I’ve started to run, in preparation for both survival and a short triathlon I will be swimming/cycling/running in june.
I set up a training route of around 2 km. around my home, on asphalt, gravel and grass. There are two locations for exercises. One is for stretching, the other for pullups and climbing. I have started with a simple and easy schedule at first.


For Peat Sake

For a couple of years I’ve been a fan of Whisky. Was I at first -having tried cheap stuff- not enthusiastic about the “golden liquid”, when I discovered mild single malt whiskys I was hooked. My project is now to, over the next decades, have tried all single malt whiskys.

One of the best so far is the mild lowlands whisky from Auchentoshan (see

Another favorite is the very peaty whisky from Islay (see

A nice website on whisky is For Peat Sake and

Math Education

Khan on homework

In a TED session Khan (yes, of the academy) states that students could watch movies at home and make homework at school. I agree that knowledge transfer, using ICT, could be done more at home. The same however holds for homework (it’s not by accident it is called HOMEwork), again by using ICT. Thirty students working at math tasks sometimes yield only a couple of questions and problems. Why spend 60 minutes of time of students and teachers alike, if this is not necessary. In addition most questions could easily be solved by some prompts or hints from a computer. Shifting knowledge transfer AND homework partly to home (ICT) would free up time in the classroom for more in-depth class discussions, collaborative work and face-to-face contacts.


Handbook on caving: Vertical

A great source on caving techniques is in the book “Vertical”

View this document on Scribd
Math Education

Peter principle

In mathematics education I roughly see two types of math educationalists (note that I don’t mean these as a disqualification of some sorts):

The first type starts off with a B.Sc or B.Ed degree, M.Sc and M.Ed and maybe even PhD degree in mathematics (education). One could say that de domain knowledge of these indidivuals is outstanding, and their age is still quite young (they could be around 26 finishing all of these). During this career he or she develops an interest in education, sometimes even teaches a couple of years, and is therefore seen as someone with practical experience in education. However, the main aim is to establish a research practice and a mostly a competent teacher (or not) is lost to higher education’s research community, of course playing the shortlived “I have practical experience” card often to establish credibility in the teaching community, but also when applying for grants. I feel this type of expert is part of the peter principle on the practical level, as researching educational practice is NOT the same as performing it. I feel researchers would benefit from a continuing and firm practical experience.

The second type started off with practice, perhaps first starting with teaching and aiding students in mathematics. Liking teaching he or she often picks up a course or two and getting teaching qualifications, and actually being good educators. These establish them as authorities on practice, and then -because everybody is rightly impressed by their teaching- they are asked to explain their succes. This is often done without any research-type basis , but because they are succesful this does not seem to matter. I feel this type of expert is part of the peeter principle on the theoretical level, as performing educational practice is NOT the same as researching it. I feel educationalists (be they in school, ministry or consultancy) would benefit from a continuing and firm theoretical experience.

In sum, I strongly feel that the math (education) community would benefit from bridging practice and theory: specialists in both teaching (actually teaching themselves) AND research (actually performing research themselves). Of course, this is not surprising as it is one of the goals of the Dudoc programme. To join both I think the development of a combination of Veni,vidi,vici type grants and Lector-type appointments in secondary education would be a good thing. About the latter the piece below appeared in the Volkskrant. Of course, I’m perfectly willing to start this up 😉

Caving Math Education


In july I will be visiting Portsmouth for a conference. If time permits I will try and visit some heritage sites, e.g. Portsdown.


Douze points

Tonight I will be watching -casually not fanatically- the final of the eurovision song contest. I love this contest with its politics, its rituals, its bad music, its good music. Every year -because our contribution mostly is bad- the Dutch moan about these things. As if Frans Bauers music (a Dutch, local world celebrity) is so wonderful. Of course, liking alternative music, there are not many songs I like on a personal level. With the odd exception like Brainstorm’s My Star (with Jarvis Cocker-esque dancing):

I haven’t seen any songs from the two semi-finals. Well…only one…the decent

Note that this is the first post that should be automatically tweeted into the world.


Caving in Belgium

I am discovering the wonders of the great site. Especially the “easy” Trou de L’église Cave should be easy to confront quickly (

I remember having visited one cave. I will try and discover which one it was.


Sources on caves

I finally started a personal blog just to see if I am able to keep publishing.

The first major topic will probably be caving. From my childhood, when visiting Wales and South-west England with my parents I have been interested in rocks in all form and matter. My sister-in-law married an Austrian guy, which also falls in the category rocks, rocks and rocks, and most recently I’m watching and reading everything about caves. For example the IMAX movie:

But also the blockbuster by Cameron:

And after a visit to the Grottes de Hotton I am even more adamant: one day I will be caving and cave-diving, and a member of the Speleo Nederland. I, however, first have more pressing matters: writing my thesis, and so at the moment -in high anticipation of my caving future ;-)- I’m reading books and brushing up my fitness with survival training (my first triatlon, smallest distances, in june!).

Reading James M. Tabor – Blind descent
And have you seen the Wookey Hole? Also read this story on Wookey’s discovery and the dangers of caving diving. Why do I find this interesting? A whole list of UK caves is on

There, I also found info on caves in North-wales, as well as mines where I’ve been when young. I used to love the mine near Nantmor: