 1st, 2010 15:46

I'm guessing people used to float and didn't have lungs either. :P

August 1st, 2010 16:32


Originally Posted by Pladio (Post 1061019510)
I'm guessing people used to float and didn't have lungs either. :P

Silly Pladio. People need oxygen, so without it they were all dead. Whether they were floating or not is irrelevant. :-)

Corwin August 2nd, 2010 00:01

Anyone who links to the incredible Tom Lehrer must have some redeeming qualities!! :D

August 2nd, 2010 08:38

Yes. He was a fairly good piano player.

GothicGothicness August 2nd, 2010 08:42


Tom Lehrer
a good comedian too…

Corwin August 2nd, 2010 08:42

Yeah, and Fred Astair was a decent hoofer!! :)

August 2nd, 2010 09:08

… yet another day.

216 BC: Carthaginian forces lead by Hannibal defeated a few Romans soldiers in southern Italy. Don't know for sure, but I seem to remember that he afterwards ate their liveres with some fava beans and a good Chianti.

1932: The positron is inv… eh discovered, leading to breakthroughs in PET scanning (which has nothing to do with cats and dogs) and robotics.

It turns out that the macedonians have been particularly active on this day.
338 BC: M. defeated a few greeks, ensuring M. supremacy in said country.
1903: Unsuccessful uprising against the Ottoman Empire
1944: Birth of the Socialist Republic of M.

1. Regarding Tom Lehrer and his piano playing. Strictly for those who didn't know, he used to cite reviews on the cover of his records. One of them, from the Oakland Tribune read: "Plays the piano acceptably".

2. He has been to Australia, if we are to believe his discography, which includes "Tom Lehrer discovers Australia" (only released in Australia)

August 7th, 2010 19:34

… 7th of August and only 2 days until I go back to work after 4 weeks of summer vacation.

1606: The first performance of "Macbeth" by whoever-impersonated-william-shakespeare. If there are any actors reading this, and you've seen Black Adder season 3, you know that you're now supposed to start a silly looking ritual.

1944: IBM officially presented it's "Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator", installed at Harward. It was a bit larger than the calculator you use today. Probably something like the size of the first IBM portable computer

1964: The worlds' oldest living tree (at least 4862 years old, and for some reason named "Promethevs") was cut down. Nobody knows exactly why (or perhaps somebody knows, but won't tell us). The night elves, the bosmer, the Sindar and the Silvans were not pleased.

1868: Ladislaus Bortkiewics was born, exactly 8 years before Mata Hari.

August 8th, 2010 11:41

… yet another day.

1220: Sweden was defeated by Estonian tribes. Ya…. eh … sorry.

1709: Bartolomeu de Gusmão demonstrates the lifting power of hot air in an audience before the King of Portugal. To quote ThreeDog@Fallout3: "Somebody fart?"

1963: Great Train Robbery in England. It was a birthday present to Ronald Biggs who on that very day turned 34.

Best wishes to "The Edge" who is 49 years today. A mere child, of course, but a great guitar player. Additionally, rumour (Wikipedia) has it Dustin Hoffman is 73 years today (tomorrow also, of course, but today is his first day as a 73-years-person)

Alrik Fassbauer August 8th, 2010 11:57


Originally Posted by pibbur (Post 1061019501)
1981: MTV invented the music video tv show. The first entry was Video killed the radio star. What's really strange is that the two guys responsible (Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes) some time after joined the prog. rock group "Yes", resulting in the album "Drama".

If you research a little bit, the story behind the Buggles-Yes connection is even more bizarre.
Yes had more or less ceased to exist after "Drama"; the album following "Drama" (I just can't remember its title) was originally meant to be a kind of Buggles album, called "Cinema", with Chris Squire as a kind of supporter or how his role was.
Anderson much later joined in, originally just for inging, I think.

On the "Yes Years" box set there are two additional songs from that era. Wikipedia says these have been published on the remaster, too.

Regarding "video killed the radio star" there seems to be an additional version on this album as well (found on www.mazon.de ) :

August 8th, 2010 12:56

Yepp. But it gets weirder. The album following Drama was "90125", with Trevor Rabin on guitar and and previous keyboardist Tony Kay handling tangets. This lineup also released "Big Generator". After that vocalist Jon Anderson left, and then came along "Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford and Howe", all former Yes members, who didn't have the right to the name. But in reality there were now two "Yes" bands, who both struggled a bit recording their next albums. So what do we do? Bring them all together, join their recording projects and release "Union"! This couldn't last very long and it didn't last very long.

After that, there have been several LOTS of personnel changes (someone suggested searching the Thames for bodies), with especially Rick Wakeman joining and leaving the band like a yo-yo, and healthy dose of nepotism in the form of Oliver, son of Rick on keyboards. I stopped following them after "Union", but I noticed that last autumn there was a Yes gig in Oslo, in a 2000-seat concert hall. Quite a setback for a stadium rock band.

That lineup (which doesn't include Jon Anderson) is supposed to record a new album this autumn. I don't know what to say… perhaps it's time to call it a day now.

Alrik Fassbauer August 8th, 2010 20:32

They've had so many changes that they'll probably survive regardless.
And perhaps they should change the band's name from "Yes" into "Change" as well.

August 8th, 2010 22:43


Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer (Post 1061020138)
They've had so many changes that they'll probably survive regardless.
And perhaps they should change the band's name from "Yes" into "Change" as well.

Unfortunately the band name "Change" is already taken. Although that band isn't very active these days, so maybe they could get away with it.

Another option is of course "the band formerly known as yes".

Thrasher August 10th, 2010 01:14

There's a song from 90125 called "Changes" - appropriately.

More strangeness - Buggles' Geoff Downes left Yes to form Asia with Yes guitarist Steve Howe while 90125 was produced by Trevor Horn (no longer singing) - who later went on to produce Fankie Goes to Hollywood, Grace Jones, and the Pet Shop Boys (among others)….

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