June 18, 2009


Headlines are telling. They say a lot about a culture. Here is an interesting sampling from le Monde at the moment:

Les jeunes pourront s'abonner gratuitement à un journal dès la rentrée
LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 17.06.09 |

"This school year young people will get a free subscription to a newspaper of their choice"

(18-24 year-old in France will receive this complimentary once-a-week subscription for a year. Sarkozy specifies that the paper itself will be funded by the publisher and the transport of it by the French state).


L'impossible, l'échange et l'objectivité au programme du bac de philo
LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 18.06.09

"Impossibility, exchange and objectivity in the philosophy bac"

(Context: the bac is, as you probably know, a national exam which culminates the high school experience in France. It was implemented by Napoleon. It is necessary in order to continue on with any further studies in France. Students must also choose their area of focus at this time. There are three types of bacs:

1. the baccalauréat général (general baccalaureate which is then broken down into three other categories: science, economics and social sciences and literature);
2. the baccalauréat professionnel (professional baccalaureate);
3. the baccalauréat technologique (technological baccalaureate)

This article in Le Monde says that this year there are 331,575 candidates (53%) for the general bac, 163,085 candidates (26%) for the technological bac and 122,662 (21%) for the professional bac. These exams last until the 24th of June.

Candidates will know their scores between July 7 and July 11. All the results will be available online for the world to see (so you too, if you are interested): www.education.gouv.fr. This may seem surprising, but in France, scores are often read aloud in classes - students know their places.

Whether a student takes the science, economic or literary general bac, she will be faced with a series of philosophical questions. For example:

Le développement technique transforme-t-il les hommes?
Does technological development transform humans?

Est-il absurde de désirer l'impossible?
Is it absurd to desire the impossible?

Le langage trahit-il la pensée?
Does language betray thought?

Que gagne-t-on à échanger?
What do you gain in an exchange?

On his bac, Xavier remembers: Le rire est-il le propre de l'homme?
Is laughter specific to human beings?


Des députés réclament une commission d'enquête sur le port de la burka
LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 17.06.09

"Political representatives call for a board of inquiry on wearing the Burka in France"

(One representative and mayor of the French town Vénissieux said "The sight of these imprisoned women is already intolerable in Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, but it is totally unacceptable on the soil of the French Republic").

Recent thoughts on this subject.


Les antipubs dénoncent "le gâchis" de la réforme de l'affichage publicitaire
LEMONDE.FR | 17.06.09 | Claire Ané

"Les Antipubs (a group against advertising) denounce the mess of current advertising reform agendas."

(This article outlines some of the current advertising reform measures in France and is insistent on the fact that these reforms fall very short):

Forbid advertisements within a 100 meter radius around preschools and elementary schools.
Interdire la publicité dans un rayon de 100 mètres autour des écoles maternelles et primaires.

Control public pressure concerning the issue and increase protection of the landscape.
Maîtriser la pression publicitaire et accroître la protection des paysages.

Control the intensity of neon advertisements.
Contrôler l'intensité des publicités lumineuses.

Reduce the size of urban advertisements (from 16 square meters to 12 square meters maximum).
Réduire le format des supports d’affichages publicitaires (de 16 mètres carrés maximum actuellement à 12 mètres carrés maximum)

Limit the density of ads in the city.
Limiter la densité des dispositifs dans la ville.


Karen said...


This is Mike Dickey's little sister Karen. I think I've met you a total of two times in our lives, but I think it's probably time I told you that I am addicted to your blog. It is so refreshingly different than anything else I read in the blog world. It's interesting, artistic, educational, and entertaining. You are a great writer and as so many others have told you, you have a fabulous eye for photography. I think you should create some sort of book. I would buy it. Okay, I feel much better now that I have confessed.


Emilie said...

Karen! I'm so glad to hear your confession, what a great piece of news. Really nice to hear. Living in France is at times tricky for me on a lot of levels, but this has been a good place to put down the beautiful stuff I see all the time and process the cultural obstacles I trip over. It makes me happy that those things are enjoyable for other people too. As for the book idea, I have a few ideas up my sleeve and I will come to you for money when the time is right :).

Jill said...

I enjoyed this post Emilie. I once saw a headline that read, "Utah Poison Control Center reminds readers not to take poison" So glad they reminded us or I might have forgotten.

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