Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

Does Revenge Serve an Evolutionary Purpose? – Scientific American

“Why all the celebration after the killing of Osama bin Laden? A psychologist who studies evolution and human behavior explains the complex desire for vengeance” Source: Does Revenge Serve an … Continue reading

April 27, 2017 · 13 Comments

The Red-Pill Right Swaps Chivalry for Misogyny – via TDB

“An investigation by The Daily Beast about the New Hampshire state representative who was secretly behind The Red Pill (“the web’s most popular online destination for pickup artistry and men’s … Continue reading

April 26, 2017 · 59 Comments

The Secret Life of the Mind: How Your Brain Thinks, Feels, and Decides by Dr. Mariano Sigman

“Where do our thoughts come from? How do we make choices and trust our judgments? What is the role of the unconscious? Can we manipulate our dreams? In this mind-bending … Continue reading

April 18, 2017 · 27 Comments

Special: ALA.NI

April 16, 2017 · 9 Comments

In the land of zeros and ones- there are questions

Curiosity, hope and the constant impulse to compare ourselves- all part of the human evolutionary strategy. Doesn’t that mean we can whittle everything down into those terms? What follows is that most … Continue reading

April 15, 2017 · 60 Comments

Changes

Dealing with the limited counter space in the kitchen has not been easy, but finally we have a solution. A cross between an island and a table. It’s the height … Continue reading

April 9, 2017 · 30 Comments

’tis Spring!

     

April 6, 2017 · 36 Comments

Heuristics & Biases (borrowed from GSU)

I love graphs and tables 😀 This one is amusing. The more I look through comments on newspapers and blogs, the more I notice the extent to which people rely … Continue reading

April 5, 2017 · 10 Comments

Ai Funghi

Here I am, a month or so in. This seems to be working for me. Intellectually what I knew I wanted was, shall we say, a divorce from the ego. … Continue reading

April 3, 2017 · 22 Comments

America’s Cult of Ignorance – The Daily Beast

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political … Continue reading

April 2, 2017 · 61 Comments

From Venice to Florence to Mazamet

… Finally settled on a mirror for the entrance hall. Not as nice as the blue glass Venetian version from the other day, but attractive nonetheless. This one is Florentine. … Continue reading

March 20, 2017 · 33 Comments

A North Italian, Clear & Cobalt Blue Glass Mirror| VENICE, 1st half of the 18th century | Christie’s

A NORTH ITALIAN ENGRAVED, CLEAR AND COBALT BLUE GLASS MIRROR VENICE, FIRST HALF 18TH CENTURY The rectangular plate within a stepped foliate-decorated surround interspersed with oval medallions depicting flowering urns … Continue reading

March 18, 2017 · 10 Comments

New & Old

Isn’t that wonderful? I just love de la Simone. This is my 2nd week of microdosing. For a crazy person it’s more art than science. The overall effect is good. … Continue reading

March 12, 2017 · 40 Comments

Notes on The Time Before

I want to continue talking about that period because it’s oddly relevant to what’s going on in  the world today… As a child with grandparents from three different countries and … Continue reading

March 7, 2017 · 26 Comments

The Butchering of the Age of Reason – via TDB

“Our country is in a crisis that threatens to set us back 400 years. I know this sounds dramatic, and I am not talking about politics, I’m talking about reversing … Continue reading

March 4, 2017 · 49 Comments

Reflections on White Masculinity via The Guardian + Society’s failure to discuss ideas.

[The book is] “slated for 2018 . It’s based on interviews with four different groups around the world. One of them is an organization in Sweden which helps young neo-Nazis … Continue reading

February 28, 2017 · 19 Comments

The Grey Agendist

Well, the hair is grey, anyway. Very, very grey. Also, very, very short. My mood is up. We’ve had over a week of excellent weather now. One day at 18º … Continue reading

February 27, 2017 · 41 Comments

Matisse, Tiziano, Veronese & Diana Vreeland

Bacchus & Ariadne have just left. They’re on their way to Madrid where they’ll be restored by the exceptionally able hand who presided over much of the work at the … Continue reading

February 26, 2017 · 6 Comments

The Anatomy of Populist Economics by Brigitte Granville – Project Syndicate

A bit of a long read, but well worth it. Professor Brigitte Granville’s article is outstanding. PARIS – For at least the past year, populism has been wreaking havoc on … Continue reading

February 24, 2017 · 17 Comments

Musée d’Orsay: Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870). La jeunesse de l’impressionnisme.

“Comment regarder l’oeuvre de Frédéric Bazille, mort au combat en 1870 lors de la guerre franco-prussienne alors qu’il n’était âgé que de 28 ans ? Si ses premières toiles sont … Continue reading

February 22, 2017 · 21 Comments

Yiannopoulos’ enablers deserve contempt – and must be confronted | Owen Jones 

by Owen Jones “They were fine with his bigotry, his in-your-face, two-fingers-up transphobia, Islamophobia and misogyny. It took his defence of relationships between “older men” and “younger boys” for their queasiness … Continue reading

February 21, 2017 · 33 Comments

The time before

The first part of the flight, Oklahoma (where my father had a position at a University since two years earlier) to Florida was Pan Am. The second was in a … Continue reading

February 19, 2017 · 32 Comments

Pastoral Amusements

Isn’t that room stunning? The tapestry you see on the wall on the left is the Cheval Fondu from the Amusements Champêtres series. It was thought to be Beauvais but … Continue reading

February 18, 2017 · 25 Comments

I don’t know how many souls I have

It’s profoundly problematic that every time I’m confronted with the notion that I’m not immortal, I desperately want to die. Who was that Victorian author who said Germans were incapable … Continue reading

February 17, 2017 · 16 Comments

Him, Daniel Blake

We watched Ken Loach’s film last night. Beautifully done but excruciatingly sad. I spent the rest of the evening feeling generally guilty- and selfish, and clueless, and uncaring. It’s something … Continue reading

February 17, 2017 · 6 Comments

The Last Straw Fallacy: Another Causal Fallacy and Its Harmful Effects

by Carolyn Cusick & Mark Peter November 2015 Argumentation; Nov. 2015, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p. 457 “We have noticed a pattern of arguments that exhibit a type of irrationality … Continue reading

February 16, 2017 · 30 Comments

Thinking aloud

I was awake until very late last night looking at old pictures. In particular pictures where the Bacchus painting appears. A collector contacted me to make an offer. We haven’t … Continue reading

February 16, 2017 · 25 Comments

The David Irving Method & Wanker Theory

One of the less talked about films of last year was Denial. Not as cheerful as La La Land or dramatic as Fences, it tells the story of the libel … Continue reading

February 15, 2017 · 35 Comments

From Simulation Confusion by K. Sanes

“… more often, we are being deliberately tricked, by people who have something to gain by manipulating us with misleading appearances. Indeed, much of America’s economy is based on providing … Continue reading

February 14, 2017 · 25 Comments

Reading books is good. Dressed of sea.

because we’re forced to inhabit the perspective of another human being. We should do that all the time. Dedicate a part of the day to that. I’ve never understood lack … Continue reading

February 12, 2017 · 59 Comments

Things an agendist does when he’s bored: This is a Reince Priebus

Well, I was bored yesterday and so decided to make a joke (picture and all) out of the name of the current White House chief of staff . The people … Continue reading

February 4, 2017 · 19 Comments

In case you missed it: Matt Frei

“Meet The Trumps: From Immigrant To President Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States and commander in chief of America’s armed forces, the most powerful position in … Continue reading

February 2, 2017 · 11 Comments

Let’s just say they wish today was over: Penelope Fillon & Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen: élue au Parlement européen, et est accusée d’avoir rémunéré avec des fonds européens comme assistante parlementaire Catherine Griset, alors que celle-ci travaillait essentiellement pour le FN. Cette dernière … Continue reading

January 31, 2017 · 13 Comments

Skittles, Terrorism & the Hippopotamus Factor

These excellent graphs are by the wonderful people at Datagraver. For more interesting graphs, numbers and information on terrorism, Oxford University’s OWID is fantastic. I thought it would be interesting for … Continue reading

January 31, 2017 · 35 Comments

Warmth at last

Winter sun! The weather is finally improving. After a reasonably pleasant December, the cold front was not fun. It did get us back into action and the attic of number 42 … Continue reading

January 30, 2017 · 21 Comments

Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom. – Petitions

If you’re a UK citizen or resident, you can sign this petition: Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, … Continue reading

January 29, 2017 · 65 Comments

A Series of Even More Unfortunate Events: The Appalling Airport

No sooner had the Baudelaire orphans handed their passports to the immigration officer than they looked up and realized it was actually Count Olaf in disguise! In a very, very bad disguise. … Continue reading

January 29, 2017 · 21 Comments

The fire that burns unseen – Luís Vaz de Camões

16th century poetry and also some wonderful music. Amor é um fogo que arde sem se ver, é ferida que doi, e não se sente; é um contentamento descontente, é … Continue reading

January 28, 2017 · 13 Comments

Sean Spicer: Trump considering 20% tax on Mexican imports – Business Insider

“Sean Spicer, White House press secretary for President Donald Trump, told reporters on Thursday that the administration is pushing for a 20% border tax on Mexican imports. “When you look at … Continue reading

January 26, 2017 · 48 Comments

Christianity and the Strong Arm of the Law: Do the religious not trust themselves? | myatheistlife

“The Pink Agendist has a pretty awesome blog. His take on this topic is stunning, and allows us to see how the church set the tone for what they now … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · 6 Comments

The Last Shaman by James Freeman

This documentary is now on Netflix. Interesting concept. James suffers from acute depression. He’s tired. He’s tried all sorts of treatments but nothing has really worked. He decides to “give … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · 30 Comments

Is rape imaginary?

…“The dissociation of labor and disintegration of society, which liberty and free competition occasion, is especially injurious to the poorer class; for besides the labor necessary to support the family, … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · 40 Comments

Saving the Temple Neuf

Our mayor has launched a fundraising initiative aimed at restoring three of the more important religious buildings in town. One of them is the Temple Neuf, also known as the … Continue reading

January 19, 2017 · 42 Comments

The Magic(al thinking) Word of 2016/2017: Deal

Bold, ambitious, Global Britain- those were some of the terms Theresa May repeated ad nauseum in today’s speech on Brexit. The most used word, however, was deal. That is undoubtedly … Continue reading

January 17, 2017 · 50 Comments

The Mother of All Muckrakers

“… Tarbell was the nemesis of John D. Rockefeller, the creator of Standard Oil, precursor of ExxonMobil. But she was a lot more than that — as a journalist she … Continue reading

January 14, 2017 · 37 Comments

Lessons in Ethics: The Moral of Annie

The moral of Annie is that there was a time when it really didn’t matter how talented your child was and/or how well they could sing, if it was a Ginger, … Continue reading

January 13, 2017 · 27 Comments

The adventures of President Shyster & his Shysterettes

By now you’ve probably seen President Shyster posing next to a table covered in files: The setup was extraordinary. Basically he said, Dear Public, these are papers. Papers mean I … Continue reading

January 12, 2017 · 90 Comments

Little- thinking

When I was little I sometimes wished an aeroplane would crash. This was generally to get rid of a single person- which makes it terribly inefficient methodologically. Wishing for choking would’ve … Continue reading

January 11, 2017 · 15 Comments

What would 18 year old you think?

I read this the other day and it stuck in my mind. It’s from a speech by the author of The Black Swan, N.N. Taleb. Interesting notion. To go back to … Continue reading

January 10, 2017 · 34 Comments

From Istanbul to Moscow, cold snap wreaks havoc across Europe (PHOTOS) — RT News

“Bone-freezing cold, heavy snowstorms, and floods have been plaguing the European continent this week, causing power outages, traffic jams, cancelled flights, and even a stream of plastic eggs with toys … Continue reading

January 9, 2017 · 13 Comments

Words. So many words. Rosemonde Gérard.

Lorsque tu seras vieux et que je serai vieille, Lorsque mes cheveux blonds seront des cheveux blancs, Au mois de mai, dans le jardin qui s’ensoleille, Nous irons réchauffer nos … Continue reading

January 8, 2017 · 8 Comments

A chest for the scullery

The chest for the scullery is in place. I wanted something very specific so we had it made (adapted actually) in Germany and then shipped to us in a flat … Continue reading

January 6, 2017 · 30 Comments

Attempts at mind control

Because I obviously need(ed) to *wear* a reminder in very large letters.

January 5, 2017 · 19 Comments

Wishful thinking: from Proxylane to Dedifferentiated Rose Cells

I can’t tell you how annoying I find advertisements for cosmetics. What’s most irritating is that they work. The world’s wealthiest woman is, after all, Liliane Bettencourt the owner of L’Oreal. What … Continue reading

January 5, 2017 · 23 Comments

The unbearable heaviness of being.

Milan Kundera is a stupid name. There, I said it. I don’t mention it often, but I was one of those clever children. You get high scores on a test … Continue reading

January 4, 2017 · 21 Comments

Darwin, Bonaparte & the Samaritan (starting the year on a good note!)

That’s the title of Michel Serre’s new book. Unfortunately I think it’s not yet available in English (but it is in French & Spanish.) He’s one of the great minds … Continue reading

January 2, 2017 · 12 Comments

Julia Engelmann (Poem) with English Subtitles (and good ham!)

I was going to continue writing about existentialism today- but in an effort not to depress anyone before the Reveillon, I’ll give you something rather beautiful instead. You might already … Continue reading

December 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

Stufen

I remember being 10 and sitting in the back seat of the car (a town car), my parents were up front, and I asked them why they thought they should … Continue reading

December 29, 2016 · 80 Comments

Why we are willing to pay for mega expensive things

by Paul Harrison Director, Centre for Employee and Consumer Wellbeing; Senior lecturer, Deakin Business School- The Conversation Australia “It may not seem logical or good value for money, but there are … Continue reading

December 29, 2016 · 31 Comments

Dear Eagle’s Talons

This just arrived. I got it online. It says: Dear Eagle’s Talons, We await your arrival with impatience. Are you enjoying yourself? Goodbye my dear Eagle’s Talons. Hug Jeanne for … Continue reading

December 28, 2016 · 14 Comments

Stupid and sometimes not

I’ve been jumping rope for two weeks now to lose weight. It’s ridiculous- but somehow less ridiculous than jogging or doing any other sort of public exercise. My waist is … Continue reading

December 28, 2016 · 58 Comments

Light-hearted things

In the first half of the 20th century there were squads called Einsatzgruppen- HA! Just kidding. No depressing history or politics today. I promised a picture of the Louis Philippe … Continue reading

December 27, 2016 · 25 Comments

George Michael, pop superstar, dies at 53 | Music | The Guardian

Star who made his name as half of pop group Wham! has died peacefully at home, according to his publicist Source: George Michael, pop superstar, dies at 53 | Music … Continue reading

December 25, 2016 · 34 Comments

Twas the night before Christmas (eve- all’s about eve)

Alagna was at Versailles last week. Magnificent. I don’t go to things like that anymore because- because I don’t like leaving the house unnecessarily, or travelling, or pretending I’m interested … Continue reading

December 24, 2016 · 30 Comments

It’s not cold

14 degrees celsius today. We had a couple of colder and rainy days earlier in the week but the predictions are that this winter in the Tarn will be mild. … Continue reading

December 22, 2016 · 47 Comments

Democrats, demagogues and despots via the FT

“The more powerful the passions and the more uncontained the ambitions, the more likely the democratic system will collapse into despotism. Demagogues are the Achilles heel of democracy. There is … Continue reading

December 21, 2016 · 20 Comments

Ich bin ein Berliner

Right now we don’t know what the reasons were- and frankly I imagine the motivation doesn’t play much of a role in the feeling of loss of those who have lost … Continue reading

December 19, 2016 · 10 Comments

When The New York Times Defended Putting a Black Man in the Bronx Zoo – TDB

Just as the late Stephen Jay Gould updated Charles Darwin by arguing that humans evolved through fits and starts—“punctuated equilibrium”—social progress also is less steady than we would like. Even … Continue reading

December 17, 2016 · 7 Comments

One of my favourite pictures of all time

December 15, 2016 · 64 Comments

The end of an era?

That’s the cover of this month’s municipal magazine. The major item is the motorway. It’s reminding us we’re in the final stage before the concession. It’s also reminding us this … Continue reading

December 10, 2016 · 22 Comments

The Evil Agendist

You know those Christmas cards they make you buy every year from the people who paint with the paintbrush in their mouth or feet or wherever because they’re missing limbs? … Continue reading

December 9, 2016 · 28 Comments

Books, Food & 10 Year Plans

We left Spain 2 years ago today. What you see above is my last bloody mary at the marina. I loved the marina in winter, barely a tourist in sight. … Continue reading

December 9, 2016 · 14 Comments

Welcome to the age of anger

The seismic events of 2016 have revealed a world in chaos – and one that old ideas of liberal rationalism can no longer explain by Pankaj Mishra “Writing in the … Continue reading

December 8, 2016 · 22 Comments

Racist troll guilty of harassing Labour MP with antisemitic posts | The Guardian

A racist internet troll has been found guilty of harassing a Labour MP with a series of anti-Jewish rants sent after the jailing of a fellow far-right extremist. Joshua Bonehill-Paine, … Continue reading

December 7, 2016 · 9 Comments

Autumnal in G Minor

Time insists on passing. I looked at the calendar today and realized that this time two years ago, we were packing up Villa l’Africaine. Yesterday I received a lovely card … Continue reading

December 3, 2016 · 36 Comments

What Gamergate should have taught us about the ‘alt-right’ + Let’s talk about language.

“It’s understandable that the world didn’t much care about Gamergate. The 2014 hashtag campaign, ostensibly founded to protest about perceived ethical failures in games journalism, clearly thrived on hate – … Continue reading

December 1, 2016 · 80 Comments

Viviane Amsalem & Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

Last night we watched Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem. Everything about it is superb. Watch the trailer because it gives a very good idea of how the film plays … Continue reading

November 30, 2016 · 1 Comment

Religious radicalisation before there was ISIS: Reports of the West’s Enlightenment have been greatly exaggerated.

Catholic seminarians in late 1930’s Pamplona taking up arms for what the church itself called a Crusade. The crusade involved overthrowing the democratically elected 2nd Republic. Catholicism became omnipresent in … Continue reading

November 29, 2016 · 64 Comments

Photos of historical England ‘challenge Downton Abbey myth’ | Art and design | The Guardian

“Images of factories, schools, universities and civic buildings rising among old streetscapes – but also of rotting houses, barefoot children and faces pinched with poverty – have been unearthed from … Continue reading

November 28, 2016 · 21 Comments

Already Happening: The Normalization of Trumpism – via TDB

“… Only the characteristic bluntness of a child, who proclaimed the emperor’s nudity as he paraded through the streets humiliating himself and his kingdom, threatened to break the spell. But … Continue reading

November 27, 2016 · 35 Comments

White nationalists? Alt-right? If you see a Nazi, say Nazi | Lindy West | The Guardian

“What does it take to call a Nazi a Nazi? In the interminable fortnight since the election of Donald Trump, the US press has been floundering in a gyre of … Continue reading

November 25, 2016 · 101 Comments

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class via The Harvard Business Review

“My father-in-law grew up eating blood soup. He hated it, whether because of the taste or the humiliation, I never knew. His alcoholic father regularly drank up the family wage, … Continue reading

November 17, 2016 · 35 Comments

The Economist’s Ode to Canada

“In this depressing company of wall-builders, door-slammers and drawbridge-raisers, Canada stands out as a heartening exception. It happily admits more than 300,000 immigrants a year, nearly 1% of its population—a … Continue reading

November 15, 2016 · 91 Comments

History – Attention Must Be Paid | Envisioning The American Dream

“In my constant field of vision, are a series of framed vintage Vanity Fair magazine covers from 1933 that powerfully illustrate that most tumultuous year, a year that would have … Continue reading

November 14, 2016 · 18 Comments

Lord Haw-Haw: How a Little Liar Sold the Biggest One – The Daily Beast

“While studying at the University of London in the early 1920s, Joyce became virulently anti-Semitic. Some say that when a leftist slashed his face from the edge of his lip … Continue reading

November 13, 2016 · 14 Comments

What Trump Exposed About the G.O.P. – The New York Times

  Best analysis yet. By a mile! By MARK SCHMITT NOV. 11, 2016 The election of 2016 is the culmination of this ideological era, but ironically reveals its hollowness. The … Continue reading

November 12, 2016 · 79 Comments

My Very Own Question Time: On shame, guilt & victimhood

This has been on my mind for a while: How do the anthropological notions of Shame Society and Guilt Society – and the newer term (for a very old behaviour) Victimhood … Continue reading

November 11, 2016 · 80 Comments

Must Read: Resisting Resentment Politics Down Under, Paul Tyson

How owning our Resentment can save Australian Politics In this piece, Paul Tyson, honorary Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, outlines his take on the rise of right wing … Continue reading

November 10, 2016 · 5 Comments

After the election we will not mourn. We will organize | Gloria Steinem | Opinion | The Guardian

“In my country, the white-lash and the man-lash have just created President Donald Trump, an unqualified candidate who came up not through politics, but through inheriting money, a gift for … Continue reading

November 10, 2016 · 47 Comments

Absolutely Fascinating

I was awake late last night and then early this morning. I think like most, I expected Clinton to win. WOW! What a shock. I’ll probably surprise you by not … Continue reading

November 9, 2016 · 210 Comments

The Curious Cases of Nawaz & Ali

In case you haven’t yet heard, The SPLC has published a list of what they call Islamophobes. I prefer the traditional term, which is simply racist. Or in this precise … Continue reading

November 3, 2016 · 36 Comments

How do we combat flawed thinking?

SANE ASYLUM The Swiss Know How to Beat Wingnuts Flavia Kleiner and Operation Libero handed the anti-immigrant right a major defeat last spring. Now they’re building their ‘rebellion of the … Continue reading

November 2, 2016 · 21 Comments

Building II, Apartment 5

We’re speeding this along because the tenants want to move in on Saturday. A newlywed couple. He’s in the military- got transferred here and they weren’t finding it easy to find somewhere … Continue reading

November 1, 2016 · 17 Comments

Converted bus #TinyHouse

“When I was a kid I was fascinated by the idea of Gypsy caravans. Now, I’m fascinated by Tiny Houses, and this converted bus is one of the best I’ve … Continue reading

October 31, 2016 · 29 Comments

First there was the vote. What now? The future of Brexit.

“The widespread assumption that Britain would remain in the EU gave way, after the June referendum, to the antithesis: the prospect of “hard” Brexit. Now, courtesy of Japanese carmaker Nissan, … Continue reading

October 31, 2016 · 12 Comments

What Do Trump and Marx Have in Common? – The New York Times

HAMBURG, Germany — “We have a word in German, “Wutbürger,” which means “angry citizen” — though like many German compound words, its meaning can never quite be captured in a … Continue reading

October 30, 2016 · 61 Comments

The 1909 Strikes

The more I read the more interesting this place becomes. Above you can see the 1909 strike by the wool workers. A pivotal moment in history as it led to … Continue reading

October 27, 2016 · 19 Comments

1911: The first time an aeroplane flew over Mazamet

It was photographed at the precise moment it was flying over our neighbourhood. Right under the portrait of aviator Roger Morin you can see the Temple at the end of … Continue reading

October 26, 2016 · 18 Comments

which in turn was based on, which in turn was based on, which in turn was based on

In trying to see if I could find a replica of the Cormouls house in Canada I got distracted and ended up revisiting the career and history of Horace Trumbauer. … Continue reading

October 25, 2016 · 28 Comments

The brain adapts to dishonesty : Nature Neuroscience : Nature Research

“Dishonesty is an integral part of our social world, influencing domains ranging from finance and politics to personal relationships. Anecdotally, digressions from a moral code are often described as a … Continue reading

October 24, 2016 · 28 Comments

Indian Summers in France

Today it’s 21º Celsius. Perfectly pleasant. The sun has been coming and going and I have been raking. Endless raking under the walnut tree. And pruning. I want to keep … Continue reading

October 24, 2016 · 25 Comments

When Grand Meant Grand. Resurrecting a house.

As I’ve mentioned previously I was mystified when I heard the story of the property that used to neighbour number 42. A most impressive hôtel particulier owned by the Cormouls-Houlès family. … Continue reading

October 23, 2016 · 29 Comments

Mazamet, then and now

The Napoleon III building on Boulevard de Lattre de Tassigny is getting a face lift. It was for sale when we moved here, but the sign soon disappeared. I wonder if … Continue reading

October 22, 2016 · 15 Comments

Chet doing Blue in Green (by Davis) LIVE

October 21, 2016 · 4 Comments

Lipovetsky on Lightness

I haven’t read it yet- but have read much about it, including a couple of the author’s interviews. The topic interests me. He discusses modern society and the new culture of … Continue reading

October 21, 2016 · 28 Comments

Magnificence: Yvette Chauviré

One of the great ballerinas (certainly one of my favourites) of the 20th century died today at the age of 99. Here she is as the Dying Swan.  

October 20, 2016 · 11 Comments

Racial identity is a biological nonsense, says Reith lecturer

  It’ll only take you a few minutes to read this (by this I mean the full text!), go on, indulge me! “Regarded as one of the world’s greatest thinkers … Continue reading

October 18, 2016 · 42 Comments

Hilarious

October 18, 2016 · 27 Comments

(Conservative) Niall Ferguson on (Conservative) May’s Abbanomics

Even though Ferguson is often a jack ass, this is an excellent article. “On one side, the citizens of the world — the Weltbürger — who are only citizens in the … Continue reading

October 17, 2016 · 17 Comments

A Saturday in Mid-October

I’m politically exhausted. This weekend I don’t want to hear about Trump, Theresa May, Spain’s lack of government- or François Hollande (France’s version of lack of government.) So let’s talk … Continue reading

October 15, 2016 · 16 Comments

Patriarchy, feminism & other things

What do you think gay boys fear being called the most when we’re young? It’s not a short list, is it? I bet you came up with at least three … Continue reading

October 11, 2016 · 43 Comments

Women, Business and the Law 2016: Getting to Equal (?)

Part I. Here’s a report from the World Bank that everyone should read. Especially before the idiot du jour decides it’s time to dismiss feminism. Highlights: About 155 countries have at … Continue reading

October 10, 2016 · 25 Comments

Monitoring (One’s Own) Prejudices

… If you recall … The idea for the apartments was a creative/design exercise. How do we make something attractive that’s also affordable. Affordable enough for people living on a … Continue reading

October 8, 2016 · 45 Comments

Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005 – The Washington Post

  On soap opera set, the GOP nominee bragged about groping and trying to have sex with women. Source: Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005 – … Continue reading

October 7, 2016 · 78 Comments

Welcome to the ‘White Identity Retreat’: The Rise in Student Segregation – The Daily Beast

“A 2004 study that examined “ethnic enclaves” within college universities, surveying incoming freshmen at the University of California, Los Angeles the week before classes began and those same students each … Continue reading

October 7, 2016 · 83 Comments

Viral- in this case because it cuts to the bone (in Spanish)

Superb video. Over 3 million views thus far. In case you want subtitles click on the cc button at the bottom right of the screen (right next to the settings … Continue reading

October 5, 2016 · 14 Comments

The Wonderful World of Meera Sodha

I rarely buy cookbooks anymore. After a certain point it feels like we’ve got every recipe we could ever possibly want… but three weeks ago I was reading about a young … Continue reading

October 5, 2016 · 13 Comments

Thoughts on The Best News You Don’t Know

Source: The Best News You Don’t Know, Kristof for the NYT, 22/09/16 “As world leaders gather for the United Nations General Assembly this week, all the evidence suggests that we … Continue reading

October 4, 2016 · 26 Comments

The Year We Lived Stupidly: Tory minister on what Brexit means … via Pride’s Purge

(not satire – it’s the Tories!) So we’ve finally found out what Tories mean when they say “Brexit means Brexit”. Former banker, Tory minister and very very nearly Tory leader Andrea … Continue reading

October 3, 2016 · 18 Comments

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Suspended for Rest of His Term Over Defiance on Gay Marriage – WSJ

“A disciplinary court suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for the remainder of his term Friday for violating judicial ethics in his defiance of federal court rulings on same-sex marriage. The decision … Continue reading

October 1, 2016 · 12 Comments

Bakers, the KKK and the False Dilemma – Meerkat Musings

Interesting discussion via Darth Timon: “Let me start by saying that I have a measure of respect for anyone who puts their name to their posts and bares their soul … Continue reading

September 26, 2016 · 16 Comments

Jesus, the brownish dwarf

Very amusing article by Candida Moss: “Historically speaking, it is likely that the average first-century male from Roman Palestine would have had dark hair, brown eyes, and dark skin tone. … Continue reading

September 25, 2016 · 81 Comments

Another year (and a half)

This is our eighteenth month at number 42. It’s very little time, but the town seems to be changing already. Businesses are opening left and right. There’s a whole new commercial centre with … Continue reading

September 20, 2016 · 25 Comments

The COMPLETE Theresa May GUIDE to the meaning of BREXIT | via Pride’s Purge

Photo post. Source: The COMPLETE Theresa May GUIDE to the meaning of BREXIT | Pride’s Purge

September 18, 2016 · 8 Comments

Mike Pence Opposes Word ‘Vice’ On Religious Grounds, Doesn’t Want To Be Called Vice Presidential Candidate | Huffington Post

“… Pence’s comment about Duke came in response to a question after Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president, referred to Trump supporters, including Duke, as a “ basket of … Continue reading

September 17, 2016 · 36 Comments

Hard Brexit via Clare

“The Single Market is not a matter of common tariffs but common law. It is our agreement to common standards of product safety, for the good of consumers, as well … Continue reading

September 16, 2016 · 36 Comments

The Before

A friend from England just sent us this amazing picture. If you look closely, you’ll note number 42 doesn’t yet exist! Its future spot is where I’ve labelled Stanton 42. … Continue reading

September 14, 2016 · 19 Comments

The Trump Mappa Mundi

Courtesy of Yanko Tsvetkov:

September 11, 2016 · 22 Comments

How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet | TIME

Fantastic article at Time: “But trolling has become the main tool of the alt-right, an Internet-grown reactionary movement that works for men’s rights and against immigration and may have used … Continue reading

September 11, 2016 · 42 Comments

Faux-Bonsai

This is a Beaucarnea Recurvata (aka Nolina). You  get the effect of a miniature palm/coconut tree for very little money (between €5 and €10) and even less work. It’ll do … Continue reading

September 4, 2016 · 13 Comments

Ideal reading for warm weather: Marcel Pagnol, Rabindranath Tagore & Jorge Amado

In case you haven’t heard any of those names, I urge you to investigate. Each is a legend in the country of their birth: France, India (Bengal) & Brazil. In … Continue reading

August 30, 2016 · 9 Comments

Social Comparison Theory

That paragraph from Marx’s Wage Labour & Capital distills the entire concept of Festinger’s Social Comparison Theory. It’s the backbone of the psychological manipulation that occurs/occurred in communist and fascist … Continue reading

August 29, 2016 · 36 Comments

New Feminism – via Unapologetics

by Agrudzinsky “Based on the newest French initiative, I propose a new way to eliminate oppression of the women in our civilized society.  Oppressed women shall be fined.  There must … Continue reading

August 24, 2016 · 16 Comments

Heat & more heat. Vegetarians look away now.

Today is supposed to be the hottest day yet this summer (in France). Fortunately not here in Mazamet. Albeit 29 isn’t exactly refreshing. Last year the weather was really great … Continue reading

August 24, 2016 · 22 Comments

A room full of many loud televisions

All on and each one on a different channel. That’s how my head feels on some days. It’s absolutely exhausting.

August 21, 2016 · 27 Comments

Christopher Biggins and the fall of civilisation

“Suppose you’d invited me round to dinner to celebrate my engagement to your daughter, which do you think would be more offensive? If a) I got violently drunk, threatened all … Continue reading

August 19, 2016 · 5 Comments

Racism Thwarted Thanks to Social Media – Cloak Unfurled

Burbank, CA – Thanks to a cadre of people on Twitter Monday, racist Ellen Degeneres was thwarted from spreading her divisive, white privilege message to the world when she tweeted … Continue reading

August 19, 2016 · 13 Comments

Fascinating concept: Trepalium

I’m usually not inclined to science fiction- but having read the description I couldn’t just walk away: “In a world where jobs are scarce, in a city where only 20% … Continue reading

August 19, 2016 · 12 Comments

What would real men look like in underwear ads?

This was from 2013, but as we’re being bombarded by images of athletes because of the Olympics, I thought it would be amusing to bring back. Have a peek at what … Continue reading

August 19, 2016 · 17 Comments

Superb. The importance of not being earnest.

Every year when the girls visit, they spoil us with the most wonderful things. Super-chic, super-stylish things that one buys in London. This year we got the Moët twin set, … Continue reading

August 17, 2016 · 24 Comments

When the livin’ is easy

That’s Mike and the girls looking at Mazamet from a medieval village on the Black Mountain. A tiny, cute village with a pleasant restaurant. The weather’s been amazing. The girls … Continue reading

August 16, 2016 · 7 Comments

A Fine Example of Civilized Behavior – Unapologetics

Among the few things making humans different from animals is clothing.  No animals clothe themselves.  People who don’t use clothes are often looked down upon as savages.  I also thought … Continue reading

August 15, 2016 · 2 Comments

Love him

August 11, 2016 · 14 Comments

A Saturday in August

Morning in Castres We went to the market in Castres where the girls bought all sorts of cheeses, we got charcuterie and that became lunch here on the terrace with … Continue reading

August 6, 2016 · 26 Comments

Super-cute. Down the street & around the corner.

This house has just come on the market. I know because I still get real-estate newsletters for our town even though we’ve already bought. It’s a very decent size, 450m2 which … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · 20 Comments

The problem with narratives.

In the context of the recent troubles of race/religion/violence a couple of analysts doing the rounds on 24 hour news channels are going with the story that France stands apart … Continue reading

August 2, 2016 · 25 Comments

Does This Rock Explain Why Egyptians Are Biblical Villains? – The Daily Beast

“… Perhaps the biblical description of dominance by Egyptians actually has very little to do with enslavement and more to do with the cultural memory of the more distant Amarna … Continue reading

August 1, 2016 · 17 Comments

This week at nº 42: wildlife pictures (sort of) and guest rooms

Okay- so it’s not wildlife pictures in that Sonel or Ark sort of way. It’s one where nothing is moving, which means I can almost photograph it in focus! It’s … Continue reading

July 26, 2016 · 9 Comments

The Narrow House

Ms. Parker’s Narrow House. And… Here’s how to use a flamethrower on weeds: A decent flamethrower with a little cart for the gas bottle costs around €100. Filling a gas bottle … Continue reading

July 19, 2016 · 30 Comments

Exhausting existentialism

The girls arrive next week. That’s excellent because their company does me a world of good. They don’t indulge angst- tortured by insomnia- pondering Dorothy Parker’s narrow house. Have I mentioned … Continue reading

July 18, 2016 · 17 Comments