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France Accelerating Covid-19 Vaccinations, Parisien Reports - Bloomberg

France’s government is under pressure after a much slower debut of the vaccination campaign than most other European countries. As of Dec. 31, only 352 people had gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, versus 131,626 in Germany and 944,539 in the U.K., according to data cited by Le Parisien.

A pill to fight alcoholism causes an uproar in France

Among the issues they cited was the ANSM decision to approve baclofen before the second study was publicly available. Even before publication, the academics noted the trial sponsor — the Public Assistance Hospital in Paris — touted results in a press release. The hospital also sold study data to Ethypharm, a small company that sought regulatory approval to market the drug, although this was not disclosed in the paper. Curiously, Ethypharm also performed the analysis that was the basis for the ANSM decision. When the Bacloville study was finally published last December, the group of researchers discovered an unexplained change in the primary outcome, a practice that is frowned upon because it can suggest an attempt to achieve desired results. The researchers contend the change in outcomes made it harder to analyze what, if any, difference baclofen had on patients, leading to a bias in favor of the drug. “Biased trials lead to biased decisions, and biased decisions mean that people get treatment that doesn’t work, possibly don’t get treatment that does work, can be harmed by treatment and it costs the health care system more,” said Joel Lexchin, a professor of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto, and one of the researchers who have criticized the Bacloville study.

John Lanchester · Maigret’s Room: The Home Life of Inspector Maigret · LRB 4 June 2020

The writing method was as extraordinary as the books. A Maigret novel came on Simenon like an illness: he would feel the pressure of an idea building to a point where he had no choice but to write it. At that stage he would go to his doctor for a check-up, then shut himself up in a room and write flat out until the novel was finished. This would take around seven days, plus two for revision. Each book is a delirium, a sweatbox, a spell trapped on a desert island. The bizarre thing is that for Simenon they may also have represented a welcome easing-off and slackening of the pace: during the hack period of his early twenties, he would work every day until he had written eighty typed pages. Then he’d throw up. That’s how you write 150 books in seven years.

Before Drug Prohibition, There Was the War on Calico - Virginia Postrel

In the annals of prohibition, the French war on printed fabrics is one of the strangest, most futile, and most extreme chapters. It's also one of the most intellectually consequential, producing many of the earliest arguments for economic liberalism.

Recentering the universe

It was this hierarchy—so central to Western cosmology for so long that, even today, a ten-year-old could intuitively get much of it right—that was challenged by the most famous compendium of all: Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert’s eighteen-thousand-page Encyclopédie. Published between 1751 and 1772, the Encyclopédie was sponsored by neither the Catholic Church nor the French monarchy and was covertly hostile to both. It was intended to secularize as well as to popularize knowledge, and it demonstrated those Enlightenment commitments most radically through its organizational scheme. Rather than being structured, as it were, God-down, with the whole world flowing forth from a divine creator, it was structured human-out, with the world divided according to the different ways in which the mind engages with it: “memory,” “reason,” and “imagination,” or what we might today call history, science and philosophy, and the arts. Like alphabetical order, which effectively democratizes topics by abolishing distinctions based on power and precedent in favor of subjecting them all to the same rule, this new structure had the effect of humbling even the most exalted subjects. In producing the Encyclopédie, Diderot did not look up to the heavens but out toward the future; his goal, he wrote, was “that our descendants, by becoming more learned, may become more virtuous and happier.”

15 Best French TV Series to Learn French for All Levels

Soap opera based in the fictional “le Mistral” neighbourhood in the Mediterranean port-city of Marseille. With more plot twists than a Hollywood movie, and plenty of melodrama, it’s more escapist than realistic in its portrayal of contemporary France.

Macron, a man whose time has come – Rory J Clarke – Medium

look at what Macron has done: in two years he formed a movement without a party, and left government before the campaigns even started, in a bid to pursue an idea, yes, an idea: that the establishment of the PS and PR, propped up on each side by extremes, could and would have to be broken once and for all if France was to change. He stepped around the scrum of the primaries, built alliances with civil society people on the ground, and has managed to up-end the old regime. Unreformable? It remains to be seen. Unprecedented? Definitely yes. Never in our lifetime has so much been done in France in so little time.

Les Incroyables after the French revolution

They were the children of the wealthy elite, the deposed aristocrats swept away with the revolution. In French, this generation became known as­ “the golden youth.” The Incroyables were royalist rather than republican, using their clothes as an advertisement for political beliefs that ran counter to the status quo. In itself, that was a dangerous statement. During the immediate aftermath of the revolution and the execution of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, the Committee of Public Safety attempted to use the guillotine to shape what member Maximilien Robespierre dubbed “a republic of virtue.” It resulted in the death of 17,000 at the blade, dubbed the “national razor.” Executable offenses were broad: Any individual whose actions “show(ed) themselves to be supporters of tyranny and federalism and enemies of freedom” was in danger. Offenses included dress: Infractions like displaying royalist insignia or colors (the fleur-­de-­lis, white, green or any indication of mourning), or refusal to sport the cockade, that symbolically ­loaded knot of tricolor ribbons, were, in some cases, enough to send someone to the tumbrils. The Incroyables were born out of that crucible. They willfully flouted the rules, even going so far as to affect a form of speech where the letter “r,” being too reminiscent of the revolution, was omitted. The thus­ pronounced “Inc’oyables” had a healthy gallows humor. Frequently, hair was brushed forward and shaved at the nape of the neck, as if a guillotine blade were about to fall. It is said that bals des victimes (victims’ balls) were staged, where the Incroyables’ female equivalents, Les Merveilleuses (loosely translated as “the Marvelous Ones”), wore transparent dresses reminiscent of underwear and tied red ribbons around their throats, suggesting decapitation. Photo A look from John Galliano’s Maison Margiela “Artisanal” show. Credit Pierre Le-Tan As those fashions indicate, the Incroyables and Merveilleuses were interested in altering perceptions of the body through the clothing they wore. The Incroyables tugged their cravats up high, swaddling their throats in goiters of cloth: The collar generally ended around the ears, entirely hiding the chin and jaw. Their tailcoats were creased and muddied, tailored short and tight in front, with pleats in the rear creating a hunchback effect; Heyl, the most famous tailor in Paris at that time, specialized in this intentionally bizarre shape. The most fashionable shade was couleur de crottin (horse­-manure brown), although ashen gray and muddy shades of blue also appeared. On men, nankeen or doeskin breeches, ­which, in 1794, were contentious enough to lead to imprisonment, were drawn tight against the body, delineating every nuance of the anatomy. Their hair was cut à la chien, dangling down in side whiskers like spaniel ears. The Incroyables were pilloried, parodied, emulated, reviled, attacked and much discussed. By 1799, when troubled times calmed and Napoleon ascended to power, their movement had died out.

This French Philosopher Is The Only One Who Can Explain The Donald Trump Phenomenon | ThinkProgress

Others in the Republican field are concerned with the rules and constructing a strategy that, under those rules, will lead to the nomination. But Trump isn’t concerned with those things. Instead, Trump is focused on each moment and eliciting the maximum amount of passion in that moment. His supporters love it. The key to generating passion, Barthes notes, is to position yourself to deliver justice against evil forces by whatever means necessary. “Wrestlers know very well how to play up to the capacity for indignation of the public by presenting the very limit of the concept of Justice,” Barthes writes. Trump knows how to define his opponent — China, “illegals,” hedge fund managers — and pledges to go after them with unbridled aggression. If, in making his case, he crosses over a line or two, all the better.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Newspaper Edits Female World Leaders Out of Charlie Hebdo March | Mediaite

Evidence for rising intolerance in France

Nearly 7,000 French Jews moved to Israel this year, more than double the figure from the previous year.

Book coverage a la Francais

In the United States, there is one nationally broadcast radio program that has significant coverage of books — NPR’s “Fresh Air,” which book publicists fight over like pi-dogs over a picked bone. In Paris, I soon lost count of how many in-depth radio and TV shows, some as long as an hour, I taped or broadcast live at the circular, weirdly sci-fi-looking Maison de la Radio. I happened to be in France in September, during the rentrée littéraire — the opening of the literary season, when publishers release their big books — and the frenzy was palpable. And not just among the soi-disant elite, either. Lost in a strange neighborhood late one night, I approached a group of club kids for directions, only to overhear them arguing heatedly about which of the new crop of books would be that year’s “The Kindly Ones,” the Holocaust blockbuster that had come out the year before.

The Ortolan: A Tiny Bird as a French Cause Célèbre

the ortolan, a tiny songbird that gourmands, including former President François Mitterrand, used to covet, consuming the head, bones and body in a single, steaming mouthful, while covering their faces with a white napkin to conceal the act.

Three French Islamists Turn Themselves in After Police Miss Them - Bloomberg

Three men suspected of having fought for Islamic State in Syria and deported by Turkey are now in police custody after French police waited for them at the wrong airport. The men turned themselves in this morning at a gendarme station in southern France, BFM TV reported. They rang the bell at the station in the town of Caylar and were told to wait outside because no one was there. A police car came 20 minutes later to pick them up, according to a BFM TV reporter at the nearby police station they were eventually taken to.

French biography is a sub-species of fiction

In an interview with The New York Times in 1989, Mr. Lottman suggested that his work showed an American-like passion for hard facts that he believed some French historians and biographers ignored or fudged in favor of their own intellectual theories. Of his 17 books — published in English and translated into many languages, including French — 15 were about French intellectual, artistic and political life.“The French continue to use the a priori method, which is to know in advance what you want to say about a writer and then find anecdotes to make the story interesting,” he said in the interview with The Times. “And so, I have in front of me very fertile fields and no competition.”He added, “It may seem absurd that you can go back to the 19th century and still find virgin territory, but you do.”His method, he said, was more that of the journalist than the professor. “A lot of so-called French biographers imagine that they can invent things, dreams and thoughts of the figure they are writing about,” he told a French literary journal in 2007.
Ms Doudet was sued by the owner of Il Giardino restaurant in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France after she wrote a blogpost entitled "the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino". According to court documents, the review appeared fourth in the results of a Google search for the restaurant. The judge decided that the blog's title should be changed, so that the phrase: "the place to avoid" was less prominent in the results. The judge sitting in Bordeaux also pointed out that the harm to the restaurant was exacerbated by the fact that Ms Doudet's fashion and literature blog "Cultur'elle" had around 3,000 followers, indicating she thought it was a significant number.
‘I hope you get to Berlin before the Americans,’ De Gaulle told the Soviet ambassador in London.
For 1 January 1941, to test the water, he called for a minimalist, symbolic ‘stay-away’ (as anti-apartheid activists later referred to the tactic): people in the Vichy zone were asked to remain indoors between 2 and 3 p.m. and in the occupied zone between 3 and 4. The results were auspicious. Vichy had cast Joan of Arc as a blood-and-soil figure with a hatred of the English; Free France endowed her with a generic rage – a ‘sacred French fury’ – against any invader from any quarter. On her feast day in May people were urged to walk the streets of ‘our towns and our villages’ – that charged little phrase – in ‘absolute silence’, not as a march or a cortège, but as families, groups of friends, individuals, ‘looking one another directly in the eye’ as they crossed. On May Day 1942, they were asked to turn out en masse and parade past town halls and republican statuary at 6.30 p.m.
« Les start-up, c'est l'inverse de l'esprit français », sourit Cécile Alduy, l'universitaire de Stanford. L'esprit de collaboration est indispensable, la hiérarchie volontairement en retrait. « On essaie d'avoir le moins de directeurs possible, poursuit Florian Jourda. Les managers sont censés se mettre en dessous de l'équipe plutôt qu'au-dessus. »
Outraged Liberation journalists vented their opposition to the plan on the cover of the weekend edition, which had the frontpage headline: "We are a newspaper, not a restaurant, not a social network, not a cultural space, not a TV studio, not a bar, not a start-up incubator." The staff voted Sunday not to repeat a 24-hour strike they staged Thursday upon learning of what the owners had in mind. Instead they vowed to fight against the "illegal" project in their newspaper's pages. Started by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973 as a leftwing title, Liberation has been a mainstay on newsstands -- especially in left-leaning Paris -- with its emphasis on photos and sometimes militant stances.
Women can buy badges with the "mademoiselle" option crossed out and are encouraged to download a letter to their electricity provider or bank informing them why wish to be called "madame".
Closer said a woman seen arriving at the apartment at night was 41-year-old Gayet, who has been in more than 50 films including Quai d’Orsay, My Best Friend, and Chaos and Desire.She is followed by a man resembling Hollande's bodyguard, before second man, which the magazine said was Hollande, then pulls up to the apartment on the back of a scooter wearing a black helmet.The following morning, Closer said its photos showed the first man coming back to the apartment with a bag of croissants, before the second man rides away again on the scooter.The woman said to be Gayet then comes out of the building and walks away.
Franck Debieu, who runs a bakery in Sceaux, a small town south of Paris, tries to be in his shop as often as possible to gently coax his clientele toward a more bronzed baguette. His sales staff, which always includes a baker at the counter, is trained on how to handle requests for "white" baguettes, usually by handing customers a properly baked loaf and suggesting they try it. Mr. Debieu says his peers who underbake their bread are delusional. "The customer doesn't know what's best…It's the baker's job to educate him."
The baguette as we know it dates to the 1920s and was a byproduct of a protective labor law that prevented French bakers from working between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. That made it impossible to prepare traditional round loaves by breakfast time. Bakers had to turn to a new kind of bread, whose thin shape made it faster to prepare and bake. The baguette—French for "little stick"—quickly became a breakfast essential throughout France.
Taha Yasseri of the Oxford Internet Institute and colleagues looked at Wikipedia’s different language editions from their inception (January 2001 for English) to March 2010 and ranked the most contested articles, based on the number of reverts and the number of edits the contributors have made (dubbed their “maturity score”). The results in some ways confirm cultural stereotypes. Americans bicker over politics and professional wrestling; among the top French squabbles is Freud.