Archive for bracelet

Trip to Louvain (and back)

Posted in Kids, pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2015 by xi'an

Rue des Wallons, during the 24 heures de vélo, Louvain-la-Neuve, Oct. 21, 2015Apart from the minor initial inconvenience that I missed my train to Brussels thanks to the SNCF train company dysfunctional automata [but managed to switch to one half-an-hour later], my Belgian trip to Louvain-la-Neuve was quite enjoyable! I met with several local faculty [UCL] members I had not seen for several years, I gave my talk for the World Statistics Day in front of a large audience, maybe not the most appropriate talk for that day since it was somewhat skeptical about the nature of statistical tests, I got sharp questions, comments, and suggestions on the mixture approach to testing [incl. a challenging one about the Bernoulli B(p) case], I had a superb and animated and friendly dinner in a local restaurant—where everyone kindly spoke French although I was the only native French speaker—, I met the next morning with two PhD students from KU Leuven (the “other” part of the former Leuven university, albeit in the Flemmish side of the border) about functional ABC and generalised Jeffreys priors, I had a few more interesting discussions, and I managed to grab a few bags of Belgian waffles in Brussels before heading home! (In case you wonder from the above pixture, the crowds in the pedestrian streets of Louvain-la-Neuve were not connected to my visit!, but to a student festival centred at beer a 24 hour bike relay that attracted around 50,000 students, for less than a hundred bikes!)

a DIY lesson

Posted in Kids with tags , , , on May 30, 2010 by xi'an


Last morning, I biked with my daughter to the local market as she was looking for a cloth bracelet that is seemingly highly in fashion at her school! The first shop we came upon was selling the thing at an outrageous price and she decided this was not worth the expense. So we walked around till we came by the only haberdasher’s shop in the neighbourhood and I suggested she took a look inside, just in case. As it happened, the haberdasher had got wind of the school fashion and she was selling appropriate pieces of cloth along with the compulsory trinkets! In the end, my daughter got enough material to make eleven of those (transient) bracelets at a cost lower than the original price. A good Saturday lesson in practical economics. (And a fairly unique opportunity for using the word haberdasher which has always sounded somehow military to me, suggesting a type of fighting corps, maybe because of the association with halberd! Anyway, it sounds much more martial than the French mercerie… And its Norman translation mercery.)