Swiss hockey has new strategy for Vancouver Thursday, 11 February, 2010Last year, they had high hopes for winning it all. The Hockey World Championship was played at home, making their 9th place finish even more disappointing. But the Swiss national team has been reworking its strategy, and it’s approaching the Olympics differently. Goran Bezina, a defender for Geneva Servette, has been on the national team for the past 10 years. WRS video journalist Amy Wong caught up with him at the rink to talk about the team’s new outlook.
Painting the town 'nicer' with graffiti Tuesday, 9 February, 2010Even in clean, crisp Zurich, there exists graffiti. While much of it consists of defiant scribbles and tags, there are a few pieces that stand out. Large, distinctive wall murals and tags by the street artist TIKA have earned many an admirer since they first started appearing in 2004. However it’s not out of defiance that TIKA paints surfaces, but a desire to make the place nicer. TIKA agrees to be filmed for the first time ever by WRS video journalist Amy Wong, who follows the artist to an abandoned building to witness the artist’s creative process.
Little slice of tattoo culture in Geneva Monday, 1 February, 2010Tribal markings or creative self-expression, tattoos have been around for centuries. This weekend, thousands of ink enthusiasts came to Geneva to check out and talk about tattoos or even get new ones. We asked video journalist Ed Harris to join the crowd:
'Balloonatics' fill the sky once again Thursday, 28 January, 2010The skies over Chateau D’Oex are filled with “balloonatics” this week. This is the 32nd edition of the International Hot-Air Balloon Festival, and over 40,000 visitors are expected to watch over 80 balloons from 20 countries take to the skies. WRS video journalist Amy Wong lifted off with balloon pilot John Armstrong:
Swiss ice climber finishes 4th at World Cup Monday, 25 January, 2010Ice climbing is often thought of as a niche sport, but the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) says it’s gaining momentum, especially with young adrenaline seekers. This weekend the Ice Climbing World Cup was held at Saas Fee in canton Valais. WRS video journalist Amy Wong followed Switzerland’s top climber, Patrik Aufdenblatten, through the competition:
Swiss artists against an 'intolerant' nation Friday, 15 January, 2010Two months have passed and many people are still trying to figure out what happened with the anti-minaret initiative vote. While the media continue to analyze what this means for Switzerland, a group of artists have banded together to express their thoughts on the matter and counter some of the “xenophobic” images out there. The Swiss Creators Initiative was formed last November in response to the yes vote. WRS video journalist Amy Wong went to the opening of their exhibit called “Intolerable Intolerance.”
Snowboarding's golden girl not quitting while she's ahead Thursday, 14 January, 2010Six of the top female snowboarders are fighting to secure their place on the 2010 Swiss Olympic team this weekend at the Snowboard World Cup in Veysonnaz. It will be an intense competition, as none of the spots are guaranteed, not even for 2006 Olympic Gold Medalist Tanja Frieden. WRS video journalist Amy Wong went to the elite women’s snowboard training session yesterday to talk to Tanja Frieden about her chances, her age and her hopes for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Bridging the generation gap with homemade design Tuesday, 22 December, 2009Craft fairs are certainly not rare in Zurich at this time of the year, but seldom are the young and fashionable spotted at these events…unless you attend a Senior Design Factory craft fair. The Senior Design Factory was created by two young designers in Zurich. The idea is to bring together young designers and skilled senior citizens in order to create innovative designer products and art that appeal to all ages. WRS video journalist Amy Wong went out to do some Christmas shopping at the Senior Design Factory’s Christmas Bazaar.
The women of tug of war Tuesday, 15 December, 2009The sport has been around way longer than football, hockey, and tennis, but it’s relatively new to Switzerland. The first club was set up in Engelberg in the ‘70s, and the fever has spread throughout central Switzerland. While they have fared well in international competitions, tug of war athletes are still struggling to gain recognition, in particular the female ones. WRS video journalist Amy Wong went out to visit the Women’s National Tug of War team during one of their practices.
A leech a day keeps the rheumatism away Thursday, 3 December, 2009The subject of many horror films and frightening medieval medical practices, slimy, blood-sucking leeches give many people the creeps, but they also cure many ailments. Now leech therapy, or hirudotherapy, is spreading through Switzerland with a whole new field of research to back up just why leeches are good for our health. WRS video journalist Amy Wong spent the afternoon in clinic with a lot of leeches.
Future of nuclear energy at critical stage Friday, 27 November, 2009Green, renewable energy, solar power, wind—indeed, one day these might be the country’s primary sources of energy. But for now these energy sources barely cover 5 percent of the country’s electricity needs. And these needs are growing by nearly 2 percent a year. With hydropower potential fully exploited and gas a pollution problem, nuclear energy appears to some to be the most promising stepping stone to the green fuels of the future. To others, any further investments in nuclear power would be a serious mistake. Lucas Chambers has the story:
Ron Orp shines a rosier light on Langstrasse Friday, 13 November, 2009Zurich has a lot to offer, but it’s hard to find those out-of-the-way places not mentioned in the tourist guides—the ones where the music is good, the food is cheap and the locals all seem to know each other. Difficult, unless of course you subscribe to Ron Orp’s Mail. It started with only a hundred subscribers in 2004, and now it’s the most popular electronic newsletter in the country with 50,000 subscribers in 10 cities. Christine Zimmerli, who edits the English version of the Zurich newsletter, took WRS video journalist Amy Wong on a tour of a few of Ron’s favourite places in the often-misunderstood neighbourhood of Langstrasse (or Long Street) in District 4. This red light district usually makes the papers for its drugs and prostitution, but it’s also full of colourful immigrant communities, independent artists and cool young professionals making it the “Brooklyn” of Zurich.
Islam throws open its doors Thursday, 12 November, 2009With the approach of the November 29 vote on the anti-minaret initiative, Muslims all across the country decided to invite the Swiss public to their places of worship. Over a hundred mosques across Switzerland took part in Open Mosque Day to try to dispel some of the misconceptions about their religion. WRS video journalist Amy Wong spent the day at Switzerland’s first and oldest mosque, the Mahmud Mosque in Zurich, to speak to those who attended.
New street lamps making Basel shine Wednesday, 11 November, 2009Basel is a city well known for its public artworks and pleasant aesthetics. But even so, the city is undergoing some exterior decorating. Through the Basel Lighting Project, a CHF 8 million project headed by Basel Public Utilities (IWB), the downtown area is slowly being transformed into a warmer, cozier, more energy efficient place to be at night. WRS video journalist Amy Wong spent the night flicking on street lamps.
Lost, found and for sale Tuesday, 10 November, 2009While the Swiss Federal Railroads, public transportation and airport authorities have a fairly good track record for returning lost goods to their rightful owners, thousands of items still go unclaimed every month. After the legal waiting period is up, all of it gets sent to one little store in the Zurich’s 2nd district. The Fundsachenverkauf (which translates to “lost items for sale”) is located in the Wollishofen quarter, and boasts everything from sport socks to luxury watches and things you would never have imagined. WRS video journalist Amy Wong went shopping for some lost treasure.