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Lanes uniquely for buses have found many places on Paris pavements, and after years of agitation bicyclists have finally been permitted to use them too.

The citizens on rollers present a special problem because they are not legally allowed on either sidewalks or on the streets. There is simply no law concerning where roller traffic may operate.

And there is no definition of the roller-folks' status. Are they pedestrians on wheels or are they traffic?

Blow Up the Factory!

This is the threat that was used to impress the media when workers recently occupied a factory that management had decided to shut for good.

The entire work force in Northeastern France faced layoffs for 'economic reasons.' Normally, when a business ceases operations, if it is broke, there is a fund that steps in to pay off workers - usually what they could expect if they were retired normally.

But even in normal circumstances these sums are not great. In the case of Cellatex, its geographic location in Givet in the Ardennes, would condemn its former employees to permanent unemployment, or they would be forced to move elsewhere.

So the 153 employees said they were goingphoto: horde heads down quai de new york to blow up the factory, which seemed to have enough chemicals in it to do it. But after two days of non-stop negotiations both sides gave in a bit, and the workers were promised a 90,000-franc 'layoff bonus.'

After sorting out the first corner, there they go!

Earlier in the week, the angry employees created a mega-media flap by releasing some sulfuric acid into a local creek. It looked very dangerous to the media because it was bright red.

In Thursday's editions Le Parisien wondered if the Celletex were creating a dangerous precedent with their threatened 'eco-terrorism.'

By Saturday this was reality when the workers at the Adelshoffen brewery in Schiligheim, in a similar situation, threatened to blow up the brewery with 15,000 litres of gas on hand.

I don't know if brewery gas is capable of this, but Schiligheim is a suburb of Strasbourg, and is definitely not in some lost corner of France that is more surrounded by Belgium than other suburbs.

Summer Sales Almost Over

The summer sales began in Paris on Tuesday, 27. June and continue to early August. Be quick because the deadline is approaching - even if there isn't anything really good left. If you miss out, start haunting all the discount clothing places - to maybe get even lower prices.

Web Life In France:

Big Smiles

The huge Internet conglomo Vivendi was reported to have paid the three operators of a modest Internet service named 'Vis-a-Vis' 24 million francs to not bother Vivendi about its 'Vizzavi' service, which it launched some six-odd months after the 'Vis-a-Vis' name was registered.

'Vis-a-Vis' is the name of a cybercafé located in the Chapelle area and it was set up for conductingphoto: backetball in marais online video-conferencing between Paris and Dakar as well as other locations in Africa. It is run by two longtime multimedia journalists, and their Web guy is a former spokesman for the 'Sans-Papiers.'

More normal sports activity; this time in the Marais.

In addition to paying each of the founders eight million francs, Vivendi reportedly agreed not to contest the 'Vis-a-Vis' name; and the three smilers agreed not to talk a lot about the deal.

'Vizzavi' is Vivendi's brand-name for a portal that is supposed to unite portable phone, TV and Internet access services. Due to what has already been paid, I don't think Vivendi is in the market for a new name for their fledgling 'portal.'

Only Smiles

I read the explanation and then I looked at the Web site. I am so hard-boiled that it wasn't until I was about to quit - there's no gags! - that I realized all the images had a smile of one sort or another; without one stupid 'Smiley.' Where is this marvel? Try the Musée du Sourire today, before your hair turns out to be having a bad day.

Snap-Shot Gallery

This is meant to put you off by pretending to be trivial, but its French name is 'La Galerie de l'Instant' which might make you think of throw-away photos and throw-away cameras. Neither are the case; a simple collection, simply presented - not eye-candy but photos to look at for a little bit or more.

Repeat: Summer Festivals

Take a look at the Ministry of Culture's Web site for the section "Organismes" and then look for the Festivals category, and should find nearly 1000 events on this summer throughout France. These are classified by regions, themes or key-words and the information is updated weekly with addresses and telephone numbers. There are also some links to additional information.

Forever: Paris' Peace Wall

This still leaves the URL for Paris' Peace Wall which I imagine is still on the Champ de Mars. If so, this 'Mur Pour la Paix' is worthwhile because 'Peace' lives on! You can also learn how to read the word 'peace' in 31 languages, including Texan.

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