That’s still an “underground hype”, but green walls are catching up attention from many people in Europe who see them as a real way to improve our environment, especially within towns and surbubs. The principle is to cover a building wall with a substrate where moss and various plants can take roots, grow up naturally and cover the entire surface of the wall. Expected benefits include: thermal isolation, phonic isolation (up to 16dbA), aesthetic and… depollution, including absorption of air’s CO2. The best green walls benefit from the ambiant air’s humidity and are self-maintaining! More sophisticated ones require a regulated water and nutritive contribution system. Several technical options for the initial structure are available, from steel grids that encapsulate the substrate, to affordable cut felt! Read the Wikipedia entry in English (quite short though) or better the French Wikipedia entry
My old friend Pixo of LinuxAstronomy has just sent me an email about their participation to the San Mateo’s “Maker Faire” show, in the south of San Francisco. I’m not used to post about shows but this one really deserves some attention, with 3D-printing, LI-ON powered cars, electronics, robotics, astronomy…! I would have loved to be there. Enjoy the (numerous) pictures.
It’s quite unusual to talk about Wines on a blog which is mostly dedicated to the computer/software/IT world, but I wanted to share some of my best and most recent experiences with wines. Especially French wines indeed. I won’t talk here about Bordeaux, Grands Crus and Grands Crus Classés. You know them, we like them, and they are expensive. But besides the worldide Wine “revolution” that is making some nice (but too much formatted) wines all other the world (California, South Africa, Chile, Australia), France is entering a new area about wines, that you may not be yet aware of. In particular, several (small) wine producers – “vignerons” – often young and newly installed on a domain, have started for 10 years to focus on quality in regions that were not well considered until now. They are using a real terroir, and try to produce only quality wines from many different cepages (Sirah, Carignan, Grenache…) that make them different from the well-known Merlot, Cabernet or Sauvignon that are present in most Bordeaux wines. These quality wines that often benefit from great “terroirs”, often offer a great and complex taste experience, and most of the time quite low-cost (at least for now), which makes them *very* interesting for people who are interested in tasting wines. In particular, there are many interesting “new” wines in the Languedoc-Roussillon area, including Coteaux du Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac, Saint-Chinian, Cabardes… But even in other “not so famous” regions, such as the Loire area, I’ve been very surprised to find some great stuff that I wouldn’t exchange for a great Bordeaux (see after: “L’enfant terrible”). I’ll try to post regularly some interesting wines I’ve found. For now, I would recommend : “Mas de la Serrane : Le Clos des Immortelles 2003” (Terrasse du Larzac), “Le Clos des Treilles : L’enfant terrible 2004” (Anjou). “Chemin des Olivettes 2002 (Roquebrun)” (Languedoc). Back to the Bordeaux area, my two preferences for a while, at an affordable price (about 12euro) have gone to “Chateau La Vieille Cure 2002″ (Fronsac) and “Chateau Musset Chevalier 2003” (Saint Emilion Grand Cru). Last is an interesting initiative “web vignerons“, which lets you participate to the whole wine process, from the grapevine to the degustation! And that’s not only a virtual activity 🙂
French SACEM, the music author association in France, once again showed his overretro and brutal face by closing down Radio.blog.club. Radio.blog.club is a nice music streaming service that lets you play and listen the music you choose in a streaming mode. Radio.blog.club was negociating with the SACEM for several months to find a balanced agreement but the latter choose to just ask the server hosting company to close the service. The SACEM, which is protecting only French songs, were asking for 8% of Radio.blog.club’s total income while French songs are only 16% of searches on the website and while 70% of users aren’t French. It seems that Radio.blog.club is planning to move the servers somewhere else. Good luck to French SACEM, the music author association in France, once again showed his real face by closing down Radio.blog.club. Radio.blog.club is a nice music streaming service that lets you play and listen the music you choose in a streaming mode. Radio.blog.club was negociating with the SACEM for several months but the latter choose to just ask the server hosting company to close the service. The SACEM, which is protecting only French songs, were asking for 8% of Radio.blog.club income while French songs are only 16% of searches on the website and while 70% of users aren’t French. It seems that Radio.blog.club is planning to move the servers somewhere else. Good luck to Benoît Tersiguel and all the team. Be back soon!
The “Maison de Courrèges” is well-known as a French fashion institution that notably invented the miniskirt in the 60’s. But what is less known, is that Coqueline Courrèges, André Courrèges’s wife, has been building electric cars for years! She believes that electric cars are an efficient way to clean the atmosphaeric air. Coqueline’s latest car, that she’s degigned in her house’s garden near Paris is called the “Zooop EV”. It’s very impressive for two reasons: you haven’t seen such a car design so far, but in sci-fi movies or comics, and because of its performances: the Zooop weights only around 100kg, and with its Lithium Polymer batteries it can go for 450 kilometers, with a top speed of 180 km/h! Another interesting fact is the acceleration, similar to a sport-car, around 6s only for 0-100km/h. Surprinsingly, I haven’t found any official website dedicated to the Zooop, nor could I find more than 9 occurences of “Zooop EV” in… French (in English you’ll find about 10,000).
In year 2000, I created my first blog [en fr], which I called an “agenda” at this time. Since then, I haven’t improved it – technically speaking – and each time I added an entry I had to deal with HTML and PHP. Times have changed! Now there are wonderful blog engines such as DotClear (but I couldn’t install it) and WordPress, which provide an easy way to add new entries, and even other features. I felt the need for a new blog for a long time, now it’s there! I’m going to update it often (since now it’s soo easy), so check it regularly if you want to get latest news from Ulteo and also my new projects on the pipe, especially an ecology-related project (non profit) that I’m setting up with my wife (and possibly other) and that is going to be available soon. Addtionally, this blog will be free speech. There is so much to be said (and to be done), that it’s time for me to talk. The world is moving fast and we need great hopes. Stay tuned. (Note that a RSS feed is now available)