Posts Tagged ‘France’

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixty-Nine!

March 30, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “geography.”  Do you know . .. what is the longest railroad tunnel?

Nope, it is not the Channel Tunnel (aka the Chunnel), which runs for more than 31 miles between England and France.  The Seikan Tunnel  (Japan) spans an impressive 33.46 miles between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido.  Now, when it comes to the longest underwater tunnel, yes, the Chunnel is it (24 miles underwater); the Seikan Tunnel is onlyb 14.5 miles underwater.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

All the Way From France!

August 7, 2017

RenePaintingHappy Monday!  The check is in the mail.  Well, I believe this is a first! I purchased a painting last week (from the comfort of my apartment) that just happened to be in an exhibit in France!  It was an exhibit of the extraordinarily talented American artist René Shoemaker (of Athens, Georgia [and a personal friend of mine to boot]) entitled: “Memory & Place: Exhibition of Paintings on Silk” at La Mairie de Felletin which opened on June 21st and runs until August 18th.  “This one is titled: “The Table at the Grand Café, Felletin,” and is positively beautiful.  The simplicity and design of the table, coupled with the rich and luscious colors was love at first viewing.  René’s French is much better than mine, but to use the local language . . . merci beaucoup, mon ami!  Continuer le bon travail, et continuez à peindre!

Abandoned But Not Forgotten, Number Thirty!

December 16, 2013

abandoned30I’m not exactly sure the location in France where you can find this abandoned mill blade, but like most of the locations in this “abandoned” series, nature has reclaimed what man has neglected.  The mill blade is a “variety of watermill used for sharpening newly fabricated blades, including scythes, swords, sickles, and knives” (source: Wikipedia).  They also were known as cutlers wheels, and scythe-smiths wheels.

Happy Birthday Pablo!

October 25, 2012

Even though he has one of the longest names I’ve ever seen (Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso), using just his first and last name is certainly easier to remember (Pablo Picasso).  Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is widely known for co-founding the Cubism movement.  Happy Birthday Pablo!

Celebrate Pablo’s birthday . . . visit a museum, enjoy his art!

From Egypt to the United Kingdom!

July 19, 2012

Three hundred and thirteen years ago today (1799), during Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt, a slab of black basalt inscribed with ancient writing was discovered 35 miles north of Alexandria at a fort near the town of Rashid (Rosetta).  This stone had fragmented passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic.  It was determined that all three of the scripts had the identical meaning and provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.  A couple of years later (1801), British troops defeated the French (in Egypt) and the stone came into British possession.  The stone was then transported to England where it has been on display at the British Museum since 1802.   It is the most visited object in the British Museum.

Second Lesser Known Wonder!

July 18, 2012

This week finds us in the American Southwest . . . the slot canyons within the Colorado Plateau of north Arizona and south Utah.   Slot canyons are narrow canyons, formed by the wear of water rushing through rock.  They tend to be deeper than they are wide and are generally formed in either sandstone or limestone rock.  In addition to the American Southwest, slot canyons also exist in the Sierra de Guara in northern Spain, the Pyrenees on the border of France and Spain, and the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia.

    Here are where you will find the slot canyons of the American Southwest:

  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Paria River
  • Escalante River
  • San Rafael Swell
  • Grand Canyon
  • Sedona
  • North Lake Powell
  • Zion National Park
  • and other locations

All of these are easily explorable (i.e., no special equipment is needing), all can be visited on day trips (with a few exceptions in the Escalante region), and all of the trailheads are readily accessible by regular vehicles.

Another Marvel-ous Monday!

June 6, 2011

This week, let’s highlight the Millau Viaduct.  They even have their very own dedicated website.

The Millau Viaduct in southern France, which opened in 2004, is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, with a roadway nearly 900 feet in the air. The cable-stayed design gives the bridge the appearance of a row of sailboats at sea, and the masts rise 1,125 feet — higher than the Eiffel Tower.

An impressive (and beautiful) structure and definitely on my list of places to see and/or visit one day.  It’s a good thing that I do not have a fear of heights (acrophobia).

Don’t Look At Me!

May 22, 2010

Despite being an “art lover” (and collector), I certainly would not steal the art to add to my collection . . . So, following this recent theft of major works (five well-known masterpieces — by Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Leger, and Modigliani) from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris this week . . .  


Besides, I’m completely out of both wall and storage space.

Art is “Branching” Out!

December 15, 2009

Is the Louvre seeking to rusticate?  So it would seem as they announce plans to open a branch of the museum in rural (and depressed) Lens, France — an old mining town that has had more than it’s share of hardship.  

From the article: Lens was picked for the Louvre project because it could use a reversal of fortune. The city was reduced to rubble by the Germans during World War I. During World War II it was occupied by the Nazis and battered by Allied bombings.  And for decades, workers risked their lives in the city’s coal mines, before the last one closed in 1986.

The 150 million euro ($226 million) museum in Lens, to open in 2012, is part of a strategy to spread art beyond the traditional bastions of culture in Paris to new audiences in the provinces. The Pompidou Center modern-art museum is opening a branch in the eastern city of Metz, and it also hopes to show its masterpieces in a circus big top that will travel to culturally deprived areas.


\RUHS-tih-kayt\ , intransitive verb;

1.  To go into or reside in the country; to pursue a rustic life.


1.  To require or compel to reside in the country; to banish or send away temporarily.
2.  (Chiefly British). To suspend from school or college.
3.  To build with usually rough-surfaced masonry blocks having beveled or rebated edges producing pronounced joints.
4.  To lend a rustic character to; to cause to become rustic.

Montmarte and Art!

December 6, 2009
Moulin Rouge

Montmarte . . . a hill in northern Paris, France (the highest point in the city) and home to the Basilique du Sacre Coeur as well as a thriving night club scene (including the Moulin Rouge, or “Red Windmill”).  It has also been the place where many artists had set up studios such as Salvador Dalí, Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.  I’m not sure if he had a studio here, but Alexander Chen (the master of hyper-realism) has obviously visited the locale to paint his version of the Moulin Rouge.  Again, Chen’s attention to detail and use of vivid color is what keep attracting me to his works.