Friday, November 28, 2008

LV recordings

Since I've been getting some (Ok, ok, 3) comments about LV readings, I thought I'd have a post for that, in case people are looking for a place to post their comments.
Comme j'ai reçu quelques commentaires concernant mes enregistrements Librivox, j'ai pensé dédier un post pour permettre aux auditeurs de laisser des commentaires.

Up to now, my solo projects include:
Jusqu'à présent, mes projets solos incluent: 
- Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (Dumas) [FR]
- Les Trois mousquetaires (Dumas) [FR]
- Discours sur l’origine et les fondements de l’inégalité parmi les hommes (Rousseau) [FR]
- Fêtes galantes (Verlaine) [FR]
- Illuminations (Rimbaud) [FR]
- Maria Chapdelaine (Hémon) [FR]
- Poèmes Saturniens (Verlaine) [FR]
- Two Years in the Forbidden City [EN]

For everything else, please look here
Pour mes autres contributions, veuillez vous rendre ici: 
My LV Catalog page

So if you have any comments, suggestions, or criticism, or if you live in Aix-la-Chappelle and I screwed up the pronunciation of your town, please post a reply to this message!
Si vous avez des commentaires, des suggestions, ou des critiques, ou si vous habitez Aix-la-Chappelle et que j'ai mal prononcé le nom de votre ville, laissez moi un commentaire!


Thank you to all listeners!
Merci à tous les auditeurs! :)

Copyrights and wrongs

There was a discussion going on on the LV forums, and I found myself defending copyright. This, from one whose Facebook page's "I'm a Fan of" box consists entirely of open source stuff, and who defended the public domain with equal fervour some time ago.

Meanwhile, Linux called; they wanted their bootleg Ubuntu back.

I'd do some research and make a compelling pro-copyright argument, but after a 20-page essay, I'm not really in that mood. I'd post my arguments on the forum thread, but I'm not feeling argumentative right now. However, the topic really does call for reflection, and I think, it's worth some brain juice.

First, allow me to clear up my position. I am FOR copyright. I think maintaining copyright after the author has died is pointless. AND I think that once the copyright is expired, you better stop asking for royalties!

Copyright generally has a bad rep. Big record companies and million-dollar lawsuits usually don't help with the reputation. But really, the same can be said of a lot of rights, and just because big corporations can sue based on those rights doesn't mean the principles are bad in any way.

Another fact people use to discredit copyright is its relative newness. People will argue that copyright is quite a recent development, and somehow link it to the hegemony of the corporations. Again, just because it is a concept that has been developed recently doesn't mean it's a bad concept. It just means that there were new situations that needed to be addressed, which required new rules. What new situation? Printing. Selling books. Not that people didn't read before, but printing (and general literacy) certainly made books more widespread, along with counterfeiters and plagiarists.

Ideas can't be copyrighted. But a creative work can. Unfortunately, some people are confusing both. Is music an idea? I don't think so. You can have the idea of playing the guitar. You can have the idea of singing about love or hate or war or flowers. But the final song is not a mere idea. The final arrangement of notes, the arrangement of words, that belongs to you.

Why does it belong to you? Why should it? What's so different between a song and a mere idea? After all, isn't the result a mere succession of ideas?


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Sometimes, little things happen that just makes you go "Hmm..."
I had a bit of a WTF moment Monday, as I was logging into LibriVox on a school computer. I usually use the same few computers in the lab, so my username is often saved on them, and I'd just click in the username field and select mine from the drop-down menu. On LibriVox, and everywhere else I had to log in, my username is usually the only one. Except that on Monday, I click in the field, and lo and behold, I get:

Needless to say, I spent the next 10 minutes wondering why Starlite (who lives in Ontario) was there, as I certainly don't remember ever trying to log in with HER username...

Get out of my brains, NOW!

In other news, I have one of these little applications you put on the Google personalized home page, which is the "Reuters' Oddly Enough" box. And for almost 3 months, it's been stuck on the same 3 news stories. One of them is "Putin saves TV crew from Siberian tiger"

Bit weird, but draws a daily chuckle.


I was eating at the caf when Pauline Marois dropped by for a visit. She was supposed to give a speed "in 10 minutes", someone reminded us, which was about 5 minutes before she showed up in the caf. I was sitting on one side of the aisle, and she started talking to people right on the other side, making her way to the back of the room, followed by cameramen from the news.

And I was thinking 2 things:
1. Thank god I decided not to sit in the back.
2. Hurry up and eat before she comes up to you.

I was a bit annoyed, really. I just wanted to eat in peace. I've got nothing against politicians; I was quite pleased when Mr Lussier from the Bloc came a-knocking on our door, even though I didn't vote for him.
I'd probably be a bit more evil with the people from the ADQ. I'd probably just go:
"Sorry, I don't speak French."
"But we're in Quebec, you should be speaking French." (Which is something I'm expecting them to say, or at least think. So I could go:)
"Sorry, we're in Canada, and there's another official language. Hostie!"

I did see a friend of mine walk away from the back of the room, when Marois was there. I like to think she was running away. (Friend is a member of the Youth Liberal Party)

Friday, November 14, 2008

In this case, a State which had solemnly undertaken to cherish the
right to life, has wantonly plucked and tossed away the being of a
young man, paying the price of a small car - almost an
entertainment tax on homicide. In the Strasbourg market it seems
that life comes cheap, and killing is a tremendous bargain.
~Bonello J.
Ogur v. Turkey, ECtHR, 21594/93, 20 May 1999.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Awww a comment!

I wanted to THANK YOU for your recording of "Les trois mousquetaires" in Librivox! I really enjoyed listening to all chapters! Now I am reading and listening to "Le Comte de Monte Cristo". Thanks a million again!
Do you have any future plans to record any other works of Alexandre Dumas?

Thanks for the comment! It's so nice to see that people appreciate it! To answer the question, I did have the intention of recording ALL of Dumas' work at the beginning, then it hit me: soooooo many books!
I've "only" read the 3 musketeers + the 2 sequels, the Count of Monte-cristo, and Acté. Which isn't much compared to the rest of his works. I'm more interested with the "cape et épée" novels, and the other books seem really big and long and not that exciting. I might try La Reine Margot one of these days, per someone's suggestion. Or maybe something shorter like Acté.

Right now, my ongoing giant project (I seem to have a knack for these things) is the Essais par Montaigne.

No stupid questions...

... but sometimes, you wonder.

Corporate Law class.

The teacher is explaining the basic principles of the "société de personnes" (society/partnership). The 3 basic principles are:
1. an "apport" (contribution) from all partners
2. Division of profits/losses
3. Intention to form a society/partnership.

Thus, if you are not bringing some kind of contribution ("apport") you cannot be part of the society.

Which prompted this question:
"Suppose 3 people form a society to go on a picnic. (Cue class: WTF?) The first person brings the food, the second person brings the drinks, and the third person brings his brother. (Cue class: WTF #2) Is that considered an "apport" if the brother only eats?"

It's quite hard to describe the effect of such a question. On one side, the entire class is going What the Hell is she talking about? and yet you don't want to laugh in her face. There were some repressed chuckles, though. Points for the Prof for keeping his cool. I think I would've laughed.

I mean, yeah, we pretty much get what she was getting at. But, really, this is not exactly the best analogy. Who in their right mind would form a society for a picnic?

The prof handled it pretty well. First, it wasn't a society, because there was no commercial or any other kind of pecuniary interest involved. And evil teacher would've ended it there. But for the answer: no, you can't bring in a "contribution" that only generates spending.


There was also that question about confidentiality. All partners have an obligation of confidentiality regarding their customers' files, so they can't use the information for personal or other purposes.

The question: "What if the partner wants to get married to the customer, and looks for her address in the files?"

Um. Yeah. I'm not sure that the prospect of an amorous relationship is necessarily a mitigating factor in this case. The thought of it is quite disturbing.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

gained in translation

I've got another research paper to write, this time on diplomatic and consular protection, and Canada's "performance".

I was doing some research, and reading a page in the Foreign Affairs' webpage, when I came across this:
Certains Canadiens font comme s’ils ne savaient pas qu’ils doivent épuiser tous leurs recours avant de demander de l’aide ou se mettent dans des situations dangereuses, et exigent ensuite certains services consulaires qui ne sont normalement pas offerts. Ces personnes vont par la suite demander réparation en justice s’ils jugent insuffisants le niveau et l’efficacité de l’aide fournie par le gouvernement du Canada.

Which _literally_ made me go WHAT!? Not only is it extremely mean, it's unprofessional. Of course, I wanted to see if that's what the government meant, or if it was only a translation mistake. The English version says this:
Some Canadians ignore their responsibility to exhaust all personal options of recourse or place themselves in risky situations, then demand consular services not normally provided, and subsequently seek legal recourse in demonstrating their dissatisfaction with the level and effectiveness of the assistance provided by the Government of Canada.

Which begs the question: Which incompetent low-life paid by MY taxes translated that? And HOW do you go from "Some Canadians ignore their responsibility" to "Some Canadians pretend not to know their responsibility"!?

I hope that's not how the gov't views its citizens: as ill-intentioned, ungrateful morons who act like spoiled brats and sue the administration every time we're not having things our way.

And even then: "SOME Canadians ignore". Sorry to disappoint, but that should read "MOST Canadians ignore". It's not exactly common knowledge. I'm sure most people going abroad do not necessarily expect to get in trouble with the law, much less research your recourses in advance.