France






Did you know that Mitt Romney was in a coma for a few days during the `60s?  No, not due to drugs.  Lou Colagiovanni gives the commonly accepted story for the Examiner:…


In the mood for a lost landmark? The Smiling Madame Beudet, from 1922, may be the prototype of feminist cinema. Directed by Germaine Dulac, the lone female figure among the notable French avant-garde filmmakers of the 1920s, it’s an impressionistic, surrealist, silent tale of a woman’s psychological imprisonment. Her primary source of release is playing her piano, to which her husband holds the keys. Futher explanation available at The House of Mirth and Movies:




Reports Eleanor Beardsley for NPR: In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He’s taken the church to court over its refusal to let…


One can only hope he doesn’t become some sort of perverse martyr. From AFP: A self-proclaimed Al-Qaeda militant died in a hail of bullets on Thursday as he jumped out of an…


Still available in the good ole USofA … Jessica Ravitz and Saskya Vandoorne report on a bizarre iPhone app for CNN: “Jew or not Jew?”: That is just part of the question….


Le_Voyage_dans_la_luneDreamy and surreal, it lives up to its name:

A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la lune) is a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film. The film was written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells.

It is the first science fiction film and uses innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of the spaceship landing in the moon’s eye.



IKEA’s business has been booming. Although no one was significantly injured, this coordinated attack had alarm clocks exploding in three different European countries. Via Reuters: French, Belgian and Dutch police have launched…


Flag of FranceVive la France! Wait, what? David Case writes on globalpost:

Here’s a story that illustrates the chasm between how France and America handle men, women and rape.

The French elite are outraged over what they see as American vulgarities surrounding the treatment of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief and putative 2012 presidential frontrunner, accused of raping a 32-year-old Sofitel chambermaid in Manhattan last weekend.

Among the “barbaric” American practices under critique by Parisians: showing photos of the accused in handcuffs; marching him through a scrum of photographers on the way to court; and pillorying him tabloid style — the NY Post called him “a horny toad,” for example. As GlobalPost has reported, French law restricts some media coverage of alleged perpetrators prior to conviction, including publication of images showing the accused in handcuffs, to preserve the dignity of the innocent.





Disneyland FranceUPI.com reports:

A worker at Disneyland Paris allegedly tried to kill himself by jumping off a bridge at the theme park, saying he blamed his manager for his actions.

The man, identified only as “C,” stood atop a 33-foot bridge along the route of the park’s scale railroad threatening to jump Thursday while concurrently demanding to see Disneyland’s management, Radio France Internationale reported Friday.

Le Parisien reported two members of the park’s management talked the man into coming down, which he did, witnesses said, with tears in his eyes and blaming his manager for his actions.

Disneyland management said the man was the representative of a small trade union and was working half time because of “problems encountered at work.”

Radio France Internationale reported three Disneyland Paris workers killed themselves last year.




Paleo-Future has posted a collection of seven lithographs depicting a 19th century vision of the present day; and yes, it involves flying cars: This lithograph from 1882 depicts the fanciful world of…


The Flying TailorI admire his desire to develop a parachute in the early days of aviation, unfortunately Mr. Reichelt may have turned out to be the world’s first-ever BASE jumper. As Wikipedia records:

Believing that the lack of a suitably high test platform was partially to blame for his failures, Reichelt repeatedly petitioned the Parisian Prefecture of Police for permission to conduct a test from the Eiffel Tower. He was finally granted permission in early 1912, but when he arrived at the tower on February 4th he made it clear that he intended to jump himself rather than conduct an experiment with dummies.

Despite attempts by his friends and spectators to dissuade him, he jumped from the first platform of the tower wearing his invention. The parachute failed to deploy and he crashed into the icy ground at the foot of the tower. The next day, newspapers were full of the story of the reckless inventor and his fatal jump — many included pictures of the fall taken by press photographers who had gathered to witness Reichelt’s experiment — and a film documenting the jump appeared in newsreels:


Eric Cantona first achieved fame playing soccer for Manchester United and France. He was an extremely talented striker, but perhaps is best known for his flying kung fu-style kick at a heckling fan. That’s all in the past though, and Cantona has a new career as a budding indie film star. Apparently he’s also quite conscious of the fact that there’s not much liberté, égalité or fraternité in France or the rest of the world these days, and he knows just how to bring about another revolution: everyone should go to their bank and withdraw all their cash. The system would crash and, voilà, la Révolution! Here he is in an October interview explaining how it works: