A rare afternoon open thread

After working until midnight 5 days a week here in Paris, I’m finally taking an evening off and heading out to see a friend’s new tea shop, and then off with them to dinner.  (I even blew off an 8pm picnic last night, as there was too much Russia news to ignore.)

Will post about the tea shop later, after I get the tour.

I leave you with an image I made of the bee house (or whatever you call it) at the Jardin du Luxembourg:



Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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17 Responses to “A rare afternoon open thread”

  1. fletcher says:

    An excellent place to visit. And to see the result of one of the great protests against taxation followed by military arrogance. During the Hundred Years War, King Philippe III of France, to afford a troop of crossbow archers like England used in a recent French military defeat, declared the most ridiculous tax rate of all time. It was 125% on income. Naturally the artisans of Bruges (then part of France) rebelled so Philippe sent the French army to bring them in line. But the knights were jealous of the archers so on seeing the artisans armed with only the proverbial 10-foot poles ordered the archers into the rear and proceeded to send the knights into Bruges over thin footbridges over canals. Because of crossbows, the armor of French knights to be more protective was increased in width and became so heavy that if a knight fell down he needed help from a page to get back up. Going over the bridges, the knights were knocked into the canals by the artisans using only the long poles. After more than 100 knights gurgled to the bottom of the canals, the French army retreated. The artisans fished the drowned knights from the canals and posted their metal spurs to the inside back wall of a church, which are still on display today.

  2. Drew2u says:

    “[…] On March 30, 2011, the Japan Central News Agency reported the monitored radioactive pollutions that were 4000 times higher than the standard level. Whether or not these nuclear pollutants will be transported to the Pacific-neighboring countries through oceanic circulations becomes a world-wide concern. […]
    […] The time scale of the nuclear pollutants reaching the west coast of America is 3.2 years if it is estimated using the surface drifting buoys and 3.9 years if it is estimated using the nuclear pollutant particulate tracers. […]”


    And because the [underground] wall is blocking a certain amount of groundwater, the level of groundwater has risen in the fill area, raising the risk of liquefaction if and when another earthquake hits, Tepco said. […]


    “On Tuesday, Tepco said the water level in tank No. 5 had dropped by 3 meters, meaning about 300 tons of contaminated water had been lost. From Monday to Tuesday, about 10 tons were lost, indicating this amount may have leaked every day over the past 30 days, a senior Tepco official told The Japan Times. “So far, we had four similar (tank) leakage cases. The problem this time is that we didn’t detect it for as long as 30 days,”


    So, avoid the West Coast at all cost, and anything that comes from the Pacific Ocean.

  3. xihetafolex says:

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

    I highly recommend Bruges. Brussels is also a beautiful city. Not the kind of excitement you can find in Amsterdam, but MUCH better food (that just about anywhere).

  4. Bomer says:

    Lovely photo. Pretty sure that’s once section I would avoid though. I like bees but I’m highly allergic to bee stings so I tend to play it safe and avoid them/run like hell while making a high pitched keening.

  5. Houndentenor says:

    I highly recommend Bruges. Brussels is also a beautiful city. Not the kind of excitement you can find in Amsterdam, but MUCH better food (that just about anywhere).

  6. jqmpgmr says:

    Bees!! We need more of them. Russian anti gay laws… not so much.

  7. You helped :-)

  8. Hue-Man says:

    For those who may have been away on vacation, here’s a picture of King Philippe,his father, King Albert II, who abdicated in late July, and other members of the Belgian Royal Family.

  9. George says:

    I adore les Jardins du Luxembourg. So pretty.

  10. ArthurH says:

    Hey, John. If you’re in the area, why not take in a day in Brussels? Because August is the month all Belgians take for vacation, the hotel and restaurant prices are lower. And because the king of Belgium spends the month hobnobbing with relatives on the Spanish Riviera August is the only month you can tour the royal palace. Just like many Americans, the Belgian royal family are hoarders. They never throw anything out. They still have the bullet they took out of Leopold II after a failed assassination attempt.

  11. Just_AC says:

    Yey! I left John an email a couple of weeks ago about missing open threads – glad there have been a lot more since (not that I can take any credit, I’m sure a lot of people said the same)

  12. LOL true, that, but the blog pays the mortgage (at least it’s supposed to :)

  13. Indigo says:

    Oh, John! Don’t blow off a Parisian picnic just because the Russians are doing stupid crap. They’ll do more later, trust them on that one.

  14. karmanot says:


  15. jqmpgmr says:

    Cheers!! Keep up the pressure on #Russia.

  16. jqmpgmr says:


  17. BeccaM says:


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