Monday, March 27, 2017

Blog update

My new beginning on Wordpress is now completed. From now on I will blog only there (but this version will continue to exist without any future update).

I have imported all the posts from Blogger to Wordpress. Now I only have to tweak each post (adjust the formatting, correct the categories & tags) and add the proper image links (which were previously screwed by Dropbox)… for all the 1300+ posts! Continue to bear with me because this will take a while…

I just hope that all my followers will continue to read me on Wordpress. I promise that once the reformatting issue is solved I'll write more and produce an improved and better blog!

So, please READ ME ON WORDPRESS !


(Adieu [sorry!] Blogger and damn you Dropbox!)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A new beginning

I am in the process of switching my blog from Blogger to Wordpress. This will happen in three phases:

Learning :  during that phase not much will happen on the new site (clodjee.com) and I will continue to blog mostly here. I'll post on Wordpress only to experiment with the settings and features in order to learn how it all works.

Transfer : while I slowly transfer the whole blog to the new site I will probably continue to blog on both sites.

Finalized : when the transfer phase is completed I will blog only on Wordpress.

I have no idea how long each phase will take. Please bear with me for the duration of this process.

Thank you !

Image du chat-medi

See the post on my new Wordpress blog
Voir l'entrée sur mon nouveau blog Wordpress

Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly notable news (W10-11)

The last couple of weeks were so busy that it felt like months.

Strangely, after getting temperatures up to 10℃ in February, we had nearly -20℃ in March! And, as it warmed up a little and all the snow we had received during the winter had almost melted, we got hit by the biggest snowstorm of the year! This mid-march wallop left us with almost two feet (sixty centimeters) of snow in one night and one day! It felt like January again! Today, Spring has officially arrived and it is above zero again, but I have the feeling that this roller-coaster is not over. There's really no seasons anymore…

It was the sixth anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami disaster (as well as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster), but lately the news were dominated by the various scandals rocking the Trump Presidency, mostly the Russia Dossier and allegations of Russian interference during the electoral process. Despite Trump doing his best to distract our attention from it, it become increasingly clear that his campaign has had contacts and possibly collusion with Russian interests. We can only wonder how much his Presidency is politically and financially compromised by this. Lately, I've started watching MSNBC and it is fascinating. It gives me a brand new perspective. Now, considering that it took only ONE blow-job to put Clinton on the impeachment path and that Trump has been plagued already with numerous questionable business deals and sexual misconduct allegations, I am wondering how much more it will take to remove this evil clown from office !!!

Another notable event was the fact that my Jawbone fitness band broke and that I replaced it with a Fitbit. It's my third Jawbone fitness band that breaks (first a UP24, then a UP2 and finally a UP3 and in all cases it was the rubber of the band that broke apart) so, that's it, I've decided to never use that company again (too bad, I really liked their app). Considering the reviews and quality/price ratio, I chose to replace it with a Fitbit Flex 2 band. Since I already have an Apple Watch, I decided to go with a simpler model and I was impressed with Fitbit's clever concept of the device itself being separated from the band so you can switch band at will for fashion reasons or if it breaks. I am a little disappointed with the app but I am sure I'll get used to it. So far, it is working quite well.

I also discovered that I had been screwed by Dropbox — which I used to host all the images for this blog. They changed their policy and now all the image links are irreparably broken. I've already taken temporarily measures to keep the most recent or important entries of the blog illustrated, but I am considering to eventually switch to a Wordpress blog (with the same web hosting service that was used for the magazine). The transition will probably be slow and incremental since it is a lot of work.

However, the last couple of weeks were mostly dedicated to preparing for my mother's funerals. I took a week off from work not only to help my sister preparing the funeral (book the hall, choose and order the buffet, shop all the stuff that was needed, contact people, make appointments, fill paperwork, plan the ceremony, etc.) but mainly to prepare the music medley and produce a commemorative video that would pay hommage to my mother's memory (it is now available in two slightly different versions, on both this blog and my Vimeo page). Strangely, the funerals for the father of one of my dear friends were on the same day…

I was hoping to take advantage of this little time off also to catch up on my reading and writing, maybe go see a movie and visit a museum, but it was so busy that I couldn't do anything. I even got behind in my TV shows watching.

Unfortunately, I also barely managed to stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered only a few notable news & links — which I share with you nevertheless (in both french or english, and in no particular order), after the jump.

[ Traduire ]

Saturday, March 18, 2017

In Memoriam Laure Gauthier

Hommage à Laure —
Faire le tour de sa vie en 180 images
Pour honorer sa mémoire


Après lui avoir rendue hommage avec des mots, voici un hommage en images à la vie de ma mère, Laure Gauthier, décédée d'un cancer le dimanche 5 mars 2017. Elle avait quatre-vingt-sept ans et a eut une belle vie bien remplie qui mérite d'être célébrée et commémorée. Puisse-t-elle continuer à vivre dans nos souvenirs…


Continuer après le saut de page >>

Image du chat-medi

A Cat and a snail with hydrangea
Un chat et un escargot avec des hortensias
A Cat and a snail with hydrangea
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Friday, March 17, 2017

Screwed by Dropbox

You are wondering why there are no longer pictures in this blog?

Simple: most pictures were hosted on Dropbox and “As of March 15, 2017 the Public folder in your Dropbox account has been converted into a standard folder. By default this folder is private to your account. (…) If you're a Basic user, and you created a website that directly displays HTML content from your Dropbox account, it will no longer render in the browser.”

Of course, for a while, it would continue to work if your are Dropbox Pro or Plus users (at minimum $129 per year). It is tantamount to legal ransomware!

I thought that re-doing a share link individually for each picture (for all my 1345 posts !) could solve the problem but a quick test was a failure. I don't have much time to dedicate to this right now (having spent the last week and half working hard to prepare for my mother's funerals, which is later today). I'll try to contact Dropbox later, but for now it will remain that way.

I'll try to figure out an alternative solution as soon as possible. Anyway, I was thinking of switching to a Wordpress blog with a web hosting professional company that will also locally host the files. That would solve the problem but will also take time to implement. We'll see.

I apologize profoundly for the actual state of my blog. But keep reading, it's the words that count.

Update: another quick test (at the suggestion of this guy) made me realize that I can host images with Blogger itself, although I don't know the limitation in space or bandwidth. I'll probably just do that for the most important or recent posts while I prepare for a more permanent solution.

Update 2: Of course, I can also use Flickr to temporarily host the images. At least, there, the limit is known (1 Tb of which I am currently using only 0.4%). I might use a little of both methods, but no matter what it will be time-consuming and a hassle. Argh! I hate Dropbox for dropping this on me at a time like this!

[ Traduire ]

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mid-March storm

It seems that snow storm time-lapse videos are in fashion so I decided to make my own. This time-lapse video of the mid-March storm was shot between 3 PM on March 14 2017 and 3 PM on March 15 2017.


[ Traduire ]

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Image du mer-fleuri

Cat & butterfly with yellow violets
Un chat et un papillon avec des violettes jaunes
Cat & butterfly with yellow violets
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Image du chat-medi

Cat in the countryside with a butterfly and clover
Un chat à la campagne avec un papillon et du trèfle

© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Image du mer-fleuri

Rabbit and butterflies with cosmos in a meadow
Un lapin et des papillons avec des cosmos dans un pré
Rabbit and butterflies with cosmos in a meadow
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Laure Gauthier (1929-2017)

Ma mère, Laure Gauthier, est décédé paisiblement dans son sommeil dimanche le 5 mars 2017 d’un cancer sauvage des poumons. Elle avait quatre-vingt-sept ans et a eu une belle vie, bien remplie, qui mérite bien d’être célébrée et commémorée. Je lui suis reconnaissant pour toutes les merveilles qu’elle m’a transmises.

Elle est née en octobre 1929 à Maskinongé de Lucien Gauthier (1905-1944), tailleur, et de Lucia Ricard (1907-1991), qui doit reprendre son métier d’institutrice après le décès de son époux afin de pouvoir s’occuper (avec l’aide des parents) de sa famille de neuf enfants. Laure, qui est la deuxième enfant, épouse Claude Eugène Pelletier en octobre 1953 à l’église Notre-Dame des Sept-Allégresses de Trois-Rivières et ils ont quatre enfants qu’elle doit élever pratiquement seule car Claude, qui est preneur de son pour l’Office National du Film, est souvent parti en tournage. Ils s’établissent d’abord à Hull, puis aux Iles-Laval en février 1956.

En septembre 1970, alors que les enfants commencent à être un peu plus autonomes, elle entreprend des études en bibliotechnique, qu’elle complète en 1977 par des cours en archivistique (et paléographie). Cela lui donne les outils nécessaires pour appuyer Claude dans sa passion pour l’histoire et la généalogie. Elle devient membre de l’Association des Archivistes du Québec et s’implique, avec Claude, auprès de la Société d’Histoire de L’Ile-Jésus (contribuant, entre autre, à l'inventaire des archives de paroisses de l'Île Jésus et à la sauvegarde de la Maison André-Benjamin Papineau), puis de la Société de Généalogie (ils sont parmi les premiers à devenir des maître-généalogistes agréés au Québec) et, finalement, de l’Association des Familles Pelletier. En plus d’avoir collaborer avec son époux à l’élaboration d’une série de recueils généalogiques des Familles Pelletier (du Perche [2 vols], de Beauce, du Poitou) et d’un bulletin spécial de la Société d’Histoire de l’Île Jésus pour son 25e anniversaire, elle a écrit deux ouvrages: une biographie d’André-Benjamin Papineau (Cahier d’Histoire de l’Île Jésus #2, 1985) et une histoire de famille intitulée Le tour du Québec en 70 ans (qui demeure inédite).

Même si Claude était à la retraite de l’ONF depuis 1983, ce n’est vraiment qu’en 2004 qu’ils prennent du repos en diminuant leur engagement auprès de diverses associations et en vendant la maison des Iles-Laval pour s’établir plutôt dans une maison de retraite. Ils feront plusieurs voyages pour des colloques et ralliements généalogiques ainsi que des croisières dans le sud. Comme Claude est atteint de la maladie d’Alzheimer, Laure doit beaucoup s’occuper de lui, jusqu’à son décès en octobre 2015. Malheureusement, elle ne peut guère profiter de cette nouvelle liberté, car un peu avant Noël 2016 elle découvre qu’elle est atteinte d’un cancer du poumon. En janvier, il est devenu évident que c’est une forme très agressive de cancer et que les métastases se sont propagées au foie et aux os. En février, elle a commencé à avoir de la difficulté à respirer et le cancer des os est très douloureux. L'oxygène et de forts anti-douleurs l'aident pendant un certain temps, mais elle perd l'appétit et de la force très rapidement. À la fin, elle dort beaucoup. Elle est morte paisiblement dans son sommeil, chez elle. L’effort d’une respiration laborieuse fut probablement un peu trop pour son cœur. Ou peut-être qu'elle était juste prête à se laisser aller. Je suis heureux que sa souffrance ait pris fin. Puisse-t-elle reposer en paix.

Laure Gauthier était l’épouse de Feu Claude E. Pelletier (1928-2015), la mère de Feu Johanne (1954-1983), de Luce, de Francine et de Claude J., la belle-mère de Miyako Matsuda, la grand-mère adoptive de Sébastien Chartrand (Sonya Godbout-Gaucher). Elle laisse également dans le deuil sa sœur Micheline (Jean Morissette), ses frères Jacques et Marcellin (Marie José Hamelin), plusieurs belles-sœurs et beaux-frères.

La famille recevra les condoléances, en présence des cendres, le vendredi 17 mars de 15 h 30 à 20 h à la résidence funéraire Laval (salle Opale) de la Coopérative Funéraire du Grand Montréal (2000 rue Cunard, Laval, Qc). Un buffet sera servi vers 17 h et sera suivi à 20h d’un hommage en sa mémoire et d’une cérémonie de la parole. L'inhumation des cendres se fera ultérieurement en privé.

Les détails sur les funérailles sont disponibles sur le site de la coopérative funéraire et dans les pages d’avis de décès du Journal de Montréal du 11 et 15 mars.

Au lieu d'envoyer des fleurs, si vous désirez faire un geste en sa mémoire, nous vous suggérons de faire un don à la Société Canadienne du Cancer.

Si vous désirez écrire des messages de sympathie ou d'hommage, vous pouvez le faire sur la page Facebook de Laure.

Un diaporama commémoratif est aussi disponible (sur mon blog et sur Vimeo).

[ Translate ]

Monday, March 06, 2017

Monthly notable news (W4-9)

The last month was rather depressing. Same old, tiring and annoying job. Grey and very cold weather. I feel that we live in a world that is increasingly absurd and selfish, where people don't respect anything or anyone anymore (and that's beside all the Trump crazyness). Also, I just realized that, although I have been “writing” all my life (probably since age ten or twelve), I have been involved with publishing 'zines for about thirty years and it has been already ten years since I've stopped publishing the magazine. Jeez, time really flies. Quite depressing. Finally, I also realized that I had read only twenty books last year! I really need to read and write more. Unfortunately, lately I've been lacking the stamina and motivation…

After a brief spring-like interval, the cold and snow are back. Like the Hobbits' second breakfast, this is our second winter. Or maybe the Indian winter. But spring is in sight. We just have to be a little patient. For now we get freezing rain again.

On the bright side, I solved most of the problems with my new Bell Home Hub 3000 router. Since I have lots of devices using wi-fi (nearly forty!), I first decided — in order to ease the transition — to create a guest network with the same name and password as my previous network. Unfortunately, the guest network uses just one band and therefore less antennas so its reach and power is a little lacking. I was able to get most of my devices to finally work properly by switching them one by one to the main network (which uses two band — 2.4 & 5.0 GHz — and several antennas). At first, many devices still didn't want to log into the main network so I had to resolve into forcing them with MAC filtering.

As for the phone line always dropping after ten to fifteen minutes due to some problems between the D-Link VoIP Gateway and the Bell router, it eventually stopped. Strangely just after a Bell technician rudely told me over the phone that they were not supporting VoIP and couldn't alter the router settings. I suppose they purposely don't support VoIP so their customer are forced to use Bell own phone system (at three time to cost of my current phone provider). Unfortunately the problem came back after a few weeks (just after I received a rebate offer in the mail for a Bell phone line -- a possible argument for the conspiracy theorists). I tried to bypass the problem by creating a DMZ for the VoIP Gateway and, so far, it is working. All this unfortunate situation confirmed my previous experience with Bell (and what I've been hearing from friends and on the internet): the Bell customer service is excellent up to the point where you sign up with them; once you are a paying customer they don't give a damn about you. Sad.

Finally, another reason for my late melancholic disposition is the fact that my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer just a little before Christmas. In January it became apparent that it was a very aggressive form of cancer and that metastases had spread to the liver and bones. In February, she started having difficulty breathing and the bone cancer was quite painful. Oxygen and strong pain-killer helped her for a while but she lost appetite and strength very quickly. In the end, she was sleeping most of the time. Yesterday, she peacefully passed away in her sleep, at home. The strain of her laboured breathing was probably just too much for her heart. I cannot forget her lifeless face but her expression was peaceful and I am glad that her suffering has ended. She took care of my father, who had Alzheimer's, for several years (until his death, last year) and we were hoping that she would have many more years to enjoy life after that, but it wasn't to be. She was eighty-seven year-old and has had a good life. I try my best not to be sad and rather choose to celebrate her beautiful life, preserve her memory and be thankful for all the greatness she gave me. May she rest in peace.

Despite all this, I managed to stay acquainted (a bit) with the affairs of the world. Here's some notable news & links that I came across this month and that I'd like to share with you, after the jump (in both french and english):

Saturday, March 04, 2017

40th Japan Academy Awards (2017) winners



On March 3rd, in a televised ceremony held at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo, the Nippon Academy-Sho Association awarded the 40th Annual Japan Academy Prizes (第40回日本アカデミー賞) for the best Japanese movies of 2016. In This Corner of the World won in the best animation category (but Makoto Shinkai's Your name still got best screenplay and best music) and Shin Godzilla was a big winner with seven awards (including best picture, best director and best cinematography)!

Discover all the winners (highlighted in yellow) after the jump:

Image du chat-medi

Cat with Narcissus
Un chat et des jonquilles

© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Friday, March 03, 2017

Bookface d'Hemingway

Dans le cadre du Festival Montréal Joue, les bibliothèques de Montréal ont décidé de participer à un défi de bookfacing. C'est une phénomène populaire (apparemment surtout dans les bibliothèques) depuis quelques années et qui se définit par des “images publiées sur les médias sociaux qui montrent des couvertures de livres se fondant dans des paysages tridimensionnels” (parfois confondu avec “facebooking,” qui se définit lui simplement par une interaction sur Facebook). Notre bibliothèque y a participé avec enthousiasme.

Vous contemplez ci-contre une photo (prises par Olivia Viveros) où votre humble serviteur usurpe l'identité du grand Ernest Hemingway pour quelques instants.

On s'amuse comme on peut!


[ Translate ]

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Image du mer-fleuri

A dog and a snail with hydrangea under a platane
Un chien et un escargot avec des Hortensia sous un platane
A dog and a snail with hydrangea under a platane
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Printemps précoce ?

Cette semaine on a eut des températures avoisinant les 10 ℃ même si on est seulement à la fin février ! Aujourd'hui, malgré la pluie battante, j'ai pris ma marche de santé, ce qui m'a permis de voir des paysages étranges…

eerie landscape 1

eerie landscape 2 eerie landscape 3 eerie landscape 4

(iPhone 6s, Parc Champdoré et Parc Frédéric-Back, 2017-02-25)

[ Translate ]

Cat-urday's picture

Spring indeed! / C'est le printemps !
Spring indeed!
(iPhone 6s, 2017-02-22)

Image du chat-medi

A cat (orange American shorthair), with a butterfly, looking into a pond (water hyacinth)
Un chat, avec un papillon, regardant dans un bassin (Jacinthe d'eau)
Cat looking into a pond
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda
See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Absurdité du jour (#02017054)

Je viens juste de réaliser, avec tout mes problèmes du changement de Vidéotron à Bell, que j'avais un meilleur téléphone quand j'étais avec la compagnie de cable et que maintenant j'ai un meilleur service télé avec la compagnie de téléphone! Go figure

[ Translate ]

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Absurdity of the day (#02017053)

Yesterday, an Hydro-Québec press release announced that their “customers are increasingly satisfied”! Is that so? It is strange, because the customers are paying increasingly more (year after year) for the same damn service (on average each year more than the Canadian consumer price index). Why should they feel more satisfied with that, I ask you!

I guess the quality of the electricity is good (if anyone could quantify that), the service is more reliable, but hydro-electricity is amongst the cheapest energy, most of our infrastructure is already paid for and the company is already making huge profits (over $3-billion). So, where's the need to increase the rates? Of course, the argument for an increase is that customers from Quebec are paying one of the lowest rates in the country so they shouldn't complain if H-Q tries to bring them closer to the national average. Also, H-Q blames “an increase in supply costs and the costs resulting from the harsh temperatures of the past two winters” and the fact that production cost for wind energy is much higher. It sounds like corporate excuses.

The last couple of time I had to deal with their customer service I was quite disappointed. When they started installing the new “intelligent” meters, it took a good six months to arrange an appointment for the installation. And, with the next-generation meters, they promised customers would be able to track their daily electricity use and it took over TWO YEARS for that option to become available on their website through the “My Consumption Profile” page! So, no, it would be really absurd for me to be “increasingly satisfied” at all!

[ Traduire ]

Image du mer-fleuri

Black cat and butterfly with hydrangea under an oak
Un Chat noir et un papillon avec des Hortensia sous un chêne
Black cat and butterfly with hydrangea under an oak
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda
See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album

[ Translate ]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Absurdité du jour (#02017052)

Après deux jours de beau temps et de température au dessus de zéro, que vois-je passer hier soir vers onze heure ou minuit? La déneigeuse de trottoir! L'arrondissement est pas capable de déneiger les trottoirs (ni près de chez moi, ni près de la bibliothèque) avant que je parte et arrive au travail le lendemain d'une tempête de neige, mais ils “nettoient” quand il n'y a rien à enlever? Cet arrondissement est vraiment mal géré (comme si on ne le savait pas déjà!). C'est ça que ça donne la sous-traitance!

Je viens tout juste de payer mes taxes municipales et je trouve ça honteux qu'on les gaspilles de la sorte. Nettoyez donc quand ça compte bande d'idiots!

[ Translate ]

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Image du chat-medi

An American shorthair and a butterfly in a meadow
Un “American shorthair” et un papillon dans un pré
An American shorthair and a butterfly in a meadow
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda
See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Absurdity of the day (#02017046)

I always did my best to be a good person, to help people whenever I could or at least to never intensionally hurt someone. Therefore, it hurts me deeply to see so many people lately who are either so mean that they really don't care about the wrong they are inflicting to others or that they are so stupid that they don't even realize the harm that they are inflicting. Isn't there any good will, any justice, any fairness, any common sense left in the world? It seems that today's world is governed only by the absurd! Has this farce lasted long enough?

[ Traduire ]

Image du mer-fleuri

Dog and butterfly with some narcissus
Un chien et un papillon avec des jonquilles
Dog and butterfly with some narcissus
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda
See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album

Monday, February 13, 2017

March, Book 1: Civil Rights history in comics

“Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.” (…)

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.”

(Text from the publisher's website; see also the back cover)

Congressman John Lewis wanted to be a preacher. He grew up on his parents' farm in rural Alabama taking care of the family chickens (to whom he was practising preaching!). The story starts in his congressional office as he is preparing to go assist at Obama's inauguration. A black lady comes into the office with her children to show them up a place where history was made. Instead they meet with the Congressman himself who takes this opportunity to tell them a little about himself and the history of the civil rights movement. With the help of his uncle Otis and Martin Luther King, Jr., to whom he wrote a letter, he succeed to go to college in Nashville. There, he contributed to the Student Movement and, inspired by Gandhi's nonviolent protest, took many actions to fight against segregation.


The storytelling is excellent and the art is pretty good. It is a superb idea to bring back to life Congressman Lewis' memories, such as his actions of civil disobedience, for a new generation to understand what the civil rights movement was all about. It is very educational and it is probably even more relevant today than when it was first published (considering the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the fact that I discovered this book through a CNN report about President Trump insulting Congressman Lewis, saying he was “all talk and no action” !).

All in all, it's a nice way to teach the history of an important moment of our Western Civilization, but also an excellent occasion to talk about good moral values. The life of great role models like Congressman Lewis need to be recorded for the posterity, but not only in history books or museums but also as part of our popular culture. It's a good reading for the Black History Month and I cannot recommend it more strongly.

March: Book One, by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. Marietta GA: Top Shelf Productions, August 2013. 128 pg., Softcover, 6.5" x 9.5", 14.95 US / $19.99 Can. ISBN: 978-1-60309-300-2.

For more information you can check the following websites:

[ Traduire ]

Sunday, February 12, 2017

40th Japan Academy Awards (2017) nominees



The nominees for the 40th Annual Japan Academy Prizes (第40回日本アカデミー賞) were announced on January 15th. The winners in each category will be revealed by the Japan Academy Prize Associations at a ceremony held at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo on March 3, 2017.

Here is the list of all the nominees (after the jump):

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Décès de Jirô Taniguchi

C'est avec grande consternation que j'ai appris cet après-midi, via Facebook, le décès d'un des mangaka que je respectais le plus: Jirô Taniguchi est décédé samedi à l'âge de 69 ans! La cause du décès n'a pas été précisé. Il nous manquera terriblement. Toutes mes condoléances à sa famille, ses proches ainsi qu'à ses nombreux admirateurs qui, particulièrement en Europe, ont découvert et grandement apprécié la qualité de son travail. Requiesce in pace, mi magister!

[Sources: ANN, AnimeLand, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Variety, Yahoo]

Voir aussi: Google et The Manga Critic’s Guide to Jiro Taniguchi.

Lire la suite après le saut de page >>

Image du chat-medi

A cat and a butterfly in a meadow
Un chat et un papillon dans un pré

© 2017 Miyako Matsuda
See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Découverte: De nouveaux “Classiques” chez Soleil

J'ai déjà beaucoup parlé de cette collection des “Classiques” de la littérature en manga publiée en français chez Soleil. Je croyais d'ailleurs qu'ils en avaient abandonné la publication, mais non: après un hiatus en 2015, Soleil a publié cinq titres à l'automne 2016 (Théorie de la Relativité par Albert Einstein, Du Contrat Social par Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra par Frederich Nietzsche, Orgueil et Préjugés par Jane Austen, ainsi que la réédition du Capital de Marx en un seul volume) et annonce trois nouveaux titres pour le printemps 2017 (Une Vie par Guy de Maupassant, Théorie de l'évolution par Charles Darwin et Discours de la Méthode par Descartes) !

Cette collection reprend en traduction quelques titres de l'impressionnante collection japonaise Manga de Dokuha (comportant jusqu'à maintenant plus de cent-cinquante titres!) illustrée par le Studio Variety Art Works et publiée par East Press, qui se consacre à adapter en manga des classiques de la littérature pour les rendre accessible à un plus large publique.

Découvrez plus de détails après le saut de page >>

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Image du chat-medi

A Cat and ladybug under a blackberry bush
Un chat et une coccinelle sous un buisson de mûres
A Cat and ladybug under a blackberry bush
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

Cat-urday's picture

Friendly cat at a nearby café
Chat amical devant un café du quartier
Friendly cat at a nearby café
(iPhone 6s, 2017-01-21)

Friday, February 03, 2017

February turd

Le trois fait le moi ?
That's how I feel this month…
February turd
(actually the picture was taken on January 22nd,
but it cames from an idea I had during a walk on January 3rd…)

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Image du chat-medi

Mother Cat And Her Kitten (3) with viola
Chatte et son petit (3) avec des violettes

© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Monthly notable news (W53-03)

The Holidays and the couple of weeks that followed were rather quiet. Thankfully, I had to deal with much less craziness at work. But that was only the eye of the storm and those depressing days (scientifically certified as such since Blue Monday fell on January 16th this year) are coming to an end. The days are getting longer and more shit will soon hit the fan. Of course, there's also this endless American nightmare with everything Trump. I wish I could forget about all that and never hear about it again, but unfortunately that's what the world has become now.

I am already getting behind in my writings, but I caught up a little with my TV and movie watching. Besides the restarting new seasons (mostly Call The Midwife, Colony, Endeavour, Father Brown, Homeland), the notable new additions are Victoria and Dark Angel (although those two have already ended) as well as the weird Young Pope (a young and reckless leader is unexpectedly elected to head the Church — a little reminescent of the whole “orange is the new black” American electoral fiasco — but it's directed by Paolo Sorrentino, who gave us La grande bellezza) and the quite interesting Mercy Street, a medical period drama set at the Mansion House Hospital during the American Civil War.

I'll try to reinvent myself this year (so much to do) and push forward even harder on the path to improve my temperament and expend my knowledge. That's the only purpose one can have.

Despite everything, I tried to stay acquainted (a bit) with the affairs of the world. Here's a “few” notable news & links that I came across this month and that I'd like to share with you, after the jump (in no particular order, in both french and english):

Haïku du dimanche

With this winter of discontent
I'm glad for not being American — but
“Stop fretting and start fighting!”



[ Traduire ]

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Image du chat-medi

Mother Cat And Her Kitten Under the Cherry Blossoms (2)
Chatte et son petit sous les cerisiers en fleurs (2)

© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Monday, January 09, 2017

S'enfuir - Récit d'un otage

“En 1997, alors qu'il est responsable d'une ONG médicale dans le Caucase, Christophe André a vu sa vie basculer du jour au lendemain après avoir été enlevé en pleine nuit et emmené, cagoule sur la tête, vers une destination inconnue. Guy Delisle l'a rencontré des années plus tard et a recueilli le récit de sa captivité – un enfer qui a duré 111 jours. Que peut-il se passer dans la tête d'un otage lorsque tout espoir de libération semble évanoui ? Un ouvrage déchirant, par l'auteur de Pyongyang, de Shenzhen, de Chroniques birmanes et de Chroniques de Jérusalem.” [ Texte du site de l'éditeur ]

“Être otage, c'est pire qu'être en prison. En prison, tu sais pourquoi tu es là et à quelle date tu vas sortir. Quand t'es otage, tu n'as même pas ce genre de repères. Tu n'as rien.” [ Texte de la couverture arrière ]


Continuez après le saut de page >>

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Haïku du dimanche

Le bruit de l’eau — hors du temps —
Au travers le bruit blanc du ruissellement
J’entends l’angoisse et la terreur m’appeler



(iPhone 6s, 2017-01-08)

[ Translate ]

Friday, January 06, 2017

Capsule reviews

The Giver


In a post-cataclysmic world, humanity survives in a small utopian society which is peaceful and content, but colourless and deprived of emotions. With his coming of age, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is assigned a role as Receiver of Memory and instructed by the Giver (Jeff Bridges), who telepathically shares with him all the memories from the ancient time in order to give him the wisdom necessary to advise the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) in her decisions. With this knowledge comes the realization that this seemingly perfect society is in no way morally better than the previous one: citizens are drugged into conformity and when they become less useful or rebellious they are “released to the Elsewhere”, i.e. murdered by lethal injection! To justify their authoritarian ways, the Chief Elder says “When people have the freedom to chose, they chose wrong every single time” — true, but at least they have the freedom to be wrong! By reaching the distant borders of the community, the hero wants to reset the society in hope for a better future (and to save the woman he loves, Fiona (Odeya Rush)). Based on Lois Lowry's young adult novel, this science-fiction movie succeeds, with a relatively small budget ($25 millions), to create an entertaining and thought-provoking story, making us ponder the moral values of our society. Even if it’s a little reminscient of Logan’s Run, this is an excellent movie well worth watching.

[ AmazonBiblioIMdBWikipediaYoutube ]

💊     💊     💊

Victoria


This British drama TV series depicts the reign of Queen Victoria from her accession (after the death of her uncle William IV) to her mariage with Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) and the birth of her first child (also named Victoria). It was produced by ITV in the UK and will premiere on PBS’s Masterpiece next week. In a way, it is very similar to the series The Crown that depicts the early reign of Queen Elisabeth II. It is quite interesting to see all the politics and trials that play out around the English monarchy at such an important time in history (the Victorian era was particularly characterized by the industrial revolution and the development of railways). It’s also funny that there is so much German blood (from the House of Hanover and the House of Saxe-Coburg) in the British monarchy, and it created quite a stir at the time. But I must admit that what first caught my attention is the fact that the title role is played by Jenna Coleman (who has also interpreted Clara Oswald, one of the best companions in the new Doctor Who TV series, but also acted in Julian FellowesTitanic and in Dancing on the Edge). Also starring is Rufus Sewell, who plays Victoria’s counsel and Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. I also liked the haunting music theme. I really cannot resist a British historical drama, even less a very good one. Don’t miss it!

[ AmazonIMdBWikipediaYoutube ]

💊     💊     💊

Dark Angel


This is a two-part mini-series (although it feels more like a TV movie cut in two) produced by ITV in the UK and starring Joanne Froggatt (Anna in Downton Abbey). It will be shown on PBS’s Masterpiece later this year. Inspired by David Wilson’s book Mary Ann Cotton: Britain's First Female Serial Killer, it tells the sordid story of Mary Ann Cotton, a black widow who poisoned three of her four husbands as well as eleven of her thirteen children in order to collect insurance money and survive the harsh conditions women had to endure in nineteenth century England. You can’t help but feel some sympathy for her. A good period drama as it is often the case with Brit TV. Recommended.

[ AmazonIMdBWikipediaYoutube ]


💊     💊     💊

Eye in the Sky


An interesting movie showing, from the British point of view, all the procedures and decisions behind a drone strike in Somalia, as well as the moral questions it raises. If you could eliminate three top wanted terrorists as well as two suicide bombers preparing for an eminent attack that could kill up to eighty civilians, would you do it even if it meant probably killing one innocent girl? The collateral damage question is always a difficult choice between two evils. In a way, nothing much happens in this movie as the story is told almost in real time. Everything is in the debate, which makes it clearly a political movie. But is it an apology of war or a critic of the politicians inaptitude? Maybe both? Interesting indeed!

[ AmazonBiblioIMdBWikipediaYoutube ]


💊     💊     💊

A Ghost of a Chance


Emi (Eri Fukatsu) is a lawyer whose client is accused of murdering his wife. But he couldn’t have done it since the night of the murder he was pined down in his hotel room by a ghost! What sort of defence can you build when your only witness is the ghost of a samurai? You manage to make him testify, of course! A funny japanese movie just as I like them, with a great line-up of actors (Toshiyuki Nishida, Hiroshi Abe, Kiichi Nakai, Koichi Sato, Takayuki Kinoshita, Yūko Takeuchi, Tadanobu Asano, etc.)!

I stumbled on this movie while watching TV Japan — a New-York based Japanese language channel operated by NHK Cosmomedia America and broadcasting a compilation of the best programming from the top Japanese networks and studios, including news and entertainment programs such as movies, dramas, variety shows, anime, sporting events, etc. (and available in Canada thanks to Bell Fibe TV!). I am glad that they show movies subtitled in english once in while.

[ AmazonAsianWikiIMdBWikipediaYoutube ]

💊     💊     💊

Suffragette


Maud (Carey Mulligan) works in an industrial laundry house and gets involved by chance in the suffragette movement. Participating in illegal protests causes her to be outcast by her husband, which in turn drives her even further into political activism. Protests become more and more violent with property damages and bombings, hunger strikes when they were jailed, but it fails to really attract attention since the government controls the press… Until one woman, Emily Davison, is killed on a race track in front of the king. In 1928, women’s rights were finally recognized in Britain. But it took fifteen years to get there and the movie doesn’t show how Maud managed to survive during that time (if she could). Meryl Streep has a brief cameo as one of the movement’s leader, Emmeline Pankhurst. It’s unbelievable to see how bad were women’s living and working conditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For that, it’s an interesting movie but I found it was lacking passion.

[ AmazonBiblioIMdBOfficial sitesWikipediaYoutube ]

💊     💊     💊

[ Traduire ]