Legends Behind February 2nd

As most of you should know, Candlemas is fast approaching, and you all must be craving to eat the famous Crêpes we all bake on February 2nd. However, do you know where this tradition comes from? 

Just like every other festivity surrounding Nativity, Candlemas is linked to light.
In the pagan rites, the Romans would scarify an animal during de rite of Lupercia in order to have the blessing of the Pan God. This rite was inherited from the Festa Candelarum, a Roman celebration which would commemorate the seeking of the goddess of light Persophone, according to the Greek mythology.
However, the Church had undertaken since the end of the Roman Empire a vast project of replacing pagan rites with religious festivals. Thus, during the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I decided to replace this old pagan rite by a Candlelight Festivity: Candlemas.
This festival is held exactly 40 days after Christmas, and commemorates the purification of Mary. Indeed, according to Hebrew rites, a mother must present her new-born at a temple 40 days after his birth, which is what Mary did. In the east, it became a non-working day. In the West, torches were carried in procession, a sign of light. « Candlemas » comes from candela – the candle in Festa Candelarum – hence the Candlelight Festivity.

Christians would find themselves in a church, and would bring a blessed candle home, being careful to keep it lit, for the candle would invoke the good omens to watch over the sowing winter, allowing to produce the good harvests of the next summer. Indeed, according to the French saying: « Whoever brings home his candle lit, for sure will not die in the year. »
Therefore, Candlemas is linked to light, but also to purification, fertility and prosperity.


But what of the symbolic crêpe then? Well, “Candlemas crêpes” were eaten as early as the 5th century! Farmers used to purify their land with torches before sowing. The excess flour was used to bake crêpes, which became a symbol of prosperity for the coming year. Indeed, the shape and the colour of the crêpe evoke the sun coming back after a winter night. The first baked crêpe of the year would have to be put on top of a wardrobe with a golden coin, for it supposedly never rots, preventing mold for the entire future harvest.It is also said that pope Gelasius I would welcome pilgrims arriving in Rome with crêpes.

The legend of February 2nd was exported all the way to North America by European settlers. However, it was quickly replaced by Groundhog Day. Indeed, according to a European legend, hedgehogs predicted the arrival of spring, depending on the weather during Candlemas day. Hedgehogs being inexistent in North America, European settlers decided that Groundhogs would predict the arrival of spring. They therefore started to await the arrival of an early spring when they would see the shadow of a groundhog awakened on February 2nd .

Among all these legends, it is needed to note that the shadow in the legend is partly true. In winter, sunny days are usually associated with Arctic air, which is colder and drier. On the other hand, cloudy days are associated with maritime air, which is wetter and softer. Since weather conditions usually last for a few days, February 2nd conditions can last a few days. Hence the saying: “If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, Winter will have another fight. If Candlemas day brings cloud and rain, winter won’t come again”
So now you know all about February 2nd! Will you keep your first baked crêpe on top of your wardrobe? Will you flip it with a golden coin? Or will you eat just it because, after all, eating crêpes is life?

Tesan Vaëa

Olivier Troussard, a League of Legends captain

Today we meet Olivier Troussard, a student in TIS5 at Polytech Grenoble. He is the captain of the two school’s League of Legends (LoL) first team (out of two).

Who are you?

My first year at Polytech was at Lille in PeiP C after one year of PACES. I participated in a tournament between a couple Polytech schools but I was playing just for fun at the time, so we lost quickly. Then I arrived at Grenoble the next year, in TIS, and I continued playing without taking part in any tournament. It’s only since last year that we put together the first LoL team and participated to our first tournament together. That year I played to Counter Strike, and a member of the team played to LoL (and ranked second!) at a LAN with the INP and the Imag. This year, we continued playing with other Polytech students and participated to a some tournaments. As I am currently following a sandwich course, I travel very often between Paris, where I have my desktop computer, and Grenoble, where I go to the Meltdown bar to play and train. It is not easy but it is worth it, I enjoy playing a lot, even if I do not plan to make it a professional career.

How did the LoL team start?

Last year, a student tournament already took place, to which we participated with the majority of the members of our current team. For this year’s edition, the organisers (the Student Gaming Network association, based in Lyon) improved the overall organisation and offered more interesting prizes (unlike last year, they are supported by Riot France, the makers of the game). So I asked if they wanted to do it again, and they were ok: we have 11 players, enough to create 2 teams of 5 players with 1 substitute player in the first team. We play LoL because we like it (of course), we have enough players with a high enough level and it is the videogame with the biggest tournaments in France.

Is there a difference of level between the teams? Do they practice the same way?

Yes, they are pretty different one from another. The first team is rather high level, the second one is more for fun, they don’t seek to be the absolute best. I am the captain of the first one. Our team do practice a lot at home, even more when a competition is coming soon: 2 to 3 practices a week, during which we do 3 games of approximately 1 hour each, so 6 to 9 hours a week.

What level are your players and do you help each other? (see Figure 1)

In the first team, we have one Master, one Diamond 3-4 (me), two Diamond 5 and two Platinum 2-5. In the second team they are Gold and Silver. Our Master and I play since 2012, our Diamonds since 2013-2014 and the others started later, hence their lower level. Last year, since we only had one team, Guillaume, Théo and I (Diamond players) gave some advice to two other Silver players so that the level would be sort of uniform. This year we don’t have many interactions between the two teams, even though the second one watches most of our games.

Icons for League of Legends' 6 tiers

« Leagues are groups of players of similar skill level, and there are many leagues in each tier. [Players have to] win ranked games to be promoted to a league of the next tiers. All leagues (except those in the Master or Challenger tier) are broken down into five divisions: 1 is the highest and 5 the lowest. [It] shows the progress toward a league in the next tier. »

Source: Riot Games

How do you prepare for a tournament and do you have predefined roles?

We watch our opponents games, as a team but also each player individually in games where they don’t play with their team: every champion they usually play, their stats… All of the information is summarized in a big Excel sheet. We also think of which champions we will choose in consequence. There is a lot of upsteam work. We change our substitute player regularly so that everyone can play and not only the ones with the highest level. When a player is the substitute, he has an analist or coach role.

Do you have any sponsors and what can you win?

No, and this is not something we are looking for, we are not a pro or semi-pro team where results are expected. There are approximately 600 french teams and even if we are theorically the 12th team on a national level (based on our players individual levels) sponsors are only interested in the teams in the top 3 I would say. We can win for example Riot points (the game’s currency to buy champions, skins, etc.), a book with some artworks of the game or even a Monster fridge, filled with the brand’s cans.

How was your past tournaments and do you have any others planned?

At the beginning of the year we lost in quarter-final. We have played our second tournament with 128 teams so 8 games for each team: we have won against, INP, Phelma and University Paris Créteil amongst others. We ranked 24th in France! It will probably be our last tournament this year, since most of our players are in fourth year and that many of them will go abroad for their internship, which will make the organisation way more complicated, but we’ll see. We are informed of the upcoming events through the official Student Gaming Network Discord server (https://discordapp.com/invite/sgnw). Next time we will have a tournament or a game streamed live it will be shared on the BDJ’s Facebook page and on the school’s Discord.

JAM en folie !

C’est un fait – les cellules artistiques de Polytech Grenoble bouillonnent d’idées en tout genre, et les étudiants sont toujours poussés par l’envie de créer et d’innover.

C’est dans cet esprit que, le week-end dernier, se sont réunis Julie, Matthieu, Thomas, Antoine, Tom, Hugo et Camille dans le cadre d’une video jam. Pendant 48h non stop, ils se sont attelés à la réalisation d’un court métrage sur le thème (tiré au sort) Gueule de bois. Le script a été entièrement écrit le vendredi soir au lancement de l’événement, le tournage leur a pris toute la journée du samedi, et le montage toute celle du dimanche. Les étudiants n’ont pas hésité à faire des plans en extérieur ou dans des commerces, pour filmer des scènes « insolites ».

Les participants à la video jam de janvier 2019 – Objectif Polytech

Leur objectif était de lancer une activité pouvant regrouper les cellules du Bureau Des Arts (BDA), et cela s’est transformé en une super expérience pour les étudiants participants qui ont pu apprendre énormément quant à la réalisation de courts métrages, le tout dans une ambiance pleine de folie et de convivialité.

Pour ceux qui souhaitent admirer leur chef d’œuvre, sachez que la vidéo sera diffusée en exclusivité à la soirée BDA de ce jeudi 31 janvier !

Quant à ceux qui sont déçus de ne pas avoir pu participer, sachez que d’autres sessions sont en préparation ! En effet, à la mi-février, le Bazar Des Jeux (BDJ) organise au sein de l’école une board game jam, qui aura pour but de créer un jeu de société en un temps limité. Il reste encore des places, alors n’hésitez pas à contacter le BDJ au plus vite ! D’autre part, une nouvelle video jam devrait être organisée entre fin mars et début avril, car toute l’équipe est très motivée pour remettre le couvert et, pourquoi pas, affronter de nouveaux participants !

Le lien de la vidéo : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj9ht93eiac

Concours photo « Hiver »

Face au succès de son dernier concours photos sur le thème « Lights », Objectif Polytech, la cellule audiovisuelle de l’école, a décidé de récidiver ! En ce mois de Janvier, c’est le thème « Hiver » qui est à l’honneur !

12 photos ont été proposées et soumises au vote des élèves. Ils avaient jusqu’à hier, vendredi 25 janvier à 18h pour donner leur avis !

Les résultats sont aujourd’hui connus. Le prix du jury est attribué à Titouan Larnicol ! Quant au prix du public, il est remporté par Niels Chapuis, à la tête de la Cellule Humani’terre et déjà récompensé par le prix du jury lors du précédent concours ! Félicitations !

Titouan Larnicol, prix du jury. Concours photos « Hiver », janvier 2019.
Niels Chapuis, prix du public. Concours photos « Hiver », janvier 2019.

Altran Esport Cup

Polytech Grenoble a été sélectionnée par l’entreprise Altran pour participer à leur première Esport Cup !

Les élèves ont jusqu’au 25 janvier (ce vendredi !) pour s’inscrire et défendre les couleurs de l’école ! De plus, les prix sont attractifs : 4000€ de Cashprize, 1500€ pour le vainqueur de chaque tournoi, et 500€ pour chaque finaliste !

2 tournois sont au programme : Hearthstone (nécessite un compte Blizzard (Battle net) sur PC, un ordinateur et le jeu Hearthstone sur PC) et FIFA 19 (nécessite une PS4 et un jeu FIFA 19)

Première étape, le tournoi de sélection qui aura lieu dans les locaux de l’école, le jeudi 14 février à partir de 19h00. Dans un esprit de convivialité autour d’un buffet, l’objectif sera de montrer ses compétences devant tous les gamers inscrits. Altran Grenoble sera également présent.

Seconde étape, la finale, qui aura lieu le 6 avril à Paris ! Les participants pourront affronter les 2 meilleurs gamers d’Altran. De plus, l’école prendra en charge les frais de déplacement !

Le BDH organise sa collecte de vêtements

Les vêtements s’accumulent dans votre placard et vous n’en portez pas la moitié ? Le bureau de l’Humani’terre vous propose de les récupérer !

Du 14 au 31 janvier, déposez les habits dont vous ne voulez plus dans le carton de collecte dans le hall de l’école ! Vêtements, chaussures, gants, vestes… Tout est bon pour venir en aide aux plus démunis ! En effet, les dons seront remis à la Croix Rouge puis redistribués aux personnes dans le besoin ! L’occasion de faire un beau geste en ce début d’année !

On compte sur vous !