Sunday, November 03, 2013

Innovation, trends and rumors from France

Some news bits I found interesting in The Connexion (November 2013 issue).

* Slow computers in France are costing users 5 days a year in wasted time. Waiting for their PCs to start up (11 minutes), files to load and programs to start took on average 120 hours a year. Whoa. That's a lot of time for extra coffee breaks or water-cooler gossip!

* According to Thomson Reuters, the top countries for innovative business are USA, Japan and France. That's encouraging news for Francophiles around the world!

* Despite city-wide campaigns to be more tourist-friendly, Paris has still maintained its reputation of being rude according to the Anholt-Gfk City Brands Index, which measures cities by the opinion of visitors in several categories. London and Sydney were the top two and, sadly, Paris didn't even make the top 10.

* Did you know that eating Frogs legs was originally a British thing? According to archaeologists from the U of Buckingham who found charred bones dating back to between 6250 BC AND 7590 BC, it seems we should switch the associations for "frog" and "rosbif!"

* The trend of buying coffee for a stranger has taken off in France, but not in Paris yet. It started in Naples (caffe sospeso) and in other parts of France (café suspend) so perhaps the Parisian cafes participating in the free app where you can coffee for 1 euro could kick off this trend?

* After the USA, France is the world's second largest owner of ocean floor. With all its overseas territories you would think this is enough, but apparently France wants to extend its claim to more than the internationally recognized Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 miles from its continental shelf.

* The theater where the film pioneer Lumière brothers showed their first films, the Eden in La Ciotat (near Marseille), has just finished an extensive renovation. At night the facade shows a laser installation of a train, in honor of A train arriving at La Ciotat station (1895), which caused panic among early cinema-goers.

* A Normandy-based family-run firm is saving millions of lives throughout the world with their ready-to-use therapeutic food Plumpy'Nut. The firm, Nutriset, says the food doesn't need to be heated, diluted with water, refrigerated or served in a bowl. It has a shelf life of two years and it tastes good. This is saving malnourished children and Unicef (the biggest buyer) feeds two million children annually.