Old, 'Frozen,' News

photo: bistro cafe louis philippe

This fall in Paris the leaves are greener than usual.

And Not Much Of It

Paris:- Monday, 15. October 2001:- Until the time arrived to do this week's 'news' column I was looking forward to doing it. I've given the papers a fair daily skim all week, and there's a lot of nutty stuff in them.

There is a lot of very serious news too, so you deserve something a bit lighter.

But the time of the week that has arrived is also the time when it is much later than I wanted it to be, and my apartment is not getting any warmer which means my energy level has fallen far below the 'Wonder' bunny's.

The same thing happened last week, and for almost the same reasons. Last week the differencephoto: sculpt porte de millenaire, daniel lambert was that there wasn't so much nutty news available.

I can't just rattle off the front pages either. I've got things like 'What's Changed Us All' and 'The Real Dangers' and more of the same.

Since it will be over by the time you read this, tomorrow is 'Black Tuesday' for public transport in France.

Blunder in the Jardin des Plantes - catching the next-to-last day for 'Porte de Millénaire,' by Daniel Lambert.

Actually this is a regular post-summer event, almost scheduled like Halloween. The head CGT cheese, who looks like an over-age Beatle - even the Beatles look like over-age Beatles - more or less said it was a 'custom' to hold a day of transport strikes at this time of year, because everybody would forget them if they didn't.

At least we know one thing is true in France - the unions keep their promises to hold a couple of annual one-day nationwide transport strikes.

Meanwhile, over the weekend 'Les Verts' party managed to survive a major internal crises by dumping their designated presidential candidate and choosing another one on Sunday - one who made an irrevocable decision 'not to run' on Saturday.

Alain Lipietz was pushed out, and the reluctant Noël Mamère was shoved in. There was a bit of a vacuum for a few hours overnight with no candidate at all, but secret breakfast meetings yesterday morning turned things around.

For the layman this is difficult. Both candidates have moustaches and both never wear ties and always wear jeans. Both speak well in public, and both look better than most right-wing candidates.

The far right-wing is in a lot of trouble because they are mostly invisible. There are two campsphoto: friday, place denfert, no lion of these but they are impossible to tell apart even through they are deadly enemies, because both of their leaders say that 'Jospin is worse than Chirac,' while meaning exactly the opposite.

'No Lion,' on Friday in the Place Denfert-Rochereau.

On the presidential front, a high court has finally decided once and for all that a president in office can not be hauled into court as a witness, just because some investigating judges would like to ask him some questions concerning the period when he was mayor of Paris.

I hope this news puts your minds at rest, in case they were concerned.

On the far-left front, long-time readers will be pleased to learn that Arlette Laguiller, the leader of 'Lutte Ouvrière,' has again collected enough signatures to qualify as a presidential candidate.

This is her fifth campaign for the office. This means she has been trying for it for at least 35 years, while winning campaigns for other elective positions - which were mentioned in full on TV-news but I failed to note.

Internet Life

Is It Me or My Browser?

I think I am suffering from 'Internet-Overdose.' When I first went online in late 1994 the Internet was a fascinating, undiscovered planet, or a whole universe. Of course the Web part of it was much smaller than now, but it seemed to have treasures wherever I clicked.

I used to get shivers just by seeing the software announce 'network.' Now I have a modem that makes such awful noises that I've turned its sound off. I don't hear that spacy whistle and crash and bump of hitting 'online.'

Since I've been online myself for a longphoto: sunday, place denfert, lion time and all sorts of people find Metropole and me, I get a regular deluge of 'spam' that I can't turn off or hide from. Why is everybody offering me 'free credit' these days? Is there a lot of loose money lying around?

On Sunday, 'our' lion is back, looking at the Tour Montparnasse.

I have been getting a lot of link-exchange offers from jokers who think it is necessary to tell me that 'Google' gives higher search-engine ratings to Web sites that have lots of links.

Which has made me think that having nothing but links might produce the highest ratings of all. To heck with content - linking to other Web sites with lots of links too might even be better than linking to ones with a little bit of content.

This is as silly now as it was five years ago. If you have any favorite Paris-related Web sites you think other readers should know about, please send them in. If they haven't been featured before and they don't crash my browser, you'll get a modest 'thankYou' here.

The Agri-Life

Damien Gentilleau has sent me the URL for a Web site concentrating on the Monde Agricole. Since it has its version in English it is also known as the 'World of Agriculture.'

I am perfectly aware that there isn't a great deal of farming activity in Paris, but Damien has sent the URL for a site that seems to work - so I consider this 'good enough' - especially since I know there are some readers who are honestly interested in this area.

Carole Zalberg Scores

Quite some time ago Carole Zalberg was mentioned here in connection with the french publisher, 'Le Cherche-Midi.' At the time the story was that Carole had written three novels but couldn't get anybody at a publishing house to read them.

'Le Cherche-Midi' had the idea of putting unpublished works online, as a way of getting somebody else to read them. If there were favorable comments from these amateur 'readers,' then the publishing house would give them a good look.

About a week ago Carole wrote to say that her 'Les Mémoires d'un arbre' has been scheduled for publication by 'Le Cherche-Midi' early next year.

Aside from this success, Carole now has her own Web site, which you might want to take a look at - partly because she found out 'par hazard' that she was mentioned here.

She also has reminded me that the 'Cherche-Midi' house is still looking for authors of works in French and is willing to try them out in online waters.

French Tourism, Son of a Re-Run

The URL for this started out with a description of what was supposed to be one jumbo Web site that included links to all the major sites dealing with 'everythingphoto: pont des arts, thursday you wanted to know about tourism in France.'

However, this proved to be less than advertised - or I got an 'E' with it - but finally I got to somewhere that seemed to show promise.

Last Thursday, the Louvre and the Pont des Arts, as seen from the Pont Neuf.

This seems to be the 'Tourisme en France' Web site, which has versions in French and English, and the URL here is for the version in English - but don't be surprised if its text seems to be in French - much as the 'French' in Metropole is as 'French' as I can make it, like the phrase 'Tourisme en France.'

'Vigilance Météo' Begins With a Strike

For over six months now I have been mistakenly saying here that Météo-France's 'Vigilance-Météo' service is available. But now that it is, France-Météo has decided to be 'on strike.' At least, this is what the TV-weather news people say.

'Vigilance-Météo' consists of assigning four colors to departments in France liable to be attacked by hurricane-speed winds, torrential downpours, heavy storms, tornados, blizzards and/or avalanches - and it is updated twice daily.

If you are curious or need to know more, give the Météo-France Web site a hit, for its short-range forecasts. The 'Vigilance-Météo' area is on the page's top left.

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