Au Courant Weekly: August 22, 2015

Aug 22, 2015

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The Simple Sophisticate, episode #55


Terror on a train to Paris thwarted by two brave Americans. Friday evening on a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, two Americans subdued a heavily armed gunman who wounded several passengers before being subdued. One of the Americans was a member of the American military and no confirmation as of Friday if the second hero was as well. Police investigating the scene are quoted in French news media saying “the Americans heard the suspect loading a weapon in one of the toilets and confronted him as he exited.” Passengers interviewed shared that the attack lasted approximately two minutes, and they heard two shots were fired before the gunman was contained.

Bombing in Bangkok, Thailand is believed to involve 10 people. On Monday evening near the Erawan Shrine, an unidentified man, who is believed to be the bomber, killed 22 and injured 120. Believed to have been the work of a pipe bomb left under a bench, the shrine is a huge tourist-draw. Among those killed, “at least seven people from other Asian countries were reported to be among the dead as well as one Briton.” Thai authorities do not believe the attack is linked to to international terrorist groups, although nobody has claimed responsibility as of Friday.

National: United States

Wildfires in the west have burnt nearly one million acres this season and on Wednesday three firefighters in Washington lost their lives to the flames. The Twisp fire located in north central Washington claimed the lives of three firefighters after their vehicle crashed. Four other firefighters were badly burned and injured. In Oregon, the loss of 36 homes near John Day to a fire that is still only 10% contained accounts for the most homes lost in Oregon to a wildfire since the Great Depression.


In Atlanta, Georgia, President Jimmy Carter announced on Thursday to the press about the state of his cancer diagnosis. Having cancer removed from his liver three weeks ago, it was discovered that the melanoma cancer had moved to four spots in his brain. He announced with a resolute conviviality and state of gratitude that radiation treatments would begin later that day, which his doctor shared involve cutting edge technology.  He spoke candidly about his Presidency when asked to reflect and appeared to be comforting with his poise the journalists as his upbeat spirit was encouraging.


Starbucks and Panera after pressure from blogger Food Babe, announced they will be using real pumpkin in their popular Pumpkin Spice lattes, rather than artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives. Starbucks announced that September 8th would be the official release date and Panera September 9th.

Homeownership is being delayed for millennials. As reported by the Associated Press on Monday, the burden of student debt and an uncertain career permanence, millennials (ages 34-18) are renting for six years before buying their first home compared to 2.6 years of those in the 1970s as cited by Zillow. The median age at which millennials are buying their first home is 33 as a generation ago, it was 30. However, the study revealed that the interest is still very high when it comes to being a homeowner, as evidenced by the fact that when they begin to have children, they also seriously begin to look for a home.


Lily Tomlin is back on the big screen in Grandma which hits theaters in limited release this weekend. Starring as, well, you guessed it, a grandmother, Tomlin’s character is a lesbian who has recently lost her partner, and as only Tomlin can do best, she is feisty, fun and determined to help her granddaughter who finds herself pregnant, albeit in unconventional ways.  She’s independent and resolute in how she goes about her life, until someone, Sage, her 18-year-old granddaughter, played by Julia Garner, seeks her out for help. Taped over 19 days, producer and director Paul Weitz’s film served as the closing night film at Sundance earlier this year. Oh, just to let you know, Sam Elliott also is part of the cast.

Women’s Stories of Interest

Two Women Graduate from Army Ranger School.  Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver graduated on Friday at Fort Benning, Georgia, making them the first women soldiers to complete the Army’s most difficult training regimen. After 62 rigorous days of training which began with 381 men and 19 women, 96 soldiers are still standing, including these two women. Both women are graduates of the U.S. military Academy at West Point, and a third woman is currently in the mountain phase of the Ranger School and may still complete the training. While participating in graduating ceremonies neither woman will be sent into combat roles in the immediate future as the Department of Defense is still determining which roles involving direct combat women can be involved in.

On Tuesday, the FDA approved the first libido pill for women, Addyi (pronounced ADD-ee) which is actually approved to treat a lagging or absent libido in either sex. Advised not to be used with alcohol as it can increase the potential side effect of low blood pressure and fainting, a senior FDA official stated, they are “committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction.” Other possible side effects are nausea, dizziness and sleepiness. And evidentially, the medical market has confidence as Valeant announced they would be purchasing Sprout Pharmeceuticals, the maker of Addyi, for $1 billion.

Bendite Event of the Week

Shakespeare comes to Bend this weekend with what is believed to be Shakespeare’s first play, The Comedy of Errors. Lay It Out Events and Portland’s Northwest Classical Theatre Company present Shakespeare in the Park with three performances. One was last night in Drake Park (which I attended, check out my Instagram feed), followed by a second at the same location tonight at 7pm. The final performance will be held at the Amphitheater in Sunriver. Tickets, as of Friday, were still available, ranging from $22-$75 and can be purchased at the gate, online or at Douglas Fine Jewelry in downtown Bend.

French Word of the Week

Le pain perdu

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.

Known as French toast abroad, there’s no such thing as “pain français” in France. We call it “le pain perdu” : the lost bread. Why? Because it was originally made with bread that was too dry to eat. We call this bread “pain rassis”. And people didn’t want to lose the bread by throwing it in the bin.

Le pain perdu is made of “des tranches de pain” dipped in a mix of “des oeufs” (eggs), “du lait” (milk) and “du sucre” . It’s served for “le petit déjeuner” or “le goûter”. And that’s it. If you’re more adventurous, feel free to add cinamon “de la cannelle” or even replace the bread by “de la brioche”.

It’s simple and delicious, and definitely worth a try. The most difficult part may be not eating the bread during the days it needs to dry. It’s hard to resist good French bread!

If you want to add more French to 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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