20160328

Week 13: Alphorns by the lake in Zurich



Saturday morning of week 12, these two young women were entertaining the crowds with their alphorns. Gratuities (placed in the basket on the left) were acknowledged with the cow bell activated via a string. I thought it was pretty cool.

20160313

Week 10: zum Hirschen wins Mini Beiz, dini Beiz favorite of the week


Mini Beiz, dini Beiz (loose translation: My tavern, your tavern) on Swiss TV SRF is a reality show where a group of people visit each others' favorite local eateries and vote on them. Our very own zum Hirschen was featured last week, and won the people's favorite. Well done!

Below is a link to the episode. I have no idea if it is accessible from outside Switzerland. If it is, please drop me a note to let me know, thanks!

http://www.srf.ch/sendungen/mini-beiz-dini-beiz/kanton-aargau-tag-3-restaurant-zum-hirschen-villigen

20160229

Week 9: Repair Cafe


In this throwaway society of ours, there is now a movement afoot in which people are fighting back against short-lived consumer goods. In fact, there are many different groups, all over the world, organizing events where people can bring in broken items to have volunteers take a stab at repairing them. Last Saturday there was one such event in Windisch. 

A full list of the upcoming Repair Cafes all over Switzerland can be found here: https://www.konsumentenschutz.ch/repaircafe/schweizer-repair-cafes/ 

 The concept was formalized in the Netherlands in 2010. You can read about it on Wikipedia, among other places. Have you ever visited a Repair Cafe?

20160222

Week 8: Park Innovaare


I've mentioned the PSI many times before -- the Paul Scherrer Institute, which is the largest Swiss public research facility. It is a couple of kilometers down the road from the center of Villigen.

Recently, a chapter of the Swiss Innovation Park was approved next to the PSI. It is a public-private effort

to unite cutting-edge research and entrepreneurial innovation. (Source: http://www.axpo.com/axpo/ch/en/engagement/innovation/innovaare.html)

A few start-up companies have already signed on. Construction on the main site has not started yet, but when all is said and done, some scenes such as the one in this photo [http://basedinvilligen.blogspot.ch/2013/08/grazing-cows.html] will be replaced by buildings and, ahem, nerds.

20160215

Week 7: Solarstrom


Strom = electricity.

There's not much sunshine to be had at the moment, but let's consider the possibilities anyway.

This is a shed at PSI where people can plug in their electric bikes to charge them up while they work. What you can't see in this photo is that the roof is made of solar cells AKA photovoltaic panels.

20160208

Week 6: Graupel on my window sill



We got some of this form of precipitation a few days ago. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, graupel is defined as small particles of snow with a fragile crust of ice.

Sounds like something out of modernist cuisine.

Have you met graupel?

20160201

Week 5: Winter sports



We haven't had much in the way of snow this January, just lots of rain. On the one day that it did snow, the neighborhood kids wasted no time taking advantage of it.