(25 May 2015 - )

(A) French and Chinese national anthems

  • French and Chinese national anthems By the Hong Kong Police Choir

  • French national anthem The ``Marseillaise'' with subtitles in French. Three verses are sung. In the second verse there is a reference to a traitor named Bouille.
    Who was he?
    Together with Swedish Count Axel de Fersen (friend and most probably lover of the queen), the Marquis Francois de Bouille (1739-1800) had planned the flight out of France of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette. It took place on 20 June 1791 that is to say two years after the French Revolution of 1789. The objective of the conspirators was to cross the border into Belgium which, at that time, was a possession of Austria. In May 1791 the Queen had passed to her brother Leopold II, the Emperor of the German Holly Roman Empire (which included Austria, it should be remembered that the Austrian Empire came into existence only in 1804), the information about her imminent flight. After the flight had been discovered not far from the border, Bouille and Fersen, under threat of being arrested, were nevertheless able to leave France. In the following years Bouille assisted Prussia and England in the wars of the First Coalition against Revolutionary France.
    That is how his character became the embodiment of sedition and betrayal. The ``Marseillaise'' was written in April 1792 that is to say not long after the failed flight of June 1791, and at a time when Bouille's name was still on everybody's mind because the king's flight was one of the main reasons which, on 20 April 1792, led to the war between France on the one hand and Austria, Germany and Prussia on the other hand.

    March of the PLA Military anthem of the Chinese People's Liberation Army .

    Fluttering Red Flag

    (B) Song for Resistance fighters in World War II

  • Nuit et brouillard, a song composed by Jean Ferrat (1930-2010) The title which means ``Night and fog'' is the French translation of ``Nacht und Nebel'', a directive taken by German authorities on 7 December 1942 through which persons arrested in occupied countries could be kept in complete secrecy without any information about their fate given to anybody. Jean Ferrat's father disappeared that way.

  • Nuit et brouillard (same song with text in French)

    (C) Music pieces lasting 10 to 15 mn

  • (1) Bolero by the French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). 14mn

  • (2) Night on Bald Mountain by the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881). 10mn

  • (3) Brandenburg concerto number 6 by the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).

  • (4) Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Originally it had been composed for the organ. This an orchestral adaptation.

    (D) Music pieces lasting about 3 mn

  • (1) Tedeum by the French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704).

  • (2) Tedeum by the Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809).

  • (3) Fanfare pour le Carrousel Royal by the French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) . The French word carrousel (in English "carousel") refers to a place where riders parade.

    (E) Films explaining scientific experiments

  • (1a) (mp4 film) Magical or scientific? (gravity, in French)
    This video presents two ``mysteries'': the magical ball and the magical chain. The video comes from a French weekly scientific TV program entitled ``Les cobayes'' (guinea pigs) which is shown every Friday night and also available on the Internet.

  • (1b) (mp4 film) Magical or scientific? (gravity, in Chinese)
    This is an adaptation for Chinese students of the magical ball experiment shown in the previous video. It was done in early November 2015 by a group of students of Beijing Normal University for the benefit of physics students of other Chinese universities. The pedagogical purpose is to promote the experimental methodology in science.
    As many other ``Cobaye'' videos are available online, it is hoped that similar adaptations will be made in other institutions of higher learning throughout China.
    The BNU group comprised the following students: Kaixin Wang, Hongzhong Xu, Jieping Yu, Fanqi Zeng. Pictures of three group members can be seen in the next video.

  • (1c) (mp4 film) Magical or scientific? (gravity, in Chinese)
    In this video made in early November 2015 the same students from Beijing Normal University perform the previous magical ball experiment in an alternative way.

  • (1d) (pdf file) Magical or scientific? (gravity, in Chinese)
    This is the report in which the Chinese students who made the adaptation describe their work.

  • (1e) (txt file) Magical or scientific? (gravity, in English)
    This is a translation into English of the French dialogues of the video (1a).

  • (2) (mp4 film) Magical or scientific? (hypnosis, in French)
    This video presents several hypnosis experiments. As the previous gravity experiments, it comes from a French weekly scientific TV program entitled ``Les cobayes'' (guinea pigs). Its interest lies in the fact that, so far, there is no clear scientific explanation of this effect. For instance, we do not know why some persons are more susceptible to being hypnotized than others. In contrast with the magic ball experiment for which there was an easy explanation, this experiment raises a challenging scientific question.

  • (3) (mp4 film) The exceptional life span of the hydra (in English).
    The hydra is a little (about 15mm in length) and fairly primitive animal which lives in fresh water. Similarly to some other animals (e.g. worms) but to a greater degree, it has a regenerative capacity which means that if it is cut into two parts two complete organisms will be reconstituted. This ability gives it a life span of several years that is to say much longer than other animals of that size. Needless to say, it may not be the only organism possessing this property.
    The present animation was made by Robert Krulwich and it is available on several websites.

    (F) Milton Friedman, neoliberalism and the shock doctrine

  • (mp3 film, 1h18) The shock doctrine.
    ``The shock doctrine'' is the title of a book by Canadian author Naomi Klein. The film provides an illustration of how this doctrine was used between the end of World War II and 2008. It explains how the neoliberal economic agenda promoted by Milton Friedman and the Chicago school was introduced into various countries. This was usually done by taking advantage of the destabilization which came in the wake of dramatic circumstances such as:
    * During a time of military dictatorship as in Chile and Argentina.
    * Under the umbrella of military occupation as in Iraq or Afghanistan
    * By taking advantage of the disintegration of a country as in former Yugoslavia or in the Soviet Union.

    The film lasts over one hour but as it involves many episodes taking place in various countries, each of them is outlined fairly briefly which means that in order to get a real understanding one needs some prior knowledge. For instance, at one point, there are a few pictures of a meeting of the ``Mount Pelerin Society''. This society was indeed highly instrumental in spreading the neoliberal gospel, in particular through its action on the Committee awarding the Nobel prize in economics (actually created by the Bank of Sweden, not by Alfred Nobel). However, to explain this point comprehensively would have required about 10 or 15 minutes instead of the 20 seconds devoted to it in the film.

    The film made by Michael Winterbottom is available on the following website: