Staying current with Fribourg….

This might be filed under the category of unimaginable in the days of the Villa.. but for those of you comfortable with technology, you can follow events in Fribourg via Twitter..
Merely search on ‘Fribourg’ in Twitter and you’ll get these results. (You can elect English or French results.)
At the moment (late April 17, 2009), your blog editors can see that “big wind and rain” have just hit the fair city. Earlier, there was a session on renewable energy in Fribourg.

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A small reunion in Seattle….

… Thomas Brew (vsj, 1969) and Brian Lawler (vsj, 1968) met for a couple pints outside Qwest Field in Seattle before the MLS Sounders’ match vs Kansas City on Saturday, April 11.
Their hair only appears gray in this photo, due to an oddity in the light in the Northwest in the evening. In fact, Brew and Lawler are little changed since Fribourg days.
For the record, Mr. Lawler is an attorney in Seattle and lives on Bainbridge Island. Mr. Brew is an editor at msnbc and lives to the east of the city.
More about Mr. Lawler can be found here.  
Brew’s career is summarized here.

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“premier redacteur,’ … circa 1959-60

This photo, said to be 50 years old and from Sapiniere, comes to us from our seniors from the Villa’s French days..

The English-language staff knows very little about the photograph, other than it is said to be of Francois Marchal.

Any other informaton would be greatly appreciated..

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The villa, winter of 1952

These  photos were forwarded to our offices from our elder brethren who attended the original (ie pre-American) Villa.
We were led to believe these photos, showing students sledding near the villa woods, were from 1951, but have been  corrected by graduate Francois Ronsin.
The second photo is ice-skating on the frozen Sarine.
If you have historical photos, please forward them to our offices at
The editors..

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Of kings and sport…

This relic was sent to our offices by Mr. Di Palma, who is in regular communication with our more senior brother graduates from decades past.
If you’ve a moment, visit their site here.
— the editors


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The Willy Boom reunion tour!

Willy Boom, class of 1969 and a resident of the Pacific Northwest, recently traveled East and visited his old classmates, Tedd Smith and Jhon Akers.

He and his wife, Marge, sent along these photographs as documentary evidence.

— the editors


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Frederick Martin found…

Via Facebook, Kevin Di Palma reports locating a former Villa student, Frederick Martin.

Martin’s note:

Frederick hat dir eine Nachricht gesendet.

I was at the Villa in 63-64 and 65-66. I was in the dormitory “Sapiniere.” However I returned to the States in the spring of 66 just before the end of the school year.

 I graduated from High School in 1968 in Washington DC,went to one year of college in Florida and returned to Europe in 1969 where I have been ever since.

 I studied Political Science in Heidelberg and after I finished that I went to Berlin to study voice and opera theater, becoming a professional singer.How about you?

Frederick (Fritz) Martin

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réunion anciens 2009!

An update from our brethren..

Ayant trois nouvelles adresses d’anciens de la Villa St Jean, je me permets d’envoyer cette petite piqure de rappel, concernant notre prochaine réunion des Anciens.
Programme :
Jeudi soir 03/09/2009  19 h  Rendez-vous à la Distillerie Paul Devoille à Fougerolles, pour un repas  «  à l’Alambic », C’est-à-dire Jambon cuit dans un alambic, Salade, fromage et dessert. On mangera sur des bancs dans la salle des alambics ! Tenue décontractée.
Nuit selon les réservations de chacun : trois villes presque équidistantes, Val d’Ajol (la Résidence), Plombières, Luxeuil
Vendredi matin 4/09/09 10h Visite de la Distillerie Paul Devoille, avec fonctionnement des groupes d’embouteillage,
11 h ST Valbert ermitage et selon le temps disponible Luxeuil
12 h      Repas de midi dans une ferme auberge 
Vendredi après-midi : Visite de la Distillerie Lecomte Blaise à Nol, messe dite par le Père Duffner dans le grenier aux bonbonnes.
Pour les dames, (les messieurs suivront) : Magasin d’usine  de Buyer à Faymont
Pour tout ce qui touche à la cuisine….et selon le temps disponible Plombières.
Repas du soir à la Résidence Val d’Ajol, nuit selon les réservations de chacun.
Samedi matin : au revoir et à bientôt !
Il serait bien que ceux qui n’ont pas répondu……..le fasse !
René de Miscault
Musée des Eaux de vie
85 rue du général Dufieux
Tel 0389 47 50 26

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The villa community, Google & Mr. Obama…

This pitch to the villa alumni group was sent to us by Cliff Thompson, vsj 1967.. In our Fribourg world, neither Mr. Obama nor Google were remotely conceivable..

— the editors

Hi Alumni,

I’m writing to inform you of a contest I participated in, to submit ideas to a Google 10th birthday special project called “Project 10100”, about which Google writes, “Project 10100 is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible…We’ll help bring these ideas to life…We’re committing $10 million to implement these projects, and our goal is to help as many people as possible”.

 It turns out Google adapted the Project 10100 technology to develop a similar project for Barack Obama’s Open Government website called “Citizen’s Briefing Book”, where people can “Share…ideas on any issue facing the new administration, then rate or comment on other ideas. The best rated ideas will be gathered into a Citizen’s Briefing Book to be delivered to President Obama.”

 I submitted several ideas to the Google site, the 1st of which offers a recommendation to end global warming, & I also submitted just the end global warming idea to the Obama site. There will be online voting for the top ideas on both websites. I was wondering if I could interest you in participating & spreading the word on the voting. For the Obama site, you can just go to the idea webpage & click a “Vote Up” button next to the idea title, to add 10 points to the total vote count. For the Google site, voting begins shortly – to be informed when voting begins, on the site you can click on a link that reads “Send me a reminder to vote” – the voting begins January 27th, 2009.

My involvement with the project is a result of having worked after-hours the last several years as Appropriate Technology (AT) Evangelist for NGO “Paths of Native Africa”, assisting developing nation villages with AT Projects. To develop AT skills, I recently completed a years’ worth of Solar Living Institute (SLI) bootcamp engineering workshops focused on the whole AT spectrum including Water Management, Bio-Intensive Agriculture, Natural Building, BioFuel, Solar Thermal, Solar Photovoltaic/Wind/Micro-Hydro Power & Electric Vehicles. Lately I’ve been turning my attention to developing standard low-cost AT system designs that can help the most people globally, starting with Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power systems. I’ve just begun reporting progress on a new AT website I’ve recently created named “VillageTech.”

A while back my wife Toni, who works at Google, emailed me about the Google Project 10100. Because of my AT activities, I took this call from Google as a solicitation to describe my AT ideas, so, under my NGO Nickname Cliff_”High-Tech”, I submitted nearly a dozen ideas, arranged roughly in descending order of “fraction of global population helped”, the first affecting 100% (a global warming CO2 extraction AT), the second affecting 40% (a water contaminant extraction AT), & so on. Later on Toni emailed me about Google Project 10100 being adapted for Obama’s “Citizen’s Briefing Book”, so, under my regular Nickname “clifftrobot”, I submitted just the global warming CO2 extraction AT idea.

For the Google Project 10100, Google adds, “Thank you to everyone who submitted an idea. We received over 100,000! [Toni says it reached 150,000]…We’ll post a selection of one hundred ideas and ask you, the public, to choose twenty semi-finalists. Then an advisory board will select up to five final ideas…Once we’ve selected up to five ideas for funding, we will use an RFP process to identify the organization(s) that are in the best position to implement the selected ideas. We will be providing funding to these organizations to implement the ideas…[& NOT to the person who submitted the idea, as explained in the Project 10100 FAQ “Submitting Entries” section question “Q: What do I get if my idea is chosen?  A: You get good karma and the satisfaction of knowing that your idea might truly help a lot of people” – BUT, the person who submitted the idea can recommend an organization on the submit form field “18. If you’d like to recommend a specific organization…” that may in turn lead to Google identifying as a candidate for implementing & funding]”.

So, I’d like to encourage everyone to spread the word (feel free to forward this email) & vote up the idea on the Obama site,  & vote for the best ideas on the Project 10100 website, because, for the Project 10100 website, though I don’t know if any of my ideas will make it to the finals, whichever idea(s) make the finals, the most people will be helped with the best idea(s), as funded by $10 million, which is a win for us all.  Because the Project 10100 website idea submissions are not, at the time of this writing, listed & searchable, I’ve placed a copy of my submitted ideas on a Project 10100 webpage on VillageTech, & included a “Send me a reminder to vote” link on the page. Here are the links:
Obama Citizen’s Briefing Book idea “End Global Warming & Climate Change Now”:  (click the “Vote Up” button by the title)

Google Project 10100 “Voting Begins: January 27th, 2009”: (vote here on Jan. 27)

• Google Project 10100 “Send me a reminder to vote:”
• VillageTech Google Project 10100 ideas submissions page:
• VillageTech Projects included as references in the Google Project 10100 idea submissions (click on the Navigation links “Solar Power for School PC”, “Solar Power Mini-PV”, & “Solar Powered OLPC”):

Alrighty Then!
Thanks in advance, appreciate any help you can provide,

Cliff Thompson
Appropriate Technology Evangelist
Paths of Native Africa

(fyi, more on Cliff can be found here)

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Réunion anciens 2009

An update:

Il semble que la réunion intéresse pas mal d’anciens de notre promotion, on pourrait peut-être l’annoncer sur le site de la Villa St jean pour essayer d’avoir de nouveaux Anciens!
La date précise n’est pas arrêtée, mais l’unanimité semble se faire pour la première semaine de Septembre. Je n’ai plus les coordonnées du Marquis, peux-tu le contacter ?
Par ailleurs, je vais essayer d’aller de nouveau à la pêche des anciens par le site des pages jaunes : qui porte ce nom ? Je reprend ici le message laissé en plan :
La date se précise petit à petit, le vendredi 4 septembre 2009 semble faire la majorité !à Fougerolles en Lorraine Actuellement nous serions déjà 20.
René de Miscault

Passing along a note from our elders..

Si chacun de mes mailings avaient un taux de réponses aussi important, il me faudrait doubler ou tripler la fabrique de  tord-boyaux! Déjà 15 inscrits !
Pour la date, il semble que comme la dernière fois, c’est-à-dire début Septembre, la majorité semble s’y diriger. Autre avantage l’abbé Duffner a l’habitude de venir à Ribeauvillé pour la fête des ménétriers, le premier week-end de Septembre, on aurait peut-être la chance de l’avoir de nouveau avec nous !
Fougerolles est à proximité de Remiremont, où arrive un TGV, il sera possible de prévoir un ramassage postscolaire pour ceux qui désirent utiliser ce moyen de transport.
Fougerolles est entre Plombières, Luxeuil, Val d’Ajol, hauts lieux de tourisme, il sera facile de trouver à se loger. Je peux conseiller La Résidence à Val d’ Ajol, hotel familial, où nous prévoirons certainement un des repas ! 
 Pour le programme:
Incontournable!: Visite de la Distillerie Lecomte Blaise à Nol
Visite de la Distillerie Paul Devoille à Fougerolles
Luxeuil: visite de la Basilique et de l’abbaye du fameux St Colomban, moine irlandais, l’autre pays du tord-boyaux!
On va affiner tout cela et continuer à prendre les inscriptions.
Merci à tous et bon courage pour cette nouvelle année!

René de Miscault
Musée des Eaux de vie

85 rue du général Dufieux

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