TV's longest-running World War II drama, Combat!
aired on ABC between 1962 and 1967. "It was really a collection of complex 50-minute movies. Salted with battle sequences, they follow [US Army King Company's travails during the invasion of France, starting with the landing at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 -- D-Day. It's] a gritty, ground-eye view of infantrymen trying to salvage their humanity and survive." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 2, 2013 -
That Intoxicating Pink
Rose champagne is the intoxicant of choice for courtesans and kings. Beautiful, expensive, and rare, it was beloved by the grandest of the grandes horizontales of nineteenth-century Paris—and the men who could afford to love them. In Second Empire France, the Countess Henkel von Donnersmarck—known to historians of the libido as La Païva, and earlier as Esther Lachmann, late of the Moscow ghetto—demanded magnums of it as a “gratuity” while entertaining clients in the boudoir of her ill-begotten Hotel de la Païva on the Champs-Élysées. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Nov 19, 2013 -
World War I in Color
is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Oct 31, 2013 -
In 1971 Jean Garetto and Pierre Codou began to dream of a radio station that could calm even the drivers stuck on the Paris Périphérique. It would play wonderful, unexpected music chosen by people who knew their onions. The tracks would be drawn from diverse genres and chosen to seque enchantingly. There would be no jingles, commercials or self-aggrandising DJs - not even defined programs - just some announcers chosen for their mellifluous voices but paid to mostly stay quiet. The result was - and is - FipRadio
. Fans have included residents of Brighton in the UK who enjoyed an illegal re-transmission of the station
for many years - and journalist David Hepworth who describes the thrill of hearing "a voice you want to marry whispering words you can't understand
! [more inside]
posted by rongorongo
on Sep 26, 2013 -
France has made Japan angry again
, this time with insensitive political cartoons
With radiation levels still spiking
, and the government only reticently admitting to constant leaks, some
are questioning the legitimacy of PM Abe's insistence that Tokyo is safe. With decisions not to prosecute
anyone involved in the disaster, it seems that amakudari
is, in Japan as in most other countries, still alive and well.
posted by GoingToShopping
on Sep 13, 2013 -
"We’ve suspected for some time that the French and German governments’ refusal to take part in the Iraq war had something to do with their access to independent overhead imagery satellites. Briefly, France and Germany did (with the HELIOS and SAR Lupe programs respectively), and didn’t take part at all. Spain and Italy had some access to French imagery and had advanced plans to get their own. They made a limited commitment. The UK, Australia, Denmark, and the ROK relied on the United States and were, in a phrase that should be better known outside Australia, all the way with LBJ." -- Alex Harrowell explains how the absence of independent satellite intelligence may have helped the UK into the War on Iraq [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Aug 19, 2013 -
"Whereas yesterday's Cora Pearl was eccentric, charming and a little cold-hearted, today's Victorian courtesan, La Païva, is straight-up eerie. Like, so eerie that a lot of people thought she was a vampire. My hand to Baby Jesus, people actually believed she was a supernatural being.
" Bizarre Victoria
shares (what else) bizarre, scandalous, and noteworthy stories form the Victorian era (and more). What do you serve at a country club for fat men
? Devil's footprints
! Lola Montez: servant whipper, de facto ruler of Bavaria
. Empress Sissi and her No Good Very Bad Life
. Aristocratic marriage at gunpoint
. Public pubic hair trimming
. Specialties of the Victorian Brothel
. Curing hiccups by setting your shirt on fire
. Gilded Age Arranged Marriages
posted by The Whelk
on Jul 3, 2013 -
You may remember
the 7.5 hour documentary released in 2009 which allowed you to travel the journey between Bergen to Oslo from the comfort of your home.
If your wanderlust was fired up watching that video, then you may enjoy some of the other trips you can take.
posted by jontyjago
on May 25, 2013 -
is a collaborative collection of more than 3,000 royalty-free
photos from World War II's Battle of Normandy and its aftermath. (Photos date from June 6 to late August 1944). The main link goes to the photostream. You can also peruse sets
, which include 2700+ images from the US
posted by zarq
on Mar 19, 2013 -
In the new game Avant-Garde
, you play an up-and-coming artist in 19th century Paris, a contemporary of Manet and Bouguereau. Carve and sell allegorical statue groups! Get snubbed by Napoleon III! Subsidize Gustave Courbet's drinking! Compose and promulgate your own aesthetic manifesto!
posted by Iridic
on Mar 8, 2013 -
has spent most of his life cultivating spies and diplomats, who seem to enjoy seeing themselves and their secrets transfigured into pop fiction (with their own names carefully disguised), and his books regularly contain information about terror plots, espionage and wars that has never appeared elsewhere. Other pop novelists, like John le Carré and Tom Clancy, may flavor their work with a few real-world scenarios and some spy lingo, but de Villiers’s books are ahead of the news and sometimes even ahead of events themselves." (SLNYT)
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Jan 31, 2013 -
(1905-1976) was a highly popular and prolific
French cartoonist and illustrator, whose works were ubiquitous in France from the 1930s to the 1970s: Dubout illustrated books, film posters
(notably those of Marcel Pagnol), magazines, advertisements, postcards and some of his cartoons were eventually adapted as a movie
. Today, Dubout is best known as the creator of the Dubout couple
; figurine version
), consisting of a very large, full-bosomed, dominating, angry-looking wife with a diminutive, hapless and mustachioed husband in tow. Dubout's work is often highly detailed, and images larger than the tiny ones available on the official website are shown under the fold. [more inside]
posted by elgilito
on Jan 26, 2013 -
After a few weeks of well-reported
rumors that Lance Armstrong was going to confess, he publicly admitted to years of doping in the first of a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey. [more inside]
posted by entropone
on Jan 18, 2013 -
In 1960 humorist Georges Bernier, author François Cavanna and comic artist (and artistic director) Fred Aristidès began publishing the satirical magazine Hara Kiri
, which attacked the French establishment, including politicians, the government and Catholic Church. In 1961 and 1966 it was temporarily banned by the French Government. The magazine's covers
were often tasteless, NSFW, "famously perverted, bizarre and highly creative
and at the time, and in fact even by today's standards in a league of their own." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 4, 2012 -
What was Of Grammatology about? When Madeleine, the heroine of Jeffrey Eugenides's campus novel The Marriage Plot, asks a young theory-head this question, she is immediately set straight: 'If it was "about" anything, then it was about the need to stop thinking of books as being about things.' That's not so far off. In all three books, Derrida's argument was that Western thought from Plato to Rousseau to Lévi-Strauss had been hopelessly entangled in the illusion that language might provide us with access to a reality beyond language, beyond metaphor: an unmediated experience of truth and being which he called 'presence'.
—Not in the Mood
by Adam Shatz is an essay in The London Review of Books about a new biography
of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. The review does a good job of explaining Derrida's theories in simple language and putting it in the context of his life, from his childhood as French Jew in Vichy-controlled Algeria to his later years as a globetrotting academic star. For a complimentary perspective on Derrida, you can do worse than starting with these thoughts on his relevance for historians and progressives
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 14, 2012 -
It was simplifying. Forget your civilian reflexes. The task does not require a purpose. Do not ask questions, do not make suggestions, do not even think of that. The Legion is our fatherland. We will accept you. We will shelter you.
posted by The corpse in the library
on Nov 12, 2012 -
How Things Fell Apart
, By Chinua Achebe - 'In an excerpt from his long-awaited memoir, the inventor of the post-colonial African novel in English discusses his origins as a writer and the seeds of revolt against the British Empire.'
I can say that my whole artistic career was probably sparked by this tension between the Christian religion of my parents, which we followed in our home, and the retreating, older religion of my ancestors, which fortunately for me was still active outside my home. I still had access to a number of relatives who had not converted to Christianity and were called heathens by the new converts. When my parents were not watching I would often sneak off in the evenings to visit some of these relatives. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Oct 25, 2012 -
You want us to pay you for directing eyeballs to your sites?
Newspaper publishers in France want a law whereby Google (and other search engine services) have to pay for each click made from the search engine to their sites. You click on a link to a French newspaper site from a search engine, the Search Engine has to pay the newspaper for that click. If the law is passed it's likely Google will no longer
include links to French sites that require payment for said links.
posted by juiceCake
on Oct 19, 2012 -
Today is the 200th anniversary of the Battle
, in which Napoleon's armies met Russian troops 75 miles east of Moscow on 7 September 1812. The huge battle, involving quarter of a million troops, was the strongest stand the Imperial Russian Army made against Napoleon's forces, and it resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. Although the Russian army withdrew, the French tactical victory in the Battle of Borodino was a Pyrrhic one, and Napoleon ultimately left Russia in defeat.
The battle was reenacted
at Borodino last weekend, as is done annually
. A cultural symbol of Russian national courage, the Battle of Borodino has been famously commemorated in Russian literature, music, art, and poetry. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F.
on Sep 7, 2012 -