Narcissistic Numbers, The Java Code Edition

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Finally, I pulled my finger out of somewhere and wrote some Java code to calculate all Narcissistic Numbers. I ran it for numbers up to 9 digits and it took about 30 minutes in total. The time taken will increase exponentially, the more digits you run it for.

I’m sure you code/number buffs out there could write a more elegant solution to the problem – please let me know if you do.

Here’s a sample of the output from this code;

DIGITS: 3
153
370
371
407
DIGITS: 4
1634
8208
9474
DIGITS: 5
54748
92727
93084
DIGITS: 6
548834
DIGITS: 7
1741725
4210818
9800817
9926315
DIGITS: 8
24678050
24678051
88593477
DONE.

Or if you decide to run this, let me know how far you got. Here is the breakdown of the code, followed by the full class for you to copy/paste.

Let’s use some math libraries to make the job easier:

import java.math.BigDecimal;  // We need this class for the correct level of precision
import java.math.MathContext; // This class is used to by BigDecimal methods to determine precision

We define the starting and ending number of digits to process:

public class NarcissismItself {

	static final int LO_RANGE = 3;  // From this number of digits...
	static final int HI_RANGE = 8;  // ...to this number of digits.
	// Maximum 39. No Narcissistic numbers from 40 digits. Mathematical fact.
	// After 9, it can take a long time to run.

	static final int CHAR0 = Integer.valueOf((char)'0');  // Used later to calculate char/int conversion offset

The outer loop iterates through the numbers of digits we wish to process:

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		Integer iDigits = LO_RANGE;
		do {                                       // Iterate through the required numbers of digits
			iterateNarcissisticNumbers(iDigits);
			iDigits++;
		} while (iDigits <= HI_RANGE);

		System.out.println("DONE.");

	}

We work out the start and ending number for the number of digits in the current iteration:

	private static void iterateNarcissisticNumbers(Integer iDigits) {

		System.out.print("DIGITS: ");
		System.out.print(iDigits);
		System.out.println();

		// Calculate starting number, based on digits e.g. 7 digits = 1000000
		BigDecimal bdLo = new BigDecimal(10).pow(iDigits-1, new MathContext(40));
		// Calculate ending number, based on digits e.g. 7 digits = 9999999
		BigDecimal bdHi = new BigDecimal(10).pow(iDigits, new MathContext(40)).subtract(new BigDecimal(1));
		bdLo.setScale(0); // No decimals
		bdHi.setScale(0); // No decimals
		
		// Check all numbers between starting and ending numbers
		checkNarcissisticNumber(bdLo, bdHi, iDigits);
		
	}

We iterate through each number in the range and check whether each is Narcissistic:

	private static void checkNarcissisticNumber(BigDecimal bdLo, BigDecimal bdHi, int iDigits) {

		BigDecimal bdLoop = bdLo.subtract(new BigDecimal(1));
		do {                                                   // For all candidate numbers, check whether Narcissistic
			bdLoop = bdLoop.add(new BigDecimal(1));
			check1NarcissisticNumber(bdLoop, iDigits);
		} while ((bdLoop.compareTo(bdHi) == -1));

	}

Here’s the code that checks an individual number for Narcissism:

	private static void check1NarcissisticNumber(BigDecimal bdNumber, int iDigits) {

		BigDecimal accumulation = new BigDecimal(0);

		for (char sX : bdNumber.toPlainString().toCharArray()) {  // Iterate through all digits
			int charVal = Integer.valueOf(sX)-CHAR0;              // Convert char to int
			BigDecimal accum = new BigDecimal(charVal).pow(iDigits,new MathContext(40)); // Raise to power based on digits
			accumulation = accumulation.add(accum);               // Add to accumulated figure
		}

		if (bdNumber.compareTo(accumulation) == 0) {    // Is the accumulated number the same as the original number?
			System.out.print(bdNumber.toPlainString()); // Yes? Then it is Narcissistic.
			System.out.println();
		}
	
	}

Finally, we close off the class code block:

}

The full class is here in its entirety:

import java.math.BigDecimal;  // We need this class for the correct level of precision
import java.math.MathContext; // This class is used to by BigDecimal methods to determine precision

public class NarcissismItself {

	static final int LO_RANGE = 3;  // From this number of digits...
	static final int HI_RANGE = 8;  // ...to this number of digits.
	// Maximum 39. No Narcissistic numbers from 40 digits. Mathematical fact.
	// After 9, it can take a long time to run.

	static final int CHAR0 = Integer.valueOf((char)'0');  // Used later to calculate char/int conversion offset

	//--------------------------------------
	public static void main(String[] args) {

		Integer iDigits = LO_RANGE;
		do {                                       // Iterate through the required numbers of digits
			iterateNarcissisticNumbers(iDigits);
			iDigits++;
		} while (iDigits <= HI_RANGE);

		System.out.println("DONE.");

	}

	//---------------------------------------------------------------
	private static void iterateNarcissisticNumbers(Integer iDigits) {

		System.out.print("DIGITS: ");
		System.out.print(iDigits);
		System.out.println();

		// Calculate starting number, based on digits e.g. 7 digits = 1000000
		BigDecimal bdLo = new BigDecimal(10).pow(iDigits-1, new MathContext(40));
		// Calculate ending number, based on digits e.g. 7 digits = 9999999
		BigDecimal bdHi = new BigDecimal(10).pow(iDigits, new MathContext(40)).subtract(new BigDecimal(1));
		bdLo.setScale(0); // No decimals
		bdHi.setScale(0); // No decimals
		
		// Check all numbers between starting and ending numbers
		checkNarcissisticNumber(bdLo, bdHi, iDigits);
		
	}

	//------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	private static void checkNarcissisticNumber(BigDecimal bdLo, BigDecimal bdHi, int iDigits) {

		BigDecimal bdLoop = bdLo.subtract(new BigDecimal(1));
		do {                                                   // For all candidate numbers, check whether Narcissistic
			bdLoop = bdLoop.add(new BigDecimal(1));
			check1NarcissisticNumber(bdLoop, iDigits);
		} while ((bdLoop.compareTo(bdHi) == -1));

	}

	//------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	private static void check1NarcissisticNumber(BigDecimal bdNumber, int iDigits) {

		BigDecimal accumulation = new BigDecimal(0);

		for (char sX : bdNumber.toPlainString().toCharArray()) {  // Iterate through all digits
			int charVal = Integer.valueOf(sX)-CHAR0;              // Convert char to int
			BigDecimal accum = new BigDecimal(charVal).pow(iDigits,new MathContext(40)); // Raise to power based on digits
			accumulation = accumulation.add(accum);               // Add to accumulated figure
		}

		if (bdNumber.compareTo(accumulation) == 0) {    // Is the accumulated number the same as the original number?
			System.out.print(bdNumber.toPlainString()); // Yes? Then it is Narcissistic.
			System.out.println();
		}
	
	}

}
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You MUST accept our free service

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I tried to cancel my LogMeIn Pro account last week. There was no way to do this online, but they gave me an email address to send my request to cancel. I’m on a month-by-month subscription with the option to cancel at any time. Or so I thought.

I sent the email. I was asked to confirm from the same email address, so I did this promptly. A few more days pass. then I get this response:

“Hello Alan,

After a further look at your account, there is an active complimentary LogMeIn Pro subscription that currently exists.

We are obligated to provide you with the service for the duration of the subscription. 

But once it expires on 07/27/2014, we can completely delete your account.

Please contact us after the expiration of that subscription and we would be happy to assist you in deleting your account.”

etc.

 

My response was curt and to the point:

“I never heard such nonsense. Please delete my account.”

 

Indeed.

 

I Love Narcissistic Numbers

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Ever since school I’ve loved the pure truth of mathematics. The fact that you can be just right or wrong, with no middle ground or ambiguity, always appealed to me. As a toolset, it sits neatly in one’s arse pocket, ready to be used throughout life.

Recreational Mathematics can introduce some fun into the subject. I was listening to a podcast of The Infinite Monkey Cage a few days ago and a guest introduced the concept of Narcissistic Numbers – numbers that are in love with themselves. Here’s an example:

The four-digit number 8208.
Take each digit, raise it to the fourth power (because there are four digits), added the numbers and you get … 8208.

To work it out:
(8^4)+(2^4)+(0^4)+(8^4)
= (8x8x8x8)+(2x2x2x2)+(0x0x0x0)+(8x8x8x8)
= 4096+16+0+4096
= 8208

The number loved itself so much, it turned back into itself.

There are only three four-digit numbers that are Narcissistic Numbers. Same with five digit numbers. I’m busy writing some Java code to calculate them for everything up to 39 digits. There is a 39-digit Narcissistic Number, the largest possible:

115,132,219,018,763,992,565,095,597,973,971,522,401

The amazing thing is that it can be proven fairly easily that there are no numbers above 39 digits that are Narcissistic. The proof is this:

Take the largest 39-digit number, which is 999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999

Perform the calculation on this i.e. add 9 to the 39th power to itself 39 times, or
(9^39) + (9^39) + (9^39) + (9^39) + … + (9^39) + (9^39) + (9^39)
the above 39 times
= 39 x (9^39)
= 640,504,927,462,165,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (approx.)

Note that my calculator only has a limited precision to a certain number of digits (around 16). But it is sufficient to demonstrate the proof: the number, itself 39 digits, is considerably less than the largest 39-digit number i.e. it is deficient in that it cannot produce a number large enough to equal the originating number. A 40-digit number is going to have the same problem, in fact even more so, as is a 41-digit number, and so on.

I dunno about you, but I love the idea that (a) this is possible and (b) someone thought of it. Also, because this is an exploration of numbers in Base 10 (i.e. a man-made condition) it would be worth exploring in other bases for comparison.

Numbers for numbers’ sake. Love it.

Atheists Need To Leave Christmas Alone, Do They?

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Oh really?

  • Americans, leave St. Patrick’s Day alone, it’s for the Irish only.
  • Animal haters, leave Groundhog Day alone. I said leave Groundhog Day alone. Groundhog Day. Alone. Alone. And St. Francis Of Assisi Day.
  • Heterosexuals, step away from Harvey Milk Day.
  • Peace lovers, move away from the observance of D-Day Remembrance and Veterans’ Day.
  • Mothers, don’t even mention Fathers’ day.
  • Fathers, … you know the rest.
  • Infidels, forget about Ramadan, Muharram and The Prohet’s Birthday.
  • Gentiles, if I hear you even say Purim, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Hannukah I’ll be on you like a spider monkey.
  • Non-consumerists, stay in your homes on Black Friday. And Cyber Monday too.
  • Non-Witches, you may not celebrate Halloween with your kids.
  • Only people whose offspring have offspring may participate in Senior Citizens Day celebrations.
  • If you don’t work, Labor Day is not for you, pal.
  • If you celebrate Cinco De Mayo and you’re not Mexican, you can expect a visit soon.
  • Singletons may not even make mention of Valentine’s Day.
  • Forget Kwanzaa if your skin colour is not on the approved list.

Seriously? Are you fucking retarded? Merry Xmas.

Warning: the message above may contain sarcasm. Not for the hard of thinking.

Understanding Evolution

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Enough is enough.

This is one of the most misunderstood topics there is. It’s really simple. The problem is that it’s not intuitive. So, unless you learn it properly, you’ll listen to the misleading nonsense and fail to grasp its simplicity, beauty and truth. I’ll explain by example.

Evolution is NOT this:

  1. An animal lives in a place where it has to stretch its neck high to reach leaves (its food).
  2. It stretches for a lifetime, eating and stretching.
  3. It dies, eventually, having stretched its neck two millimetres longer over many years.
  4. Before dying, it gives birth to offspring with slightly longer necks (passing on the trait).
  5. They live their lives in the same way, stretching, adding more length to their neck length.
  6. They pass on this trait to their offspring.
  7. And so on, until a thousand years later, you’ve got a giraffe.

Don’t be impressed by misleading images such as this:

BbCVZ4cCMAAXtoQ

Pseudo-science, masquerading as fact

Evolution IS this:

  1. An animal exists, it has poor eyesight. Let’s call this a Flob.
  2. Another animal exists, it has eyesight similar to Flob. Let’s call this a Gloop.
  3. Another animal exists, it has eyesight similar to Flob and Gloop. Let’s call this a Yeti.
  4. The Yeti prey on the Flob and the Gloop, when they can find them. (Poor eyesight)
  5. The Flob has offspring, the offspring have a tiny genetic aberration whereby their eyesight improves slightly.
  6. The Gloop has offspring, the offspring have a tiny genetic aberration whereby their eyesight degrades slightly.
  7. The Yeti catches more Gloop than Flob because the Gloop can see the Yeti coming a little better than the Gloop.
  8. The Flob increase in numbers because they are more successful at surviving.
  9. The Gloop start to die out because they get caught.
  10. This process repeats over hundreds of thousands of generations, over countless millions of years. Some genetic variations provide advantages, some don’t.
  11. This is called “evolution by natural selection”.

This picture is more accurate, but greatly simplified:

A more accurate, simplified representation of evolution over geological time

Important points to remember:

  • The genetic changes from generation to generation are random.
  • Evolution occurs over geological timespans, not over human history timespans.
  • The Flob in the east will mutate into a slightly different animal than those in the west, north and south. This is how common ancestry occurs. Animals move about and their mutations are localised. Consider a “family tree” of species over huge timespans.
  • So-called intermediates have such infinitesimally small variation, it’s difficult to say where one animal “ends” and another “begins”.
  • Some scientists describe evolution as “a series of successful mistakes”.
  • The phrase “survival of the fittest” is described above.
  • If you choose to impose religion on this process, you need to provide proof.
  • Evolution is a process, it has no purpose or intent. It just has effects.

What is meant by “proof”:

  • The “Theory of Evolution” is backed up by a fossil record numbered in the millions.
  • This theory is corroborated by multiple, complementary geochronology methods. Fossils are dated according to where they are found in rock strata, and how old those rocks are.
  • Recent advances in DNA genetic sequence decoding techniques provides further evidence of a “family tree” of related species.
  • Geographic dispersal of species (and their evolutionary relationships) provides further evidence to back up the theory.
  • If any single shred of evidence emerged that contradicted the Theory of Evolution, it is considered debunked and scientists will search for other answers. No such evidence exists thus far.
  • All evidence is subject to peer review, repeat experiment and challenge.
  • Scientific proof, in this case is a colossal amount of overwhelming evidence. Compare this to actual, real religious evidence before you start to knock it.
  • We didn’t evolve from apes, we are a different branch of the tree. And, we are apes, genetically and biologically. Let’s not be arrogant about it.
  • If you ask the question “if man descended from apes, how come there are still apes”, please read the above explanation carefully. If you still think the question hasn’t been answered, you are stupid or wilfully ignorant – you choose. And please read a science book or two.
  • Evolution is a FACT. It’s a theory, but a proven theory. Until a better theory is PROVEN. And this doesn’t look likely any time soon.

Don’t say you weren’t told.

Your Parents Love You Less When Another Sibling Is Born

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Many a parent has sat their little one down, and in hushed tones told them that they will be getting a new baby brother or sister soon but that “Mummy and Daddy will still love you just the same”. Children, I’m here to tell you this is a lie.

Not only is it a lie, but it will be demonstrated here, complete with mathematical proof.

Let’s consider a situation where there is one parent and one child. Let L represent the amount of the parent’s love for that child. L is 100% for the first child. When the next child arrives, and assuming the parent loves both children in equal quantities (ignoring favourites) the value of L reduces to 50%. So far, it’s simple.

Let N represent the number of children. The simple formula for the Parental Love Quotient, Q is:

PLQ = L / N

As N increases, PLQ tends towards zero, never actually reaching it.

Several assumptions are made:

  1. The total of parental love available to all children remains unchanged over time.
  2. The parent does not favour any one child.
  3. Multiple simultaneous births are excluded for the purpose of simplicity.
  4. Both parents love their children in equal amounts.
  5. The love for any one child remains a constant value until the next is born.
  6. Ginger stepchildren are excluded from the mathematical model.

It’s clear that these assumptions are prone to challenge, but for the initial explanation, let’s keep the number of variables low.

This graph charts the PLQ from 1 to 16 (Catholic) children:

PLQ-Graph1

It also shows another interesting value; the Size Of Lie (SOL). This is the size of the lie told to each succeeding child. Note that the SOL value diminishes greatly as the number of children increases. The first child is lied to the most.

The formula for Size Of Lie is:

SOL = PLQn – PLQn-1

With regard to the assumptions laid out above, a Favourite Child Weighting value must be factored in when calculating the PLQ values for your own family. This will also help determine the Size Of Lie from one child to the next and indicates how evil your parents are.

The above theorem will be included in my forthcoming book “Grow Up, Imbecile” which challenges many accepted precepts of family life, but adds a scientific or mathematical viewpoint in order to illuminate hitherto unquestioned dogma.

Are Men And Women Equal?

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Of course not. How could anyone possibly think they are? In order for them to be equal, they would have to be the same. And they’re not the same. Men have willies and goolies, women have mysterious things and lovely round ladybumps. They sound different. They think differently. The ladies live longer, on average. Chaps usually have deeper voices and are hairier on their bodily bits. Usually. Men are usually physically stronger. Usually.

At the molecular level, they are different from each other. The sexes are differentiated on passports, driving licenses and birth certificates. They have different toilets. Different underwear. Different changing rooms in shops. Aisles in supermarkets dedicated to the different products they try to sell us. They smell different.

Because they are different. Logically, biologically, philosophically and actually they are not equal. They’re not even equivalent.

stupid-man-2

I do think men and women should treat one another equally though. Insofar as it makes sense. In the normal course of our daily interaction we should be sex-blind.

When I hear the clamour for “equality” on the basis of sex, I get a pain in my man bits. The word “sexism” has virtually lost its meaning for me. Forget that claim on behalf of your sex, insist on equal treatment on behalf of your species. The sex part is not going to bolster your argument, it’ll merely make you look like a man-hating lesbian. I’m sure this will infuriate some, but to those whose hackles are raised, ask yourself whether it’s simply because it’s so ingrained in you that you cannot conceive of another viewpoint.

The same goes for blokes, of course. Don’t be the whistling builder slob when you’re with your friends (and you’re more courageous) when a chick walks past. In her heels. Sorry, I digressed there.

My point is this: stop demanding “equality”. It’s impossible. We’re not the same. Demand equal treatment, because we all deserve that, regardless of our plumbing.

Budget News: Acupuncture Cure Available For Pregnant Teenagers

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There’s great news in the offing for teens who wake up to find themselves up the duff. From January next, it will be possible to dissolve your unborn using the ancient techniques of acupuncture and the cost will be covered by the taxpayer. This comes in the wake of Ireland’s latest budget announcements.

Bleeding heart liberal types will be pleased with the news that the nation’s hard-earned resources will be handed out to tramps who put it about a bit too much, and who don’t take the proper precautions. Us “normals” can take succour from the fact that the state will be preserved from footing the bill for nappies, prams and gripe water for the many unwanted rugrats.

Religious zealots have been quick to point out the benefits of such a scheme.

It’s entirely natural, because it’s just needles in your skin, and the feeshus just dissolves. So it’s natural and very feng shui!” said a red-faced sweaty priest who had clearly done his research. The ancient cleric wished to remain anonymous. He told us “I’ve checked with the New Testament, and it says that this is OK with God. As long as there’s no homosexuals involved, and no morning after pill, it’s grand. And I know the Pope will be OK with that too.” When we asked him what scriptural references he invoked and how he knew about Papal consent for such actions he muttered something rude under his breath and stormed out in an arrogant huff, as if we had challenged his authority and we were not worthy of further discourse.

Hippie Farts

We spoke to the proprietor of the New Age Healing Unicorn shop in the centre of the town. Grand Swami Pat Flynn told us what this will mean to him and his clients: “There is lovely warm karma coming from the government of this great nation. It means that I can heal the lovely young ladies in the town who find themselves in the pudding club through no fault of their own; those who the universe selects for procreation before their time. I can release their negative energy through aura massage and the miracle of acupuncture. Through manipulation of the chakra, identification of the subject’s petal colour, the incessant humming of mantras and payment of the correct fee (plus tip), the life force can be channeled down the drain with no lasting ill-effect on the subject vessel. We also include incense, warm stones and goat oil for free with every release of chi. But only for the Premium package.

We asked the shop owner what medical qualifications he had and what were the proven scientific benefits of acupuncture, and he answered “Do not mock what you do not understand. I thought you were sympathetic, but now I see that you are not. I have not made claims.

We were asked to leave the premises.

We called the office of the Minister Of Finance for comment on the unmitigated squandering of taxpayer money on a bunch of loose slags but they refused to speak to us. They said the minister was busy this week getting his horoscope done and most of the next week getting his ley lines re-energised and to call back between 3 and 4 on a Saturday if we were a Leo, Virgo, Cancer or Aquarium, or between 4 and 5 if not.

Ladies, Drinking Wine Makes You Classy

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Ladies, we’re happy to report some good news. Scientists at the Princeton Institute for the Study of Thirst (PIST) have completed their research on the effects of drinking wine in large quantities and often. It helps you to escape from the tedium of normal existence and hide temporarily in a fug-filled world of happiness and giggling. But there’s more – their research indicates that regular consumption of fermented grape juice elevates you at least one notch on the class ladder.

Hmmmm ... nice

That’s not the only good news, though. If you post regularly on Facebook that you drink lots of wine, especially those little pictures with regurgitated wisdom on them with phrases such as “I just rescued some wine … it was trapped in the bottle” or “I enjoy long walks … to my wine rack“, then your entire social circle gets to know just how classy you really are.

Round it off by adding pictures of you having just the most fun as a sloppy drunk, being picked up by your other drunk friends after a little fall, or helping them up in a comically clumsy way and everyone gets to see your sheer class shine on through. For an air of je ne sais quoi, add a photo of the table with some wine glasses – framed by a sunset if possible – to ensure the world knows that your dependency is complete and all-encompassing.

The science just works. Stay classy, ladies.
😉

Review of Jojo Mayer Drum Clinic, X-Music, Dublin, 6th Oct. 2013

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Full house. The X-Music shop floor was the venue for what was to be an impressive display of some of the most intelligent drumming I’ve seen yet. Jojo’s impressively neat kit was already set up on a riser and the seats were laid out. The merchandise counter had a steady stream of punters ready to buy his instructional DVDs, custom kick pedal, branded sticks and other lovely drum porn.

I knew very little about Jojo Mayer before this event; a friend bought tickets # 1 and 2 (and won some raffle prizes for his trouble) and gave me first refusal on one. Nice chap. Good friend. I’d seen some Youtube clips and watched in awe at skills I could never hope to begin to consider approaching, and a highly intelligent master telling the audience about his experiences, techniques and approach.

The introduction by the organisers, X-Music and Mike Dolbear, was suitably low key but somehow everyone in the cheap seats knew this was going to be something special.

Jojo started off by playing along to three MacBook-based backing tracks in the Drum’n’Bass genre, not a species I know very well. But now I want to know more. As a decrepit prog rock devotee, I warmed to the technical way he could allow the backing track to pulse in the background while he went on a wild ride on a parallel sidetrack but always met back with the train with unerring precision. And he made it sound and feel good. His inner clock is nothing short of phenomenal.

This wasn’t a gig though, so he then turned on the mic and allowed our fellow punters to lob questions at him. Having expounded on such topics as his approach to composition (namely his “Neurotic” and “Schizophrenic” methods), polymetric playing and it’s mathematical underpinnings, the importance of having musical integrity (my words) and not doing it for Facebook Likes, and the zombie that is the global music industry, he spoke in some detail – and from a position of authority – on his bass drum technique and the reasons he designed his own pedal.

Long story short, he has a collection of over 40 pedals, one dating back to 1909. I had no idea kick pedals were around 104 years ago. I’ll bet you didn’t neither. He explained that drumming has about 400 years of history behind it, much of it from the military, whereas the bass drum (as played by kit players) has a much shorter legacy dating back to somewhere in the 1940s. The original pedals were constructed with leather or nylon straps joining the footplate to the rotating cam. This worked well for the music styles of the day, namely Jazz, Bebop, Big Band and such, because much of this was played quietly and with a regular pulse.

One individual, Albert “Al” Duffy, who ultimately invented the original Camco chain drive pedal from a modified 5000 was struggling with the recurring problem of wearing and breaking straps. He got the idea from a timpani tuning drive for a chain mechanism to replace the fragile straps. This eliminated the wear and tear and it still worked for the musical styles in vogue.

Then, along comes rock’n’roll. With it, a revolution in electrically powered amplification equipment. With that, the need to play LOUDER and faster. So, the full body powered kick stroke became the norm, as did laying the beater into the head. The problem with that, as Jojo pointed out, was that the chains were now in common use (because manufacturers recognised that “it’s what the kids want”). But the chain doesn’t add anything, just weight and inertia.

Jojo Mayer in de house

He investigated literally EVERY kick pedal manufacturer in the world and found out an interesting thing: many of them are produced by the same manufacturers in a factory in China and rebadged. There has been no real innovation in this area for many years. This led to further studies of technique and an attempt to get to the bottom of exactly WHY he could not attain the foot speeds he thought should be possible.

That approach led him to adopt a strategy: mimic his hand/arm techniques (which were working) with his legs/feet. This is where I could go into some wordy detail to try to explain how Jojo described the mechanics of this, but I’ll necessarily gloss over these details because I couldn’t possibly explain it here.

Another part of the problem related to friction between the sole and the mechanism’s footplate. Generally regarded as desirable by contemporary players, it was one of the main reasons Jojo couldn’t realise his developing technique.  He took to cannibalising many of the items in his collection, to create the Frankenstein pedal (his words). And yes, I know it wasn’t the monster’s name.

Once Jojo had the problems, and the solutions, diagnosed, he took to designing his own pedal. The result was the Perfect Balance pedal that bears his name as a prefix. It’s a simple looking construction but it has some slick features: a smooth footplate to enable the foot to slide (he showed us the leather soles glued to his trainers to complete the friction-free ensemble); a single post to remove a physical barrier to foot slides; a slick folding mechanism for teardown in a couple of seconds; and a quick clamp mechanism for swift attachment to the drum. All in all, a nice bit of kit.

The biggest problem I had, though, was a personal one. He forced me to rethink all I knew, or thought, about kick pedals. I got a DW 9002 a few months back for a real bargain, and it’s lovely, it’s smooth, solid and the nicest I’ve played with (from a small stable of choices) but now I just don’t know any more.

Enough about my petty woes.

Throughout the evening he was happy to demonstrate, not just explain, what he meant with many examples on the kit. It was all, somehow, accessible. Despite the hopelessness one feels when the reality hits that you’ll never attain such heights. He rounded off the night with another couple of tunes.

I discovered another thing on the night also – I want another snare drum in my setup with one of his Hoop Crasher things, developed with the help of Sabian.

It’s clear that Jojo has a quirky, unique and intelligent approach to what he does. He certainly can talk about it too, with the Swiss accent, the gesticulations and the spectacular hair. But his zeal and charisma are in full view. He can carry an audience with both his narrative AND his playing. And his technical knowledge, proficiency and (a word favoured by drumming pundits) chops are first rate. All that, and it sounds AND feels good too.

We were all lucky to be treated to a wonderful 90-odd minutes of entertainment by this rare individual. Let’s hope the success of this clinic will translate to more such events – Mike (Dolbear) made the point that the likes of X-Music took a risk by staging this event. I’m delighted it paid off for them and hope we’ll all reap the benefits in future by having a greater range of them. And that such retail operations thrive through these hard times by taking this kind of risk. I guess it’s something we all take for granted and it’s a good thing that it is pointed out to us. Get thee down to these events!

The man of the evening then gracefully handed out autographs as we left.

More, please! Many more.