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This is my 2003 journal.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug

Also available: 2002 2001 2000 1990s 1980s

Everything on this page:
Copyright 1985-2003 by Thane Plambeck, except where obviously not.
26 June 2003
Email from a fellow Thane

From: Thane Shubaly
To: (Thane Plambeck)
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2003 12:46 PM
Subject: Can I go on your other people named Thane page?

24 June 2003

On June 1, 2003, the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft was slewed eastward to capture views of the inner moon, Phobos, shortly before it set over the afternoon limb. Phobos orbits Mars about 3 times a day at an average distance of 5,828 miles. About 0.006 times the size of Earth's Moon, Phobos is a potato-shaped object with dimensions approximately 17 by 14 by 11 miles. (AP Photos/NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems)

22 June 2003
New Kitchen Update: Painting

The color is "Virginia Beach."

20 June 2003
From The Voice of Destruction, by Hermann Rauschning (1940)

Rauschning quoting Hitler (page 4):
"I can well imagine that there is a future for bacterial warfare. We have not quite perfected it yet, but experiments are being made. I hear that they are very promising. But the use of this weapon is limited. Its significance lies in wearing down the enemy before the war. Our real wars will in fact be fought before military operations begin. I can quite imagine that we might control Britain in this way. Or America."

"Do you believe, my Führer, that America will again interfere in European affairs?" asked the third of the company, the young leader of then Danzig S.A.

"Certainly we shall prevent it from trying again," was the reply. "There are new weapons which are effective in such cases. America is permanently on the brink of revolution. It will be a simple matter for me to produce unrest and revolts in the United States, so that these gentry will have their hands full with their own affairs. We have no use for them in Europe."

"You said that we should poison the enemy with bacteria even before the war starts. How can that be done in peacetime?"

"Through agents, harmless commercial travellers. That is the surest method—at the moment the only effective one," Hitler replied. "The results would not be immediate. It would take several weeks, if not longer, for an epidemic to appear. Perhaps we shall introduce bacteria at the height of the war, at the moment when the powers of resistance fo the enemy are beginning to fail."
Web searches while reading the first 40 pages of this book:

Hermann Rauschning
Volhynia, and a cool oblique map of it
Hussites, and Jan Hus (burned at the stake 6 July 1415)
Franz von Papen (German), mostly to see what happened to him at Nuremberg (they let him go, apparently, in 1949. He lived to be 90 years old, dying in 1969).
Alfred Hugenberg (German), didn't fair so well, being held by the British until shortly before his death in 1951

Now at pages 39 and 40:
The classless society of Marxists, Hitler contended, was madness. Order always meant class order. But the democratic notion of a class order based on the moneybag was equally mad. A genuine aristocracy was not born out of the accidental successful speculatons of bright businessmen [...]

"The part played by the bourgeoisie is finished—permanently, my party comrades," he said. "Do not be deceived by any galvanic currents that may for a moment cause their dead muscles to jerk again. But even these 'upper classes justified by history,' this paper aristocracy, these degenerate shoots of ancient noble families, have still one thing left, 'to die in beauty.' "
By most accounts, Hitler droned on and on on such topics, boring many people who had the "opportunity" to sit in at his table-talks, but Rauschning at least has a talent for dressing it up. I like the 'galvanic currents.'

More web searches:

Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutchman executed 10 Jan 1934 for starting the Reichstag fire.

Three Ernst's:
Ernst Torgler, (German) leader of the German Communist Party, acquitted in Reichstag fire trial.
Ernst Haeckel, "Although best known for the famous statement 'ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,' he also coined many words commonly used by biologists today, such as phylum, phylogeny, and ecology..." (dead by 1919)
Ernst Hanfstaengel "Hanfstaengel had a dispute with Joseph Goebbels and was informed in March 1937 he was in danger of being murdered. He fled to United States where he was employed by Franklin D. Roosevelt as a "political and psychological warfare adviser in the war against Germany."

Page 59, dining with the Führer:
At dinner, there was soup, followed by a meat course, vegetables and a sweet. Hitler himself ate no meat, but he devoured astonishing portions of the sweet, and his personal cook, an old party member, prepared special vegetable dishes for him. But Hitler placed no vegetarian compulsion on his guests, nor did he refuse them alcohol in the shape of beer. There was a choice between beer and lemonade, and it was amusing to watch newcomers, especially enthusiastic party members, choosing lemonade, with a side-glance at the temperate Führer, in order to make a good impression.

19 June 2003
New Kitchen Update: Drywall Finish

19 June 2003
A calculation

Put a token somewhere on Pascal's triangle. Two players take turns moving it one step closer to the apex, ie one step up and to the left, or alternatively one step up and to the right (reversing the summation direction of the Pascal triangle recursion). Who wins if the first player to move the token to the boundary (ie "normal" Pascal triangle entry = 1) loses?

Here we've got a good example of a Zettel (German)—a slip of paper, or a "back of an envelope" calculation. I used the genus theory of misère disjunctive sums (Chapter 12 in John Horton Conway's On Numbers and Games).

12 June 2003
From QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, by Richard Feynman (1985)

Shortly after electrons were discovered it was thought atoms were like little solar systems, made up of a central, heavy part (called the nucleus) and electrons, which went around in "orbits," much like the planets do when they go around the sun. If you think that's the way atoms are, you're back in 1910.

12 June 2003
Norbert Banished

Norbert usually has to stay in the house, but today he had a bad attitude about the housecleaner. First she couldn't get him off a bed, and then couldn't get him to budge from the couch. He was forcibly removed to the office so that he could reflect on how to be a better, more cooperative kitty. A few minutes later, Norbert was feeling better.

[1995 Christmas Letter about Norbert]

11 June 2003
Stucco Blobs on Waterheater Vent

8 June 2003
An Interview with Henry Owen Plambeck (age 5)

Interview location: Covenant Preschool

What is your name?
Owen and Henry and Plambeck. Those are my first, middle, and last name.

How old are you?

When is your birthday?
March 5.

What do you do at your birthday party?
We went to the park. We ate chocolate cake. We played this game with the balloon between your legs until it popped.

Where do you live?

What does your house look like?
It's like a box and then there's a triangle on top. Inside is another box that is my garage.

Your room?
I share my room with Cole. He's my brother. There's shelves for books and a box full of fake animals. We have so many that some have to go into a different box.

What do you look like?
I have green eyes with kind of blue eyes. My hair is blond with a little bit of black.

Your favorite clothes to wear?
I like my surfer shirt and pants.

Any pets?
Two kitties, Norbert and Sophia.

What would like to have as a pet?
We're going to get a dog, a Golden Retriever. We can pay fetch 'cause kittens don't.

Who is in your family?
My mom, Gloria, my dad, Thane, and Cole.

What does Mommy do?
She mostly goes to work. I don't know what she does there. She cooks dinner really good because she has a big cookbook.

What does Daddy do?
He solves big math problems. He reads to us. He plays games like "Candy Land."

Where do you all like to go for fun?
We go to the movies. We went to Kauai. We went to beaches. We went boogie boarding. The waves are humungous.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A police officer because they catch bad guys.

What school will you go to next year?
Walter Hays. My brother's already there.

What do you like to do at school?
Play with Legos and play outside, too.

Who is your best friend at school?
Seena because we mostly think of games that we both like to play.

What do you like to do at home?
Watch movies and read this little Lego magazine.

What is your favorite color?

What things are that color?
Cow spots and outer space.

What is your favorite food?
Bagel dogs.

How do you fix it?
They come frozen and then you cook. You cook them in the microwave.

Who are you going to marry?
I don't know.

How old will you be?
You don't think about it until you're 17 or 18.

Your favorite holiday?
Halloween. Kids like Halloween. I can dress up as a skeleton. Then you go trick-or-treating.

What animal would you be?
Ape. They live in the jungle and swing on trees kind of like monkeys.

Who loves you?
My mom.

Anything else you want to say?

6 June 2003
New Kitchen Updates

insulation drywall

4 June 2003
Integral Butterfly

Walking out the front door, I noticed a small natural number flying by. "Was that a six, or perhaps a nine?" I thought. Fortunately it landed in the grass and waited patiently for me to get the camera.

Maybe it's a moth instead?

3 June 2003

1 June 2003

Cole in the car: "Mama—I like puzzles because they are like machines, you know, fancy machines, you follow them and then see where they go..."

1 June 2003
The Art of the Escape: Jack Sheppard (1702-1724)

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Sheppard, Jack
Born December 1702, Stepney, Eng.
Died Nov. 16, 1724, London

Byname of John Sheppard, 18th-century English thief who managed four spectacular escapes from London prisons and became a favourite figure in verse, popular plays, romances, and burlesques.

His father having died when he was a child, Sheppard was brought up in a workhouse; he learned to read and write but fell into the company of thieves and prostitutes in Drury Lane and turned to a life of petty crime. On April 24, 1724, he was seized and committed to St. Giles Roundhouse, from which he soon escaped. More thefts were followed by another incarceration, in New Prison, from which he again escaped on May 25, ridding himself of irons, cutting through bars, descending one wall, and scaling another. Thefts, highway robberies, and burglaries continued until he was betrayed by London's master informer and crime lord, Jonathan Wild (q.v.), and captured on July 23. Tried and condemned to death, he again escaped from the jails at Old Bailey, aided by a file smuggled to him by his girlfriend Poll Maggot. He was seized a fourth time on September 10 and housed in solitary in the strongest part of Newgate Prison. Manacled to the floor he nevertheless broke his chains, climbed a chimney, forced several bolted doors, then returned to his cell to get a blanket for rope, returned to the upper levels, and descended a wall to freedom. The next days found him pilfering and burgling, followed by a drunken bout that led to his capture and return to prison. On November 16 his hanging at Tyburn was reportedly witnessed by 200,000 people.
More art of the escape.