Featured posts

Walking through the streets of Calicut (II)

Calicut, 14th of March 2020 In times of Corona, is it still possible to walk through the streets of a big city that is always teeming with people? Especially in cities where there are no sidewalks, but where passers-by, vendors and automobiles (from autorickshaws to trucks) have to share the…

Liu Shaoqi’s birthplace with its memorial hall in Huaminglou 宁乡县花明楼刘少奇故居和纪念馆

The former residence of Liu Shaoqi 刘少奇 (1898-1969) and its memorial hall is located in the small town Huaminglou 花明楼 in Ningxiang county 宁乡. Both are situated in the south western direction of Changsha 长沙 and 30 km away from Mao’s hometown Shaoshan 韶山 (Official homepage of Liu Shaoqi’s residence).…

Bad Air or Germ Invasion?

Good health is the most basic condition for a person to live a thriving life and—as we have been witnessing for the last few weeks with the COVID-19 pandemic—countries desperately need their people to be healthy, too. Otherwise, society goes bonkers. Hence, the importance of public health measures to control…

The former residence of Peng Dehuai and its memorial hall in Wushifeng 湘潭市湘潭县彭德怀故居和纪念馆

The former residence of the PLA-marshal Peng Dehuai 彭德怀 (1898-1974) and its memorial hall are located in the village Wushifeng 乌石峰 in Xiangtan County 湘潭. The site is situated 38 km away from Mao´s birthplace in Shaoshan 韶山 and 65 km away from the residence of the former PRC-chairman Liu…

Another Trip into Early Modern Medicine

Now, I didn’t literally trip over but I did hurt my leg. Perhaps I’m not very good at taking care of myself. Anyway, it turns out that tendon knots don’t go away if you ignore them. In fact they kind of get worse. Whoops!                 How does my injured leg…

Corona Inc.: 30 Things to do while staying at home

Today, we wanted to share with you a list of things to do while on Corona lockdown, except for well the obvious thing – that is WRITE YOUR DISSERTATION. So without further ado, here’s a list of things to do other than that thing you should be doing. There are…

Adding sound

My first classes are online! – after a somewhat discouraging start, I got the whole system working now. I decided not to give virtual classes at a fixed times because it would require too much organization from some of the students, or even a quality of internet connection they don’t…

I hate grading – but still

I have always hated grading. It has always felt like a total misunderstanding of what teachers are there for. We are not here to grade, we are here to teach. In an ideal world, there would be no grading at all. Now, we are not in an ideal world, and…

Interview with Alan Lee (BnF, 6 February 2020) – part 2

The document below is a transcription of the interview with Alan Lee I hosted for the French national Library on 6 February 2020. The interview was filmed and is available on YouTube here: If you missed Part 1 and the introduction in which I explained my transcription process, you can…

Qui a survécu au naufrage du Titanic?

also known as quiz numéro 4 du cours STT5100 (de la session d’hiver). Vendredi dernier, alors que nous terminions le cours vers midi, François Legault a décrété l’état d’urgence sanitaire pour une quinzaine de jours. Le cours est donc sur la glace depuis une semaine, et (pour l’instant) encore une…

The First Syriac Inscription on Jar in the Arab-Persian Gulf

Three years ago, the French-Kuwaiti Archaeological Mission in Failaka discovered a sherd with three bitumen letters written on it in pottery bags from the 2014 season at al‑Qusur monastery. It is, therefore, the first Syriac inscription discovered in Kuwait, and one of the rare testimonies of this writing in the Arab-Persian…

Making complex networks interpretable with a metric

A story within a story: this is the only way I can explain the problem of visualizing complex networks. The bigger story investigates an important question: what happens when we try to know something that we cannot know? The mere existence of this question is already capable of causing havoc.…

A Neighbour’s Tree like Totoro’s

On the street side of the house, it almost looks like on the very, very hot days, when everyone avoids setting foot on the hot asphalt. It is as if all life was reserved for the garden side. A large part of Le Mans urbanism dates back to the beginning…

Modeling Pandemics (3)

In Statistical Inference in a Stochastic Epidemic SEIR Model with Control Intervention, a more complex model than the one we’ve seen yesterday was considered (and is called the SEIR model). Consider a population of size N, and assume that S is the number of susceptible, E the number of exposed,…

„Time in quarantine can actually be quite enjoyable if you are an academic“

Prof. Dr. Alice Pinheiro-Walla, Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Bayreuth, is currently spending a research stay in Israel at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Shortly after her arrival, a quarantine was imposed on persons entering Israel from Germany and other countries. She writes to us how she…

“I beg you to tell me what has become of Djamila”: The Political Mobilization of Simone de Beauvoir’s Readers During the Boupacha Affair

By Sophia Millman This is a condensed version of a Masters thesis dedicated to the political mobilization of Simone de Beauvoir’s readers. The citations from the letters were translated from French by the author. *** On June 2, 1960, the French government ordered all copies of the daily Algiers edition…