Au Courant Weekly: August 15, 2015

Aug 15, 2015

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The Simple Sophisticate, episode #53


On Monday, residents of an east London neighborhood were alerted to a bomb in the vicinity – a German bomb from WWII that is. At a nearby construction site, a large undetonated bomb was discovered Monday afternoon resulting in a temporary evacuation. During the Blitz, Germans dropped more than 30,000 bombs on London in three short, yet unsettling, angst-ridden months. On Tuesday, the 500 pound aerial bomb was defused and residents were allowed to returned home.

National: United States

The 39th United States President, Jimmy Carter, announced earlier this week that he has cancer which has spread and will be adjusting his schedule accordingly. Carter, the longest living former President in history, now at the age of 90 is quite active. While there is a history of pancreatic cancer in his family, it is not clear what type of cancer Carter has.

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Frank Gifford, and husband of Today Show host Kathie Lee Gifford died suddenly on Sunday morning of natural causes at the age of 84 in Connecticut. Married for nearly 29 years to Kathie Lee, he played his entire NFL career with the New York Giants and upon retiring joined the Monday Night Football program in its second season in 1971. He remained a host of the program until 1998. He is survived by his wife, their two children Cody and Cassidy and three children from his first marriage Jeff, Kyle and Victoria.


Democratic Presidential nominee Bernie Sanders made stops on the west coast this past weekend, and while due to protestors of the Hands Up United movement in Seattle he chose to not speak, he attracted nearly 19,000 and then 27,000 in Portland and Los Angeles respectively. The Vermont Senator repeatedly called for a “grass-roots political organization” discussing issues with the crowds such as universal health care, legal rights for undocumented immigrants, and higher minimum wages.

On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton volunteered her personal server, without subpoena to the FBI. The FBI is determining whether emails may have been backed up on another machine as the state department investigates whether classified information was handled on her personal server. The investigation is not criminal, but rather to determine whether classified information was exposed due to the use of her personal server. Bloomberg News reported on Friday that by obtaining the server the government will be able to learn whether or not “private communications thought to be deleted and evidence as to whether the device was hacked . . . or it could turn up nothing.”

On Monday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a 10 year plan to make higher education more affordable. In Exeter, New Hampshire, Clinton’s $350 billion plan to curb student loan debt and the rising cost of college would include “about $175 billion in grants going to states that guarantee that students would not have to take out loans to cover tuition at four-year public colleges and universities.”


Repetitive negative thinking can have damaging health effects. The Wall Street Journal reported that professors from the University of Oxford and the University of Exeter found that people who “worry uncontrollably or ruminate may practice an important mechanism underpinning psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse, and may even make them worse.” Solutions? Mindfulness, “in which people learn to observe but not judge or evaluate themselves”, and problem-solving rather than dwelling on the problem.


Pablo Picasso’s painting “Head of a Young Woman” will be remaining in Spain even though Jaime Botín, the owner of the painting, may have had other plans. Flying to the French island of Corsica earlier this month, a team of Spanish experts retrieved the painting believed to be worth €25 million and will be returning it to Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum. The action is a result of a ruling by a Spanish national court that the painting was a national treasure and must remain in the country.

People, Places, Things. The only downside of the lifestyle comedy starring New Zealand comedian Jemaine Clement is that it is in limited release beginning this weekend. As an official selection of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Clement stars as a graphic artist and professor living in NYC. The conflict? The mother of his young twin daughters, his long-time girlfriend, is sleeping with his good friend Gary, which is when his life begins an understandable tailspin. As he navigates single fatherhood, balances work and time with his girls, the comedy and quandaries ensue. Have a look at the trailer below.

Mistress America opens today in limited release as well. Learn more in yesterday’s This & That.

Bendite Event of the Week

The Bend Brewfest kicked off on Thursday August 13th and runs through this weekend. Located at the Les Schwab Amphitheater, and while you are certainly welcome to enjoy for free, if you’d like to taste, a mug will cost you $15 which also comes with 5 tasting tokens. If you’d like more tasting tokens, they are $1 each for a four ounce pour. Note, pets are not allowed and you may not bring last year’s mug. Gates open at noon on each day of the festivities and run until 11pm on Saturday and 8pm on Sunday.

French Word of the Week

Café gourmand

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.

Ah le café gourmand, this wonderful invention when you’re not hungry enough for dessert but definitely want to end a meal on a sweet note

Gourmand is a cute adjective that means fond of food.

Un café gourmand is a dessert that’s made of “un café” and tiny “pâtisseries” on the side. We call them “mignardises” because they’re small and cute, or in French “mignon”.

Le café gourmand is delicious. And it’s a great way to try different specialties at once. Perfect for “le goûter”: the 4PM French snack.

Between you and me, it’s also a source of joke as it contains as many calories and sugar as a proper dessert, but you always choose it to have “bonne conscience” : a clear conscience.

You will love le café gourmand, I can guarantee it. If you’re lucky, your café gourmand will include un macaron !

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



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