I don’t usually like re-posting an entire article, but this one is both interesting and moving.
My grandparents were very different: on the one hand a « perfect couple », 50 years of marriage and my grandad would still every morning pick flowers in the garden for my grandmother while she was preparing confitures; and on the other hand one of the most innovative and strong women I have ever had the chance to meet (I am currently witting her Wikipedia Page so there will soon be a link here).
I have to admit that when on holiday, I rarely take the time to read the FT, but this headline caught my attention and I thought it was worth the share (and as there was no ‘share’ button on the paper- I cut out the page and kept it in my purse to make sure I wouldn’t forget).
Alice Fishburn: What my grandfather taught me
« The things your grandparents have seen and done are in your blood and a million miles from your own experience
Last week my grandfather died. He left many things behind: a wife, six children, 14 grandchildren and a huge hole. But in the spirit of not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone, he also left me with a new awareness: grandparents are everywhere. The elderly get some of the worst press around – castigated as a drain on resources, with a generation of creaky-hipped baby boomers emerging from the wings to make things even more disastrous. But where it counts, grandparents are actually running the show.
Indeed, they are not only running things but taking them over. A MetLife analysis of census data estimates that there are now 25 million more grandparents in the United States than there were in 1980 – some 65 million strong, their number is growing at more than twice the US overall population growth rate. The UK now has around 14 million of them. That’s a powerful presence, not to mention political lobby. And as longevity increases, multigenerational families are becoming more common. It used to be rare to have a great-grandmother still doing the rounds. Now they’re popping up everywhere. »
Exhibit A: the Queen. Quite aside from the imminent acquisition of a new scion in Baby Cambridge Jr, she has soared up the popularity charts since recasting herself in the role of national grandmother: pastel-clad, never missing a family occasion no matter how many Elton John performances she has to sit through. Hillary Clinton has also recognised the sway of the grandparent demographic. She may not be prepared to speak out about 2016 but she is firmly on the record about her grandmotherly aspirations. In one interview she stated there was “no pressure” on Chelsea, before describing her hypothetical grandmothering style with what any daughter would recognise as quite a high-pressure statement: “Oh, my gosh, I’ll take the child, I’ll do whatever you need to get done.”
She won’t be the only one. Grandparents are the not-so-secret weapon of childcare. A recent report for Grandparents Plus by the Institute of Gerontology at King’s showed that over 40 per cent of grandparents in 11 European countries provide childcare. In Britain, that soars to 63 per cent for those with a grandchild under 16. Nor are they just a reliable backstop for juggling parents. They are also the ones who step in when things get tough. In the US, the Pew Research Center suggests that since the recession started, there has been a sharp increase in the number of children raised by a grandparent.
I benefited from 31 glorious years of hands-on grandfathering and if that’s not enough to absorb a few lessons, then, frankly, I’m the one to blame. My grandfather is the one who taught me that the answer to pretty much any question can be found in a book (mon grand père nous disait toujours que la réponse à tout était dans le QUID!). It was from him that I learnt how to write the name of whoever gave you the wine on the bottle (dorénavant je ferais pareil, idée brillante!) so you can thank them later (neatly distilling two of his great philosophies – manners matter above all and let the good wines flow). More and more of us will thrive from such prolonged exposure as our grandparents live longer. Today they are more likely to be working, active and educated than before.
They also have more cash at their disposal: a market that canny companies have not been shy to cash in on. But it is their presence that beats toys, clothes and other bits of plastic. An Oxford university study of teenagers (never the most effusive group) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council shows that children with higher grandparental involvement in their lives have fewer emotional and behavioural problems. They are our cheerleaders, another line of defence in times of difficulty. They weigh in on the really important things. My grandfather again: “Be fair. Be fair. Be fair. Even when life isn’t.”
A new study comes to the unsurprising conclusion that grandparents affect your social standing. More importantly, they give you a sense of your own history. The things they have seen and done are both in your blood and a million miles from your own experience, whether setting off for the front lines or experiencing a new nirvana at Woodstock. At an age when I was still messing around in graduate school, my grandfather, a young colonial officer, was dealing with a small pirate problem in Malaysia. When he used Morse code to appeal to his superiors some 200 miles away, the following came back: “Sort it out yourself.”
Our society is lucky that a swelling generation of grandparents stand ready to sort it out for those who come after them. More children will learn that your ears never stop growing. That however much of a city slicker you fancy yourself to be, you will be embarrassed if you can’t tell the difference between an oak and a beech, a hyacinth and a crocus. (If you can do it in Latin, so much the better.) That tolerance counts above all else. Tolerance and family. Tolerance of family most of all. And, ultimately, that you can never have long enough with your grandparents. »
« A truly fine meal is enjoyed not once but three times, in anticipation, in consumption, and in remembrance »
As you might know, I love food, and I love Excel (yes, Excel!), and as such I have a very strong tendency to record, rate and recommend all my favorite restaurants and bars using spreadsheets. (Happy to share them with you, current ‘shareable’ spreadsheets are Paris and London, still working on NY, Dubai and Marrakesh!)
I recently decided that the only missing feature to my little notes was a map, so I could look up what in my favorites or to do list was close by if I was in an area.
Of course, Google having a response to (pretty much) everything, you can create your maps using « My Places » in Google Maps. So here is my Paris Shortlist, in blue are my shortlisted places and in red my to-do list!
Any suggestions please comment on this article and I will gladly add it to my map (even better if you want to go and try it out with me!).
View Ambrouille’s Paris Shortlist in a larger map
For folks who are either too far from Great Britain or not crazy enough to book tickets two-months in advance and spend an entire day at the Warner Bross Harry Potter Studio (For the reference, I did, the Knight Bus picked us up at Victoria and we left with Thaïs and T.S-H for a magical journey!), Google just added to its Maps a very nice treat!
Whether it is buying a wand in Ollivanders or picking up some extendable ears from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, I am sure plenty of muggles would love to step into Diagon Alley… So if you can’t find The Leaky Cauldron, there is another way to soak up the atmosphere among those famous cobbles:
View Larger Map
You can now visit Diagon Alley in the window above or click on this link to open in Google Maps.
I am a huge Harry Potter fan, I grew up with these books (when Harry started at Hogwarts, he was 11, and when I read the first book, I was 10, only one year difference but due to inevitable gaps of time between the books, Harry and I both found ourselves completing last year of high school pretty much at the same time) and waited in line in front of Smith’s bookshop in Paris at 1am on release dates to be the first to lay hands on the newest volume.
The kind of crazy fan who would re-read the books a dozen times and then dream about it. I find it absolutely incredible that Warner has turned this imaginary world into something you can actually walk into. Just for this, today, I love Google. And I will celebrate this by reading a HP chapter tonight!
28-year-old photographer Leo Caillard‘s latest project, called “Hipster in Stone”, combines his photography and Photoshoppin’ skills, imagining what it would be like if ancient Greek sculpture were hipsters. The project started when Leo saw at the Louvre some nude statues representing the ideal body figures, and he wondered, “but what were the Greeks wearing when they weren’t posing for sculptors?”
Enjoy some of his pictures and below a video of the making of!
And here’s a look at how the Photoshop editing is done:
David Fisher Architect (Florence – Italy) is an Italian-Israeli architect based in Florence; he is known for designing the Dynamic Tower, a rotating skyscraper proposed for construction in Dubai (although the basic concept has precedents, especially the 2001 Suite Vollard in Brazil with independently rotating floors).
« Since the dawn of humanity man has seeked to exceed the limits of previous generations. The achievement of new limits in Architecture has been written in history as a reminder to new generations: humanity has to pursue virtue and knowledge. New limits and prospects are now opened: buildings are now able to change their shape and be part of environment. This is the era of Dynamic Architecture »
Here is the video presenting his Dynamic Tower, and some explanation by David Fisher himself about the birth of the idea and the science behind it. I have been delving a little further to know more about Fisher and the tower itself, and stumbled upon a surprisingly witty Wikipedia article questioning Fisher’s credentials and honesty… Not sure what/who to believe but nobody can contest that the video and project are impressive.
Dynamic space – The birth of the idea.
The idea was somehow part of my architectural beliefs following years of research on technology of construction, human and social aspects. « Architecture part of nature » is a concept that I always carried with me: Buildings that adjust to life, to our needs, to our moods. The inspiration, however, arrived at a precise moment in December 2004, when I was watching the view from the Olympic Tower in NYC, on 51st and 5th. I noticed that from a certain spot you could see the East River and the Hudson River, both sides of Manhattan… That is when I thought to myself: « Why don’t we rotate the entire floor? That way, everybody can see both the East River and the Hudson River, as well as Saint Patrick’s Cathedral! ».
That is how I got inspired to create the building that changes its shape continuously.
But it really all started during my childhood, when I used to watch every evening the sun set over the Mediterranean. (I like the guy, who could not like a Mediterranean aficionado?!) The huge red sun would slowly fall into the water, signalling that one day was over and another was about to begin. This aspect of motion and its relation to the dimension of time always intrigued me.
When I grew up and became an architect I understood that an architect should design buildings that adjust to life. They should adapt to our space, our functionalities and our needs that change continuously – and even to our sense of beauty, itself in continuous motion.
These are the first buildings to have a fourth dimension: Time. This is the new philosophy of dynamic buildings, adjusting to sunrise and sunset, to the wind and to the view – thus becoming part of nature. I call these buildings « Designed by Time, Shaped by Life ».
More on Dynamic Architecture, thanks Philou for sharing!
Currently in the process of re-writing my resume, I find myself struggling with a terrible dilemma: which font? More specifically, which family font?
So, I did what everybody does nowadays and popped the question to my good friend Google, and stumbled upon this very nice infographic by Visual.ly
(And yes, I am still struggling, Times New Roman or Calibri?)
Instauré sous sa forme actuelle par Napoléon Bonaparte, le baccalauréat a vu passer des dizaines de générations d’élèves anxieux. Un stress qui a parfois poussé les candidats à prendre des décisions absurdes.
Le baccalauréat commence aujourd’hui avec l’épreuve de Philosophie, et pour bien démarrer la semaine, retour sur cinq histoires insolites qui, de mémoire de surveillants, ont marqué en profondeur les annales du pire du bac.
2004, une année à marquer au fer rouge…
… ou à l’encre de Chine. Lors de cette session, dans l’académie de Marseille, un candidat a eu l’idée pour le moins marquante de se faire tatouer une partie de son cours de physique-chimie sur l’avant-bras.
Malheureusement pour lui, le surveillant a découvert la supercherie. Il sera interdit d’examen pendant cinq ans, et passera le reste de sa vie avec des formules abstraites inscrites sur le corps.
20/20 pour tout le monde
Il faisait bon de passer son bac en 1982 en Haute-Normandie. Onze professeurs en colère ont décidé d’accorder la note maximale à tous leurs élèves. Par ce geste, ils entendaient dénoncer les excès du jury de l’année précédente qui attribué de si mauvaises notes que la moitié des copies dont il avait la charge ne dépassait pas 6/20. Malheureusement, leur coup de force n’a pas fonctionné: les copies ont été corrigés par d’autres correcteurs et les élèves ont attendu leurs notes plus longtemps que leurs camarades.
Ca vole bas
En juin 2009, quelques jours avant le début des épreuves, trois élèves de terminale du lycée Romain-Rolland à Argenteuil (Val d’Oise) se lancent dans une expédition nocturne avec pour objectif de dérober les sujets du bac qu’ils pensent être dans le bureau de la proviseure.
Manque de chance, les sujets ne s’y trouvent pas. Cerise sur le gâteau, nos trois cambrioleurs en herbe se font repérer par la gardienne de l’établissement, ce qui leur vaudra un passage en garde à vue. Et le droit de ne plus recommencer.
Les profs aussi trichent
Les résultats au bac ne sont pas attendus avec fébrilité uniquement par les élèves. Les chefs d’établissements et les professeurs scrutent également attentivement les moyennes. Parfois un peu trop. En 2002, la hausse spectaculaire des résultats de la filière S d’un lycée parisien intrigue les autorités. De 20% de réussite en 2000, ils passent à 57% en 2001 et à 75% en 2002. Une hausse qui correspond au passage de l’établissement en centre d’examen.
Après enquête, la direction du lycée reconnaît avoir ouvert les sujets avant le jour des épreuves « pour voir s’il n’y avait pas d’erreur ». Une pratique strictement interdite. Dans le rapport de l’inspection académique, on rapporte aussi que des cours supplémentaires ont été dispensés quelques jours avant les épreuves de math et de physique.
Usurpation volontaire d’identité
Qui n’a jamais rêvé d’envoyer un crack en maths ou un philosophe dans l’âme à sa place pour éviter le gadin? C’est ce qu’a tenté de faire Karim, lycéen au Sacré Coeur de Rouen, le 21 juin 2012. Il a envoyé son ami Jamel, diplômé d’un master en maths, à sa place. Mais la supercherie a rapidement été repérée par le surveillant qui a noté que la carte d’identité ne correspondait pas au candidat.
Une fois repéré, l’usurpateur volontaire s’est enfermé dans les toilettes de l’établissement avant de se faire déloger par les autorités. Jugés en septembre dernier pour usurpation d’identité, les deux compères sont condamnés à 105 heures de travaux d’intérêt général pour Jamel et trois mois de prison avec sursis pour Karim.
When TED asked Bill Gates to curate a list of his favorite talks, his first response was “there are too many to pick, really.”
You’ve never seen data presented like this.
With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, the statistics guru debunks myths about the so-called « developing world. »
Stats that reshape your worldview
Stephen L. Carter (born October 26, 1954) is an American law professor, legal- and social-policy writer, columnist, and best-selling novelist.
He recently published this article relating to privacy and the Google glasses, which I found very interesting, and which says in very accurate words what I think and would have never been able to express so well, so this is total ‘plagiat’ but to my defense here is a link to Stephen Carter’s blog and and books!
Privacy looks different through Google Glass, by Stephen L. Carter
No sooner had Google Inc. yielded to popular pressure to bar facial-recognition applications from Google Glass than techies split into two factions: those who called the ban an outrage that would hurt law enforcement and medical care, and those who said the ban would make no difference because sooner or later the wall was bound to fall.
The original concern rested on the notion that wearable facial-recognition technology would constitute a threat to privacy — the privacy, for example, of those who would prefer to walk the streets unrecognized. Google’s position continues to be that privacy concerns about Glass are overblown. I think the long run will prove Google right, for reasons less technological than generational.
Glass is essentially eyewear connected to a processor and the Internet, with an interior display that looks to the wearer like a television screen. This sounds so cool and space-agey that it’s at first hard to see how the privacy issues arise.
Certainly the claim that the famous have a “right” to wander the streets incognito seems thin, and Google initially seemed inclined to ignore it, preferring to tout the obvious utility for, say, police officers able to identify suspects at a glance. The company might never have done its about-face had not the disclosure of the scope of National Security Agency’s data- mining program (and Google’s own unclear participation therein) brought privacy to the forefront of public conversation.
But there are other privacy issues. For example, Nick Bilton of the New York Times was startled to encounter Google Glass wearers in the men’s room, immediately after being reminded that “one of the gadget’s greatest features is the ability to snap a photo with a wink.”
Creepy indeed. But privacy as traditionally understood encompasses far more than photographs in the bathroom or recognition on the street. Privacy is fundamental to life in liberal society, where, as the philosopher Judith Shklar argued, our fear of abuse of authority should lead us to establish constraints on both government and private power — so that we are free, in almost everything we do, to make our choices without worrying about retaliation.
Ten years ago, in a report titled “Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society,” the American Civil Liberties Union gave an example of privacy in this traditional sense: “A woman who leaves her house, drives to a store, meets a friend for coffee, visits a museum, and then returns home may be in public all day, but her life is still private in that she is the only one who has an overall view of how she spent her day. In America, she does not expect that her activities are being watched or tracked in any systematic way — she expects to be left alone.”
That familiar cultural understanding has been upended — not all at once by post-Sept. 11 anti-terror measures, but gradually, as more and more of our lives are lived out digitally. The woman in the ACLU’s example might use GPS, thus revealing her location as she drives. Perhaps she talks on her mobile phone, stops to buy gas or pays for coffee with a credit card. All of these activities leave digital traces. To imagine that those traces simply vanish, unrecorded, is no longer reasonable.
And reasonableness is very much the word to think about. When we conceptualize privacy as a right, our thoughts turn naturally to the Constitution. According to the judges, the measure of what is private turns on what a reasonable person would expect to be private. But the reasonable person is a shifting target, her expectations informed by culture and mores and actual practice.
Once everybody knows what so many already suspected — that the federal government eavesdrops extensively on the people it purports to represent — our expectations suddenly shift. One might be a passionate opponent of the programs, or one might accept their grim necessity; either way, the reality of their existence necessarily changes the way we think.
How much has the digital world changed the conception of privacy? A recent study by the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California concluded that the so-called millennials — those ages 18-34 — don’t share the fears of their elders about online privacy. In particular, the rising generation seems willing to trade privacy for other gains. They are, for example, “more receptive than older users to accepting targeted advertising when their personal information is required.”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been widely criticized for making essentially this very point, but the data suggest he is right. The millennials do indeed tend to have a different view of where one draws the privacy border. As a headline several years ago in New York magazine declared: “The future belongs to the uninhibited.”
A recent Washington Post-Pew Research Center survey purports to show that those ages 18 to 39 are slightly more worried than their elders about the NSA program. But the same poll indicates that this group is far less likely to have paid close attention to the story. The episode seems to be rolling off their backs, perhaps because the young always assumed that somebody was cataloguing their telephone calls, Internet searches and credit-card transactions.
According to the companies that market to them, millennials are quite sophisticated in using privacy controls to limit access to their online data. But they seem to worry a lot more about keeping their online activities from parents and teachers than from corporations and government.
The point is that the reasonable person and her expectation of privacy are reconstructed in every generation. Criticizing Google for supplying what is certain to be heavy demand for so cool an advance as Glass is no way to hold a serious conversation. And a serious conversation is what will be needed — not among us Baby Boomers, but among those who follow us.
That will be an intriguing challenge. It’s important for members of the rising generation to be active in shaping their expectation of privacy, and so demand law and practices that strike a reasonable balance. The alternative is to drift along, allowing their expectations to continue to be shaped for them, by the twin determinisms of technology and security.
Etant moi même une inconsidérable fan d’Excel, et l’utilisant non seulement tous les jours mais quasiment toutes les heures, je reconnais que Tatsuo Horiuchi fait ici preuve d’une imagination débordante, sur un logiciel dont je pensais déjà exploiter un bonne majorité des capacités!
Adieu tableaux croisés dynamiques, listes triées, graphiques en batons et VBA, bonjour motifs japonais, fleurs traditionnelles et paysages de rêves!
A 73 ans, cela fait maintenant une décennie que Tatsuo Horiuchi à élu Excel comme outil de création; il s’est ainsi imposé comme artiste numérique « digital artist » et présente ses oeuvres à travers plusieurs expositions.
Vous pouvez aller sur son blog (qui est en japonais, donc on ouvre avec Chrome et on utilise le super plugin permettant de traduire la page en anglais, ce n’est pas trop mal traduit!) ou il y présente ses oeuvres et quelques techniques de réalisations!
Chapeau bas :)
Thanks to T.S.H for sharing!
Allez, un peu de maths et quelques vieux souvenirs émus. Le Théorème Central Limite établit la convergence en loi de la somme d’une suite de variables aléatoires vers la loi normale. Intuitivement, ce résultat affirme que toute somme de variables aléatoires indépendantes et identiquement distribuées tend vers une variable aléatoire gaussienne.
Et comme nous, les Francais, sommes très fort pour dire d’une façon complexe ce qui pourrait être exprimée plus simplement, voila la définition anglaise que je trouve plus straightforward:
« In probability theory, the Central Limit Theorem states that, given certain conditions, the mean of a sufficiently large number of independent random variables, each with a well-defined mean and well-defined variance, will be approximately normally distributed. »
Victor Powell montre dans une animation la distribution d’une variable aléatoire qui tombent sur des triangles dans une distribution normale, vous pouvez jouer avec le nombres de triangles et la vitesse de distribution et voir la distribution gaussienne se constituer:
Cliquez sur l’image pour accéder à l’animation!
An interesting article from the Harvard Business Review, about life, work, and how combining both actually improves both.
Climbing the organizational ladder often requires employees to work long hours and deal with difficult and complex issues. Some days on the job are likely fun and positive and other days are tension-filled and stressful. A common dilemma for many people is how they manage all of the competing demands in work and life and avoid letting any negative effects of work spill over into their personal lives.
Research has in fact shown that employees who believe they do not have time for the personal life feel drained and distracted while they are at work. In addition, the spillover of negative aspect of work into an employee’s personal life can lead to job exhaustion, disruption of relationships with family and friends, loss of enjoyment, and increased stress.
However, some people appear to manage career success and a positive private life with ease. Here are a few pointers:
1. Strive for work-life effectiveness—not balance.
The term work-life balance implies that one dedicates an equal portion of time to work and life. Catalyst, a research firm focused on women in business, uses the phrase work-life effectiveness, and suggests striving for a situation where work fits with other aspects of your life. Researchers Jeffrey Greenhaus and Gary Powell expand on this concept and recommend that work and personal life should be allies and that participation in multiple roles, such as parent, partner, friend, employee, can actually enhance physical and psychological well-being — especially when all of the roles are high quality and managed together.
Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, came under scrutiny when she returned to work soon after the birth of her son. She managed being a mom and a CEO in a way that was personally right for her. Like Mayer, one should take a holistic perspective, thinking of one’s career as an integral part of life, rather than a separate and obligatory activity. To help eliminate ‘negative spillover’ from work into home life or vice-versa, we should put everything in the same container and create a coherent narrative — doing so can reduce work-life separation. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines, has noted that some of his best ideas have come from engaging his children in conversations about work. Even in the busiest of schedules, the most practical and effective way we can live is by aligning our personal priorities of work, family, health, and well-being. Such realignment can bring huge gains in emotional and physical energy, not to mention greater clarity and focus at work.
2. Define success in all categories of your life.
Every person needs to define success on his or her own terms. Ultimately, for both men and women, the definition of success is deeply personal. At the end of each person’s life, only he or she can look back and say, « I was successful. » It is also important to realize that what constitutes success to one person may not constitute success to another. Ryan Smith, co-founder of Qualtrics, manages his success by doing the following: « Each week, I examine the categories of my life — father, husband, CEO, self — and identify the specific actions that help me feel successful and fulfilled in these capacities. This weekly ritual helps me feel like I’m doing everything in my power to address my needs and the needs of those around me. This is important because I can’t lose sight of the business agenda, and we’ve all seen or read about what it looks like when you lose sight of your family’s needs. » As Smith suggests, consider sharing your priorities and ideas of success with important stakeholders in your life. By doing so, you will gain valuable perspective and, perhaps, buy-in to your work and life goals.
3. Maintain control.
Researchers suggest that people may experience high stress when they feel out of control. So, take control of your career — explore your own history, biases, motivation and preferences. As an example, many people enjoy spending a lot of time at work because they like what they do. Thus, long work hours are not necessarily burdensome to them. Each of us should take the time to find a job that ‘fits’ us. When possible, we should set our own boundaries. Many successful executives who work long hours suggest that they put parameters and limits on work. The CEO of Starwood Hotels, Frits van Paasschen, in a recent Wall Street Journal interview, noted, « It’s important not to be so immersed in your work that there isn’t anything else. Taking care of your body and your mindset, carving out time to be with your family, doing things that recharge you — these all make you more productive in the end. » We should also proactively manage the direction and meaning of our work.
As Anna Quindlen observed, « If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all. »
Tag cloudabsurd Apple art bureau chine design Dilbert facebook FAIL food france frites fun Google hotel humour idea infographie internet iPhone japon logo love maths music paris photo restaurant science song of the day statistics statistiques stupid tech TED TEDxBrussels travel twitter vacances video web wikipedia wine work world
- Alice Fishburn: What my grandfather taught me
- Paris Restaurants: my to-do & shortlist !
- Diagon Alley on Google Maps
- Obama – Get Lucky!
- Swallowing your bubble gum FAIL
- Ancient Greek Hipsters
- Dynamic Architecture
- Serif vs. Sans
- Brèves de Baccalauréat
- Pet FAIL
- Kitsuné – song of the day
- Walking to my front door at night – xkcd
- TED talk: Stats that reshape your worldview
- Song of the day – 16 Jun 13
- Privacy looks different through Google Glass
Rejoignez nous sur Facebook!