20120924_YellowStone_0736_Old Faithful-web.jpg

Blog :: State of Play

Same, same, but different.

Most decisions will affect our lives, short or long term - on the latter: picking a subject at university, doing one more year of studying, accepting a first job, starting a family etc. Interestingly enough, in my early twenties, I was probably not mature enough to measure all the consequences of these important decisions and at times, made rather poor choices - and if not poor, irrationalBut out of all those decisions, I made an unusual one, compared to most of my counterparts back then: I decided to leave Paris and move to London. Yesterday was actually the 10th anniversary of that move - the 10th anniversary of what I consider being the best decision I ever made. 

Read More
Geolocalize me

Working in advertisement means you very often get to check out brands you probably never would because of your job. While checking a client's website is the basic of meeting prep, when working in marketing, the brand your clients want you to work on can be ANYTHING: from men's grooming products to computer microchips, from organic pet food to an international airline. Where I want to go in this is how consequently, my newsfeed and other targeted marketing such as banners I see when opening up my Facebook page tend to be a mixture of all of these – and mostly of things I do not care about in my personal life. And this is when I start wondering how geolocation and data gathering strategies are working. 

Read More
Aurelie DesmasComment
Philo 2014

Something I like to share and discuss with my counterparts - the philosophy subjects of the Baccalauréat. This exam the majority French people have at around 18 years old is actually mandatory to enter University. Depending of your preferences and abilities, you can choose between 3 domains of speciality that you will get deeper into during the year: sciences, literature or economics and social sciences. But as regardless of the specialty, everyone has to work on every discipline (for instance I did sciences but still had French, History, Geography, English, philosophy etc), the kick off of this week-long exam on the Monday morning (this morning) is common to everyone: philosophy.

4 hours and 2 subjects (plus one text to comment) are being given to students to write a dissertation about a particular subject that immediately get published in the press to give some food for thoughts for the entire nation. To be honest, I did not perform particularly well on this one and having picked Sciences as my main discipline, the philosophy teaching I received was pretty minimum. But I still very much like, as experience grows year by year (alongside white hair) to read the subjects and wonder what could possibly be the response.

Read More
Aurelie DesmasComment
Size matters

As any visitor will tell you when travelling through the USA, the proportion of overweight people is indeed higher in North America that in Europe. When taking a closer look, one may easily realize that the food industry lobby paired up with the pharmaceutical one both combine efforts towards that goal. As in spite of the newly recent trend named 'orthorexia' (the obsession of 'healthy eating'), what remains mostly available at an affordable price food-wise here is cheap and fat - easy and even cheaper to produce, which will get us to purchase all sorts of stomach remedies, weight loss pills and so forth afterwards - the correlation between the two being very often overlooked.

Taking the food industry only and the example of the most famous item of the American cuisine, ketchup - there is obviously a rather cunning tendency in the US to sweeten everything. Reading the labels of a can of tomatoes soup for instance, makes me instantly feel like having a sugar rush or needing a good insuline shot while I am not diabetic (to give you an idea, the Wahrolian tomatoe soup has the equivalent of 8 packets of sugar in the whole can).

Read More
Unheimlich

Over the Holidays (I have now switched officially to the American expression), I travelled back to France for the well-celebrated Christmas (as in Europe we are not afraid of being non-politically-correct).

When coming back, especially as it has been 2 years since my last trip to Motherland, I inevitably got the question: How was it? 

When I was in the plane to Paris, I finished a book called 'Limonov' by Emmanuel Carrère (excellent book by the way that I unfortunately cannot find in English on Amazon). Limonov happens to be a real person, Russian-born writer (amongst many other things) who has travelled across the world. At some stage during his biography, the German term 'Unheimlich' comes in. I remember thinking about it for a while afterwards and then forgot. But when I was first asked after landing back in NYC - How was it? - 'Unheimlich' was then the first word that came to my mind. 

Quick explanation on the linguistic aspect of this word: first off, like many other words such as 'Sehnsucht', this term does not have an equivalent in French, and the English version 'uncanny' does not sound quiet accurate to me.

Read More
Aurelie DesmasComment