成程 (Naru Hodo) - IC in Japan^H^H Cote d'Azur^H^H USA

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Snowboarding in Isola

After the SIGRAPH submission deadline passed, the general tension in the lab returned to normal levels (actually most people were catching up sleep and did not appear at the lab for the rest of the week). Finally we were able to find time for a quick skitrip and headed towards the mountains saturday morning at sunrise.

After little more than one hour we arrived at "ISOLA 2002", the clostest place that actually had snow in this warm winter, beeing up to 2400 m high and minus 10 degrees cold. The road that led there was pretty impressive. I definitely have to go there again in summer with my motorbike and make a lot of pictures. I am sure the road alone will be worth the trip.

Despite Isola being one of the few places with snow, there were only a few people so we had the well prepared slopes mostly for our self.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Freeclimbing

As the golf coure will not start again before 27th of January I searched for new things to do. Apparently there is a INRIA climbing group and AGOS installed hooks and handles to various buildings. To ensure safety there is also a supply of ropes, carbines and climbing shoes.
Last Thursday I had my introductionary climbing and it was very nice. I guess I will become even more fun, once my fingers build up a little more strength to hold on to the small grips :D.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Galette des Rois

In France there is the tradition of "Galette des Rois" (Cake of royals?). I didn't get all of it, but my understanding is as follows:
On January 6th, the day of remembering the holy 3 kings, people bake a special cake. The "Galette des Rois", with some (hard) object called "Fève" hidden inside. Rumor has it, that it was a ring in the orignal cake, but due to a lack of rings in medival times common people usesed a hard bean instead. Nowadays small figures made of porcelain are common.
The person who will find the Fève will have luck for that day/year.

The mother of a coworker prepared such a cake for us poor researchers and lucky me found the Fève :D.



In order to give more people a fair chance to find a Fève, these cakes can be found during all of January and even the labs restaurant resorted to replacing most deserts with Galette des Rois. I ended up with a second Fève so this has to become my lucky year :-P.

As I found out later, an alternative version of this tradition is, that the lucky one will be king for a day (including a golden paper crown) and will nominate someone as his queen. Preferredly a wealthy girl as the lucky royal couple is supposed to treat their unlucky friends to the next cake...