Archive for plane

impressions, soleil couchant

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2014 by xi'an

impression1

off to Duke

Posted in Books, Mountains, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2013 by xi'an

IMG_2181On my way to Duke and O’Bayes 2013, I took an early flight to Atlanta, with a bit of a delay because of a faulty tractor in Charles de Gaulle airport but all in all an overall smooth trip. We alas flew too much south this time to get any view of Greenland except for the glimpse below… Apart from working on my slides for today’s lecture, I watched bits (actually most) of rather silly films, The Lone Ranger and Oblivion, not really worth reviewing here. (The former is playing too much on second degree references to Pirates of the Caribbean. From Johnny Depp making faces to his playing with his watch, to the recurrent madman wearing women’s clothes and playing with an umbrella. The second one was just appalling, from the abysmally poor acting to the ultimate absence of a plot…) I also read in The NYT about a new super-prize in Mathematics to be launched by a few “philanthropists”, including Mark Zuckerberg. The paper was not giving any detail on the focus of the prize and on the motives of the generous donators. Interestingly, the similar prize they set for physics went to two proponents of string theory, which is still a mathematical construct with no experimental evidence, as far as I understand…IMG_2176Rereading Johnson’s PNAS paper for my tutorial had the side result of making me realise him using a flat prior on a normal mean without more justification than there is a “constant factor that arises from the uniform distribution on μ”…

Greenland

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!).

Massilia

Posted in pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , on May 4, 2011 by xi'an

This afternoon I went to Marseille for a hiring committee meeting and a very efficient trip. Here are a few pictures, both from the plane and from the town, which was seething as usual!

Philadelphia skyline

Posted in Travel with tags , on October 26, 2010 by xi'an

View from my hotel window in downtown Philadelphia where I arrived after an uneventful trip (gas in Paris to fill the plane, quiet neighbours on board, plane landing on time), only highlighted by a time warp when the plane computer moved one hour back the arrival time and my laptop battery indicator (almost) simultaneously indicated that my battery was full after one hour of usage! This did not last of course and the arrival time quickly went back to the schedule and my battery contents flowed about as quickly to nothing!