Sunday, February 28, 2010

St. Louis French Festival – 2010

CAC St. Louis Director, Linsey A. Daman, and students attended a guided tour of the Cathedral Basilica in French on Friday the 26th. At 4:00pm the evening started with an opening of the Great Cathedral Organ in English and French and then the group was split into Anglophones and Francophones.

CAC St. Louis would like to give a special thanks to Jeremy Weter (CAC St. Louis Photographer) for providing the following images. Below are photos taken after the French tour of the Cathedral Basilica on Friday February 26, 2010.

Upcoming – Monday March 1, 2010 at 7:30pm there will be a lecture by Lynne Davis on the organ music of France presented at the Cathedral Basilica.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Native American Entrepreneurs

Indian-owned and operated businesses are as varied as the colors of the rainbow, from large corporations with income in the hundreds of millions of dollars to small mom-and-pop endeavors and from sole proprietors to tribally owned operations. Here’s a look at a handful that reflect this diversity.

Sister Sky
The Sequoia Team
Thalden Boyd Emery Architects
Horizon Engineering Services
Lamar Associates
Chuska Development Corporation
The Tulalip Tribes
The Animal Agency

Source: Taliman, Valerie (Navajo). “Indian Entrepreneurs.” Native Peoples. March 2010: 29-33.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Global Paw Prints – Animal Welfare

YAP – A paradisiacal island encircled by manta rays and situated in the remotest of the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap remains largely untouched by modernity. Along with its distinctive stone money and preservation of indigenous culture, Yap is home to a profusion of homeless animals, particularly dogs, who suffer frequent abuse, many at the hands of locals uneducated in human treatment of animals. This island is also without a resident veterinarian. Without a veterinarian, the feral dog population cannot be controlled, and those who do adopt stray dogs cannot vaccinate them or treat their illnesses.

Source: Wiley, Melissa. “Global Paw Prints – Animal Welfare One Country at a Time.” St. Louis Tails. Feb. 2010: 7.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Figure Skating: French Pair

Competitive History:

Delobel and Schoenfelder teamed up after former world champions Irina Moiseeva and Andrei Minenkov of Russia suggested at a training camp in 1990 that they should skate together ... Delobel and Schoenfelder are the 1996 world junior silver medalists ... Delobel's twin sister Veronique also competed internationally in ice dancing, and she also skated with her brother Laurent ... They finally broke through with their first world medal at the 2008 World Championships, winning the gold ... Schoenfelder married Isabelle Pecheur in May 2005; their son Gabriel was born in October 2006 ... Delobel announced she was pregnant with her first child in April 2009.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Figure Skating: French Pair

VANCOUVER (AFP) – French pairs skaters Yannick Bonheur and Vanessa James are set to create history on Sunday when they become the first black couple to compete in figure skating at the Olympic Games.

Getting to Vancouver has been a long journey for the duo who teamed up just over two years ago after Bonheur put an advert on the internet after splitting with previous partner Marylin Pla.

Canadian-born James' aunt saw it and convinced her niece, who has lived in England since she was a child, to reply.

James, 22, arrived in France for a trial run and never left with the duo teaming up in December 2007.

"It's destiny and I'm very happy about it," said 27-year-old Bonheur.

"There's the grace and beauty of Vanessa and then my athleticism. And the fact that we're both black brings a pleasing visual harmony."

James previously competed internationally for Britain as a single's skater. She was the 2006 British national champion and 2007 silver medallist.

The pair moved to Indianapolis in the United States in August 2009 to train with Russian coach Sergei Zaitsev.

And last December they booked their ticket to Vancouver by winning the French nationals, a victory which enabled James to receive French citizenship.

Bonheur said they were determined that their Olympic experience will lay the groundwork for future successes, after they finished seventh at Europeans.

"This is just the beginning. We want to make a name for ourselves so that they'll remember us for next season," he said.

Being tagged the first black pairs skaters is not a disadvantage, they insist.

"It's often been remarked that we look different on the ice. So we want to highlight that," said Bonheur.

"We want to climb the ladder to show that black skaters can stand on the podium."

Didier Gailhaguet, president of the French skating federation, added: "They have a really exceptional look about them."


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Traveling Tip – Clothing in France

Clothing sizes in France are not the same in the United States. In order to know your French size, you have to do a little math:

For women, add 30 to your American size. For example, if you’re a size 10, your French size is 40.

For men, add 10 or 12 to your coat or sweater size.

French Clothing Size Chart:

Source: Bragger, D. Jeannette and Donald B. Rice. Allons-y! Le Français par Etapes. 6th ed. p. 464. Boston : Thomson Heinle.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Traveling Advice – French Hotels

In additional to the hotels classified in the Guide Michelin, France has many small inns (des auberges, des pensions) that resemble bed-and-breakfast establishments in the United States. These inns are frequently less expensive and tend to have a great deal of charm. The service is not as extensive as in larger hotels, but it is often more personalized.

Source: Bragger, D. Jeannette and Donald B. Rice. Allons-y! Le Français par Etapes. 6th ed. p. 364. Boston : Thomson Heinle.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cultural Profile – French Pharmacies

The French often consult their local pharmacist when they’re not feeling well. If the pharmacist considers the illness to be serious, he or she will advise the customers to see a doctor. In case of a cold, flu, or minor accident, the pharmacist will recommend over-the-counter medicine and will do some first aid. Every city and town in France has at least one pharmacy that remains open all night. All other pharmacies have signs on their doors indicating which pharmancy has long hours.

Source: Bragger, D. Jeannette and Donald B. Rice. Allons-y! Le Français par Etapes. 6th ed. p. 320. Boston : Thomson Heinle.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cultural Overview - French Education

In 1971, France passed a law that created a system of continuing education for adults who, for whatever reason, were not able to complete their education when they were younger. This system is called “la formation permanente” and is designed to diminish the educational inequalities that exist in France. Since 1971, millions of French people have taken advantage of continuing education programs to advance their jobs. Adults are now able to take bac equivalency exams in order to attend the university. In France, social status, pay and job advancement are very closely tied to educational degrees. A second chance to go to college is therefore very important. However, compared to the U.S., there very few returning adult students at the universities. Instead, most of them are in vocational programs that develop specific skills and prepare for specific jobs.

Source: Bragger, D. Jeannette and Donald B. Rice. Allons-y! Le Français par Etapes. 6th ed. p. 277. Boston : Thomson Heinle.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

French Culture – Le Jeu de Boules (La Pétanque)

Le jeu de boules or la pétanque is very popular in France. It’s played on flat, often sandy, ground. One of the players throws the small wooden ball (le cochonnet) a distance from the players. The game then consists of each player throwing metal balls (les boules) toward the cochonnet with the goal of coming as close to the wooden ball as possible. The person or team with the balls closest to the wooden ball wins the game.

Source: Bragger, D. Jeannette and Donald B. Rice. Allons-y! Le Français par Etapes. 6th ed. p. 201. Boston : Thomson Heinle.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fact File – Paris, France

In the center of French cities, the basic street pattern has changed very little since the Middle Ages, when towns grew up around a castle (un château) or a church with houses crowded around in narrow winding streets within defensive walls. Although the walls have come down and the towns have expanded, you still find a central square (une place) with its château or church.

Source: Bragger, D. Jeannette and Donald B. Rice. Allons-y! Le Français par Etapes. 6th ed. p. 97. Boston : Thomson Heinle.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

La Francophonie

The terms francophonie and francophone are used to refer to the diverse countries and regions where French is spoken. This linguistic and cultural space extends well beyond the borders of France to include areas on all five continents.

L’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie

In 1970, under the sponsorship of three African government leaders, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie was founded. Its 50 members seek to cooperate in a variety of domains: language and culture, technology, economic development, justice and human rights. Every two years a Francophone “summit” is held in a Francophone country.

Source: Bragger, D. Jeannette and Donald B. Rice. Allons-y! Le Français par Etapes. 6th ed. p. 8. Boston : Thomson Heinle.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Living Lifestyle – Apartments in Paris, France

One of the first things you notice when you arrive in Paris is that there are apartments everywhere – over stores, over restaurants, over banks…. It almost seems that there are no houses in the city. Four out of every five Parisians live in rented apartments – and that fifth Parisian probably lives in an apartment, too, but he or she owns it, rather than rents.

Why are there so many apartments? Honestly, there is just no room for individual houses. Besides, apartments have been a part of Parisian life for a long time. Many of today’s apartments have been a part of Parisian life for a long time. Many of today’s apartments date from the mid-nineteenth century, a time when Paris was being almost totally reshaped by Napoleon III and his city planner, Baron Georges Haussmann. In those days, the city was clogged with slums, and streets were narrow. Haussmann cut spacious boulevards and avenues through Paris, tearing down more than 20,000 houses and replacing them with twice as many apartments.

Source: Son et Sens. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresmen and Company. 3rd Ed. P. 213.

Monday, February 8, 2010

American News – Chicago, Illinois

CHICAGO – Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) could help identify forged artworks. Researchers are using it to analyze paintings by 19th-century Mary Cassatt and the pastels she used to identify whether the materials were natural, synthetic or organic colorants. Determining the pastels’ chemical classes will help the scientists to distinguish between specific dyes, revealing the era in which a work of art was crated and perhaps whether it is authentic.

Richard Van Duyne, a chemistry professor at Northwestern University, and colleagues have accomplished the first direct extraction less and nonhydrolysis SERS study of delicate pieces of art.

To read the full article, go to
Source: Francoeur, D. Amanda. “The Art of SERS.” Photonics Spectra : 19.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

International News – Adelaide, Australia

ADELAIDE, Australia – Australian researchers are rewriting the rules on how light behaves when confined in ever-smaller optical fibers. Everything has its limits, and light-carrying optical fibers are no exception. Until now, it was thought that, as the size of the optical fiber shrinks, light becomes more and more confined until it reaches a point beyond which it cannot be squeezed any smaller, and it rapidly begins to diverge. This ultimate point was thought to occur when the strand of fiber is just a few hundred nanometers in diameter.

Nos, Shahraam Afhar and colleagues Wen Qi Zhang, Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem and Yanay Monro at the University of Adelaide have discovered that they can push beyond the limit by almost a factor of two. They can do this thanks to a break-through in the theoretical understanding of how light behaves at the nanoscale, and thanks to the use of a new generation of nanoscale optical fibers being developed at the university.

Source: Freebody, Marie. “Pushing Light to New Limits.” Photonics Spectra. 2010: 26.

Friday, February 5, 2010

International News – Germany

Stimulating Sustainability – Trends in Government Policy

Germany previously was known for its automobile industry. Now it is solar. Not bad for a country with more clouds than sun.

The country achieved its title as the world leader in solar industry largely through its ambitious feed-in tariffs. When the new government took over last fall, however, there were concerns that feed-in tariffs would be slashed by 30 percent. That did not happen. Tariffs already were set to drop between 9 and 11 percent this year, so the new government’s reduction of 15 percent is not hard to swallow.

The results of Germany’s gross feed-in tariffs are many: jobs, a strong solar industry and an increase in energy generated by the sun.

Source: Fischer, L. Anne. “Stimulating Sustainability – Trends in Government Policy.” Photonics Spectra. 2010: 45.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cafés vs. Restaurants in France

In America, “café” is usually just another word for a small restaurant. But if you went into a café in France and tried to order a meal, the waiter might think you were joking. You see, le café is the French word for coffee, and that is one of the main things that cafés serve. You might be able to get a grilled ham and cheese sandwich (un croquet-monsieur), or some other simple dish, but for the most part, cafés serve mainly coffee, tea, wine and other drinks.

Thirst is not the chief reason for going to a café. Most people go there because it is a good place to sit and talk. Or they may go because they enjoy watching people. In good weather, most cafés set up tables out-side on the sidewalk (sur la terrasse), with the chairs facing the street. This way, customers can watch the world go past while they drink a cup of coffee (un café) or sip a glass of Coke (un Coca).

Source: Son et Sens. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresmen and Company. 3rd Ed. P. 171.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cultural Profile – Les Champs-Elysées

The Avenue des Champs-Elysées is possibly the most famous street in the entire world, yet it stretches for only 1.6 kilometers (less than one and a quarter miles) from the Place de la Concorde (where the guillotine stood during the French Revolution) to Napoléon’s enormous Arch de Triomphe on the Place Charles de Gaulle.

From one end to the other, the Champs-Elysées is an international street. As you walk along the tree-lined sidewalks – which are themselves as broad as an average two-lane street-chances are that you will be able to hear a dozen or more languages. You may spot a group of Arab officials in flowing white robes, Japanese businessmen in dark suits, or African students in dashikis – in short, you see people from all around the world. To add to the international flavor, when a foreign leader is in town, the avenue may be decorated with the flags of his or her country.

Source: Son et Sens. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresmen and Company. 3rd Ed. P. 151.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cultural Outlook - Valued Nature in France

Most French people are great lovers of nature. Many of them dream of a small home in the country with trees and a vegetable garden, where they could go on weekends. But in the city, it is sometimes difficult to stay close to nature. For this reason, just about every French city and town has set aside a sizeable amount of land for parks.

City-dwellers looks on les parcs (also called les jardins publics) as their backyards, in a way, they go there often to relax. There are different sorts of parks. One kind – which the French call à l’anglaise (English style) – is wooded, and often has a pond or lake. Another kind – à la française – also has trees, but they are planted in perfectly straight rows. These parcs à la française usually have fountains, statues and gravel paths beside neatly clipped lawns.

The larger parks offer many activities. Sometimes there are pony rides for children. Some parks have outdoor puppet shows, too, where people of all ages stop to watch the antics of Guignol, the most famous French puppet character. (The show itself is called le Guignol.) Occasionally there are booths where collectors can buy stamps and coins.

Source: Son et Sens. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresmen and Company. 3rd Ed. P. 51.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cultural Overview - Families in France

When we talk about families, we usually mean only parents and their children. But when the French talk about their family, they are probably including their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. In large families, this is, this may add up to forty or fifty people or even more. Holidays and vacations are often spent with these relatives. Occasions such as weddings and baptism are family times, and everyone makes a special effort to attend.

The smaller family of parents and their children then to spend a lot of time together, too. If you ask a teenager what he or she did on the weekend, there’s a good chance that the answer will be “I went to the country with my family,” or “I spent time with my family.” Of course, not all leisure time is spent with parents – young people also go out with their friends. But in general, quite a bit of time is set aside for activities with the family.

Source: Son et Sens. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresmen and Company. 3rd Ed. P. 33.