L’odeur de la terre après la pluie…

Je suis quelqu’un qui est très sensible aux odeurs. Cela ne veut pas dire que je sois un nez ou que sois facilement dégoûté, simplement que je remarque très facilement les odeurs et que c’est pour moi une information importante. Le grand problème pour discuter d’odeurs est le manque de vocabulaire, comment parler de l’odeur de la terre après l’orage ? Aujourd’hui j’ai appris qu’il existe un mot pour cette odeur : petrichor. J’ai trouvé ce mot par le biais d’un blog sur la langue française, le garde-mot. Il s’agit en fait du nom de la substance libérée par la pluie sur la terre sèche.

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View from the Yosemite National Park


I went to the , it is really a splendid place. Alas, because a friend got hurt, we had to go home early.

Je suis allé au , c’est réellement un endroit superbe. Mal­heureusement un ami s’étant blessé, nous avons dû rentrer en avance, ce qui est dommage.

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A phule and his money

Cover - A Phule and His Money - Robert Asprin & Peter J. Heck

When I came to the USA, I had packed light. Thankfully, Mountain View sports a nice second hand book shop. One of the books I bought was “”, by Robert Asprin and . Years ago, when I was in the army, I had read Phule’s company and found it a fun book. I wanted a fun book to read in the evening, when my brain is pretty fried, so “A phule and his money” seemed like a good buy.

While the book made me smile a few times, its humor did not go further. I found the narration tedious, the text contains a lot unnecessary side-notes and back-story, to the point that even though I had read the previous books ten years ago, and forgotten most of it, I felt there was to much of it. The diary extracts at the beginning of each chapter do no good to the story, and certainly don’t add any depth to the characters.

I found the story weak and the fact that the action is split between two locations with no relation whatsoever in the middle did not help. The plot follows the standard structure of these kind of stories, and lot of bad things pile up on the heroes and in the end it all sorts out nicely and the good guys bring peace by building cools Roller coaster. The only cool plan in the book is started by a secondary caracter and simply forgotten, so do most of the interesting issues that appear at the beginning of the book, like the integration of cat-like aliens in the troops.

I can’t help but wonder if this book is that much worse than the previous one, or if I have matured somehow in the mean-time. I can’t help but think that the role of Peter J. Heck was to help Robert Asprin to write that book, and the result sure looks artificial to me, this is, alas, a common pattern with aging science fiction authors. One reason my perspective on the style of the book is also changed is my current location, ten years ago, exuberant liberal optimism sounded very exotic, now that I’m in California, it sounds very common…

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Warzone 2100

Warzone 2100 Resurrection Project Banner

I always been a fan of RTS computer games, and had always been hoping that there would be some cool open-source project in this category. Most project I found until now I found not so good, Globulation is certainly innovative, but like often with open-source projects, the graphical art-work is not so good. Two other projects, and both were designed to re-use the graphical data from existing games, and both have been abandoned, so the situation looked pretty grim.

is a commercial game whose source-code and art-work have been open-sourced. The game itself is a very classical science-fiction RTS. While the game is certainly not in a stable state, it is still somehow playable (but save often). Better still, it has an active community, improving both the code and the artwork, which This is in my opinion important for the long term survival of the project. I think one reason this project is seeing progress where FreeCraft and FreeCnC did not is that Warzone 2100 uses 3D models instead of sprites to render the unit and buildings. Sprite drawing is a difficult art, and adding new sprites in the same style as the existing ones is very difficult. It is easier to incrementally improve 3D models. Also 3D based games can also better scale up to screen with higher resolutions. I usually plain Warzone 2100 1440×900, but the game was originally designed for a 800×600 resolution.

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Richard Scarry - Bonk

Richard Scarry differences / Différences Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry - Bonk

子供時好きな本ならスカーリー リチャードのは絵で詳細が一杯有ってかっこい言葉くてが有ります。Flickrで1963の版と1991の版で何か違う面白いなギャラリーを見れります。社会が変わるを見るから魅力的なと思います。

Among the books I loved as a kid where Richard Scarry‘s. The images were full of small details and had a lot of cool words. Some-one set-up an interesting flickr gallery showing the differences between the edition of 1963 and the one of 1991. I found the changes fascinating, as they show how society has changed.

Parmi les livre que j’ai adoré étant enfant, il y avait ceux de Richard Scarry. Les images étaient plein de détails avec plein de mots sympa. Quelqu’un a mis en place une gallerie flickr qui montre les différences entre l’éditions de 1963 et celle de 1991. Les changements sont fascinants, car ils montrent comment la société a changé.

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Pikes Peak

End of the Line at Pikes Peak

今週末はコロラド州で住んでいるの友達を会って一緒にピクスピーク山のサミットまで電車乗りました。高い山です:4302㍍ です。パノラマは奇麗です。山を乗るの電車はスイスで作りました。

This week-end, I went to meet some friends who live in the Colorado state. Together we rode a train to Pikes Peak‘s summit. It’s a very high mountain: 4302 meters. The panorama was beautiful. The train climbing the mountain was build in Switzerland

Ce week-end, je suis aller voir des amis qui vivent dans l’état du Colorado, ensemble nous avons pris le train jusqu’au sommet du sommet de Pikes Peak. C’est une montagne très élevée: 4302 mètres. La panorama était très beau. Le train qui escalade la montagne a été fabriqué en Suisse.

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