Archive for pets

bad graphics and poor statistics

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2018 by xi'an

Reading through The Guardian website, I came across this terrible graphic about US airlines 2016 comparison for killing pests pets they carry. Beyond the gross imprecision resulting from resorting to a (gross) dead dog scale to report integers, the impression of Hawaiian Airlines having a beef with pets is just misleading: there were three animal deaths on this company for that year. And nine on United Airlines (including the late giant rabbit). The law of small numbers in action! Computing a basic p-value (!) based on a Poisson approximation (the most pet friendly distribution) does not even exclude Hawaiian Airlines. Without even considering the possibility that, among the half-million plus pets travelling on US airlines in 2016, some would have died anyway but it happened during a flight. (As a comparison, there are “between 114 and 360 medical” in-flight [human] deaths per year. For it’s worth.) The scariest part of The Guardian article [beyond the reliance on terrible graphs!] is the call to end up pets travelling as cargo, meaning they would join their owner in the cabin. As if stag and hen [parties] were not enough of a travelling nuisance..!

O brother, where art thou!?

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , on April 14, 2013 by xi'an

stray cat with a strong attachment to our house, April 3, 2013Our favourite stray cat has vanished, after being around for about nine months… This is sad, as she was both sweet and fun, visiting us every day, sleeping a few hours on the sofa and then going off after “dinner”. We are all sorry about this disappearance, especially because it is most likely she got hit by a car when crossing a local street.

Maybe your friends think I’m just a stranger
My face you’ll never see no more.
But there is one promise that is given
I’ll meet you on God’s golden shore.


Posted in Books, Mountains, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2011 by xi'an

On my (uneventful if rather long) flight to Salt Lake City yesterday, I had the great privilege to fly over a cloudless Greenland and I managed to take a few pictures (with the help of fellow passengers sitting on the other aisle)… The light was terrific as most of the trip was in a permanent sunset (since we were flying way up North!).

I actually had a bit of a fright thanks to my RER train being delayed (surprise!) but for whatever reason Charles de Gaulle airport was almost deserted and I went through all steps in less than the ten minutes I was allowed before they closed the gates (which was also the time it took me to get from the plane to the car rental desk in Salt Lake City!). As my laptop went out of battery very quickly by not suspending properly (!), I managed to read and review three papers on ABC and to start Persi’s book on Magic and Mathematics (which reads very well, even after nine hours in a plane!).

As I was seating on an exit row, I got a leaflet explaining that I should read the instructions, and be ready to “assess, select, and follow a safe path away from the emergency exit” (model choice at work!). Among people prevented from sitting in an exit row, those “requiring the use of a seat belt extension” (only “to preclude the hazard of entanglement with the additional length of the extension by those passengers attempting to expeditiously exit the aircraft”, which sounds both like a short story and legalist caution against discrimination lawsuits!) and those “travelling with an emotional support animal, service animal  or family pet” (which again sounds very descriptive for no clear reason, but again hint at some past story requiring the distinction between those different kinds of pets!).