Watching a small online condensate of worldwide TV programs, I stumbled upon a bit of French national news wherein a journalist comments, in French, over footage of flooded NOLA streets.

At one point, the camera stops on a man laying on the ground, zooms in, and we can hear the following voice-over:

Voiceover: “… Un homme a terre, qui dans un souffle parvient à peine à dire à une équipe de reporters…” [“… a man on the ground, barely manages to tell a team of reporters…”]
Offscreen (in English): “Are you alright?”
Man on the ground (in English): “I got a kidney stone…”
Voiceover (allegedly translating from English): “… qu’il est affamé.” [“… that he is starving.”]

Yea… Next time I see somebody with a kidney stone, I’ll just cook them some food, ’cause they must be hungry…

Could they actually hand their reporters a dictionary before they send them abroad?

Dans le “Zapping” d’aujourd’hui: un extrait du Journal Télévisé de France 2 (édition de 20h du Samedi 3 septembre, environ à 13 minutes 25 s.).

On y voit des scènes filmées en Louisiane, après passage de Katrina. Commentaire-bateau sur fond porno-médiatique standard… Puis, la caméra s’arrête et zoom sur un homme au sol, visiblement pas en bonne santé, alors que la voix hors-écran continue:

Voix hors écran: “… Un homme a terre, qui dans un souffle parvient à peine à dire à une équipe de reporters…”
Voix interviewer hors écran: “Are you alright?”
Homme au sol: “I got a kidney stone…”
Voix hors écran: “… qu’il est affamé.”

Est-ce que quelqu’un peut offrir un dictionnaire Anglais-Français aux journalistes de France 2 avant de les envoyer à l’étranger la prochaine fois?

A défaut, s’ils cherchent d’autres volontaires pour scénariser les dialogues de leurs prochains reportages: j’ai plein de supers idées originales…

You are stuck in Japan, it’s oppressively hot and you don’t have a yen to your name. You decide to do the obvious and rob a cab.

Sure why not: the rich bastards must be carrying like a million yen on them at all times. Sounds like an easy one, right? Right?

Well, no.

You see, the incidence rate of mad bank robbing ending in wild taxicab chase and hostage situations through the streets of Tokyo is so high (Bogota of the East, that we call it) that officials have had to come up with a solution. Unbeknownst to you, from the moment you hopped on the cab with your gun, the taxi driver has been pressing a secret button on his dashboard that turns on an emergency distress signal light on top of the car, thus warning any law enforcement agent in the vicinity that something fishy is afloat.

In your face, evil taxicab robbers!

Well, that is, unless you actually take the time to poke your head out the window, spot the blinking red light, shoot the driver and escape.

But taxis are not the only ones that have received special care regarding the endemic hijacking problem in Japan: all public buses are also equipped with such a special emergency light that can be turned on in case a crazy lunatic would suddenly decide to re-enact the best moments of Su-ppee-do, the movie. I feel so much safer already.

Why do I have the feeling some lawmakers in Japan watch too much TV?

My friend and former neighbour/roommate Tracey forwarded me this:

Widow, 84, a prisoner in her own apartment Police allege 6 gang members dealt drugs from her S.F. home, even ate her senior meals.
SF Chronicle, May 24, 2005

We used to live in that building, two floors above (it was only four stories high). Yep, neighbours were always a bit weird…

Ah, joys of Mission street…

Nevermind that he wrote the all-american novel and was the icon of a generation…

One, and only one thing makes F. Scott Fitzgerald the coolest writer there ever was:

He married a girl named Zelda.

If anybody reading this was legally given the name Zelda at birth, please contact me: I think I may have to marry you right now.

Gen, who works for Technorati Japan just kindly informed me that this blog sits at #37 on the Japan Top 100… Wow…
(it might not last, as understandably, there seems to be some discussion as to whether this blog really belongs in the Japanese billboard)

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Just a quick word to thank all my friends, fans, ennemies and indifferent readers, for their warm support and inform everybody that I did survive.
Everything went mostly as expected. I’m covered head to toe in gauze and been told everything underneath works as well, if not better, than before. Yes, everything: You haven’t enjoyed life to the fullest until you experience the ability to throw peanuts in your mouth without using your hands.

Nevertheless, there are still a couple old entries pre-logged for the next few days, and I plan on letting them be, the way they would have, had I been strong enough to stay away from the net one more week (but I felt like I had to post a little update anyway). While you enjoy all the canned wisdom I was able to pack in one go at the end of last week, I’ll be enjoying a peaceful recovery, speeding away on my magic morphine-propelled cotton cloud.

I’ll be back for real, soon.

Hug’n’kisses everybody…

Yesterday, a session of the French senate was interrupted when a young man suddenly jumped from the public balconies, onto the actual senate floor, wearing but a thong, adorned with the colors of the French flag.

This [somewhat prudish] streaker managed to briefly voice his position on an upcoming national referendum, before being manhandled to the door. For added visibility, said position (a very unequivocal “NON” to the adoption of a European-wide constitution) was written all over his body, including his bare buttocks.

The man got out with only a few bruises (it’s a good 10 feet drop), a stern warning from the authorities and a newfound popularity on the evening-show circuit. Quite a good deal, if you consider how many bullets the coroner would currently be extracting from his corpse, had he tried a similar trick in the US.

Laurent, tu sais ce qu’il te reste à faire

The definition of cruel is when your friends, over at your house for some lo-key, yet highly inebriated, bbq dinner, drunkenly (and unwittingly) opened that one very special bottle of Piper Heidsieck Special Millesime.

No. Hold on. Cruel is when it turns out they drank but a glass and left a full uncorked bottle sitting there for you to mourn in the morning.

Inhumanly cruel, is when all this takes place in the middle of your shot at reaching ascetic enlightenment, and subsequent self-imposed ban on all forms of alcohol consumption.

If I end up not drinking off that bottle today, I will personally write in a demand for a medal from the British National Temperance League.