Archive for September 2012

Blancmange: ideal food for the sick (historically)

September 30, 2012

Blancmange, from French blanc-manger is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or Irish moss[1] (a source of carrageenan), and often flavored with almonds. It is usually set in a mould and served cold. Although traditionally white, blancmanges are frequently given a pink color as well. Some similar desserts are Bavarian cream, vanilla pudding (in US usage), panna cotta, and haupia.

The historical blancmange originated some time in the Middle Ages and usually consisted of capon or chicken, milk or almond milk, rice and sugar and was considered to be an ideal food for the sick. Tavuk, a Turkish dish still in use today, is made with shredded chicken, as was the medieval European dish.

(source: Wikipedia)

BLANCMANGE is also a pop-rock band that recorded “MANGE TOUT” in 1984.


french public phones regulation

September 30, 2012

each municipality must be equipped with a public telephone, and at least two public phones for cities of over 10,000 inhabitants.
Source Technicités, sept 2012

Walker’s mind mapping

September 29, 2012

the walker is engaged more directly with its environment as the motorist or even the bicycle rider. users constitute a reliable mental map of their environment only when they had the opportunity to wander off. mental maps produced by users of motorized modes are most often a city fragmented and disjointed, they find it difficult to pick up the pieces to build continuities that make sense.
Source Technicités sept 2012.

BIMBY in France: build in my backyard.

September 26, 2012

The large field owned by elders households could allow them to build a small house on one level most appropriate to their use and sell their big house to a young couple. “Of course, they sell cheaper (350,000 euros) and the construction of a small house (130 000 euros) would encumber the profit from the sale. But they would still be a small stipend. Current pressure on land created a favorable situation for trade needs housing and a check.

Source Internetactu:

GMO fed rats research at Caen university, fr: press manipulation & conflict of interest?

September 24, 2012

“French researchers, primarily at the University of Caen (…) managed to get a paper published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Their paper examined the long-term viability of rats fed a diet supplemented with either the herbicide Roundup or a crop engineered to tolerate high levels of Roundup. In their study, the researchers claim to have found that both the pesticide and the GMO crop reduced the lifespan of the rats and caused a high incidence of tumors.

(…) the researchers controlled access to their paper. Any journalist that wanted to receive an advance copy was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before receiving one. That agreement prohibited the outlet from sharing the results with any outside experts before the embargo lifted. In other words, if a press outlet wanted to be one of the first to cover the story, it would have to run the story without having any experts sanity check the paper.

The manipulation didn’t end there. The embargo lifted during a live press conference from the researchers, hosted in London in cooperation with the Sustainable Food Trust. The SFT conveniently had a press release prepared; a release claiming that the research was “supported by independent research organization, CRIIGEN.” However, this neglected to note that the paper’s lead author, Eric Seralini, is on the CRIIGEN board.”

From Ars technica:

electric car do not convince some potential buyers

September 24, 2012

“it is so suprising that an electric vehicle that costs 20% more than a compariable nonelectric and has a very short operating range, and a long refuel time, and expensive maintenance is not selling like gang busters worldwide. it is also suprising that everyone does not install windmills at their homes either.”

From a reader’s comment posted along a Scientific am. article:

Gardening on the roof

September 21, 2012

scientists (University of Berlin) analyzed the heavy metal contained in vegetables and herbs grown on the roofs and balconies of Berlin. due to environmental pollution, some samples were significantly more loaded with undesirable compounds, than those sold in supermarkets from the neighborhood.
Source: Que choisir, october 2012