Saturday, 19 June 2010

The Wider View

This is the wider photo that I took before the telescopic image posted last time. It has been enhanced slightly so the houses are not completely black.

This week I've been getting more minor nose-bleeds. I did think of making an appointment to see the doctor, but their system seems likely to raise my blood pressure more than anything else. Speaking to the receptionist at the counter she was reluctant to arrange anything except a month ahead, and to book on the actual day you have to phone between 8:30 and 9:15 in the morning. Obviously they are completely overworked. So I decided to leave it for now, and nothing has recurred.

I've been getting a series of emails from an chap in St Albans who has very vague plans to set up a chess variants organisation to replace BCVS, but he keeps using my name and that of Variant Chess as if I've already given approval to his efforts. This has not done my blood pressure any good either.

I've also entered the Hastings Chess Club Summer tournaments, those that are not rapid-play at any rate. The first opponent I contacted failed to turn up at the appointed time, but I did get a friendly game, which I won. I've agreed to rearrange the appointment for next week, though apparently I could have claimed the win by default, but really I just need the practice.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Sky View

Fantastic sky this evening, about 8 pm. The seagull seems to think so too. Photo taken through a window of my living room, using a telescopic setting.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Mathematical Art: A Chessboard Mosaic

Over the bank holiday weekend I spent some time drawing and colouring the pattern shown here. It is a "Chessboard Mosaic" of the type I described in The Games and Puzzles Journal (Vol.1 No.4, March-April 1988, p.64) but on a larger scale. Varied patterns of this type can be formed by first numbering the cells of a chessboard 1 to 64 in some fashion. This example is derived from the numbering of the first Magic Knight's Tour, discovered by William Beverley in 1848. It is a 64 by 64 matrix; when numbered 1 to 64 along the top and left edges, a mark in the square where the r row meets the s column indicates that a piece can move from cell r to cell s. In this example the dark cells indicate rook moves, the yellow cells bishop moves and the red cells knight moves. The pattern is symmetric about the principal diagonal since these moves are all reversible. The rook move pattern is symmetric about the secondary diagonal, but the knight and bishop patterns deviate slightly from this symmetry, due to the nature of the Beverley numbering. The red railway-line pattern down the main diagonal is the result of using a knight's tour numbering, since r is always connected to r+1 by a knight move. The apparent figure "8"s on the main diagonal derive from several zigzag pattern of knight moves in the tour wheren the first and third and second and fourth cells are in the same rank or file and thus connected by a rook move. I'm wondering whether I should exhibit this at the Art Forum; apparently any member can exhibit one item free; but is it really Art?

Edit: I've replaced the original image by an enhanced version, since it came out too gray. The background I used was in fact a sheet of white card.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

An Afternoon Walk

This afternoon I took a walk along to the Arts Forum to have another look at the exhibition of paintings by Katherine Reekie "Artists on the Beach" which feature images based on well known works by famous painters like Matisse and Picasso, and sculptors like Moore and Gormley, against a background of Hastings images. It's quite a fun idea.

I went on to walk to the Garden Centre along the Bexhill Road to see if they have anything in the way of a compost bin. They only had two old ones with bits missing. I'm thinking of installing a bin by the front garden so that I can dig up all the weeds and compost them. It's getting rather overgrown.

I carried on walking to the Glyne Gap and then back to Hastings along the beach path. At the old bathing pool site I noticed that the seagulls seemed to have some small shellfish that they were dropping from a height to crack open, or else they were practising with pebbles. Further along the promenade a black-headed gull was flying along the surf line and repeatedly landing on the sea only to immediately rise again. Presumably it was catching something to eat.

Finally I went into a supermarket to top up a few things for my own larder. I ought to be getting out more regularly for exercise, but seem to be leaving it for days and then taking it all in one go.