TomTom Raid Launches in France
Wednesday November 30th 2005, 1:10 pm
Filed under: advertising & marketing,events,games/software/tech

gps satellite navigation system company, tomtom, with the goal of creating a viral marketing campaign – has launched a game and internet reality show in france called “tomtomraid” where two teams must find checkpoints in france using only a tom tom go 700. they have no money, no credit cards and no food, but are given a smart car to get to their destinations, where they will also find a meal. i took screenshots of them today while they were eating lunch. it looks like they are around the lyon area and i think they’re moving south.

the first team is called “the chti brothers” and the second, “bonnie & clyde.” you can see them live online on the tomtomraid website in real time video and you can also read and/or send messages to them. on the site you’ll see cute messages like, “go chti brothers! remember your mussels and fries!” (specialties of the northern french, the chtimis) and the other messages being sent to the contestants.

what do they win? NOTHING! but if you vote on their site, you have a chance of winning a tomtom navigator.

you can see the action here: tomtom raid

[via alternative buzz]


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DON’T Try This at Home! – Yogi Coudoux in Chartres
Tuesday November 29th 2005, 12:52 pm
Filed under: health,people

yogicoudouxthis man is a professional model that “sits” in a window display for a pretzel shop. hey! pretzels aren’t very french!! sometimes outside people get trampled on from the massive lurking crowds that come to see him every day.

just kidding.

he is actually yogi coudoux, master of mind over body and he’s known for being able to control his breath (pranayama yoga, the art of mastering breath), lowering his heartrate, contorting his body into a teeny tiny glass box that would sit at the bottom of a swimming pool. to say that he is flexible would be the understatement of the year. he’s much more than that.

{mosimage}yogi coudoux is a world yoga master. the son of a tibetan yoga teacher, he moved to paris and opened his own schools of yoga and kung fu at the age of twenty. over the last 4 decades, he has become world-renowned for his exceptional abilities. he still performs regularly and teaches – not for shock value – but to encourage awareness of how powerful our minds can be over our bodies, revealing innovative techniques that will lead to long-term good health through self-knowledge and the mastery of self. using exercises that are simple and accessible to all, regardless of age, sex, or physical condition, he provides a program that will restore confidence, self-esteem, energy, flexibility, and restful sleep while ending problems of anxiety, pain, stress, and anger.

he’s offering a seminar in chartres to teach how maintaining good posture will improve or lengthen your overall well-being.

STAGES à CHARTRES (training/seminar in chartres to perfect your back)

December 10 & 11, 2005
Location: 28 Novotel – Chartres, France
Fees: 110 € for one day, 200 € for both days
For more information, email: et téléphone : 02 37 46 90 74

future events with yogi coudoux include a 6 day seminar called the KUNG of yoga: flexibility of the body and spirit (site in french) december 26 – 31, 2005.


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Black Paris – Tours and Courses
Tuesday November 29th 2005, 12:00 am
Filed under: education,history,paris,people,travel and places


“…the myth of color-blind France is complex and flawed.
Nonetheless, it has exercised a powerful attraction upon both
[B]lack Americans and the French themselves.” ~
Tyler Stovall, Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light

“In Paris, I lived in all parts of the city–on the Right Bank and the Left, among the bourgeoisie and among les misérables, and knew all kinds of
people, from pimps and prostitutes in Pigalle to Egyptian bankers in Neuilly. This may sound extremely unprincipled or even obscurely immoral: I found it healthy. I love to talk to people, all kinds of people, and almost everyone, as I hope we still know, loves a man who loves to listen.”
James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name

You could visit Paris hundreds of times and get a completely unique idea of it each time depending on your own curiosity and volition. mileage will vary. For example, someone might simply want to see the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Amelie’s Montmartre, while others would be in search of something deeper and looking for more of a complex experience, an experience that is rooted in an entirely different aspect of Paris’ history – such as “Black Paris.”

Unknown to most of the millions of the tourists that visit the Cty of Light each year, there are tours and courses available particularly focusing on Paris’ history as it relates to the Africans, black North/South Americans, and black Europeans, who, for political and/or personal reasons made Paris their homes.

It’s an opportunity to find out about why so many blacks (Africans, African Americans and Europeans), many of them famous writers, artists and musicians, expatriated to such a complex and paradoxical space, Paris – and what it was like for them to be there.

There’s also a course being offered next summer that sounds like it’s going to be not only a fascinating learning opportunity but also a unique “lived experience.” During 4 weeks in paris, students from Indiana University, Bloomington will examine the politics of migration, the motives, implications and consequences of transnational life – all this though text, lectures, field trips, guest speakers, music and film. to be discussed: “Why Paris? is it a refuge from racism?”; “Who are the historical and contemporary black internationalists?”; “How does black Paris fit into the black experience in europe?” “What is the OTHER Paris?” “the Paris riots” and more. Black paris is a timely and significant topic in african american and african diaspora studies not to be ignored.

The Course: Black Paris: Migration and Cosmopolitanism in the City of Light
June 12 to July 7, 2006 – Paris, France

Tours: discover african-american history in paris, black paris tours, the insiders guide to black paris.
Other Sources: Cafe de la Soul


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Lulu Lundi* Nice, France and Christmas Markets
Sunday November 27th 2005, 12:42 pm
Filed under: articles,cultural differences,events,lulu/dogs/cats,shopping,travel and places

it’s just after thanksgiving (of course, french people don’t know and/or don’t care) but to me, it marks the start of the christmas season. so i’m going to talk about the christmas markets in france. but first things first.

believe it or not, lulu IS in that picture at the christmas market in nice. can you find her? like, you know, i spy (the picture riddles?) or, remember, where’s waldo? (or “where’s wally in the uk – the goofy guy with round glasses and the striped hat and shirt?) well, where’s lulu??! hint: she’s looking at you!

the christmas market in nice is a fun one, indeed. surrounded by palm trees, the ocean breeze and a ubiquitous warmth of the the golden sun, spending christmas in nice reminds me a little bit of christmases in southern california, where i grew up.

every year in nice, the market spreads over practically the whole of “place massena,” a big open area not far from the shopping quarter of nice. there’s even an outdoor ice skating rink, but i recommend you get there early for skating because it does get drippy fast. theres’s also a little snow forest using fake snow so you can visit santa or stroll through the plastic white winter wonderland. don’t eat the snow.

artisans set up shop and there are many christmassy things to buy. i didn’t see anything that i wanted to buy but it’s fun nonetheless to admire the crafts, watch people, ice skate, catch some rides at the carnival or snack on junkfood.

there are many other christmas markets worth visiting that feel more traditionally like christmas (the snow is real!) so i’ve listed several cities below that host christmas markets from all over france (with links to their tourism offices to find out about the details of the markets):

Marchés de Noël (Christmas Markets in France)

Strasbourg (Alsace) (the most famous and largest french christmas market), Dijon (Bourgogne), Besançon (Franche-Comté), Reims (Champagne), Chartres (Centre), Avignon (Provence), Lille (Nord), Rouen (Normandie), Amiens (Picardie)–make sure to see their color lightshow at the cathedral too, Noisy le Grand (one of the larger christmas markets in Paris, Ile de France), Clermont-Ferrand (Auvergne)
*Lulu Lundi – Monday is dedicated to posting photos of Lulu, a Boston Terrier in France.

This is also a delicious wedge cut out of weekend dog blogging (#11) kindly hosted by Sweetnicks


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Sunday November 27th 2005, 11:49 am
Filed under: photos


i took this photo today from our bedroom window upstairs. a bit foggy but i love the snow! there were really big snowflakes but it didn’t snow that much. it’s weather that makes me just want to have a warm hearty soup with some pain de campagne (country bread) and curl up around the fire. i did not want to go out at all. then i remembered we were invited to lunch. doh!! totally worth it though. on the menu: roasted pintade (guinea fowl) with a potato gravy, chestnuts in butter, endive salad, pastries galore AND cheeses.

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