71 articles France Page 3 / 8

Observations about French culture, language, and the author’s daily encounters with the galling Gallics.

Transforming Screentime

We worked hard, so hard, to keep our child away from screens in her early years. Current pediatric theory states that children under two years old who even spend time in the same room as an inactive television set are doomed. In many ways, our approach worked too well; now there are nights when, exhausted…


Transforming (Actual) Railroads

Is there any form of transport more civilized than rail? You might not think it, to travel by train in Canada, where our ambitious, continent-spanning rail empire has shriveled down to a smattering of grungy, truck-stop stations linked by shabby trains with erratic, unhelpful timetables. Here in Europe, it takes only a small taste to…


Transforming Railroads

When I was young, the French called their libraries bibliothèques. Now the word is médiathèque, which I find a clever bit of rebranding, even if the physical buildings are still mostly stocked with books. But recently I learned about another, even cleverer, French riff on the traditional library. Alongside some of their médiathèques, they also…


Transforming Prehistory

35,000 years ago, their families found the bear cave. By then, the bears were bones, but the Aurignacians didn’t move in – they preferred to build tents along the cliff face, where the sun would warm the rock throughout the day, leaving enough heat to help them through the icy nights. Yet the caverns cast…