Paris is known for its pricey hotel rooms — especially if you want a room with a view.
But five hotels are trying a different approach. They're telling people to come and pay as much as they want — no flat rates at all. Aldric Duval, the head of the Tour d’Auvergne hotel, came up with the idea.
Duvel says his first customer under the new system paid a respectable 140 euros per night — but it's still less than the average 150 euro per night price in the area. He's probably already made up the deficit with all the free publicity he's received from his new scheme. The Independent has more.
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The violence in Gaza is echoing around the world
For the past two weekends, demonstrators in Paris, Calgary, Vienna, Berlin and elsewhere have protested against Israel's assault in Gaza. Some of the protests in support of Palestinians have turned violent themselves.
In and around Paris, two Jewish shops were burned and a synagogue was firebombed, while some protesters yelled "Death to the Jews." In one demonstration, 3000 people gathered at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris and then clashed with police, injuring 14 officers and leading to 38 arrests, according to the US Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner.
France is home to some of Europe's largest Jewish and Muslim communities, and French leaders are worried about growing anti-Semitism in the country. The government has sought to ban further protests.
Escalating chaos in Mozambique is imperiling South Africa's rhino population. So far this year, 1004 of the endangered giants have been killed by poachers, up from 668 during all of last year and just 13 in 2007. Many of the deaths are coming in large game reserves, where the rhinos should presumably be safe.
Game wardens blame poverty and corruption since the end of Mozambique's civil war for driving men across the border to kill rhinos for their valuable tusks, which can be sold in booming Asian markets. A proposal has been floated to evacuate the rhinos from the biggest South African game preserve, Kruger National Park, but an environmental activist says it won't help. PRI's The World has the story.
It's easy to curse (or laugh at) your phone when it autocorrects practicing to "pec tickling" or massage to "sausage," but have you ever thought to thank the inventor of that wonderful function that turns tapping on miniscule keys into readable prose and banishes our poor spelling?
Well, now you can. Wired Magazine tracked down the guy who holds the patent on autocorrect. He's Dean Hachamovitch and he works at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It turns out that creating autocorrect led to all sorts of tough decisions, like should it helpfully offer the correct spelling for "mothrefukcer"?
Deepak Singh has lived in the US for years, but he goes back to India every summer to see his family. This year, he wanted to read and speak Hindi as much as possible. But here's a problem: no one he's talked to in India really wants to speak Hindi. And most of the bookstores he's visited sell few or no Hindi books.
He wrote an essay about his experience for PRI's The World. What's particularly surprising is that India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, prefers to speak Hindi, and is pushing the country's civil servants to speak and write Hindi whenever possible. But even that doesn't seem to have changed the situation.
What we're seeing on social
The heat isn't only cooking in the US this week. On Tuesday, portions of Scandanavia north of the Arctic Circle reached temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius,) according to AccuWeather. Normal temperatures for this time of year are in the mid-60s Fahrenheit