The Friedel Chronicles
Writing a biographical and general interest book on Medium.com
- A full index of all my Chronicle stories is further below.
In May 2016 I had a bicycle accident. I was hit by a car, on a pedestrian crossing, and was incapacitated for a few days. My son Tommy visited me and decided that this was the ideal time for me to start writing my autobiography — something I had been talking about for quite some time. For twenty years I edited a bi-monthly magazine (in German), then for seventeen years the news page of my software company, ChessBase. That involved writing on average three articles a day, with no breaks — not for birthdays, Christmas or holidays. The news page flourished: we sometimes had over 100,000 visitors per day.
But now I had reached seventy and was seeking to go into retirement. I had a few residual projects to manage, and two wonderful grandsons to look after. I had a fairly interesting life behind me, and so an autobiography would be appropriate. But, said Tommy, not flat-out write the book, but do it bit by bit. I should write about different things whenever they occur to me. On any of a variety of subjects. Afterwards we can use the text to make a book (or books). He set me up in Medium.com — a process that took under one minute. Now I had my biographical and general interest blog: The Friedel Chronicles.
Then I started. The very first article was entitled “Vera’s Prosopagnosia” and told about the strange affliction an extraordinarily brilliant young lady of my acquaintance has: she cannot recognize faces. Since then I have been writing stories: whenever anything occurs to me I quickly produce a three or four-page article, enjoying myself thoroughly in the process. At times I write quite assiduously, at times neglect the task for weeks. Depends on the residual workload for my company.
This has gone on for over three years now, quietly in the background, without any announcement or publicity. But a couple of hundred people have “discovered” the blog and have, in general, reacted very positively. They keep urging me to “go public”. Maybe that will come at some stage, but in general the Friedel Chronicles will remain low-key until I decide to show them to publishers — or otherwise find a way to proceed.
Medium.com has served me well, but there is one thing I needed to do: create an index for friends and relatives to easily find articles. That is also something I need myself — I often discuss something with someone and want to point to an article I have written. For that you need an index. And after writing a large number of articles, here and on ChessBase, I am sometimes not sure I have not already told a story that occurs to me.
So now, without further garrulous intro text, here is the index I put together today. I intend to maintain it, keeping it up-to-date and rearranging things occasionally. Ideally you should be able to consult it to find things you are looking for. Let us see how this works out.
- I was on the Kashmir Princess and the Herald of Free Enterprise
- My brief indie film career
- Rom: the snake man in the 1970s
- Hunting terrorists with — linguistics!
- Alois — the beginning
- Tommy and the Repton (1)
- Alex and the panther
- Dipalee — the girl in the jungle
- Philosophical me (1)
- Philosophical me (2)
- Vanishing Monarchs
- The snake charmer’s deadly secret
- Start reading at one?
- The Magic of Logic (1)
- The Magic of Logic (2)
- The Magic of Logic (3)
- The Magic of Logic (4)
- The Magic of Logic (5)
- The Magic of Logic (6)
- The Magic of Logic (7)
- The Magic of Logic (8)
- The Magic of Logic (9)
- The Magic of Logic (10)
- The Magic of Logic (11)
- The Magic of Logic (12)
- The Magic of Logic (13)
- Piet Hein and the Soma Cube
- The Café Wall Illusion
- Tricking the brain
- IQ test: weighing the coins
- Lie to your kids — it’s good for them
- He had a dream — a logical puzzle
Thinking, the scientific method, scepticism
- How to perform extraordinary feats of mental skill
- The Positive Result Bias
- Falsification and the scientific method
- Magical Moments with Randi (1)
- Magical moments with Randi (2)
- Remembering Martin Gardner
- Picking a fight with astrologers
- The art of skepticism
- Debating flat earthers
- Iridium magic — how to fool believers
- Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s a bird, Sergey…
- Covid-19 — what we must do, immediately!
- The ups and downs of Covid-19
- Covid-19 — what needs to be done…
- Covid-19, exactly how bad is it?
- What is a virus? Is it even alive?
- The coronavirus, what we can do
- Healing with an unknown force?
- Penicillin — how antibiotics changed the world
- Superbugs — the biggest threat to mankind
- On bikes and bones
- Gerontology: How long will you live?
- Air pressure and the human ear
- Radioactive Pa — how dangerous is it?
- Surgery today — with anesthesia!
- My brief medical career
- Terrie’s Trauma
- Saving children — life in the hospital
- Timo and Regina — life in the hospital
- How I survived bubonic plague (sort of)
- Quit smoking — it’s easier than you think
- Vera’s Prosopagnosia
Magic, scams and tricks
- Amazon — the good, the bad and the ugly
- The great spoon bending scam
- The don’t-say-a-certain-word trick
- The great mind-reading trick
- Impress your friends with a blindfold Knight’s Tour
- Pure audacity: the fake robot scam
- Smuggling computers — to help a nation
- Static apnoea and the jacuzzi scam
- Google Tooth — the latest in wearables
- Scam school: the Higgins ploy
- Scamming programmers with Guess
- A night at the MET — in Hamburg!
- Musical encounters: the flash mob kind
- Solving the Beriozka mystery
- Machines who play (and compose) music
- Beethoven’s greatest gift to mankind (1)
- Beethoven’s greatest gift to mankind (2)
- Perfect pitch
- My three most powerful musical experiences
- Linguistic understanding in children
- Verse and meter — and the raven
- Rhyming, meter and limericks
- English: so many words…
- The awful German language (1)
- The awful German language (2)
- Speech Act Theory — just say yes!
- And the Literature Nobel prize goes to…
- What the Romans did not do for us
Physics, Astronomy, astrophysics, geography
- Yad Al Jausa — and other bad-ass stars
- If we find life on Mars — we are doomed!
- What space aliens really look like
- The eclipse that changed the world
- Rain forests — lungs of the Earth?
- Are the “lungs of the earth” burning?
- Do we need biodegradable plastics?
- The highest mountain
- ’Tis bitter cold–but how far can it go?
- Moon landing — no, it wasn’t faked
- Piazzi and the missing planet
- Don’t forget the extra second!
- The true dimensions of Space
- Populate the planets? Really?
- Do we live in a simulation?
- Quantum physics — is it real?
- A total eclipse in Wellheim
- Disasters: asteroids, tsunamis and Yellowstone
- A Journey to Elista — (1)
- A Journey to Elista — (2)
- Journey to the East (1)
- Journey to the East (2)
- Journey to the East (3)
- Journey to the East (4)
- Iceland is — exciting! (1)
- Iceland is — exciting! (2)
- Iceland is — exciting! (3)
- Tracking lightning in real time
- How evolution works
- On Evolution and Acorns
- The missing monarchs of Mexico
- Monarchs in Mexico — millions of them!
- How to turn a fox into a dog
- Snakes in the woods
- Ratting with Brutus
- Prime number cicadas — really!
- Boidies — bringing up song thrush chicks
- Whales — love ’em or eat ’em
- How hideous can it get?
- On the eighth day God created mosquitoes
- Clever crows
- Rats, crows and me
Chess, artificial intelligence
- My wonderful AI predictions
- A pants-on-fire AI lie detector?
- Faces, faces
- The adventure of chess programming (1)
- The adventure of chess programming (2)
- The adventure of chess programming (3)
- Deep sea exploration — leave it to robots!
- Don’t plant trees!
- Money: how much of it is around?
- 1983: East Germans in Budapest
- The fall of the Berlin Wall
- SheToo — Protection from Predators
- Ivan and the cotton blouse
- Dealing with drugs — what must be done
- How Liberal Mike got Donald elected
- Ken Rogoff and the Curse of Cash
- The world’s poorest billionaires
- The hilariously prophetic Onion
- Lethal and non-lethal police confrontations
- It must be done: DRM for military weapons
- OMG — I own a gun!
- Dangerous encounters — security and me
- Sticky wicket — my brief cricket career
- Fixing football — how to make it interesting
- Swimming — now the girls are better
- Baseball — a faulty game
- Muhammed Ali — indeed the greatest
- Two men who saved the world
- The community blog
- Gravity trails — just an idea
- How I did not become a billionaire
- Weekend horror
- Why do cows…
- Anna in the West
- Annus horribilis — was 2016 all that bad?
- The hero of Berlin: Lukasz Robert Urban
- Stepan — how it all started
- Money problems without decimals
- The A380 — but will it fly?
- Bad Predictions
- David vs. Goliath — how terribly unfair!
- The myth of the peaceful savage
- How to find a plane — for $75
- Godzilla — Men in Suits