...Continued from page 1

This techno marvel is called 'Cybercâble.' It requires a special modem and the minimum service will cost 248 francs a month, which includes an amount for the rental of the modem. The access allows unlimited downloads, but 'uploads' are limited to 125 Mo per month. For an extra 100 francs, the 'up-limit' rises to 200 Mo and includes a permanent IP.

A normal Internet connection via an ISP costs 80 to 100 francs a month in France, with teleco lines charges on top. Add the two together and if it's less than 248 francs a month, then the 'Cybercâble' looks attractive - especially if Web surfing is a hobby.

Prize-Winning Town Site

Winner of the special jury prize for local Web sites at the recent Reims Multimédiaville Salon, the town of Draguignan was cited for its aesthetic quality, interactivity and content. Draguignan is located in Provence, about 40 kms inland by road from Frejus and the Mediterranean. Worth a visit, as they say in the guidebooks.

The French Constitution Goes Public

Either before or after a new law is passed in France, it has to survive a scrutiny by the 'Conseil Constitutionnel' before it becomes a 'law of the land.' If this august body decides the law does not conform to the Constitution, itphoto: grey day, hotel de ville is returned to the legislators for a fix or a rewrite. This saves having a Supreme Court to decide on these matters after the fact.

A city centre grey day yesterday; near the Hôtel de Ville.

For the 40th anniversary of the 5th République and its constitution, the 'Conseil Constitutionnel' has put a Web site online which gives learned answers to 20 commonly-posed questions; which is also a way of explaining how France functions legally.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Winter Sports

The ice cream company Miko has a polar bear as a mascot so it seems natural that it is the mascot of their winter sports Web site, which contains a lot of useful information about weather, snow, equipment, accommodations, resorts and facilities available in France - one of the world's winter sport centres. As far as this type of 'sport' is concerned, I prefer getting no closer to snow than ice cream and luckily I can get this across the street.

The French Basque Country

This is called 'Pays Basque' in France and it is an attractive part of the world, being snuggled between the Bay of Biscay and the western Pyrenees, opposite its Spanish cousin south of the border.

A Web site, part touristic and part economic was recently cited, and when I gave it a look I found links to other regional sites - one called Pays Basque and the other Côte Basque. I think the first one is named 'Pays Basque' too, but it has a companion site which is a showcase for handcrafts and a shop for local products. Don't worry about the names; all the sites are different.

Next Friday: 'Lire en Fête'

This is sort of a French language 'Lit-Online' party, set to appear on your browser starting Friday, 16. October and lasting until Sunday, 18. October. The Ministry of Culture and the online 'Lit-Zine,' Pagina are organizing this affair, which - besides literature and poetry - links all the French and Francophone Web sites taking part in 'Lire en Fête.' Long-time readers will probably remember that Pagina has been featured on Metropole's Links page since the year dot. The Fête is just another good reason to give it a hit.

This Week's Last Chance: Média Senat

If you can't be in Paris to visit the French Senate's exhibition called 'Média Senat' you can at least pay a visit to the Senat's Web site and perhaps leave your calling card. If you have little interest in history or politics, the hostesses are supposed to be worth a look, but these are not on the Web site. In contrast, the Senat's poster is in this issue.

Exhibition Média Senat
Musée du Luxembourg, 19. rue de Vaugiraud, Paris 6. Until Sunday, 18. October. Closed Mondays. No entry charge. Info. Tel.: 01 42 34 21 21.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

count down Eiffel TowerIssue 2.41 - 13. October 1997 - This issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'It's Raining But It's Not Pouring' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'French History Goes On Trial in France.' The issue had one article entitled 'Art Tools: Looking for a Friendly Pencil' and published an eMail from Allan Pangborn about 'The Hôtel de Ville Tool Shop.' There were two 'Posters of the Week.' Ric's Cartoon of the Week was called 'Art is... making your own pencil.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 446 short days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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