28 February, 2013

At Angers Marcé airport, Palma de Mallorca, clear for take off

At Angers Marcé airport, summer holidays are already planned. A new destination has just appeared on the "short list" of the holidays flights. Next to Tunis, there are now on the airport website the Balearic Islands. A direct flight Angers-Palma is scheduled every Thursday from July 4th to August 22nd. The capital of the islands would be run by Air Nostrum, a subsidiary of the Spanish company, Ibéria. 

For that destination, Air Nostrum will use a Crj 900 with a passenger capacity of  88 seats. That company already links many Spanish cities. Stayings would be sold by the Voyamar-Aérosun agency, but do not yet appear on its website. It is the first time that country may be reached from Marcé. The season of the flights is shorter than on the other destination, Tunis, which is available from mi-April till the end of October. 

The Balearic Islands should attract a lot of Angers tourists because the weather is hot and sunny in the archipelago from May to October. That confims the choice of Angers Marcé for charter flights for Southern destinations. Regarding the regular lines, the Angers-Nice has been interrupted because of technical problems and the other towards London will resume on May 28. During winter, Angers is an island.

27 February, 2013

Angers Valley should care its Loire

If Angers is not crossed by the Loire, all events regarding that river may have consequencies, at least, consequencies about the image of the city which is looking  to enlarge its fame with the brancd Angers Loire Valley. That town as well as others located along the river should take care of the results of a survey the French daily Le Monde published on February 25th and unequivocally titled "Loire basin animals contamited by polluting substances".

The three years long survey demonstrates that all living species, animals, fish, birds are concerned by the pollution of the royal river. Marks of pesticides, polychlorinated byphenyl and even mercury have been found in different species. Hopefully, thanks to the regulations, no species of the widlife is threatened of disappearance.

Nevetheless, the Loire river fauna may suffer of two other elements of the environment : first, the presence of pharmaceutical and hormonal subtances that have not been studied but can have consequencies. Secondly, the global warming which leads to a decrease of the level of the water, so to a concentration of polluting substances, later reactivated by winter rises.

26 February, 2013

The Angers new website as a front side

At about one year before the next municipal ballots, perversity could lead to say that the Angers town council majority cares its communication through a new website. More lighten, less colourful but more relaxing, those are the first caracteristics of the Angers city website the internet users will notice. A giant "Angers.fr" claims the city is definitely involved in the internet era. But the main message delivered by the website is the will of the city to locate its homepage as an entrance to the social networks.

Facebook, Twitter, Dailymotion and Rss flows indicate an attention to stay close to the inhabitants and their mindset. The line dedicated to projects, districts and daily life must allow internet users to get answer about general as well as very pratical issues. The aesthetes or persons planning to visit the city will find panoramic shots on many aspects of Angers : gardens, facilities but not the stores...

The political note that could be find out is in the section "From projects to projects". Through that headline, Angers is looking to desmonstrate it goes ahead even if, curiously, the visitor first sees : the history of the city... Apparently, the website doesn't speak English. That's a pity for the internet users speaking that language... and for the fame of the city itself.

25 February, 2013

Angers university has got a deferment but will have to make choices

The Angers university has just got a little bit more time. After weeks of difficult talks its president, Jean-Paul Saint-André, and the ministry of higher education have reached an agreement. The first must save € 350 000 in 2013 and the second will grant a additionnal allocation of € 350 000.  So, in 2013, the structure will be able to run normally. If things are becoming clear, they are nevertheless delicate. 

First that situation of deficit has been admitted by the state "by special dispensation". Secondly, because Angers Loire Métropole and the Pays de la Loire province granted "exceptionally" about € 900 000. The result is the 2013 deficit is lowered to € 1.6 million and must become nil in 2014. The situation has now improved because a few weeks ago, Mr Saint-André faced a double problem. 

Credit Picture : Angers University
The deficit was € 2.4 millions and the board of directors denied to assume the case. The president of Angers university may take a breathe for a while but the case is not yet solved because additionnal savings look unavoidable in the years to come and especially on wages. The 2013 overall budget reaches € 140 millions and, on that amount, 82% are already dedicated to wages. That does a little bit questionable his decision to transform in civil servants 24 people till now hired in contract and to recruit 24 others supplementary teachers. 

24 February, 2013

Angers people may consider that the anti-airport demonstrators have their head in the clouds

The Angevins opponents to the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport scheme do not give up. After they tried to disturb the New Year greetings evening of the Angers mayor and of the Angers Loire Métropole president in early January, they demonstrated again in Raliement square on February 23rd. If their warnings appeared a little bit incongruous and counterproductive during the speeches of the Angers officials, Saturday, pedestrians didn't paid much attention to the demonstrators. 

It seems that, for the Angers present at that place, the demonstrators engaged themselves in a rearguard action. After two decades of surveys, public decisions and even contracts now implemented, and morevoer gloomy economic forecasts for 2013 and beyond, Angers inhabitants may consider that the abandon of the project could accentuate difficulties of short and medium range : unemployement, unattractiveness and even lack of contact with the outside world.

While the territorial authorities launched recently a new platform in favor of the airport, the slogans of the demon-strators, unchanged for months, attacked the Ayrault government, i.e. a national authority what denotes a weak setting-down of their campaign. For Angevins inhabitants, as for many other people of French western cities, what is at stake is not the government but the advantages and disavantadges the airport may bring to them and their children.

Angers mobile store owners have not time to wastes

The Angers open air market which takes place every Saturday morning on Maréchal Leclerc square is  a place many inhabitants love to walk around. Under the sun, but also under the cloudy and freezy day, there is always hustle and bustle between the stalls of flowers, vegetables, sea-food or local meals. Even if the prices are generally more expensive than in other places of the city, the atmosphere is something inhabitants are looking for.

Once the open air market over, the Maréchal Leclerc square has something similar to a deserted battleground. The mobile retail store owners have gone, leaving behind them wastes, papers and cardstocks men of the steets cleaning municipal department will have to clear. If the mobile store owners have paid a tax to set up their stalls on the square, some of them visible don't care about the mess they let behind them.

So Angers townhall would be well inspired to plan some waste containers in order to make the cleanliness of the city something people who live and work in it have in mind.

22 February, 2013

Angers télé : the way to reference is not deference

The start of Angers télé could have been rather difficult, according to numerous observers of the city medias landscape. While the opening of the channel was planned at 7 pm o'clock sharp, the first program took 20 mn to be broadcasted because of a difficult connection with the Rochefort-sur-Loire emitter. Since, the programs are broadcasted by hertzian way.The accessibility to the programs depends on the conclusion of an agreement between the different operators and Angers télé what could be more or less long. Even Angers website had had to give some informations about the frequences.

But the best acces to Angers télé is the web. Ant first glance, Angers Télé is rather colourful and more inspired than its predecessor, Angers 7. Maybe because the news were rather dramatic for the opening day : the laying off of a small girl from her school reestaurant, a meeting about Mali, the return to normal life of the Angers university,... But the willingness to talk about easy issues (restored bikes  for very low income persons with some deference to public institutions) could resurface quicky and damage the course of the new channel.

The anchorwomen, Nadège Abderrazak, looks to know the issues she is talking about, but is maybe a little too much attracted by her notes and speaks on a twitchy way. But after 24 hours of life, Angers télé can only improve itself.

21 February, 2013

in Angers, to tweet or not to tweet is not a question

In 24 hours, Angers has stated loud and clear its presence throughout a new tv channel, "Angers télé", just launched on February 21st, and "Tweeter", the world online social networking service. According to a survey published by La Gazette des Communes, more than 60% of the French big cities use that device which allows to the citizen-internet user-inhabitants to stay in touch with the news in their cities and even to become, from time to time, a decision-maker.

In a general ranking, Angers city is first, as well as for quantitative and qualitiative criterias : among them number of followers and tweet frequency. More than 4 400 followers are in touch through Twitter with Angers city. Angers mayor, and himself former manager of a computer company, Fredéric Béatse, says he is "convinced about the interest of the social network" because that one " is a way to stay close to the citizens", and probably to the voters...

The other event is the opening of the new Angers télé channel. The city was voiceless since the closure of Angers 7. Angers télé is also available on the web, a cheaper way to broadcast and to get audience. The new local tv claimed it would not be the "mayor's tv". That could be a disadvantage because in the field of internet, and given the success in Tweeter, it is clear the Angers mayor has the know how...

20 February, 2013

Jean-Luc Rotureau would like an Angers mayor be elected "By other means"

Under the title of his book recently published, "By other means", Jean-Luc Rotureau, deputy-mayor of Angers, has acknowledged, at least, that he is thinking very seriously about the municipal polls due to take place in 2014. But, Mr Rotureau visibly is waiting a decision from the Socialist Party he is member : "If there are no primaries, I will  wonder if I must be a candidate", he said to the daily Courrier de l'Ouest, making the point that "I didn't give a reply to that question".

Credit Picture : http://www.rotureau.fr/
Denying the fact he could be the trouble maker on the Angers left, the current deputy-mayor, and challenger of the mayor, Frédéric Béatse, pointed out that he " was not in an undermining work". On the opposite, "I am on a constructive mood" even he "didnt choose the current situation, which is difficult for the left camp in Angers", something he feels he is not responsible : "Don't swith roles".  

Apparently Mr Rotureau didn't put up with the way the new mayor was lead to office. "When the change of mayor occured, the supporters were not questioned about their opinion. No these didn't choose the mayor", he said, distancing himself by the fact he "had the life of a supporter and [he] learnt the left on the ground and not in the offices". Regarding the outcome of the polls, the possible candidate assures he is not afraid : "the fear to loose a power or to not get a power is something destructive for policy".

19 February, 2013

Forbiden from the pavements, the Angers crepes sellers will take to the streets

They will not have the pavement tax. But, they will not have anymore... pavement. The crepes sellers will not have the right to cook their crepes in the streets because of the implementation of a municipal rule. But is that rule a new one? It seems it is not the case. Moreover, the rule doesn't appear very clear because numerous food store owners already sell products, mainly pastries, behind stalls set up on the pavements.

According to Jacques Motteau, deputy-mayor in charge of commerce, the risk of a lack of discipline may lead to anarchy and even danger for the pedestrians. What could be said if one of them were to be burnt by the oil of a deep fryer? Nevertheless, the measure looks misunderstood by Angers down town store owners who complained, a few months ago, about the important increase of parking lots fares.

Recently, the Boulanger store left the commercial centre Fleur d'eau because of the difficulty and the cost of a quick stay in down town for customers. For the professionnals, the competition of the commercial park Atoll, itself in late regarding its commercial expectations, is the origin of the current difficulties of reatilers in down town. The Angers town council should come to grips with the decline of the commerce in the core of the city as well as for economical and political reasons.

18 February, 2013

The trend of unemployment has badly worsened in 2013

The figures are gloomy. In 2012, the number of unemployed persons in Angers Loire Métropole and immediately available for a work crossed the threshold of 15 000. The tendency reached more than 13% between december 2011 and december 2012! Few by few, the percentage comes closer to the national percentage : in the Angers area, the rate of joblessness rose to 9,7% while, in France, it is 9,9%.

The comparison with the whole Maine-et-Loire shows that Angers is the most weakened zone because, in the department, the rate of unemployed persons is 9,1% (and 8,6% in the whole region Pays-de-la-Loire). A figure illustrates, alas perfectly, the mood. In Angers, more than 1 300 persons were laid off last year. The increase is above 30% in comparison with 2011... The last year had recorded several closures of companies, and among them, Technicolor which stands for most of the 390 new jobless persons during October. 
The addition of all the categories of unemployed persons gives a total of more than 23 800 jobseekers in the economic area of Angers. The elder workers are the most severely affected by the trend. If such a trend were to continue, the economic issues could be joined to the reflections Angers town council wants to stimulate among inhabitants regarding the life in Angers. Curiously, that field doesn't appear in the themes of the last Participation day. It could be useful to include them because French growth is predicted to be nil in 2013. (Credit Pictures : Angers Loire Métropole)

17 February, 2013

The Angers communities, an important stake for 2014 and after

"The day of involvement", organized on February 16th by Angers city, has illustrated the fact that the numerous associations of the town will be an important field of the next municipal elections of 2014. The Angers decision-makers put together last week for the 30th anniversary of the centre of congress had already be informed by a sociologist that one of the main change in French way of consumption was the consumer didn't want anymore to "cash and carry" but to be involved in his purchasing act. Why would it not be the same in the political sphere?

More than 2 500 Angers inhabitants already dedicate part of their time to issue regarding life in the city and more than 1 500 associations are active within the city. So it is logical and wise that the Angers town council takes care of that think tank. While the resources of Angers city could be under increasing tensions in the years to come because of the economic crisis, the possibility for any town council to prepare or to check the relevance of the public choices becomes an important asset. 

Credit Pictures : Angers city
Street code and seveal urban projects are some of the issues on the agenda of the Angers participation policy on the weeks to come. But it would be counter-productive for Angers and its inhabitants that this parallel democracy be a lack of checks and balances. That would only weaken the participation to the polls and be in defavor of the current majority.

16 February, 2013

The Angers Subway Saint Valentine's "special" menu has not been digested

affiche subway The initiative of the Angers Subway sandwich shop located near the law university about a promotion limitated to heterosexual couples is not in favor of the sens of welcome the Angers city wants to publicize. "Rude service at restaurants is something of a stereotype in France, but one Subway sandwich shop located in Angers, about 180 miles from Paris, showed gay couples the door on Valentine’s Day", writes www.queerty.com whose tagline is "free of an agenda except the gay one". 

A sign, posted on February 14th by the Angers Subway owner, promoted "a Valentine’s special for couples: two foot-long subs for about $10". But, points out Queerty, "the owner indicated only male-female couples were allowed to use it—and insisted he was within his rights because same-sex marriage hasn’t official passed in the country" . *Discrimination (?), wrote the Angers store owner : No, the marriage for all bill has not yet been ratified by the senate. So for the moment I’m using the freedom-of-speech law".

The Subway France headquarter choose to repudiate what Queerty considers as an " act of bigotry". After it reprimanded the shop’s owner and ordered the sign be removed immediately, Subway expressed regret over the incident and closed the shop on Friday. The local lesbians, gays, bi and transexuals group, Quazar, said it will intends to sue the Subway Angers store manager because of anti-discrimination laws. "But, adds Queerty, since it was a Valentine’s Day promo, does that even matter? More importantly, if you’re taking your honey to Subway for Valentine’s Day—gay or straight—you’ve got bigger problems, n’est-ce pas?".

15 February, 2013

Angers télé want to stay aside from politics

Angers Télé will start to broadcast on February 21st at 7 (pm) o'clock sharp. The managers of the project clearly want to make clear that there will be a separation between Angers city and the new channel. An ethics commette has already been set up what could appear as an appropriate measure to neutralize any critic from the adversaries of the current majority. But is that committee independant from the Angers town council?

Probably many viewers of Angers 7 will not take care of the issue because the program looks to be rather structured and may be too. Each day has its dominant feature what could bore the audience. So one of the challenge will consist in a permanent renewal. The good idea of Angers Télé is to be accessible from different sources Tnt, cable or internet and above all 24 hours a day.

One of the remits of the ethic committe will be "to monitor the good use of French language". That loof old fashioned because the French news editors are not always the most respectful of the French language. A quality of the channel is the moderation of its business plan. The team and the ambition are considered. But in time of economic difficulties, that's rather wise.

14 February, 2013

The Angers touareg storyteller wanted by Mali justice

Credit picture : blog Moussa Ag Assarid
The Malian storyteller living in Angers, Moussa Ag Assarid,  is wanted by the Malian justice. Nor because of that activity, but because he also is the spokesperson of the Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (Mnla), a political group which demand the independance of the Northern part of Mali, apparently not only through pacific ways. The daily Ouest-France published on February 13th a picture of Mr. Ag Assarid in the middle of a groud of fighters wearing arms...
According the prosecutor of the court of appeals of Bamako, those islamist groups have conjured against the security of the Mali state, but above all guilty of terrorist acts and drugs trafic. About thirty persons are wanted and Mr Ag Assarid is one of them.  Legal procedures, at national and international levels, have been lauched by the prosecutor, so the "touareg of Angers" could be arrested by French police.
The man, who was, before his sudden departure for Mali, member of several Malian associations of Angers, and member of the foreign people Angers council, said to the press, "he knew what he was doing" by leaving the city and joining the Mnla in Mali.

Those decisions stirred huge emotion among Malian people leaving in Angers who are, at best, dumbfounded, at worst, outraged by Mr Ag Assarid's behaviour.  It is said that this one is now living in Angers surroundings.

Angers town council majority is looking for a second wind with a new centre of congress

For its 30th anniversary, the Angers centre of congress has dedicated the February 13th evening to a debate about the changes in behaviour's consumers for the last 30 years and the consequences of that for the city political and economical  managers. If Angers is not apart from the world evolutions, nevertheless, some of those trends may lead the authorities in charge of the city to implement specific answers in which the Angers centre of congress has a part to play.

The first change is the globalization which makes disappear the differences between countries. But, as Eric Groud, chairman of the Maine-et-Loire Chamber of commerce and industry reminded, that globalization was followed by "identity jerks" (religion, languages, separatisms, etc). So, that unpredicted consequences should stimulate Angers to cultivate a strong and specific identity in order to get more fame, more attractiveness (with the business tourism) and more money.  For the Angers centre of congress, its president, Jean-Claude Bachelot, pointed out that in 30 years, the business tourism "had fueled more than € 200 millions of revenues" in the city.

According to the Angers mayor, Frédéric Béatse, the most important change he experienced since 30 years was the connection of the city with Paris with the high speed train, an asset he wants the project of a new centre of congress he plans to locate near the Le Quai Theâtre makes the most of it.  That scheme will be one of the most important goals he would like to set up, if reelected as mayor. The current centre of congress "had already been in the core of the Angers municipal polls 30 years ago", reminded Mr. Bachelot. The new one could be a proeminent issue of the 2014 Angers ballots...  Mr Béatse is warned.

12 February, 2013

People having to change of residential location choose Angers

According to a survey of the website www.changerdeville.fr, Angers is, among the cities from 100 000 to 200 000 inhabitants, the 1st choice people would do if they were due to change another town as main home.The three standards which lead towards Angers are the cost of daily life, the ease to find a home and the ease of transport. If Angers is not visible in the head of the ranking in the standards taken one by one, the combination of those gives Angers an enviable 1st rank.

According to changerdeville.fr, the proximity of Angers towards Paris and the high speed train are an important asset for the city. So, that one has made the good choice in trying to shorten the railway travel between Angers and Paris thanks to the works at Sablé. Twenty years ago, the project of a high speed line linking Angers to Paris had been rejected by some Maine-et-Loire representatives what appears today as an historical mistake.

On a ranking of the cities apart from their number of inhabitants, Angers is 4th among 132 other cities. Tours would be its most important competitor. A few months ago, Angers had already been ranked, by L'Express as the cities from 200 000 to 300 000 habitants where the way of life was popular. The last news from changerdeville.fr are important indications the managers of the city should take care in order to make Angers more famous and attractive.

11 February, 2013

The audience of a debate about "islamophobia" has not been revealed

The debate about "the impact on (French) society of an islamophobia without complexes" organized on February 9th by Angers islamic associations in Trélazé city apparently didn't caught much attention. The Angers internet medias didn't dedicated coverages about that issue. No news was published about the audience got by the debate and what was discussed that day.

Probably because the promoters of the gathering choose the wrong way by considering an anti-islam feeling is growing among French population. The title of the debate was, in itself, an accusation of the Angers society and an indication of the fact muslim people consider they are victims of a anti-islam mood. Was it the good way to enlight people what be their religious (or anti-religious) opinions?

It seems that Angevins inhabitants, largely secularised, think that a religious opinion is, like many other opinions, a personnal matter. The fact religious opinions interfere more often now in the public sphere than 30 years ago is maybe something worrying for the local opinion. For example, the numerous muslim women walking in Angers streets with scarves on their head force other people to know what are their religious opinions. Angers people have the right to ignore what others may think in religious matters. Their lack of interest for the debate is an answer.

10 February, 2013

US and Mexico music, theatre and danse at the Angers regional academy in March

Jazz and musical are, among other events, on the music stand of the Angers regional academy during an "American Week" which shall take place at the Arts House from March 20th to 27th. The academy will be full of US as well as Mexico theater, music and danse with two lectures per day or exhibitions, during that period. That event coincides with the celebration of the Angers conservatory. The place will be opened to the public on March 23rd. The classes will be public every morning and the academy will offer performances every afternoon.

The Angers regional academy dispenses teachings in music, danse and theatre to 1 350 pupils with 80 qualified teachers. In order to widen its offer, the Angers academy has numerous partnerships with local and regional structures. But, the benefit pupils may get from the acadmy "makes neccesary a high involvement both from teachers and pupils". Eighty per cent of the resources of the academy come from Angers city.

These are mostly registered in music (1 150) then danse (175) and theatre (25), disciplines where hard work may lead pupils to "blossoming thanks to the surpassing of themselves".

09 February, 2013

Angers town council : "Minority report"

The title, the objectives and even the colours, black and red, of the platform are unequivocal. "Angers danger, the other appraisal of the Angers city council" is a fierce critic of the minority town council against the action of the two successive mayors, Jean-Claude Antonini, then Frédéric Béatse. Economy and employment, housing, planning, transportations, governance, daily life, solidarity-leisures, finance, districts, nothing finds favour in the eyes of the minority town council group. But the reproaches are not only technical.

There is worse in the pure political field. The members of the opposition consider that "there are some real things the mayor and the town council majority are inclined to misrepresent or to ignore". The signatories of the platform didn't swallowed the circumstances of the tranfer of power between the former and the current mayor they qualify as a "seizure of power" (i.e. a coup d'état). If some illustrations are correct (demography, unemployment, economy are not at their peak in Angers), the curent, and even former, town council is not necessarily responsible of that. Angers face the consequences of an international depression and the miseries the city experiment are the result of forty years of France's wrong policies (public debt, lack of structural reforms and even bad reforms like the working time reduction!).

The platform is the official launching of the campaign for the municipal polls of 2014 and above all predicts the way of that campaign : harsh and merciless. But that option will be demanding for the signatories of the leaflet. They will have to demonstrate and of course to convince the Angers inhabitants. The game is far from being over.

08 February, 2013

Angers Aqua Vita swimming pool complex on the start platform

Before the end of the current year, the Angers inhabitants can swim in Aqua Vita, the new water complex of the city. The first stone of the project has just been put up by on January 30th by the mayor. "Aqua Vita is the facility the Angers people missed. Do not forget that one inhabitant out of two does not go in holidays". So the water complex should replace the seaside for low income Angers households.

The objectives of visits are ambitious. Thanks to Aqua Vita, the globla numbers of visitors in Angers swiming pools shoulde increase from 658 000 to 885 000. And the new complex alone should register 390 000 entrance tickets. Through that facility, Angers city goes after the apprenticeship of swimming for all pupils of Angers primary schools and a place of relaxation for those who stay in town during summer. And all at low fares.

The money aspect triggers the main critics because Angers finances would not be presently in the same conditions as a few years ago. The overall cost of Aqua Vita reaches € 35 millions, 9 millions being financed by other public authorities. Frédéric Béatse, aware of those opinions, assured the project was "under control". It would be ironic that the city finances were sunk because of a swimming pool complex.

07 February, 2013

Angers city implements the "Contracts of future"...and future expenses

Of course the initiative is nice and the goal is honourable. On February 7th, Angers mayor, Frédéric Béatse, signed the first "Contract of future", a measure decided by the French government to promote the integration of young people in the professionnal life. Mr Béatse reminded the audience at this signature about the fact one out of five jobseekers is under 25 years old. The first recipient of that formula is Nicolas Dudoit, a young inhabitant of 25 years old who has a maintenance in buildings professionnal skill certificate.

Credit Picture : Angers city
Mr Dudoit should be followed by many others. About 125 persons should be hired by Angers city and Angers Loire Métropole before the end of the year. The overall cost of the measure will be of  € 2,5 millions per year but Angers city and Angers Loire Métropole will pay less because they will get allocations from the state. As if those were not financed by taxes!

If the insertion of youngs is a real problem in France, it is not sure that the best way to give them a job is to hire them in the public sector. Indeed, it has been widely said byt France and international financial institutions that the public operating expenses, and among them the wages bill, are already too important and must be lowered. For a higly likeable cause, Angers city and Angers Loire Métropole are just doing the opposite. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

06 February, 2013

The last Plantagenet king of England facing Angers

Thanks to the reconstruction of his face, the last Plantagenet king of England, Richard III, whose ancestors were originating from Anjou, looks to revive. Killed in 1485 at the battle of Bosworth by his foe, and successor, the Tudor Henry VII, Richard III was buried hastly in a little church of a monastery demolished and hidden for years under the black asphalt of a Leicester car park. His skull, uncovered in August 2012 with his skeleton, has been studied by a professor of cranio-facial identification at Dundee University with the same scientific procedures that would normally be used to put faces to unidentified victims of crime.

 Using images from a scan of the skeleton, the specialist was able to look at a 360-degree image of the skull and begin the process of reconstruction. In the programme, one of the first observations was that the skull was “gracile” and not strongly masculine. The reconstruction process began with the attaching of virtual pegs to the surface of the skull so it gives a contour and each peg represents the distance from the surface of the skull to the surface of the face. 

The next step began by adding the anatomical structure, starting with the eyeballs and slowly building up the muscle structure, fat tissue and skin (The whole process is carried out in a 3D computer system using pre-modelled, pre-scanned data to speed up the process). Then the virtual skin is placed on top of the muscle structure in a similar way to real clay, building it up roughly at first until it becomes smoother and more detailed. the nose was choosen from the database that is similar to the one they want and then they alter that to fit the skull.

Angers last year memorialized the execution of Edward Plantagenet, the legitimate pretender to the throne of England after the death of Richard III. Edward Plantagenet was executed by order of Henry VII. Curiously, the simultaneous discovery of the remains of Richard III were never related by Angers press while the city of the Plantagenet partially dedicated the Accroche-Coeurs 2012 to that dynasty.

05 February, 2013

A "Maison de la langue française" in Angers ? Wine and see...

Some news  look to be jokes. The association Les lyriades de la langue française plans to open in Angers a "Maison de la langue française" What for? Has the level o French people in french become so bad that they need an additionnal training? The interest of the project even has been pointed out by Stéphane Martinez, member of the Maine-et-Loire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in charge a partnerships. During a period of economic crisis, such an idea is at best questionable, at worst incongruous.

The most worrying is the involvement of territorial authorities in the financing a feasability studies : the Pays de la Loire region, the Maine-et-Loire department and Angers city. All are united for the promotion of French in France. Wouldn't it be more useful to promote their territories abroad?

"The set up of such a structure in Angers will be a real asset for the attractiveness of the territory, moreover on a world level", ads Mr. Martinez. But one of the objecives of the "Maison de la langue française" is also the promotion of wines. But that has to see with tongue and not language. French language is sometimes a little bit vaguen than English but French wines are surely better!

04 February, 2013

The skeleton found under a Leicester car park last august is Richard III the last Plantagenet king of England

If the Plantagenet dynasty, which ruled England from 1154 to 1485, had definitely been put away in history books, the legend of that family was still alive thank to a mystery. That mystery was the disappearance of the body of the last Plantagenet king of England, Richard III, killed in 1485 during the Bosthworth battle, by his foe and succesor, Henry VII, 1st Tudor king of England. A skeleton, discovered after archeological digs under the Friars car park in Leicester, a place of a monastery, destroyed since, where, according to historians, the remains of the defeated king were buried 527 years ago. 

The news of the possible discovery of the last king of the Plantagenet dynasty, coming from the Anjou province before 1000, had yet covered pages of many newspapers and magazines of the world, and not only the English speaking world. The analysis of the skeleton's Dna and its comparison with the one of a distant descendant led the specialists to conclude "that beyond reasonable doubt the individual exhumed at Grey Friars in August 2012 is indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England”.

The news is a godsend for Leicester whose cathedral should shelter the remains of the king because tourist attraction will benefit. The Bosworth heritage trail attracts about 40,000 visitors a year. and according to  Leicestershire county council, it is predictable that Richard III’s tomb would multiply that number. England saw in 2012 dispute about the final resting place of the king, a reminiscence of medieval cities fighting each other over saints’ relics in a bid to ensure pilgrim visitors – a source of revenue similar to today’s tourist attractions.

03 February, 2013

"The happiness therapy" in live over Angers

Chance? While a new movie is annouced in Angers cinemas, "The happiness therapy", something pursuing the same goal has arrived in Angers : the "Café Happy Lab", so called... in French! The idea, which has developped throughout France consists in a monthly meeting, on Sundays, in a cafe, around "tea time" (17 h 00) to talk about happiness with an explorer of that situation.

The guest of the first Cafe Happy Lab in Angers was Charles Martin-Krumm, professor of positive psychology. The unique issue of these events is : happiness. Happiness is discovered through a pluridisciplinary approach (philosophy, psychology, economy, sociology) or through the experience of very different people (entrepreneur, explorer). The method gives priority to "the combination of knowledges and closeness sometimes with lectures, sometimes with workshops". So participants "travel in the core of different subjects in order to discern the shape of their own happiness", says the website of the "Café Happy Lab".

The first gathering of Angevins eager to find new ways for happinness or, simply, wishing to live more consciously the happiness they already live daily took place in Toussaint street. That name is associated in France with the day of the deads which is not a very favourable circumstance to express or to experiment happinness. And the name of the place which hosted the event is the Café Osé. Oh yes, it was daring to do so!

02 February, 2013

Angers fond of (Chinese) tea time

The Chinese New Year event was celebrated on February 2nd in Angers down town by the local community of this country, during all the afternoon on Ralliement square. That special date for the Chinese people was an opportunity for their main representation in Angers, the Confucius institute, to catch the interest of the inhabitants for Chinese culture, language and economy.

The rumbles of drums annouced the cortege of a giant dragon brought by young Chineses dressed in yellow and black colors. Kiosks had been set up in Ralliement square where numerous members of the Chinese community of Angers as well as Angers inhabitants were gathered for tea tastings and informations about the lectures to Chinese language(s) organized by the Confucius institute.
 The Chinese universe is already present in Angers, not only through the Confucius institute, but also through the Mongazon lycée which teaches Chinese. Angers is twinned with the harbour city of Yantaï located in a region producing wine. The Angevins maybe would have prefered to taste Chinese cabernet than black tea.