Archive for NYT

`Paris is in anarchy’ [cycle woes]

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2021 by xi'an

An overblown view of the cycling war in Paris, from New York! I read with amusement the report on how Xing a Parisian street is a matter of life or death, when anarclists go through red lights while shouting at pedestrians… Actually, the figures show that the number of accidents involving cyclists (as victims or culprits) has only gone up by 30% when the traffic has increased by 70%. And I could not find an online trace of a pedestrian killed by a cyclist over the past years. Based on my weekly 130 kilometer biking average, mostly to and from Paris Dauphine, I do not perceive a major tension between pedestrians and cyclists, maybe because I am not entering the centre of town (and give priority to pedestrians at both green and red lights). The danger in my experience comes rather from other cyclists’ unpredictable paths, (psychopath) mopeds that run on cycle paths, and cars turning right without checking for bicycles. But I concur with the point made in this article of a poor network of cycle paths, with too many discontinuities, bad surface, inexistent maintenance (esp. in winter months when wet leaves accumulate there and all year long for broken glass and metal parts), and the deadly pavés! Which are unpleasant for road bikes (ask the Paris-Roubaix runners!), slippery, esp. when frosted (speaking from experience), and damaging to tubes and ties. As it happens, I have had thee tube punctures over the three past weeks, two of which were due to running over a particularly uneven pavé or entering a cycle path with a very high step. (And a total of six since April. Making me reconsider using an heavier mountain bike instead. After switching unsuccessfully to anti-puncture road tyres…)

red state – blue state – vaccinated state – unvaccinated state

Posted in Books, Kids, Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2021 by xi'an

The New York Times published an article demonstrating the partisan separation between US Democrats and Republicans by regression lines. As the one above, regressing the proportion of vaccinated on the proportion of Trump voters but no scale on the first axis. But no correction for age composition or population density. And the one below, plotted at the county level, which seems quite meaningless given the spread of red dots in Wyoming.

Still, there is a clear opposition between places (counties) that voted more than 70% Trump (representing 33M people) and those that voted more than 70% Biden (more than 58M people), even though county density, age composition, and earlier deaths from COVID should also be accounted for. But the vaccination rate also exhibits this opposition, with a 1.65 ratio between the first and last decile of the blue counties.

Roe vs. Wade vs. NYT?

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2021 by xi'an

While the NYT still offers a liberal view on abortion issues, with a recent and most interesting opinion tribune on the gradual politicization of anti-abortion in the past thirty years, and calls against the Texas vigilante State law against every single case of abortion, I noticed several entries going quite the opposite direction, one on the limitations of “my body my choice” drawing an appalling parallel between pro-choice and anti-vaccine arguments (!), written by an Anglican priest, calling for “a good that inspires fear and hope” (!!) and “positive liberty [as an] alternative to personal choice and individual autonomy” (!!!). And another essay by another religious extremist, professor at Southeastern Baptist theo(il)logical seminary, that rejoices at the Texas law as a first step, not “extreme” in the least..! Leading to a flow of letters to the journal. And yet another, with a paper reporting on abortion in Spain, which while legal since 2010 allows for “conscientious objectors” in such numbers as to prevent abortions in 5 of the 17 Spanish states. And gives most of its space to these objectors, ending up with an awfully patronizing and religious laden call to the “conscience” of their patients.

and it only gets worse

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2021 by xi'an

“The law, known as Senate Bill 8, amounts to a nearly complete ban on abortion in Texas, one that will further fuel legal and political battles over the future of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. The law makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape.” NYT, Sept. 1

“The [Supreme] Court’s order is stunning,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.” NYT, Sept. 2

“A judge in Ohio ordered a hospital to treat a Covid-19 patient with ivermectin, despite warnings from experts that the anti-parasitic drug has not proved effective against the virus and can be dangerous in large doses.” The Guardian, Aug. 31

“More than half of the world’s people have no social protections, the United Nations has warned, even after the pandemic pushed many governments to offer services to their populations.” The Guardian, Sept. 1

death of a marathoner

Posted in Running with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2021 by xi'an

In connection with the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, I read a poignant story in the New York Times, relating the short life of marathoner Kōkichi Tsuburaya, who finished third in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, in 2:16:22, being passed on the final lap by Basil Heatley from Britain. He felt like committing a “blunder” in front of his compatriots. And he invested so heavily in his training for the 1968 Mexico Olympics, with such poor training from his coaches that he kept facing injuries. And committed suicide a few months before the Olympics… In memoriam.

%d bloggers like this: