Watch this robotic eel swim about measuring water pollution

Swiss researchers have unleashed a robotic eel in Lake Geneva, and their Envirobot successfully detected where the researchers had poured salt along the shore. Read the rest

Watch people whiz down this steep Swiss alpine slide

On the toboggan run (rodelbahn) overlooking Oeschinen Lake near Kandersteg, Switzerland, some people go in summer for the breathtaking view. Others go for the speedy thrill. Either way it looks like fun! Read the rest

An absurd and awful moment in Switzerland's legendarily bonkers citizenship process

When I was becoming a British citizen, the one thing everyone knew was that the Life in the UK citizenship test was full of weird, arbitrary questions that most Britons couldn't answer, but next to Switzerland, the British process seems downright sane.

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Artist in residence sought for Bioprocess Labratory in Zurich

Are you an "artist, designer, biohacker, or other cultural practitioner" who's interested in synthetic biology? You could spend 4-6 weeks in Zurich at the Bioprocess Laboratory, where you will "actively engage with scientists working on a synthetic biology related project with focus on the design of antibiotics." Read the rest

Slow TV: spend an hour on this Swiss mountain rail line

For nearly an hour, this steam train from Brienz to Rothorn ascends a steep mountain and navigates narrow tunnels amid spectacular Swiss scenery. In addition to driver POV, YouTuber Timsvideochannel1 also got footage of the views: Read the rest

"Anger Release Machine": a coin-op for shattering fine breakables

In 2008, the Swiss/Danish design team Yarisal & Kublitz created their "Anger Release Machine," a vending machine stocked with "crystal glasses, plates, porcelain, various items" (the catalog helpfully adds "70 x 77 x 182 cm") -- insert coin, shatter breakables, feel better. Read the rest

The surprising spryness of fighters in 15th C armor

Paris's Musée national du Moyen Âge teamed up with The University of Geneva to make this video demonstrating the fighting techniques available to people in 15th century armor, which are much more fluid and athletic that I had presumed -- turns out you can really move in those tin cans. (via We Make Money Not Art) Read the rest

Negative Swiss 50-year bond yields just shattered the global insecurity barometer

National treasury bonds are the safe option in times of global turmoil, and the more uncertain things are, the more people buy them, and the higher their prices go. Read the rest

When Brad Birkenfeld blew the whistle on UBS, the US government paid him $104M and sent him to jail

This interview with UBS whistleblower Brad Birkenfeld is as neat a case study in financial corruption as you could ask for: Birkenfeld's disclosures detailed 19,000 US tax evaders, including the bank's super-secretive list of "politically exposed persons," including people who laundered money for terrorists, and the US government threw him in prison (as well as paying him the largest reward in US history), declined to prosecute three quarters of those implicated, and then put him in prison. Read the rest

US trade rep threatens Colombia's peace process over legal plan to offer cheap leukemia meds

Colombia wants to produce Novartis's leukemia drug imatinib under a compulsory license, something it is allowed to do under its trade agreement with the USA, to bring the price down from $15,161/year (double the annual average income) to prices like those charged in India ($803/year). Read the rest

The U.S. just labeled Switzerland an internet piracy haven

Switzerland is a haven for internet piracy, the Obama Administration's global trade rep says. The European nation famous for Swiss Alps, Swiss Cheese, Fondue, and being a long-term U.S. political ally since WWII is now on America's annual intellectual property shitlist.

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Swiss pro-privacy email provider forces a referendum on mass surveillance

Protonmail is a Swiss pro-privacy email provider that offers end-to-end encyption to its customers. When the Swiss government proposed the Nachrichtendienstgesetzt -- a bill to create a "mini NSA" with the power to effect warrantless mass surveillance, including hacking residents' computers -- the company called on its users and supporters to petition the government for a referendum on the law. Read the rest

Swiss cops' dawn raid snags top FIFA officials

Six top executives of international football's (notoriously corrupt) governing body were arrested at the crack of dawn in their Zurich hotel by Swiss police acting on a US criminal corruption warrant. Read the rest

HSBC boss used tax havens to keep underlings from discovering his outrageous pay

HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver admitted that he used two secretive banks -- one in Switzerland, the other in Panama -- not just to avoid taxes, but to hide his amazing compensation package from other HSBC bankers, lest they wax jealous. Read the rest

Random Darknet Shopper: Internet art randomly spends $100/wk of Bitcoin in darknet

It's part of a Swiss gallery exhibit called The Darknet: From Memes to Onionland, where all the random junk the algorithm buys (from ecstasy to fire brigade master-keys to boxed Tolkien sets) are displayed. Read the rest

Switzerland reportedly offers Snowden safe passage, immunity from extradition

A report in the Swiss weekend paper Sonntagszeitung states that Snowden would not be extradited to the USA for "politically motivated" reasons if he were to attend hearings on illegal NSA spying. Read the rest

Here's that relaxation video you were looking for (nightmare fuel)

Jordan Wolfson's "Female Figure" (2014): a dancing animatronic that wants to help. Read the rest

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