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Bollywood

April 11, 2019

Bollywood

What does the word Bollywood mean to you ? Love, sadness, colors, songs and dances !

In a first part, I will explain what Bollywod production is, and in a second part Bollywood dance.

Bollywood is the first movie industry  in the world. The name is a mix of Hollywood and Bombay, known as Mumbai since 1995.

 This Indian corporation releases  more than 1,000 movies per year. For example, in 2012 Bollywood produced 1,604 movies and the U.S produced only 475 movies. The same year, Hollywood sold 1.36 billion tickets compared to Bollywood which sold 2.6 billion tickets.

This Bollywood production is unmissable in the Indian culture.  Bollywood  movies are characterized by the long projection period which lasts at least two or three hours. Movies are composed of songs and dances. They are colorful musicals. Another characterictic of those movies is the original language: it is in Hindi and most of them are not dubbed in foreign languages, so you can choose a subtitle, which is most of the time English.

We can quote the famous  movies Devdas, HumThumBride and prejudice , My Name is Khan, Ra One …   Almost all of them tell the story of an impossible love between a young man and a young woman. But if this love story didn’t have any obstacle, it would not  be  an Indian movie ! The other famous topic is the fantastic aspect of their religion with Gods and supernatural.

The impediment is mostly a caste problem, the young woman has a superior social class than her lover. Or the lovers don’t have the same religion one Mulslim and  the other Hindu. The family also doesn’t want to have a son-in-law or a daugher-in-law who has a different religion.

Moreover,  we can emphasize that the topics are similar through the movies.  Those topics are topical themes in India. For example, the arranged wedding is another subject of Bollywood movies.

Nowadays, the reality is not as bright as in movies. I think the Bollywood films are a way-out for the Indian population. Their lives are always ruled by their castes. Moreover,  arranged weddings are still happening. Another characteristc of the Bollywood movies is the tragic end of the two lovers.

The sets of Bollywood movies are always beautiful. In majority, all the movies take place in a palace or in the highest and beautiful houses. The sets are always composed of rhinestone  and sequin.

The costumes are also important in films. Thanks to them we can know what will be the themes of the scene. The costumes could be classical or traditional.

The most famous actor of Bollywood production is Shah Rukh Khan. He played in 56 movies and series.  He was known through the world thanks to the movie Devdas produced in 2002 and the other movie of 2010 My name is Khan. He is the best actor and the best  in Bollywood. He earned  2,76,01,30,557.00 ruppees  annual in 2017 ( $33 Millions).

Nowadays, the most famous actress of Bollywood movies is Deepika  Padukone.  She played in 24 movies and many with Shah Rukh Khan. She became famous thanks to her first movie Om Shanti Om .  Moreover , Hollywood was attracted by this actress and offered  her to play in  the blockbuster  Reactived with Vin Diesel. Her famous movies are : Om Shanti Om, Padmaavat and Bajirao Mastini.

II. Bollywood dance in cinema

In a first place, it’s important to know that Bollywood dance is composed of many styles of dances : the most famous are  Bollywood style and Kollywood style.

Kollywood style is used to design the movie’s corporation of Kodambakkan, a city near Chennai, Tamil Nadu State in India .

Bollywood dances are not Indian traditional dances!   Bollywood style is composed of many dances. The big party is composed of Bharatanatyam which the sacred Indian dance represented by girls named devadâsî ( literally servant of God). Those girls were also courtesans at the royal court of Maharadjas.

Since the 70’s Bollywood dance  is also composed of break dance, rock dance, modern, jazz dance and belly dancing.

Moreover,  three types of choreographies  are visible in those movies :

-The  romantic duo between the two lovers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m3Cr4xAmoM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szVW_w-W8cQ

– Scenes where everyone is dancing (it always joyful songs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HqrjLxKtKM

– The solo of the main character who is in love and dances with his/her troop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU3eFkY1BTI

Julie

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LGBT, a global movement

April 4, 2019

Everyone talks about LGBT but no one really knows who they are and what they stand for.

LGBT, or GLBT, is an initialism standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. They are the most represented people belonging to that group and usually we know what those terms really mean whether they are homosexual woman or man, or even attracted by both sexes. Even the transgender, which had been added to the term LGB a bit later, is mostly understood by a majority of the population, who knows those people’s personal identity and gender don’t match their birth sex. But if the term has existed since the 1990’s, the LGBT movement has increased a lot since then. In fact, it embodies today a massive diversity of sexuality and gender identity.
As a matter of fact, some derivatives of the original term appeared when the movement started including new members, with the only reason that they were non-heterosexual or non-cisgender. The extended initialism of LGBTQ is used since 1996 to designate the entire group, adding to it the “gender Queer”, which relates to a person who doesn’t agree with conventional gender distinctions and who prefers to identify himself/herself with neither, both or even a combination of male and female genders. It can also refer to one’s questioning about gender identity either in a short period of time or definitely.

But this term of gender queer includes in itself a lot of different categories of gender issues. Non binary people for example considered themselves as neither male nor female, disagreeing also with conventional binary oppositions of homosexual and heterosexual. Some of them even refuse to identify themselves with a fixed gender; they are called the gender fluid. However, this new acronym of LGBTQ integrates also some transgenders derived such as bi-gender who move among feminine and masculine appearance depending on the context. As for tri-gender they transition between male, female and third gender, which corresponds to the social consensus or the will of the person himself/herself, to not be considered as a male or a female.

When it comes to pan-genders, they like not to think themselves belonging to one gender but to all of them at the same time. Finally, the agenders, either called nongendered, genderless, genderfree or neutrois, don’t have a specific gender or recognizable gender expression. But there are also persons who don’t entirely connect one gender identity but just partially. Following the LGBTQ, some people decided to add to this group the Intersex people who have either reproductive organs or external sexual characteristics of both male and female.
This LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer) or LGBT+ movement decided to use or create pronouns considered as more gender neutral to address its members. For example, they use they, them and theirs even as singular pronouns. However, some members want to call themselves with new pronouns such as ze, hir or hirs to substitute to he/him/his and she/her/hers. Moreover, some of them prefer not being called by any pronouns at all, replacing them by their name. Finally, others desire to be addressed with the different pronouns based on how they feel on the given day.


But the LGBT group widening its limits wishes to include to itself every person suffering from gender identity issues such as the gender dysphoria which corresponds to the distress a transgender can experience about sex and gender issues. With this growing media coverage, LGBT members are more and more represented on TV or in the cinema, giving them great hopes to be eventually taken seriously.
To conclude, the LGBT movement message is to be yourself, no matter what people around would think or say, as long as you are fine with what you are. And for those who don’t feel part of this group, the movement asks for respect, tolerance and understanding towards its members.

Marie-Amélie

Ludovico Einaudi

April 1, 2019

In the article below, I chose to talk about my favorite artist, the pianist Ludovico Einaudi. But I specially chose not to write a boring biography about his birth, studies or other stuff like that. I just wanted to show you why I like the man and his incredible music.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "ludovico einaudi"

An artist famous for his songs used in wonderful soundtracks or emotional movies that I love:

First, a scene in the French movie The Intouchables is maybe what made youngsters know his song “Fly”in a really sensitive scene.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "intouchables"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYiIsoMVQCY

This music has also been used in one of Clint Eastwood’s movie, called J. Edgar and on the movie Samba.

Some soundtracks used his music like for example in Aprile, La Voleuse de Livres, the French movie based on the novel Heal the living by Maylis de Kerangal and Juste la fin du monde by Xavier Dolan.

   Résultat de recherche d'images pour "réparerles vivants anglais"Résultat de recherche d'images pour "lavoleuse de livres anglais"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A committed artist : a Greenpeace collaboration

We knew the talent and genius of Ludovico Einaudi, but we knew a little less about his commitment to the preservation of the environment and the planet. The musician has decided to partner with Greenpeace, the powerful and famous INGO, to educate as many as possible about the protection of the Arctic Ocean.

For this special session, the artist composed a piece entitled “Elegy for the Arctic”. The purpose of this citizen benefit (8 million people have signed the petition for this campaign) is to prevent multinational oil companies from continuing to establish in this part of the world, because it causes irreversible damage to the climate and the life that flows from it.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "greenpeace ludovico einaudi"

In this short video, (see link below) we discover the pianist installed on a platform representing an iceberg, in the middle of the pack ice which is guided by his fingers on the piano, the time of a melody. Although this is just a communication call, it’s one of the first steps towards raising awareness of the world around us and will not stop growing year after year if we do not react on time. .. It is particulary important these days with all the climate protection demonstrations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DLnhdnSUVs

An original artist :

“Seven Days Walking” is the title of Ludovico Einaudi’s new album who was released on March 15, 2019, three and a half years after Elements and a triumphant world tour. But the artist chose a special way to produce it and release it to the public. 

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "seven days walking" the first cover of the album

“I remember that in January 2018, I took long walks in the mountains in the snow following more or less the same path. It was snowing a lot and I lost myself in this state of storm where all the forms, freed from the cold, had lost their contours and their colors. Maybe this feeling of extreme essence was at the origin of this album. ” he recently said. 

“Seven Days Walking” is divided into seven episodes, seven albums (Day One, Day Two, etc. until Day Seven) which will be published every month.  

Each episode focuses on main themes that come back in different ways: seven variations around the same imaginary path. Or again, the same covered route in seven different times.

“The idea came to me by listening to some recordings of the first rehearsals: each version seemed to me to have its own character, with nuances so clear that I could not prefer one over another. I have all associated with walking, with the experience of remaking and redoing the same paths, each time discovering new details. And finally, I decided to integrate them all into a labyrinthine way of listening, a bit like entering the meanders of creation and see how a musical idea can develop in so many directions, change every time it is interpreted, and then change in the same direction. when he is heard. “

“Seven Days Walking” was recorded between September and October 2018 in Schloss Elmau (Germany) and Air Studios in London (England).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAlDmUfoc00

For more information, you can have a look at Ludovico Einaudi’s blog, if you want to know about the next concerts and all the projects also coming. I’ve always wanted to go and see him playing in real, but once again his 14 and 15 April Parisian dates are sold out. I’ll try again next time!

Lila-Marie

Who is Billie Eilish?

March 28, 2019

The first time I heard about Billie Eilish… It was when she released her first song Ocean Eyes in 2016. Everyone was listening to that song, talking about it, people were humming it in the street. Those people didn’t know who Billie Eilish was at the time, and I have to admit that I didn’t either. Then bellyache was released in 2017 and same pattern, everyone knew the song but they didn’t know the artist. They didn’t know a 15-year-old girl was the one singing those songs, writing them with her brother in his bedroom. And then again in 2018 she released lovely featuring Khalid for the official soundtrack of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why but that time people knew she was Billie Eilish. So I searched her name up on YouTube, I listened to her songs, and I fell in love with her voice, the melodies and the lyrics of her songs. The feelings she talks about in those songs are so deep, so pure, so real, it’s hard not to recognize ourselves in her songs. She talks about loneliness, about heartbreaks, breakdown, everything we are so scared to talk about. I joined her fandom, and I am really not regretting it. She has that incredibly melodious voice, the one that can make you cry for no reason. Let me tell you more about this new artist who is eating our wallets a little bit more each day.

Born in December 18th, 2001, Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, best known by the name of Billie Eilish, just turned 17 and she is already a worldwide phenomenon. As a member of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, she wrote her first song (about falling into a black hole) when she was four. But the first song she wrote with her brother, Finneas O’Connell (who is a musician, a producer, a singer, and a song writer), is bellyache in which she sings from the point of view of a conflicted psychopath. They recorded a lot of songs in his “very small bedroom”.

She says in an interview she started writing music because she had a lot on her mind. She wanted to say it somehow but she didn’t really know how to and she didn’t know who to say it to. She thinks you can tell those things you don’t dare to with music. You don’t have to talk about your feelings explicitly, you just talk about them the way you want. As she was homeschooled, she had a lot of time to sing and to write about whatever she wanted. She is from a family of actors and musicians, so it was obviously easier to start in the music industry. Her parents let her life be driven by her passion.

People really first heard about her when she released her first single Ocean Eyes (a ballad which compared falling in love to falling to a cliff under “napalm skies”with her brother Finneas, to whom she is really close. She wrote it at first for her dance teacher who once asked her to submit a song for class. She said about Ocean Eyes writing process: “My brother had written Ocean Eyes and we recorded it, basing all of the production around contemporary and lyrical dance. I think of most songs that way – if you can’t dance to a song, it’s not a song.” Once the song finished, she posted it on Soundcloud so her teacher could hear it, but she never knew she would wake up the next day with lots of emails about her potential music career. Ocean Eyes has been played more then nine million times. “It was really confusing. I didn’t understand what was going on,” she once said. “I literally thought it was like my popular friend had reposted it. Wow, it’s getting so many listens!” She was only 13 when it started. She says: “I’d go into meetings and they’d say, ‘So Billie, what do you think?’ and I’d just be like, ‘Am I supposed to know? Because I don’t.’ But eventually I got the hang of it. And now the meetings I have are a bit more like, ‘OK, Billie, what exactly do you want?’ and then I explain every single detail of every single thing that I’m thinking, and people do it! It’s insane. You have stuff floating around in your mind and you tell somebody and they go, ‘Oh yeah, we can make that happen.’ It’s like, ‘What? Why?’ “. She then signed with Interscope Records (a record label which also signed with famous artists such as Imagine Dragons, Avicii, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Blackbear, Selena Gomez, Madonna, Maroon 5, U2…) and started releasing tracks after tracks. One of the most famous ones is bellyache.

Singing has never been a question or a thought, “it was already there” as she says. She has always been singing so when people asked her: “oh, you like to sing?” she didn’t know there were people who didn’t like to sing. “She always had this amazingly beautiful voice,” her mom says. She has also been dancing for a very long time and whenever she is mad or whatever, dance is a way to express it – like music – and to let her feelings out. It is something which helps her with depression or similar subjects as she explained it in an interview. It is a way to express everything at once and not think about it. But she got injured and that completely took her out of dance, it really affected her.

As she is growing up, Billie Eilish is finding what defines her. She loves to wear oversized T-shirts and chains. She changes hair color a lot: she is blond, she turned grey, then she had purple strands on her white hair, then an electric blue, then a pastel green and just a few days ago she changed it to dark. She mostly keeps her eyes half closed half opened when she poses, and by the way she looks, people may think this girl is bored and tired of everything – which can be a bit confusing – when actually she isn’t. This is just the way she decided people would see her: through her songs and through her look.

She released a new single on January 31th 2019 called bury a friend and released the music video the same day. The music video is directed by Michael Claves who directed the movie Conjuring 3, which is planned for 2020. So obviously, you can guess the atmosphere of the music video is really stressful and scary. As soon as the video starts, we can feel the cold atmosphere: it happens at night, it is dark, someone is sleeping in his bed and suddenly wakes up and sits. He lies on his bed again and whispers “Billie”: the song starts. Then, we see Billie lying under his bed, her eyes are completely black. Billie is dressed in white, she wears chains, her hair is green. During the whole music video it is always dark with some glimpse of light. It is really scary. She definitely sends us horror vibes with the song and mostly with the music video. We quickly get the Conjuring vibes as a lot a scenes are in a corridor and it is really dark. The light goes on and off, we can see her walking straight and the next shot shows her feet going the other way, and she seems a bit crazy. I think the moments in the corridor really reflect the idea of what Conjuring looks like: either she stands doing nothing, her head down, or she walks in a weird way. I’m not going to tell you everything about it so here’s the link of the music video if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUHC9tYz8ik

In only one week, she got more than 32 million views and 2.3 million likes. Now if you listen carefully, the song’s chorus ends with this lyric “When we all fall asleep, where do we go?” which is the name of her next album, planned for March 29th 2019. She released on December 2018 a song called come out and play which is a bit more colorful than the songs she usually writes, just on time for Christmas.

Here’s what she says about lyrics: “Lyrics are so important but they’re really underrated. So many lyrics right now are just the same thing: ‘Oh, I love you but I’m sad because you don’t love me and… blah’. You can say that in a more interesting way. Me and my brother write a lot of fiction. Like in bellyache, obviously I don’t kill people. But you can put yourself in a character or a situation you would not normally be in. You don’t have to be in love to write a love song. You don’t have to kill somebody to write a song about killing somebody. It’s like jumping into another world. […] But it’s just fun to get to tell a story [in a song]. If you just write about things you’ve been through, you might get to a point where you go, ‘I don’t feel like this any more, so it’s not worth pursuing’. No, no. It’s especially worth it. […] Some people don’t really realize what I’m saying until they’ve listened to it a couple of times. My friends would be like, ‘Dude I was listening to bellyache the other day, actually listening to it, and what the hell were you writing about?’ […] A lot of people think you have to go through something to write about it and that’s so not true. You can literally write about anything.” She wants people to recognize themselves in the songs she sings and writes. She says if you recognize yourself in one of her songs then you can consider this song is about you and she wrote it for you only and that’s it. Whenever she feels bad or great or angry about someone or something, she takes her phone and records her reaction before even knowing how she really feels. “You can write anything and you can say the truth and you can not tell anybody that it’s the truth, you can just write it and it’ll be yours and nobody can see it.”

She loves to write with her brother: “We’ve had sessions with artists and writers and producers and not that those sessions were bad, but when we write, just us together, it’s so much more raw, I guess. And straight from the heart.” The songs her brother writes for her have to fit with her personality; he once said he doesn’t want the songs to look like someone who isn’t Billie. Even if she is young, her life experience is limited but he thinks she can still write about it because there are so many sort of emotions that everyone feels no matter how young or how old you are, life experience is not a problem.

She is considered as the pop equivalent of a Tarantino movie because of her lyrics.

Performing is the best part to her, to perform in front of people who support her and how she feels and what she thinks. She once said: “I don’t need many people to care. Even if other people don’t like it, I like it.” She always performs with her brother. He is in the back of the stage, at the piano or the guitar and he sings the choir of her songs.

“Why do people love her so much?”, “What do people love about her songs?”, “Why do her songs attract people so much?” you may ask now.

Someone once wrote in the comments section of one of her videos on YouTube: “She is so broken and beautiful and strong at the same time. I love her,” and I guess this is why so many people like this girl and her songs. She talks about feelings, deep feelings, the ones we don’t dare to talk about because it’s hurting us too much so we try to hide them deep down inside ourselves. And our generation loves to talk about the kind of topics Billie Eilish talks about: depression, emotional breakdown, broken hearts, loneliness. Because I guess we all experience those subjects in different ways and it feels comforting to know we are not alone and other people experience those feelings too, even if they don’t experience it the same way.

Billie Eilish is the new trend and you should listen to her: I bet you’re going to love her.

Elements and Zodiac Signs

March 21, 2019

When you come to life, the “when” and the “where” are really important. It may be weird to you like that, but your astral theme will determine a lot of things about you. You’re born with them, a zodiac sign, some specific planets, an element… all of those things tell a lot about who you truly are. And I would like to tell you more about what people can call “magic”, “astrology”  or  “bullshit”. We will not talk here about Chinese Zodiac.

First of all, let’s talk a bit more about Zodiac signs.  They represent the division of the zodiacal circle into twelve equal parts, starting from the point where the Sun is located at the beginning of spring. They are part of Astrology which is based on the law of synchronicity and states of planets in the universe. The Sun, the Moon and other celestial bodies are all individual forces of life with certain characteristics. They carry information that can help us to improve the quality of our lives and to understand the ways of the world goes. It’s an analysis of the image of the sky which allows us  to figure out one’s fears, flaws, tastes and qualities. With those signs come four basic elements in nature – Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Each one of the twelve signs of the zodiac belongs to a certain element, and each of the elements represents one energy that we need to feel and which build our character on.

Elements are :

Water Signs

Water signs are exceptionally emotional and ultra-sensitive. They are highly intuitive and they can be as mysterious as the ocean itself. Water signs love deep conversations and intimacy. They rarely do anything openly and are always there to support their loved ones.                                                             

The Water Signs are : Cancer,  Scorpio  and Pisces.

Fire Signs

Fire signs tend to be passionate, dynamic, and temperamental, always ready for action. They get angry quickly, but they also forgive easily. They have a great energy and love adventure. They are in general physically very strong and are a source of inspiration for others. Fire signs are intelligent, self-aware, creative and idealistic people.

The Fire Signs are: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

Earth Signs

Earth signs are mostly conservative and realistic, but they can also be very emotional. They are connected to our material reality, like “down-to-earth”, and can be turned to material goods. They are practical, loyal and stable even during hard times.

The Earth Signs are: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

Air Signs

Air signs are rational, social, and love communication and relationships with other people. They are thinkers, friendly, intellectual, communicative and analytical. They love philosophical discussions, social gatherings and good books. They enjoy giving advice, but they can also be very superficial. 

The Air Signs are: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.

As you know it there are 12 zodiac signs :

Aquarius – January 21 – February 19  Pisces – February 20- March 20  Aries – March 21 – April 20  Taurus – April 21 – May 21  Gemini – May 22 – June 21  Cancer – June 22 – July 22  Leo – July 23 -August 21  Virgo – August 22 – September 23  Libra – September 24 – October 23  Scorpio – October 24 – November 22  Sagittarius – November 23 – December 22  Capricorn – December 23 – January 20

All of them have general characteristics and each of them, depending of your personal planets, can have differents specifities which can changed from a person to an other. So we will only talk abouth the general characteristics.

Aquarius – January 21 – February 19                                color : silver

It is ruled by Uranus.

The sign of Aquarius is intelligent, energetic and full of brilliant ideas, while humane and honestly turned to the well-being of the human race. Eccentric and a bit strange, an Aquarius is someone whose company will never be boring, and they have incredible communication skills.

But their greatest weakness is their lack of connection with the world around them. Many Aquarius can seem distant, lost, detached from everyone in their lives. They need to take care of their loved ones, and understand that the well-being of a community depends on the well-being of each individual.

Pisces – February 20- March 20                                                color : purple

It is ruled by Neptune.

On the one hand, one of the greatest strengths of a Pisces is their imagination, they are really creative and dedicated, once they commit to a certain cause. These individuals are talented, compassionate and sensitive. They will easily adapt, be spontaneous and full of surprises, while at the same time gifted with a strong faith in the importance of relationships with others. Idealistic and talented, they search their own Utopia.

On the other hand, this can be an extremely pessimistic sign if their goals fade. Submissive and easily influenced, they can become insincere and weak. Confused and lost in the human race, Pisces can get lonely and detached from other people, in their own imaginary world.

Aries – March 21 – April 20                                                       color : red

It is ruled by Mars.

Aries is courageous and is considered the strongest sign of the zodiac. Their positive characteristics are enthusiasm, optimism, independence, strength, initiative and generosity. He rushes forward without fear, ready to take on any challenge or battle that comes their way; these individuals won’t hold on to the past and things which are dead and gone.

We can add that the most important weakness of those born with the Sun in Aries is their stubbornness. They don’t give up without a fight and this makes them persistent sometimes obsessive. Not knowing how to stop, they can become inflexible and too proud for their own good.

Taurus – April 21 – May 21                                                                    color : green

It is ruled by Venus.

Taurus is known for their attachment and reliability. Kind, dependable and caring, they will always give a helping hand. They understand ways of the material world. Determined and strong, they are always prepared to endure in the long run.

 This is a sign of physical love and hedonism connected to our material reality. The element of Earth can make them lazy, static, stubborn and overly attached to material possessions. A tad possessive, if they fear losing someone, they tend to become real control-freaks that can’t relax.

Gemini – May 22 – June 21                                                               color : yellow

It is ruled by  the Sun

People born with the Sun in Gemini are spirited, adjustable and smart. Their sense of humor will help them overcome any difficulty, just as their strong communication skills. Fun and always open for new friends, experiences and adventures, they are carefree and light people. Gemini have a way of imposing their charisma.

But they have to keep in mind that their weak point is inconsistency. As an air sign, they can’t stay in one place for too long. They can be superficial and uncompassionate, they seem distant and uninterested in others’ problems.

Cancer – June 22 – July 22                                                                     color : white

It is ruled by the Moon.

The strengths of every Cancer is their compassion and their ability to look after people they care about. They are born with extremely high capability for empathy but  they have to focus on themselves too. However, if they don’t fear getting hurt and bravely accept emotional challenges, they become adaptable, trustworthy individuals, with a motherly approach of things.

Often too attached to the past, while at the same time anxious about the future, they can easily lose their stability. It can be difficult for others and sometimes themselves to follow their deep, inner flow of feelings.

Leo – July 23 -August 21                                                                        color : gold

It is ruled by the Sun.

 Leo is confident and full of vigor and energy, most of the time successful too. They spread a creative energy and make possibilities happening. Determined and loyal, Leos will make good friends thanks to their warmth and childish nature. They are really respectful and tolerant.

Their emotional side is very important, if they forget it they can become incompassionate and unaware of their own responsibilities while closed for constructive criticism. They can also be very stubborn but keep in mind not to endanger things that are truly important to them. Leo can also become drama queens when things become hard for them.

Virgo – August 22 – September 23                                                           color : beige

It is ruled by Mercury

Virgo  can be seen as a healer: Virgo have a talent to fix everything : broken hearts, souls, egos or bodies. They are also considered the most intelligent sign in the zodiac, as they are practical, analytical and deep and smart to solve everyday issues. Their mind is a big strength but can be the source of their weakness. They may relate too much to this practical mind and hide their emotional side, that can push them in situations they don’t undertsand. They have to accept their fragility and sensible heart; they also have to keep in mind their own self worth too and to be tolerant and kind with themselves.

 Libra – September 24 – October 23                                                       color : pink

It is ruled by Venus.

Libra easily  take responsibility. They can lead people thanks to their tact and influence the final verdict. When a Libra is in a good place, satisfied and confident, they are just and incredibly balanced. Relationship with others are really important for them and they will put a lot of their energy into ways to improve lives of those around them. But judgment and resentment can also soil their sense of justice. Libra have to challenge themselves to feed their ego and keep their positive and confident attitude.

Scorpio – October 24 – November 22                                                      color : red

It is ruled by Pluto.

This sign is known as the most complex of the zodiac. Scorpio-born are passionate, assertive people, determined, brave and decisive. This sign is a great leader thanks to his dedication, a clear mind and his resourcefulness. As a Water sign they are very emotional and can have issues to express them. Trustworthy, they will always keep your secrets whatever it may be.

Pluto, which rules this sign, is the planet of transformation and regeneration, scorpios have the ability to emotionally  “die and be reborn”. People born under  this zodiac sign can seem older than what they actually are. They are generally calm and seem mysterious and fierce to others, probably because they understand very well the rules of the universe. Scorpios hate dishonesty and they can be very jealous and suspicious, they have to keep in mind that they also have to adapt themselves to others sometimes.

Sagittarius – November 23 – December 22                                                    color : blue

It is ruled by Jupiter.

Curious, energetic, open-minded and philosophical, Sagittarius is one of the biggest travelers among all zodiac signs, searching the meaning of life and enjoying their most precious treasure : freedom. As other fire signs they need to be in touch with the world, to experience as much as possible.  They are extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. Sagittarius-born are able to transform their thoughts into concrete actions and they will do anything to achieve their goals. Sagittarius are really enthusiastic, humorous  and have a great sense of humor. But because of their honesty, Sagittarius-born can be too impatient and most of the time tactless.They have to learn to express themselves better and be more tolerant.

Capricorn – December 23 – January 20                                                             color : Brown

It is ruled by Saturne.

Capricorn is a « traditional » sign, they believe in responsibilities and are serious by nature. Truly independent they manage to progress in their personal and professional  lives. Natural leaders too and with a great self-control, they usually learn from their mistakes and are good at managing and making solid and realistic plans. As an earth element, like taurus and virgo, they focus on the material world but also know how to use it. Unfortunately, this element makes them too stubborn to change their point of view or be as tolerant as they need. It can be difficult to accept differences of others and they sometimes try to impose their traditional values too agressively.

The Last thing you have to know is that the principal sign is followed by the ascendant, a rising sign in you, which completes you. The complexicity of the Human being is that we are not defined by a single thing with specific characteristics but that we are a mix of two of them and those characteristics can change with time, evolve, and depend on the person. But Zodiac can help us to find more easily who we truly are and to understand maybe more others. Personally, I am a Scorpio acsendant Pisces and you? Who are you?

Fleur-Lou

Smartphone trends of past years and possibilities for the future

March 14, 2019

Smartphones have become the most essential things to us. In fact we look at it approximately a hundred times each day, and even more for young people. Since its invention in 1992 by IBM, and the success of the first iPhone in 2007 with its revolutionary touch screen, the smartphone has known many evolutions, improvement and tweaks over the last decade. On what aspects do brands focus their attention? and what should we expect to have on new devices for the next few years ?

In the very early 2010’s, brands wanted to create the slimmest phone possible, without decreasing its battery capacity or removing some features. For that, constructors had to adapt the overall size of the devices. The smartphones became slimmer, with a bigger and bigger screen each year. Some people complained about it, claiming that a smarthphone was meant to be small and easy to carry in a pocket, and some people made jokes about that, saying phones would soon be as big as tablets.

Screens have also greatly evolved in resolution, and have got higher pixel density, making the small gaps between pixels less visible and making it more pleasant to look at the screen. The OLED technology appeared a few years ago, and is now replacing the LCD’s. OLED screens have more vibrant colors; the major difference can be seen on dark colors, because OLED pixels are completely turned off where light doesn’t need to be displayed, contrary to LCD’s.

In terms of security, smartphones first had the classic code to type on the screen. Then, a fingerprint scanner was added on the main button; this is the safest and fastest way to unlock the device in my opinion. Then face recognition made its way out, first with Samsung. Then, Apple presented the iPhone X with its advanced “Face ID” technology.

Photography is a very useful feature in smartphones, and is an important aspect that defines if a smartphone is decent or not. Technologies in this sector have greatly evolved, and nowadays some smartphones take even better pictures than a standard camera. Huawei introduced the first smartphone with a double camera in 2016, and many companies followed this trend, which became viral. Some brands went a bit too extreme, like Samsung which presented the A9 in 2018, with four cameras… Google seems to be the only brand to resist this trend, and still features only one camera on their smartphones, with still very good pictures.

The number of software features has increased, with web stores, apps and many other functionnalities.  So smartphones have gained in power and got more sophisticated hardware each year to be able to do the heavy task managing, required to run and support many apps. Oneplus is a great example in this domain: their devices are known to be the most powerful on the market. Brands used this as an advantage when they started to lack innovation, and just made smartphones faster than their previous model, because they simply put a newer and faster processor, and changed some features on the design (I’m thinking about the iPhone 8, which is basically an iPhone 7 with a wireless charging technology…).

A small detail that created debate a couple of years ago was the removal of the Headphone Jack on smartphones. Apple was the first to do that with the iPhone 7, saying that it was necessary to make the device smaller, and that it wouldn’t be such a big deal anyway, since wireless technology was becoming popular. Many brands first made fun of this, but then followed this trend, like Samsung or Oneplus, even though they could integrate this Jack.

By 2017, brands started to make bezel-less screens, meaning that they gained screen space by removing the home button, and let only a small notch for the earpiece, front camera and some sensors, becoming smaller and smaller over the years. Then a Chinese smartphone brand presented in 2018 a smartphone, the Oppo Find X, with a retractable upper part that pops up when you use the camera, making the largest screen-to-body ratio, and a better alternative to the notches at the top of the screen. We can expect that other brands will use the same feature for their future devices.

 

Nowadays in 2019 and for the next few years, brands put the effort on designing a smartphone with a totally plain screen, without buttons, but still have access to a fingerprint scanner at the front of the device. OnePlus was the first brand that managed to integrate a fingerprint scanner directly into the screen on their 6T model, with very impressive results.

In terms of hardware and technology, 5G network should be released by 2020, and many brands start to build devices that can support it. 4K screen resolution is on the way to fit future devices, with more storage and RAM memory and many other improvements. However battery life cannot be really improved yet because no new technology has been discovered, so the only solution today is improving fast charging, to gain 40% of battery level in 15 minutes. Artificial intelligence is also progressing and should be used more.

An American startup, Royole, created a functionnal prototype smartphone with a foldable screen, the “FlexPai”. This weird but impressive feature allows to have a screen size of a tablet, and can be folded to fit in a pocket or hand, with the software still working and adapting to fit the folded or unfolded position of the device. Its major problems are thickness and expensive price (over $1300). The project seems to be a fantasy, but rumors have it that the Samsung Galaxy X will have a foldable screen, so maybe this would be the future of our smartphones…

Dimitry.

Agatha Christie alias “The Queen of crime”

February 25, 2019

Biography (1890-1976 ):

Agatha Christie is one of the most famous woman writers of the 20th century.

  • When she was a child, her parents gave her a traditional and old-fashioned education. She wrote at an early stage many poems, novels with always the support of her mother. So from the earliest days, she was already a really talented and fearless girl, which was a sign of her successful future.  To succeed in it, her mother took her daughter to Paris to finish her studies and complete her education. After this trip, Agatha-Christie returned to her native country, in the South of England, in Torquay. She confessed this place was an important inspiration for her character, Hercule Poirot, notably Belgian refugees who lived in a parish after the Great War. The landscape was inspiring too for plenty of mysteries with her Belgian detective.
  • ANECDOTE:

At a moment, she suddenly vanished into thin air. The police found her car next to a pond. But why disappear so quickly without saying a word? Many hypotheses suggest it was to increase the popularity of her new book or to take revenge on her unfaithful husband who wanted a divorce. Finally, the mystery was solved when she was found in a hotel under the her husband’s mistress’s name. This adventure increased consequently the number of her book sales and had been a great inspiration for another novel. Maybe it was planned, or not, what is sure is that she was a smart woman who has always cultivated a certain mystery about her life and her books that are really specific to her.

  • The 1930s were her most prosperous period regarding her novels which became quickly famous such as Murder on the Orient Express, Miss Marple series, Death on the Nile, And Then There Were None. She tried also to write something new ( not a detective one ) under a false name so that she couldn’t be submitted to critisism. It was a sort of protection but it lasted only for one book.
  • In 1939, England declared war onNazi Germany: it was the beginning of WWII. Agatha Christie, at that time, wanted to be involved in the rescue of those who were hurt and be useful in this conflict by helping others in Torquay’s hospital. Even though this woman had a very busy life, she managed to give her time to those who were in need. In a way she conveyed an image of a woman of heart, really appreciated by the population. She didn’t just do that: In fact, she acquired also a specific knowledge about poison which, we can see, is a very common element in her novels. This period of time influenced the author a lot because, through writing, she could  express what she thought about nazism and then make criticisms.

  • At the end of her work life,  she made her two principal characters die to ensure that nobody after her death would continue the story and to provide her family a secure income. In other terms, she was a forward-thinking woman.
  • In 1971 she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire, a high honorary distinction.

Advise on books:

 

 

  • Murder in the Mews: it is a collection of short-stories with Hercule Poirot. It is a must-read because these stories are really captivating. I had never read short-stories before and this experience was thrilling. I like detective books and it was a great satisfaction to read these stories.
  • And Then There Were None: If you like books full of suspence, this one will probably be for you! Indeed, personally, I was hung on each chapter which continued to captivate me. I understand why she is now so famous  because she has her specific style and writes simple and understandable things which are accessible at all ages.

Agatha Christie’s reputation nowadays:

Nowadays, Agatha-Christie is still in our minds and lives. Her books are translated in many languages which signifies she is famous around the world. The fact that a woman in particular has acquired this notoriety shows how  women’s condition has evolved over centuries. Today she is considered as a reference in detective stories. She is “the queen of crime”. She also remains the best selling author of all times.

Today, despite her desire not to have sequels to her novels, her family allowed Sophie Hannah to write new Hercule Poirot stories: The Mystery of Three Quarters, Closed Casket and the Monogram Murders. Sophie Hannah is true to the character and to Christie’s style. Even though it goes against her final wishes one must admit that it is quite thrilling to find new Poirot’s stories and to perpetuate the myth.

Lauriane.