Les insolites

  • Melania Trump launches NFT

    Melania Trump launches NFT

    Melania Trump has announced that she is launching her own NFT platform after premiering her first offering: a painting of herself. “I am proud to announce my new NFT endeavor, which embodies my passion for the arts and will support my ongoing commitment to children through my Be Best initiative”. An undisclosed portion of the proceeds from the sale will go to educating children ageing out of foster care in computer science skills. Her first NFT offering, titled Melania’s Vision (2021), is a watercolor of the former First Lady’s eyes by French artist Marc-Antoine Coulon, who stated he was happy to collaborate with the charitable operation.

    to launch/lancer - NFT = non-fungible token/jeton non fongible - to premiere/projeter en avant-première - offering/ici, œuvre - endeavor/entreprise - to embody/incarner - ongoing/continu - commitment/engagement - undisclosed/non divulgué, tenu secret - proceeds/recettes - to age out of/devenir trop âgé pour - foster care/famille d'accueil - computer science/informatique - watercolor/aquarelle

    Publié le 23/12/2021
  • Space tacos!

    Space tacos!

    Astronauts at the International Space Station recently had, what they called “the best space tacos yet”. Astronauts usually eat packaged food. But recent experiments onboard the station allowed them to start growing their own vegetables: last year, it led to the first space-grown lettuce. Chillies, which are a more difficult crop have started sprouting in the station’s garden, thus providing a delicious addition to the tacos. This is proof that more complex vegetables can be grown outside of the earth’s atmosphere, which may help secure food supplies for future longer trips – to Mars, for example, as reaching the planet could last up to 3 years!

    yet/à ce jour - packaged food/produits alimentaires emballés - to allow/permettre - to grow, grew, grown/faire pousser, cultiver - vegetable/légume - to lead, led, led to/conduire, aboutir à - chilli/piment - crop/culture - to sprout/germer - to provide/fournir - to secure/obtenir, (s') assurer - food supplies/vivres - trip/voyage

    Publié le 6/12/2021
  • Ménager la chèvre...

    Ménager la chèvre...

    How can Californian wildfires be prevented from being so devastating in the future? As fire season ends, the state has had an incongruous idea to improve the situation: using goats. Letting the animals graze in the wild could indeed help with preventing fires from spreading in certain areas. A particular grazing method, developed by goat herders, curtails the area where goats are grazing, and makes it more fire-proof than normal. Goats can graze higher than other animals, preventing fires from spreading, and their manure also helps, as it enriches the soil thereby providing better water retention.

    wildfire/incendie (dévastateur), feu de forêt - to prevent/empêcher - to improve/améliorer - goat/chèvre - to graze/paître, brouter - wild/nature (sauvage) - to spread, spread, spread/se répandre, se propager - herder/gardien de troupeau - to curtail/réduire, limiter - fire-proof/à l'épreuve du feu - manure/fumier - thereby/ainsi, ce faisant - to provide/offrir

    Publié le 21/10/2021
  • Peacocks


    Peacocks have proliferated in the sunny suburbs of Los Angeles, as the result of an epidemic – unrelated to coronavirus – which has pushed them out of their natural habitat. Though the birds are reputed for their beauty, they are now wreaking havoc on entire neighbourhoods: some are aggressive and noisy, while others regularly destroy flower beds and shatter shiny surfaces – as they mistakenly think their reflection is a rival. As a response, the county of Los Angeles is setting up measures to make it illegal for locals to feed them, so they will naturally seek new, and a more natural territory.

    peacock/paon - suburb/banlieue - to wreak havoc/faire des ravages - neighbourhood/quartier - noisy/bruyant - flower bed/parterre - to shatter/briser, (faire) voler en éclats, détruire, ruiner - shiny/étincelant, brillant - mistakenly/par erreur - reflection/reflet - county/comté (aux É.-U., collectivité locale la plus importante à l'intérieur d'un État) - to set, set, set up/mettre en place - local/habitant

    Publié le 28/09/2021
  • Studying happiness

    Studying happiness

    Studying happiness does, indeed, seem to make people more happy. Students from the University of Bristol, who enrolled in a three month “Science of Happiness” course – the first of its kind in the country – were found to be more upbeat than their counterparts. The course involves studying happiness (why it happens, and what it means) but also involves practical exercises (such as mindfulness, performing acts of kindness and exercising). It was created in response to the increasing mental health problems students encounter in the UK , and is proving to be a popular option. The cohort who took it in 2019 had an overall higher sense of well-being in comparison with their peers.

    to seem/sembler - to enroll/s'inscrire - of its kind/de ce type - upbeat/enjoué, optimiste - counterpart/homologue - to involve/ici, consister à - mindfulness/pleine conscience (conscience vigilante de ses propres pensées, actions et motivations) - to perform/accomplir, réaliser - act of kindness/acte de gentillesse, bonne action - to exercise/faire du sport - to encounter/connaître, faire l'expérience de - to prove to be/s'avérer - to take, took, taken/ici, suivre (un cours) - overall/dans l'ensemble, globalement - well-being/bien-être - peer/pair, camarade

    Publié le 1/09/2021
  • How can we use recycled plastic?

    How can we use recycled plastic?

    At the moment, plastics lose 95% of their value once recycled, and are only be used to create opaque fibre for clothing and carpets. Therefore, it is important that we find new ways to use the recycled material. A team of scientists recently discovered that a molecule called terephthalic acid could be transformed into Vanilin: a substance used as vanilla flavouring in food and cosmetics. This invention could also help agriculture: at the moment, demands for vanilla far exceed production. It would also benefit the entire supply chain: 85% of Vanilin used in products is currently synthesised using chemicals derived from fossil fuels.

    clothing/vêtements - carpet/tapis, moquette - flavouring/condiment, arôme - to exceed/dépasser - supply chain/chaîne d'approvisionnement - chemical/substance chimique - to derive/(pro)venir - fossil fuel/combustible fossile

    Publié le 5/07/2021
  • Cap sur les Cornouailles !

    Cap sur les Cornouailles !

    The British often choose to holiday at home. But this year, with borders closed, the number of “staycations” has exploded in the UK. Cornwall and Devon, in the South-West, have welcomed 400,000 visitors during the last weeks of May, with 99% of rental properties booked. With the pleasant weather and white coastline (facing the French region of Normandy), these two areas were already the most popular destinations among British staycationers (followed by London and Scotland). They are also famous for a specific gastronomical delight: clotted cream, a sweet cream with a density halfway between butter and whipped cream, to be spread on scones with jam!

    border/frontière - staycation = stay + vacation/vacances à la maison - rental/(de) location - to book/réserver - weather/temps, météo - coastline/côte, littoral - delight/délice - clotted cream/crème fraîche épaisse, caillée - sweet/sucré - halfway/à mi-chemin - whipped cream/crème fouettée - to spread, spread, spread/étaler, tartiner - scone/pâtisserie britannique (petit gâteau rond) - jam/confiture

    Publié le 8/06/2021
  • Brown Dog by Nicola Hicks

    Brown Dog by Nicola Hicks

    Brown Dog is a sculpture created by Nicola Hicks and displayed in Battersea Park in London. In addition to the celebration of its subject, it is also famous for being "the memorial of a memorial." A first dog statue was erected at nearly the same place in 1906: it commemorated the death of 232 dogs which were illegally vivisected as experiments for medical students. Many of them protested against the statue in what is now called the "Brown Dog Riots" – and the memorial was vandalised, then guarded by the police until it was removed in March 1910. The "new" memorial was commissioned by the National Anti-Vivisection Society in 1985 and serves as a reminder that animal testing continues to this day.

    to display/exposer - memorial/monument commémoratif - to erect/ériger - nearly/presque, quasiment - to protest/manifester contre - riot/émeute - to guard/protéger - to remove/enlever - to commission/commander - to serve as/faire office de - reminder/rappel - to this day/aujourd'hui encore

    Publié le 22/04/2021
  • Cheese rolling

    Cheese rolling

    Run for the cheese! Every year, the village of Cooper Hills in Gloucestershire organises its annual cheese rolling competition: a 3-4 kilo round of Gloucester cheese is sent rolling down a 200 metre long descent. Competitors run after it, trying to catch it. The cheese can reach a speed of 110 km per hour – if it isn't caught, the first person crossing the finish line will win it. The origin of the tradition is unclear: but it may come from pagan celebrations, where rolling objects down a hill was common.

    Publié le 30/03/2021
  • Rage rooms

    Rage rooms

    Mental health experts tend to recommend meditation, yoga or gentle exercise for mindfulness during the pandemic. But what if there is another solution? Rage Grounds, a company in Los Angeles, just created its own “rage rooms” – spaces that visitors can book to smash a series of random objects. The aim is to let off steam in a totally safe way: protective gear is provided, and participants can choose the objects they want to destroy. Could a healthy dose of anger also improve our mood?

    to tend to/avoir tendance à (généralement) – gentle/doux – mindfulness/pleine conscience (conscience vigilante de ses propres pensées, actions et motivations) - to book/réserver - to smash/fracasser, briser – random/aléatoire, ici divers - to let off steam/relâcher la pression – gear/équipement – healthy/sain – mood/humeur

    Publié le 1/03/2021

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