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Is it the same size, or what?

Optical illusions have long been a key part of the magician’s toolkit. Here’s a really good illustration of how and why they work. BBC Academy trainer Mark Blanc-Settle hit the Twitter jackpot with a tweet on the “Jastrow Illusion” — the mistaken impression (embedded in magic tricks since time immemorial) that two objects that APPEAR …

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“Voilà une semaine qui commence mal” – last words from the guillotine

I was walking through Place Dauphine on Île de la Cité when a bookstore display caught my eye — it was this book of “stupefying but true” prisoners’ last words before they ascended the steps of the “national razor.” Its title is “Shortcuts,” which is witty enough, but it’s the last little lagniappe that makes it really …

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Bad News from Antarctica – the Ice Sheets Are Melting, and Fast (wonkish)

Here’s about as chilling a lede* as you’ll see in an American newspaper these days: A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabilized the great ice sheet of West Antarctica, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea …

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This is really a big deal …

The NYT reports today that France has agreed to pay $60 million to compensate Holocaust victims who were deported on the French National Railways during World War II. The agreement will have to be approved by the French Parliament, which should not be a major obstacle because the government’s party still holds a majority. It calls for …

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Flyover tour of Paris on iOS

There’s a neat new feature in Apple’s MAPS app under iOS – Flyover. It’s available for several major cities, but of course I think the Paris one is the neatest. Open Maps on the iPhone or iPad and search for Paris. Under the city name you’ll see a line saying “3D Flyover Tour of Paris.” …

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Finding your way around Paris by public transit

Paris has one of the most advanced public transit systems in the western world. Subway trains (the métro) run every one or two minutes during rush hours, and only slightly less often at other times. Buses on the busiest lines stop every four to ten minutes, and they connect seamlessly with each other. It’s using …

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My Paris novel Treasure of Saint-Lazare honored as finalist in Readers’ Favorite contest

I’ve just learned that my Paris novel Treasure of Saint-Lazare has been chosen as a finalist in two categories of the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest – Historical Mysteries and General Thrillers. Needless to say, I’m really pleased about it. Winners will be announced in early September. Treasure of Saint-Lazare reached No. 25 on the Kindle …

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Sample Post

Lemon drops candy candy canes donut lollipop candy. Toffee candy canes danish pastry. Tiramisu icing tiramisu toffee. Tiramisu carrot cake sugar plum pie powder. Jelly pie icing jujubes. Ice cream bonbon liquorice powder applicake. Sugar plum halvah cake wafer cookie chocolate bear claw dessert. Sweet roll jujubes pudding. Gingerbread tart marzipan soufflé. Wafer pastry dragée …

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