...Continued from page 1

Almost every week the Loto-organization launches a new type of gambling ticket. I have also been in cafés where tickets are sold for draws that take place about every ten minutes, with the results being shown on TV sets in the cafés.

The beauty of this is, no hand is tied up pulling a slot-machine handle - both hands are still free to hold glasses.

Dakar-Cairo Finds Pyramids

I have completely lost the Dakar-Cairo Rallye. Did it reach the pyramids? Last weekend, all the news was about three Peugeot 206's that refused to start up for a stage in the Monte-Carlo Rallye, which is about 375 years old.

That it was even taking place was a surprise to me. The 'Monte' used to be insane Europeanphoto: antoine & lili soldes sport. A mid-winter road race, with about six different starting points - such as Stavanger or Minsk - it ended up sliding down icy alps into Monaco about this time.

Winter sales continue in the shadow of the canal Saint-Martin.

One year a Panhard won it. There was a co-efficient for weight-to-power, with Panhard high on the first and low on the second. Another year, a Mini - driven by certifiable madmen - won it. I think a Mustang won it once too.

It still counts towards the world Rallye championship, which the 'Dakar' does not. Besides cars refusing to start - because of the cold! - and 'dangerous' stages were dropped while the rallye was in progress.

This resulted in some old-time 'Monte' business - everybody protesting everything. I don't 'follow' this type of thing since I gave up my personal BX racing car, for the RATP's métro.

Davos Life Online

The 30th world economic forum organizers, known simply as 'Davos,' is held in a high place in Switzerland, from Thursday, 27. January until Tuesday, 1. February.

Co-ordination for protesting demonstrators is offered by the organization called something like 'Citizen's Control of the WTO.' The 'Attac' association is not taking part in these alpine festivities, but proposes an "after' on its web site. In France, 'afters' happen about dawn and may include hangover cures.

The WTO is an United Nations organization and it too has a Web site, called 'Global Compact.'

The BnF Launches Gallica 2000

Free of charge, France's Bibliothèque Nationale has just cranked up its Gallica server to offer more than 35,000 titles - either for consulting online or for download as PDF files. Most of these titles are 19th century texts and few are literature - but this will change over time. After all its stops and starts, the BnF is now 'open to the world.'

Web Shorties:

The 27th comics festival at Angoulême ends today. This Web site presents this year's prize winners, plus links to other sites featuring 'bandes dessinées' - BD for short. In France, the 'comic books' are hardcover and they outsell practically all other forms of published fiction.

Interactive radio, television, 3-D, and the Internet are the main concerns of the annual 'Festival Imagina 2000,' which is organized by France's INA and Monte Carlo's TV Festival; this year from Monday, 31. January to Wednesday, 2. February - in Monaco as usual. Entry for students is 800 francs and for civilians starts at 3500 francs.

Two weeks later, just down the coast in Cannes, the annual 'Milia 2000' takes place from Tuesday, 14. February tophoto: canal st martin Saturday, 18. February. This is the annual market showcase for multimedia, which includes the Internet of course. Entry fees are from 2000 francs to 5000 for the 'Think Tank.' These amounts do not include the value-added tax; so add 20.6 percent to the bill.

One of the locks on the canal Saint-Martin.

If you feel like doing a little international industrial snooping, you should take a look at 'FranceTech,' which is actually a French Ministry of Industry site meant to show off France's techno jewels. This site is trilingual, in French, English and Spanish - presumably because most Germans already know about everything here.

Historians of social movements may be interested by a new site conceived by the 'Equipe du Maitron,' within the framework of a CNRS lab and a group of associations.

Some of the suggestions for these Web site references have been supplied by 'Internet Actu.' To sign up for this free weekly newsletter in French, send an email to internet-actu-subscribe@ftpresse.com

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