Items tagged with: french
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Olympic gold medalist Charles Jean Rigoulot was a French weightlifter, professional wrestler, race car driver, and actor. He holds over 10 world records in weightlifting and had once been held as the “strongest man in the world”. During World War II, he was imprisoned for hitting a Nazi officer, but he was able to escape from prison by bending the iron bars of his jail cell. He allegedly escaped together with other prisoners.SOURCE : https://www.history101.com/charles-rigoulot-mighty-men/
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The High Court of Paris has ordered several of the largest French ISPs to block access to the pirate libraries LibGen and Sci-Hub. The decision is a setback for the sites that have come under…
Article word count: 57
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19550282
Posted by obl (karma: 752)
Post stats: Points: 133 - Comments: 46 - 2019-04-02T01:39:48Z
#HackerNews #and #block #french #isps #libgen #ordered #sci-hub
The High Court of Paris has ordered several of the largest French ISPs to block access to the pirate libraries LibGen and Sci-Hub. The decision is a setback for the sites that have come under increasing pressure, but Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan believes that determined researchers are smart enough to find an alternative route to her site.
By offering free access to millions of ‘paywalled’ research papers, Sci-Hub is often described as “The Pirate Bay of Science”.
The site is used by researchers from all over the world, to access papers they otherwise have a hard time accessing.
Academic publishers are not happy with the service. They see the site as a threat to their multi-billion dollar businesses and have tried to shut it down through several lawsuits.
While Sci-Hub lost its US court battles against Elsevier and the American Chemical Society, the site didn’t fold. Instead, all the media attention only appeared to make the site even more popular.
This left the publishers with few other options than to have the site blocked by ISPs. This previously happened in Sweden, for example, as well as Russia. This month France joins the list following an order from the High Court of Paris, which also targets several Library Genesis (LibGen) domains.
Following a complaint from academic publishers Elsevier and Springer Nature, Internet providers Bouygues, Free, Orange, and SFR have been ordered to block access to Sci-Hub and LibGen sites for the year to come.
In its decision, picked up by Next INpact, the French court ruled that the two sites “clearly claim to be pirate platforms rejecting the principle of copyright and bypassing publishers’ subscription access portals.”
Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan, who had no say in the matter, is disappointed with the outcome. While she believes that the blockade will have “some effect,” those who are determined to access it still have plenty of options to bypass it.
“The blockade will have some effect, though not very profound. The people who are using Sci-Hub because they need access to research can still unblock it using VPN, TOR and etc,” Elbakyan informs TorrentFreak.
The court order targets a total of 57 domain names, including various mirror sites. The academic publishers had asked the court for a more flexible blocklist, which they could update whenever new domains would become available, but this was denied.
If the publishers want to expand the blocklist, they will have to go back to court. This ensures that there remains judicial oversight over local website blockades.
Also, a request for a specific IP-address block was denied. The court sided with the ISPs, who argued that they should have the freedom to choose their own blocking method, including DNS blocking. That does mean, however, that the ISPs will also have to bear the costs.
Sci-Hub’s founder is not happy with yet another blockade but also highlights a positive note. The verdict made “Sci-Hub” a trending topic in France, which has made even more people aware of the site.
Ultimately, Elbakyan believes that there should be no mechanism for courts or governments to mandate website blockades, particularly against a site that provides free access to research, which is used by some of the smartest people in the world.
“It’s interesting that, although many French researchers are using Sci-Hub and see nothing wrong in it, this fact doesn’t affect law and court decisions, which is somehow fundamentally wrong,” Elbakyan tells us.
“Researchers are considered to be smartest people, and the government should take their opinion into account – which is not happening.”
It’s unlikely that France will issue a ban on site-blocking anytime soon, whether it’s research related or not. On the contrary, the Government has plans to expand its site-blocking capabilities in the near future by implementing a national pirate site blocklist.
A copy of the order requiring ISPs to block access to the Sci-Hub and LibGen domains is available here (pdf).
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The “Immortals” of the Académie Française have failed to fill four seats, a paralysis that reflects France’s own struggle to adapt to the 21st century.
Article word count: 1392
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19539363
Posted by Jun8 (karma: 7253)
Post stats: Points: 90 - Comments: 120 - 2019-04-01T00:14:20Z
#HackerNews #are #deadlocked #french #guardians #language #the
Former President Valéry Giscard D’Estaing, center right, during a session of the Académie Française in 2016. Founded in 1634 to protect and promote the French language, the academy has long lagged behind societal changes.CreditCreditPetit Tesson/EPA, via Shutterstock
PARIS — Balzac tried and failed. Zola knocked on the door dozens of times and was always refused. Verlaine got no votes. Hugo got in, barely, only after multiple tries.
The august Académie française — the elite club of 40 “immortals,” as the members are known, that serves as the official guardian of the French language — does not admit just anybody. So exclusive is it that most of France’s greatest writers never made it.
But the sacred job of protecting France from “brainless Globish” and the “deadly snobbery of Anglo-American,” as a member spat out in a speech last month, has rarely been more difficult to attain.
Four vacancies — lifelong tenures — have opened since December 2016. Three times the academy members have voted, most recently in late January, and three times they have failed to achieve a majority.
The deadlock, some academy members say, reflects France’s own — between the proud, timeless France determined to preserve itself at all costs, and the France struggling to adapt to a 21st century defined by globalization, migration and social upheaval, witnessed in the “Yellow Vest” revolt.
“We’re the reflection of the society, and it’s a society that’s questioning itself,” said Amin Maalouf, the Lebanese-born novelist and a member of the academy.
Then there are those who grumble that, for a conservative institution rived by mutually hating factions, it is merely business as usual. The academy has been around since 1634, when it was founded by Cardinal Richelieu to promote and protect the French language, and it is not in any hurry.
The academy “is an old lady, and very sensitive,” said one of the newer members, the Haitian-born Canadian writer Dany Laferrière.
The French Institute is home to the Académie Française. The group is so exclusive that most of France’s greatest writers were never admitted as members.CreditLudovic Marin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Actually, it is mostly old white men. There are just five women among the members, and Mr. Laferrière is the only black member. The average age was well over 70 in a recent tally by the French media.
Whether the academy is struggling to update or diversify itself, or even wants to, is difficult to divine. The deliberations of its members, under the graceful 17th-century dome of the Institut de France, are swathed in mystery.
But the rejections are humiliatingly public: The former education minister Luc Ferry saw his name in the headlines recently, and not in a good way. The vote on his membership was decisive. Mr. Ferry declined to comment.
Aside from renewing itself, the academy’s real business is updating the definitive dictionary of French, which it has been doing since the 17th century. So sacred is the task that the updates are published as an official government document.
On Thursday, the members approved the feminization of professional titles. It was a veritable breakthrough for an academy that has for years resisted the adaptation, which is already practiced widely in France, with or without the sanction of the immortals.
Language may change, and society, too, but slowly in the view of the academy.
“The question is, should the academy guard its principles?” Mr. Laferrière said. “We could fill all the seats tomorrow.”
That is not likely to happen. The academy chooses you, you do not choose the academy. Nonetheless, no one can become a member without writing a strongly worded letter soliciting a place.
Some French writers never bother, as is rumored to be the case with some of the country’s best-known contemporary authors.
Neither of France’s two living Nobel literature laureates, Patrick Modiano and Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, are members. Neither is Michel Houellebecq, reckoned to be among the most penetrating of all contemporary European novelists. Others are encouraged to apply, then lose the vote.
The academy “is an old lady, and very sensitive,” said Dany Laferrière, center.CreditCharles Platiau/Reuters
“We are alarmed at not finding académiciens that are to the taste of the academy,” Mr. Laferrière said.
But some members reject the argument that no upstanding defender of France’s language and cultural values can be found, and hint at a deeper crisis.
“It’s absurd,” growled Jean-Marie Rouart, a critic and novelist who has been a member since 1997.
The real question, for some, is what the deadlock says about the beleaguered France of today.
“What was special about France is that everybody recognized themselves in literature,’’ Mr. Rouart said. “Now, you’ve got to write for the university, or this group, or that group. It’s deplorable. People read more, yes, but what they read are idiocies. The academy is a boat adrift in a dry sea.”
Of the inability to move forward, Dominique Bona, a novelist and one of the few women to sit among the immortals, said, “I’m a little bit astonished.”
“We’ve had some remarkable candidates, real choices,” Ms. Bona said. “I’m personally disappointed that the academy is giving them the cold shoulder. Is this a French malaise? The bad mood around us, is it communicating itself to the academy?”
To be sure, the ceremonious world of the academy seems a universe away from France’s current Yellow Vest uprising, whose instincts tend more toward revolution than preservation.
Last month, the academy members trooped down a wooden staircase of the Institut de France, the sharp drumbeats of the Republican Guard echoing through the marbled halls.
They were there to induct the newest member they could agree upon, the novelist Patrick Grainville, an author of baroque fantasies.
The members have been deadlocked over the filling of four vacancies since 2016.CreditEric Feferberg/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Mr. Grainville took the seat of Alain Decaux, a journalist, historian and writer who died in March 2016. Generally, the academy waits a year after a death to announce a vacancy, and if a replacement receives a majority vote, a formal induction comes about a year later. Mr. Grainville was elected in March 2018.
Former President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, 93, a member of the academy since 2003, gamely negotiated the stairs supported by two aides. The smartly dressed invited public were scattered amid uniformed academy members, resplendent in their green embroidered uniforms.
Their custom-made robes cost in the neighborhood of $50,000, members said, and the swords that are de rigueur for members are not cheap, either. Mr. Maalouf said he had to raise nearly $230,000 for the costs associated with his induction.
The induction ceremony for Mr. Grainville spoke to an eternal France faithfully devoted to celebrating words and their ecstatic usage.
“Words shoot up like geysers from your pen, tumble in cascades, swirl about, bump into each other, are never at rest,” Ms. Bona said, describing Mr. Grainville’s work in the traditional induction speech. “You are, sir, a writer of jubilation.”
There was no hint of the social upheaval that has torn France apart in recent months. And there prevailed a certain vision of French history, in the easy invocation of former members of the academy, celebrated French writers with dubious wartime collaborationist pasts like Henry de Montherlant, cited by Mr. Grainville as a mentor.
As with other ceremonious and antiquated French institutions, the pomp provides its own justification, even for those who harbor reservations about it. The academy for them represents France’s consecration of its writers, a nearly unique national status.
“It was the idea of getting on the magic merry-go-round,” said the sharp-witted novelist Charles Dantzig, who was encouraged to apply after winning the academy’s prize, and then lost in recent balloting.
“It was the idea of protection,” he said of the appeal of being a member. ‘‘Illusory, no doubt.”
Indeed, the unusual nature of the academy’s mission, in a world where much of what it celebrates is under siege, leaves some members pessimistic it can protect even itself.
“French society: Will it continue?” Mr. Rouart asked.
Then he answered his own question. “The bourgeoisie is dying,” Mr. Rouart grumbled. Before, “you would see the academy members at dinner parties. Now there aren’t even dinner parties. It’s finished.”
Correction: March 5, 2019
An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the makeup of the Academie française. While Dany Laferrière is the only black member of the academy, he is not its only minority member.
A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A8 of the New York edition with the headline: Guardians of French, Deadlocked and Griping. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
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The public television series was so interesting that my 4 year old son would often stop to watch when he was coming inor going out to play. At this timehe wanted to be a chef. Ever eager to help me in the kitchen, he stood on a stool to stir the Cream of Wheat while I slowly poured the milk. We also made Christmas cookies and cakes with his neighborhood friends joining in. I was the only Mom who let kids come in the house!
Here in this video, we see Pierre Franey amonst the markets; outdoor wholesale etc.