Archive for the Travel Category

30 less reasons to overtake bikes

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on September 17, 2021 by xi'an

quantum computing reproducibility crisis?

Posted in Books, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2021 by xi'an

While standing in a train to my mother’s house in Brittany, I was catching up on earlier Nature issues and came upon this April issue where, following the retraction of a Nature paper on the topic, Sergey Frolov casts doubt on the possible detection of a new type of quantum particle, the Majorana fermion, whose existence still remains inconclusive. The criticism concentrates on the data analysis of signals where the appearance of a narrow peak should support the hypothesised existence. The article is interesting (to me) as a reflection of someone having published positive, then negative articles on the topic, upon the tendency for authors in the field to cherry-pick experiments where some peaks occur. Among dozens or hundred of experiments where they did not. And calling for open data and more stringent review(er)s on the matter (and others). The arguments in the opinion tribune sound most reasonable but I wonder whether or not other particle physicists share the same concern.

and it only gets worse

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2021 by xi'an

“The law, known as Senate Bill 8, amounts to a nearly complete ban on abortion in Texas, one that will further fuel legal and political battles over the future of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. The law makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape.” NYT, Sept. 1

“The [Supreme] Court’s order is stunning,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.” NYT, Sept. 2

“A judge in Ohio ordered a hospital to treat a Covid-19 patient with ivermectin, despite warnings from experts that the anti-parasitic drug has not proved effective against the virus and can be dangerous in large doses.” The Guardian, Aug. 31

“More than half of the world’s people have no social protections, the United Nations has warned, even after the pandemic pushed many governments to offer services to their populations.” The Guardian, Sept. 1

Statistics at Bristol [& U]

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on September 14, 2021 by xi'an

For the celebration of the recently renovated Fry Building, which I visited in Feb 2019 (my last time in Britain!), the University of Bristol is holding the Fry Conference series, with one dedicated to statistics on 16-17 September 2021. With Peter Green, Arnaud Doucet, and Judith Rousseau among the speakers. It is sadly on-line so does not give one the opportunity to admire the renovated bulding. And the Voronoi sculpture! (And You figures in the title of the conference.)

what a party!

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2021 by xi'an

We ended up having a terrific b’day party last Thursday after noon, with about 30 friends listening in Institut Henri Poincaré to Florence, Pierre, and Sylvia giving lectures on my favourite themes, namely ABC, MCMC, and mixture inference. Incl. subtle allusions to my many idiosyncrasies in three different flavours!  And a limited number of anecdotes, incl. the unavoidable Cancún glasses disaster! We later headed to a small Ethiopian restaurant located on the other side of the Panthéon, rue de l’Ecole Polytechnique (rather than on the nearby rue Laplace!), which was going to be too tiny for us, especially in these COVID times, until the sky cleared up and the restaurant set enough tables in the small street to enjoy their injeras and wots till almost midnight. The most exciting episode of the evening came when someone tried to steal some of our bags that had been stored in a back room and when Tony spotted the outlier and chased him till the thief dropped the bags..! Thanks to Tony for saving the evening and our computers!!! To Éric, Jean-Michel and Judith for organising this 9/9 event (after twisting my arm just a wee bit). And to all my friends who joined the party, some from far away…