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Friday, 14th June 2019
France to save energy by switching off electric publicity screens.
Electric Publicity Screens in French transport hubs could be switched off at night and in winter, after it was revealed that the annual energy use for one electric screen is equivalent to three family homes.
Electric “poster” screens are becoming more and more common in cities, especially in public transport stations. In 2017 alone, their presence rose by 16%; and in Paris there are now more than 600 of them.
They are generally replacing old-style static advertisement posters, and allow companies to project moving adverts on to large, bright screens.
The current debate is whether the screens should be turned off in the evenings when households turn up the heating, cook dinner, and load up the dishwasher and washing machine all at the same and during the winter months when the weather is colder and energy use in French households increases.
This would help to avoid the country having to use energy produced by coal, or having to import more energy from abroad, during the colder months.
Yet, the installers of the electric publicity screens argue that the technology is actually more energy-efficient than the traditional posters and screens are already [ecologically] better than sending someone in a car to change the posters.
The debate over the screens comes amid a tense time for the French government with regards to environmental campaigners, in the wake of large-scale protests against climate change
Thursday, 6th June 2019
A very good idea.
Women travelling on public buses after 22h in Strasbourg and Lyon will soon be allowed to ask the driver to drop them off between two stops, if it will mean that they have a shorter walk home in the dark.
Strasbourg and Lyon will follow scheme already in place in Paris and Grenoble. The system allows women to get off bus routes at the most convenient point, dropping them as close as possible to their home, rather than at a designated bus stop that is likely to be further away.
The idea is that women will have less distance to walk in the dark on their way back home, making them supposedly less vulnerable to attacks or harassment
The bus driver will still reserve the right to refuse the request, if it would be unsafe to stop, but will try to stop where possible.
Monday, 27th May 2019
How healthy is your junk food?
All food advertising in France must now show the food’s official “Nutri-Score” mark to let consumers know at a glance how healthy the product is.
The law will make it compulsory for any French media advertising - including online, on television, and radio - to clearly display the food’s “Nutri-Score” mark - from A to E.
The Nutri-Score system was first launched in France in November 2017, in a bid to make it easier for consumers to see the nutritional content of a given food, especially for pre-packaged, “junk food”, or processed items. A is the most healthy score, descending through B, C and D, with E the least healthy.
The new law will enter into force from January 1 2021, to allow the industry to prepare and adapt.
I am not quite sure how useful this ‘Nutri-Score’ will be. We all know that processed and junk food is bad for us but sometimes there just isn’t time for ‘a meal from scratch’ and other times quite frankly we just crave for Junk Food and an ‘E’ Nutri-Score just won’t stop us from putting that very attractive packet of processed food in the trolley.
I think the other parts of the law that in the end didn’t pass the legal ratification process would be much more beneficial to the nations health. The rejected elements were clauses on lowering acceptable levels of salt, sugar and fat; banning certain additives; reducing how much food advertising children are able to see; and introducing at least one hour of food education per week in schools and collèges (middle school).
Wednesday, 22nd May 2019
Crossing the Atlantic in a wine barrel!
On May 2, French adventurer Jean-Jacques Savin became the first (known) person to cross the Atlantic without the aid of sail, motor, or human power. His vessel of choice? A giant, three-meter long “wine” barrel.
The 72-year-old set off from the Canary Islands on December 26, 2018, and spent 127 days crossing the ocean in his craft Le Vagabond. The 3,125-nautical-mile voyage took slightly longer than expected after strong winds delayed his progress.
For the final leg of his journey, Savin was aided by a Dutch oil tanker, which took him to the island of Saint Eustatius. Following two days’ rest, a tug boat then towed him to the shore of the French Carribean island Martinique, where Savin was met by his partner Josyane, and Dr. Pierre Galzot, the man who helped him organize the voyage.
During calm days, Savin passed the time reading, fishing, and playing the mandolin. He also enjoyed the occasional glass of Sauternes.
In January, to celebrate his birthday, the Frenchman savored a special meal that would make many of his compatriots proud: foie gras washed down with a bottle of St. Emilion.
Saturday, 18th May 2019
La Maison Rose – Works complete, I hope!
Mark has never been happy about the access to La Maison Rose.
Last autumn a JCB crreated a new larger parking space, but still Mark wasn’t happy. It was like an itch that he couldn’t scratch.
But, now after two weeks work at La Maison Rose, I hope that he can finally let it go!
Now we have new planting and new steps!
Thursday, 9th May 2019
A nice 'feel good' story!
A man living in the French department of Morbihan has received a real gold ingot as a thank you for his honesty, after he returned a wrongly-delivered parcel that was filled with gold worth up to €20,000.
The man, known as Julien C., was at home in the Breton town of Vannes when a small parcel was delivered normally. He signed for it without checking the contents, believing it to contain a swimming costume for his wife.
It was only later that Mr C discovered the package was actually full of coins and ingots, made of real gold, weighing 20-50 grams each, and dating from around 1900.
Upon discovering the error, the man sought out the real owner of the parcel, whose address was found on the packaging. But when Mr C arrived at the address, no-one was home.
In a last-ditch attempt, Mr C took the parcel to the police station in Vannes. The real owner was eventually found, and the parcel returned to them. He is thought to be a collector of historical gold.
This week it was confirmed that national gold broker Le Comptoir National de l’Or plans to send Mr C a gold ingot of an unspecified size, to say thank you for his honesty in returning the original package.
However, Mr C’s wife is still waiting for her original swimming costume to be delivered!
Tuesday, 30th April 2019
Just 2 more ‘Spring forwards’ and ‘Fall Backs’ for us!
The European Parliament has approved plans to end seasonal daylight savings hour changes across the EU by 2021.
The vote by MEPs passed with 410 votes in favour, 192 against, and 51 abstentions.
Member states will now be allowed to make a decision on the hour that they will choose to keep all year round - whether “summer” or “winter” hours.
The final clock change across all participating member states choosing summer hours will be the last Sunday in March 2021, and for those choosing winter hours, it will be the last Sunday in October 2021.
Ahead of the vote, European citizens were given the chance to take part in an advisory online survey, asking them their view on the matter.
In France, there were 2,103,999 replies to the poll, with 83.71% of respondents saying they would prefer to abandon the clock-changing system, and stick to one hour all year round.
I am assuming that France will vote for ‘summer hours’ which will give us some very dark mornings in the winter!
It is likely that the EU will encourage member states to choose time zones that align with their close neighbours, so as not to introduce a patchwork of different hours across the bloc.