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N5-Cam VII: Long Train Ride · On March 1st I went from Barcelona to Lon­don by train. It was amus­ing and re­lax­ing; If you can spare a day and some mon­ey, I rec­om­mend it ...
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Donkeyists · I have al­ways been sweet on don­keys. I’ve pub­lished some fetch­ing don­key pho­tographs in this space, and have vis­it­ed the Don­key Sanc­tu­ary in Devon on three sep­a­rate oc­ca­sion­s. Here­with a donkey-centric book re­view, trav­el rec­om­men­da­tion, and French word that needs a bet­ter English trans­la­tion ...
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FSS: Zürich and Yvoire · Fri­day Slide Scan #22 is two pic­tures from 1990, Zürich at dusk and old stones in Yvoire. I have some his­to­ry with Zürich ...
 
Ils sont fous ces Français! · Trans­lat­ing from Goscin­ny/Uder­zo to Hunter S. Thomp­son: there’s bad crazi­ness go­ing on over in France. Ap­par­ent­ly, there’s a move afoot to ban Free Soft­ware, and I can on­ly think “Never as­cribe to mal­ice that which can be ex­plained by incompetence”. Mal­ice or in­com­pe­tence aside, in the un­like­ly event that this sil­ly thing pass­es, it could hard­ly be en­forced with­out build­ing a cyber-police-state of an ef­fi­cien­cy and com­pre­hen­sive­ness be­yond the wildest dreams of the Bei­jing regime. If any of my read­ers are French cit­i­zen­s, you might want to call your lo­cal politician’s of­fice or write a let­ter to your lo­cal ed­i­tor or what­ev­er. Here’s some more from Hen­ry Sto­ry, with French-language links. [Up­date: Gilles Gravier writes: “It’s not all free soft­ware that they are try­ing to ban... Just soft­ware that en­ables dis­tri­bu­tion of copy­right­ed ma­te­ri­al which is not equiped with means of trac­ing who shares what with whom... Ob­vi­ous­ly, open-source soft­ware makes it easy to re­move such trac­ing mean­s, so is a no-no for SACEM (who are des­per­ate­ly try­ing to keep alive an old mod­el for mak­ing mon­ey over artists in­stead of try­ing to turn to the fu­ture and find new adapt­ed ways).” And now I see that he’s writ­ten more on the sub­ject.]
 
FSS: Dolmens Near Carnac · Fri­day Slide Scan #4 is from April 1992: a row of dol­mens in grey light in Brit­tany ...
 
AOCs and URIs · To ac­com­pa­ny the bar­be­cued chick­en at din­ner we had a bot­tle of hastily-purchased 2002 Côtes du Luberon rosé. Ini­tial­ly dis­ap­point­ing be­cause too cold, it be­came rather nice as the chill wore of­f. On the la­bel was a URI, not that com­mon in A.O.C. wines (yet), and a quick after-dinner vis­it to the Val Joa­nis web site was most re­ward­ing, check it out. It’s well-set-up, good-looking, works in more than one browser, and makes you want to vis­it the place; why do so many com­mer­cial sites fall short on these ob­vi­ous goal­s? Al­so it’s com­pre­hen­sive­ly bilingual—each page’s Union Jack glyph tak­ing you to the cor­re­spond­ing English page, very good. And an in­ter­est­ing piece of translation-ware; on the page la­beled (en Français) Le vi­g­no­ble and in English The es­tate (?), Un tra­vail de ti­tan est lancé... be­comes The Her­culean task of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion was be­gun... (bold­face theirs). A slop­py trans­la­tor would have made the task “titanic” but this feels way clos­er in spir­it; lan­guage is slip­pery, slip­pery, slip­pery.
 
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