Les insolites

  • Pepper, a 'culturally competent' robot

    Pepper, a 'culturally competent' robot

    Elderly residents residing in British care homes may soon welcome a new guest: Pepper, a ''culturally competent'' robot. The machine is programmed to learn about the residents' interests, initiate rudimentary conversations, play their favourite music, and to remind them when it's time to take their medicine. The UK has suffered from a shortage of care home employees for years. Most institutions are understaffed and, before coronavirus, the industry had at least 120,000 vacancies. While not meant to replace employees, the robot would however help to tackle an increasingly important issue: loneliness. By keeping the patient company when members of staff are not available, Pepper would improve the residents' wellbeing and increase their social interaction.

    elderly/âgé - care home/maison de retraite - guest/invité; ici, pensionnaire - to remind/rappeler - shortage/pénurie - understaffed/en sous-effectif - vacancy/poste vacant - to mean, meant, meant/ici, destiner à - to tackle/s'attaquer à, résoudre - issue/problème - staff/personnel - available/disponible - to improve/améliorer - wellbeing/bien-être

    Publié le 28/09/2020
  • A Trafalgar trifle?

    A Trafalgar trifle?

    Londoners passing Trafalgar Square may be baffled, as one of its pillars is now covered with a giant dollop of whipped cream, proudly topped with a cherry. The sculpture isn't edible, but rather the work of Heather Philipson, an English born visual artist, who gave it the title: The End. Too ominous for such a sweet treat? Not so much. Philipson worked on the piece right after Britain decided to leave the EU – marking the beginning of an age of instability. And what's more unstable than a tower of cream on a desert? The metaphor sums up Philipson's vision of art, a conflict she sums up as: “The world is a disturbing place, isn't it? But there's a lot of joy in there”.

    trifle/dessert à base de crème pâtissière, de fruits, de génoise, de jus de fruits ou de gélatine et de crème fouettée - to pass/traverser, passer devant - baffled/déconcerté, perplexe - dollop/bonne cuillerée (dose) - whipped cream/crème fouettée - proudly/fièrement - to be topped with/être surmonté de - cherry/cerise - edible/comestible - ominous/inquiétant, sinistre - sweet treat/petite douceur - to sum up/résumer; ici, capturer l'essence de - disturbing/troublant, déconcertant

    Publié le 31/08/2020
  • Glastonbury turns 50!

    Glastonbury turns 50!

    From June to August, the UK holds its traditional ''festival season'' with music events, large and small, held up and down the country. Glastonbury Festival, which turns 50 this year, is one of the most important of them all. Attended by 200,000 people, the five day event welcomes world famous artists (this year, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Paul McCartney would have headlined) and has allowed many bands to kickstart their career. Though the festival was cancelled this year, its anniversary was celebrated online, with an exhibition curated by London's V&A Museum and a pop up ''Glastonbury channel'' on the BBC – which broadcasted the festival's most iconic sets, such as: Adele, Oasis, Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish.

    to turn/fêter ses... ans - to hold, held, held/ici, organiser - up and down the country/aux quatre coins du pays - to headline/être la vedette de, être en tête d'affiche de - band/groupe (musique) - to kickstart/démarrer, lancer - exhibition/exposition - to curate/organiser, monter (exposition) - to broadcast, cast, castdiffuser, programmer - iconic/emblématique, célèbre

    Publié le 2/07/2020
  • Works of art

    Works of art

    A clever bookworm has transformed her favourite reads into works of art - by illustrating the pages. Marie Andrews, from Oxford, spent hours cutting and folding the pages of her favourite books to transform them into beautiful illustrations of their content. From The Wizard of Oz, which features a stunning silhouette of Dorothy and her friends, to a copy of the front page of To Kill A Mockingbird - the results are simply stunning.

    clever/intelligent, ingénieux - bookworm/rat de bibliothèque - work/ici, œuvre - to fold/plier - The Wizard of Oz/Le magicien d'Oz, conte populaire pour enfants (écrit en 1900) - to feature/comprendre, comporter - stunning/sublime - copy/exemplaire - front page/ici, couverture (d'un livre) - To Kill a Mockingbird/Ne tirez pas sur l'oiseau moqueur

    Publié le 26/05/2020
  • Heroes in Mexico

    Heroes in Mexico

    Throughout the world, those who depend on the entertainment industry to make ends meet are struggling as social distancing measures hamper or completely put an end to their activity. In Mexico, urban entertainment artists who develop their art in the historic center await the delivery of food support for the lack of employment due to COVID-19.

    entertainment industry/industrie du divertissement, du spectacle - to make, made, made ends meet/joindre les deux bouts - to struggle/être en difficulté - to hamper/entraver - to await/attendre - delivery/distribution - food support/aide alimentaire - lack/manque, absence

    Publié le 28/04/2020
  • 'Corona Antibody Pralines'

    'Corona Antibody Pralines'

    Torsten Roth, a master confectioner in Erfurt, central Germany, created 'Corona Antibody Pralines'. These colourful sweets consist of nougat and marzipan. He came up with these unusual pralines when the coronavirus pandemic put a damper on a trade fair he was attending.

    confectioner/confiseur - marzipan/pâte d’amandes - to come, came, come up with/imaginer, inventer - unusual/insolite - to put, put, put a damper on/gâcher; ici, mettre un terme à - trade fair/salon, foire commerciale - to attend/assister, participer à.

    Publié le 1/04/2020
  • Destination : l’espace

    Destination : l’espace

    SpaceX, the private spacecraft company founded by Elon Musk, has struck a deal with Space Adventures, a U.S. tourism firm that has helped organise trips to the International Space Station in the past, to begin offering tourist flights on its Dragon spacecraft. Up to four people will have the chance to break the world altitude record for private citizen spaceflight as early as next year. The cost of this once-in-a-lifetime experience has not yet been disclosed. The last individual orbital tourism flight was carried out by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte in 2009 and reportedly cost 30 million dollars

    spacecraft/vaisseau spatial - to found/fonder, créer - to strike, struck, struck a deal/conclure un accord - up to/jusqu’à - to disclose/révéler - to carry out/effectuer - reportedly/paraît-il (ici, aurait coûté)

    Publié le 28/02/2020
  • Space robot

    Space robot

    The Indian Space Research Organisation has unveiled a robot named Vyom Mitra that will travel to space as a part of a mission called Gaganyan. The half-humanoid robot, whose name translates as « space friend » will be able to communicate with astronauts, recognise them, and also respond to their queries. While she doesn’t have legs and can only move sideward and forward, she can detect and give out warnings if environmental changes within the cabin get uncomfortable for astronauts.

    Indian Space Research Organisation/Organisation indienne de recherche spatiale - to unveil/dévoiler, présenter - to translate (as)/(se) traduire (par) - query/question, demande - sideward/de côté - forward/vers l’avant - warning/avertissement (ici, give out warnings.../avertir, sonner l’alarme...) - within/dans, au sein de - uncomfortable/peu confortable, gênant

    Publié le 3/02/2020
  • The sardine ball

    The sardine ball

    In the Philippines, sardines have a hypnotic way of avoiding predators : they move in a single undulating disco ball-like formation that twists, turns, shrinks, expands, and wraps itself around any object that gets in its way.

    to avoid/ici, échapper à - to twist/(se) tordre - to shrink, shrank, shrunk/(se) rétrécir - to wrap itself around sth/s’enrouler autour de

    Publié le 6/01/2020
  • Shakespeare and Company

    Shakespeare and Company

    The famous English-language bookshop located in the heart of Paris, is celebrating its centenary. American bookseller Sylvia Beach first opened it on rue de l’Odéon where it attracted the great literary expats of the time, such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald. It closed in 1941 during WWII. A decade later, another American, George Whitman opened a bookstore on Rue de la Bûcherie. Initially called Le Mistral, Whitman changed it to Shakespeare and Company in 1964, on the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth—in honour of Sylvia Beach, the founder of the original Shakespeare and Company in 1919.

    famous/célèbre - to be located/être situé - time/ici, époque - WWII/World War II (Seconde Guerre mondiale) - decade/décennie - founder/fondateur, créateur

    Publié le 6/12/2019

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