the commuter's eye

The Annunciation Concert of Carmina Romana and Saint Sulpice Choirs

Posted in mindscapes, romania is my country by martzipan on March 27, 2012

Last Sunday I’ve attended one of the most exulting religious concerts I’ve ever had the chance to witness lately.

Carmina Romana & Saint Sulpice Choir

Carmina Romana & Saint Sulpice Choir

Performed by the Romanian Orthodox Carmina Romana and Catholic Saint Sulpice Choirs in the impressive Saint Sulpice Cathedral on a beautiful early spring day, the event was one of those rare occasions when two of the most important Christian musical traditions met in a nearly sublime endeavor.

Carmina Romana Choir

Carmina Romana Choir

Here are some excerpts that I hope you will enjoy too!

 

 

Saint Sulpice

Saint Sulpice

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Salon du livre

Posted in cityscapes, likes and dislikes, mindscapes, on books and paintings by martzipan on March 24, 2012

sau cu cinicul hirsut la târgul de carte de la Paris

Pentru cine nu are invitaţie sau (Leeloo Multi)pass ori se trezeşte mult prea târziu, târgul de carte de la Paris – botezat simandicos „salon” – începe cu o coadă de proporţii la biletele de intrare (10 EUR).

coada de la intrare

Odată ajuns înăuntru, situaţia se prezintă după cum urmează: un spaţiu de vreo două-trei ori mai mare decât cel de la Romexpo, cu alei niţel mai largi şi standuri ceva mai dichisite/aerisite, unde – pe lângă forfota şi viermuiala obişnuite dintr-un târg – e frig de-a binelea, iar reducerile lipsesc cu desăvârşire. Oarecum e de înţeles, pentru că faţă de ce se întâmplă la Bookarest, miza nu stă numai şi numai în vânzări, ci în eveniment ca atare (uitaţi-vă numai la teaserul ăsta), în happeninguri, lansări, sesiuni de autografe, întâlniri, discuţii, dezbateri, convorbiri şi, bineînţeles, în business, de unde până la urmă şi numele de „salon”.

un mare standtarguind

Ţara invitată anul ăsta a fost Japonia, cu un stand niţeluş labirintic, dar interesant (făcut din bambuşi) şi împărţit într-un soi de librărie (al cărei „furnizor oficial” a fost Gibert Joseph), plină-ochi de cărţi şi de lume care cumpăra în neştire, plus un spaţiu niţeluş mai larg şi deschis pentru evenimente.

standul japonieilibraria de la standul japoniei

Oraşul invitat – Moscova – s-a bucurat (pe lângă standul gemând de volume ce au mers de la clasici până la contemporani în original sau în traducere, asigurate tot de Giberţi) şi de o „cafenea” cu o sumedenie de lucruri care păreau să se întâmple pe-acolo.

cafe moscou - partea cu carticafe moscou pe dinauntru

Altfel, în materie de expozanţi, s-au găsit cam toate numele bune într-ale literaturii (şi nu numai) de limbă, expresie şi traducere franceză, din Hexagon sau de aiurea. O absenţă – notabilă după părerea mea, deşi e posibil să nu fi fost chiar singura – a fost a celor de la Droz, care nu erau nici de capul lor, nici în standul Confederaţiei.

gallimardpuf

Ce-am mai văzut şi mi-a plăcut a fost „colţul digital”, unde – pe lângă Kinddleul celor de la Amazon redus la vreo 80 EUR şi e-readerul Sony (din păcate neredus, la 150 EUR, însă cu e-books incluse de o treime din preţ) – se găseau nu tocmai puţini ofertanţi de soluţii de digitizare, ca să zic aşa. Faptul e cu atât mai interesant în contextul unei (eterne, cred) dezbateri cu privire la viitorul cărţilor tipărite/digitale, aici mai la modă decât în oricare altă parte, reluată de curând şi în ultimul număr al revistei BNF.

Ce nu prea am văzut au fost cărţile cu şi despre artă sau cel puţin alea care m-ar fi interesat pe mine: cei de la Editions du Louvre au avut un stand mai mult decât jenant (mai ales faţă de librăria de la muzeu), Gallimardul a venit cu nişte albume scoase de la naftalină (reduse, ce-i drept), însă total neinteresante şi… cam atât.

ghici ghicitoarea mea

În rest, tot soiul de curiozităţi, inclusiv o butică cu „Cele mai mici cărţi din lome” (greşeala de tipar e intenţionată, pentru că stăpânii şi-au greşit bannerul, corectându-l ulterior cu un marker negru), bizarerii, personaje colorate (mai ceva decât pe la convenţiile SF) şi alte asemenea năzbâtii, cum ar fi o gaşcă de meşteri gravori cu presă cu tot.

standul cu baby cartibaby cartile

aminalute bizarebaby monstercarti miniate tiparite

Nu pot să închei fără să amintesc şi de standul României, asigurat de Centrul Naţional al Cărţii şi ICR, care mi-a plăcut cum arăta. Spre lauda organizatorilor, chiar a venit cu carte românească la vânzare (în original sau traducere), nu cu pliante sau prostioare de genul ăsta.

bucurestiul pentru strainistandul romaniei

În treacăt fie spus, mi-am dat încă o dată seama – deşi nu ştiu dacă mai era nevoie – de cât de scumpe sunt cărţile noastre, atunci când leii ăia se transformă brusc în euro şi compari preţul de rezultă cu cel al bucoavnelor franceze. Până una-alta, sunt de părere că e nevoie de ceva mai mult decât un stand de carte şi nişte evenimente la un târg internaţional pentru mult-râvnita promovare a culturii/literaturii române. În lipsa unei strategii mai de Doamne-ajută din partea patriei-mume, cei mai buni agenţi de PR cultural pe care îi avem rămân deocamdată, cu dezinvoltura specifică, băieţii cu acordeonul din metrou (pentru care am, de altfel, toată stima).

În fine, că tot pomeneam de evenimente, printre cele ale ICR-ului s-a mai numărat şi o masă rotundă (la o foarte mică parte din ea am asistat şi eu), cu invitaţi de aici şi din ţară, pe tema vagabondajului literar, în descendenţa lui Panait Istrati. A fost, printre altele, un prilej de (re-)întâlnire (şi fumat ilegal o ţigară fix în buricul târgului, după panourile gri care delimitau ultimul rând de standuri) cu Ion Manolescu, Răzvan Rădulescu, Ioana Both şi Gabriela Adameşteanu.

standul romanieivagabondajul literar

În concluzie, cum spuneam şi pe Facebook, târgul de la Paris seamănă foarte bine cu salonul auto, atâta doar că lipsesc domnişoricile îmbrăcate sumar.

je ne suis pas fou

P.S.: Nu, n-am cumpărat-o, staţi liniştiţi 😉

cat in a bar

Posted in mindscapes, odd around the world by martzipan on March 19, 2012

Absinthe bourgeois

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cocolino is now robijn

Posted in mindscapes by martzipan on March 16, 2012

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Skilled Developers Wanted – Ultra Low Latency and Algo Trading Solutions

Posted in jobs by martzipan on March 16, 2012

Just got word from some extremely techie friends of mine that they have some open positions in their R&D teams Paris. Below you can find the short job descriptions. If you would like to give it a try, just let me know and I’ll put you in touch with them.

C++ Multithread Development Engineer (Linux – Core)

You develop the middleware (Framework & API) and framework-based services for accessing ultra low latency market data. You contribute to the lowest levels involving threading and network management on transport layers (TCP, Multicast, IPC, etc.), also being involved in the development of proprietary protocols and business components (stream aggregation, referential and financial tools’ management, etc.)

Requirements: 4 years experience in C++ multithread development under Unix/Linux, ideally in financial markets, scripting languages (Bash, Perl, Python). Java and C# are a plus. English – medium level of proficiency & excellent team player.

C++ Multithread Development Engineer (Linux – FeedHandler)

You design and develop new feed handlers in C++. You will also contribute to the development and maintenance of various types of feed handlers (cash, derivatives / multicast, TCP, FAST, etc.) and manage migrations of exchanges. Moreover, you ensure a second level of support to our products and clients services teams.

Requirements: MSc, C++ advanced development skills under Unix/Linux, ideally in financial markets, scripting languages (Bash, Perl, Python). English – medium level of proficiency & excellent team player.

C# Development Engineer

You develop C# functional modules for our algo trading platform, in relation to asset classes. You also implement statistical models to increase product performance and scalability. Moreover, you contribute to customer support, pre-sales, training and consulting activities.

Requirements: MSc, C# advanced skills under Unix/Linux, ideally in financial markets. Additional skills in C++ under Unix/Linux are a plus. English – medium level of proficiency & excellent team player.

QA Engineer (Feed Handler)

You test and validate new and maintenance releases of our feed handlers. You develop, implement and perform test cases, based on the requirement docs and technical specifications provided by R&D. You also provide an ongoing assessment of our product overall quality.

Requirements: MSc, experience in a similar high performance software QA position in financial markets. Additional skills in scripting languages (shell script, Perl, etc.) are required for test automation. Familiarity with command line tools is also a plus. Technical English – medium level of proficiency & excellent team player.

Senior FPGA Development Engineer

You develop our next generation of FPGAs, based on high-end Altera devices. You create the specifications and architecture, and develop low latency IPs (network stack, market protocol decoding, book management). You also configure and integrate third-party IPs in the FPGA (memory interfaces, network, PCIe, etc.). Moreover, you implement, test and debug the FPGA projects on the hardware platform, with R&D to integrate the hardware accelerator and software feed handlers.

Requirements: You have 5+ years of experience in FPGA development with in-depth knowledge of EDA tools and Verilog or VHDL language. Knowledge of memory interfaces (DDR, QDR, SRAM, FIFO), bus interfaces (AXI, Avalon) and multiple clocks domains management and crossing is mandatory. Knowledge of tcl and bash scripting, as well as C/C++ development is a plus. English – medium level of proficiency & excellent team player.

spring in paris

Posted in cityscapes by martzipan on March 15, 2012

@20 degrees, Celsius

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sunset

Posted in cityscapes by martzipan on March 14, 2012

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On Saint-Germain-en-Laye Castle

Posted in cityscapes, mindscapes, trips by martzipan on March 13, 2012

As last year we haven’t actually got the chance to see anything of the beautiful surroundings of Paris, we’ve decided to catch up on this spring. So, after buying a pocket guide about Ile-de-France and few quick searches over the Internet, the first choice was… Saint-Germain-en-Laye Castle. For several reasons: we’ve had only few hours available on this Sunday afternoon, it was more than easy to get there by public transportation and not expensive at all. Not to mention that it’s one of the most significant places for France and its history.

the castle - seen from north

Former residence of the kings, since the 12th century, the castle currently houses the National Museum of Archeology, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. The beautiful gardens are probably just perfect during summer and an ideal location for picnicking. When we’ve got there, plenty of kids were having the time of their life, so you should seriously think bringing yours if you decide to visit it.

the splendid parksome of the kids ;)

A spectacular panorama over the river Seine and western side of Paris reveals as you approach the eastern side of the domain where Louis XIV – the Sun King – was born in 1638, although we didn’t enjoy it too much as it was a bit overcast.

panorama over river Seine and Paris La Défense

The castle itself is a precious gem of (mainly) Renaissance architecture and the collections of the Archeology Museum would at least stir anyone’s curiosity, if not cause sudden crushes (we’ve fell for the queen Arégonde, wife of Clotaire I, her story and elaborate apparel). From the artifacts of early Paleolithic to the delicately crafted golden jewels of Bronze Age, and from the vestiges of Gauls’ daily life to the early Franks’ amazing mastery of science, everything in the museum reminds you that the distance between our times and those of our ancestors may not be as long as we ought to believe.

paleolithic toolsbronze age golden jewelsceltic ornamentVercingetorixhoroscopeglass from the 9th century A.D.

And since I’ve previously mentioned the kids, we’ve somehow managed to accidentally get into the middle of a “dramatized visit” (in French, of course). Three costumed folks were playing hide-and-seek, running barefoot all along the castle’s corridors with the children and parents in search for clues to solve a riddle. Of course, to the amusement of the kids, the answer was inscribed on a large parchment hidden in the great chimney of the museum’s last hall. Dedicated to “comparative archaeology”, this hall comprises a spectacular assembly of unique exhibits from allover the ancient world.

the big chimney

Before leaving, it’s worth crossing the courtyard and admiring the beautiful and delicate chapel in rayonnant Gothic style. Built in the 13th century by Saint Louis, this is the place where the King Francis I married in the spring of 1514 and Sun King was baptized on 21 April 1643.

the castle's courtyardthe chapel - western wallbeautiful inscription

Last stop, the museum’s shop. It is garnished with plenty of books, post cards, replicas of the main artifacts and, of course, games and books for kids.

Special thanks to the staff for the warm welcome. By the way, don’t forget to bring an extra memory card and some batteries along with your camera, as you’ll undoubtedly need them.

Quick Facts

Time Kids Difficulty Cost
3-4 hrs Age 5+ Easy Economy

 

Web site

http://www.musee-archeologienationale.fr

Opening hours & fees

Monday to Sunday, from 10 to 17. Closed Tuesday.

The domain and park are free of charge; museum ticket is 6 EUR (discounts for kids, under 26, students etc.).

Why should you go?

Want to enjoy an afternoon in a splendid park and spend about two and a half hours in a delightful castle turned into a museum? Saint-Germain-en-Laye is definitely the place where to go. Your kids will love it too.

Why not to go?

If you’re not that into archeology and ancient/old history, probably you may not want to get there, but if you are at least curious to see who the ascendants of present day’s French people were, you should however give it a try.

Furthermore, after seeing Versailles and marveling at the grandeur in display, the castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye may be a surprise for you. It’s warmer, livelier and, subsequently, a bit eclectic, because it reflects so many styles and trends. Still, you can easily imagine the splendor that once reigned here in its glory days.

How to get there?

By RER – The fastest way to get to the castle from Paris downtown is by RER A to Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The trip takes 25 minutes from Chatelet-Les Halles. Fare/person: 4 EUR

By bus – You could also take the bus 285 from La Défense until the end of the line. The trip is about 45 minutes. Fare/person: 1.75 EUR

The domain and castle are just across the RER/bus station.

To plan your trip by public transportation, go to http://www.vianavigo.com/.

By car – A 13, RN 190, RN 13, N186. There is also a parking.

Get a coffee, grab a bite?

If you didn’t make plans for picnic, you can get a coffee (2.20 EUR) at Brasserie Amnésia (2 place André Malraux, 78100) just across the street, with a beautiful view to the castle’s chapel and southern wing from the terrace. A beer is around 5 EUR, a generous Caesar Salad – 11 EUR, just as a pizza. Steak with fries – 14 EUR. Friendly staff and great service.

the castle seen from south

What to do after?

If you don’t like to follow the same road back to Paris, you could take the bus 258 and enjoy a short ride along the river Seine to La Défense, as we did. Get there before evening and you can still have a dinner or some quick shopping spree at Les Quatre Temps or CNIT. My tip: check out Decathlon for incredible sportswear and other casual outfit on sales.

hic sunt leones

Posted in mindscapes by martzipan on March 5, 2012

rain

Posted in cityscapes, mindscapes by martzipan on March 5, 2012

sunday evening, all over the place

rain in paris

simply, purely, plain rain

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