Eugène Atget – photographer extraordinaire

Paris in 1900 was witness to a veritable craze for photography. The city recently renovated by Georges-Eugène Haussmann included the now completed Eiffel Tower. It was the tallest structure in the world, with 7,000 tons of steel and 2,500 rivets, and Parisians delighted in photographing it for their family albums. Yet, one man never wanted to photograph it.  Continue reading Eugène Atget – photographer extraordinaire

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“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there”

Paris is known as the city of light, but it has its dark side. Honoré de Balzac and Victor Hugo were adept at presenting sinister scenarios in their novels and the paving stones and renovations of Paris conceal many horror stories. Others are all too visible on its walls. Yet, many people remain blind to the past – and that can be dangerous for the future.  Continue reading “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there”

Iberian lynx make a come back

The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), a native of Portugal and Spain, is the most endangered species of cat in the world. If it dies out, it will be the first feline extinction since the sabre-toothed cat 10,000 years ago. Recently, the future of one of the world’s rarest cats has improved, although it’s not good news for rabbits. Continue reading Iberian lynx make a come back

One for the Pot – London’s first cannibal restaurant

London’s splendid restaurants share quite a few Michelin Stars, including two three-star awards and eight two-star awards. Gourmets in Britain’s capital have a plethora of choice, recently augmented by its first genuine and, needless to say, controversial cannibal restaurant. Continue reading One for the Pot – London’s first cannibal restaurant

Honoré de Balzac: A writer for all seasons

Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) is recognized as one of the great French novelists. Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust, and Henry James all acknowledged their debt to this prodigious observer of social manners and critic of human behaviour. Continue reading Honoré de Balzac: A writer for all seasons

More on the quirkiness of English spelling

It is a paradox that English has become a global language while being so difficult to learn. English is widely studied as a second language as well as being the official language of several countries and world organizations. It is now the third most natively spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. Continue reading More on the quirkiness of English spelling

When is a young man really a young woman?

The world of classical music is no exception when it comes to a good mystery. “Cherchez la femme,” said Alexandre Dumas, in his novel Les Mohicans de Paris (1854), words taken to heart in the search to reveal the identity of Mozart’s “jeunehomme”. Continue reading When is a young man really a young woman?