Archive for anniversary


Posted in Kids, Mountains, Running with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2022 by xi'an

Not that it really matters, as for most anniversaries, but it has been 9 years since I had my climbing accident that left me with 9 digits. In retrospect, it had a very limited impact on my daily life, as I resumed climbing to the same (mediocre) level, did more cooking, remained hopeless at handywork (incl. changing punctured tubes). If anything, the experience made me more laid-back. With sometimes an irrational feeling that this is connected with the repeated blood transfusions I received. (The accident also presumably contributed to our daughter choosing medical studies!)

thumbleweed [no] news

Posted in Kids, Mountains, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2015 by xi'an

Just realised today is the second year since my climbing accident and the loss of my right thumb. Even less to say than last anniversary: while it seems almost impossible not to think about it, the handicap is quite minimal. (Actually, the only time I truly forgot about it was when I was ice-climbing in Scotland this January, the difficulty of the [first] climb meaning I had to concentrate on more immediate issues!) Teaching on the blackboard is fine when I use a chalk holder, I just bought a new bike with the easiest change of gears, and except for lacing my running shoes every morning, most chores do not take longer and, as Andrew pointed out in his March+April madness tornament, I can now get away with some missing-body-part jokes!

thumbleweed [local] news

Posted in Mountains, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2014 by xi'an

It has been exactly a year since my climbing accident and the loss of my right thumb. Time for a quick recap (for anyone still interested!): Looking back over that thumbless year, I cannot see a significant impact over my daily life: I can essentially operate the same way as before, from climbing to cooking, from writing to biking, from driving to skiing, and the few inconveniences I experience are quite minor. Not large enough to rely on the prosthesis I received a few months ago. I do not particularly suffer from the right hand in cold (or hot) weather and my ice-climbing trip in Banff last month showed I could stand temperatures of -30⁰C with no difference from the past. I never experience “phantom thumb” sensations and rarely notice people taking stock of my missing thumb. Hence, while it has been an annoying accident that has disrupted our lives for a few weeks, the long term consequences are clearly minimal.

Bayes 250 in Durham

Posted in Books, Statistics, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2013 by xi'an

Reproducing an email from ISBA (sorry about the confusion purposely created by the title, this is Durham, North Carolina, not Durham, England, just as the London in Bayes 250 in London was London, England, not London, Ontario!):

ISBA announces a special celebration of the 250th anniversary of the presentation (December 23, 1763) of Thomas Bayes’ seminal paper “An Essay towards solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances” that will be held at Duke University in conjunction with the O-Bayes 13 Workshop (December 15-19) and EFab@ Bayes250 Workshop (December 15-17). (I am part of the scientific committee for O-Bayes 13!)

Speakers for the anniversary celebration are legendary contributors to the Bayesian literature, spanning a range of fields:

  • Stephen Fienberg, Carnegie-Mellon University
  • Michael Jordan, University of California, Berkeley
  • Christopher Sims, Princeton University
  • Adrian Smith, University of London
  • Stephen Stigler, University of Chicago

There will be a banquet in the evening, with a speech by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, noted author of the popular book “The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines and Emerged Triumphant From Two Centuries of Controversy.”

JCGS 20th anniversary

Posted in R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , on March 22, 2011 by xi'an

For its 20th anniversary, JCGS offers free access to papers, including Andrew’s discussion paper Why tables are really much better than graphs. (Another serious ending for an April fool joke!) Incidentally (or rather coincidentally), I received today the great news that our Using parallel computation to improve Independent Metropolis-Hastings based estimation paper is accepted by JCGS. (First accepted paper ever for my PhD student Pierre!) Maybe making it into one of the 20th anniversary issues!

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