Tag Archives: blog general

Is wood burning environmentally responsible?

bois de chauffage

This photo shows my car loaded with about one stere (1m3) of firewood, which I went to get yesterday from a local farmer. I don’t heat my house or cook with wood, we just like to light a fire sometimes on cold evenings, so this much wood will probably last us all winter. After, we live in a moderate climate, we don’t experience ‘real’ winters like northern countries.

We heat our house with domestic fuel, whatever that is, and it’s this kind of heating that is bad for the planet. From my research on net, wood burning is more environmentally responsible because it comes from renewable sources, unlike fossil fuels. What about pollution? A wood fire gives off smoke, doesn’t it? and that smoke must contain carbon, which contributes to the greenhouse effect.

I’d like to stop using domestic fuel and switch to solar energy, but I don’t have the means at the moment to do so. Perhaps one day, we’ll all make our own energy and all these problems will be solved, but I don’t think that that day is going to be soon…

Crash and grab

Jonathan’s comment on the report:
This kind of crime is nothing new. In Britain we call it ‘ram-raiding’ not ‘crash and grab’, although the American term is pretty good. The video gives you a good opportunity to enrich your vocabulary as several similar words are used:

Burglary: cambriolage
Burglar: cambrioleur
To steal: voler
Thief : voleur
To rob: voler (braquer)
robber: voleur/braqueur

a safe: coffre fort

Police in Indianapolis are calling it ‘crash and grab’ burglaries. The most recent was at this Pizza restaurant. First, there’s the crash, not once, but twice, and then there’s the grab – criminals drive through the store then take off with cash and safes. Police say there have been three and possibly four crash and grab burglaries in the past nine days. At this restaurant three men took off with the safe, all within about a minute and a half.

“When the police officer called me, he said, ‘the front door is wide open, your business is broken’ – I was like,
OK, so they’re robbers, but I didn’t expect that much damage. They just broke the safe with the vehicle, you know, see the ground(ed) bolt is still there.”

Police say the thieves are using stolen vehicles.

“Most of these happen in the middle of the night, and uh, they just go out, go after safes, and uh, they’ll get caught here.”

Authorities say they have already recovered a few of the stolen safes; they’re asking the public for any information about the burglaries.

News: Boy band singer dies

The former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern was famous for keeping his Irish accent, not trying to change it to something more ‘statesmanlike’. Listen to the way he says, ‘thirty-three’ – if you have difficulties pronouncing the ‘th’ sound in English, you are not alone!

The singer with the popular Irish boy band has died while on vacation. Stephen Gately of Boyzone was thirty-three years old. Police were called to a house on the Spanish island of Mallorca Saturday.
Investigators say the cause of death is unknown and there are no signs of violence. Boyzone had six number one singles in Britain in the nineteen nineties, Gately later came out as gay. He and his partner had a civil union in 2006, a move he was more cautious about when he was younger.

“I’m twenty-four, you know, I’m not gonna get married tomorrow or anything like that. But if two people are very very much in love then I don’t see why it should be a problem. Maybe in the future we will, who knows.”

Gately had released solo material and appeared on stage.

“I just feel that Stephen was an amazing talent, and I think it’s appalling that his life has been cut so prematurely short”

The group was also planning a comeback; on its website members of Boyzone said they were completely devastated by Gately’s death.

“They’ve done well around the world, but they’re very much a group of lads from north Dublin. So it’s a huge loss, a huge tragedy – he’s thirty-three years of age, and you know, obviously I extend my sympathies to the Gately family and to all of the lads in
Boyzone.”

Police say there will likely be an autopsy to find out why Gately died.

Boomer – the world’s tallest dog?

Boomer measures in at three feet tall(90cm) at the shoulders and seven feet long from nose to wagging tail, and that might just make him the world’s tallest living dog. The three-year-old Landseer Newfoundland’s
owner says he’s so big he keeps all four paws on the floor when he drinks from the family’s kitchen faucet.

His owner hopes Boomer’s measurements makes him a record-holder.

“We started the process and we just said we’re just gonna make sure we get.. go through all the way.Whether we get in or whether we don’t it’s been a fun process.”

The preivous record-holder was a nearly four-foot-tall Great Dane that died this summer. Weber expects it will take a least a month before she’s hears back from Guinness world records on the result. Meantime,
Weber says her dog is so big he stares into car windows eye-to-eye with drivers, and a twenty pound (10kg) bag of dry dog food lasts the one hundred and eighty pound canine a couple of weeks. Plus, she
says his furry tail is so high that when he comes into the house, everything gets knocked around.

my new lawn mower

Try to understand me complaining about the instruction manual for new lawn mower.

Lawn : pelouse
Grass : herbe ou gazon
Lawn mower : tondeuse
to mow : tondre (uniquement pour des pelouses, pas les cheveux!)
DIY : (do it yourself) Bricolage
A DIY store : magasin de bricolage, on peut dire aussi ‘hardware store’ qui est plutôt ‘quincaillerie’
Instruction manual : notice/mode d’emploi
it gets me mad : ça me rend en colère/ça m’ennerve