The government sentced former Swiss banker Bradley A. Birkenfeld to three years in prison for abetting tax evasion. They also paid him $104 million dollars for blowing the whistle on tax evasion. (SLMedium)
Stretching 57km (35mi) under the Swiss Alps, the Gotthard Base Tunnel officially became the world's longest and deepest active tunnel when it opened for service earlier today, completing a critical link in Europe's rail network. The tunnel's completion was commemorated by an extravagant ceremony and interpretive dance. [The last two links may be NSFW]
Take a large wheel of cheese. Cut it. Melt an edge of it under a grill. Scrape, scrape, scrape and pour over potatoes. Enjoy. [more inside]
Do you get nostalgic for the days when the tag "barely legal food porn" was applied with discretion to things more interesting than burgers with 1000 slices of cheese? Well, yearn no more; after more than 5 years' hiatus François-Xavier is once more updating the incomparable FXcuisine.com [more inside]
"Spätzle are a kind of soft egg noodle found in the cuisines of southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Alsace and South Tyrol. Traditionally, Spätzle are made by scraping long, thin strips of dough off a wooden (sometimes wet) chopping board (Spätzlebrett) into boiling salted water where they cook until they rise to the surface... Spätzle typically accompany meat dishes prepared with an abundant sauce or gravy, such as Zwiebelrostbraten, Sauerbraten or Rouladen. In Hungary spätzle often are used in soup..." [more inside]
It was not until 1971, 65 years after Finland became the first European country to grant women the vote, that Switzerland became the last, not only in Europe but in much of the world.
Adrian Frutiger, the Swiss type designer responsible for a number of classic typefaces including Univers, Avenir, OCR-B and the eponymous Frutiger, passed away on Saturday in Bern, aged 87. [more inside]
With all the upheaval in the skies and on the ground, here is one person's opinion on why the U.S. is fighting beside Iran in Iraq and against it in Yemen. Putin tells Iran that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Yemen. All the while...negotiators from six world powers (the P5+1) are attempting to strike a deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. As Iran nuclear talks 'enter endgame' in Switzerland...China and Russia say they will show up tomorrow. Keeping things cloaked in intrigue: the US accuses Israel of spying on nuclear talks with Iran and Putin says Western spies plot against Russia before polls, blurs the picture further.
Zaouli dance from the Ivory Coast and Captain Hook & Astrix - Bungee Jump mashup is the latest vid for the Burning Mountain Festival held in the Engadin Valley, Switzerland. Zaouli, a popular mask dance, was created in the fifties. The Gouro ethnic group is the midwestern part of Ivory Coast / Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. According to what people say, there are diverse legends regarding the origin of the Zaouli mask and dance; yet, all come to the agreement that such legends were inspired by a very beautiful girl - 'Dzela Lou Zaouli' - daughter of Zaouli."
A writer spends forty years looking for his bully. Why? Allen Kurzweil's book "Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully" will be released next week. A short piece on a bizarre aspect of the fraud of Prince Robert and the Badische Trust Consortium, for which Viana, the object of Kurzweil's search, was a shill: “I Dub Thee Sir Sammy."
1920s – 1930s: The ice-skating waiters of Switzerland. Enough said.
Photographer Robert Bösch works with Swiss mountaineering brand Mammut and teams of climbers to produce elaborate and visually stunning Alpine works. His most recent endeavor is the 150 year commemoration of the Matterhorn's first ascent. Peta Pixel features a gallery of his works and a variety of "making of" videos. Robert Bösch
808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
With the completion of the group stages, three quarters of the matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been played. Now, it's a straight round-by-round elimination for the remaining 16 teams in their quest to reach the final. There's been biting, alternative commentary, mood swings, (allegedly) sulky England players, exciting matches, the USA vs Ronaldo, Europeans taking early return flights, deep analysis, a fantasy league and many goals - but who will finally lift the trophy in Rio's Estádio do Maracanã on Sunday 13th July? [more inside]
Birdly: An Attempt to Fly. "‘Birdly’ is an installation which explores the experience of a bird in flight. It tries to capture the mediated flying experience, with several methods. [...] Visualized through HMD (Oculus Rift) the participant is embedded in a virtual landscape where his body is the body of a Red Kite. The whole scenery is perceived in the first person perspective of a bird. To intensify the embodiment we include additional sonic, olfactoric and wind feedback. Soundwise you perceive only the roaring of the wind and the flaps of the wings." [more inside]
Switzerland to vote on $2,800 monthly 'basic income' for adults (reddit, mr; previously-er) [more inside]
You may remember the 7.5 hour documentary released in 2009 which allowed you to travel the journey between Bergen to Oslo from the comfort of your home. If your wanderlust was fired up watching that video, then you may enjoy some of the other trips you can take. Switzerland:
- Zermatt to Gornergrat in Summer (50m)
- Zermatt to Gornergrat in Winter Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 (30m)
- Le Train de Vignes (11m)
Top Secret Drum Corps performing at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2012. The 25 Swiss drummers and colorguard members were one of the first non-military, non-British Commonwealth acts to perform on the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle in 2003 and have made several reappearances. Drummers World features more videos, photos and information. (via Miss Cellania)
BBC: Some 70% of Swiss voters appear to have supported plans to give shareholders a veto on compensation and ban big payouts for new and departing managers, projected referendum results suggest. One of the organisers of the referendum, Brigitte Moser Harder, told the BBC she thought the Swiss people agreed with the proposals because the gap between rich and poor had become wider. "From the beginning, 2006, we had the support of the people of Switzerland because you know not everybody in Switzerland is rich." [more inside]
There was one wild bear left in Switzerland. Last year, M13 (Mike to his friends) was displaying troubling behavior, but a bear expert with the World Wildlife Foundation was optimistic about the possibility of retraining him (via rubber bullets and firecrackers) to be more wary of humans and less likely to forage near houses for food. [more inside]
In a meticulously planned raid that took barely five minutes to execute, armed men disguised as police officers drove onto the tarmac at the international airport in Brussels on Monday night and stole diamonds worth around $50 million as they were being loaded onto a plane bound for Switzerland, officials said. (SLNYT)
"Of the top 100 Swiss companies, 49 give shareholders a consulting vote on the pay of executives. A few other countries, including the United States and Germany, have introduced advisory "say on pay" votes in response to the anger over inequality and corporate excess that drove the Occupy Wall Street movement. Britain is also planning to implement rules in late 2013 that will give shareholders a binding vote on pay and "exit payments" at least every three years. Minder's initiative goes further, forcing all listed companies to have binding votes on compensation for company managers and directors, and ban golden handshakes and parachutes. It would also ban bonus payments to managers if their companies are taken over, and impose severe penalties — including possible jail sentences and fines — for breaches of these new rules."
Decay is a free, downloadable zombie film set entirely at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. [more inside]
We are to be led by some kind of Victorian reverend, except not. In fact, the parson is Moriarty dressed in a new costume; though, of course, he’s not really Moriarty, or a parson, or Victorian. Via The Hairpin.
"The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe project uses database technology to map the trade of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), a celebrated Swiss publishing house that operated between 1769 and 1794. As the STN sold the works of other publishers alongside its own editions, their archives can be considered a representative source for studying the history of the book trade and dissemination of ideas in the late Enlightenment." [more inside]
Foreign Policy magazine asks, "Can poor people open a Swiss bank account?" (Bad news: You need more than a passport, some pocket change, and a healthy disdain for the IRS.)
"McPhee describes two things: how Switzerland requires military service from every able-bodied male Swiss citizen—a model later emulated and expanded by Israel—and how the Swiss military has, in effect, wired the entire country to blow in the event of foreign invasion. To keep enemy armies out, bridges will be dynamited and, whenever possible, deliberately collapsed onto other roads and bridges below; hills have been weaponized to be activated as valley-sweeping artificial landslides; mountain tunnels will be sealed from within to act as nuclear-proof air raid shelters; and much more." (via)
Webwandern. Hike the Swiss Alps but don't bother getting out of your chair. Site is in German, but easy to navigate.
78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
Guinea pigs are sociable animals and Swiss law prohibits owners from keeping the furry rodents on their own. But what happens when one dies? Don't fret, just call Priska Küng, who runs a 'rent-a-guinea pig' service.
Although ATM's has been recently identified as playing a part in high unemployment, Switzerland's Anti PowerPoint Party believes the country loses approximately 2.1 billion Swiss Francs (2.5 billion $USD) through the use of PowerPoint. If they can obtain the signatures of 100,000 voters as needed under Swiss law the group can call for a national referendum to ban the use of PowerPoint and other presentation software throughout Switzerland. Edward Tufte (and others) also had a problem with PPoint...
Montblanc Watches Chinese Ad is the everyday story a son of a billionaire that splits with his arty girlfriend and wins her back with ride to Switzerland in a private jet. I won't spoil the rest other than to say don't give up on the boring factory visit, the finale is worth waiting for.
Once, there was a boy named Yves. He lived in the mountainous country of Switzerland, and he dreamed of flying. He loved the idea of being free to soar through the air so much that he became a pilot. Later, he went on to fly bigger planes. Perhaps he's even been your pilot. But being a pilot was never quite enough. Yves still dreamed of soaring through the air, like a bird. And now, he does. Meet Jetman. Previously
Gotthardt rail tunnel breakthrough in pictures (click photo for popup gallery). The 35 mile/ 57 km long tunnel through the Alps is the longest in the world. The breakthrough is130 years after it's predecessor was finished in 1880. It took 15 years to build and cost 10 billion dollar, largely because of extra security requirements. The breakthrough in the middle happened today. Description in English.
After nine months of custody in Switzerland, Swiss authorities have today ruled not to extradite filmmaker Roman Polanski to the US, where he faces sentencing stemming from sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski is now a free man. [more inside]
President Gaddafi Calls for Jihad Against Switzerland SLYT "Let us wage jihad against Switzerland, Zionism and foreign aggression. Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against Muhammad, God and the Koran." Previously
The Villa Vals, from Christian Muller Architects, is an innovative (and totally cool) house dug into the side of a Swiss alp. More pictures from Iwan Baan.
Swiss voters moonlight as architecture critics. The construction of minarets in Switzerland is now forbidden, with 57% in favor of the ban, freezing the number in the country at four, with one under construction. [more inside]
Artist Felice Varini has made an art project out of the town of Vercorin in the Swiss Alps. A wee bit of background, and the artist's own behind the scenes. (via)
First-person base jumping in Switzerland. Stick with it, as the horizontal movement across the rock face using the gliding bodysuit will blow your mind.
Film director Roman Polanski, who won numerous awards for films like Chinatown and The Pianist, has been detained for extradition to the US, whilst travelling to Switzerland to collect a lifetime achievement award at the Zürich Film Festival. [more inside]
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