Archive for the Uncategorized Category

the story of Gertrud and Auguste Macé

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2020 by xi'an

The discussions about the links between early statistics and eugenism brought back to memory the tragic story of a German-Norman couple, friends of my grandparents, Gertrud(e) and Auguste Macé, whom I met in the mid 1980’s. Auguste Macé was a school friend of my grandmother, born near the harbour city of Granville, Manche and, like my grandparents,  a war orphan, son of a French conscript killed in combat during WW I. During WW II, when Nazi Germany promptly invaded France in the Spring of 1940, Auguste Macé was part of the millions of French conscripts captured by German troops and sent to a stalag, in North-Eastern Germany (Prussia), where he was made to work in farms missing their workforce conscripted to war. In one of these farms, he met Gertrud, daughter of the farm owners, they fell in love, and Gertrud eventually got pregnant. When her pregnancy was revealed, Auguste was sent to another POW camp. And, while Gertrud was able to give birth to a baby boy, she was dreadfully punished by the Nazis for it: as she had broken their racial purity laws, she was sterilised and prevented from having further children, presumably staying in her parents’ farm. At the end of WW II, Auguste was freed by Soviet troops and went searching for Gertrud. It took him around six months of traveling in the chaotic post-war Germany, but he eventually found both her and their son! They then went back to Auguste’s farm, in Normandy, where they spent the rest of their life, with further hardships like the neighbourhood hostility to a Franco-German couple, lost their young adult son in circumstances I cannot remember, and tragically ending their life together in a car accident in 1988, on a trip to Germany… [When remembering this couple, I have been searching on-line for more information about them but apart from finding the military card of Auguste’s father and Auguste’s 1988 death record by INSEE, I could not spot any link in birth or wedding certificates or in the 98 lists of WW II French POWs. Where I could not find my great-uncle, either.]

quote of the year

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2019 by xi'an

“J’ai eu une vie assez droite, je ne me suis jamais conduit comme un salaud” [I have lived a rather righteous life, I never behaved like a bastard]

Jean-Marie le Pen [condemned for apology of war crimes (1969), contestation of crimes against humanity (2009), Holocaust denial (1988, 2006), antisemitism (1986), racial hatred (2005, 2008), provocation to discrimination against Muslims (2004, 2006) and Roma (2017), and insults (1993, 1998, 2018), demoted of his European parliamentary immunity (1997), suspended from the European parliament for assault (2000), suspected of misappropriation of public funds (2019) and of torture in Algeria, founder of the extreme-right Front National (1972), &tc., &tc., speaking on France Inter]

your body, our choice

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 2, 2016 by xi'an

After watching Donald Trump apparently shooting himself in the foot with his statement about prosecuting women seeking illegal abortions, it is even more ghastly to hear Ted Cruz’s subsequent declaration:

“On the important issue of the sanctity of life, what’s far too often neglected is that being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child; it’s also about the mother — and creating a culture that respects her and embraces life.”

“Of course we shouldn’t be talking about punishing women; we should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift they have to bring life into the world.”

Hence, from his point of view, it sounds like women are to be respected as wombs, but not much farther than that. Especially not when exercising their free will and (so far) legal rights in seeking an abortion. This reminded me of this older story of a US sheriff depriving a pregnant prisoner of her parental authority to bar her from having an abortion…

[down]value my CV?!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2016 by xi'an

skillsI came by chance to this web service Adzune, which takes CV’s through text mining and returns an estimate of which salary this experience is worth. Here is the summary produced, along with an automated word cloud (food safety?! millennium?! How comes this appears in my skills?).

Christian Robert’s experience appears to be concentrated in Information Technology / Big Data, with exposure to Business Operations and General Business / General Skills and Activities. Christian Robert has 29 years of work experience, with 22 years of management experience, including a high-level position.

The most positive thing one can state about this summary is that the algorithm does not seem very adequate for an academic. Exposure to Business Operations? Me?! Statistics does not seem to be a catchy enough skill for those analysts. Nttt….

Orange the World

Posted in Kids, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 25, 2015 by xi'an