Large photos of the youthful Brigitte Bardot compete with each other on the façade of a prominent store on the Champs-Élysées. They convey just how ahead of her time the film star was. Bardot's young face, body, fashion, and many styles look utterly contemporary. As Burbank, California–based film historian Ken Kramer notes of the old images of her: "That is what women look like now."
From the earthquake that ended the lives of 230,000 Haitians to the historic floodwaters that are putting nearly 14 million people at risk in Pakistan, it's a tumultuous year for the developing world and a trying one for the leaders of wealthy nations trying to help them.
Angry young French minorities in dead-end banlieues have, in moments of frustration, expressed themselves crudely. Some set thousands of cars and hundreds of buildings on fire amid weeks of confrontations with riot police in 2005, leaving Paris to decipher the smoke signals.
Nikola Jovanovic was a senior in high school in 1999 when his prom was canceled. The reason: NATO planes bombed his hometown of Pec in Kosovo. Shortly afterward Jovanovic fled to Belgrade, where he now works for an Austrian bank, and he recently caught up with old classmates on Facebook.
For the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims have long indulged in nights of earthly pleasures after daylong fasts. But as the 2008 holiday draws to a close in Europe, participants and experts there say those pleasures are becoming decidedly more commercial.
As Nicolas Sarkozy took in the political landscape on Bastille Day, he could be forgiven for his giddiness. The new president's approval ratings were in the stratosphere—nearing 70 percent in some polls—thanks in no small part to the new-look government he'd put together, one with an ethnic, racial and gender makeup far more reflective of modern France than any before (consider Rachida Dati, a daughter of North African immigrants, whom he appointed as minister of Justice).
It's the summer of 2060 and you're heading off for your European beach vacation in ... Parmu. Never heard of it? You will. According to a recent EU report, the Mediterranean's multibillion-euro tourism industry will likely shift toward Europe's northern coasts in Scandinavia, the British Isles and the Baltics (home to Parmu and other up-and-coming beach towns like Palanga and Jurmala).
Are you afraid of storms, bursting levees and killer tsunamis? Hold on to your cell phone--it may soon be warning you of impending catastrophe. Starting on Feb. 1, cell-phone owners in flood-prone regions of the Netherlands can expect a ring and then a text message warning with evacuation instructions in case of flood.
For decades, tombaroli --tomb raiders--have pillaged Italy's archeological sites for artifacts. Despite a 1939 law prohibiting the export of antiquities pulled from Italian soil, they--aided by ingenious traffickers and see-no-evil curators--have helped stock the world's major museums with Etruscan vases, Hellenistic silver sets and Roman statues.
In the future there will be no sex, intimacy or love. Desire and passion will endure only in the typed word. Forget about laughter and tears. People no longer will be humans, but rather "neo-human" clones, looking back on their originators' past trying to understand all that has been lost.That's the grim future envisioned by French literary provocateur Michel Houellebecq in his latest novel "The Possibilite d'une ile" ("The Possibility of an Island", in French. 485 pages.