Tag Archives: Switzerland

Igloos An igloo, which means “house” in the Inuit language, is a traditional, dome-shaped Eskimo dwelling with a low tunnel entrance constructed of blocks of snow placed in an ascending spiral. Although igloos are commonly associated with the Inuit, they were predominantly constructed by people of Canada’s Central Arctic and Greenland’s Thule area. What is a kudlik, and how did it help strengthen the structural integrity of igloos? More… Discuss


Igloos

An igloo, which means “house” in the Inuit language, is a traditional, dome-shaped Eskimo dwelling with a low tunnel entrance constructed of blocks of snow placed in an ascending spiral. Although igloos are commonly associated with the Inuit, they were predominantly constructed by people of Canada’s Central Arctic and Greenland’s Thule area. What is a kudlik, and how did it help strengthen the structural integrity of igloos? More… Discuss

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Antonín Dvořák – Slavonic Dances, Op. 46


31,637

Sergei Rachmaninoff – Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43


Art Bust Yields Thousands of Ancient Artifacts


Art Bust Yields Thousands of Ancient Artifacts

Italian and Swiss police have recovered more than 5,000 artifacts—worth over $57 million—as the result of a recent art trafficking bust of five art warehouses in Basel, Switzerland. The artifacts, dating from the 8th century BCE to the 3rd century CE, include Greek and Roman vases, statues, and frescoes originally uncovered in secret archaeological digs on Italian islands like Sardinia and Sicily. The raid led to the arrest of a married couple accused of selling the pieces—labeled with bogus origins—to collectors and museums in the US, England, Germany, Japan, and Australia. More… Discuss

news: Swiss Government Slices International Pizza Delivery (or: when the Swiss order a pizza)


Swiss Government Slices International Pizza Delivery

Don’t like your neighborhood pizzeria? Maybe it’s time to consider international pizza delivery—a tactic used until recently by many Swiss citizens trying to stretch their francs by ordering pizza from nearby German border towns, where it’s less expensive. An exception had allowed food delivery to avoid passing through customs, but it was rescinded by Swiss officials about a year ago. Although the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for the neighboring German region of Hochrhein-Bodensee lobbied for the exception to be reinstated, the Swiss customs office recently rejected the proposal. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Berchtold’s Day (2015)


Berchtold’s Day (2015)

In Switzerland, the day after New Year’s Day is known as Berchtoldstag and is celebrated primarily by children. Groups of playmates organize parties that feature nut eating and nut games followed by singing and folk dancing. A popular game is the building of “hocks” composed of four nuts placed close together with a fifth balanced on top. The children begin gathering and stockpiling nuts for Berchtold’s Day festivities early in the fall. More… Discuss

Liszt Consolation D flat major No.3 (S.172), Valentina Lisitsa: Great compositions/performances


Saint of the Day for Sunday, December 7th, 2014 St. Maria Giuseppe Rossello


Image of St. Maria Giuseppe Rossello

St. Maria Giuseppe Rossello

Foundress of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy. She was born at Albisola Marina, Liguria, Italy, in 1811, and was baptized Benedetta. At sixteen she became a Franciscan tertiary, and in 1837, she … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Did you know that: Benazir Bhutto Becomes First Female Leader of a Muslim Nation (1988)?


Benazir Bhutto Becomes First Female Leader of a Muslim Nation (1988)

The daughter of a Pakistani prime minister executed following a coup, Bhutto was keenly aware of the risks of political life. Nevertheless, she chose to follow in her father’s footsteps and in 1988 became prime minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to lead a Muslim nation. Dogged by allegations of corruption, she fled the country in 1999. She returned in late 2007 and, after escaping one attempt on her life, was assassinated. Who stood accused of the 1996 murder of her brother? More… Discuss

Europe – Fury as Italy quashes asbestos conviction in ‘trial of century’ – France 24


An Italian flag reads “Eternit: Justice” in a picture posted on Italian author Roberto Saviano‘s Twitter account
Text by Benjamin DODMAN
Latest update : 2014-11-20

Victims of asbestos poisoning are well accustomed to the gruelling twists and turns of Italy’s judicial process. But even the most battle-hardened were ill-prepared for the latest, bitter turn in a landmark case that has dragged on for decades.

Late on Wednesday, Italy’s top court overturned an 18-year prison sentence for Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, the former owner of construction giant Eternit.

Schmidheiny, 67, was found guilty in 2012 of causing 3,000 deaths linked to the use of asbestos in his factories – in the biggest ever trial on asbestos-related deaths.

He was jailed in absentia and ordered to pay tens of millions of euros in compensation to local authorities and families of the victims, who included factory workers and residents who lived near Eternit factories in northern, central and southern Italy.

via Europe – Fury as Italy quashes asbestos conviction in ‘trial of century’ – France 24.

today’s holiday: Gansabhauet


Gansabhauet

Gansabhauet is held only in the country town of Sursee, Lucerne Canton, Switzerland, on St. Martin’s Day. A dead goose is hung by its neck in front of the town hall, and young men draw lots to take turns trying to knock it down with a blunt saber. (Gansabhauet means “knocking down goose.”) The men—blindfolded and wearing red robes and big round masks representing the sun—get only one try at the bird. While the men whack at the goose, children’s games take place: they scale a stripped tree, race in sacks, and compete to see who can make the ugliest face. More… Discuss

This pressed: How Far Up Switzerland’s Biggest Bank Did U.S. Tax Evasion Scam Reach?|Newsweek


Former UBS banker Raoul Weil

Former UBS banker Raoul Weil, accompanied by his wife Susan Lerch Weil, arrives at federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida October 23, 2014. Andrew Innerarity/Reuters

Former UBS banker Raoul Weil, accompanied by his wife Susan Lerch Weil, arrives at federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida October 23, 2014. Andrew Innerarity/Reuters

The secret binder lay wedged in a hidden drawer inside a filing cabinet in his office on the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, the heart of the world of Swiss private banking.

Martin Liechti, a former top private banker at Swiss bank giant UBS, privately called the binder his “CYA file,” a person briefed on the matter tells Newsweek.

via How Far Up Switzerland’s Biggest Bank Did U.S. Tax Evasion Scam Reach?.|Newsweek

this pressed: WHO Ebola situation assessment / What we know about transmission of the Ebola virus among humans


GENEVA, Switzerland, October 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ebola situation assessment – 6 October 2014

The Ebola virus is transmitted among humans through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, the most infectious being blood, faeces and vomit.

The Ebola virus has also been detected in breast milk, urine and semen. In a convalescent male, the virus can persist in semen for at least 70 days; one study suggests persistence for more than 90 days.

Saliva and tears may also carry some risk. However, the studies implicating these additional bodily fluids were extremely limited in sample size and the science is inconclusive. In studies of saliva, the virus was found most frequently in patients at a severe stage of illness. The whole live virus has never been isolated from sweat.

The Ebola virus can also be transmitted indirectly, by contact with previously contaminated surfaces and objects. The risk of transmission from these surfaces is low and can be reduced even further by appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Not an airborne virus

Ebola virus disease is not an airborne infection. Airborne spread among humans implies inhalation of an infectious dose of virus from a suspended cloud of small dried droplets.

via WHO Ebola situation assessment / What we know about transmission of the Ebola virus among humans.

News: Norway Best Country for Older People


Norway Best Country for Older People

Growing old is never easy, but for some it is easier than others, and where they live has a lot to do with it. An index evaluating the quality of life of older adults in 96 countries around the globe has ranked Norway the best country in the world for older people, followed closely by Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, and Germany. Australia, Western Europe, and North America also rank high on the list. The index weighs factors such as income security, health, personal capability, and whether the elderly live in an “enabling environment.” More… Discuss

Schutzengelfest


Schutzengelfest

Schutzengelfest is a religious and social occasion in northern Switzerland observed since the 17th century. Its setting is the Wildkirchli, or “chapel in the wild,” a cave in the Alpstein mountain range in the Appenzell Innerrhoden Canton. A Capuchin monk decided in 1621 that the cave was an ideal place for mountain worship. Today, the festival starts at 10 a.m., when a priest or monk from Appenzell conducts the worship service. Then, a yodelers‘ choir gives a festive concert, and participants start walking to the villages of Ebenalp or Aescher for feasting and dancing. More… Discuss

make music part of your life series: Franz Liszt: Au lac de Wallenstadt S160 no. 2


[youtube.com/watch?v=LCjvHVzjs_s]

Franz Liszt: Au lac de Wallenstadt S160 no. 2

Liszt – Années de Pèlerinage
I. Suisse
2.Au lac de Wallenstadt

this pressed: Dan Munro – The Healthcare Compass – Forbes (the true face of healthcare for profit)


Dan Munro

Dan Munro – The Healthcare Compass – Forbes.

Healthy lives: The U.S. ranks last overall with poor scores on all three indicators of healthy lives — mortality amenable to medical care, infant mortality, and healthy life expectancy at age 60. Overall, France, Sweden, and Switzerland rank highest on healthy lives.

Perhaps the biggest single takeaway was this one:

The most notable way the U.S. differs from other industrialized countries is the absence of universal health insurance coverage. Other nations ensure the accessibility of care through universal health systems and through better ties between patients and the physician practices that serve as their medical homes. The Commonwealth Fund “Mirror, Mirror On The Wall — 2014 Update” 

Unfortunately, many still equate “universal healthcare” with “Government run” or “single payer” healthcare. It isn’t (Universal Coverage Is Not “Single Payer” Healthcare — here).

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: LANDSGEMEINDE


Landsgemeinde

Landsgemeinde is an open-air meeting to conduct cantonal business, held once a year in Appenzell, in thecanton of Appenzell Inner-Rhoden in Switzerland. At the meeting, citizens vote on representatives for cantonal offices and on budget and tax proposals. The assembly is a tradition that dates back to the very early days of the Swiss state. Other districts in central and eastern Switzerland also have these assemblies, each with distinct customs. In Stans, for example, the blowing of a horn signals the time to walk to the meeting place outside the town. More… Discuss

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: MEITLISONNTAG


Meitlisonntag

In the Seetal district of Aargau, Switzerland, the girls of Meisterschwanden and Farhwangen hold a procession on the second Sunday in January known as Meitlisonntag, “Girls‘ Sunday.” They dress in historical uniforms and stage a military parade before an all-female General Staff. The custom dates from the second Villgermen War of 1712, a conflict in which the women of Meisterschwanden and Fahrwangen played a vital role in achieving victory. The military procession is followed by a popular festival. More… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: HULDRYCH ZWINGLI (1484)


Huldrych Zwingli (1484)

Zwingli was a Swiss theologian who championed the Reformation in Switzerland. Inspired by his studies rather than a crisis of faith, he challenged the ritualism, decadence, and hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and his stance on the sacrament of communion brought him into conflict with both Martin Luther and the Church. After a Zurich council approved many of his proposals, organs were destroyed, priests were allowed to wed, and the liturgy was simplified. In what 1531 battle was Zwingli killed? More…Discuss

 

NEWS: SWISS TO VOTE ON INCOME FOR ALL, JOB OR NOT


Swiss to Vote on Income for All, Job or Not

The Swiss people will soon vote on whether to adopt a plan that guarantees a basic income to all legal residents, working or not. If passed, every adult in Switzerland will receive a monthly income from the state in the amount of 2,500 Swiss francs, the equivalent of 2,800 US dollars. Supporters of the scheme say it will provide residents with a financial safety net, eliminate poverty, and afford people the freedom to pursue their passions rather than a paycheck, but opponents worry that it will deincentivize working and create a nation of loafers. More… Discuss

 

CHARLES THE BOLD, DUKE OF BURGUNDY (1433)


Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1433)

Charles the Bold was the last of the great dukes of Burgundy. An opponent of Louis XI of France, Charles sought independence for Burgundy and had great success casting off French rule, extending Burgundy’s possessions and building a centralized government until he was defeated and killed in battle against the Swiss. Prior to his death, he arranged for his daughter to marry the son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. How did this pairing affect the course of European history?More… Discuss

 

Grigory Sokolov plays Jean-Philippe Rameau, Suite D-major from Pièces de Clavecin



Jean-Philippe Rameau, Suite D-major from Pièces de Clavecin
Concert in Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland (30.03.2012)

THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH


The Happiest Place on Earth

A UN-sponsored survey of happiness and satisfaction around the globe names Denmark the world’s happiest country. Rounding out the top five are Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Canada ranked 6th on the list, the US came in 17th, and the UK landed in the 22nd spot. The West African country of Togo was found to be the most unhappy of the 156 nations included in the report. While recent economic and political crises have greatly reduced happiness levels in many countries, over the past five years, the world overall has actually become slightly happier and more generous. More… Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: Petrus Canisius (1521)


 

Saint Peter Canisius: Confessor and Doctor Of The Church

Petrus Canisius (1521)

Canisius was a 16th century Jesuit preacher who fought against the spread of Protestantism in Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and Switzerland. His catechism, Summa Doctrinae Christianae, authorized in 1566, was one of the earliest popular expositions of the faith. The reestablishment of Roman Catholicism in Germany after the Reformation was largely due to his zeal, and he was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1925. What line is he credited with adding to the Hail Mary prayer? More… Discuss