Les insolites

  • Life on mars?

    Life on mars?

    NASA has developed a new strategy for warming Mars up, so people could feasibly survive there. According to James Green, Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, scientists are looking at using a giant magnet to transform the planet’s atmosphere into one that would be safe for humans. It would create an artificial magnetosphere that would then protect the planet from the sun’s harmful radiation. Mars was stripped of its atmosphere by solar radiation around three billion years ago, turning it into a desert landscape.

    to warm up/réchauffer (l’atmosphère de) – magnet/aimant – harmful/nocif – radiation/rayonnement - to strip/ici, priver – landscape/paysage

    Publié le 22/03/2017
  • Mystery solved

    Mystery solved

    For decades, seemingly healthy children in the Bihar region of northern India had been suffering sudden seizures and loss of consciousness, always during the scorchingly hot summer months of May and June, before the arrival of the annual monsoon rains in July. Almost half of the affected children died, baffling doctors. Research published last month has finally claimed to have solved the mystery, suggesting the children were not ill, but had been poisoned by eating too many lychees on an empty stomach.

    to solve/résoudre – decade/décennie – seemingly/en apparence – healthy/en bonne santé - to suffer/souffrir-être victime de – seizure/crise, convulsion – loss/perte – consciousness/conscience; ici, connaissance – scorching/torride, caniculaire – almost/presque, quasi - to baffle/déconcerter - to claim/affirmer - to poison/empoisonner – empty/vide

    Publié le 23/02/2017
  • Who’s laughing now?

    Who’s laughing now?

    A London based artist has sculpted a reputation for upsetting almost everyone he carves into clay. Wilfrid Wood, 48, originally from Wadhurst in Sussex, hilariously brings out the often hidden emotion in the faces of the rich and famous. Not afraid to offend his models whether they be friends or celebrities, Wilfrid describes his work as witty interpretations of people and never attempts an accurate replica.

    to laugh/rire - to sculpt/ici, se faire - to upset, upset, upset/contrarier, vexer - to carve/sculpter – clay/argile – hilarious/hilarant, humoristique - to bring, brought, brought out/dégager, faire ressortir - to hide, hid, hidden/cacher, dissimuler - to be afraid/craindre - to offend/offenser, offusquer – whether/ici, que (ici, whether they be [...]/qu'ils soient [...]) – witty/humoristique - to attempt/tenter, entreprendre – accurate/précis, exact, juste; ici, parfaitement réaliste

    Publié le 23/02/2017
  • Delays

    Delays

    Delays caused by overcrowding on London Underground have soared in the last five years, new figures show. Passengers wasted almost 400,000 hours because of delays to their journeys in the last 12 months because of overcrowding. Information obtained by Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon revealed the amount of time passengers spent battling through crowds at Tube stations and onto trains, including queues at the barriers.

    delay/retard – overcrowding/affluence, nombre trop important de voyageurs (crowd/foule) - (the) Underground/métro londonien - to soar/augmenter (fortement) – figure/chiffre – passenger/passager - to waste/ici, perdre (aussi, gaspiller) – journey/trajet, déplacement - amount of time/temps (amount/quantité) - to spend, spent, spent/passer (temps) - (the) Tube/métro londonien

    Publié le 23/02/2017
  • Gold!

    Gold!

    People usually associate purple with the late Prince, but it seems that gold might have been more accurate. The musician had a plethora of gold bars in his possession and was a prolific real estate investor, according to a file released last month by Carver County District Court, reported on by the Star Tribune. When Prince died last year, he was the owner of an estimated $25.4 million worth of real estate (and other personal property) and 67 10-ounce gold bars, according to estate documents. The bars have been estimated to be worth a combined $836,166.70, as gold is currently going for $1,180 an ounce. And that’s just a small part of what the legendary “When Doves Cry” singer left behind. The Bremer Trust, the special administrator going through Prince’s estate, still hasn’t determined the full value of Prince’s assets. Assets that include the iconic “Purple Rain” and “Graffiti Bridge” motorcycles as well as unreleased recordings and videos, musical instruments, jewelry and household furnishings. Not to mention the value of Prince’s trademarks and copyrights, which is also unknown at this time.

    Publié le 30/01/2017
  • No throwing

    No throwing

    A university has reportedly banned the tradition of throwing mortarboards into the air after graduation on health and safety grounds. The University of East Anglia said the decision was taken after a number of graduates were injured by falling hats, including one who was taken to A&E after being cut on their face, according to a statement published by student newspaper The Tab. Instead, students have been advised mortarboards could be added digitally to photographs after the event - for a charge of £8. Law students at the university were sent instructions suggesting they could "mime" the throwing action. Penguin Photography told them: "As well as being safer, this will have the added advantage that even more of the students' faces will be seen in this photograph."

    Publié le 3/06/2016
  • Post it online

    Post it online

    William Smith has been eating oatmeal every morning of his life, so when the 80-year-old Massachusetts man saw a Quaker Oats "best recipe" contest, he was quick to mail in his favorite: oats topped with brown sugar, pineapple and coconut flakes. But Smith's "Hawaiian Special" recipe, which he wrote by hand on a piece of paper, was rejected and returned to him a few days later -- with a letter accompanying it. "Please be advised that your letter, with attachment, does not constitute a valid entry into the Contest in accordance with the Official Rules available at www.bringyourbestbowl.com," wrote a representative for PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats Company. Pepsico used snail mail to reject Smith's entry, possibly because there was no other way to inform him the contest required digital submissions. "The submissions are accepted through either the contest application on Quaker's website, select retailer websites, Twitter, or Facebook during the submission period," the letter read. Smith, who doesn't own a computer, called the letter "discouraging" and a form of age discrimination.

    Publié le 3/06/2016
  • A fake grave

    A fake grave

    In the UK, a mock graveyard could be created in an attempt to stop visitors taking ghoulish pictures in a burial ground at a seaside town. St Mary's graveyard, near Whitby Abbey, has become popular with visitors to the Yorkshire town's annual goth weekend. It has prompted concerns the burial ground is not being treated respectfully. Organisers of the Bram Stoker Film Festival have come up with the idea to create a "movie set" graveyard. Whitby was Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula, and the town's goth weekends attract thousands every year.

    fake/factice, faux - grave/tombe - mock/faux - in an attempt to.../pour tenter de - ghoulish/morbide, macabre - burial ground/cimetière - seaside/(en) bord de mer - goth/gothique - to prompt/déclencher, susciter - concern/inquiétude, préoccupation - to come, came, come up with an idea/avoir une idée - set/décor

    Publié le 3/06/2016
  • "Sarcastically slapped"

    The Northern Echo, a regional daily morning newspaper, based in the town of Darlington in North East England, reports a man who "sarcastically slapped" a police officer was sentenced to 60 hours' unpaid work. Northallerton Magistrates Court heard Jack Beattie, of Crescent Road, Middlesbrough, struggled to get out of the passenger seat of a car found in a ditch at Sheepwash, on the North York Moors, near Osmotherley,in March. Michael Hammond, prosecuting, said North Yorkshire Police officers PC Mark Thompson and PC Mark Waller had found the 23-year-old in the car with two friends after binge drinking. When Beattie left the car, he stumbled and slapped a police officer on the back several times, punched one on the chest before becoming embroiled in a brawl that saw him on top of an officer on the ground, leading to the officer suffering cuts and bruises. Beattie thrashed around on the ground and attempted to persuade a friend to smash the windows of the nearby police car before he was subdued. Magistrate Ron Stead told Beattie he would also be subject to a 12-month community order.

    to slap/gifler - police officer/policier - to sentence/condamner - Magistrates Court/tribunal de première instance - to struggle/éprouver des difficultés, avoir du mal - passenger seat/siège passager – ditch/fossé - North York Moors/parc national anglais situé dans le comté du Yorkshire du Nord (moor/lande) - to prosecute/instruire (procès) - PC = police constable/agent de police - binge drinking/beuverie - to stumble/trébucher - to punch/frapper (à coups de poing) – chest/poitrine, torse - to embroil/mêler, impliquer – brawl/bagarre – cut/coupure – bruise/contusion - to thrash around/se débattre - to smash/briser - to subdue/ici, maîtriser - to be subject to/être passible de

    Publié le 20/04/2016
  • Unexpected pregnancy

    Unexpected pregnancy

    Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, have welcomed a surprise new wallaby more than a year after the only male of the species was moved away. Mica, an endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby, was due for a well-earned rest after giving birth to a joey in March last year and carrying it her pouch for more than six months. However, when staff were caring for Mica, who is almost six, and her youngster in recent months they noticed there was more movement in her pouch. Recently, the surprise (but welcome) addition made its first appearance, poking its head out of Mica's pouch and appearing to smile happily in the sunlight. It is in great health and appears to be around six months old, meaning it will soon venture out of the pouch and allow staff to discover its gender. Keepers believe Mica mated with the only male wallaby, Sam, shortly after she gave birth to her first joey in around March last year. She then stored the fertilized embryo away while she raised her existing joey, in a phenomena known as embryonic diapause.

    unexpected/inattendu – pregnancy/grossesse – wallaby/wallaby (kangourou de petite taille) - species (inv.)/espèce – endangered/menacé (de disparition) - brush-tailed rock wallaby/Petrogale penicillata (brush-tailed/à la queue en brosse) - well-earned/bien mérité – rest/repos – joey/bébé kangourou – pouch/poche – youngster/ici, petit – addition/ici, nouveau-venu - to poke one's head out of sth/glisser sa tête hors de qqch - to venture/s’aventurer – keeper/gardien - to mate/s’accoupler - to store away/stocker

    Publié le 20/04/2016

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