I played an old LP the other day, Neil Young's "After The Gold Rush". There is a beautiful song, "Birds", which seems to be about death, and I thought I should note it as something I'd like played at my funeral; it would really get people crying, hah!
I wondered if anyone would ever find any note I made before they arranged my funeral, and came up with the idea of a YouTube playlist, which is public, needs no account access, and can be advised to anyone,
Consider yourself advised!
The other day I was emptying the washing machine. I had removed everything except underwear and socks. I began pulling socks out and found I had extracted eight different socks in a row before I found a match. This seemed quite remarkable to me for only nine pairs, and I mentioned it in conversation to my daughter, who was surprised I hadn't conformed to my character and worked out the odds. I will admit the idea had crossed my mind, but I had resisted it as too trivial. I have learned to resist such urges over the years. Now I was challenged, and resolved to find an answer.......
9 pairs of socks
Pick one at random, there is only one, so no chance of a match
What are the odds of the next one being a match?
There are 17 left and only one of them will match so the odds are 1/17,
or... 16/17 of not matching.
You pick one, it doesn't match
What are the odds of the next one making a pair?
There are now 16 left, either one of the two already out will make a match, so the odds are 2/16
or... 14/16 of not matching.
So, we see a trend developing, as per the table below: -
Try# Unpicked Already picked Odds of a match Odds against Cumulative odds against
1 18 0 0 1 1
2 17 1 1/17 16/17 0.94118
3 16 2 2/16 14/16 0.82353
4 15 3 3/15 12/15 0.65882
5 14 4 4/14 10/14 0.47059
6 13 5 5/13 8/13 0.28959
7 12 6 6/12 6/12 0.1448
8 11 7 7/11 4/11 0.05265
9 10 8 8/10 2/10 0.01053
10 9 9 9/9 0 0
So if I have eight out unmatched, then get a match, what are the odds of this happening?
Multiply the odds of failing to match at each successive pick: -
1 * 16/17 * 14/16 * 12/15 * 10/14 * 8/13 * 6/12 * 4/11
= (16*14*12*10*8*6*4) / (17*16*15*14*13*12*11)
Near enough to One Chance In Nineteen that I will pick eight in a row without a match
I find this much more likely than I would have thought. Roughly once every five months of weekly washes.
If you think this is just too much thought for a trivial subject, I recommend you not click on the link below to see what happens when a bunch of computer programmers approach the problem...
"Pair socks from a pile efficiently?".
_Ref. my previous post of 20/07/2014: -
There could be a lot more examples here, but frankly, I got sick of the subject.
I learned some new things, such as The Peasants War, which I had never heard of, and the toll of the Thirty Years' War, which I had heard of but had no idea it was so bad, listed here as the fifteenth most lethal war in history.
The majority of facts are from Wikipedia, which I donate money to because it is so useful.
Walter P Stacy
"I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong."
"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!"
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
See Wikipedia on Religious war in general
See Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong
for an apologists viewpoint.
627 Muslim vs Jews & Christians. Battle of the Ditch, Medina
When the last Jewish tribe was annihilated by Muhammed and his men following what is known as the Battle of the Ditch. Eight hundred Jewish captives with their hands tied behind their backs were led to a trench and under Muhammed's order and in his presence were beheaded. Their lands, chattel, weapons, wealth and cattle were divided among Muhammed's men.
Muhammed in 630 led a large military force to the city of Tabuk, 250 miles northwest of Medina and forced the Christians there to pay a heavy tax and tribute in order to prevent Muhammed and his men from attacking the city. This was also done to other Christian towns and cities.
1099 Christian vs anybody. The first Crusade
was successful in capturing Jerusalem in 1099. The siege and battle were bloody and many Muslims and Jews were massacred.
1066 Muslim vs Jewish Granada Massacre.
On December 30, 1066 Muslim mobs stormed the royal palace where Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela had sought refuge and crucified him. In the ensuing massacre of the Jewish population, many of the Jews of Granada were murdered. The massacre was apparently started by a rumor that Joseph was going to have the Muslim king assassinated.
1182 Christian vs Christian The Massacre of the Latins
A large-scale massacre of the Roman Catholic or “Latin” inhabitants of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, by the Eastern Orthodox population of the city in May 1182. The Roman Catholics of Constantinople at that time dominated the city’s maritime trade and financial sector. Although precise numbers are unavailable, the bulk of the Latin community, estimated at over 60,000 at the time, was wiped out or forced to flee.
1202 - 1204 Christian vs Christian. Fourth crusade
Catholic Christians sack Orthodox Christian Constantinople (Doh!)
711 - 1492 Christian vs Muslim. The Spanish Reconquista
7 million deaths estimated, over 781 years
1200s Catholics persecute Cathars. Albigensian crusade
Over 20 year campaign. 200,000 to 1,000,000 deaths.
1525 Protestant uprising.The Peasants War.
300,000 revolted 100,000 deaths!
European Late Medieval/Early Modern period Christian vs Christian. Witchcraft murders
Wikipedia: "Among the Catholics, Protestants, and secular leadership, fears about witchcraft rose to fever pitch, and sometimes led to large-scale witch-hunts. Throughout this time, it was increasingly believed that Christianity was engaged in an apocalyptic battle against the Devil and his secret army of witches, who had entered into a diabolical pact. In total, tens or hundreds of thousands of people were executed, and others were imprisoned, tortured, banished, and had lands and possessions confiscated. The majority of those accused were women." I have read elsewhere that investigations, as in the Inquisition, were financed by the confiscation of victim's goods, and thus self-perpetuating.
1572 Christian vs Christian. The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre
A targeted group of assassinations followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants), during the French Wars of Religion. Modern estimates for the number of dead vary widely from 5,000 to 30,000. Only a part of.....
1562–1598 Christian vs Christian, French Wars of Religion (Huguenot Wars).
1618-48 Christian vs Christian, Thirty Years War.
Beginning as a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire, one of the most destructive conflicts in European history, and one of the longest.
3,000,000–11,500,000 deaths all causes, disease, famine etc.
1560–1700 Christian vs mainly Jewish. The Spanish Inquisition
Principal victims were Ex-Jewish converts to Catholicism (often forced) accused of secretly retaining their faith. There are numerous records of the opinion of ordinary Spaniards of the time that "the Inquisition was devised simply to rob people". "They were burnt only for the money they had", a resident of Cuenca averred. "They burn only the well-off", said another. In 1504 an accused stated, "only the rich were burnt". …In 1484…Catalina de Zamora was accused of asserting that "this Inquisition that the fathers are carrying out is as much for taking property from the conversos as for defending the faith. It is the goods that are the heretics." This saying passed into common usage in Spain.
It is likely that between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed.
1600's Japanese persecute Christians
The number of active Christians is estimated to have been around 200,000 in 1582. There were likely around 1,000 known martyrs during the missionary period.
In the mid-17th century, the shogunate demanded the expulsion of all European missionaries and the execution of all converts. This marked the end of open Christianity in Japan. Siege at Hara Castle, After the castle fell, the shogunate forces beheaded an estimated 37,000 rebels and sympathizers.Because the shogunate suspected that European Catholics had been involved in spreading the rebellion, Portuguese traders were driven out of the country. The policy of national seclusion was made more strict by 1639. An existing ban on the Christian religion was then enforced stringently, and Christianity in Japan survived only by going underground.
1876 Muslims massacre Christians. Turkey, April Uprising
The massacre of the Bulgarians in Batak by 8,000 Ottoman troops on April 30, 1876 at the beginning of the April Uprising was described as “the most heinous crime to stain the history of the 19th century.” 15,000 dead, the brutality was unparalleled. The majority of those killed were women and children who were raped, tortured, and then beheaded.
1915 Muslim Ottoman massacre of Christians. The Armenian genocide
Wikipedia: The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. Other indigenous and Christian ethnic groups such as the Assyrians and the Ottoman Greeks were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by many historians to be part of the same genocidal policy.
1940s Christians Massacre Jews etc. The Holocaust
Wikipedia: .......approximately six million Jews were killed by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. An additional five million non-Jewish victims of Nazi mass murders are included by some historians bringing the total to approximately eleven million. Killings took place throughout Nazi Germany and German-occupied territories.
1941 Christians vs Jews and Communists. Odessa Massacre.
In Odessa and the surrounding towns of Transnistria during the autumn of 1941 by the Germans and the Romanians, resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 Ukrainian Jews with any survivors being left to freeze outdoors after their village was completely razed.
1947 Muslims vs Hindu.s Partition of India and Pakistan
The newly formed governments were completely unequipped to deal with migrations of such staggering magnitude, and massive violence and slaughter occurred on both sides of the border. Estimates of the number of deaths vary, between 200,000 and 1,000,000.
Sunni –Shia conflict
This is a running sore of religious conflict responsible for the deaths of many, many thousands over the centuries, and is regrettably still ongoing. There is too much for me to go into the details, Wikipedia has a thirteen thousand word entry entitled "Shia-Sunni relations".
1983-2000 Muslim vs Christian. Persecution of Christians in Sudan
Sudan's Christians were persecuted under various military regimes. Sudan's civil wars temporarily ended in 1972, but resumed in 1983, as famine hit the region. Four million people were displaced and two million people died in the two-decade long conflict before a temporary six year ceasefire was signed in January 2005.
1982 Muslims massacre Muslims. Hama Massacre
This scorched earth operation was carried out by the Syrian Arab Army against the town of Hama to stop the uprising of the Muslim Brotherhood in February 1982. Estimates of the death toll range from 7,000 to 35,000 and it has been described as “one of the single deadliest acts by an Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East.”
1982 Muslims massacre Muslims. Sabra and Shatila Massacre
This slaughter of several thousand Palestinian and Lebanese Shia refugees in Beirut was carried out from September 16 to 18, 1982 by the Phalange, a Lebanese paramilitary organization, in retaliation for the assassination of newly elected Lebanese president Bachir Gemayel. Only part of.......
1975 to 1990 Christian vs Sunni vs Shiite. Lebanese Civil War
There is no consensus among scholars on what triggered the Lebanese Civil War. However, the militarization of the Palestinian refugee population, with the arrival of the PLO guerrilla forces did spark an arms race amongst the different Lebanese political factions. However the conflict played out along three religious lines, Sunni Muslim, Christian Lebanese and Shiite Muslim. An estimated 120,000 fatalities. Today, approximately 76,000 people remain displaced within Lebanon. There was also a mass exodus of almost one million people from Lebanon as a result of the war.
2000 Muslims vs Christians, The Moluccas (Indonesia)
Dec 2000 BBC: Indonesia imposed a state of emergency in the Moluccas in June, in an attempt to rein in the religious violence which has left thousands dead in the past two years.
Wikipedia: ....warfare and atrocities against the civilian population committed by both sides. The main belligerents were therefore religious militia from both faiths.
Personal note: This trouble thwarted my hopes of a trip to the obscure but very interesting island of Ternate.
Modern times: Jewish Israel subjugates Islamic Palestinians
This lot have been at it for 2,500 years. Obviously it is no use saying "God help the Middle East situation", as he is obviously not interested.
Modern times: You name the religion vs own adherents, Witchcraft
Wikipedia: Belief in witchcraft continues to be present today in some societies and accusations of witchcraft are the trigger of serious forms of violence, including murder. Such incidents are common in places such as Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania. Accusations of witchcraft are sometimes linked to personal disputes, jealousy, and conflicts between neighbors or family over land or inheritance. Witchcraft related violence is often discussed as a serious issue in the broader context of violence against women.
In Tanzania, about 500 older women are murdered each year following accusations against them of witchcraft. Apart from extrajudicial violence, there is also state-sanctioned violence in some jurisdictions. For instance, in Saudi Arabia practicing 'witchcraft and sorcery' is a crime punishable by death and the country has executed people for this crime in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Children in some regions of the world, such as parts of Africa, are also vulnerable to violence related to witchcraft accusations.
Modern times: Muslim vs mainly Muslim. Islamic State empire building.
Who knows how many have yet to be killed by these unreasoning zealots?
"The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts: those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains."
Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri, 973–1058, blind Arabian philosopher, poet, and writer
I have been pruning plants down the side of my drive, and a couple of times came across a small beetle I had never seen before (see Left). I mentioned it at work yesterday, and took a few minutes of my break to look for identifying pictures. I tentatively settled on the Southern Ladybird, a Tasmanian introduced to control a pest of Eucalyptus trees, but it seemed they were introduced in the South Island, and this was on bamboo, not eucalyptus. I was looking for a checkerboard pattern.
It is funny how your mind is so untrustworthy. This evening I managed to take a picture of one (Above, Left), finding there was no distinct checkerboard pattern at all. However, the picture did enable me to find quickly a matching image (Left), and identify it as the Fungus Eating Ladybird, Illeis Galbula, a member of the Coccinellidae Family, and another Australian import. Most others of the Family are predators.
Some say this one is a garden pest because it spreads the fungi and mould spores to other plants. Before it hibernates it stores some of the fungi under its wing shields as food for when it comes out of hibernation.
Others say it is beneficial, eating fungus off the plants, which should not succumb if healthy.
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Today I learned something new I had never heard of before in all my following of astronomical discoveries.
At the Universe Today blog, where I check all and read most posts, there was a general interest item entitled "What Is The Biggest Thing in The Universe?". Normally I don't bother with items of this type as they usually just rehash well-known facts in a novice-friendly format.
That is pretty big, however what struck me was the statement "...around actively feeding black holes, there can be disks of material with such temperature and density that they act like the core of a star, fusing hydrogen into helium."
I was looking forward to this, written as it is by an established New Zealand writer, and since it won the Ernest Scott History Prize in 2003, the Ian Wards Prize for Historical Writing in 2003, and the Biography category of the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
I was not disappointed in any way by the quality of the writing, perhaps it was too good in describing this family, in that I found I could stand no more of this tale of venal social climbing in a toxic social atmosphere of class distinction and snobbery.
I suppose it is the very upbringing I had as a New Zealander which generated my abhorrence of the English class system. Nevertheless I was not prepared to be further irritated by the behaviour of these founding characters.
Partially read as an e-book borrowed from Auckland Libraries via Borrowbox, on my Kobo Touch e-reader.
I am an extremely intelligent, witty and fascinating guy.
Be grateful I have allowed others to share