Archive for earphones

Disas-tea-R at dawn

Posted in Linux, R, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by xi'an

This was bound to happen sooner or later, given my addiction to tea and sleepless nights, so I eventually managed to spill a cup of tea over my Mac… I had been working for a few hours in my hotel room in Philadelphia, completing an ABC paper with Jean-Michel Marin and Robin Ryder. We had been running experiments in R with Jean-Michel over the past days and I wanted to check some details with him about some graphs he sent me, so we got into a Skype conversation. At the same time, I was running an alternative R code to compare with his, and starting a new ‘Og entry about a current campaign against road accidents. And drinking my fifth or sixth cuppa of the morning. I suddenly realised dawn had come and stood up to raise the blinds next to my desk. Completely forgetting about the earphones on my head. The obvious then occurred: the earphone cord stretched, pulling the teacup over and I turned back to see the keyboard covered with tea… Disaster! I tipped the computer over and grabbed the hotel hairdryer to try to dry it as quickly as possible (apologies to the next room neighbour!). Contrary to all advices, I did not turn the Mac off but kept running the R program instead to add to the heat of the dryer. In retrospect this was quite silly and I am lucky to get out with only two keys not working!


Posted in Books, Travel with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2010 by xi'an

In the crowded and hugely delayed RER A this morning, I managed to extract from the numerous  and unwanted signals emitted by the earphones of most passengers in my carriage the distinctive whine of the bombarde in Plantec‘s Reverzhi, a great album backing traditional Celtic music with a guitar baseline!!! Not that this excuses in any way this annoying habit of letting fellow passengers endure one’s own musical choice by using high-volume low-quality earphones in public transportation… Especially when I could not pick the passenger listening to Plantec. Tonight, as a coincidence, the passenger facing me was finishing a book by Cormac McCarthy, whose Border trilogy I am reading at the moment. Being in a Parisian and not a New Yorker metro, I did not engage into a literary conversation!