Le petit journal

Le petit journal : Bienvenue

Par admin eugene-thomas-le-quesnoy, publié le samedi 11 mars 2017 20:12 - Mis à jour le samedi 11 mars 2017 20:33


Chief editor – Brasseur David – Chief editor assistant- Wilson Madeleine



A Shaky Animal Instinct
by Madeleine Wilson -  Biotechnology Specialist

 A lot of people claim that their pets behave strangely before a big earthquake strikes. The problem with this is that these claims are almost always made after an earthquake and not before. This leads to people being sceptical of the claims because they may have just been imagined.
  However, several studies have been done which demonstrate unusual animal behaviour occurring within the days leading up to a big earthquake.  A 2014 study showed that there was a significant increase in the unusual behaviour of peoples’ pets before the deadly 2011 earthquake in Japan. The study suggests that the animal scan detect signs of an earthquake which humans cannot. This is due to the much greater range of hearing and smelling that cats and dogs possess.

  In the moments leading up to a big earthquake, there are smaller shakes that cause the release of different chemicals from the ground into the air and low-frequency sounds, both of which pets can detect and respond to.
However, animals can behave strangely as a result of many things so seeking shelter every time your pet acts differently is impractical.

  A slightly more reliable source of animal-related earthquake detection has been suggested in a 2011 study on groundwater chemistry and its effects on toad behaviour. When there is a lot of stress in the earth (ie. before an earthquake), minerals contain a higher level of charged oxygen particles which can quickly spread into nearby bodies of water. The water particles become oxidised to form hydrogen peroxide. This change in the water’s chemistry can be detected by toads living in or near the water, causing a change in their behaviour.

  While this is very interesting information and potentially useful in predicting earthquakes, I think that a more reliable form of prediction would be to create instruments to measure these chemical changes. If a toad can detect oxidised water particles and prepare for the impending earthquake, then so can our instruments to help us prepare. This way, we may be able to more efficiently predict and prepare for a big earthquake, instead of becoming masters of animal-interpretation.


Articles mentioned:
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Unusual Animal Behavior Preceding the 2011 Earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku, Japan: A Way to Predict the Approach of Large Earthquakes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4494383/
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Ground Water Chemistry Changes before Major Earthquakes and Possible Effects on Animals






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by Tiffaine  Locoche – International Reporter




Why did you decide to live in the USA ?

Well you see, I wanted to teach in an Elementary School in the USA which is why I went to Louisiana.To be more precise, I lived in Louisiana Boulevard, Baton Rouge

What did you like in Baton Rouge ?

Well I really liked the culture, the people and the weather. Having your Christmas party on the terrace was just great.

What didn't you like ?

What I found pretty shocking was the clear-cut separation between the white Cajuns and the black people. Mixing just seemed impossible and  back then going to a place where you weren’t suppposed to go was quite risky. But things are imroving in Baton Rouge, although it's not perfect.   



by Musiol Amandine-Travelling Specialist

 " Are you familiar with South Korea ? It’s not really like North Korea. The South was also a dictatorship until the 1980s. And now, South Korea is a democracy. Park Geun-hye is the president of South Korea. She's the daughter of one of the main dictators in South Korea, Park Chung-hee.  North Korea used to be  close to the USSR while South Korea was siding with the United States during the Cold War. Therefore, South Koreans enjoyed more freedom than the North Koreans.

 A controversy erupted some days ago and all over the country people were shocked. There were about 200,000 Koreans who protested and demanded the resignation of the president.

Two counsellors were accused of leaking confidential documents thus abusing their power. In fact,  60 million euros were stolen from big companies. Behind all of that, there is the president's friend Choi Soon-Sil . Even though she was not supposed to intervene, some people claimed  that she had   an important influence on the military choices. She is also held responsible for changing  the admission conditions of a major university in Seoul « Ehwa ». It came as a real shock in a country where studying is really important . But what about this woman nicknamed « Raspoutine » by the Korean citizens ? She was the daughter of a Guru, Choi Tae-Min, who was also the president's mentor. The Guru pretended he was able to communicate with the president’s mother, even though she had been assassinated. For the Korean citizens, she seems like a weak president influenced by a rich family, and even a political puppet.

So what is the  place  of women in the society in South Korea ? Women's rights in South Korea are not what they should be as they still suffer from male domination.  Korean boys are still conservative so their girlfriends or sisters have to stay at home and look after the children and do the chores. Fathers are supposed to deal with their daughters' safety and defend their reputation. For example, there were some scandals in the Korean industry. In 2002, Jang Seok-Woo, CEO of Open World Entertainment, was arrested for sexually abusing female trainees but also encouraging male idols in his company to do the same. They were giving aphrodisiac substances to those girls who were under age. But this is a widespread evil in the South Korean society as many women blame men for putting drugs in their glasses in nightclubs and bars and taking advantage of the situation.  The Korean justice system does not see that as rape. So here lies a real paradox : a female president in a conservative male-oriented society. That's why the situation of the female president is bad news for the evolution of women's rights in the country.


INTERVIEWING Madeleine – Forign Language Assistant

As if you were in New Zeland

by Tiffaine  Locoche – International Reporter

                                                                  Madeleine is 22 years old, she is our  Foreign Language assistant this year. She lives in Wellington in New Zeland. She has a younger sister, Kate, a younger brother, Jack, and a dog. Madeleine was born on the 22nd August 1994 in Australia but her family moved to New Zealand when she was 3 years old. She practises many sports : she likes jogging, hiking and she plays netball. Furthermore, she is keen on kayaking in Wellington harbour. Her favourite color is blue, her favourite book is Harry Potter and she listens to all sorts of music : pop, classical, and rock. Her favourite country is of course  her native country because in New Zealand there are many different landscapes which are beautiful (beaches, sea, mountains,  volcanoes…). When she was 6 years old her parents bought  her a French book that  she liked a lot so  after graduating  she wanted  to come to France. At the moment she lives in Valenciennes and she has already visited Lille and Paris. Madeleine had to  adapt to a new life style because there are many differences between New Zealand and the North of France. Firstly, Wellington is  is  a very  windy place, there is a fantastic beach , there are many shops, businesses, universities. It’s also  the coffee capital  and that's a good thing because Madeleine is a coffee addict !  In New Zealand the kids practise lots of sports after school or go to the beach. In fact,  sport is very important in New Zealand : in Wellington there is a big stadium  dubbed the « cake tin ».  The national sport is  rugby  and  the rugby players are used to performing  the Haka, the traditional war ritual of the Maoris. The Maoris are  the native people of New Zealand and they have their own  language : Te Reo and a typical tattoo, Te Moko which is drawn on the bodies and faces of the Maori. Tourism is quite important in New Zealand.

New Zeland is a beautiful country and you should really visit it ! ( quoting Madeleine)



Return of the Sting

by Julie Bruyère – music specialist


                                                     Last November, Sting released a new record called 57 & 9th . The album's best song is surely I can't stop thinking about you. You can't possibly not have heard this song on the radio. This song is a real success because it's quite reminiscent of what Police used to sing. Of course ! All the members of the former band play on this record. In this song, Sting speaks about love with a real touch of poetry : he says that he  really wants somebody but doesn't know if this « somebody » really exists. We are made to realise that this soul-mate probably doesn't exist.   On November, 13th, 2016, Sting was the artist chosen to reopen the Bataclan. All the funds raised will be entirely dedicated  to the families of the fallen ones on that terrible night.

                                                      But's let's turn back the clock . Who were Sting, Gordon Matthew or Thomas Summer ? Sting is now 65 years old, he plays the guitar and is an international singer. In the 1970s he founded the band « Police » with two friends. These three friends created very special and inspiring music and they were very successful : who doesn't know So lonely or Roxanne ? I guess everyone does. Unfortunately the pop rock band split up in 1985. This is how Sting started a solo career : he then talked about a Desert Rose and Russians ! If Sting is a poet he's also a committed singer and it's quite obvious in the song  Russians which insists on the growing tensions between the USA and the USSR and criticizes the Big Game. In 2007 the band decided that they should play music together again and they started a world tour . So this new and promising album leads us to imagine that there will be a new world tour :  so Return of the Sting or Rebirth of Police ?

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MOVIE LOVERS by Eline Marion – film specialist

  Fantastic Beasts and Where  to find them

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“Fantastic Beats and Where to find them” was directed by David Yates and was written by J.K. Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter. It’s a fantastic film where we can rediscover the creatures of Harry Potter (the Wampus, the Thunderbird). Among the actors, there is Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Don Fogler, Collin Farrel and more. This movie was released in cinemas on November 16th. The synsopsis of this film? Well, it’s a spin off of Harry Potter. It deals with  the adventures of Norbert Dragonneau who comes to New York after observing a lot of fantastic creatures in the whole world and he lost his magic suitcase with all his fantastic creatures. It’s a “No-Maj” who lets the fantastic creatures out. It will wreak havoc in the magical world and the Muggle world. This film takes place seventy years before the stories of Harry Potter. A second film is going to be released on November 16th, 2018 and a third film for 2020.



From Miss Peregrine to Harry Potter and the X-Men

by Marie Cardoso – film specialist


Miss Peregrine and the Peculiar Children » is a novel written by Ransom Riggs which was  adapted by Tim Burton in 2016. It’s a fantastic movie which takes place during the Second World War. The main character whose name is Jake  discovers children living on an island in a secret place.These children have magic powers just like him (though he's not aware of it at the beginning ). We are struck by the similarities between this movie and Harry Potter by J.K Rowling. In the two stories  the main character is endowed with magic powers and gathers with  other children who are like him. In both stories, the children are rejected by others because people think they represent a danger to society due to being very different and so their situation requires them to live in a secret place and in the dark.

                                                               Leaving their material world is a way for them to escape from an unfair reality but it doesn't mean that  the new world they live in is not dangerous  either. Furthermore, Dumbeldore  ( who runs Hogwarts school) and Miss Peregrine seem to have many things in common ; they can travel in  time, and they can take away the kids to send them to their house or school - in other words,  they are quite powerful. Let's have a closer look at the children's enemies: Mr. Baron and  Lord Voldemort ae not that different either, Voldemort would like to be immortal after having killed Harry Potter just like Mr. Baron with Jake and the peculiar children. Mr.Baron controls the « wights » which  are his  henchmen; Voldemort  controls the « Death Eaters ». Lastly, the two movies take place in the United Kingdom.

                                                                  But we could also draw a parallel between  “Miss Peregrine and the Peculiar children” and the Xmen. The Xmen are rejected by  humans because they are different from Mr. And Mrs. Average : they are mutants and represent the next stage in human evolution which stirs jealousy and fear.  That's why Professor Xavier decided to protect the mutant kids in his school, a school for peculiar children.

                                                                   We may really wonder why we find the same archetypal situations in the three stories.


First of all we have to bear in mind that these stories are meant for kids and teenagers so we can't forget the « glimmer of hope » effect of such stories. You're going through a real hard time ? People despise you and claim you are useless ? And you tend to believe that you are useless indeed ? Well, let me tell you one thing, being different is not a curse.  And you may very well be extraordinary and have amazing powers. And that obviously works : reading those stories becomes a way for many children to escape from an unbearable reality just like their heroes escape from their reality . Isn't imagination a sort of magic power ? Something that can't be controlled. And you can definitely relate to these heroes !

                                              Then those stories are obviously a way for writers to warn people against the dangers of facism. Do you think that democracies will last forever ? Well let me tell you another thing : Horrible things can happen again ! The so-called « purity of the race » is a sort of obsession in all those stories : Mr Baron wants to create a new almighty race, Harry Potter has to keep fighting against those wizards who want to get rid of those whose blood is not pure while the foster family of Harry keeps saying he is weird and he's a freak. In the X-Men, men want to kill the mutants because they regard their mutation as a sort of plague, while Magneto ( who was in a concentration camp with his family) believes that mutants are the future and that men have to be destroyed ( because they are Cro Magnon Men- a race which should be eradicated).















Literature                  The Mysterious Castle on the Hill – a  gothic short story by D.P.

On a cold, dreary night of January 1956, I came to experience the strangest thing of all. 

My parents were gone for the night, attending to some kind of sumptuous party with their so-called "friends", those nasty pigs dressed for the carnival, constantly bursting into that high-pitched laughter which got on my nerves anytime I was around. There was not a single sound to be heard in our gigantic mansion, except from the snores of my Great Aunt Gertrude, who was supposed to survey the "little angel" I was, and from the gusts of wind that were making my windows tremble with fear. 

I laid silently on my bed, covered from head to toe with a huge coat which might have belonged to my dad, a long time ago. I was waiting for the signal. 

Suddenly, a pounding sound came to my ears, and I sighed with relief. Three times. It was him. 

I jumped out of bed and hurriedly opened the window, a broad smile on my face, which undoubtedly made me look as stupid as possible. 

"Are you ready?" Julian asked, a mischievous twinkle in the eye. 

"Of course I am! Have I ever given you the impression that I was a coward?" 

His laughter delighted my ears, and gave me the strength to jump out of the window, fortunately located on the ground floor, as was the rest of my bedroom. Once I was in front of him, he didn't lose a single second: he grabbed my hand and we began to run, our cheeks reddened by the coolness of the air. 

We soon left our small village, entering the deep, dark woods which surrounded the mysterious castle on the hill. It was not the first time we had been there, our adventurous spirits craving for all sorts of dangers. However, that night, the woods weren't supposed to be our playground.

The castle stood there, among the trees, enormous and dreary. Its towers, fiercely pointing at the clouds, looked like the claws of a desperate creature, unable to catch the moon, to join the realm of darkness of that midnight sky. The huge stone-built monster laid desperately on the ground, slowly dying, too old for our modern world and yet, not old enough to be reduced to ashes and dust. 

Julian halted, solemnly contemplating the building, his hand still stuck in mine. I was trying to catch my breath, feeling my body slightly shaking. It had been a long, exhausting run... yet it was worth it. 

"This is awfully beautiful", my friend whispered, his gaze seemingly lost among the filthy walls of the castle. 

Then, as if he had woken up from a dream, he shook his head and stared at me, grinning. 

"So, how do you like it so far, Betty?"

"Well, except from my legs covered with mud and the cold I'm about to catch, I assume that I like our night walk." I chuckled, teasing him a bit. 

"You little sissy..."

I punched him in the chest, lightly, and a loud "ouch" escaped from his mouth. 

"Who's the sissy here?" I laughed, as he tried to make me fall on the ground, and succeeded so well that we both ended on a bed of creaking leaves. 

Paddling in the mud, we were about to get up when the weirdest noises of all came to our ears. It sounded like... a squeaking pig, and at the same time it was a terrifying shriek. 

It, for we cannot define precisely its nature, was sobbing, moaning, and growling angrily. Hearing it sent a shiver down my spine, and I saw Julian getting goosebumps all over his bare arms too. 

We stood there, still, facing the entrance of the castle. Julian was the first one to react. 

"What... what was that thing?" he muttered, his voice trembling a little. 

I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. It's a ghost, for God's sake! Let's get out of here. Let's come back to our home. Please... Yet, nothing came out of my mouth. 

I didn't want Julian to think I was a coward. So I stood, bravely, and I shook my head, meaning I hadn't a clue. 

"I guess we shouldn't stay here... come on." 

We turned back, slowly, and made our way through the bushes, holding each other's hand tightly. The moon was enlightening the path. 

I glanced towards the castle several times, as its sight diminished and became blurred by the numerous leaves that surrounded it. Nevertheless, I was still able to see the enormous entrance door... and unfortunately for my poor soul, I witnessed what happened that night... 

Crawling on the floor, a peculiar shape got out of the edifice. It laboriously got up, moving awkwardly, as if it had legs but no foot to walk on... and it was yelling, and moaning, and complaining... 

For a moment, I thought it was human-like, and I almost found the courage to pity that poor creature... until I met its eye. 

As big as a fist, so that we could find no cheeks on the monster's face. Red, and brown, as if the iris was on fire. 

I couldn't help but notice that the tears that were flowing down its chin were full of blood. 

Again, I couldn't move. My own blood started racing furiously in my veins, and I felt my heart pounding in my chest. 

Then, I heard it. The voice. This husky, heartbreaking voice...

"Mom... Help me, please!" it said. "Look at me now... I'm dying... Men and Women have caused my death... They killed their own life, they killed all the hope, they destroyed themselves, and they destroyed my body! I can't bear it anymore... Put an end to my agony... please..."

Something seemed to answer the creature, for it began to beg with a supplicant voice: "Mom, no, please don't do that to me... I want to disappear, I don't want to stay on this planet... I don't care if the world ends if I'm not here anymore... I want it to end! Mom, look at the world! Every single war they make, every people they enslave, every torture they cause, every animal they kill, is another wound on my body. I can't bear it anymore... Take me with you..."

That was the moment the creature seemed to notice me and Julian, who was as fascinated and horrified as I was. It glared at us, pain reflected in its gigantic and apalling eyes. 

"What are you doing here, filthy humans?! RUN, before I decide to break the vow I made to the nature, my poor mother. Run, before I decide to kill you! Two human beings, dead, wouldn't it be a great thing? I would surely enjoy it!"

We didn't take time to think, and ran away as fast as we could, leaving the woods, the castle, and the poor, lonely soul behind us.On that night of January, 1956, I had met the dying, tortured spirit of the World. And all my love for life has gone ever since..