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Fifteen years to pay

Carolyn’s university debt

By Raphaëlle de Tappie

Posted Dec. 13, 2011

(CHICAGO) Carolyn Loyel is a tall, blond, 30-year-old American woman who lives in Chicago. Five years ago, in 2006, she had just finished undergraduate studies and everything seemed really positive. Unemployment was low across the U.S., at 4.6 percent (compared to 9 now) and she had to look only one month for a job.


“I had no idea that the economy would take a turn for the worse in two years,” she said. When she finished her master’s degree in 2009, she had to spend 9 months unemployed and looking for work.


Then she found her calling working for an Internet startup called Sprout Social. Thirty people work for the social media management company to help businesses find new customers and to grow their social media presence.

According to Carolyn, this sector is rapidly expanding, growing, and providing more employment. Working there makes her forget about the other side of the economy because the Internet industry is doing very well right now.

“However, I would like to be making more money with the education that I’ve received,” said the woman who studied international relations and history at Boston University. She earned a master’s degree in politics from Sciences Pô Paris.

To bolster the international focus of her education, she speaks fluent French and studied at the London School of Economics.


“But I know that with the current situation, asking for more is just not very realistic. I have a large amount of debt due to my student loans that I will be paying back for a long time. But this is how education in America works right now,” she said, smiling with resignation.


In total she has now about $70,000 in debt that she will pay down for about the next 15 years. All this money comes from the U.S. government. Her debts make her focus on money. She does not want a family. She simply wants to make enough money to live comfortably without $70,000 hanging over her head.


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Great city, but towering costs going

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100-yr-old dreamed of touching the sky, then did it!

By Hélène Le Baron       

Agathe Glévéo (pictured right), who is a

fresh 100-year-old from Lorient, France,

climbs into a squirrel helicopter at Vannes-

Meucon Airport. It’s a clear day. What

about doing a little trip at 135 mph (220

km/h) and 650 feet (200 meters) above the


Wearing a chestnut-colored, full-length coat and with white hair flying in the air, she jumps up and down, dancing because of the excitement of the day.

“I would have liked to do a hot-air-balloon tour, but it was a bit dangerous! I saw an helicopter on tv, it seemed really cool!”

A real chatterbox, she is as animated as a youngster on this momentous day.

“Normally, I do not like planes!”


Nearing 2:30 pm, the take-off is imminent. She straps on her helmet and then lift-off. Is she frightened?

“Me? I live with the One who is above our heads, I am not afraid.”

She goes up into the sky. Now, she is speechless.  Glévéo marvels at the landscape. She is very pleased to see Sainte-Anne-d’Auray, her little request to the pilot.

“Sainte-Anne? It is my patron saint! I am very godly. When I was young I wanted to become nun.”

Auray, Locmariaquer, Carnac… . Between the ground and the sea, Agathe Glévéo admires everything.


Thirty minutes later, they're back on the solid ground. Agathe’s sense of humor has not flown away.

“I did not have the seasickness!” she remarked.


Agathe Glévéo always had the taste for taking joyrides. With her late husband Charles, she traveled around the world for more than 76 years.

By boat, by bike, by motorbike. All modes of adventure travel.

Now, she lives on her own, since Charles passed away 9 years ago.

She is known to everybody and makes fun of Andrée Le Priellec, her singing teacher an association of the cities of France. She has been an active with the group since 1996.

Moreover, they are all her friends.  Fellow members collected money to offer to her this marvelous present for her 100th birthday.

“Agathe is a happy person, all our members like her,” grinned one of the fellow flyers.

And, when we talk about the future, Agathe sees … the sky.

The mom-gymnastculture_add_2.html

The most wonderful place on earth

By Clémence Duranton

(MARNE-LA-VALLEE, France)  Imagine a place where children laugh even if it's been one hour that they have been waiting in line. A place where princes and princesses take pictures with everyone and keep smiling. A place where birds are singing, castles are pink and everyone is happy. This place does exist. It is not a kingdom far away. It is a huge empire. Disney. 

"I want Disneyland to be the most wonderful place on earth," said Walt Disney in 1965.

"Every single time I go to Disneyland Paris, I get the same feeling. I feel like I am this little girl again, believing in princes and princesses who 'lived happily ever after,’” said Maud, a 24-year-old student, who visited the park near Paris.

She further said to us:  I believe in fairies and forget about all that happens in real life. I step into another reality, one in which there is no room left for everything that worries me in my real world."

Walt Disney created Walt Disney Company in 1923. It was on a train to New York that he drew the first Mickey Mouse. Since that little drawing, he drew many characters and in 1940 he made the first sketch for a park. Fifteen years later the park opened its doors and, since then, millions of people followed the adventure. For an idea, just last year, Disneyland Paris hosted 16 million visitors. 

"To all that come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world." Walt Disney.

Even though Mr. Disney died in 1966, he left something that would never die. He sold his dream to an adoring and enduring public. The empire is still growing 47 years later.

T-shirts with Mickey, coffee mugs with Aladdin, pens with Peter Pan, figurines of Winnie the Pooh, costumes of Cinderella, Snow White or Buzz Lightyear. You can't find an object that the Disney Company doesn’t market. Three years ago, Toy Story 3 was the 100th cartoon movie released. With years the company followed the evolution of special effects. Computer images replaced the original pencil drawings.

They followed the evolution of morals, too. Also Cinderella disappeared for strong girls. In the Princess and the Frog, Tiana wants to open her own restaurant. And last year, Merida in “Brave” was the symbol of a complicated adolescent. She showed young girls that they are not the only ones who fight with their parents. Merida does, too.

And a woman has led Disney's Parks and Resorts in the United States and France since 2006.  “Meg understands and respects the unique heritage (...)  which gives me great confidence in her ability to fulfill this role ...,” read a post on  

At the park in Marne-la-Vallée, France, after enjoying the parade and wandering all over the grounds, while the experience is still fresh in the mind, you will hear a man who says goodbye to you and adds: "Les rêves sont là où tout commence." (*Dreams are where it all begins). It was true for Walt Disney; is it for you?

A rare movie theme

Pat and Tiffany are bipolar. their differences will make them closer. L’express..

With “ Happiness Therapy, ” director Russel presents a rare film on mental disorders


By Lydia Boucherit

Contrary to the film poster, the Oscar-nominated film "Happiness Therapy" is not a “ romantic comedy.” It is a story about mental disease, specifically bipolar disorder, which threatens the love between 3 members of a family.   Doctors report that 2.4% of people worldwide (5.7 million Americans) suffer with the disease, according to NIMH (National institute of Mental Health).

The main character confides to his psychiatrist: “We found at the hospital that  I am bipolar. Moods swing, my strange thoughts become intensified with the stress. I then realize that I lived with this all my life. And without any supervision, no help.”


Pat, played by Bradley Cooper, remains calm during the day.  But he awakens all of his neighbors in the middle of the night because he can not sleep and concentrates on finding the video of his wedding ceremony.


Director David O. Russel experiences these emotional swings and erratic behavior with his own son, Matthew Antonio Grillo Russell. Mr Russel chose Robert DeNiro for the part of Pat's father because he witnessed the actor's sensitivity to the topic of mental disease.


“I saw him crying for  ten minutes and I said to myself that there was a real connection between him and the text, and that it would be marvelous to work together because I thought that he would put all his heart in it,” Mr. Russel said in an interview with Katie Couric on ABC news.


Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence said:  “I think probably the best moment of my career was when somebody came up to me and thanked me for making “Happiness Therapy” because his family could finally understand him.” Ms. Lawrence is one of the 8 nominations the film received in the 2013 Oscars.

Currently on the American small screen, the television series “Homeland” features a main character (portrayed by Claire Danes) who is affected by bipolar disorder.

Jurassic Park: twenty years and all its teeth

By Clémence Duranton

Twenty years ago Steven Spielberg made one of the most spectacular movies of the century, but it seems like it was yesterday. For today's audience, Universal Studios has revisited his three-time, Oscar-winning signature movie to recreate it in 3D.

"Jurassic Park in a sense was shot in my mind in 3D [...] but at this time it was impossible to film an entire movie in this format. When I saw "Titanic," I realized a 2D film could become a 3D one with a great result. So 'let's do it!'” said Mr. Spielberg in an interview available on the dvd.

Also in 2013 version, the spectators rediscover the story of John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), the man who wanted to bring back to life the most terrifying creatures in the history of the world. He called Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm (portrayed by Sam Neil, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum) --three paleontologists-- to see his marvelous park. But as in all good catastrophe movies, it didn't go so smoothly. Screaming, children, blood, suspense, and above all, imagination: everything is in this fantastic movie. 

With the technique of 3D, the dinosaurs seem more real and palpable. The young and the not-so-young might be surprised to find themselves shivering even though they know the story by heart.

In the movie, Hammond says: "With this place I wanted to show them something that wasn't an illusion, something that was real," and with the new version, his dream became true.

Emilie, 21, an economics student, gave her impressions after she saw the movie: "Jurassic Park 3D has never been so realistic.  The movie seems to come back to life. This experience is a total immersion in the Lost World; I shivered with the T-Rex screaming, all seems to be more .... alive!"

The trilogy - Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Jurassic Park III- was a huge success, earning $914 million worldwide. In this genre, no other film has grossed as much.  In Singapore, Japan and Hollywood, Universal Studios' theme parks offer visitors the chance to get scared, yet again. Even today many websites are dedicated to the trilogy. Video games and spin-off merchandise, such as t-shirts, mugs, are available all around the world.  

Universal announced the shooting of a fourth chapter in July 2013 to arrive in theaters in 2014. 

The saga hasn't said its last “Grrrr!”


As the disque turns: more criticism of Spotify

By Antoine Kharbachi 

A lot of indie labels and artists, including Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Foals’ Yannis Philippakis and David Byrne, the founding member of Talking Heads, slammed Spotify’s business model in recently.


“Streaming cannot work as a way of supporting new artists’ work. Spotify and the like either have to address that fact and change the model for new releases or else all new music producers should be bold and vote with their feet,” said Mr. Yorke, who has pulled his music from the platform.


According to these critics, the streaming music service can help companies and established artists generate money from their catalogs, but it doesn’t hold up for new music. Spotify does not compensate emerging bands and artists enough.


Spotify responded: “The platform is now generating serious revenues for right holders. Since our launch just three years ago, we have paid over $100 million to labels and publishers, who, in turn, pass this on to the artists, composers and authors they represent.”


Countered Byrne: “Yes, I could conceivably survive, as I don’t rely on the pittance that comes my way from music streaming, as could Yorke and some of the others. But up-and-coming artists don’t have that advantage. Some haven’t got to the point where they can make a living on live performances and licensing. So what do they think of these services?”


Spotify is now the second largest source of digital music revenue in Europe for labels, far behind Apple’s prevailing iTunes. The Swedish startup that   generated about $585 million last year is followed by other platforms such as Google Play, Deezer and Pandora.  Youtube is also about to launch its own streaming service in 2014 to compete with Spotify.

Redefining weakness and weak knees: A surgery, then victory in transition  

By Malick Daho

Let's return to June 21, 1991. It’s playoffs time in the Ivorian Championship. I hear the pounding of the basketball on the wooden court of the Palais des Sports of Abidjan. The crowd of 5,000 cheers for every pass. The volume goes up for the turnovers and steals and baskets.

                                        In the money time – roughly 4:25 to go – we‘re            

                                        trailing Africa Sport, our all-time rival, by 5

                                        points. On that day I live through the most

                                        terrible moment of my basketball career.


                                        On a shot taken off a screen, I land badly on    

                                        my legs. My right ankle collapses in one

                                        direction and my right knee in the opposite

                                        one. Immediately, I understand something

                                        serious is happening. The anterier cruciate

                                        ligament of my right knee tears.

I never had so severe an injury. And besides, it happened on a move which I had made skillfully thousands of times.

It seems like the sky is crashing down on my head. I look at the scoreboard again. We are losing the match 77-72, so I suffer through a double punishment there on the court.  As a 26-year-old and a basketball player since age 16, I am so far from realizing that this injury will drive me to the operating table. It hasn't entered my mind that I will not wear the yellow and black, No. 11 jersey for several months.

As a top-tier point guard throughout the African continent, I had received numerous recognitions, such as MVP Player of CAN (African Nations Championship) in Angola in 1989, top assists maker (7 per game) in the African Clubs Championship in Abidjan in 1990, and member of the CAN 87 All-tournament first team in Tunisia.

In 3 months I'm on my way to France with a pre-contract to play for JSA Bordeaux.

But my knee decides another trajectory. I have my surgery two months later.

Along with the physical pain, knee injuries and surgeries also traumatize an athlete mentally. The doctor tells me says I can not play for at least 6 months. I know the time has come to imagine another direction for my career. For my life.

As a point guard and physical education specialist, it is quite natural to pivot to coaching.

During my rehab time, I force myself to forget about the thrill of the Barcelona 1992 Olympics qualifying games. Because I had played against David Robinson, Kenny Smith, Steve Kerr, Ronny Seikaly and Muggsy Bogues (members of Team USA 1986) in the World Championship in Spain, I was expecting to play against the legendary Dream Team in '92.

This dream will stay a dream forever. I will not face Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Larry Bird.

Learning how to coach others to their on-court successes and manage personalities within in team become my focus.

But I have not scored my last bucket wearing the jersey of my national team. I have not registered my last assist. I will play again six months later, leading the Ivory Coast Elephants to the African championship  in Kenya in 1993. For my last campaign as a player, we squeak by and defeat Egypt 80-78 to win the bronze medal. I realize I am definitely on the decline in my career, but what memories!


One year later I suit up in a smart charcoal-colored suit, a crisp white dress shirt and grey tie. Dressed to play my new role as assistant coach of the most popular team in Ivory Coast, the ASEC MIMOSAS, I take up my new place on the sidelines.  In September 1994, at age 29, I claim the title of the youngest head coach in my country. We compile of record of 42-8. This trajectory, as a coach, goes straight up.

In 1997, I'm proud to be the youngest National head coach in the sport that grabbed me as a young boy.

Like other athletes who suffered injuries and submitted to the precision of their surgeons' cuts, I wanted to immerse in rehab and strengthen my knee. Like those others, I felt that the knee which failed me could be repaired and carry me on. I discovered that is the truth; weak knees can make a successful coach.


LGBT Accomplishments under Mandela

By Masaki Osaki

Leaders of American LGBT rights groups mourned Nelson Mandela’s death because he supported their cause even before he became president. "Nelson Mandela tore down oppression, united a rainbow nation, and always walked arm-in-arm with his LGBT brothers and sisters—and with all people—toward freedom," said Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin in a statement.


"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."  These sage words from Mandela contributed not just to racial equality, but also to the advancement of LGBT rights. So specifically, what did he accomplish for the community?


First, Mr. Mandela ushered in his nation’s new constitution, which included protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation. A policy of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation was adopted at the African National Congress conference in 1990. So when it came to the new south African constitution, the ANC recommended eliminating  unfair discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender and disability also – most significatnly -  sexual orientation.

The May 1996 constitution led to the end of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the South African military. And that became the basis for judicial action which led to Parliament’s legislating in favor of same-sex marriage in 2006.


Secondly, he didn’t prejudge homosexual people. Cecil Williams, a gay, white theatre director and fellow communist, supported Mr. Mandela before Mandela became an icon. They were together when Mandela was arrested in 1962. At that time, Mr. Mandela had disguised himself as a limousine driver with Mr. Williams his boss.

The black-white relationship provided the perfect camouflage in the apartheid country. The commonalities between the two men helped the future president understand the need to include all people in the new South Africa. 

Later, Pres. Mandela appointed gay people to high positions at a time when the country was far less accepting. In 1994, Mandela appointed Edwin Cameron, a gay man living with AIDS, as an Acting Judge of the High Court to chair a commission into illegal arms deals. After several years, Mr. Cameron ascended to a judge's position on South Africa’s highest court.


In spite of these accomplishments, the current situation of South Africa is not exactly the ideal society for LGBT people. Murders and homophobia remain troubling parts of the nation’s fabric. But it’s clear that his slogan "Rainbow Nation" includes this sexual minority. His lessons will continue to guide the work of LGBT people and those fighting for justice in their communities.

Jurasic 20 years later scroll below

TEJ’s Daho in 1991

Mandela’s rainbow view before presidency

Footballer’s freedom of expression cost him $39,000 

By Ronny Regard

Though the life of star athlete Mario Balotelli represents a melange of cultures, he found himself under investigation for joking about religious and racial stereotypes. He was trying to be «anti-racist with humor» by sharing an altered image of the Super Mario character, but his football association did not laugh. 

«Don’t be racist. Be like Mario. He is an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks likes a Mexican,» he posted on Instagram.  The words «jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew” underneath a picture of the Nintendo character immediately put the Liverpool player in trouble. The image has been removed from the internet.  

The football association decided to investigate Balotelli for «an aggregate breach as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or color and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief,»  according  to the English Football Association website.

For his defense, Balotelli -- born to Ghanaian parents in Italy and subsequently adopted by an Italian couple — said that his Italian mother, Silvia, is Jewish. He later explained «I now understand that out of the context it may have the opposite effect. Not all Mexicans have a moustache, not all black people jump high, and not all Jewish people love money.»

Despite his regrets, the Football Association found him guilty and banned him for one match and fined him $39,000 USD.

«I am sorry that my teammates and supporters of Liverpool FC have to be penalized for something I did and now come to regret. It is my intention to comply with the decision of the FA and make sure it never happens again,» expressed the 24-year-old Balotelli.

He served his suspension when Liverpool played Arsenal on December 21.  He has worn the Italian national team jersey in 140 matches.




When musicians pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo


By Laurine Guilhen

Tryo announced in his twitter account: “We dedicate this song to all of the victims of these terrible days”[1] accompanied by a beautiful clip of the caricaturists with videos from “clowns sans frontiers.”  


On a tué ta vie, Charlie – They killed your life, Charlie

Mais pas tes idées, Charlie – But not your ideas, Charlie

On va les chanter, mon frère – We’re going to sing them, my brother

Et ces cons vivront, l’enfer – And these idiots will live in hell

After the shock of the murderous attack at Charlie Hebdo’s office and the Jewish supermarket, 4 million people took to the streets. Musicians, famous or anonymous, tried to express their feelings through their compositions. The first one to go viral is JB Bullet’s Je suis Charlie. This music, very inspired by Hexagone from Renaud, reached over 3 million youtube views. In the lyrics, the university student denounces the tragic event:

“A shot of Kalash for a shot of pen, you smear your religion.”

The singer and songwriter M (Mathieu Chedid) also wrote a tribute. He focused on the surge of indignation and hope of the people who filled the streets of Paris, some walking shoulder-to-shoulder or with arms interlocked, on January 7.

“To water our soul, we saw grow, in Panam’s[2] heart, flowers of eternity.”

Tété did the same and tweeted: “I didn’t know what to do so I write a song. Thoughts for the victims.”

Even rappers took their pens to express their feelings. Oxmo Puccino rapped:

“This song is made to sip while we cry, looking for the departed […] Embrace ourselves as long as the wolf isn’t here.”[3]


But sometimes attempts fail to connect to a sudden and shocking loss. The new song of Francis Lalanne received tons of negative messages. This French has-been is mocked for his lack of inspiration and poetry in his lyrics: “I’m Cabu, I’m Tignous, I’m them because I’m ourselves.


[1] Panam in slang means Paris

[1] In reference to a French lullaby


[1] All of the quotes and lyrics in this article are translated from French

[2] Panam in slang means Paris   [3] In reference to a French lullaby

French icon Johnny Hallyday’s tribure ~  Canal+ video


BE A PARADISE!” Does this dogma render Indian women submissive or unaware?

By Eugenia Fiore  


During my two months spent in New Delhi in 2014, I observed and studied India’s collectivist society. This aspect influences the role of women and runs counter to the spirit of Article I of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

In general, this collectivist side stirs a high preference for belonging to a larger social framework in which individuals act in accordance with the greater good of a defined group. In such situations, the actions of the individual are influenced by various concepts, such as the opinions of one’s family, extended family, neighbors and even work colleagues.

The contrasting individualistic aspect of Indian society results from the dominant religion, Hinduism. The Hindus believe in a cycle of death and rebirth, with the manner of each rebirth being dependent upon how the individual lived the preceding life. People are, therefore, individually responsible for the quality of their lives upon their rebirth.

This focus on individualism interacts with the otherwise collectivist tendencies of Indian society because in order to behave yourself you have to respect Dharma.

Dharma is the way in which every element of the cosmos contributes to maintaining the overall balance. If a woman wants to act properly she has to respect her role as a submissive, faithful, loving, silent wife and mother. This is, afterall, a patriarchal society. The religion defines a woman’s identity limiting it to a function of the family unit and, in the detail, as a function of the husband.

The feminine Indian ideal is Sita, the pure wife of  Rama. She leaves the comforts of a royal court to serve as companion and complement to her husband in the forest. She is also asked to throw herself into the fire to prove her faithfulness even futher. A ‘Sita’ sees her rights and honor granted through her compliance to the rules, not because she possesses them as “natural rights.”

While the basic tenet of Hindu thought for the organisation of society is collectivism, the basic tenet of the concept of human rights is individualism.