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Posts Tagged ‘Switzerland’

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On a recent trip, I embarrassed my travel companion after I flagged down a flight attendant.

“You know, I produced some of your in-flight entertainment,” I told her, and pointed to my screen. She managed to look interested — even impressed — but in truth she was probably more concerned about making sure everybody got their dinner on time!

The entertainment in question was The Swiss Connection, which SWI swissinfo.ch produces for SWISS International Air Lines. (There’s Swissness for you.)

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The current batch includes my tales of cheeky street musicians (Bern’s Buskers’ Festival) and a jolly band of wandering woodsmen (An Architectural Tour). The selections come from swissinfo’s weekly program, and they change every few months.

So next time you travel with SWISS, I hope you’ll check it out! I know I will, and I might even elbow a fellow passenger and say, “Guess what? If you like podcasts … ”

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Thought I’d share a few impressions from the latest edition of Mode Suisse, Switzerland’s primary fashion platform for established as well as up-and-coming designers.

Looks by Zurich knitwear label IAHAI

Looks by Zurich knitwear label IAHAI

Julian Zigerli

From Julian Zigerli’s latest collection

Audience

Of course, the people watching is also fun.

The cost of living being what it is in Switzerland, designers based here have an extra business hurdle to navigate, as I explained in a previous story: “Fashion industry explores ‘made in Switzerland’ dilemmas.”

So in case you want to support local talent, the Mode Suisse 9 Pop-Up store is open in Zurich until February 13, 2016.

 

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Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann leaves an exhibit at Constitution Hill, site of a former prison in Johannesburg. (© Susan Vogel-Misicka, swissinfo.ch)

Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann leaving an exhibit at Constitution Hill, site of a former prison in Johannesburg. (© Susan Vogel-Misicka, swissinfo.ch)

South Africa is Switzerland’s most important African trade partner – a point underscored in an official visit by Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann.

It was the first time a Swiss delegation included key members of the business as well as science communities … and yours truly, reporting for swissinfo.ch.

As Schneider-Ammann told me: “We wanted to open doors for our private sector representatives and contact the scientific community, and I wanted to get to know my South African colleagues and reactivate our personal ties. We achieved all of that.”

The economics minister, who had visited South Africa as an entrepreneur prior to his political career, said the country had changed “tremendously” in the meantime.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

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Ramadan, snacks

The end of Ramadan means the end to a month of fasting for Muslims everywhere. For the swissinfo.ch podcast, a Tunesian coworker told me what it was like to observe Ramadan in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, it seems that the Swiss are consuming less alcohol. I asked some federal experts to weigh in on some possible reasons for this.

Click here to listen to A measured drop in sipping.

For more details on the alcohol story, click here to read Swiss alcohol consumption declines.

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The Eiger North Face, as seen from Kleine Scheidegg © Susan Vogel-Misicka

The Eiger North Face, as seen from Kleine Scheidegg © Susan Vogel-Misicka

Seventy-five years ago, a quartet of German and Austrian climbers were the first to summit the Eiger by climbing its feared north face.

Earlier this month, I got an up-close impression of the “death wall” from the safety of solid ground.

Click here to find out why the Eiger North Face continues to attract top alpinists as well as ordinary tourists.

And for more on the backstory of the reportage, you can listen to the related podcast.

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The world's largest solar boat sailed past New York's Statue of Liberty in June. © MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

The world’s largest solar boat sailed past New York’s Statue of Liberty in June.
© MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

Two Swiss solar vehicles have spent recent months touring the United States raising awareness of the potential of renewable energy. But how successful have the trips been in generating valuable funds or forging new partnerships? My latest article on swissinfo.ch tries to answer that question.

Check out the related podcast – Solar Flair – to hear interviews with Solar Impulse pilot André Borschberg as well as PlanetSolar CEO Pascal Goulpié.

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Recognize it? This imaginative model of female genitalia was made by a Swiss sex educator. She prefers this style to the clinical-looking plastic ones. © swissinfo.ch

Recognize it? This imaginative model of female genitalia was made by a Swiss sex educator. She prefers this style to the clinical-looking plastic ones. © swissinfo.ch

When I suggested doing a special on sex education in Switzerland, I never imagined the creativity it could involve. And I never thought that such a whimsical rendition of female genitalia (in my favorite colors, even!) would be the lead image on swissinfo.ch for 24 hours.

For the article, part of my research included observing a secondary school lesson in Basel on AIDS prevention. The kids, aged 13-15, were friendly as well as funny. Their regular teacher had invited an external man-woman team to lead a 90-minute session. Too short! The kids clearly had a lot more questions about sex in general; what’s unclear is how they’ll find the answers. You can read my article here: In terms of sex ed, schools do their own thing

Meanwhile, my coworker made a video about the teacher in Bern who sews the plush models: Teacher makes her own sex educational models

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