Statues of men with
triangular holes through their torsos decorate the top of a building that now
houses a police station near the Gare de Lyon. I thought these photos would go well with
the testosterone story.
One of the
things I love about Paris
is that it is difficult to get truly lost.
Street signs like these are on almost every corner. They tell you not only the street names,
but what arrondissement you are in.
They often even give you a bit of history about the person the street
is named for. This one is named for
Hyppolyte Marinoni (1823-1904), constructeur mécanicien. By the way, you can find out almost
everything about every Paris
street on a web site run
by the city of Paris.
www.apapublishing.com.au, in 1889, “Hippolyte Marinoni at the Paris
Exposition demonstrated a rotary press which turned a roll of paper back on
its path, enabling successive sheets of large and small size to be printed on
both sides and then cut and folded into piles of completed newspapers, the
whole operation performed at great speed.”
One of Mary’s
guide books said not to miss these art nouveau public toilets under the Place
de la Madeleine. We found them, but it
was the day of the World Cup final and the staff evidently went home early,
locking us out. Above is the entrance.
of the Dead artwork in a shop window, I think in the Marais. I really don’t remember where now!
The heat wave is mercifully over.
On to other things.
Surely by now you have heard about the fact that
the Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis (American, with the Phonak Hearing
Systems team) has tested positive for too much testosterone and may be
stripped of his title as winner. Here’s an
article from the International
Herald Tribune about the case, and his denials.
I was wondering about the relevance of his
talking about having had so much to drink the night before. So I Googled “testosterone” and “alcohol”
and came up with this very
interesting article on alcoholism.about.com. Here are a couple enlightening quotes from
the journal article:
overwhelming majority of research conducted in the past 25 years in both
animals and humans has found that alcohol inhibits testosterone secretion.
However, a new study in the January issue of Alcoholism: Clinical &
Experimental Research has found that acute administration of alcohol can
induce a rapid increase in plasma and brain concentrations of testosterone in
many other studies clearly demonstrate that chronic consumption of high
dosages of alcohol appears to be consistently inhibitory and
suppresses reproductive function," said Dennis D. Rasmussen, research
associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of
Washington, "this study raises the possibility that episodes of alcohol
consumption may also at least temporarily increase testosterone
levels, with the direction of the response likely being dependent upon a
variety of factors, including dosage and personal characteristics.”
My cynical husband said, “Oh so that’s how he plans
to defend himself,” implying that the story about drinking the night before
was fiction. However, the a newspaper
evidently carried a story about Landis and four or five other riders drinking
that evening and the story was published before ANYBODY knew anything about
the doping test results, which were released just a few days ago.
How much did he drink? The French newspaper Le Parisien says that
the Wall Street Journal reported
“less than four glasses.” However, Le Parisien quotes Landis as saying
that the Phonak team was very depressed the evening after Landis’s failure in
the 16th stage, so they went to drink beer at a bar next to the
hotel. When everyone started to come
into the bar, they went back to the hotel where four or five of the team
members – including Landis - consumed a bottle of whiskey.
There may not be a decision in this case for
months, so don’t hold your breath.
There was an article in the International Herald Tribune on Friday about “France’s
mysterious embrace of blogs.” Some
of you may have read it because IHT articles are often published in the New York Times. Since I am blogging in France and since I have been
doing this blog since before the word “blog” was even invented, I must
Supposedly, the French blog and read blogs more
than Germans, Britons and even Americans.
The author of the article, Thomas Crampton, attempts to explain why.
One pioneer French blogger is quoted as saying,
“With so many blogs, I’m hoping for fewer protests and strikes in Paris this fall. If people can express themselves online,
then maybe they don’t need to block the streets.”
I doubt that will be the reason that people
don’t protest if indeed they don’t. In
fact, later in the article it is said that bloggers have been arrested for
coordinating last Fall’s riots in their blogs.
According to a French-born, New Yorker who works
for a company that monitors blogs, French blogs are “longer, more critical,
more negative, more egocentric and more provocative than their US
counterparts.” Now, THAT I can
believe. Complaining is an art-form
here in France. Egocentric?
Maybe. I’ll have to investigate
that assertion a bit more.
Provocative? Yes, indeed. The French are more provocative about many
things, including sportswriting. Why
I think that it is true that there are many
French internet users, because high-speed internet service is so inexpensive
here. I also think the French read
more than those in other Western countries.
Evidence of that is the very big fuss that is made about all the new
books that come out every Fall, and how very many books are bought here. And look at all the newspaper kiosques and
newstands all over Paris!
The pioneer French blogger also said “It is
clear that in France
we have very large egos and love to speak about ourselves.” Hmmm.
Only a Frenchman could get away with saying that. Those of you who read my journal faithfully
know that I reveal surprisingly little about myself and my family. One reader, Cynthia, had to ask me who Dan
and Mary are. They are family, and
that’s all I say. I also never reveal
the address where we stay. One reader,
Alan, figured out approximately where we are because he lives nearby and he
had seen the firetrucks that I photographed one day when a fire broke out in
an apartment across the way. Notice
that I only give first names for all the people I just mentioned?
I do comment on French culture, news, attitudes,
etc. When I talk about us, it is
generally just to say where we walked, what we saw, where we ate, what
happened to us, and what it was like.
A final assertion in the article is that the
French blog because they all want to be in charge. That’s why there are always so many French
candidates for President.
If there is one thing I never, ever want to be,
it is President of any country.