Archive for Salt Lake City

Grand Canyon [plus haze]

Posted in pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2011 by xi'an

The flight from Salt Lake City to Phoenix today was also uneventful, except for the incredible views it provided! This was the first time I was near the Grand Canyon and the sheer scale of it is definitely impressive. Unfortunately, it was more hazy than I thought (or my Coolpix S3100 camera is even poorer than I thought), but the pictures all came hazy…. Maybe will I get a second chance for better pictures on Tuesday when flying to Minneapolis (and then to London).

I am now at the conference resort, a puzzling place surrounded by a golf course and a huge park (and far enough from anything else to require a car!). A striking coincidence is that I got the same room number (311) as in Salt Lake City (“not that anyone cares…”, TBBT.3.3)

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!).

Salt

Posted in Kids, Statistics, Travel with tags , , on January 12, 2011 by xi'an

In the plane to Salt Lake City, we were served a series of very dumb movies, SALT being the only title I can remember. As we were working (or sleeping), this was of no importance, but the few bits of SALT I watched (with no earphone) seemed quite ludicrous in its complete lack of plausibility… To keep with the salt theme, I also discovered during this same trip that what I thought were healthy cereals were in fact filled with much more salt than chips! To wit, a serving of Raisin Brans had 15% of the daily amount of salt, Quaker Oatmeal Squares 10%, and even the “super healthy” Special K still contains 9% of the (excessive) daily allowance… Even more surprising, one serving of hot cocoa mix also contains this amount of salt!

Adap’skiii [day 0]

Posted in Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on January 3, 2011 by xi'an

After an uneventful if long flight from Paris to Salt Lake City, rewarded by a perfect view of the frozen Great Salt Lake, (if not of Greenland), we (Pierre Jacob, Jean-Michel Marin and myself, along with a strong contingent from Finland) are now in Parl City where the Adap’skiii conference starts this morning. For those  attending the meeting and wondering where exactly it takes place (!), it will be in the Grand Summit Hotel conference centre, ground floor, in the Parlor III part of the Kokopelli Grand Ballroom. It starts at 8:30, with a coffee break at 10:30. The place is walking distance from all the hotels proposed on the MCMSki website (as long as there is no blizzard) and just at the foot of the gondola. Here is the first draft of my discussion of Matti Vihola’s talk tomorrow: