Barbie Foot
Thursday August 06th 2009, 12:56 pm
Filed under: products,sports,weird

barbie foosball table from france
From the latimes:

I’d seen pictures of this oddly unsettling Barbie Foosball (a.k.a. table soccer) table floating around the Internet for months, but figured theChloé Ruchon designed “Barbie-Foot” — the game is called “babyfoot” in France — was just a one-off piece of art created for the doll’s 50th birthday.

Then, just this morning, I received an e-mail informing me that: 1) said table is part of the current window installation at Colette in Paris, and 2) a supply of just nine of these limited-edition Barbie torture devices, manufactured by Bonzini, a French company that’s been making such contraptions since 1936, and are available through the store (though, as of this posting, I couldn’t find an online link to purchase the table).

The real kicker isn’t anywhere on the table, though — it’s the price tag. The perfect accessory for your Barbie Dream House will set you back a cool 10,000 euros. At current exchange rates that works out to just over $654 per player.

Take that, G.I. Joe.

— Adam Tschorn

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A Naked Pole Vaulter in Paris
Sunday March 29th 2009, 9:39 am
Filed under: funny,nature,news,paris,people,sports,weird

french pole vaulter romain mesnil runs naked in paris
Not that you need another reason to love Paris, but I thought this would be an important addition to the list. Track athlete, Romain Mesnil, for some reason, decided to run naked in the streets of Paris with his … pole. Honestly, we don’t mind. If he needs some publicity, he should have it. Watch the video.

Ice Skating on L’Etang de Frasne
Tuesday December 30th 2008, 2:10 pm
Filed under: daily life,Franche-Comte,news,sports,tips,travel and places,travel tip

frozen lake ice skating

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything related to reasons why one should come to France, so I thought I’d mention L’ Etang de Frasne (The Frasne Pond) located in the region of Franche Comté. It’s actually a large pond or little lake, if you will – and a very good reason to visit it right now is so you can go ice skating on it.

Right now in France, it’s cold. Wicked cold, in fact. Temperatures this low would inspire many of you to stay indoors, wrap yourself with a warm blankie, grab a hot chocolate and sit in front of a crackling fire, which is nice and cozy and all – but, you might want to take advantage of the wonderful winter weather and go out aller patiner (to go ice skating). L’Etang de Frasne / The Frasne pond is completely frozen right now and waiting for you and your ice skates. There are a couple of frozen ponds near each other but with the longest one, L’etang de Frasne measures two kilometers (1.2 miles!) long. That gives you a bit of space, much more than if you went to a teeny ice rink. Afterward, you can have your hot chocolate and cuddle with a loved one next to a warm fire…

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[photo from le blog d’olif]

Seeing the Camargue on Horseback
Monday October 20th 2008, 7:02 am
Filed under: Bouche-du-Rhone,environment,nature,photos,Provence,sports,tips,travel tip

horseback riding in the camargue marshland

Although there are many ways to explore the Camargue, France’s sprawling area of protected marshland, my personal recommendation would be to see it on horseback. That is, if you’re up for that kind of thing.

horseback riding in the camargue egrets

Because the Camargue is designated as a botanical and zoological nature reserve, it seems fitting to try to see it all the while respecting nature and the wildlife all around. I love riding and I’d been wanting to go horseback riding for ages, so this was the perfect opportunity, and for me, the perfect way to see the Camargue. If riding on a big animal’s back is not your cup of tea, you have many options: jeep safaris, organized tours, and my second choice for seeing the area, bicycling. With many areas of the Camargue being off-limits to motorized traffic plus the advantage of such a flat terrain, you’re good on bike. Hills will NOT be a problem. Hiking’s also a good choice but you must be in enormously great shape to cover a lot of ground, and to run away from charging wild bulls. Just kidding.

horseback riding in the camargue wild bulls
photo from Les Arnelles

Looking for places to rent a horse to ride will not be a problem; they are everywhere. Just check out the place and owners a bit and examine the health of the horses. We visited three places before choosing Les Arnelles. The people working there were great, the horses were well taken care of, and since we had specific areas we wanted to see, they let us customize our ride.

horseback riding in the camargue beach

If you plan on taking photos on horseback, I’d recommend bringing a small camera that you can use easily with one hand. I made the mistake of bringing my large camera, which is a little too clunky and heavy to use with one hand (carrying reins in the other hand), which is why I took very few pictures. Also, along the way, I lost my lens cover while we’d been galloping for a stretch. Doh!

NOTE: Don’t forget the mosquito repellent! Also try to bring some binoculars.

Les Arnelles
Route d’Arles
13460 Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer France
Tel: +33 (0)603 892 379 | +33 (0)686 601 515 | +33 (0)490 978 286
Website: Les Arnelles

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No Boo-ing Allowed!
Wednesday October 15th 2008, 12:36 pm
Filed under: articles,events,funny,news,sports,weird

From bbc:

Football matches in France will be called off immediately if spectators jeer during the French national anthem, says the country’s sports minister.

France’s national anthem was booed in Tuesday’s friendly win over Tunisia.

“Any match at which our national anthem is whistled at will be immediately stopped,” said Roselyne Bachelot.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the booing was “insulting” and that in the event of a repeat it would be necessary “to call off matches”.

“It’s insulting for France, it’s insulting for the players of the French team, it should not be tolerated,” he added.

“I think we should stop the matches when the anthems, whichever they are, are booed.”

Two goals from Thierry Henry gave France coach Raymond Domenech a much needed boost in cementing a 3-1 win in Paris.

But the booing and whistling by some in the crowd – many of them Tunisian – as the French anthem was played infuriated France’s political establishment.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has demanded an investigation into the matter.

President Sarkozy’s aides said he had summoned French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes following the “scandalous incidents which occurred at the Stade de France”.

Bachelot added: “Government members will immediately leave the arena where our national anthem has been whistled.

“When whistling of our national anthem happens, all friendly games with the country concerned will be suspended for a period yet to be determined by the federation president.”

Sports Minister Bernard Laporte has suggested that France no longer play friendlies against Maghreb region countries.

There have been similar problems in recent years in matches against Algeria and Morocco.

Friendlies against North African sides traditionally attract widespread support from sizeable immigrant communities in and around the French capital.

Some booed when the names of the French players were read out over the PA system before kickoff, reaching a crescendo for Hatem Ben Arfa, born in France to Tunisian parents.

Arfa opted to play for the country of his birth despite overtures from the Tunisian Federation.

“I’m not really angry with them,” said Ben Arfa. “It’s a bit of a shame but it’s not a major problem. They need to exist, you have to understand them.”

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