France Is Cool

France is cool. It’s mostly French people talking to each other in French. Totally normal like that.

Sometimes French people talk to you in French not knowing that you speak English and not French. Then they speak to you in English like they knew you didn’t speak French all along.

The biggest problem with not speaking French is that you never know when French people are speaking French to you.

France has teenagers. A lot of them. They mostly just say “ça va” to each other over and over again.

Everyone in France eats a lot of sandwiches. Their sandwiches are pretty good. But they’re different from our sandwiches. You have to bite into French sandwiches about 3 or 4 times before you get a mouthful of anything other than bread. Some people say the French are lazy, but they work really hard at eating a sandwich.

An actual joke told by a Frenchman: “Would you like water or wine? In France it is all the same…”

In France a lot of people walk their dogs off leash. French people without dogs don’t seem to mind. I didn’t get any dogs in France to tell me how they felt about walking without a leash.

France has a pretty good national anthem, La Marseillaise. But whenever a song by the French recording artists Daft Punk is played, all French people are obliged to rise, remove their berets and put their hands over their hearts and sing along.

I spent 8 days in France. I never saw a single beret.

Men in France wear shorts. But a lot of them do it just to confound our expectations.

Along France’s Mediterranean coast, even the views from the parking lot aren’t bad.

Everyone in France wishes you’d drive a little faster.

At the airport in Paris, there’s a restaurant called “Frenchy’s Bistro.” Probably don’t eat there.

As you depart France, you will feel a certain sense of relief once you realize that you will no longer need to incoherently mutter “bonjour” or “merci” or “perdon” to strangers.

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Internet Gandhi

First they ignore you.

Then they laugh at you.

Then they link to you.

Then you win.

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“Well,” I asked myself, “why not?” Why must a film explain everything? Why must every motivation be spelled out? Aren’t many films fundamentally the same film, with only the specifics changed? Aren’t many of them telling the same story? Seeking perfection, we see what our dreams and hopes might look like. We realize they come as a gift through no power of our own, and if we lose them, isn’t that almost worse than never having had them in the first place?

I am a little bit blown away by this penultimate paragraph from Roger Ebert’s final movie review. It makes you wonder when he knew the end was near. What a remarkable last few words to mark a career like the one he lived.

Roger Ebert’s last review: ‘To the Wonder’ - Chicago Sun-Times

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timeshaiku:

A haiku from the article: Savoring Its Parting Shots, Georgetown Pummels Syracuse

It’s the most extraordinary thing.

timeshaiku:

A haiku from the article: Savoring Its Parting Shots, Georgetown Pummels Syracuse

It’s the most extraordinary thing.

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Last word from Punch Sulzberger

From the end of the obit for Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, our paper’s longtime publisher and chairman:

When he left as Times chairman in 1997, he remained convinced that newspapers — at least good newspapers — had a bright future.

“I think that paper and ink are here to stay for the kind of newspapers we print,” he said in a postretirement interview. “There’s no shortage of news in this world. If you want news, you can go to cyberspace and grab out all this junk. But I don’t think most people are competent to become editors, or have the time or the interest.”

“You’re not buying news when you buy The New York Times,” Mr. Sulzberger said. “You’re buying judgment.”

May he ever be right.

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Korean is evidently a trick language

I think Reuters might have buried this key detail a little bit too deeply in this story about North Korea’s planned agricultural reforms:

The phrase “economic adjustment” has been chosen carefully, the source added, noting the North’s decision not to use the old catchcry of its key ally, China - “reform and opening up” - should not be misinterpreted as a lack of reformist will.

Instead, the source said, North Korea was indeed trying to follow in the footsteps of China but was avoiding the phrase coined by Beijing because of an unfortunate quirk of the Korean language. "It won’t be called ‘reform and opening up’ because it sounds like 'dog fart' in Korean,” the source said.

HT to FTrain who caught this line I had overlooked.

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GUIDELINES ON ‘QUOTE APPROVAL’

Despite our reporters’ best efforts, we fear that demands for after-the-fact “quote approval” by sources and their press aides have gone too far. The practice risks giving readers a mistaken impression that we are ceding too much control over a story to our sources. In its most extreme forms, it invites meddling by press aides and others that goes far beyond the traditional negotiations between reporter and source over the terms of an interview.

So starting now, we want to draw a clear line on this. Citing Times policy, reporters should say no if a source demands, as a condition of an interview, that quotes be submitted afterward to the source or a press aide to review, approve or edit.

We understand that talking to sources on background — not for attribution — is often valuable to reporting, and unavoidable. Negotiation over the terms of using quotations, whenever feasible, should be done as part of the same interview — with an “on the record” coda, or with an agreement at the end of the conversation to put some parts on the record. In some cases, a reporter or editor may decide later, after a background interview has taken place, that we want to push for additional on-the-record quotes. In that situation, where the initiative is ours, this is acceptable. Again, quotes should not be submitted to press aides for approval or edited after the fact.

We realize that at times this approach will make our push for on-the-record quotes even more of a challenge. But in the long run, we think resetting the bar, and making clear that we will not agree to put after-the-fact quote-approval in the hands of press aides, will help in that effort.

We know our reporters face ever-growing obstacles in Washington, on Wall Street and elsewhere. We want to strengthen their hand in pushing back against the quote-approval process, which all of us dislike. Being able to cite a clear Times policy should aid their efforts and insulate them from some of the pressure they face.

Any potential exceptions to this approach should be discussed with a department head or a masthead editor.

The New York Times’s new guidelines on “Quote Approval” Additional information here.

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I can die happy now because I’ve been re-tweeted by William Gibson, with an assist from HuffPost’s Elise Foley.

I can die happy now because I’ve been re-tweeted by William Gibson, with an assist from HuffPost’s Elise Foley.

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But guys I’m pro-#bearcam!

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I guess Taco Bell liked my tweet about supposed Navy SEAL “Mark Owen” eating at Taco Bell after he came home from the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden.

I guess Taco Bell liked my tweet about supposed Navy SEAL “Mark Owen” eating at Taco Bell after he came home from the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden.

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