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"disorder ... is cheap to create, but very costly to prevent"

The Galula Doctrine: An Interview with Galula's Biographer A.A. Cohen, who wrote Galula: The Life And Writings of the French Officer Who Defined Counterinsurgency, and an excerpt. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 30, 2015 - 4 comments

Iranian 1979 revolution: Rare footage from French television

A French institute has collected a series of rarely seen videos on the 1979 Iranian revolution, among other things on almost any topic. [more inside]
posted by hoder on Jan 28, 2015 - 18 comments

Road trip

Yini Bo by French band / collective Le Peuple de l'Herbe (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 18, 2015 - 7 comments

French left wing satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo attacked by extremists

The French left wing satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo (currently blank, Wikipedia entry) was attacked by extremists this afternoon. At least 12 people were killed. Among those killed are the cartoonists Wolinski, Cabu, Charb and Tignous. Previously: the firebomb attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2011.
posted by Berend on Jan 7, 2015 - 1676 comments

Are You Ready for Some Snookball?

If you built a $7,000 pool table big enough to walk around on and replaced the balls with soccer balls, you'd be playing Snookball. The sport was invented by two French entrepreneurs and there are 10 tables in that country so far. "We know this game will be popular when beer is involved," one told Sport Bible.
posted by rcade on Dec 23, 2014 - 23 comments

'smile regimes'

Incorruptible Teeth, or, the French Smile Revolution
In 1787, Madame Vigée-Lebrun, painter to France’s royal and aristocratic elite, displayed a canvas at the Paris Salon. It was a self-portrait depicting the artist in an affectionate embrace with her daughter. Vigée-Lebrun is smiling—a sweet, broad smile revealing white teeth. There is little about this pose that seems in any way exceptional, yet exception was furiously taken. “An affectation which artists, art-lovers and persons of taste have been united in condemning,” wrote an anonymous commentator, “and which finds no precedent amongst the Ancients, is that in smiling she shows her teeth. This affectation is particularly out of place in a mother.”

How the smile came to Paris (briefly), aka Grin City. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 14, 2014 - 21 comments

Nobel lecture by Patrick Modiano

Writing is a strange and solitary activity. There are dispiriting times when you start working on the first few pages of a novel. Every day, you have the feeling you are on the wrong track. This creates a strong urge to go back and follow a different path. It is important not to give in to this urge, but to keep going. It is a little like driving a car at night, in winter, on ice, with zero visibility. You have no choice, you cannot go into reverse, you must keep going forward while telling yourself that all will be well when the road becomes more stable and the fog lifts.
—From Patrick Modiano's lecture when receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature [Original French, Swedish and video] which is about cities, old telephone directories but mostly about writing, how to do it and what it's like.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 13, 2014 - 27 comments

The problem is you've never actually known what the question is

The school in Auckland with a radical 'no rules' policy (12:00; 2014) [via] has a little in common with the school in Framingham with a radical 'no curriculum' policy (9:13; 2009) [previously], which has a little in common with the self-directed IT school in Paris for ages 18 to 30 (2:13; 2014), which takes some inspiration from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (excerpt, 12:24; 1981).
posted by Monsieur Caution on Nov 29, 2014 - 19 comments

Best UFO resources: you can't rely on Internet sources such as Wikipedia

Hyper.net's Best UFO Resources
This is a reference Website. It offers a collection of hand-picked UFO resources: real UFO pictures (see the "summary" and "technical overview" pages), video documentaries, video footage and testimonies, technical data and over 500 links to scientific studies, books, portals, newsfeeds, blogs and forums about UFOs. In short, by combining info from many diverse sources, our goal is to share a selection of valuable, representative (in a some cases unique UFO info and original research), as concisely as possible and offer some possible answers. Also provide a "starting point" for in-depth info and gems of real value in a labyrinth of (often false) information published on the fascinating subject of UFOs.
The site also includes links to other organizations around the world, though the site hasn't yet added France's official, full-time state-run UFO department, GEIPAN (Group d'Etudes et d'Informations Sur Les Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non Identifies; translation: Study Group and Information on Non-Identified Aerospace Phenomenon, covered previously). See also: Disclosure Project's UFO files, a list of official government comments and UFO archives released by various countries.
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 25, 2014 - 77 comments

They tell us dragons can be beaten: continuing relevance of fairy tales

Neil Gaiman: Why Disney's Sleeping Beauty doesn't work (Gaby Wood for The Guardian):
"I feel like some kind of alchemist," Gaiman suggests. "I have to go to the cupboard and take one ounce of Snow White and two ounces of Sleeping Beauty, and heat the Sleeping Beauty and froth the Snow White and mix them together: it's kind of like fusion cuisine. It tastes like both of them but it's actually a new dish."

Are fairy tales back in fashion? Certainly, the recent success of Disney's films Frozen and Maleficent seems to point to something. But most of the fairy tales we know have come to us via 17th century France or 19th century Germany, and have since been subject to so many retellings and rebellions that trends are difficult to map.

posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 23, 2014 - 47 comments

All I can say is euhhh...

But in addition, and to make the dub look as realistic as possible, she must also identify every instance of a character uttering a word with an m, p, or b in it in English, and find a word in French with the same consonant. And the replacement word has to fit into that sentence in exactly the same spot as where the American actor’s mouth makes the m, p, or b face. And you think your job is tedious! What It Takes to Be the French Jennifer Lawrence.
posted by Mrs. Rattery on Nov 19, 2014 - 34 comments

The Tiger of Paris

In the year 1450, a pack of man-eating wolves invaded Paris. Dozen of Parisians died, until the people lured the wolves into the Île de la Cité and stoned them to death. This year, a new beast was sighted prowling the suburbs of Paris. Was it a tiger? Or was it something else?
posted by mbrubeck on Nov 15, 2014 - 58 comments

Objecticide

Murdering street furniture is just one of the projects of French artist Lor-K.
posted by Omnomnom on Nov 6, 2014 - 10 comments

Rise and Shine

What kids around the world eat for breakfast
posted by mbrubeck on Oct 9, 2014 - 87 comments

2014 Nobel Prize in Literature Goes to Patrick Modiano

2014 Nobel Prize in Literature Goes to Patrick Modiano who is a French novelist and memoir writer. This article from 2011 is a good overview over his career and life. He was born in Italy to a Jewish father and a Belgian mother. Much of his writing deals with recent Jewish history such as in the book Dora Bruder. His detective novel Missing Person, which won the Prix Goncourt in 1978, has been called a postmodern mystery novel.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 9, 2014 - 27 comments

Everyday is Sunday

Everyday is Sunday (Tous les jours dimanche) is a series of surreal pictures taken by photographer Manolo Mylonas in the poor and tumultuous Department of Seine-Saint-Denis, where he lives (interview in French). For those who wonder about the sheep herd on a concrete ramp, they are part of an experiment in urban agriculture (in French, other pictures). There's no explanation for the horse on the balcony, but this is probably how it got there.
posted by elgilito on Sep 15, 2014 - 8 comments

.../\ /.\.. ../.\ ./.\. ..???

Yann Frisch. Vivement dimanche, Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde, Champion du Monde de Magie.
posted by twoleftfeet on Sep 14, 2014 - 5 comments

A once peaceful nation

Close Your Heart
A long-form article from Slate about the Central African Republic’s sectarian civil war.
posted by Joe in Australia on Sep 2, 2014 - 7 comments

ICI FINIT LA CVLTVRE ALLEMANDE

On this day one hundred years ago, Imperial German soldiers who had peacefully arrived in the Belgian city of Leuven (Fr: Louvain), having taken hostages and accepted the parole of its mayor on behalf of its citizens, without warning set fire to the city and massacred its inhabitants forever altering the city, its university's library, and the course of the war.
  • Belgian Judicial Report on the Sacking of Louvain in August 1914
  • The destruction and rebuilding of the Louvain Library: claim and counterclaim
  • [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb on Aug 25, 2014 - 13 comments

    Heavy Metal Be Bop Part 1

    In the imagination of a young Parisian named Pablo Padovani there’s a land called Moo. It’s a fantastical place that celebrates nature, the elements, romanticism and sweets [NSFW]. “I think you may like it if you like childhood, sex, dreams and surrealism,” Padovani [says]. “It’s a pornographic episode of Teletubbies mixed with Lord of the Rings.[...]The disc (Le Monde Möö by MOODOÏD) is a walk in the world Möö. This is a soft world made of cream hills and Turkish delight mountains. There are also Camembert mattresses and waterfalls of wine. This is a great, epic adventure."
    posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 22, 2014 - 11 comments

    L'École des Facteurs

    The School for Postmen is a 16 minute short film from 1947 by French director and physical comedian Jacques Tati. It's being shown on The Guardian's website and is introduced by their film critic Peter Bradshaw. The film is about a postman in rural southern France trying to finish his round on time.
    posted by Kattullus on Aug 6, 2014 - 8 comments

    The three Chicken Wars, and their (less than) lasting impacts

    In the records of human conflicts, there are at least three Chicken Wars. Two left little mark on the world at large, and the third resulted in some strange work-arounds for heavy tariffs. The first was Wojna kokosza, the Chicken or Hen War of 1537, when an anti-royalist and anti-absolutist rokosz (rebellion) by the Polish nobility resulted in near-extinction of local "kokosz" (an egg laying hen), but little else. The second was an odd spin-off of the more serious War of the Quarduple Alliance that lasted from 1717 to 1720. Though most of the activity happened in Europe, there were some battles in North America. The Texas manifestation was the capture of some chickens by French forces from a Spanish mission, and a costly overreaction by Spanish religious and military men. The third Chicken War was a duel of tariffs during the Cold War, with the only lasting casualty being the availability of foreign-made light trucks in the United States. [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief on Aug 4, 2014 - 15 comments

    The other movie Jerry Lewis don't want you to see

    Featuring Jerry Lewis, Gladiator's Connie Nielsen and a score by The Avengers' Alan Silvestri, Par où t'es rentré on t'as pas vu sortir (How did you get in? We didn't see you leave) - available with subtitles on YouTube in its blurry VHS glory (poster 1 2) - is one of the two movies starred by Lewis during his one-year (1984) French career (the other is Retenez-moi ou je fais un malheur also known as the The defective detective). In the early 1980s, after several failures, a bypass surgery and nothwithstanding Scorsese's King of Comedy, Lewis tried to revive his career in the country where he was supposedly beloved: France. Alas, he chose the two worst French directors of the time, Michel Gérard and Philippe Clair, the latter known for cinematic jewels such as the Nazi-themed comedy Le Führer en folie (The crazy Führer), a Warner production that can actually make clowns cry. (all links below potentially and blurrily NSFW) [more inside]
    posted by elgilito on Aug 2, 2014 - 11 comments

    Veto bunnies

    Who uses their veto in the UN Security Council the most, and what for?
    posted by tavegyl on Jul 31, 2014 - 16 comments

    The most important battle you've probably never heard of

    The Battle of Bouvines was fought 800 years ago on July 27, 1214 and its outcome directly led to the Magna Carta and also to the national identities of both England and France. Some historians claim this date should be remembered after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 as one of the defining moments in English history. King John attempted to retake lands in Normandy employing an alliance army including Otto of Germany. John attacked from the south, but more importantly Otto was decisively defeated at Bouvines. Humiliated in defeat John was forced to consent to the Magna Carta, and the Anglo-Norman realm came to a final end allowing both England and France to develop their separate national identities. More background.
    posted by caddis on Jul 26, 2014 - 14 comments

    Black France

    A three-part series looking at the history of France's black community and their long struggle for recognition. French President Francois Hollande ran on a platform promising to eliminate the word 'race' from France’s constitution. But critics were quick to point out the disparity between constitutional reform and actual practice. [more inside]
    posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 16, 2014 - 6 comments

    Aux armes, et cætera

    From the album of the same name recorded in Jamaica in 1979, Serge Gainsbourg smokes, samples and sings "La Marseillaise" to a loping reggae beat, leaves out some words and titles it "Aux armes, et cætera", thereby deeply offending some of his co-citoyens. I was recently discussing the Marseillaise with a French person, who linked me to Gainsbourg's version. My friend agreed that musically his country's national anthem was wonderful, but said the violence of the lyrics disgusted him. It's interesting to consider a nation's official anthem in the cultural and political setting of its birth, and then contrast with the present day. [more inside]
    posted by valetta on Jul 2, 2014 - 13 comments

    2014 FIFA World Cup: From the Round of 16 to the Winner

    With the completion of the group stages, three quarters of the matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been played. Now, it's a straight round-by-round elimination for the remaining 16 teams in their quest to reach the final. There's been biting, alternative commentary, mood swings, (allegedly) sulky England players, exciting matches, the USA vs Ronaldo, Europeans taking early return flights, deep analysis, a fantasy league and many goals - but who will finally lift the trophy in Rio's Estádio do Maracanã on Sunday 13th July? [more inside]
    posted by Wordshore on Jun 26, 2014 - 1838 comments

    The First Goal Of Its Kind In History

    Footballing History was made last night when France striker Karim Benzema scored against Honduras. Due to the position of the Honduran Goalkeeper, it was impossible to tell if the ball had crossed the line, and the goal line technology was called into action and controversially gave a goal.
    posted by marienbad on Jun 16, 2014 - 113 comments

    70ème anniversaire de la libération de Paris

    50 photos de la Libération de Paris se fondent dans le présent. [Via] [more inside]
    posted by homunculus on Jun 6, 2014 - 16 comments

    Forty-three Werner Herzog films that can be streamed

    Inside, please find a list of forty-three movies, TV episodes, and short subjects by Werner Herzog, all of which can be streamed, along with some short descriptions of their content. One or two of the films are in German without subtitles; this is noted in the description. [more inside]
    posted by Going To Maine on May 4, 2014 - 65 comments

    "Everybody dies someday - At least I saw Provence first"

    "For most of my life my everyday choices were based on the assumption that I could not trust other people. I thought it was my job to foresee and prevent all harms from befalling me. [...] My life has been better since I've accepted two simple facts. ONE: everybody dies (sorry). TWO: I would like to live a little first." -- Don't let fear stop you from traveling, a cautionary comic by Natalie Nourigat, part of her webcomic/travel blog about living in France for a year. You may know Nourigat from her Oregon Book Award nominated autobio college comic Between Gears.
    posted by MartinWisse on Apr 22, 2014 - 58 comments

    Not your traditional tree house

    “Just as leaves in a tree are naturally arranged to get the maximum sun, we’ve mathematically arranged these balconies and cantilevers to catch and shade the sun.”
    posted by bswinburn on Mar 30, 2014 - 29 comments

    Congress examines single-payer healthcare EEK SOCIALISM!!!

    Six years ago, PBS's feature documentary program, Frontline, aired Sick Around the World, a documentary examining health care systems around the world -- and specifically how all those featured were generally superior to the American system. (2008 MeFi post) Today, the American Senate subcommittee on primary health and aging brought the debate over single-payer care to Washington. C-SPAN has a fine video of the hearing, which features seven witness representing health care systems and think tanks from around the US and the world. [more inside]
    posted by greatgefilte on Mar 12, 2014 - 57 comments

    Le Skate Moderne

    Farmboys skateboarding in rural France. A film directed by Antoine Besse in the style of Depardon.
    posted by Lezzles on Feb 1, 2014 - 17 comments

    In Velox Libertas!

    In May 2008, while excavating around the castle, the archaeologists of Bristol University made a surprising discovery. They have unearthed two graves side by side. In both of them they have found the rests of the body of an armored knight, and above it in one grave the well preserved skeleton of a horse, while in the other the fragments of iron objects which, seen from above, resembled… a bicycle.
    [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 28, 2014 - 52 comments

    The Dark Side of the Truffle Trade

    Inside the high-stakes pursuit of the world's most-prized fungus. [more inside]
    posted by elizardbits on Jan 24, 2014 - 35 comments

    Fly through the air with the greatest of ease

    Paragliding Circus [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 16, 2014 - 4 comments

    Monitoring the raindrops that keep falling on your head from space

    The successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the NASA/JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) spacecraft is preparing for launch at the Japanese Tanegashima Space Center. GPM will be the newest international Precipitation Measurement Mission and will be the core observatory of the GPM Constellation. The two sensors on-board GPM are the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR). The GPM/DPR team has produced a fantastic anime about the DPR instrument. [more inside]
    posted by Rob Rockets on Jan 8, 2014 - 6 comments

    Across Europe, a Growing Sense That Legalized Prostitution Isn't Working

    Don't believe France's reputation as a country where sexual peccadillos are always overlooked. After a vote by the country's National Assembly on Wednesday, it has just joined a growing group of European nations where buying sex is now illegal. France is not alone in its fresh efforts to curb prostitution. The move follows similar bans in Sweden and Norway, while other European countries are also scaling back laissez-faire prostitution policies. Germany is poised to change its liberal sex trade laws, while Ireland is also debating a measure similar to France's. Is the end of legal prostitution in Europe in sight?
    (Don't miss the deep and interesting links found within the article.)
    [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb on Dec 8, 2013 - 87 comments

    "Caje, take the point"

    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 - 33 comments

    Mirrors on the ceiling

    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 - 18 comments

    "How to be awkward."

    The best of Jerome Jarre, a hilarious young Frenchman who delights in singing on subways, violating personal boundaries, and grinning like a loon on Vine. Previously on MetaFilter.
    posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 17, 2013 - 46 comments

    FDA Cheese Ban: Mite vs. Right

    Despite the cries of "Save the Mimolette!", the FDA has decided to ban the sale of the French cheese Mimolette over mites used in the rind. [more inside]
    posted by Room 641-A on Nov 6, 2013 - 50 comments

    WWI in Color

    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 - 60 comments

    France in the NSA's crosshairs

    Using documents leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Le Monde reports that the NSA has been intercepting French telephone communications on a massive scale. Under a programme called 'US-985D', the NSA is collecting not only metadata but recordings of telephone calls: From 10 December 2012 to 8 January 2013, 70.3 million French telephone calls were recorded.
    These revelations came just as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris on a pre-scheduled visit. Francois Hollande is not pleased.
    posted by anemone of the state on Oct 21, 2013 - 166 comments

    Sleeping with the enemy

    When German soldiers arrived in Paris in the summer of 1940, there were so few of them that they had to win hearts and minds. The untold story of one young couple.
    posted by gaspode on Sep 27, 2013 - 7 comments

    FIP Radio

    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". Listen! [more inside]
    posted by rongorongo on Sep 26, 2013 - 29 comments

    We are not here to lead a battle between the sexes

    France's upper house of parliament, the Sénat has passed a women's equality bill, which aims to redress some of the persistent inequalities between men and women, in the sphere of pay, jobs and parental leave. [more inside]
    posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 18, 2013 - 38 comments

    "...Japan does not have a vigorous tradition of satire."

    France has made Japan angry again, this time with insensitive political cartoons about Fukushima. 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 - 43 comments

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