Les insolites

  • 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
  • Boris Johnson mène une étonnante campagne

    Boris Johnson mène une étonnante campagne

    If you live in the UK, you may just bump into the Prime Minister one of these days. Boris Johnson is on the campaign trail. From sipping tea with Tetley’s workers to making clay figures in a school arts class, the Conservative leader is pulling out all the stops to ensure this general election on the 12th of December gives the Tories the majority they need to carry out Brexit as they see fit.

    Publié le 12/11/2019
  • Area 51

    Area 51

    Inspired by a podcast, Matty Roberts, a student from California, created a joke event on Facebook called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.” Area 51 is a highly classified United States Air Force facility, which has long been rumoured to house secrets about extra-terrestrial life. The plan was for people to meet in the early morning of the 20th of September in Rachel, Nevada – the closest town to Area 51 - and swarm the defences to see if the government was indeed hiding aliens. The event soon listed millions of potential attendees, before splintering into several other events. In the end, about 3,000 people turned up to the gathering for fun and most of them did not try to storm the gates of the secretive army base.

    joke/blague ; ici, faux - Area 51/Zone 51 - highly classified/classé ultra secret - facility/complexe, base - rumoured/selon les rumeurs - to house/abriter - to swarm the defences/prendre d'assaut - to hide, hid, hidden/cacher - to list/ici, enregistrer, afficher - attendee/participant (to attend/assister à) - to splinter/se diviser, se scinder - to turn up/ici, venir - gathering/rassemblement - for fun/pour rigoler - to storm/prendre d'assaut - gate/grille, barrière - secretive/secret, mystérieux

    Publié le 30/09/2019
  • La pyramide ratée de Snéfrou

    La pyramide ratée de Snéfrou

    King Sneferu’s “bent” pyramid, in Egypt, is now open to the public. The 101-metre structure, located in the Dahshur royal necropolis, south of Cairo, was built for the pharaoh 4,600 years ago. With its very unusual shape, it marks a key step in Egyptian architecture: its first 49m are built at a steep 54-degree angle before tapering off towards the top. Architects are believed to have changed the angle of the pyramid when cracks started appearing in the structure.

    Bent Pyramid/Pyramide rhomboïdale - Dahshur/Dahchour - Cairo/le Caire - pharaoh/pharaon - unusual/inhabituel, insolite - shape/forme - step/étape, ici progrès - steep/(très) élevé - to taper off/diminuer progressivement - top/sommet - to be believed to/dont on pense que - crack/fissure

    Publié le 2/09/2019
  • Nouveaux bureaux de vote

    Nouveaux bureaux de vote

    At the next general election, due to take place in November 2020, voters in New Zealand will be able to choose their new prime minister at the supermarket! The new legislation, which will also allow same-day registration and voting, was announced by Jacinda Ardern’s government in order to make voting easier in the country. “It's important that ballot boxes are placed where people are going about their normal business,” New Zealand Justice Minister, Andrew Little, said.

    to be due to/devoir, être censé - to take, took, taken place/avoir lieu - to allow/permettre - registration/inscription (sur les listes électorales) - in order to/afin de - ballot box/urne - to go, went, gone about/ici, vaquer (à) - normal business/ici, activité quotidienne

    Publié le 9/07/2019
  • Chauffeur silencieux

    'Chauffeur silencieux'

    In the U.S., Uber has launched a new preference in the app that allows customers to specify what level of conversation they would like to have during their ride. They can choose between the "quiet preferred", "happy to chat" and "no preference" modes, and the driver is notified before picking them up. This is one of the new features recently unveiled by the ride-sharing company to ensure a "consistent and high-quality experience" for their premium customers.

    Publié le 7/06/2019
  • Plutôt chien ou chat ?

    Plutôt chien ou chat ?

    According to a survey run by social research organisation NORC at the University of Chicago, dog owners are happier than cat owners. 36% of dog owners report being "very happy" compared to just 18% of cat owners. The survey also revealed that dog owners are more likely to be married and own homes than cat owners. This survey confirms a previous study, led in 2016, which had found that dog owners scored higher on all aspects of wellbeing compared to those with cats.

    according to/selon - survey/étude, enquête - to run, ran, run/ici, mener - owner/propriétaire - to report/déclarer - to be likely to/être susceptible de - previous/précédent - to lead, led, led/mener - to score/obtenir des résultats - wellbeing/bien-être

    Publié le 29/04/2019
  • Nouvelle vie

    Nouvelle vie

    Richard Hochfeld, a major British fruit supplier based in Kent, and Foxhole Spirits, a craft spirits producer, have teamed up to create the first gin made from grapes in the UK. By doing so, they hope to help prevent surplus supermarket grapes from going to waste. Richard Hochfeld loses the equivalent of 1.4m punnets of grapes every year, because they are damaged or fail to meet supermarket specifications. The new gin has just hit Tesco’s shelves. Tesco is one of the supermarkets and manufacturers who have signed up to efforts to drive down the UK’s annual £20bn food waste bill.

    supplier/ici, fournisseur et importateur - spirits/spiritueux, alcools - craft/artisanal - to team up/s'associer - to prevent/empêcher, éviter - to go, went, gone to waste/être gaspillé, perdu - punnet/barquette - damaged/abîmé - to hit, hit, hit/ici, arriver dans - shelf (plur. shelves)/étagère, rayon - manufacturer/industriel, producteur - to sign up to efforts to.../s'engager à, prendre de mesures pour... - to drive, drove, driven down/faire baisser - bn= billion milliard - bill/facture ici, coût

    Publié le 1/04/2019
  • Appartement magique

    Appartement magique

    If you’ve always dreamt of going to Hogwarts, rejoice, your time has come! An ad for a luxury flat, located in the real-life school where the Harry Potter films were shot, was recently posted on a real estate website. Royal Connaught Park in Bushey, Hertfordshire, is a Grade II-listed, Victorian Gothic building, which doubled as Hogwarts when its 1,400 square feet dining hall was used as the Great Hall in the first three Harry Potter films. The building has since been transformed into flats. You can now rent this modern two-bedroom apartment for £2,200 per calendar month.

    Hogwarts/(V.F.) Poudlard - to rejoice/se réjouir - ad = advertisement/publicité - to shoot, shot, shot/ici, filmer, tourner - real estate/immobilier - Grade II-listed/de Grade II (selon la classification des monuments historiques de l’Angleterre et du Pays de Galles) - to double/être aussi, être également ; ici, servir aussi de décor - square foot (pl. feet)/pied carré (0,09 mètre carré)

    Publié le 28/02/2019

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