Sunday, March 19, 2006

Non CPE!

The riots in France this month are about a new labor law that is scheduled to become effective this week. According to current French law, employers cannot terminate an employee without cause. The new law, which is called the CPE (Contrat Premier Embauche," allows employers to fire newly hired employees without any cause and without severance pay as long as the new employee is under the age of 26 and has worked for the company for less than two years.
The law is supposed to encourage employers to take on new hires. The current unemployment rate for people under the age of 26 is 24% in France, compared to the national average of 10%. Employers are reluctant to hire new employees because the current laws make it very difficult to scale-back a workforce once it has been increased. This new law will make it easier for employers to eliminate any new employees they take on. The idea is that employers will risk hiring young employees because they can always fire them later on.
Obviously the students and unions are outraged and have taken to the streets in classic French style.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Oh no! St. Patrick's Day is on a Friday...

As if I needed any more reasons to be skeptical of the true intentions of the Catholic Church on this planet. Catholics across the country are freaking out because St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday during lent. The big dilemma is that eating corned-beef this St. Patrick's Day could land you in hell if your local bishop hasn't decided to lift the ban. Do we live in Medieval Times? I can't believe the Associated Press even wrote an article on this.

Monday, March 13, 2006


So I am on jury duty this week. I spent the day today in the Bronx County courthouse reading and praying that I will be picked for a jury. I figure that if I get picked I will have something to do while I am on jury duty instead of sitting around.
Today was pretty bad, but I was very excited to hear Dar Williams performing live on WFUV when I turned the radio on this evening. They really do have the best radio programming. I really think everyone should become a member. You don't even have to live in New York to listen. Everything is streamed live over the internet and archived too.

Monday, March 06, 2006


I didn't actually watch the Oscars last night, did anyone? I did hear though that Brokeback Mountain did not win all of the awards it was supposed to. Crash really did deserve to win. Maybe more members of "the academy" read my blog than I thought.
And more good news from this weekend- Park Avenue Cafe is still hosting "Pay-Your-Age" dinners after 8:30. You have to check it out. The food is amazing. I had a $40 piece of steak with an appetizer and dessert for only $26!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Screw Topped Wine

During my recent visit to Paris this winter, I noticed that "Les Petites Recoltes" at the well-known wine shop Nicolas were fitted with screw tops instead of with corks. I have seen Nicolas go from using real cork to synthetic cork, and now to screw tops. Apparently, they aren't the only ones.

According to an article from AFP, more and more wine producers are opting for the screw top over the traditional cork. They are predicting that wines priced below $15 or $20 will soon all be fitted with these tops. Screw caps are being used because they are cheaper and prevent "Cork Taint." The wine doesn't usually sit in my apartment long enough to get tainted though...