Air France Special Valentine Packages From the U.S. to Paris
Saturday January 31st 2009, 5:47 am
Filed under: events,news,paris,paris hotels,tips,travel and places,travel tip

air france paris valentine special
Air France has special packages for a romantic getaway to Paris from the U.S. See details here.

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Friday France Photo: No Swimming Allowed
Friday January 30th 2009, 7:16 am
Filed under: Bourgogne/Burgundy,environment,nature,photos,signs,travel and places

respect the environment protect nature no swimming allowed
Protect Nature / Respect the Environment / No Swimming Allowed

tags: signs, photos of france

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A Food Fight at the Bocuse d’Or
Friday January 30th 2009, 5:47 am
Filed under: articles,cultural differences,events,food and drinks,news,people,Rhône-Alpes,Rhone

From time:

“Perhaps nothing symbolized the American team’s efforts at the Bocuse d’Or better than its beef cheeks. At the world’s premier chef’s competition, which ended on Jan. 28 in Lyons, France, the Estonians transformed the cheeks — a required ingredient this year — into pot-au-feu, the Brazilians stuffed potatoes with them, and the Malaysians spiced them up into rendang. But the U.S. competitors, 28-year-old Timothy Hollingsworth and his assistant, Adina Guest, braised the meat until it was silky, set it on a tiny round of baby turnip, and topped it with a floret of broccolini. Smuggled through customs, the vegetables came straight from the garden of the famed French Laundry restaurant in Napa, California, where the two chefs work, and gave the presentation a delicious, locally grown flavor that could only be American. Sadly, in a context where extravagance and adherence to the rules of classical cooking take precedence, that might have been part of the problem.

From the heavy presence of seafood mousses to the cheesy compliments the MC paid the female judges, the Bocuse d’Or is nothing if not French. But because it is also a kind of culinary Olympics, with teams from 24 different countries competing over two days for a gold trophy that brings prestige and a $26,000 prize, the contest is imbued with national rivalries that extend from the fans in the bleachers to the flavors on the elaborate platters.

In fact, for the young chefs who compete in the contest — founded by revered French chef Paul Bocuse — navigating between the desire to demonstrate the glories of their national cuisine (to say nothing of their own creativity) and the wish to please a jury that tends to favor the classic French style is precisely the challenge. “If you’re playing soccer, you can’t use your hands,” says Antonio Saura, a Spanish filmmaker whose 2007 documentary El Pollo, el Pez, y el Cangrejo Real featured the competition. “The Bocuse is the same way: you have to play by their rules.”

Those rules are … ” continue reading

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29 janvier 2009 : La Grève générale ! / January 29 – General Protest in France
Tuesday January 27th 2009, 12:45 pm
Filed under: advice,cultural differences,daily life,news,people,politics,tips

la greve generale general protest january 29 2009

La Grève!

Just a heads up to those interested: There will be a huge strike on Thursday, January 29. Everywhere. Nearly Everyone. La Grève générale ! A general strike. I hope there will be a huge turnout. What is is about? Pretty much everything: the financial crisis, weak purchasing power, human rights, etc. It is basically the reaction of La rage du peuple! Be prepared to face some huge perturbations especially if you need to get anywhere. The syndicates are saying this will be absolutely immense, bigger than ever before.

La Grève!!!

French Researchers Not Fans of Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Age
Monday January 26th 2009, 12:39 pm
Filed under: articles,food and drinks,news,products

From kotaku:

dr kawashima brain age nintendo“Just as researchers in Scotland say Brain Age works, researchers in France say it doesn’t. According to data from University of Rennes, Brittany, Brain Age failed to show any significant jump in memory.

What’s more, the game apparently made memory worse.

The research had a sample of ten year-old children split into four groups: The first two groups did a seven-week DS memory course, the third group did puzzles with pencil and paper, while the fourth group just went to school as regular. Before and after started each program, the groups did logic tests.

The results? The DS control group did not do significantly better — save for a 19 percent increase in math. (However, the pencil-and-paper group also had the same increase in math, and the just-go-to-school group had a 18 percent increase in math.) However, the pencil-and-paper group showed a 33 percent increase in memorization, while the DS groups did 17 percent worse. The kid who just went to school showed a 20 percent increase.

According to Alain Lieury, professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Rennes, “The Nintendo DS is a technological jewel. As a game it’s fine, but it is charlatanism to claim that it is a scientific test… There were few positive effects and they were weak. Dr Kawashima is one of a long list of dream merchants.”

Professor Lieury is publishing his findings in a new book, Stimulate Your Neurones, which is out this month.”

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