Archive for the Running Category
pictures, Running, Travel with tags Berlin, Berlin wall, jatp, morning run, murals, Ost-Berlin on March 30, 2017 by xi'an
Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags Alberta, Banff, Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation, BIRS, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Mount Rundle, Tunnel Mountain on February 27, 2017 by xi'an
Mountains, pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags ABC, ABC convergence, ABC'ory, Banff, Banff Centre, BIRS, Calgary on February 18, 2017 by xi'an
Today, I fly from Paris to Amsterdam to Calgary to attend the ABC’ory workshop (15w2214) at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) that Luke Bornn, Jukka Corander, Gael Martin, Dennis Prangle, Richard Wilkinson and myself built. The meeting is to brainstorm about the foundations of ABC for statistical inference rather than about the computational aspects of ABC, but the schedule is quite flexible for other directions!
pictures, Running with tags Internet ordering, métro, Paris, running shoes, webpage on January 22, 2017 by xi'an
This (whining) post is of little interest to anyone but French runners: last week I ordered a new pair of running shoes as mine had suffered too many kilometres to keep going and came upon a sale offer on 21run.fr that suited my needs. Checking similar offers on other running sites made this sale the best choice and hence I ordered the shoes. As is often the case with running shoes, the size varies with the brand and the pair of Asics I received was too small. Nothing unusual with that, but I then found out that the company is actually located in Germany, despite the website being integrally in French, plus advertising in the Paris métro, which again is not an issue per se, except that it charges returns outside Germany. Meaning that I ended up paying 17% of the overall price just to return shoes that were not my size.
Kids, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags air pollution, Bengali food, cash-free economy, cellphone, child labour, Darjeeling, ghee, India, Kolkata, panipuri, pollution, puri, Ravi Shankar, street food, traffic on January 15, 2017 by xi'an
[The following is a long and fairly naïve rant about India and its contradiction, without pretence at anything else than writing down some impressions from my last trip. JATP: Just another tourist post!]
Incredible India (or Incredible !ndia) is the slogan chosen by the Indian Ministry of Tourism to promote India. And it is indeed an incredible country, from its incredibly diverse landscapes [and not only the Himalayas!] and eco-systems, to its incredibly huge range of languages [although I found out during this trip that the differences between Urdu and Hindi are more communitarian and religious than linguistic, as they both derive from Hindustani, although the alphabets completely differ] and religions [a mixed blessing], to its incredibly rich history and culture, to its incredibly wide offer of local cuisines [as shown by the Bengali sample below, where the mustard seed fish cooked in banana leaves and the fried banana flowers are not visible!] and even wines [like Sula Vineyards, which offers a pretty nice Viognier]. Not to mention incredibly savoury teas from Darjeeling and Assam. Continue reading
Books, Running, Travel with tags Alien, Avatar, book review, book reviews, brands, Brexit, England, Great North Road, Hyoer, Hyperion, India, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, science fiction, space opera, Speaker for the Dead, Travel on January 6, 2017 by xi'an
As I was unsure of the Internet connections and of the more than likely delays I would face during my trip to India, I went fishing for a massive novel on Amazon and eventually ordered Peter Hamilton’s Great North Road, a 1088 pages behemoth! I fear the book qualifies as space opera, with the conventional load of planet invasions, incomprehensible and infinitely wise aliens, gateways for instantaneous space travels, and sentient biospheres. But the core of the story is very, very, Earth-bound, with a detective story taking place in a future Newcastle that is not so distant from now in many ways. (Or even from the past as the 2012 book did not forecast Brexit…) With an occurrence of the town moor where I went running a few years ago.
The book is mostly well-designed, with a plot gripping enough to keep me hooked for Indian evenings in Kolkata and most of the flight back. I actually finished it just before landing in Paris. There is no true depth in the story, though, and the science fiction part is rather lame: a very long part of the detective plot is spent on the hunt for a taxi by an army of detectives, a task one would think should be delegated to a machine-learning algorithm and solved in a nano-second or so. The themes heavily borrow from those of classics like Avatar, Speaker for the Dead, Hyperion [very much Hyperion!], Alien… And from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for an hardcore heroin who is perfect at anything she undertakes. Furthermore, the Earth at the centre of this extended universe is very close to its present version, with English style taxis, pub culture, and a geopolitic structure of the World pretty much unchanged. Plus main brands identical to currents ones (Apple, BMW, &tc), to the point it sounds like sponsored links! And no clue of a major climate change despite the continued use of fuel engines. Nonetheless, an easy read when stuck in an airport or a plane seat for several hours.