Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Spot the Differences

Cabo Verde. Those lovely islands halfway between my country and Brasil. I could live on São Antão. In a little house with banana trees in the garden #dream.

Between Xmas and New Year's Day we visited Museum Boerhaave in Leiden. In one of the rooms I found two old Globes of Planet Earth. On both of them Cabo Verde :)

Willem Janszoon Blaeu around 1618:


George Adams around 1765:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Answer. The Answer

During the past couple of weeks I have read three books on flying.
Rudel (1916-1982) is a German pilot who flew in World War II. He wrote 'Stuka Pilot' after the War, in 1949, about his experiences. Lovely read. I have written about him before: here (follow link to blogpost). He was the most highly decorated German serviceman. He escaped getting killed dozens of times in battle. Göring and Hitler asked him both a couple of times to stop flying but he disobeyed their orders.

Hammond writes more in detail about John Boyd. I wrote a blogpost on him before a couple of weeks ago: here. Did not read something new in Hammond's book. Three interesting points.
Quote (page 184-5): "Nuances, analogies, and metaphors produce new concepts. They are there, it's just that they are prisoners of other concepts, and you need to liberate them. It's a sort of guerrilla warfare of the mind."
Quote (page 191): "OODA loops are the answer. From that process come the possibilities for success, failure, life, and death. Coming to grips with these opportunities or threaths faster than others gives us greater advantage still. A failure to recognize these truths will mean we fail to survive of prosper."
A Boyd riddle (page 181): What are these pictures? They are all the same thing. How?

Mike Shaw is a former Harrier pilot who writes with great detail about a "normal" day flying a Harrier. Lots of lovely pictures. Why do fighters usually fly in pairs when you see some in the sky? Because they are training their battle formation:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Miscellanies (iii)

2014! This is the year I'll become fifty years old. 50! I still remember New Year's Eve 1970. Since then I counted down the seconds - 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and NOW - every year. Never missed it.

In retrospect, those years flew by fast. High School. Being a drafted soldier. University. Work. Getting married. Kids. You.

The last couple of years have brought perfect balance in life. As a daddy. In my marriage. With you. As a citizen. As an employee.

Not that life is perfect. I guess it never is or will be. In a way I am perfectly able to handle the imperfections and surprises. The sweet and sour in life. The biggest contributor of my equilibrium: you. Having you in my life :)))