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Olivia Han

See more by Olivia Han

Is this who I am?

An Innocent Little Question And A Full-Blown Identity Crisis

Every. single. time...

PARIS — After a long day in the Worldcrunch newsroom, Elisa and Olivia were walking together toward the métro station. Both in their early 20s, they'd arrived from very different places at their internship two months before and found they had plenty to talk about: food, sports, politics. But the topic they'd started talking about that evening created a particular connection — and they decided to continue the conversation here...

Elisa Whenever I bring up the fact that I'm half-French and half-Swedish, I inevitably get the same question every time: "So, do you feel more French or more Swedish?" And I never know how to answer. This very innocent question can make me question my whole existence. Who am I? What am I? What defines me? My passport...my parents...my culture?

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The Nemeïo keyboard is 100% customizable

Meet Nemeïo, The World's First Universal Keyboard

Researchers in France have come up with a small but uber-adaptable prototype that could soon change how we type — and in any language we choose.

LYON — Navigate the web in English, write an email in Mandarin, format a spreadsheet in German. All of this is possible thanks to the keyboard built by the Lyon-based business LDLC. The "Nemeïo," as it's called, weighs 600 grams and includes 81 completely customizable keys.

LDLC, the French leader in e-commerce technology, thinks it has found "the Holy Grail" of the tech community: a universally dynamic keyboard. Designed by the firm's R&D team, Nemeïo is "a mechanical keyboard that contains an e-paper display screen, similar to those in reading lamps, under 81 transparent keys," explains Olivier de la Clergerie, LDLC's director general. The advantage of Nemeïo is that it is 100% customizable with its use of electronic ink.

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Circus Bakery in the Fifth Arrondissement of Paris
South Korea

When A Korean-American Health And Fitness Nut Lands In France

PARIS — Paleo, keto, vegan, pescatarian. There are so many ways we can choose what, and what not, to eat. Give or take, I choose to eat roughly 160 grams of carbohydrates, 110 grams of protein, and 40 grams of fat per day. That comes to 1440 calories.

Some of my friends find it neurotic that I know exactly how much, down to the gram, I consume — or the fact that I track my macronutrients at all. But for me, I've always felt that if we need to eat at all, we might as well eat clean in order to properly fuel our bodies — and take those extra five seconds to weigh our food. Through tracking my intake with a handy digital food scale and working out regularly, I have not only learned so much about the human body, but also am genuinely convinced that such attention improves both my physical and mental health.

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Firefighters assessing the damage at the Notre Dame cathedral

Notre Dame Fire: French Lessons In Risk Management

In all likelihood, the cause of the Notre Dame fire is linked to mundane management issues. It's a symbol for today's French culture.


PARIS — The fire that engulfed the Notre Dame cathedral is a national catastrophe. It has traumatized millions in France, regardless if they are Catholic or not. Images of the flames that consumed the cathedral's 13th-century framework and the iconic spire that was a 19th-century addition have been circulating around the world.

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Watching Notre Dame burn on April 15

Notre Dame On Fire, 25 Front Pages From Around The World

PARIS — Firefighters said early Tuesday that they'd extinguished the final flames of the massive Notre Dame cathedral fire that began shortly before 7 p.m. local time Monday. Authorities say the cause of the fire may be "potentially linked" to ongoing renovations. The images of a blaze engulfing one of history's most iconic sights, which draws some 13 million visitors a year, captivated much of the world. Newspapers in France and around the world Tuesday dedicated their front pages to the drama in the heart of Paris.



Le Figaro

La Croix

Le Télégramme

Sud Ouest

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'Tarte infiniment vanille', one of Pierre Hermé's signature pastries
food / travel

Baking With The French Pastry King Is No Piece Of Cake

A Le Monde journalist attempts to keep up with French baking superstar Pierre Hermé, one of the world's best pâtissiers. It does not go well.

PARIS — Saturday, 7 p.m.

Oh no. I just realized I completely forgot about the upcoming bake sale at my kid's school.

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Rescuers work beside the wreckage of an Ethiopian Airlines' aircraft at the crash site

Killer Software: Boeing 737 Max And Other Fatal Computer Bugs

PARIS — The so-called millennium bug, or Y2K, was the first time many began to understand the full potential of malfunctioning software to do harm. Of course, the predicted December 31, 1999 disruption of the internet, electricity, banking systems, and transportation didn't come to pass in the end. Still, the threat of bugs (and not the crawling kind) is very much still a reality, as the world has witnessed recently with the crashes of two Boeing 737 MAX planes in less than five months, and subsequent grounding of the aircraft around the world. On Thursday, investigators in the Ethiopian Airlines crash eliminated human error from the equation, increasingly the likelihood that software was to blame.

The total death count of 346 between the Lion Air Flight from Jakarta in October and last month's Ethiopian Airlines Flight taking off from Addis Ababa is a sobering reminder that even the most intricate software systems can cause grave harm to humans. In recent decades, similar such incidents have occurred around the world:

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Protestors lay on European Union flag at citizens' march in Brussels, Belgium

Brexit: Europe's Silver Lining On An Epic Mess

The Brexit debacle has had at least one virtue: Eurosceptic leaders from other countries are no longer pushing to leave the EU. But that is only part of the story.

PARIS — Amid the general bewilderment that surrounds Brexit, there is at least one strong certainty: leaving the European Union has lost any possible attractiveness. Those who feared that the British example would be followed by other countries exiting the EU, leading to its progressive disintegration, have been spectacularly incorrect. Even hardened Eurosceptic leaders avoid any declarations of plans to leave the Union.

The most emblematic are Matteo Salvini in Italy and Marine Le Pen in France. Though they have not renounced the demolition of Europe to restore their respective national sovereignties, they want to do so from the inside, not from the outside. The European construction will overcome Brexit, which has so far without a doubt been the greatest threat in the history of the EU. Whether Britain leaves or not, the Union will survive.

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Shoppers in Kinshasa, DRC

Why French Will Remain The 'Other' Global Language

According to the projections of The International Organization of La Francophone, the language of Molière will retain its status in the next half-century thanks to the demographic growth of Africa.

PARIS — Molière would be happy. Fifty years from now, French will be spoken by 477 to 747 million people around the world, according to estimates from the annual report of The International Organization of La Francophonie (OFI), published this month. The forecast is a major jump from the 300 million French speakers today, thanks to the growing population of the African continent, who make up two-thirds of the planet's francophones.

French would thus remain behind English as the second truly global language in the world — spoken on four continents (North America, Europe, Africa, Oceania) — if one takes into account that Chinese is primarily spoken in one country, and that Spanish is practiced on two continents, and that many different languages are spoken within the Arabic federations. Today, French is the sole official language in 14 countries and co-official language in 17 other countries. Its status as the dominant language in education, public administration, media, or trade in some 50 countries provides a significant advantage to businesses within Francophone countries, since they have an advantage over their competitors faced with a language barrier.

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The clock is ticking for Theresa May's Brexit?

Europe On Brexit: Pick Your Metaphor


"It's almost like Shakespeare: Brexit or no Brexit? That was the question." German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle resorted to a passing twist on Hamlet after the British Parliament delivered what may be the final defeat Tuesday night in Prime Minister Theresa May's attempt to lead the UK to an orderly divorce from the European Union.

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