Work among the penguins? France is looking for candidates

In this file photo taken on September 06, 2012 shows the Kerguelen archipelago which forms one of the five districts of the territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). (AFP)
Updated 07 February 2018
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Work among the penguins? France is looking for candidates

BREST, France: Fancy a job at the North or South Pole? A French research institute is looking for you.
The Paul-Emile Victor Polar Institute in northwest France has launched a public appeal to recruit around 40 French-speaking people for a wide variety of jobs at its six bases in the Arctic and Antarctica.
From chemists and carpenters to bakers and pastry chefs, the institute is stepping up its efforts to reach potential candidates for 12- to 14-month stints at its bases with endless summer days and winter nights.
“We get lots of interest from the biology fields but not enough mechanics or tool operators, because these people don’t know about us,” said Laurence Andre Le Marec, hiring director at the institute named for a French polar explorer and pioneer.
It operates at the Spitzberg base in the Arctic and the Dumont d’Urville and Concordia bases in Antarctica, as well as three bases on France’s sub-Antarctic islands of Amsterdam, Crozet and Kerguelen.
Women in particular are being sought in this year’s recruitment drive, which includes six testimonial videos from female alumni.
At the Dumont d’Urville station there are just six women compared to 24 men. “I haven’t been able to get balance” among the sexes, Andre Le Marec admitted.
The 40 successful candidates — 30 of whom are reserved for France’s corps of Civic Service volunteers — will have to pass a medical exam that includes psychological evaluations.
“We make sure they are physically apt for this type of mission, and psychologically ready to live in a small group on an isolated site under conditions that can at times be extreme,” Andre Le Marec said.
The mechanic being sought for the Concordia station, for example, will have to mesh with a group of about 60 people in summer and just 14 in winter — when temperatures can plunge to minus 80 degrees Celsius (minus 110 degrees Fahrenheit).
“There’s no going back over winter,” the job posting on the institute’s website warns.
Concordia, which houses a French-Italian team, is one of three permanent bases maintained in the interior of Antarctica, one of the most isolated and inhospitable places on the planet.
“Not all the bases have temperatures this extreme,” Andre Le Marec assured, adding that a biologist sought on the island of Amsterdam, in the southern Indian Ocean, would be able to work “in a T-shirt.”
“It was incredible,” said Claire Le Calvez, who spent a tour at Dumont d’Urville as a chemist and glaciologist in 2003 and eventually joined the roughly 50 permanent employees at the institute.
What one discovers in the natural world of Antarctica is amazing, she added.
“These are memories that last a lifetime.”


Priyanka Chopra, soon to be Jonas? Either way, she’s got the rock

Updated 16 August 2018
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Priyanka Chopra, soon to be Jonas? Either way, she’s got the rock

  • Nick Jonas and Chopra were first seen together at the Met Gala in May 2017
  • Jonas, who was one third of the Jonas Brothers before he went solo, has already traveled to Mumbai to meet Chopra’s family

DUBAI: Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, who reportedly got engaged to American singer Nick Jonas on her birthday last month, is sporting what appears to be a sizeable rock on her ring finger to prove it.

The photo of the sparkler was impossible not to spot in group photos posted on Instagram on Wednesday by Sophie Choudry and in close-ups with Raveena Tandon, in which the “Quantico” star has wrapped her left hand with said rock around Tandon’s shoulder rather purposefully. 

Tandon, Chopra’s friend and fellow actress, wrote: “Peecee and I getting our pouts in order!” Could they be practicing for the wedding photos?

Dressed in a saffron yellow pantsuit, Chopra attended a party at designer Manish Malhotra’s residence Tuesday night with other Bollywood stars. An engagement party in Mumbai is rumored to be in the works for this weekend, where it’s expected the couple will make an announcement. 

Jonas, who was one third of the Jonas Brothers before he went solo, has already traveled to Mumbai to meet Chopra’s family. It will be a busy wedding season, as his older brother Joe is also engaged, to Sophie Turner, who plays Sensa Stark on “Game of Thrones.”

Jonas and Chopra were first seen together at the Met Gala in May 2017. Earlier this summer, she traveled to New Jersey to attend his cousin’s wedding in New Jersey. He reportedly shut down Tiffany & Co. in London to buy the ring in July.

It seems they’re well-suited: Both Jonas and Chopra do charity work. He and his brothers started Change for the Children Foundation to raise awareness about diabetes, a condition which he has, while she is a global goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and has the Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education. 

If all of this sounds like another couple whose nuptials were recently in the headlines, that’s no surprise. Chopra is the friend of Meghan Markle, and watched her and Prince Harry tie the knot in Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel in May. 

Chopra may have even been inspired by the royal wedding: “Every once in a while there is a moment when time stands still,” she wrote on her Instagram account. “You, my friend, were the epitome of grace, love and beauty… Thank you for being the perfect picture of all things good. Seeing your union and love blessed in front of my eyes made me so happy.”