Archive for COVID-19


Posted in Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2021 by xi'an

This week, our daughter is taking her final exams of her medical studies! Which means competing for the residency specialties and locations at a national level, since the ranking in this competition fully determines the order in selecting one’s residency and hence specialty. Over the past six years, she went though semester exams that were more standard, as well as over thirty externships (as above in the emergency ward at Bicêtre), hence qualified to be a doctor, but this competition is somewhat the most important for medical students who are not considering general practice as a first choice… (In the past years, the least popular specialties were psychiatry, epidemiology, and occupational medicine.) Hence, a particularly stressful moment for them, for which they have been insanely preparing for the past three years. Whatever the outcome of the competition happens to be, congrats to our daughter and her friends for the hard work and the dedication they demonstrated throughout the years, despite the demands imposed by the COVID crisis and despite the absurd features of medical studies in France..!

a journal of the plague year² [more of the same]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2021 by xi'an

Read V.E. Schwab’s The Near Witch, yet another instance of a YA novel not identified as such! Conditional on this category, I found it a rather good book in that the central character (as a female teenager fighting prejudices of her village) is well-made, with depth and (almost) enough imperfections to be credible. The universe where this happens is however restricted to a village isolated in a grassy plain where strangers are so rarely seen as to be immediately an object of suspicion. On the light side, but definitely superior to her Shades of Magic trilogy.

Made hot X buns, mostly successful except for the X that tasted exactly as the dried uncooked flour it was made of!!! And tagliatelle nere agli asparagi, at the very end of the [green] asparagus short season, with more bigoli as well. And sampled a few bentô boxes from [surviving] local restaurants. During a semi-vacation trip to the Brittany coast, cooked large local crabs bought from the local fishermen (back from blockading Jersey!] and fish from the same providers.

Watched some parts of Kingdom, yet another Korean TV series that mixes historical drama with… zombies. A lot of scenes can be [and were] speed-watched as the pace is deadly slow (if not from the zombie perspective!). The end is unexpected, making it almost worth the effort. And Erased, a Japanese TV series derived from a famous manga, which I found remarkable, mostly for the performances of the young actors, as the serial killer is rather easy to spot. And the end somewhat anticlimactic. Also started 47 Ronin, which I thought was related to the book I read two summers ago. But found it so ridiculous with its cheap fantasy, its obligatory Westerner saving the day, the gross misrepresentation of the original story, the many cultural counter-representations, the absurd love story, &tc., &tc., that I gave up. The antithesis of Mizoguchi’s 1941 version.



COVID-19, the musical

Posted in Kids, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , on May 16, 2021 by xi'an
My friend Anto has been instrumental in creating this musical about COVID-19 vaccine, now translated into English
from the Italian original by by Lorenzo Baglioni

2021 Whova Meeting of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2021 by xi'an

The website for the incoming ISBA 2021 meeting is now operational and open to all! The program is ready, as well, with short courses starting on 23 June. And the main event on 28 June, with very long days, from 5:15am till 9:30pm in (US) Eastern Time (EDT, ie EST-05:00, UTC-06:00, CET-06:00, IST-9:30, CDT-11:00, JST-13:00, AEST-14:00). The number of registered participants is currently above 1700!, which shows the positive side of having a free on-line event since everyone (with an Internet connection!) interested can participate. On the negative side, namely the limited human interactions and the challenge of staying focussed 24/5, a solution stands in creating local clusters where a group could attend together the sessions. Provided local health policies allow. I am still working on gathering at CIRM, Marseille, if the centre reopens on 27 June. And am happy to broadcast any initiative to this effect.

significant changepoint? [poor statistics]

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2021 by xi'an

A rather short-shighted item of news in Libération on road deaths rising in March 2021 for the first time since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020. The increase is by 22 persons, which is arguably not statistically significant (although terribly significant for the victims and their families) and somehow to be expected when considering the figures are averages over 12 months, hence representing the new volume of driving induced by the lockdown measures like work-at-home, closed schools, cancelled winter vacations. At best the following figures should see a plateau. More globally, this huge dip in the number of deaths, bringing us back to the 1920’s figures!,  is to be celebrated, alas with no prospect that this lower rate will resist a return to higher levels of activity.