Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Anniversary of a landmark charter

On 10 December 1948, a few years after the end of an atrocious global war, the 58 member nations of the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The charter was signed in Paris, in the Chaillot Palace.

[Click the photo to see a presentation of the French-language declaration.]

The excellent French weekly magazine L'Express has decided to celebrate this anniversary with an elegant presentation of the French-language text of the declaration accompanied by portraits of sporting heroes. These splendid black-and-white photos were taken by Jacqueline Roche, and published by Editions L'Inévitable in an album entitled Humains doués de conscience [Humans Endowed with Conscience].

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Virtual regatta news

The latest count in the Vendée Globe virtual regatta is over 184,000 participants. So, it's a huge success... and the impressive software seems to be working faultlessly. At the present moment, as we start to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, my son and I are respectively among the top 9,000 and the top 4,000 virtual vessels.

[Click the graphic to visit the website and launch your yacht.]

My son's yacht is named Kerouziel, and mine is Gamone.

There has been TV coverage of this game, which has become a significant social phénomenon in France. Office workers are organizing sweepstakes among their colleagues, with monetary prizes for the participant who reaches such-and-such a spot on the globe in first position. The set of wind data is updated twice a day, at 11 o'clock in the morning and 11 o'clock of an evening. A woman has sent a letter of complaint to the organizers of the virtual regatta saying that her love life is suffering, because her husband won't crawl into bed with her until he has examined the late evening wind data and set his night-time bearing accordingly.