(You can choose or or both)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Work ... Travail

Ahhh la motivation ! La veille de sa fête, la meilleure copine de Kalia est venu pour aider et faire un pyjama party. Alors il a fallu que tout soit nickel, Kalia a fait sa chambre à fond, mais vraiment à fond.
When motivation strikes! The day before her party, Kalia's best friend came over to help, and for the night. So Kalia took it upon herself to clean her bedroom completely, even the windows!

Elle m'a aidé avec les courses.
She came to the shops and helped me carry everything home.

Et puis on a fait des fondants au chocolat ensemble.
And in the evening we made chocolate 'fondants' together.

Monday, February 22, 2016


La seule dépense que j'ai eu pour finir était cette feutre pour faire le bout de la queue...
The only thing I bought was this heavy felt for the tail..

Et les ailettes/machins.
And for the spines/fins whatever they are.

Le résultat à la fin était assez impressionant, mais pas super pratique (pas possible de s'asseoir, ni de passe une porte, et si elle se retournait toutes les personnes au tour reçevait une aile dans la tronche), et puis très difficile à photographier. Pour finir elle ne l'aura gardé que 10 minutes en tout.

Qu'importe, mission accomplie quand même!

The final overall result was pretty cool, though not very practical (can't sit down, or go through any doorways, and if she turned round anyone within a 2 metre radius got clobbered), and incredibly difficult to photograph (matt black). And in the end, she only wore it for about 10 minutes.

But... mission accomplished anyway.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dragon tail ... Queue du dragon

La queue du dragon se présentait un peu plus compliqué. Au début je pensais utiliser les anneaux de la grille à gateau trouvé à la déchetterie, mais je n'arrivais pas à les séparer. Alors j'ai dû finir par faire mes propres anneaux avec des cintres.

The dragon tail was looking a bit complicated. I originally intended to use the rings from the cooling rack that I got from the tip, but I couldn't get them apart. So I ended up making my own rings from coat hangers.

Une fois les anneaux insérés dans la 'colonne vertebrale' il a fallu les stabiliser, avec un système de fils de jardin.
Once I'd inserted the rings into the 'backbone', I held them up with a kind of truss system, made with gardening twice and liberal amounts of hot glue.

Puis commencer à coller le tissu au tour, un cylindre à la fois (et oui, c'était début février et l'arbre de Noêl y était encore!).
Then started gluing on strips of material, one 'ring' at a time (and yes, it was February and that's a Christmas tree in the background).

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dragon wings ... Les ailes du dragon

Pour l'anniversaire de Kalia, elle voulait un déguisement de dragon. Celui-ci. Elle a même fait un plan très détaillé.

Ne trouvant rien sur internent qui convenait, j'ai dit que j'allais tenter un truc.
For Kalia's birthday, she wanted a dragon costume. This dragon. She even drew up detailed plans.

Given that there was nothing for her age readily available, I said I'd give it a go.

Où va-t-on pour l'inspiration quand on ne sait pas par où commencer? A la déchetterie (le tissu venait d'ailleurs).
First port of call for inspiration? The local tip (the black material came from elsewhere).

J'ai découpé les fils de l'étendoir, puis plié de façon judicieuse, et puis j'ai utilisé le pistolet à colle pour coller le tissu dessus. Le résultat en jète pas mal.

By cutting out the wires from the clothes stand, bending them, tying them together, then using a glue gun (sewing was going to take me forever) to stick the material on, I managed to come up with something that was pretty effective.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dressin' 'n messin' ... On rigole

Parce que.
Just because.

Joey Alexander

J'aimerais bien pouvoir jouer comme lui, dites-donc.
Wow, just wow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Future of journalism

I actually started writing this before the Indy got shut down, I've been thinking about it for a while. Not that I'm a journalist, of course, so this is mostly hot air (oh wait, maybe I am? :)).

It was in conversation with a friend before Christmas that I said "I think there will always be people who are ready to pay for quality writing". But having said that, I wondered if it was true. And even if it's true, will 'serious' journalism be a viable profession?

At the moment, the odds seem to be stacked up against:
- Computers can do quite a good job of 'churnalism': I read somewhere that Forbes company results articles are computer generated.
- People seem to be increasingly content with 'dross and inanity'. Partly because the advertisers have mastered the weaknesses of our psychology: notably our nosiness and curiosity.
- Even the 'best' are falling/failing: either the ones where the lights are going out (Indy), or the ones where the brains are falling out (Telegraph)

But there is an extra factor which has occurred to me more recently, which is that writers will write, whatever. I mean, I've been writing this blog 'for free' for 11+ years now. Not a great example, I admit, but think of iMonk: quality, almost daily, content for nothing. Difficult to make a living from writing if other people are doing it for free anyway.

So I'm not sure either way now. I had hopes for The Intercept, but it has got a bit too blindly  anti-Western for my liking. And there too, the 'business model' for the moment is "spend money given by very rich person". Welcome back to the age of Da Vinci etc., where artists were paid by rich benefactors to do their thing.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Chrysalis ... Chrysalide

Les chenilles se font une chrysalide un peu laid, puis quelques temps après ressortent en papillon merveilleux et presque irreconnaissable.

On pourrait y voir une analogie de l'adolescence.

C'est intéressant d'apprendre que l'intérieur de la chrysalide se transforme plus ou moins en bouillie.

On pourrait y voir une analogie du cerveau de l'adolescent :)
Caterpillars weave themselves a not-particularly-attractive cocoon, then pupate and afterwards emerges a beautiful butterfly.

This could be a sort-of analogy to adolescence I guess.

Interestingly, the insides of the pupa kind of turn to mush during the intervening period.

This could be an analogy for adolescent brains :)

Thursday, February 11, 2016


J'ai été surpris de découvrir que j'aimais bien la musique de Björk. Quelques décennies en retard. Bien sûr je savais qu'elle existait, mais je ne crois pas avoir entendu sa musique.

Jusqu'au mois de décembre où, suivant un filon du 'oueb', je tombe sur cette vidéo. Quelques temps après j'ai fini par acheter trois albums: Debut; Post et Verspertine Live.

Etonnement, sur 39 pistes, il y en a 30 qui valent la peine (d'après moi). Pas mal par rapport au premier album que j'ai acheté (Top Gun) où je n'aimais que la dernière piste (le thème Top Gun).

Pourquoi est-ce que j'aime? Je ne sais pas trop. En partie le mélange intéressante de styles et d'instruments (et non-instruments). Sa voix est un peu bizarre, mais aussi distinctive, puis il y a de l'émotion.

Intéressant à remarquer que:
- Je n'aurais jamais acheté si je n'avais pas pu découvrir gratuitement par YouTube
- Je n'aurais jamais acheté si je n'avais pas des opinions assez fortes sur l'éthique de reconnaitre le travail les musiciens qu'on apprécie.
- En Suisse, il est tout à fait légal de télécharger des mp3 sans les payer. Mais ça ne correspond pas à mon éducation (tu ne ripperas pas la K7 de ton voisin!)

"Who would have known?".

I'm kind of surprised to have discovered Björk (decades late), and that I really like her music. Of course I knew she existed, but I'm not aware of ever having heard her music.

Then, on a whim, or something else I can't remember before Christmas, I chanced on this video, and after a while, I ended up buying 3 albums: Debut; Post and Verspertine Live (this video).

Amazingly, out of 39 tracks, I'd say there are 30 which are 'keepers'. Pretty high ratio (if you think of the first album I ever bought: Top Gun, where basically there was just the title track!).

Now, why do I like it? Don't know really. Partly the quirky mixing and matching of 'instruments' and styles. Her voice is weird, but there is emotion in there.

Listening to interviews is funny because there is a mixture of rolled r's from Icelandic, and glottal stops which I guess were picked up in the UK (though apparently glottal stops exist in many languages).

Interesting to note that:
- I'd never have bought the albums if I hadn't discovered it first for free on YouTube.
- But I'd also not have bought if I didn't feel strongly about compensating the work and talents of musicians I appreciate.
- In Switzerland it is totally legal to download mp3s without paying. But it is rather against my upbringing (though shalt not copy thy neighbours cassettes).

Monday, February 08, 2016

Brexit, the movie

If you're so inclined, head over to Kickstarter...

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Jacob Collier

J'ai toujours rêvé de faire un truc comme ça.
I've always dreamed of doing something like this.