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Profile: Arfax
User Name: Arfax
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Gender: None Specified
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Joined: Thursday, July 29, 2010
Last Visit: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 10:24:03 AM
Number of Posts: 104
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Meles meles
Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 10:09:45 AM
In french, the term for badger ("blaireau") is also understood as 1) an insult, equivalent to "boor" 2) "shaving brush" because these are traditionnally made out of badgers' hairs.

I have ferreted this out :

The 3 musketeers did not have to watch over the Queen's ferrets, "ferrets" in french are jewels - at least at this period, the term has mainly survived because of Alexandre Dumas's novel.
"Furet" is the french word for ferrets.

Meanwhile, the french king certainly wore his coat made of ermine fur (Mustela erminea).

Ermine's tails are also hieraldic symbols, attached in particular to Brittany .

I'm not sure ermines are so patient as to sit on a Lady's lap and enjoy being scratched, but Leonardo decided they could be

Topic: How do you say 'recruiting' for activities?
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 9:50:46 AM
I couldn't resist : water polo rather involves swimming horses ? Dancing
Topic: Could anyone explain to me its meaning
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 5:28:13 AM
Hmmm... Sorry to intrude... I'm NOT a native speaker.

Thar said, " 'that' is the pronoun for 'these unilateral steps'." and ChuckGary shares this explanation.
Is it not rather a pronoun for "two underlying messages" ??

Can you advise to announce the steps or the messages ? Think is there a way to be sure ?
It does not change change much to the general sense anyway.
Topic: May I ask for a little proofreading ?
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 6:58:09 AM
I usually so not contribute to these kinds of debate because I know that some people will come with grandiloquent arguments. But this time it happens to be a topic well within my competence, I'm sorry the scientists are being laughed at while the evidence is accumulating. Why should they lie in that sense(they could get bribes by polluting companies if they said otherwise !) ; their problem is not interpreting the data, it is convincing people (problem is two-fold : people in charge do not always understand maths or physics, and scientists too often aren't clear enough).

"almost all the citizens of France share Arfax's point of view: the glorification of government and unshakable faith in the infallible bureaucracy. The individual is nothing but an appendage of the all-controlling state." Waouh... yeah, and we are very arrogant, have a "béret" on the head and a baguette in the hand, are sipping red wine all day, and we never take a shower (did I forget something ?).

This is what happens when the States wants to control : New Law in North Carolina Bans Latest Scientific Predictions of Sea-Level Riseand also here.

"Always remember: How can anyone trust the doomsayers when they talk about climate change 100 years from now....when the best meteorologists in the world with satellites and powerful computers can't give us an accurate 5-day weather forecast."

As Leon told you, this often-heard argument is irrelevant ! Weather forecast models are based on complex atmosperical simulations (flows of air taking into account their temperature, wetness, pressure...) whereas linking gaz with green-house effect is another task. It is the same for floods : we can quantify the probability of floods but have no idea of when the next big flood will take place (next year, in 10 years, 200 years...) we can only begin modelling possible flows when the rain starts (flood warning procedures).
Topic: Change Two Letters game
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 6:24:32 AM
Topic: May I ask for a little proofreading ?
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:28:45 AM

I'm French too, and I work in the field of hydrology.

Your confidence in private ownership surprised me.
I suggest you try and get more information about the causes of desertification, and its remedies. I agree with LeonAzul : I'm not so sure you can do much about droughts.

You believe that privately owned forests are better managed : aren't many managed forests monospecies ones, with fast-growing trees, with little ecological value (such as palm trees to make these oils that invade our processed food...).

I also disagree with drinking water private management : you can find lots of papers on this topic in many parts of the world. Private companies work to make a profit, and they sell water at an increased price. They are often accused of not investing enough money in infrastructure, because they have a contract for a limited period of time, and so are reluctant to make long-term investments. Public mismanagement does exist, but I would rather trust regional or national control bodies to improve things rather that private companies. Of course, it implies a minimum of honesty and no corruption, but this is also true for private management.

In the developping countries, famous companies manage to obtain pumping licences in good quality aquifers, they bottle the water and sell it for a profit, whereas the local communities suffer from the resulting water table lowering. You talk about giving the local populations "tickets to get a minimum amount of water" ; I'm afraid this will be a very minimal minimum...
What does "fully exploited" means when water becomes a non-renewable ressource ? In Spain, irrigation has led to salinisation of large areas because they generously pumped fresh water, and continued afterwards to pump brackish water coming from deep aquifers or from the sea (along the coasts, sea water can invade the aquifers to replace fresh water pumped in excess...).

About global warming : you do not "believe" but I'm afraid LeonAzul is once more right : the scientists have overwhelming strong evidence of global warming due to green-house effect. Where do your conclusions come from ? These are erroneous. A paper in the prestigious journal Nature states that "The present models are clearly able to reproduce natural climate variability over the past 150 years, and have provided an essential test of the theoretical link between CO2 and global temperatures. Their vision of the future has in some ways been incredibly stable. For example, the predicted rise in global temperature for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere hasn't changed much in more than 20 years " (Maslin and Austin, 2012).

I recommand you the executive summary of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change):
Topic: How did Shakespeare pronounce "hour"?
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:12:41 AM
This pronounciation is indeed closer to the modern french one (heure, [œʀ] or [œ:ʀ] ).

I checked in an on-line french dictionary how "heure" could have been pronounced in the past centuries (, and it makes sense :
from latin "Hora"
XIIth century: "ure" / "ore" ; XIII : heure, eure.

Topic: Expertise of 15 lines of technical text ?
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 9:15:47 AM
Thanks a lot !

@Shivanand: I can not afford the luxury of breaking the abstract formally into 3 §, there is only one page available for the title + list of authors + abstracts in 2 languages + keywords. I've put some colors hereunder for you to distinguish the articulation.

How different is “urban” stormwater source control from “rural” runoff management ? The processes are identical in the two contexts, and urban BMPs have their rural counterparts. Feedback analysis, including pragmatic considerations, should therefore be shared more widely. A literature review shows that a common key issue is the assessment of the effect of structural measures at catchment scale, whether on flood mitigation or on water quality. In both contexts, studies -using simulated or observed data-, draw the same conclusions about the high sensitivity of the hydrological response of a combination of structures to their spatial distribution and to the space and time pattern of rainfall. Modelling is an invaluable tool to study the hydrological behaviour of existing or projected structures, but is a hard task when it involves various and scattered objects, and processes at different scales - complexity is thus maximised in peri-urban contexts. Building distributed input for these models is the topic of several recent studies. Both communities can thus learn much from each another, but furthermore they have to work together. In many cases, fluxes – flood or pollution- often cross urban/rural limits, and must thus be studied at a broader scale. Whilst each sub-catchment is a source of hazard for the land downstream, it also provides opportunities for solutions. Defining the appropriate scale of work and involving all the relevant services is a prerequisite for efficient flood risk or pollution management.
Topic: Expertise of 15 lines of technical text ?
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 4:17:49 AM
I got a paper accepted in an international conference (in my town !) but the organizing committee send a very vexing e-mail stating that my abstract requires a "professional translation".
They offer to do it (and charge for it), but I would like experts' advice first.
So, I post my text here, please feel free to make your comments : can it be saved with minor revisions or is it beyond redemption ?
I can provide the french original if you need it.
Thanks for your kind advice !

How different “Urban” stormwater management involving BMPs is from “rural” runoff management ? Runoff processes are identical in both contexts, and urban “source control” facilities have indeed counterparts in rural areas, so feedback analysis, including pragmatic considerations, should be shared more widely. Furthermore, common problem arise for the assessment at catchment’s scale, far more complex than the mere diagnostic of each individual technique. In both contexts, authors study the hydrological behaviour of a combination of works, using simulated or observed data, and draw the same conclusions about the high sensitivity of the result to the spatial distribution of the works and of the rainfall. Modelling is an invaluable tool to assess existing or projected structures, but is a hard task when it involves various and scattered features, and processes at different scales - complexity is thus maximal in peri-urban contexts. Building distributed input for these models is the topic of several recent studies. Both communities can thus learn much from one another, but furthermore they have to work together. For flood risk or water quality issues, urban and rural interests interact on a catchment. Indeed, each sub-catchment is at the same time a source of hazard for the land downstream and of opportunities for solutions. The Flood Directive reminds us to think about and (re-)define the appropriate scale for management.

Topic: Future Moose - Futur Orignal ?
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 11:15:52 AM
French administration does't speak French.
And I am not sure all people in administration understand the Holy Book of Laws or even one another.

Have you ever seen "Les 12 Travaux d'Astérix" ?

Un grand moment de parodie : "la maison qui rend fou"

PS : un de mes amis a passé une année d'étude en Angleterre ; la banque lui demandait un justificatif de domicile pour lui ouvrir un compte ; l'agence exigeait un relevé bancaire pour lui louer un logement... d'oh!

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