Au Courant Weekly: August 1, 2015

Aug 01, 2015

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The Simple Sophisticate, Episode #49



~Turkey and the United States have solidified a deal to establish an ISIS-Free zone in northern Syria along the Turkish border as reported by The Washington Post and The New York Times. The news broke late last week when the news of Turkey allowing the United States to use its airbase in Incirlik.

8/3/2015~Correction: Boston dropped out of the running for the 2024 Olympics. On Monday Boston, which had been believed to be the International Olympic Committee’s top choice for the 2024 Summer Olympics, removed its name from the potential host city list. This decision came in no small part due to the campaigning of the organization No Boston Olympics.  However, the 2022 Winter Olympics officially have a location. on Friday, the IOC selected, in a close vote of 44 -40 Beijing, China, over Almaty, Kazakshtan.

National: United States

Secretary of State John Kerry was back on Capitol Hill beginning on Tuesday to testify in front of the House (last week it was the Senate) Foreign Affairs Committee regarding the Iran deal. The U.S. Congress has until mid-September to vote on whether to accept the deal forged by Kerry and other officials with Iran regarding their use of nuclear energy. However, congress must not only have a majority, but a two-thirds majority to defeat a Presidential veto should those who disapprove of the deal wish to kill it (this was a process drafted, voted on and passed by Congress and signed by President Obama).

In Ohio on Wednesday, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, Ray Tensing was indicted on charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter for the death of Samuel DeBose on July 19. The charges were announced after the body-cam video of the officer contradicted his own statements of what happened during the incident in which DeBose was pulled over for a missing front license plate.


The first Republican debate of the 2016 Presidential election is slated for Thursday August 6th in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by Fox. What has been the contentious issue since the debate was announced is that only 10 candidates will be invited, and the criterion for determining the top 10 is based on the average of all national polls. Good news for the six that will be left out of the 9pm primetime debate, there will be a 5pm forum for the remaining to have a platform as well. As for who will be on the primetime stage, that has not yet been confirmed.


More trees on your street could lead to a younger you! According to a story shared in The Los Angeles Times earlier this week, a study reported in the Scientific Reports found that adding 10 trees to your street can have the same effect as earning $10,00o more or being seven years younger. Conducted in Toronto, Canada, with 30,000 participants and controlling for variables such as wealth and neighborhood, the findings remained the same.

Good news American eaters and drinkers! A recent study revealed that adults and children have reduced their caloric intake since peaking in 2003. While the study found that Americans have been increasing their calories and portion sizes since the 1970s, it seems that the many studies and findings on obesity and health have made an impact.


Next Thursday, August 6th will be Jon Stewart’s last episode of The Daily Show. After hosting the satirical news program for 16 years, he announced earlier this year that he was stepping down. With the final guests just announced yesterday, the show will be 50 minutes on Comedy Central to allow for “a few extra surprises”. South African Trevor Noah will replace Stewart at the desk of The Daily Show on September 28th.

The End of the Tour, an unauthorized bio-pic of author David Foster Wallace who committed suicide in 2008, is the focus of the film and uses his suicide as the opening scene to set the film. Revered for his writing prowess, Wallace wrote the novel Infinite Jest published in 1996 was cited by Time magazine as among the list of the top 100 novels written from 1923 to 2005. His unfinished novel Pale King which eventually was published in 2011 posthumously was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. The film stars Jason Segel (as Wallace) and Jesse Eisenberg as the novelist David Lipsky who when he met Wallace was a writer for The Rolling Stone, interviewing him for a story that would never be published. Based on Lipsky’s 2010 book Although of Course You End of Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallaceboth Segel and Eisenberg are receiving recognition for their roles. While it probably won’t bring the numbers in like Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation will this weekend, if you’re a fan of Wallace’s (I love this commencement speech) or a writer, you may enjoy it.

Women’s Issues

Rigorous exercise is the best defense against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as reported by the same gathering that met in Washington D.C. that we discussed in last week’s episode. How much exercise you may be wondering? Results were seen in participants that exercised three to four times a week between 45 minutes to one hour with the aim of working at between 70% and 80% of aerobic capacity. So make sure to guard your scheduled exercise routine; it is an absolute priority.

Bendite Event of the Week

Debuting in Bend at the TinPan theater (beginning yesterday) is the indie film that has been getting much buzz: Infinitely Polar Bear. Written and directed by Maya Forbes (China Forbes of Pink Martini acclaim’s sister), in which the film is partly based on her childhood and recollection of her father who is diagnosed with maniac depressive disorder (bi-polar). The film takes place in the 1970s in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and stars Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldano, both of which are wildly applauded for their performances. (6:30 on Saturday and 5:30 on Sunday)

French Word of the Week

Les ballerines

Bonjour, this is Géraldine from Comme une Franç I’m here to share the latest French Word of the Week: a simple very French word for your Simply Luxurious Life in France.

Les ballerines will save your feet in Paris. While you may think about bringing your favorite escarpins (stilettos), we say “escarpins”, to look glamourous in the city of light, you will regret it. Les escarpins are perfect for a night out. But les ballerines will be your best friends during the day.

Une ballerine, litterally a ballerina, is a flat shoe, that is very feminine and functional, and it will take you everywhere. The hallmark brand for ballerines is Repetto, the famous French brand, with dozens of colors and shapes.

They will pair perfectly your good old pair of jeans or your favorite dress. They weigh nothing and take no space in your suitcase. And they’ll add a classic French touch to your outfit, à la Brigitte Bardot.

Trust me, les ballerines will be your feet’s new best friends.

If you want to add more French in your Simply Luxurious Life, join me on Comme une Franç for weekly video tips to sound French, even to the French! And it’s free.

Thought to Ponder


~Questions about the podcast, the music or to view of list of all of the previous episodes, click here


~Au Courant Weekly: July 25, 2015


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4 thoughts on “Au Courant Weekly: August 1, 2015

  1. For those who are not familiar with heart rate zones I thought I’d mention when you’re in the 70-80% zone: You will be breathing very hard and able only to speak in short phrases. If you are running, this is the stage where you can no longer have a conversation, but still have not accumulated any lactic acid.

    It is hard to reach this zone by walking, but it may be possible if you use a racewalking technique.

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