Archive for Broad Street pump

foliage to the max

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , on December 17, 2022 by xi'an

An easy riddle from The Riddler that did not even require coding! Given that a tree changes colours at a random time A distributed according to a Uniform distribution (over (0,1)) and that it sheds its leave at a random time B distributed according to a Uniform distribution (over (A,1)), what is the time when a maximal number of trees show their new colour?

Which means optimising in t the probability that A<t<B. Which is equal to -(1-t)log(1-t) and maximal for t=1-e⁻¹, resulting in a (maximal) fraction of e⁻¹ of the trees holding to their new colour at that time.

the Frankenstein chronicles

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2019 by xi'an

Over a lazy weekend, I watched the TV series The Frankenstein Chronicles, which I found quite remarkable (if definitely Gothic and possibly too gory for some!). Connections with celebrities of (roughly) the time abound: While Mary Shelley makes an appearance in the first season of the series, not only as the writer of the famous novel (already famous in the novel as well) but also as a participant to a deadly experiment that would succeed in the novel (and eventually in the series), Charles Dickens is a constant witness to the unraveling of scary events as Boz the journalist, somewhat running after the facts, William Blake dies in one of the early episodes after painting a series of tarot like cards that eventually explains it all, Ada Lovelace works on the robotic dual of Frankenstein, Robert Peel creates the first police force (which will be called the Bobbies after him!), John Snow’s uncovering of the cholera source as the pump of Broad Street is reinvented with more nefarious reasons, and possibly others. Besides these historical landmarks (!), the story revolves around the corpse trafficking that fed medical schools and plots for many a novel. The (true) Anatomy Act is about to pass to regulate body supply for anatomical purposes and ensues a debate on the end of God that permeates mostly the first season and just a little bit the second season, which is more about State versus Church… The series is not without shortcomings, in particular a rather disconnected plot (which has the appeal of being unpredictable of jumping from one genre to the next) and a repeated proneness of the main character to being a scapegoat, but the reconstitution of London at the time is definitely impressive (although I cannot vouch for its authenticity!). Only the last episode of Season 2 feels a bit short when delivering, by too conveniently tying up all loose threads.

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