Around the World in 80 Daunting Days of Deprivation

Boris Herrmann 2020

In early December, I wrote about the Vendée Globe, sailing’s most daunting solo challenge. This round-the-world, non-stop race demands a combination of both physical and psychological stamina that is unmatched elsewhere in the world of adventure sports. Since Wednesday morning, I’ve been glued to my computer, watching as the race’s…

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Let’s Eat France! A Fun and Fascinating Guide To French Cuisine

Back in October, I was reading a post on Bleu Blonde Rouge, a blog by Claudine Hemingway. In it, Hemingway wrote about her favorite French cookbooks. I love to cook so jotted down a couple of the titles to see if I could find them at my library. I was…

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Surviving A Massacre—Catherine Meurisse And Art’s Curative Power

Catherine Meurisse

Yesterday marked the 6-year anniversary of the savage terrorist attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. That morning, two gunmen killed 12 members of Charlie Hebdo’s staff and left 11 injured. I wrote about one of the courageous survivors, Coco, back in 2017. The word courageous, however, doesn’t do…

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The Story of French and How it Became a Remarkably Popular Language

Last week I began summarizing some of the highlights from The Story of French, by Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow. My post left off in the midst of the French Revolution. I read much of the book in November. During the week of our election, I was learning that at…

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The Mystifying Popularity of the French Language Revealed

Parlez-vous français?

Today, France lands at number 22 in the list of countries when ranked by population size. Yet, French is the 5th most spoken language in the world, behind English, Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish. It’s an impressive status for a relatively small country—49th in the world in terms of geographic area.…

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The Vendée Globe, Sailing’s Most Daunting Solo Challenge

Alex Thomson Hugo Boss

While many of us are tired of the isolation and solitude provoked by the Coronavirus pandemic, a few dozen of the world’s elite sailors are currently putting our notion of hardship to shame. On November 8th, 33 skippers set off on a solo, non-stop sailing race that circumnavigates the globe.…

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When in a Pinch, Look to Diderot’s Encyclopedia

Focus image

For the last two weeks, I’ve been experiencing increasingly annoying pain in my right arm. This all began after spending many consecutive hours at my computer, sitting on a wooden chair that belonged to my grandfather, working on my Evangeline post. Anyway, this week, I started waking up with excruciating…

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November Potpourri: Blunders, Ballerinas, and Other Startling Tidbits

Aerial view of Eiffel Tower

Throughout the month I come across a fair number of articles, blogs, images, books, or videos that I’d like to share with readers, but they don’t necessarily work into my typical format. So, I’ve decided to create a monthly post that briefly highlights some of the Internet gems that have…

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