Au Courant Weekly: January 17, 2016

Jan 17, 2016

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—The Simple Sophisticate, episode #80


—On Saturday, it was announced in Vienna, Austria, that Iran has complied with the nuclear deal brokered this summer allowing the long-imposed economic sanctioned to be lifted. Following the nuclear compliance, five American prisoners held by Iran were released.

—On Wednesday, 10 U.S. sailors were released from Iran after having been detained for approximately 12 hours for wandering into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf. Critics speculate that Iran’s quick compliance was due to their desire to ensure the lifting of sanctions regarding the Nuclear deal previously mentioned.

National: United States

—On Tuesday President Obama delivered his final State of the Union to Congress. Being only the 6th President to have had this opportunity or ability (Wilson was too ill to give his final SOTU), the President delivered a speech that reflected upon the past seven years with a tone of collected confidence, with moments of humility about his inability to cultivate improved bipartisanship. However, the speech culminated with strength of the country being based on the symbiotic nature of how each citizen’s contribution is what helps others, along with themselves, achieve their full potential as well.


—On Thursday, the Republicans running for President held their second to final debate before the caucuses and primaries begin. Hosted by Fox Business in North Charleston, South Carolina, the two front-runners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz quickly became the focal point with their back-and-forths over natural-born citizenship.

—On the Democratic ticket, their final debate will be tonight, hosted by NBC and Lester Holt and held in Charleston, South Carolina.

Health & Science

—Eat more fiber is the message shared in The Atlantic this week after a study was done revealing a diet low in fiber can rid our stomachs of essential gut microbes. Cultures who did indulge in fiber were found to have lower cases of heart disease, colon cancer, and other chronic illnesses.

Science magazine has revealed that our dogs can indeed read our emotions. After testing 17 adult dogs of varying breeds, consisting of two test sessions and 10 trials, it became clear the dogs could recognize specific emotions. Tending to the language variable, an unrecognizable human spoke or shared their facial expression with them in Portuguese (a language none of the dogs were familiar with) and discovered  “the dogs looked much longer at a face (dog or human) when the expression matched the tone of the voice”. So, yes indeed, your dog is listening and they do care, tremendously.

Arts & Entertainment

—On Tuesday the Academy Award nominees were announced for the 88th annual event which will take place on Sunday February 28th. The film The Revenant leads the list of nominations with 12.

The Los Angeles Times shared their predictions for the book trends of 2016 and the hold-in-your-hand book is predicted to continue its comeback! As reported by Nielson Bookscan, 17 million more print books were sold in 2015 at a total of 571 million. It had been predicted that e-books would corral 50-60% of the publishing market, but last year 25% was the reality.

On Sunday, the world learned of musical and stage talent David Bowie’s death due to his 18 month-long battle with cancer. Having released his 25th album Black Star on Friday (January 8th), as well as celebrating his 69th birthday, Bowie’s impact on the music world, fashion world and beyond over the past four decades will always be remembered.

—Another loss of note occurred Thursday. Actor Alan Rickman, known for his roles in Harry Potter films and Die Hard, was quite memorable as the villain. The cause of death, announced by his publicist was cancer, and at the age of 69, his talent has left the world far too soon.

Bendite Events of the Week

—If you enjoy smooth jazz, blues and R & B, stop by Stihl’s Whiskey Bar on Thursday evening to listen to Clairen Stone and Jason Plankey. This local duo blends Stone’s sultry voice described as Amy Winehouse meets Billie Holiday with Plankey’s electric guitar. No cover charge at a lovely intimate venue in downtown Bend; they will be playing from 7-10 pm.

—Perhaps you remember Cary Grant in Arsenic & Lace? Well, it is hitting the Summit High School drama stage this coming weekend, running from January 21st through the 23rd from 7-9pm. The cover charge is $5 for this student directed play.

French Word of the Week

Les soldes

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.

At the moment, in France, it’s Les Soldes. To be more precise, it’s les soldes d’hiver. In summer, we have Les Soldes d’été. Les soldes are sales all around the country that happen twice a year in France. Les dates sont fixées par la loi. The dates are fixed by the law.

Les articles (the items) sont en promotion. “En promotion” means they have a discount. We also say “Un article est en solde” when the discount applies or “Un article n’est pas soldé” when the discount doesn’t apply to this item.

After a week or two, you have la deuxième démarque. It’s another extra discount. The items get an extra 20% off for example. At the end, for the items remaining, there’s generally “la dernière démarque”.

When you’re “une bonne cliente”, a good client, your favorite shops invite you to “une vente privée”, a private sale, outside of “Les Soldes”. They offer you “des offres spéciales”, so you can enjoy the new items, with a special discount.

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



~AU COURANT WEEKLYs from the Archives:

~January 10, 2016

~January 3, 2016

~What is the Au Courant Weekly all about? Click here to find out.

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