Creuset of Ideas
A collection of various ideas

Archives of 2007-05


The Danish Language Needs Your Help

2007-05-31 @ 14:44

Via 3quarksdaily


spc: Main concourse

2007-05-28 @ 16:00

A second self-portrait in NYC, this time inside the main concourse of Grand Central Station.

We did a lot of walking that day, and took a lot of pictures. I’ll try and post some, as well as my impressions in the coming days.


Grand Central Station

2007-05-25 @ 13:42


SPC: Struttin’

2007-05-25 @ 12:26

Got to New York (for the first time in my life) last Saturday Night, only to learn that we would be staying in the Brooklyn neighborhood were they filmed, 30 years earlier, Saturday Night Fever. I just had to do it: go strutting on 86th

strutting on 86th
(The SPC theme this month is On the Street)



2007-05-15 @ 19:55

A few years (actually, a few lustra) back, a fellow student, who happened to be researching native Quebec languages, was commenting how we Quebecois tend to define ourselves negatively. Not in a sense that we have a bad image of ourselves, but that our identity is made up of nots: we’re not Anglos, we’re not Americans, not Canadians, not Frenchmen, not Natives. Although I think we do have a “positive” identity, there seems to be a once of truth to his statement.

I’ve got this coworker who recently moved from Kitchener, Ontario (which we call, around here, moving up); she’s having a hard time seeing that Quebecois are not like Ontarians. In her mind, we’re all the same: we want to be happy, have a family, a good job, etc. She was quite surprised when I explained how Isabelle, when she went to live in Saskatchewan, had a bigger cultural shock than when she lived in Cameroon. She’s also surprised that a lot of people here can often tell a Frenchy from an Anglo a mile away. I work for a company owned by an Ontario one, and we often have to explain to them that what works there (especially in marketing), doesn’t necessarily work here, which any country-wide ad agency will tell you.

Then it hit me: it has to do with how we construct our identity. I may be wrong, but I get the distinct impression that Ontarians (and maybe other Canadians) tend to see the similarities first and foremost, at least within Canada. Whereas we here tend to focus on the differences; the similarities are not important: in our mind, it’s what makes us different that counts (again, at least between Anglos and Frenchies).



2007-05-7 @ 11:03

The observers hunch has brought this hilarious Bill Maher commentary about American republicans’ favourite passtime: France-bashing. A must see.


spc: 1984

2007-05-1 @ 7:44

This month’s Self Portrait Challenge theme is On the street. So here goes:

Surveillance picture

Surveillance cameras are everywhere (there’s supposedly 32 CCTV cameras around Orwell’s old London home); I don’t doubt their usefullness in curbing criminality (actually, displacing it and modifying its type), and in criminal investigation (then again, martial law will get those crime numbers down). What I find interesting is people’s reaction, especially the good ol’ “If you don’t do anything wrong, you don’t have to worry about it.”

This always prompts the following responses in me:

  1. we all do things that are not too kosher, or that we’re not proud of;
  2. it’s not so much what you think is wrong that matters, but what any of the people who have access to the footage thinks (just think of demonstrators against government policies);
  3. stop thinking only about yourself.

Anyway, that’s my rant for today.