Status report (early July)

The life in the time of the coronavirus continues… 

This is my fifth status report since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic (the other four were in March, mid-April, the end of April, and in mid-May). It has now been fifteen weeks (or one-hundred and seven days) since it has all begun. It has been forty days since the beginning of the slow re-opening and my return to work (thirteen days since we’ve restart taking the public in the library for a limited offer of service). 

On the domestic side of life, I can say that I feel I have not been doing much in the last month and half… I didn’t do much around the house (it was either too hot or raining). As usual, I probably watch too much television: like rewatching the Ghost in the Shell: Arise series and several movies (also, to fill the time, I started watching again the 2004 series of Battlestar Galactica). However, I have been reading enough to catch up on my tsundoku… (hurray!) and write a little about my readings (dBD #141, La sphère d’Or, Unbeaten tracks in Japan, I’ll never tell, De Gir à Moebius, and several other French comics that I covered in the article “Sherlock Holmes en bande dessinée (2)”).

Weather — The temperature was unusually warm lately (above average) and often quite dry. So much so that the vegetation in the parc often took a yellowish colour. Thankfully, it rained periodically enough to keep everything alive. In the last week or so it has been quite hot and humid. Enough to discourage any sustained outside activities, although we still take our daily walk.

Health — With the confinement (probably because of slightly bigger meal and less activity) I have gained weight. My blood pressure and glucose are also higher (maybe because of an increased stress?). I have also experienced digestive problems, my usual recurring pain at the end of the digestive track as well as some chest and shoulder pain (probably muscular). Overall, I feel in good shape but it could be better. Unfortunately, I know that with age nothing gets better…

Work — All is fine at work. My usual library being still closed for renovation I was assignment to another one. This new place is at a nice location (at walk/bike distance from home) and has a nice team (although, since the people of my library working there are in extra, we perform mostly boring jobs). However, there was one painful incident: a customer refused the answer the covid “questions” and to sanitize his hands upon entrance. As I was insisting (to follow protocol), he became increasingly disagreeable, up to implying that I was doing so because of my ego or because I was racist. I was just trying to do my job. I was putting my health at risk (and the health of my family) in order to give him access to the library and he has shown absolutely no appreciation or gratitude for it. All I ask is some respect. If I was hurt by being called a racist (and I will come back on this subject) what really pissed me off was that my colleagues didn’t show much support when I tried to explain that he refused to follow protocol and insulted me. I don’t know, maybe they just didn’t understand me well: it is hard to express yourself calmly when it’s hot and your are talking through a mask and a face-shield. What happened to “we must absolutely ask ALL the covid questions and not let anyone in that doesn’t answer properly”? And then they told me “you know, we get insulted all the time. You have to get used to it” implying that I was weak to let it get to me. We are supposed to have a policy of not tolerating any disrespect and bullying (no respect, no service) and, yet in the end, that man received the service he came for. If you are tolerating such disrespect OF COURSE people will feel empowered and continue with the same behaviour. It is the wrong attitude. Anyway, that incident bothered me for weeks as I kept thinking about it…

One thing that I spent a lot of time on lately, was shopping for a nice electric bike or scooter. In this epidemic, I want to avoid public transportation (bus & subway) and if my work place for now is at a walking or biking distance, it is quite tiring in the summer heat (and I am closer to sixty than fifty years-old after all). I rented one for a week and I liked it a lot, but when I wanted to purchase one not a single store in the metropolitan area had any in stock. I guess everybody had the same idea at the same time and I was too late. An electric BIKE looks cool (particularly the Banana Boss, the Rad Runner 1, the Maxie Large, or the Paris) but it is quite expensive and a standard bicycle seat is really hard on my backside. Strangely, a scooter is less expensive, as well as being much more confortable and versatile. I’ve been checking several nice models (Écolo, Tao Aquarius, Vienna, Gio Italia, Mignon, UQi Pro, etc.) but now I found a good store and I am just waiting for them to receive some stock later this month…

Many important events happened in the second quarter of 2020 ( the end of May, June and the beginning of July) but I don’t want to spend much time on those current events. However, the world stage was dominated by the three great plagues of the era. First, the coronavirus. So far, the world has suffered over 10 million cases of infection resulting in over half a million deaths! We dealt relatively well with it in Canada, but the U.S. in on the verge of total catastrophe as it reopened too soon and they are now seeing an horrible surge in infection (over fifty-thousand new cases each day!). 

The second plague is Trump. I would think that we would get used to it by now but his mishandling of the coronavirus response (no national coordination, not enough test and PPE, not urging confinement, distanciation, and wearing masks, etc.), his constant lying, and his rhetoric encouraging hate-speech and inciting to violence kept making everything worse. Sometimes, I think he just doing it on purpose. If he is not a Putin agent, he is certainly an agent of chaos. He loves it. I can’t wait until November… 

The final plague is racism. Following the death by police abuse of George Floyd and many other subsequent similar baffling incidents, the American urban areas erupted in spontaneous protests against this pervasive institutional racism that literally plagues the U.S. How did we moved from a pandemic to riots in the streets? (Without much social distancing hence the cases surge) We all hoped that it was getting better but I guess we got negligent — the coronavirus confinement and Trump inducement somehow seem to have put salt on the wound — as it now seems worse than ever. It must be dealt with once and for all. With police reform certainly (defunding, demilitarizing, new structure, call it what you want — I always thought we should have several level of policing: the unarmed street or biking cop, the patrol police answering to theft and hold-up, the inspector, the riot police and now we should have a force of psycho-social worker for domestic violence, teenage trouble, neighbour disputes, etc.), but the disease goes further than that. Social reform and massive investments to reduce inequality (in education, in job opening, in housing, etc.) are necessary. With the recent movements like Me-Too and Black Lifes Matter, I feel that the world is effervescent and on the verge of great changes, just like in ’68. However, we will have to be patient. Real change takes time. But now the seed of change, the idea that it is possible, has been planted in people’s minds. It only remains to take care of it and watch it germinate… But the first step toward that change is for American to go vote in November.

Racism has always bothered me. All my life I tried to treat everybody equally, not letting their opinion, behaviour, the size of their nose, the colour of their eyes, hair or skin (pink, brown, “black”, “red” or “yellow”) distract me from the fact that we were all the same. Human beings. I always tried to be tolerant (sometime failing: for a while I became quite intolerant toward religion, but now the only thing I can’t tolerate is intolerance — and stupidity). When I was a teenager I thought that the best way to solve racism was to intermarry and eventually we would all become of the same skin colour (that’s what I did, unfortunately I never had kids — too much trouble!). However, skin colour is just an excuse for racists: in fact they are just afraid of the difference (people thinking, dressing, talking, etc., differently than they are). There are many culture on this world and, if we just learn about them, we see there is no reason to be afraid. We discover that this difference is beautiful, that it is a wealth. Those people usually are against (or ignorant of) science. Science is telling us that, genetically, we are all the same and that there is only one race: the human race. I always wanted to write about this complex and touchy subject (and someday I will). Unfortunately, whatever you say or write will always receive criticism: you didn’t say this, the way you say that is discriminatory, it is not enough, it is too much, etc., so I am waiting to have the right words. However, if you stay silent,  it is worse because they say that you are complicit, that you are encouraging racism by saying nothing. I prefer to show support by my actions: I won’t protest in the street but I’ll always try to be equitable, unbiased, and just. If I see someone being discriminated (racially or otherwise) I will try to defend them. And I’ll stay silent. If I scold you for doing something wrong (like misbehaving in the library or trying to cut the waiting line to enter the bus) and you answer be accusing me of being racist, I’ll stay silent. But just know that calling me a racist is the worst insult that you could give me…

I feel the end of this year will really be difficult… Take care of yourselves and stay safe !

Also, I found time to stay a little acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered a few notable news & links — which I now share with you (in both french or english, slightly categorized, but in no particular order — note that, to save on coding time, the links will NOT open in a new window), after the jump.

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J’emmerde Facebook

Sommet-des-dieux-animeLe 20 juin j’ai republié un message d’Animeland qui annonçait la bande-annonce d’un film d’animation adaptant un excellent manga d’un de mes auteurs préférés, Jiro Taniguchi. Le 26 juin j’ai reçu un message de Facebook qui disait “Your post goes against our Community Standards [on SPAM] so only you can see it.” J’ai donc contesté la décision et FB a fermé le dossier mais j’ignore toujours si mon billet original est toujours visible… alors je l’ai re-publié (mais il ne semble toujours pas visible!)…

 La bande-annonce en question (sur Vimeo)

Je suis outragé! Facebook trouve correct que Trump mente sur leur page, que Trump fasse de la désinformation et de la propagande haineuse, que Trump incite à la violence [WaPoNYT] mais je republie simplement un post qui parle d’une animation basé sur un beau manga de mon auteur préféré et c’est du SPAM ???? F**k you FB, je commence sérieusement à penser à te laisser tomber !

Ne vous gênez pas pour commenter et laisser FB savoir quelle petite merde ils sont!

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F**k Facebook !

On June 20 I republished a message from Animeland announcing the trailer for an animated film adapting an excellent manga from one of my favorite authors, Jiro Taniguchi [same news on Anime News Network]. On June 26 I received a message from Facebook saying “Your post goes against our Community Standards [on SPAM] so only you can see it.” So I contested the decision and FB closed the file but I still don’t know if my original post is still visible … So I re-posted it (but I’m still not sure it is visible…) !

I am outraged ! Facebook finds it okay that Trump lies on their page, that Trump does disinformation and propaganda, that Trump uses hate-speech and incites to violence [WaPoNYT] but when I simply republish a post that talks about an animation based on a beautiful manga by my favorite author it is SPAM ???? F ** k you FB, I’m seriously starting to think about dumping you !

Please feel free to comment and tell FB how shitty they are !

 

Notable News 2019

If you are bored by your confinement, here are links to over five-hundred-fifty news stories for all taste (well, mostly for mine).

Like I said in my latest “notable news” entry (for the beginning of 2020) I completely skipped over 2019 (my last entry before that was in January). I guess I was a little busy. On the domestic front there is not much to say. I don’t want to look back too much on 2019, since it was a bad year — and, now that we know that 2020 is even worst, why bother? I guess I wrote a lot about it (you can check the blog indexes update). I feel the same for what happened on the world stage (refer to Wikipedia for the events of 2019, from January to December).

However, despite everything, I always stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and collect links to the notable news story of the time. I call it scrap-linking: it’s like scrapbooking but instead of collecting old newspaper articles in files or scrapbooks (like my father used to do), I just collect links to news-story on the internet. Therefore, with this blog entry, I would like to make some sort of a review of the year through those links. Be aware that they are in both French or English, slightly categorized, but in no particular order, and of course, because this is old, some links may have become dead or completely irrelevant, sorry about that — also note that, to save on coding time, the links will NOT open in a new window as usual. I am sharing all this with you >> after the jump.

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Entrevue capsule: Yves Meynard

Voici la dernière des trois entrevues-capsules que j’ai réalisé avec des auteurs de SFFQ au Salon du Livre de Montréal en novembre 2019. (J’espérais en faire plus à Boréal mais la convention a été reporté due à la COVID-19; je me reprendrai peut-être au prochain Salon du Livre de Montréal, si il a lieu…). Je suis désolé que cela m’est pris si longtemps avant de mettre cette entrevue en ligne…

Les entrevues-capsules sont de mini-entrevues avec des auteurs (surtout de science-fiction) de chez nous. Le principe de ces entrevue est de s’en tenir à deux ou trois questions de base (qui êtes-vous, que faites-vous, etc.) et que l’entrevue ne dure pas plus que deux à cinq minutes. Cela doit être compacte et bien se digérer!

Yves Meynard est maintenant un vétéran de la SFFQ. Il est un auteur versatile car il écrit tant en français qu’en anglais, et est à l’aise dans plusieurs genres littéraires dont la science-fiction et la fantasy.  Il a été membre de la rédaction de Samizdat et Solaris, dont il a été directeur littéraire de 1994 à 2002. Il a été co-anthologiste pour Sous des soleils étrangers, Orbite d’approche, Tesseracts 5 et Escales sur Solaris. Il commence à écrire en 1986 et, depuis lors, a publié plus de cinquante nouvelles, dix-neuf livres en français (dont neuf romans pour la jeunesse) et deux romans en anglais (The Book of Knights et Chrysanthe). Il est également lauréat de nombreux prix littéraires.  (Sources: Alire, Biblio, DALIAF,  Goodreads, Page officielle, Wikipedia).

( voir la version 4K de la vidéo disponible sur Vimeo )

Autres entrevues-capsules disponibles: Catherine Sylvestre / Francine Pelletier, Sébastien Chartrand et Jonathan Reynolds.

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Capsules

Notable News (Winter – Spring 2020)

As you know, I periodically reflect on the latest notable news , both in my life and in the world, and gather links to the stories I found the most interesting during that time (as a kind of press review). My latest entry on that subject was in January of last year. I’ve skipped the notable news for 2019 (I was a little busy — but I’ll come back to that later) but here they are for the first third of 2020 — I can’t believe we are already in 2020. This will be another decade of disappointment and unfulfilled promises. Where are the cyberspace and the body implants we were promised?!

There is not much to say about what happened on the domestic front. It has been quite busy (and exhausting) at work but I think I dealt pretty well with it. The library was undertaking renovation works to install a sorting “robot” for the returns and completely redo our working area and the counter. Preparing for those renovations and organizing a temporary set-up in order to stay functional and open to the public during the works was quite an ordeal. However, we did well and survived. And then we closed because of the epidemic…

The winter was relatively mild, and spring was early but cold. On the subject of health, I was plagued by a litany of problems: first, with all the hard work at the library, I literally broke my back (getting a serious sciatica), then got a bad flu/cold and finally was deeply pained by a kidney stone (I get one about every ten years). However, I am much better now as the calculus has recently passed. Funnily, despite doing lots of physical work around the house and regularly walking around the parc, I still managed to gain a couple of kilos. You know you have attained a certain age when idle conversations tend to focus more on your ailments than on the weather!

I have also been doing satisfactorily well in my reading and writing. I find it quite extraordinary when, after finishing a book in the previous night, I wake up in the morning with almost the entire reading comment in my head! Doing both reading and writing on a regular basis is a good training for the mind and it seems to get easier and easier with time.

The news on the world stage were dominated by the American election (mostly the democrats’ primaries and the stupid antics of the president — nothing really new there) and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At first, like everybody, I wasn’t too concerned. It was just something happening in China. Then, when it became clear that it was spreading easily with cases in Korea, California and Iran, I voiced my concerns to my boss, asking her what was the plan in such circumstances (it was late February or early March). I was told that they weren’t told of any plan. There was not even a sanitizer distributor in the entrance of the workplace — which should have been mandatory. When the government started telling people to stay home and we closed to the public (March 13th), I started really worrying because we were still working and using public transportation. I was afraid to bring the virus home (since one of my family members is immunosuppressed and I am myself at risk because of hypertension). I was just about to tell my boss that I couldn’t continue to work when they decided to send us home (March 19th). 

Not being sure how long this forced vacation (with pay!) would last, I decided to make the best of it and catch up on my reading/writing. Although, after a few days of this coronavirus self-isolation, I realized I hadn’t done much. I wanted initially to read a book or watch a movie each day but I didn’t (maybe it was too ambitious?). I did a few things around the house and wrote a couple of blog entries about the current situation and offered suggestions of stuff to do. But I should be doing more. If not I was afraid to wake up at the end of this “staycation” having done nothing. And there was so much to do. I am happy to say that, so far, I am doing well.

With the pandemic in full swing it is hard to think back about other events that marked the beginning of 2020. In January, beside the usual fires and floods or the conflicts in the Middle-East, we can find noteworthy the American airstrike on the Baghdad Airport to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, Prince Harry and Meghan leave the British Royal family, as more cases are reported the Chinese authorities start investigating this unknown pneumonia outbreak that will become the coronavirus pandemic, and the impeachment trial of Trump moves into the Senate.

In February, we see the first deaths of coronavirus outside China (first in the Philippines, then in Hong Kong, Japan, France, Iran, South Korea, Italy, USA, etc.), the Iowa Democratic Party caucuses are a disaster, Trump is acquitted on both articles of impeachment by the Senate, Harvey Weinstein is found guilty, the Dow Jones starts dropping, and there’s a first possible case of communal transmission of the coronavirus in California.

In March, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bloomberg drop their presidential candidacy and endorse Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren also suspends her campaign (without endorsing Biden yet), the coronavirus outbreak is getting bigger and we see the first death in Canada, following an oil-price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia the Dow Jones drop even further, WHO officially declares the Coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic (3/11) prompting some countries or states to follow China’s example in implementing a lockdown (Italy, Spain, California, Canada, New York, India) and several major events (sport, concert, convention, etc) are getting cancelled. WHO announces that there are at least 20 vaccines candidates in development for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Wuhan (capital of the Hubei province) ends its lockdown and starts reopening.

In April, Bernie Sanders suspends his presidential campaign and endorses Biden, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases passes two million worldwide (4/16) as the pandemic keep growing. The mitigation measures are working and so far the hospitals, if very busy and despite the shortage of PPE, are not overwhelmed as it was first feared. Most countries have put financial measures to help their citizens live through the lockdown and are now planning to slowly ease their containment mesures. The main problem remains the insufficient testing and, in the USA, the absence of Federal coordination. Trump, in his self-absorbed usual incompetence, is definitely not up to the task (I just can’t understand why this guy is still in power). If you would rather burn down the country than admit you’re wrong, you’re not only a bad person, you are also pure evil. Anyway, the month is not over yet, so I’ll keep an eye on the current events, however depressing it might be.

Finally, as usual and through all this, I tried to stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered a few notable news & links — which I now share with you (in both french or english, slightly categorized, but in no particular order — note that, to save on coding time, the links will NOT open in a new window), after the jump.

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43th Japan Academy Film Prize (2020)

The Japan Academy Film Prize (日本アカデミー賞 / Nippon Akademī-shō) is the Japanese Academy Awards (Oscars). It is awarded each year by the Nippon Academy-shō Association. The nominees were announced on January 15th and the winners were revealed at the ceremony held at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa on March 6th. (Sources: Japan Academy Prize, Google, IMDb, Wikipedia).

See our entries for the previous years: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2007.

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Full Awards list (winners in red) after the jump:

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Anime & manga news

Self-isolating has given me more time to pay attention to what’s happening in the anime and manga world. Therefore, here are a few news that I have noticed recently and that might interest you (if you are a fan):

Kodansha and Production I.G. have announced a new Stand Alone Complex anime series titled Ghost in the shell: Stand Alone Complex_2045. Directed by Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki, the series will have two 12-episode seasons (each director overseeing one season) starting on Netflix worldwide on April 23. The anime will be a 3D CG animation and the character designs are by Russian illustrator Ilya Kushinov. (Source: ANN’s “Ghost in the Shell- SAC_2045 Anime Reveals Trailer, New Cast, April 23 Debut“).

There will be another Gundam movie titled Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway (Kidō Senshi Gundam: Senkō no Hathaway). Due to open in Japanese theatres on July 23rd, the movie is based on a novel series by Yoshiyuki Tomino. It deals with the aftermath of Char’s Counterattack‘s climatic finale and is centred around Hathaway Noa, the son of captain Bright Noa. The project is directed by Shukou Murase, with a script by Yasuyuki Mutou, character designs by Pablo Uchida, Naoyuki Onda, and Shigeki Kuhara, and mechanical designs by Hajime Katoki, Kimitoshi Yamane, Seiichi Nakatani, and Nobuhiko Genba. (Source: ANN’s “Gundam- Hathaway Anime Film Teased With New Visual”).

Surprisingly, I discovered that 70 year-old mangaka Moto Hagio is still quite active. The fourth arc of her series Poe no Ichizoku (The Poe Clan), Himitsu no Hanazono (The Secret Garden), was put on hiatus last May but will resume in the August issue of Shogakukan‘s Monthly Flowers magazine on June 27. The original story, Poe no Ichizoku was first published in Japan in 1972–1976, with a sequel, Poe no Ichizoku: Haru no Yume, published in 2016–2017 and a third arc, Poe no Ichizoku: Unicorn, was published in 2018–2019. Fantagraphics Books (which has already released several of her titles: The Heart of Thomas (1973–1975), Otherworld Barbara (2002–2005), A Drunken Dream and Other Stories (2010)) is releasing the manga in English as a two-volume omnibus. (Source: ANN’s “Moto Hagio’s Latest The Poe Clan Manga Resumes in June”).

NHK announced that it is producing a live-action series adaptation of Jiro Taniguchi‘s The Walking Man (Aruku Hito) manga to premiere on NHK BS4K channel on April 5, with new episodes coming on the first Sunday of every month. The unnamed protagonist will be played by actor Arata Iura. (Source: ANN’s “Jiro Taniguchi’s The Walking Man Manga Gets Live-Action Series”).

My friend Frederik L. Schodt has been interviewed by the Cartoonist Kayfabe (Ed Piskor & Jim Rugg). It is available on their Youtube channel: “Frederik L. Schodt, The Man Who Introduced Manga To America, Shoot Interview!”. Have a look:

If you are bored because of self-isolation you can now watch lots of classic anime on this new streaming service called RetroCrush ! A parent to AsianCrush, this video-on-demand service is free (but ad-supported) and is available only through apps (on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and smart TVs).(Source: ANN’s “Digital Media Rights’ RetroCrush Anime Streaming Service Launches With Classic Anime Titles”). 

Here is the list of titles available so far (either Sub and/or Dub): 8 Man After, A Wind Named Amnesia, A.D. Police, Adieu Galaxy Express, Angel Cop, Area 88, Black Jack, Blue Seed, Blue Submarine No 6, Bubblegum Crash!, Bubblegum Crisis, Card Captor Sakura, Ceres Celestial Legend, Chargeman Ken!, Cosmos Warrior Zero, Creamy Mami, Cromartie High School, CyBuster, DNA2, Dagger of Kamui, Dallos, DearS, Demon City Shinjuku, Demon Lord Dante, Devil Lady, DieBuster, Eat-Man, Eat-Man ’98, Fighting Foodons, Flame of Recca, Fuse: Memoirs of the Hunter Girl, Fushigi Yuugi, Gakuen Heaven, Galaxy Express, Giant Gorg, GoShogun, GodMars, Goku Midnight Eye, Gokudo, Golko 13: The Professional, GTO, Hells, Iria: Zeiram The Bounty Hunter, Jin-Roh, Jungle Emperor Leo, Kaiba, Key: The Metal Idol, Kyousougiga, Library War, Like the Clouds Like the Wind, Lily CAT, Mononoke, Nagasarete Airanto, Night on the Galactic Railroad, Otaku no Video, Pilot Candidate, Pop Team Epic, The Princess and the Pilot, Project A-ko, Riding Bean, Robot Carnival, Samurai Pizza Cats, Samurai Troopers, Sea Prince and Fire Child, Shining Tears x Wind, Space Adventure Cobra, Space Warrior Baldios, Street Fighter II, Tenjho Tenge, Thermae Romae, Toriko: Special Recipe of Gourmet God, Twelve Kingdoms, Twilight of the Cockroaches, Ultra Maniac, Urusei Yatsura Beautiful Dreamer, Vampire Princess Miyu, Virtua Fighter, Wicked City, Zombie Loan.

And here are a few more news:

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Status report (March)

Corona_Banner

The life in the time of the coronavirus continues… I’ve now been in self-isolation for over a week (actually for about ten days) and I am doing well. There are no signs of any symptoms so far and I am in good shape (physically and mentally) — although I still suffers from kidney stones from time to time. I try to stay fit by doing at least an hour of walking (if possible reaching ten thousand steps) and thirty minutes of cardio (by shovelling the backyard or sweeping the driveway) every day — while keeping my distance from people which is really not a problem for me. Unfortunately we had a couple of days of rain and I couldn’t reach my goals during that time. 

I also stay fit mentally by keeping busy with my blog and doing stuff around the house. First, all this reading is a great help in lowering my tsundoku pile. Second, since I am theoretically still working for the library, I try to do some reference work by writing as much reading suggestions and comments as possible. I have everything I need here to keep busy.

The moral is good — despite spending lots of time watching the news, both local and American. I really don’t mind the isolation. Now-a-day — with tons of books & Dvds, the television and the internet to make the mind travel — can we really be isolated anymore? In a way, the only apprehension is about going back to work and ending this very productive streak. However, the way things are going, I don’t think I have to worry about that for a while…

At first I was hoping to read a book and watch a movie every day, but all the walking and doing chores around the house take some time. I have not written as much as I would have liked. So far, I wrote a list of thing to do to keep busy during the isolation, my usual “Natural Friday” entries (about the dodo and the megaladapis), a comment about the second volume of Histoire en manga, a suggestion list for long series of manga in French, and a series of articles about Ghost in the shell Stand Alone Complex (manga, anime TV series, 2nd Gig, Official Log book 1, and movie) as well as the original manga. More (so much more) is in the works.

In the meantime, things are not doing so well around the world. We seem to cope well here in Quebec, but the situation looks dire in Europe and, particularly, in the U.S.. Here are some links to keep yourself informed:

Please, stay put and safe — and keep reading.

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Longues séries de manga

J’ai vu sur FB quelqu’un qui demandait quelle série de manga je voudrais avoir sous la main si j’étais en confinement sur une île déserte (ou à la maison en cas d’épidémie?)… Je n’ai évidemment pas pu résister à donner mon opinion…

J’ai répondu “Probablement “Détective Conan” (97 vol.) ou “Les gouttes de dieu” (62 vol.) parce que c’est long et c’est intéressant…” En effet, la plupart des grosses séries sont des shonen insipides mais il y a toute de même quelques séries qui sont assez intéressantes pour stimuler l’intellect.

En me basant sur une liste des longues séries de manga au Japon, j’ai concocté cette liste des vingt-cinq longues séries (de plus de quarante volumes) traduites en français (je ne garanti pas que c’est exhaustif):  

Grappler Baki 137 vol. (au Japon) Delcourt: 31 vol. (Épuisé?)
Hajime no Ippo 127 Kurokawa: 30 vol. (En cours)
Captain Tsubasa 102 Glénat: 37 vol. (En cours)
Détective Conan 97 Kana: 96 vol. (En cours)
One Piece 95 Glénat: 94 vol. (En cours)
Bleach 74 Glénat: 74 vol. 
Naruto 72 Kana: 72 vol. 
Fairy Tail 63 Pika: 63 vol.
Les gouttes de dieu /Mariage 62 Glénat: 58 vol. (En cours)
Inu Yasha  56 Kana: 56 vol.
Hana yori dango / Hana Nochi Hare 50 Glénat: 37 + 10 vol. (en cours)
Angel Heart 49 Panini: 33 + 16 vol. 
3 x 3 Eyes 48 Pika: 40 vol. (Épuisé?)
Initial D 48 Kazé: 40 vol. (En cours)
Ah! My Goddess 48 Pika: 48 vol.
Doraemon 45 Kana: 45 vol. 
Skip Beat!  44 Sakka: 40 vol. (En cours)
Zipang 43 Kana: 43 vol. (Épuisé?)
Toriko 43 Kazé: 43 vol.
Haikyū!! 42 Kazé: 36 vol. (En cours)
Chihayafuru 42 Pika: 32 vol. (En cours)
Dragon Ball 42 Glénat: 42 vol. 
Reborn! 42 Glénat: 42 vol. 
Berserk 40 Glénat: 40 vol.
Psychometrer Eiji  40 Kana: 40 vol. (Épuisé?)

Et vous, qu’est que vous aimeriez lire en de telles circonstances?

Bonne lecture!

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Livre-en-sac

Avec l’épidémie de Coronavirus et les mesures de distanciation sociale qui en découlent beaucoup de gens se retrouvent isolés chez eux avec pas grand chose à faire sinon d’écouter la télévision, la radio ou de lire. Avec la fermeture des bibliothèques, des librairies et des cinémas, les gens n’ont plus d’opportunités de se procurer de quoi les occuper. Et peu ont la chance d’avoir une grosse collection de livres et de Dvds à la maison (moi, je n’ai rien à craindre, j’ai de quoi m’occuper pour plus d’une décennie si nécessaire!). 

Bien sûr, il reste toujours l’internet où l’on peut télécharger des livres numériques (ebooks / livrels) ou visionner des films en continu (streaming). J’ai récemment mis en ligne une liste de suggestions de sites et de ressources à cet effet. Toutefois, il y a encore beaucoup de gens qui, pour des raison économique, n’ont pas accès à l’internet ou des personnes âgés qui trouvent tout ça un peu trop compliqué. Alors on retrouve plusieurs initiatives sur FB ou ailleurs pour prêter ou donner des livres à ceux qui en ont besoins. Des initiatives dans le genre du projet de microbibliothèques que la ville avait parti en 2015 (j’ignore si ce projet fonctionne encore mais il existe sûrement des projets similaires). Toutefois, aujourd’hui, j’aimerais vous parler d’un projet en particulier.

Dans la région du Grand Lévis, mon neveu — l’auteur Sébastien Chartrand — a décidé d’y aller de sa modeste contribution et de mettre le tier de sa collection personnelle (quelques deux-mille livres) disponible pour prêter à ceux qui en ont désespérément besoin. Il a démarré un site internet — le Livrensac de Lévis — où il explique son projet et donne la liste des titres disponibles. Les livres sont désinfectés à la lingette Lysol et placés dans un sac ziploc avant d’être livré à la porte ou dans la boîte aux lettres de ceux qui en font la demande! C’est une initiative tellement intéressante que même le journal local, le journal de Lévis, y consacre un article ! 

Il m’écrivait ce matin:

“J’aurais aimé pouvoir montrer à tout le monde le visage radieux des personnes âgées qui m’envoyaient la main par la fenêtre durant ma livraison de samedi, et le garçon qui sautillait sur place quand j’ai déposé ma pile de BD sur le pas de la porte…”

“J’espère vraiment que je vais réussir à rejoindre un maximum de gens isolés. Je demande aux gens de faire connaître. Ça va réduire, peut-être, l’envie de sortir de certains entêtés et donner envie à d’autres personnes d’imiter l’initiative dans d’autres régions…”

Alors, aidez-le et faites passer le mot… N’oubliez pas: https://livreensac.blogspot.com

J’admire grandement sa compassion et son courage. C’est toujours une grande joie de partager notre passion pour les livres (je le ressens souvent en bibliothèques) mais j’ai eut trop de mauvaises expériences à prêter les miens (j’ai perdu trace de plusieurs d’entre eux) que je n’oserais jamais me lancer dans une telle entreprise. Je préfère laisser passer la crise et lire paisiblement en écoutant du smooth jazz à la radio ou blogger sur ma “safe-house” en toute sécurité. Alors, je te lève mon chapeau, neveu !

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