...Continued from page 1

For citizens unlucky enough to be over 26, I was given a little card with the addresses of 15 cyber cafés - none of which are located in Boulogne.

I also learned that this centre has had 22,000 visitors since the beginning of the year. There are only 15,000 residents of Boulogne in this age group and the higher figure represents about a quarter of Boulogne's whole population.

Once Renault's main factory site, the Boulogne-shared redevelopment project for the Ile Seguin seems to have come alive after sleeping for some years, so I must keep an eye on it. And I'd like to finally see the museum I started out to visit in January of 1997 too.

If it ever stops raining, an architectural tour is a priority, because Boulogne has some very interesting bits to it - somewhat on the lines of unusual square shapes mixed with round shapes, some of which zoom quite a bit.

From The Tocqueville Connection:

The Tocqueville Connection' has new analysis about events in France this week. Remembrance Day on Wednesday, 11. November, saw Queen Elizabeth II of Britain assisting President Jacques Chirac with the traditional ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe.

With some sort of memorial in every town and village to the fallen in the war, France is still painfully aware of the lives lost in the conflict. This year's memorial marked the 80th anniversary of the end of the 'Great War.'

Controversy was stirred up by Prime Minister Lionel Jospin when he called for rehabilitation of 49 French soldiers 'shot as examples' as a result of a mass mutiny of some 40,000 soldiersphoto: new mediatheque in the spring of 1917, after 170,000 of them had been killed in a futile offensive led by General Robert Nivelle.

President Chirac said the Prime Minister's comments were 'inopportune' and conservative elements furiously denounced the notion. However, the 49 soldiers who were shot, have relatives too; and many people in France believe the slaughter was the fault of the era's officials, generals and ministers - who were unable to convince the troops they were not being needlessly sacrificed.

Boulogne's unopened but brand-new mediathèque building.

In the same issue, the possibility of a drifting apart of the present-day Franco-German alliance is discussed, under the title 'Franco-German Relations at a Crossroad.'

The War - By European Painters

Until the end of November 1999, the Mémorial de Caen, with five other European museums, is showing an exhibition named 'La Couleur des Larmes,' about WWI as painted by Europeans. Click on the opening page's image to get into the exhibition.

This Year's 'Prix Goncourt' Winner

In addition to details about this year's winning 'Confidence Pour Confidence' by Paule Constant, published by Gallimard, you will also find all of the winners of the 'Prix Goncourt' since 1903. At the same time, Dominique Bona was chosen for the 'Prix Renaudot' for her 'Le Manuscrit de Port-Ebène,' published by Grasset.

Meanwhile, Out In the Provinces

When you are in Paris or other heavily-visited areas you may think France is densely populated. This is far from the case and the Internet is helping to reduce rural isolation.

In the Ardéche, a group of communities has banded together to provide a network for themselves. 'Cyberloment' does much the same thing for the 'Pays du Lomont' in the Doubs; joining 20,000 inhabitants who are widely scattered throughout 46 different communities. These two sites are run by recognized intercommunal associations, and they do receive some aid - but mostly they do it themselves.

Now Back To Paradise

While people living in French provinces are putting up with a number of hardships and real physical isolation in order to stay where they are, other people prefer 'paradise,' even if it is only virtual.

However, here are two sites where the 'paradise' constructors want your help. The first is 'Do It Yourself Paradise In 3D,' where you can get the tools necessary for building parts of this, or your own, 'Paradise Island.'

The second site is run by the photo magazine 'ReVue' and they are collecting your photos of 'paradise,' under the title of 'Nous Irons Tous au Paradis.' Details for submissions can be found on the site.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 2.46 - 17. November 1997 - This issuecount down Eiffel Tower featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'For Runners and Walkers, Poets, Art Lovers, Historians and Oddballs' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'Paris and Mercedes Have Woes While Disneyland Glows.' The issue had two articles, entitled 'On the Way to Somewhere... Close By - Châtelet 1' and ' Walking Around Châtelet and a Lot of History - Châtelet 2.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' for the second week in a row and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was subtitled, 'Taking 'M's' 'A' Train.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 411 24-hour days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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