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  • 25.10.2022 12:08 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)

    Halloween Special - The Most Scary Places to Visit in Switzerland



    Switzerland has it all for the perfect Halloween film set - dark forests - abandoned fortresses- castles and deserted mountain ranges. There are many myths and legends told over generations about spooky, haunted places all over Switzerland.


    The Val Sinestra Hotel



    Val Sinestra Hotel which is located in Engadine Valley, and was built in 1912 in order to take advantage of the springs located in the area. Many people want to experience its healing properties. The horror story begins when a Belgian guest, who fell in love with one of the hotel employees, badly treated by the hotel management, still keeps visiting after his death to check on whether the employees working there today are treated well. The staff always says that they hear the voice of Hermann in the corridors, who opens and closes windows and doors.


    Location: Grisons  


    The Belchen Tunnel 



    This location is about a quite new ghost story, that will definitely give you goosebumps.The whole story has taken place in Northern Switzerland in a motorway tunnel. Two law students were crossing the tunnel when they picked up a pale woman, who said she was in need of help, and that something terrible was about to happen. She got into the backseat. While they were driving through, the strange woman disappeared, and the students quite under shock, stopped in a hostel and told the story to a couple.People still talk about it today and say that once in a blue moon, they run across a woman very pale dressed in a white dress….


    Location: Basel - Land 


    The Child Eater from Bern



    A nearly 500-year-old sculpture depicts a man eating a sack of babies, and no one is sure why. One of the legends says that the Kindlifresser is supposed to be the older brother of Duke Berchtold, the founder of Bern. Apparently the jealousy of being overshadowed by his younger brother for so many years caused him to go mad, eventually sending him into a rage where he collected and ate the town’s children. 

    Whatever the Kindlifresser represents, it has terrified Swiss children for nearly 500 years.

    Location : Bern


    Sanatorium Quinto



     In northern Ticino near Quinto there is an imposing, abandoned building on a steep mountain slope: the old Gotthard sanatorium.  The “Sanatorio del Gottardo” once served as a tuberculosis clinic and military hospital, but it has now been empty for more than 50 years.The Gotthard sanatorium has long since become a terrifying horror house with an apocalyptic atmosphere - including its own morgue. All sorts of spooky stories are reported from people visiting the abandoned place.


    Location:Ticino


    The Church of San Giuseppe



    In Somazzo, right on the border between Ticino and Lombardy, is the Church of San Giuseppe.  Three young girls are said to have been immured alive there.Since then, they have been credited with the extraordinary power to send rain in times of prolonged drought.In fact, to this day people make pilgrimages to the church and testify that rain has fallen again after their visit.

    Location: Ticino


    The Linner lime tree



    Linn's linden tree is also responsible for spooky stories that are said to have happened just under the tree. One of them says that several victims of the plague are buried there when one of the worst epidemics in Europe raged around 1350.  According to popular belief, it was the linden tree that kept diseases away and was supposed to protect the country from further harm.  Because of its overall appearance, the Linner Linde is one of the most impressive trees in Europe today - but it can take on spooky features in fog and darkness.  It is very popular as a retreat and the benches are rarely empty.

    Location : Aargau 


    The haunted heretic 



    The sect leader David Joris (ca. 1502-1556) lived for years unrecognized as Johann von Bruges in Spiesshof am Heuberg. A few years later, the rich gentleman's double life became known, and his body was dug up to be cremated. During his lifetime he was not guilty of anything in Basel. On the contrary, he was known to be generous and kind. Nevertheless, he was condemned as an arch-heretic, which obviously angered him greatly. In any case, in the times after that he started to haunt the Spiesshof. Accompanied by two black mastiffs, he still walked through the rooms of his old property in the 19th century. Curiously, he carried his head under his arm, although he died of natural causes without decapitation. 

    Location: Basel 


    Fun fact


    The Witch of Belalp



    The witch of Belalp is said to have been burnt at the stake. Some say it was because she cheated on her faithful husband with a sorcerer. The lovers disguised themselves by turning into ravens so they could meet at the Aletsch glacier. This story has been commemorated for the past 35 years with a very unique ski race: every January, around 1,500 skiers – children and adults – whizz down the slopes dressed as witches.

    Location: Valais 



    Which story gave you the chills - leave your comment in the comment section


    Good reads for Halloween:

    - Doctor Sleep - Steven King

    - Rest in pieces - Beth Lovejoy

    - The haunting of Hill house - Shirley Jackson 

    - The Bell witch - Brent Monahan

    - Her fearful symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger

  • 11.10.2022 11:55 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)

    This is the second part of our blog series "Sustainable Investments"  - conceived and written by our partners Asset Management Switzerland.

    Worldwide more than 40 million people trade 20.000 different crypto currencies back and forth. It is no secret that these daily transactions account for a high energy consumption, leading to even higher environmental issues. Even though the topic of sustainability is increasingly hot, there is still much potential to go even greener. So why not making the blockchain universe green as well?

    In the second part of our blog series «smart invest,» we would like to focus on the green power of the crypto universe. Yes, you heard right, decentralized finance and tokens are not as harmful to the environment as you might think (or at least not all of them). Allow us to illustrate this in more detail by looking at the downsides and upsides of decentralized products and services concerning environmental issues.

     

    The Mining of Cryptos

    It cannot be denied that the mining of cryptocurrencies involves lots of energy due to its complex structure, and increases the carbon emission footprint. To be more precise every year more than 130 terawatt-hours of electricity is needed to mine bitcoins alone. In comparison, Switzerland's energy consumption as a country is roughly 30% less per year! Of course, Bitcoin is not the only « electric burden» in our world but in contrast to other big cryptocurrencies, it is more likely to have a high energy consumption.



    Mining new coins require a lot of computer power, which is the reason why entire data centers are needed, eating up a lot of electricity. Particularly bitcoin's decentralized structure currently causes huge carbon emissions. But the real cue here, boosting consumption is the so-called proof of work. Proof of work is a system that is used to verify new crypto transactions that are added to a blockchain. The work creates a new hash which is supposed to match the consisting hash of the current block. In simple words, the technique helps to verify new transactions to keep the network safe.

     

    Environmental friendly(ier) Alternatives

    Now that you know that the blockchain is a sophisticated but complex system, you might ask yourself if blockchain participants aren't clever enough to mine in a more environmentally friendly way. The answer is yes and no. No, because based on the established structures as it is the case with bitcoin for example, it is almost impossible to implement an alternative mining system. But for some cryptos it is indeed possible to switch from the proof of work approach to the proof of stake approach.

    Miners promise a stake in the digital currency before validating transactions with a proof of stake. To verify blocks, miners must place a stake in the form of their current coins. Participants are required to show how long they have held the transaction. After a miner verifies a block, it is added to the chain, and the miner receives a new fee along with their old coin.

     

     Adoption of Proof of Stake

    After several months of waiting, Ethereum was converted from proof of work to proof of stake on September 15 2022. But to be fair, finding the proof of stake in the Ethereum network is not as new was most people think. The so-called beacon chain, which uses a proof-of-stake procedure, has already existed in the Ethereum network since 2020. This is now to be gradually combined with the main network. The underlying reason for mining new coins via the proof-of-stake method is that transactions on the blockchain can be carried out more quickly in this way. And that saves a lot of energy. To be more precise, it is expected that new transactions will save 99.95% of energy in the future. Also Bitcoin tries to improve its energy consumption, by using a lightening network for example. The lightening network was designed to enable offchain Bitcoin transactions that are not recorded in the blockchain. Since this second layer protocol does not require mining activities, payment transactions are not only cheaper but more energy efficient as well.

     

    Green Coins

    Klima Dao: Klima Dao is a decentralized organization focused on raising the cost of carbon emissions to cause the emission markets to falter. The goal is to increase the cost of carbon to encourage companies to create more emission-friendly work processes. The tokenized version of carbon credits base carbon tonnes can be purchased by market participants and tied to the coin KLIMA. Following a staking period of at least 5 days, participants receive the climate coins at a lower price and can sell them for a profit, which can be incorporated into the protocol to purchase additional coins.

    Solarcoin: Another interesting cryptocurrency that does not only try to mine sustainably but mines for sustainability is called Solarcoin. Just like most other crypto coins, Solarcoin is transparent, decentralized, and independent of governments. The difference between Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Co is, that it aims to verifiably generate solar energy. The concept behind this revolutionary concept is quite simple: The monitoring system broadcasts the created electricity to the SolarCoin Foundation, which in turn sends SolarCoins to the applicant's wallet in the amount of 1 SolarCoin per 1 MWh of verified energy generation. Petitioners can collect or spend SolarCoins according to their needs a receive ongoing subsidies over the next 20-30 years they produce energy.

     


    Of course there is still a lot of potential upside for all coins, irrespective of whether they are already considered sustainable or not.  We think especially energy-friendly coins that are committed to the environment and climate protection will have a bright future. Asset Management Switzerland AG offers both individual mandates and savings plans with the topic of cryptocurrencies. Together with the expertise of our CIO Torsten Dennin, you too can benefit from the digital world. So, what are you waiting for?

    Questions?  Asset Management Switzerland AG, Christina Lemm

  • 23.09.2022 10:38 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)
    Mikladalur’s Kópakonan on the Faroe Islands


    Selkies are a variation on the mermaid concept in Scottish, Irish, Icelandic and Faroese folklore. They live in the sea as seals, but can shed their seal hide to become human on land. If their seal skin is hidden or stolen, they are unable to return to the sea.

    This 9 ft bronze and stainless steel statue of Kópakonan (The Seal Wife) was created by Hans Pauli Olsen and was installed in the Mikladalur Harbor on Kalsoy, one of the Faroe Islands, on August 1st, 2014. 


    She is built so strong that she can withstand 13 meter high waves.  At the beginning of 2015, a wave more than eleven meters high crashed into the monument. The steel sealwoman withheld the power of the sea.

    The statue commemorates myths about selkies and in particular two well known myths about the Seal Wife on the Faroe Islands.

    Selkie stories are traditionally romantic tragedies, with the Selkie in most stories returning to the sea after several years as a Seal Wife to a human, leaving behind the husband and children.

    One well known story is about a beautiful Selkie trapped by a fisherman on the island of Kalsoy, who hides her seal skin while she is on land one night. Trapped, she becomes his wife and they have 2 children. One day however, he goes fishing and she finds her seal skin hidden in a chest in their home. She escapes back to her Selkie family after ensuring the children are cared for until the fisherman's return.

    She leaves behind a message to not follow her and to not harm her Selkie family. The fishermen however ignore the warning and end up killing both her Selkie husband and Selkie children.

    In revenge she curses the men of the island to die in frequent accidents until as many have perished as can link arms around the whole island.

    Now that you have read the story of the Selkies, why not continue your story telling right into our kitchen with this unique produce from Iceland.

    Norður & Co’s is a company dating back to 1753 and their first product is Norður Salt, sustainable arctic sea salt flakes made using geothermal energy. In the future, they plan to broaden the product portfolio and create more products that all will be in the Norður spirit of sustainable, affordable, high-quality products: nordurco.com

    Shop their salt here: einzigart - selected design

  • 05.09.2022 18:27 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)

    "Sustainable Investments, more than just a trend!" marks the first part of our new blog series - conceived and written by our partners Asset Management Switzerland.

    Sustainability is not simply a trending investment topic. Ecological and ethical aspects of investing increasingly become important in fighting climate change, to support the green energy revolution and e-mobility. But green products are not simply a matter of lifestyle or conscience: they also generate higher returns than traditional investments in the long term!


    We do believe that sustainable investing is more than a trend and will outgrow traditional investment vehicles within the next few years. In 2021 around USD 650 billion flowed into ESG funds worldwide, representing 10% of the global fund assets. Another steep rise. The awareness for a sustainable portfolio has also long since arrived in Switzerland; within the last 10 years, the volume of investments in sustainable funds has grown by more than +3500%. The wide spectrum of sustainable instruments allows us to cater products for every type of investor. Traditional stocks, ETFs, real estate, bonds, or even commodities can now be replaced by the greener version.


    However, what is meant by the term « sustainable » and who decides whether a share is sustainable or not? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to give, because as broad as the range of sustainable products is, as broad is the variety when it comes to selecting a sustainable investment strategy. To make it a bit easier for you to jump into the investment jungle, we compiled a summary of the most commonly used strategies.

    Exclusion: Exclusion is a passive investment approach in which companies or countries are rejected as investments due to non-compliance with moral, ethical, environmental, or social standards. Commonly, companies are potentially excluded from the portfolio on account of their controversial industry affiliation and business activities, such as the tobacco industry.

    ESG Integration: As the name suggests, this strategy is about taking into account and integrating environmental, social, and governance factors in the analysis of securities. Investors identify financial factors as well as ESG factors and assess the impact of ESG on company performance.

    Norm-based Screening: Norm-based screening excludes countries and companies based on breaches of international standards. Like the strategy of exclusion, complete industries can be excluded if they disrespect the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Global Compact, or the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for example.

    Best-in-Class: A special form of positive screening, which aims to identify the most sustainable companies within a sector, is the so-called "best-in-class" approach. The strategy does not intend to determine the most sustainable companies across industries, but rather to select those that exhibit the highest ethical or environmental commitment within their sector.

    Impact investing: Unlike traditional investing, it is not just the financial return that is taken into account, but also the environmental or social improvement that results from the investment in a company or sector. Impact investing can be interpreted as a strategy that not primarily strives for enterprise or economic value but non-monetary value, like social and environmental objectives.

    We got your back!
    Still, sounds confusing? To be fair, some of these investment approaches are not as easy for private investors to adapt as they might seem at the first glance. Researching for the «perfect» sustainable product can be quite exhausting and time-consuming. Remember: A sustainable investment will deliver you superior returns – in the long run. So why don't you rather skip this step and let us manage your portfolio? The wealth management team of Asset Management Switzerland AG has a longstanding track record in terms of sustainable investment. By integrating different investment strategies, we shape our client's portfolios as sustainable as possible without losing track of a positive financial performance! And the best part: While we monitor your portfolio you can enjoy a nice cup of cappuccino at the lake.

    Questions?  Asset Management Switzerland AG, Christina Lemm


  • 03.08.2022 15:43 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)

    We continue this series with the report of Fabienne Prétôt, Tourism Professional, from Basel, Switzerland:

    Jamaica

    The “land of wood and water” was my home for two years.

    After being with the largest European tour operator for about two years, I finally got the call to go work for them in the Caribbean! And only a few months later, I found myself on a plane heading to the beautiful island of Jamaica! It has actually always been my goal to live and work in the Caribbean which is why I started with this job in the first place and so finally, the time had come to start my tropical adventure.


    When I first arrived, the company provided me with a hotel room in a large RIU hotel on the northeast coast of Jamaica in a town called Ocho Rios (in English: eight rivers). I absolutely loved my stay in a superior guests room, enjoying all-inclusive drinks, food and one of the best beaches on the island
    right in front of my balcony. However, the fact that I also worked in that hotel every day and my guests were also staying there has led me to persuade my supervisor to let me move into an apartment outside of the hotel area. The apartment was situated in a gated-community which
    allowed me to connect to some other expats living and working in Jamaica.


    I was working as a representative for TUI, meaning that I was responsible for looking after the guests during their stay in Jamaica. This included welcoming them at the airport when they arrived, holding the information meetings in the hotels, providing information about the destination, consulting the guests on things to do such as excursions and of course also handling complaints. In turn, I got to spend two amazing years living in paradise.


    Jamaica is the third-largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba and the Dominican Republic and the official language spoken is English. However, the locals usually communicate in their own dialect called Patois, which is a secret language developed by the slaves in 1600’s mixing English, Afrikaans, French, Spanish and Creole. Jamaica really has so much to offer. Not only is there great music, delicious food and a beautiful nature with spectacular beaches, waterfalls, jungles, rivers and mountains, but the Jamaican culture and people are just as fascinating. So, for anyone who has never been to Jamaica, it’s definitely worth a visit.


    Our editorial team has put together the following book tips - available from our partner Orell Füssli:


  • 20.07.2022 18:40 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)

    We continue this series with the report of our co-founder Stephan Graf:

    Los Angeles / Berlin

    Three fascinating seasons in the global and the European movie capitals.

    Both my longer stays abroad have to do with film production. In 2002, this career aspiration led me to the film Mecca par excellence: Los Angeles. Here I attended an evening course at UCLA and worked during the day at Splendid Pictures (their productions include "The Devil and Daniel Webster" with Sir Anthony Hopkins or "Narc" with Ray Liotta).


    The film industry is omnipresent in this city, with roadside shoots, movie premieres in the evening - and yes, really every cab driver has a self-written script in his glove compartment.


    My life as a student and intern defined how I experienced this city. During the day, I biked from my humble Westwood Village lodgings up to Bel Air, where Splendid had its offices - in the same building as the legendary Warren Beatty.


    In the evening, I'd go to the university campus and later join my fellow students for a few drinks on Sunset Boulevard or at Moonshadows in Malibu.

    Looking back, I realize that my second and third stays abroad - in Berlin in 2007 and 2009 - were also influenced by film productions in the way I perceived the city. During the first production, "The Baader-Meinhof Complex" by Uli Edel, which was nominated for an Oscar, I shifted between Charlottenburg, where I lived, the production office on the Spree and the filming locations at historically relevant sites.


    Wherever possible, the producers shot on the original locations, which on the one hand made the film all the better, but also offered me a fascinating journey through time. For example, this incredible scene with Rudi Dutschke at the auditorium of the university.


    The second Constantin production, the biopic "Zeiten ändern dich" about famous-notorius rapper Bushido, on which I was privileged to work, I experienced according to the circumstances mainly in Kreuzberg. The countless multicultural influences in this neighborhood have not only enriched my professional life, but also my free time with many culinary highlights.


    Our editorial team has put together the following book tips - available from our partner Orell Füssli:


  • 23.06.2022 09:25 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)

    We start this new series with the report of our founder Alexandra Elsener:

    Hong Kong

    The buzzing former British colony with it’s one of a kind diversities was my home town for 4 years.

    I moved there with my husband not knowing what to expect - not knowing much about Chinese way of life and about a metropolis that belongs to China but has a one country two system policy - which meant in simple terms: It has it’s own legal system and government.

    What that meant,  I gradually started to find out when I needed a visa to travel to Mainland China, which borders right next to the territory of Hong Kong.

    We first lived on Hong Kong Island and then moved to the New Territories - another district of the city.

    What amazed me most was the fact that this autonomous territory of China was extremely green with lush rainforests and country parks - lovely seaside villages and a quirky wildlife we used to encounter with our dog George on our daily walks - from monkeys to wild boars - from snakes to exotic birds and butterflies not to speak of the beautiful flora everywhere.


    So to my surprise, I was not just living in a concrete jungle with skyscrapers with stunning views over the city, expensive  boutiques and hotels - it was actually a paradise too!

    Daily life was so diverse it couldn’t have been better.Public transport was fabulous and your weekend destinations like Thailand or the Philippines only a couple of hours flight away.

     

    I started learning Mandarin - I did not dare to tackle Chinese Calligraphy but wanted to be able to say some basic words and sentences especially when travelling to Mainland China.

    The official language spoken in HK is Cantonese which is a dialect spoken in South China. But you could usually communicate in English specially with the older generation.

    I miss HK for it’s incredible mix of western influence and Chinese traditions - it’s small alleyways in Kowloon - my boat trips on the traditional Star Ferry which took you from HK Island to Kowloon. The busy streets - the hidden little shops - the markets especially the flower markets.

    Many more memories will stay in my heart as I truly love the Asian spirit - the incredible and magnificent Chinese wall I was standing on outside of Beijing and the picturesque villages in Yunnan, China.

     

    I could go on writing about my adventures and experiences but hopefully for those who have never been - my little insight has inspired you to put it on your bucket list one day! 

    Our editorial team has put together the following book tips - available from our partner Orell Füssli:



  • 03.03.2021 16:46 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)


    Instagram is not only a great platform to be inspired by food, fashion and travel. You can also get in touch with incredibly exciting people.

    Imagine meeting a personality at a party that you didn't know before. What do you spontaneously talk to her about? We are starting a new series here, in which we ask the interviewees not only for three answers, but also three questions. And they usually don't know to whom their questions will be asked next. 

    Check out: Max Loong

  • 02.03.2021 16:33 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)


    Max Loong is a full-blooded entertainer and entrepreneur. His professional network now stretches from Singapore to Bali, Switzerland and California. We have passed on Noella's questions to the versatile TV presenter and actor. Here are his very personal answers:

    What moment in your life was key in guiding you to your current position?
    There have been so many key moments that got me where I am today. Life is full of ups and downs and a true rollercoaster ride, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, and sometimes life throws your for a spin. My first key moment was when I got the job as a VJ at VIVA-SWIZZ Switzerland’s first youth TV channel. Another key moment was when I was offered my own show on MTV Asia called Mobbed with which we wen’t on to win various awards as one of the first interactive shows. When I opened up my first business, which became one of Hollywood’s hottest clubs. I got to meet many interesting people who have led me to further businesses. Opening up my own luxury boutique hotel Hidden Hills Villas in Bali, together with my mom, after years of sweat and tears, was a magical moment. So was becoming a partner of Bjoern Hering at Mediafisch, Switzerland’s largest production company. Being nominated for an Asian Television Award in the category of Best Supporting Actor for my role of Richard in Singapores hit TV Series Lion Mums, was an epic milestone. But of course the greatest milestones and key moments was meeting the love of my life, my now wife Sepideh as well as the birth of our children Ryden and Kayden. Now it’s time to write more great memories, both at and off work. 

    What simple advice would you give to someone young?
    Always follow your dreams, follow your heart and learn from your mistakes. If you follow your heart, you know that even if you make mistakes, you can safely say you didn’t let your mind interfere with your heart and gut. Find fulfillment in doing a job you really love to do, find happiness in family, friends and nature. But you have to work hard, as the German saying goes, if you do nothing, nothing will happen. You have to seize every opportunity, don’t be lazy, network, build valuable relationships and again, follow your heart. 

    What brings you inspiration?
    Now it is my family, seeing my two boys grow up not only inspires me, but gives me the motivation to do even better in life. Both as a father, husband, friend but also business owner and with my career. But there are many things that bring inspiration for me, such as travel, different cultures, nature as well as the energy of a metropolis such as LA I live in. Our team in Bali, Switzerland and the US, we have to constantly inspire each other. 

    And here are Max's questions:

    1. How challenging has 2020 been for you? 
    2. What are the 3 biggest dreams you managed to fulfill in life and what other 3 dreams do you still have?
    3. With the current world we are living in, what do you hope for the future?
  • 01.02.2021 10:56 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)

    Christa Riggozzi became a celebrity overnight with her Miss Switzerland 2006 election, and since then she has had a steep and varied career as a presenter, brand ambassador and influencer. She was nominated by Frank Bodin. Here are her answers to his questions, which she comments as follows with a smile: "Exciting and not easy questions from Frank... I know him, he is always unique!"

    Why do Adam and Eve have a navel?
    Because they are human beings and exactly the same, gender does not matter, there was no discrimination between men and women back then, both are equal :-) 

    Why do you push the buttons on the remote control more firmly when the batteries seem to be empty?
    If you push firmly, you have the feeling of power, everything will be fine again and you don't have to change batteries. Man is stronger than technology... 

    If everything is made out of atoms, what are dreams made of?
    Dreams are made of emotions and inner wishes. But sometimes they can also be atomic. 

    And here are Christas questions:

    1. Was the hen or the egg born first? 
    2. how many times do you plug in a USB plug incorrectly before you get annoyed? 
    3. Can I live happily without wondering if I am happy? 

    She has also nominated someone. We will tell you soon who it is.
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