bad_temper

Using an Amazon Kindle in Beijing

Amazon, Google, Democracy, Money…Dear Amazon helpdesk I am writing to confirm, as I have done before, that downloading English books to a Kindle from amazon.com (as opposed to amazon.cn, I assume) takes forever in China. As everyone is well aware, this is a direct consequence of the rather skilful control of dangerous foreign websites by the Authorities…

Je suis Charlie. OK, mais qui suis-je, au juste?

Il y a d’une part, des terroristes, et de l’autre, des récupérateurs. Pour les terroristes, Mélenchon a raison: leur combat n’est pas religieux, est politique. La cible du combat à mener n’est pas le terrorisme mais l’obscurantisme. Qui sont les récupérateurs? La grande manifestation de tous les Français (mon oeil!) , avec quelques personnages répugnants…

La France remporte enfin Waterloo? La saga continue!

Deux sous de plomb dans l’aile du canard boiteux européenSous la pression de son voisin français, la Belgique – au lieu de crier à l’ingérence – a retiré un projet de pièce de deux Euros commémorant la bataille de Waterloo. Voir Le Nouvel Obs, Le Soir… sans oublier le point de vue britannique, les potes…

NSA 62nd anniversary

The National Security Agency (NSA) was established at the beginning of November 1952 (on the 4th of November, to be precise) . Join me in congratulating them on the occasion of their 62nd anniversary. Do you believe in coincidences? Many things happened on a 4th of November! In 1791, the Western Confederacy of American Indians won a major…

A practical joke by MicroSoft?

I was very surprised, yesterday afternoon, when my brand-new HP Zbook running Windows 7 crashed after I inserted my good old Huawei broadband wireless USB stick. The crash took the form the once famous BSOD, Blue Screen of Death which has been a trademark of Microsoft as much as Windows itself. Even the Wikipedia link…

Un bien bon canular à base d’anus de porc et de calmar

Thomas vient de me faire parvenir un lien avec une information de première: on vendrait du calmar surgelé qui contient… des anus de porc. C’est sur le site de la Libre Belgique, et l’article vaut le déplacement! Allez voir le site: vous verrez une belle poilée de rondelles de calmar, dont vous vous dites maintenant…

Climate change: vehemence Vs competence

This text by Didier Nordon appeared in February 2011 in Pour la science, the French edition of Scientific American (N.400, Bloc-notes, page 5). Related posts: How difficult it is to be a climatologist. The title is a pun based on a combination of la loi du plus fort (the law of the strongest) with the…

Eurobabel

This post is about the use of languages in the European Commision (EC) and the  European Union (EU). There are at present twenty-two languages, which are designated in the EC documents and websites by their two letter ISO code: EN, FR, BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL,…

Xenophobia: who’s immune?

The extreme right, xenophobia and nationalism are gaining ground in many countries in Europe. Sometimes (Belgium), the situation borders on the ridiculous, but no-one dies! In Norway, after a bomb attack on 22 July, a psychopath took his gun and decided the eliminate the perceived enemy himself, so brutally that even the political parties that…

How difficult it is to be a climatologist…

Just  before COP-15 took place in Copenhagen in December 2009, unknow people broke into the computers of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia and stole email correspondence of Prof. Jones, a major figure in the IPCC.  The issue received wide media coverage and was eventually referred to as Climategate. The…

Le droit d’ignorance, version soft

[Cet article a été écrit dans le sillage d’un cours que j’ai donné en 2009 à l’université de L., et dont je suis revenu catastrophé par l’ignorance et le manque de culture des étudiants.] La première version de cet article n’a pas plu à E. Elle l’a trouvé prétentieux, arrogant et méchant, voire haineux pour…