Rozena Crossman

See more by Rozena Crossman

The Meaning Of Macron’s Special "Merde" Delivery For The Unvaccinated
Ideas

The Meaning Of Macron’s Special "Merde" Delivery For The Unvaccinated

The French President used a rather vulgar verb to tell us how he feels about those who refuse to get the COVID vaccine. It’s a linguistic and political stink bomb with a message that has a history of its own.

In the rich and intricate French language, merde has a special place. The not-quite-profane word for "shit" is used across society, in a variety of circumstances with a range of meanings. You might blurt it out in anger or frustration, or offer consolation, or even wish someone "merde" as good luck.

Beginning in the 15th century the prefix em, meaning "bring into," and the suffix er, which creates a verb, were added to expand merde into a most unhygienic term: literally translated as "to cover in excrement." Today, emmerder is a crude and handy slang used to mean "to bore," "to annoy," "to bother."

Watch Video Show less
Photo of hands carrying a crystal ball in front of an escalator
Work In Progress

Work → In Progress: The Working World In 2022

Will the Great Resignation of the past year lead to a Great Reskilling the next...?

Like the year before, 2021 was filled with Zoom meetings, travel bans, shaky economics and supply chain disruptions. At the same time, it was a singular year, defined by strikes, international labor shortages and vaccine mandates in many workplaces. As Q4 comes to an end, things are ramping up, and the work challenges of 2022 are becoming very clear.

All over the world, unemployment is high — and so is the lack of available labor. What will see a bigger increase, inflation or salary bumps? Will the Great Resignation lead to a Great Reskilling? What we do know is that white-collar workers are shifting from overtime to flexible schedules, from cogs in the wheel to drivers in the front seat, from struggling independent contractors to employees with full benefits.

Watch Video Show less
A photo of a young man dressed up as witch
Society

Paris To Salem, A Halloween Homecoming Tale

The writer grew up in the town of the infamous witch trials, where Halloween was the most important holiday of the year of her childhood. For the first time in more than a decade in France, this globetrotting sorceress will be flying in to spend October 31 among her native flock.

-Essay-

In France, where I've lived for more than a decade, October 31 is mostly just another day on the calendar. Sure, the Halloween marketing machine has tried making inroads on the Old Continent, but they haven't stirred the blasé souls of Parisians who couldn't care less about carved pumpkins and fake blood.

But where I come from, Halloween is much more than a popular fête, it's a sacred holiday.

Watch Video Show less
Photo of a laptop on an office desk with an empty chair
Work In Progress

Work → In Progress: Where Have All The Workers Gone?

Reams have been written about the shift to remote working. And yet, for many people, the more pressing issue right now isn't where, but how much they work.

After the economic slowdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, companies all over the world are taking advantage of loosened lockdowns and progress on the vaccine front to ramp up operations and make up for lost productivity. But the frenetic spurts of the recovery are getting serious pushback: From the rise of the four-day work week to legally punishing overtime, the world is waking up to the importance of a balanced workload.

Watch Video Show less
Spiderman To Jewish Stars: Global Vaccine Protests Get Ugly
Society

Spiderman To Jewish Stars: Global Vaccine Protests Get Ugly

More protests are bound to spread after President Biden announced that vaccinations will become mandatory for millions of U.S. workers in certain categories of employment, including those who work for the federal government and large corporations.

Vaccines used to be a quiet thing: someone getting a flu shot or UNICEF shipping off jabs to children in a faraway country. No longer. COVID-19 has put vaccinations at the center of both global health policy and national partisan politics — and plenty of noise has ensued.

After some initial demonstrations earlier this year critical of slow vaccination rollouts, protests are now firmly focused on local and national policies that require vaccines, including obligatory jabs for medical workers and the so-called "green pass" vaccine-required access to certain locations and activities. No doubt more protests are bound to spread in the United States after last week's announcement by U.S. President Joe Biden that vaccinations will become mandatory for millions of workers in certain categories of employment, including those who work for the federal government and large corporations.

Watch Video Show less
Bataclan Trial: Fighting Terrorism With Democratic Weapons
Society

Bataclan Trial: Fighting Terrorism With Democratic Weapons

The trial opens this week of those accused of masterminding the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks at Parisian cafés and restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall. Le Monde's front-page editorial puts the court hearings into historical context.

—Editorial—

PARIS — Beginning on Wednesday, the French will spend months reliving a night from hell: the attacks of November 13, 2015, which plunged Paris into the abyss of mass terrorism.

Watch Video Show less
Taliban Government, Paris Attacks Trial, Lazy Tax Advisor
In The News

Taliban Government, Paris Attacks Trial, Lazy Tax Advisor

Welcome to Wednesday, where the Taliban unveil their government, crypto is plummeting after El Salvador embraces bitcoin and one lazy Swedish tax advisor gets busted. In Mexico, we meet the nurse who has become the face of pandemic fatigue.


Watch Video Show less
Scottish call-center consultant Jason Griffin suspended his new workspace from a cliff in Wales
BBC

Work → In Progress: Redefining Our Work-Life Balance

Telework, telework, telework … The concept may seem like old hat at this point. And yet, there are also new elements to the phenomenon that keep cropping up — new words, shifting workplace relationships, evolving office spaces — as society continues to morph around this shifting reality.

Fascinating innovations around our new work-life balance are still blossoming, in other words — and negative repercussions are still taking us by surprise. This edition of Work → In Progress stays ahead of the game, pinpointing the problems and solutions that will be on our minds even in a fully-vaccinated future.

Watch Video Show less
In Alsace, A Town Name Too Long For E-Commerce
WHAT THE WORLD

In Alsace, A Town Name Too Long For E-Commerce

Can you say 'Niederschaeffolsheim' three times fast?

Along the border with Germany, the French region of Alsace is known for its white wine, Christmas markets and … ridiculously long town names. So long, in fact, that one resident of the little town of Niederschaeffolsheim was unable to buy a pair of sneakers.

Here's how this unusual online clash played out recently between the old Alsatian language and modern word counts, as reported in local daily Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace. A 16-year-old named Justine was wrapping up her purchase on Foot Locker's website when she was prompted to insert her address. The box, however, had a limit of 15 letters, and Niederschaeffolsheim adds up to 20. "I thought it was surely an error, so I re-tried but it didn't work," she told the newspaper. "I can't do anything about the name of my village."

Watch Video Show less
Amanda Gorman at the Biden-Harris inauguration on  Jan. 20, 2021
Sources

Translating Amanda Gorman, The Absurdity Of Identity Profiling

After the young Black American poet's breakthrough at Biden's inauguration, some say her work shouldn't be translated by white non-women. One woman writer from Martinique says these critics are undermining the essence of translation.

Efforts to translate the celebrated poem that Amanda Gorman, the young Black American poet, recited at the U.S. Presidential inauguration have sparked controversy. Some believe her works should not be tinterpreted by white, non-women translators. Suzanne Dracius, a writer from Martinique and member of the Parliament of Francophone Women Writers, writes about how this type of racial assignment undermines the entire point of translation.

-OpEd-

Watch Video Show less
Unlimited hours of mindless entertainment ahead
Sources

From Astrophysics To Zebras, A World Tour Of Weird Livestreams

Remember when time was one of the most limited resources anybody could have? Juggling our agendas, we rushed between work meetings, weekend trips, shopping, dinners and countless other social obligations, as business gurus built an entire industry around time management.

Of course COVID-19 lockdowns and curfews have pushed us into a new, suspended period that Belgian philosopher Pascal Chabot calls "hypertime," where some have kept calm and carried on by baking bread as others sink deep inside the Netflix catalogue.

But with our collective cabin fever now over the one-year mark, the number of at-home pastimes to occupy us seems to be dwindling. That leaves us time (eternity?) for the internet's ultimate time suck and virtual link to the outside world: the livestream. From watching zebras gallop in South Africa to terrible driving in Salem, Massachusetts, here is a round-up of some of the most random real-time feeds from around the globe.

Watch Video Show less
Rare Caribbean Frog Hops On Banana, Flies To France — Only Banana Is Eaten
Sources

Rare Caribbean Frog Hops On Banana, Flies To France — Only Banana Is Eaten

Perhaps it was looking to make a statement about the carbon footprint of the food industry, or maybe it was hoping to hop up the Eiffel Tower some day. No one will ever know why (or how) the tiny Guadeloupean frog clung to a banana for 6,400 kilometers to land in Europe, but the odd adventure ends well.

It begins with a student in Bordeaux, France who was about to bite into a banana she'd just bought at a local market, when she noticed a tiny semi-translucent creature on the peel. According to FranceInfo, the little-amphibian-that-could measures only 3 centimeters and is believed to be a Barlagne Robber frog, known as eleutherodactylus barlagnei. Commonly found in Guadeloupe, the tree frog has been listed as endangered by the United Nations' Environment Program (UNEP) since 1991.

Watch Video Show less