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The Furne edition of Balzac's 'La Comédie Humaine,' the only one proofed by the author and published in his lifetime, is now online. It includes the entire text of the novels, many engravings, and additional notes are available. There is also a search motor for finding your way around. Here are thephoto, bar, marais URLs – Maison de Balzac in Paris and the University of Chicago's ARTFL group.

Headline of the Week

Yet another super headline from Le Parisien today screamed "Libérés!" The home town football team has fallen so low, fired their trainer, whined, and whimpered, that it's gone beyond bottom. Paris–Saint– Germain snatched victory from defeat on Sunday evening by thrashing Bordeaux 3–1. Le Parisien says, 'PSG's first victory over a professional football club in 2005.' Meanwhile, on other wet turf on Sunday, the French rugby team stole a victory from England, by a whisker of 18–17.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The last club meeting's 'Speak Up of the Week' clubphoto, fiat 500 of the week report is more sublime than it sounds because the club's secretary failed to hear 90 percent of the audio portion, but lived to write a lot of words based on lips.

After an over–long absence, a 'Fiat 500 of the Week.'

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday again. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Alexis. Alexis Falconieri and six rich merchant pals were obnoxious Florentines who gave up their lush way of life in 1233 to copy Francis of Assissi, by founding the 'Servites de Marie' holy order.

Other, mostly true facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The design of the real edgy club membership card on this page looks as much like contemporary art online as feeble reproductions of it. It is far too good to be true that the club membership itself is free too, but it really is though.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.07 – 9. Feb. 2004 – the Café Metropole column started with, "Too Easy To Quit." The news in the 'Au Bistro' column was, 'in 5 words' – 'Drugstore Reopens On Champs–Elysées.' There was a feature titled 'Way Out West' – a Fine Matinée That Was' and another titled 'A Window of the Past – Martin Vaughn–James Exhibition.' Laurel Avery's 'Paris Life had 'A Good Bowl of Matzo Ball Soup.' The repeat Scène column was titled 'No Duck Soup and No Nuts.' The update for the 12. February meeting of the Café Metropolephoto, sign, place roger priou valjean Club was titled, the 'China Lake Gets On the Map' report. There were four terrific 'Posters of the Week' and the caption for Ric's weekly cartoon asked, "No White Hat?"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.07 – 10. Feb. 2003 – the week's Café Metropole column began the issue with 'Buzzer Dayz, Signs of Too Many.' The sole feature was titled, 'Rétromobile – Wheels of Fire, Real and In Scale 1:6.' The repeat Scène column's headline was 'What Isn't Rétro Seems Very Modern.' The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 13. February was headlined, 'Chocolate Frogs?' There were four hot–type 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had an apt caption, "'Cause I Love 'Em"

Valentine's Birthday Today

For once, a saint who is really on the calendar. This is of course the obscure 3th century Roman named Valentine who was asked to heal a notable's kid, which he did successfully, but got offed anyhow. According to French legend, 'les Anglais' decided Valentine should be the patron saint of lovers, because 14. February is the date that the birds do it. But in 1401 France's Charles VI founded a 'cour d'amour,' which was a poetical circle meant to prolongphoto, sign, clown, saxophone the Middle Ages and chivalry, gallantry and honor, and fleurs and boxes of chocolates, of course.

Club member, Jules Verne fan and New Jersey snow expert, Jim Auman has emailed news about Christo's 7500 saffron gates in New York's Central Park. Since Saturday normally crusty New Yorkers are going gaga over it and even Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been talking about 'all the money' thousands of extra visitors to the city will spend in the couple of weeks the 'Gates' are on view. Paris had the Pont Neuf wrapped by Christo too, and Berliners remember the tidy job he did on the old Reichstag. On view in Manhattan until Sunday, 27. February.

Today is also the 126th anniversary of 'La Marseillaise' becoming the French national anthem. It was written one night in July of 1792 by Claude Rouget de Lisle and became the 'chant national' in 1795, but nobody bothered remembering the words. It began as the 'Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin,' and was picked up the revolutionary troops from Marseille who sang it as they marched into Paris in July of 1792, so Parisians hastily called it 'La Marseillaise.' Two 'republics' later it caught on, in 1879.

'Countdowns' Return to Mercury

The 'Quote of the Week' belongs to Saturday, and is attributed to Arthur Miller. He said, "The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less."

Today's 'Countdown' Here On Earth

photo, sign, place diaghilevThe 100th anniversary of Jules Verne's death on 24. March 1905 is a mere 46 days from now. Publicity drums have started to roll for this event, with TV news showing clips of premature space travel and other dark trips to the centre of the earth, plus solar–powered airplanes unforeseen by famous foreseers Jules Verne and Leonardo Da Vinci.

Dubious Anniversary of Note

This date, in 1929, is remembered in Chicago's history for the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. This name marks the mow–down of seven members of 'Bugs' Moran's North Side Gang. The gangland execution took place in a beer warehouse at 2122 North Clark Street. Four men, two dressed at police officers, lined up the victims and opened up with Tommyguns, leaving no witnesses, and 160 empty machine gun shells. Not since Dion O'Banion was wiped out in 1924 were so many rubbed out at once. The police were stunned and annoyed.

Today's Other 'Notable Dates of the Week'

There are only 320 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1918 when 'Tarzan' first appeared onscreen. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 45 days, the same number that 1989 had when James Bond, an American ornithologist and the model for the fictional spy, died at the age of 89.
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