Paris Is Wet

photo: resto aux petits oignons
Away from flash, a modest neighborhood bistro.

Search for 'X' Finds the Mayor!

Paris:- Sunday, 1. November 1998:- The number one news of the week is the November weather which has been pouring on Paris and battering the rest of northern France for the last couple of weeks of October.

Frankly, I do not recall even November weather being so relentlessly wet. Tomorrow's forecast calls for it to get significantly colder as well.

There has been some flooding in eastern France and some people have had to leave their homes. In contrast, the weather in the south has been generally good.

Just to prove the point, after passing the bistro above, the photos of what came later for weather in Paris last Wednesday, are below.

The Haunted Church Hoax

In the last edition of Metropole there was a report here about a haunted church in the small village of Delain in the valley of the Saône. The Archbishop of Besançon had lent his exorcist to the case - which left him baffled - and then the police were called in.

Last week, the gendarmes asked the mayor of the village a lot of questions, several times. At one session, the mayor was flanked by two municipal councilors and a municipal employee, but police allowed them to leave while they continued to question the mayor.

According to a later report, at the end of Wednesday's interrogation, the mayor confessed to be the 'nasty little devil who haunted the village church.' The mayor's lawyer said that he was hospitalized in an appropriate establishment the same evening, following the advice of his physician.

Delain's inhabitants are more than a little vexed, saying that there are 'some things you don't joke about.' The deputy-mayor and the village secretary are carrying on with sad hearts. Even though this is a true story, it also means that Halloween is over for another year.

Loto Goes Cyber, Player Goes Into Orbit

The people who run the Loto in France have dreamed up a new way to make players millionaires fast or make them poor slowly, but steadily.

In a test area near Bordeaux, the Loto is selling a telephone-card-like 'Loto-Card' which costs a minimum of 100 francs. With it, the player gets a 'PIN' number. Then, instead of getting the tabac people to run the Loto machine, you do it yourself.

One player's first surprise was not to getphoto: rain rue st dominique any ticket in return - which caused him to have to note the date of the drawing and the numbers he'd played. On top of this, he had opted for the 'Flash' system, which randomly picks sets of six numbers out of 49.

So he had to consult the Minitel to find out how he did. This is how he found out the computer had decided to play the number 44 twice for him, out of six numbers, for both draws on both Wednesday and Saturday. His chance was nil, in other words.

Now, this is all a test phase for the 'card' system. The 'Flash' system has been around a long time. The Loto proposed to reimburse the player for the Saturday draw, and asked for their card back.

But what the player wants to know first is, if the Loto's computers can give him a double '44,' how is he to know whether or not all the other numbers randomly assigned by the 'Flash' system, might be 'bugged' a bit to make him an eternal loser.

Le Parisien's editors helpfully note that a 'bug' is a program error, for readers unfamiliar with the word.

The Loto's counter-offer was to reimburse the amount played for Saturday, plus throw in a three-number 'win' worth 53 francs. The player went to the fraud squad instead and they are looking into it, and so is a lawyer for a consumer association.

Meanwhile the player has a magnifying glass and is reading the Loto's long list of rules, which are in very tiny print.

Eternal Resting Place in France - Virtually

How does that old saying go - 'See Venice and die?' It sounds sinister to me even if most people think spending all their time in Italy after they're dead, is nearly ideal.

To be dead in France - or Monaco! - may only rate second place after Venice or Naples, but all the same an undertaker in Monte Carlo has put a virtual cemetery on the Web.

Yes! Now you, for only 500 francs a year, can maintain your loved one's memory in cyberspace, which is neither here nor there, but everywhere all at once. That is, so long as you have access to the Internet.

This might be a good deal. Withaccess, youphoto: rain de st germain can visit anytime of the day or night, as well as decorate the site with virtual flowers in addition to the most elaborate virtual tombstone you can afford - which could add up to an immense financial relief to the estate. Family members, close and distant relatives, could also save a lot of time and money while making virtual visits to pay their respects too.

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