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Notes from the event: “Open Science. The key to more scientific integrity?”


Readers of this blog could easily guess my program for this Thursday evening after reading the news “Brussels university welcomes Wikipedia founder“. I have immediately registered for “Open Science. The key to more scientific integrity?” event at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, because I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to listen to Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, as well as the other notable speakers, namely Prof. Em. André Van Steirteghem and Michel Bauwens.

imagine

It was nice to see be a part of an enthusiastic audience and all of the speakers delivered interesting talks full of insights. For example, thanks to this event, I learned that emeritus Prof. André Van Steirteghem is co-secretary of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) and once again was disappointed to hear about the rise of fraudulent research in Belgium, as well as in other European countries. Next speaker, Michel Bauwens talked about his perspectives on post-capitalistic social structures and peer-to-peer production mechanisms, using interesting terminology such as metarchical capitalism. At the end of his talk, he also drew attention to Wikipedia, and voiced his concerns about some of the rules such as notability: Apparently he was not found notable enough for Wikipedia. He claimed that since this ‘notability’ rule was established, the curve of contributions to Wikipedia became almost flat, indicating a particularly problematic situation, as well as the power struggles in Wikipedia.

Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia and keynote speaker of the event was the final speaker and he definitely had a great, enthusiastic presence on the stage. His presentation not only gave a brief and good summary of the history of Wikipedia, its structure, its operating principles and philosophies, but also interesting statistical facts about one of the most popular and valuable sites on the Internet regarding languages and countries. Probably one piece of fact that everyone will easily remember was the following: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in events, Linguistics, Science

 

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Notes from the event: “Scaling Big Data Mining Infrastructure: The Twitter Experience” by Jimmy Lin


This evening I had the chance of attending an interesting talk at Ghent: “Scaling Big Data Mining Infrastructure: The Twitter Experience“. The presentation given by Jimmy Lin (and kindly hosted at the Massive Media office) was full of energy and insight, and I think more than 60 people who came from different parts of the Belgium would agree with me. Having a very strong academic background, as well as a great deal of experience in a very fast-paced environment such as Twitter, Lin gave a superb presentation that is difficult to forget. I have especially appreciated his ability to explain complex topics with very concrete real world examples and focusing on the core issues that matter most.

I took a few notes and I want to save them here as my memory is still fresh. I’ll simply summarize them in the form a few bullet points, do not expect full details, great technical accuracy and a nicely flowing narrative (and feel free to correct any errors or misunderstandings): Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Programlama

 

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One does not simply mess with Fibonacci (especially in Belgium)


I have nothing against combining art and mathematics. After all, Leonardo da Vinci still stands as a major example who successfully did this, right? But if you are going to do it, well, at least do it correctly: I have recently read that an artist who created a sculpture to depict first few numbers from the famous Fibonacci sequence actually did not:

One does not simply mess with Fibonacci

One does not simply mess with Fibonacci


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Posted by on March 10, 2013 in komik, Math

 

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Why are these two maps so similar? (Curious about Belgium)


I have recently discovered a very interesting map on the dns.be web site. It shows the number of .be Internet domains per inhabitants as of 2011 in Belgium.

Domains per 1000 inhabitants in 2011

Domains per 1000 inhabitants in 2011

If you compare this map with the map of the Flemish region:

Flemish region in Belgium

Flemish region in Belgium

The similarity is obvious. What may be the reasons of this similarity? Any ideas?

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in General

 

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Magritte Biscuits from Belgium


Belgium is famous for many things and surrealist painter René François Ghislain Magritte is definitely one of the reasons why. And now, thanks to a company, we can have a ‘taste’ of Magritte as we eat some delicious biscuits and cookies:

It was a very nice coincidence to read an article in the Guardian Weekly about Magritte right after having seen these special box of biscuits at the local Delhaize supermarket.

After Leibniz chocolate biscuits and ‘Speculoos Intégral‘s, I wonder what is next.

What’s your guess? ;-)

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in komik

 

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The Expat Explorer Survey: All of your questions about working abroad beautifully visualized


I’ve recently discovered a very good example of information visualization. It is created by HSBC and lets the user explore and compare countries based on various criteria and the data come from people who’ve been to those countries as foreigners:

The Expat Explorer survey, now in its third year, is the largest independent global survey of expats. Commissioned by HSBC Bank International and conducted by a third party research company, more than 4,100 expats based in 100 countries across the globe were questioned between April and June 2010.

The case for Belgium in terms of access to healthcare - The Expat Explorer Survey

The case for Belgium in terms of access to healthcare - The Expat Explorer Survey

The above map shows compares the countries according to the ‘Healthcare access and quality’ index, e.g. the bigger the bubble the easier to access healthcare and higher the quality. I think this is a very useful tool for people who think about living and working abroad. Moreover, it stands as a very good example of information visualization as well as user experience design.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2011 in General

 

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Explore Open Data: MIPEX The Migrant Integration Policy Index


MIPEX is a fully interactive tool and reference guide to assess, compare and improve integration policy produced by the British Council and the Migration Policy Group. MIPEX measures integration policies in all European Union Member States plus Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the USA up to 31 May 2010. Using 148 policy indicators it creates a rich, multi-dimensional picture of migrants? opportunities to participate in society by assessing governments? commitment to integration. By measuring policies and their implementation it reveals whether all residents are guaranteed equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities.”

Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX)

Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX)


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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in General

 

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Speaking of French fries…


According to the legend, “during the First World War, many English speaking soldiers who came to Belgium discovered the gastronomic phenomenon that was fried potatoes and baptised it as ‘French fries’, referring to the only official language spoken in the Belgian army. A historical mistake.”

I don’t know if that popular story is true, but finally I had the chance to pay a visit to probably the oldest French fries shop in the world, that is Fritkot Max in Antwerp. This is a little bit weird for me because the shop is located in central Antwerp, the historical part of the city and I passed by the shop countless times. I’m very much satisfied with this place who started serving fried potatoes back in 1842. I was disappointed to learn that the ‘fries museum’ upstairs was closed but experiencing the best Belgian fries with tens of different sauces should be compensating enough I guess.

If you ever happen to be around Antwerp, do not forget to come to ‘Groenplaats 12, 2000 Antwerpen’ and taste a unique bag of Belgian fries.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2011 in General

 

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Belgium: A tasteful country


I continue to discover top places for gustatory pleasures in Belgium:

- Michel Van Tricht & son, located in the Berchem district of Antwerp, was chosen by the newspaper the Wall Street Journal as the best specialist cheese shop in Europe. The Wall Street Journal preferred the Antwerp shop over competitors such as two Paris shops, a shop in Provence and a top specialist in Italy.

The best cheese from Belgium

The best cheese from Belgium

- The “Kulminator” (Antwerp, Belgium) voted as Best Beer-Pub in the World by Ratebeer.com.

- Last but not the least, The Chocolate Line (Antwerp and Brugge) is probably run by one of the best chocolatiers in the world.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in General

 

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Belgium: 1 Out of 10 Are Foreigners


Some interesting facts from a recent newspaper article in Belgium: “One in ten residents of Belgium is a foreigner

Distribution of foreigners in Belgium - De Standaard

Distribution of foreigners in Belgium - De Standaard

“On January 1, 2010, Belgium had 1.057.666 inhabitants with a non-Belgian nationality, not counting the waiting list. One in ten people in our country is not Belgian. In the age of 30 to 34 years that figure rises to one in six.”

“The milestone of one million foreigners in Belgium at the end of 2008 is already exceeded. Italians were most numerous (169.027), followed by French (130.568), Dutch (123.454), Moroccans (79.867), Spanish (42.712), Turks (39.954), Germans (38.370) and Polish (30.768).”

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in General

 

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