Author Archive: designbysunshine

Personal Reflection

#1 The importance of images 

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#2 What bricolage is

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#3 That lava lamps are considered kitsche

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#4 That I am a fan of low culture

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# 5 That research is very important

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#6 That it is common in other countries to have mass graves

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#7 Never judge a book by its cover

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#8 The Swedish Santa has a donkey instead of reindeer 

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#9 I couldn’t afford to live in Zurich

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#10 I never, ever want to have a birthday in Switzerland

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Due, of course, to the creepy clowns

Zurich, Switzerland – Challenges of Place

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As a small country at the crossroads of Northern and Southern Europe, Switzerland is known for its neutrality, its ethnic and linguistic diversity — German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national languages — and a decentralized government that makes most laws at the canton, or state, level. Indeed, today each canton is responsible for certain aspects of migration and integration-related policies.

Immigration

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Switzerland has one of the highest immigration rates on the continent. According to the 2000 census, 22.4 percent of the total population of 7.4 million is foreign born, and 20.5 percent, or nearly 1.5 million, are foreigners, defined as persons with a foreign nationality. While Switzerland used to be a destination for employment-seeking French, Germans, and Italians, in the latter half of the 20th century it became home to Eastern European dissidents, Yugoslavian refugees, and asylum seekers from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Once home to thousands of guest workers from nearby countries in Europe, Switzerland has seen its foreigner population increase and become more diverse in the last 15 years. But that increase, along with rising number of asylum applications through the 1990s, has heightened the country’s interest in migration control and migration’s costs.

Racism

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Right-wing extremists who expressed hostility toward foreigners, ethnic and religious minorities, and immigrants continued to be publicly active, it said.The Federal Commission against Racism and the non-governmental website humanrights.ch expressed concern in 2013 about increasingly hostile attitudes toward minorities.

Prison Overcrowding

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The report for Switzerland identified overcrowded prisons as a particular problem, singling out Geneva’s Champ-Dollon prison which, though built for 376 inmates, now contains well over 800.

The prison has been in the news this week after violent clashes between ethnic groups of inmates, with 26 prisoners and eight wardens injured in five separate incidents.

Women Equality

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The State Department report also highlights discrimination as a continued problem.

Domestic violence against women remained a serious problem, and discrimination against women in the workplace was also an issue. A disproportionate share of women held jobs with lower levels of responsibility, said the report, while women were promoted less frequently than men and were less likely to own or manage businesses.

Red Dots – Week 16

carolina-red-waspRed Dot – Hornet

Wasps of the cosmopolitan genus Polistes are the most familiar of the polistine wasps, and are the most common type of paper wasp in North America. It is also the single largest genus within the family Vespidae, with over 300 recognized species and subspecies. Their innate preferences for nest-building sites leads them to commonly build nests on human habitation, where they can be very unwelcome; although generally not aggressive, they can be provoked into defending their nests.
timthumb.phpRed Dot – Kidney Beans

The kidney bean is a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). It is named for its visual resemblance in shape and color to a kidney. Red kidney beans can be confused with other beans that are red, such as adzuki beans. In Jamaica, they are called “red peas”.

Red Dots – Week 15

maxresdefaultRed Dot – Bean Bag Chair

A bean bag chair is a large fabric bag, filled with polystyrene beads, dried beans, or a similar substance. The product is an example of an ‘anatomic chair’. The shape of the object is set by the user.

mzl.pubeokpoRed Dot – Coke Bottle Cap

A bottle cap seals the top opening of a bottle. A cap is typically colorfully decorated with the logo of the brand of beverage. Plastic caps are used for plastic bottles, while metal with plastic backing is used for glass; the metal is usually steel. Plastic caps may have a pour spout. Flip-Top caps like Flapper closures provide controlled dispensing of dry products. Caps for plastic bottles are often made of a different type of plastic than the bottle.

Red Dots – Week 14

3784443100_1a796e3efaRed Dot – Xbox Button

The Xbox 360 Controller is the primary controller for Microsoft Xbox 360 console and was introduced at E3 2005. The Xbox 360 controller comes in both wired and wireless versions. Original Xbox controllers are not compatible with the Xbox 360, which is too bad because controllers are not cheap by any means. The controller is also compatible with PCs, like Windows Vista, 7 and 8; the wireless version requires a Wireless Gaming Receiver. I also have no idea as to why the button is red, but it is and it looks like there is no information as to why it is that color.

$_35Red Dot – Taboo Buzzer

Taboo is a word guessing party game published by Hasbro in 1989. The objective of the game is for a player to have their partners guess the word on the player’s card without using the word itself or five additional words listed on the card. The game is similar to Catch Phrase, also from Hasbro, in which a player tries to get his or her teammates to guess words using verbal clues.

Zurich, Switzerland – Powers of Influence

Switzerland was colonized only some 15,000 years ago. Celtic tribes, among them the Helvetians are the first inhabitants of Switzerland we have written reports of, however not by themselves but by their rivals, the Greeks and Romans. Roman commander Julius Cesar defeated the Helvetians in 58 B.C. and made Helvetia a Roman territory with fortified borders.

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(50BC) Romans established provincial towns in Switzerland.

An example of ancient Roman Influence.

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(400) Roman legions withdrew from the towns they established in Switzerland; many people converted to Christianity.

(600) Franks invaded the indigenous tribes of Switzerland, converted many Swiss Pagan tribes to Christianity.

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(1291) A constitution formed between rural communities in Switzerland under Germany.

(1499) Swabian Wars led to independence from the German empire; first parliament formed in Switzerland, representatives from different confederates met to consult and vote on political issues.

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(1798) French army under the command of Napoleon invaded Switzerland.

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(1802) Swiss revolt forced French army to leave Switzerland.

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(1848) Switzerland became a unified federal state with a constitution.

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(1914-18) During World War I, Switzerland organized Red Cross units.

Switzerland has a long republican tradition, its modern democratic constitution dates back to 1848 only, however, and was put into effect after a short civil war in 1847. The constitution was totally revised in 1874 and is amended organically from time to time since. The 1999 total revision did not change anything of importance in substance, the sole purpose was to establish a modern and more readable structure and language.

Switzerland’s government, parliament and courts are organized on three levels:

  • federal
  • cantonal (based on 26 cantonal constitutions)
  • communal (in a few small cantons and in some 2500 small villages reunions of all citizens are held instead of cantonal and communal parliaments; local courts are usually common to several communities)

In conclusion, Switzerland is heavily influenced by it’s surrounding countries.

Zurich, Switzerland has influenced the world through it’s banking.

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Banking in Switzerland is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), which derives its authority from a series of federal statutes. The country’s tradition of bank secrecy, which dates to the Middle Ages, was first codified in the Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks, colloquially known as the Banking Law of 1934. The regime of bank secrecy that Swiss banks are famous for coming under pressure in the wake of the UBS tax evasion scandal, and the 1934 banking law was amended in 2009 to limit tax evasion by non-Swiss bank clients.

In 2011, banks represented 59.4% of the total value added of the Swiss financial sector, totalling CHF 35.0 billion representing 6.2% of the country’s GDP. UBS and Credit Suisse, the two largest banks in Switzerland, were ranked globally at #19 and #25 among banks, with assets of approximately US$1.375 trillion and US$1.090 trillion, respectively.

As of 11 October 2008, the banking industry in Switzerland has an average leverage ratio (assets/net worth) of 29 to 1, while the industry’s short-term liabilities are equal to 260 percent of the Swiss GDP or 1,273 percent of the Swiss national debt.

Red Dots – Week 13

ElmoRed Dot – Elmo’s Head

Sesame Street staff writer Nancy Sans once described Elmo’s origins: “There was this extra red puppet lying around and the cast would pick him up sometimes and try to create a personality, but nothing seemed to materialize. One day, Kevin Clash, a talented puppeteer, raised him up and brought energy and life into Elmo and from that day forward we would all write for Elmo. Kevin’s performance inspired the writers to develop Elmo’s character”

T9517.fpxRed Dot – Lava Lamp

A lava lamp (or Astro lamp) is a decorative novelty item, invented by British accountant Edward Craven Walker, the founder of Mathmos, in 1963. The lamp contains blobs of colored wax inside a glass vessel filled with clear or translucent liquid; the wax rises and falls as its density changes due to heating from an incandescent light bulb underneath the vessel. The appearance of the wax is suggestive of pāhoehoe lava, hence the name. The lamps are designed in a variety of styles and colors.

Red Dots – Week 12

red_velvet_rack_cool_580Red Dot – Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet cake is a cake with either a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. It is traditionally prepared as a layer caketopped with cream cheese or cooked roux icing. The original red color was created by adding beet juice to the recipe, just for fun.
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Red Dot – Ink Pen

A pen is a writing implement used to apply ink to a surface, usually paper, for writing or drawing. Historically, reed pens, quill pens, and dip pens were used, with a nib dipped in ink.

Zurich, Switzerland – Clothing

Traditional Clothing

Switzerland’s traditional costumes have been influenced by many different cultures, and yet they remain distinctive. In the 18th century, Switzerland enjoyed a period of wealth that allowed for luxurious, creative embroidery and lace-work. That influence is still seen in traditional Swiss clothing today.

Women

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Women’s clothing is usually based around a garment we know today as the “dirndl,” which includes a full skirt gathered at the waist and a tight-fitting vest or sleeveless top. A white blouse is typically worn under the dress, and the outfit is finished with stockings, buckled black shoes and a headpiece or hat.

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For women, the typical Swiss folk costume features a puffy blouse and skirt, a tight vest and a generous use of ribbon or lace.

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the traditional Swiss folk costumes for women usually involve beautiful floral embroidery.
This is especially true for “Sunday best” outfits, with flowers imitating the flowers found in Swiss gardens.

Traditional Switzerland Costume Traditional Switzerland Costume

Tights are a popular choice for women and girls, usually in red or white.

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In most regions, gold details indicate a married woman, while single women use silver.

Men

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For men, the most easily recognized garment is the lederhosen, which are knee-length pants with suspenders, often crafted from leather. Lederhosen provided both mobility and durability while climbing and hiking in mountainous terrain.

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Short sleeved shirts

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Woolen knee-socks and heavy boots

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 A short-brimmed felt hat with trimming

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Bachelors have traditionally kept a bright red handkerchief in their pants pockets, although married men do not.

Children

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Traditional Swiss clothing for children is typically a miniature version of the garments worn by adults, with the differences in color to reflect the age of the wearer.

Modern Clothing

The Swiss people wear very similar styles as most Europeans and Americans.

Women

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Men

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Children

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Red Dots – Week 11

904140_603338849724233_1206834340_oRed Dot – Campfire

A campfire is a fire lit at a campsite, to serve the following functions: light, warmth, a beacon, an insect and predator deterrent, to cook, and for a psychological sense of security. In established campgrounds they are usually in a fire ring for safety.

6875060_origRed Dot – Sea Urchin

The red sea urchin is a sea urchin found in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Baja California. It lives in shallow waters from the low-tide line to 90 m (300 ft) deep, and is typically found on rocky shores sheltered from extreme wave action.