Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Micheline Calmy-Rey elected Swiss President

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has been elected Swiss president for 2007, only the second woman to hold the office in the country's history.

The joint session of the two parliamentary chambers on Wednesday also named Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin vice-president.

Calmy-Rey will keep her foreign ministry portfolio when she takes over the ceremonial one-year post from Moritz Leuenberger, on January 1.

The 61-year-old Social Democrat received 147 votes (out of 192 valid votes), the poorest result in presidential elections for nearly 70 years.

However, she enjoys a high level of support among the public and regularly tops popularity polls for Swiss politicians.


Man-made tremor shakes Basel, Switzerland

from Swissinfo:

Drilling work for a planned geothermal power plant in Basel triggered a small earthquake on Friday that caused minor damage to buildings.

The canton Basel City prosecutor has launched an investigation to find if the company behind the Deep Heat Mining project should pay for repairs.

The tremor was felt shortly before 6pm and measured 3.4 on the Richter scale according to the Swiss Seismological Service. Normally, there are three or four earthquakes of this size annually in Switzerland.

Local police and fire departments received hundreds of phone calls from worried citizens, and some buildings suffered from cracks and broken tiles. Nobody was injured.

Basel is one of the areas in Switzerland most prone to seismic activity. In 1356, the city was almost entirely destroyed by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Too warm in your house?

Why not stay at the Ice Hotel in far northern Sweden?

from their website:
"Over the past seventeen years, we have built a new hotel of snow and ice every winter. It sounds like a fairy tale, but in fact, it is a dream – a dream turned into reality year after year.

ICEHOTEL is situated in the village Jukkasjärvi, 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. The heart and backbone is the River Torne flowing freely through the unspoilt wilderness. Covered with a meter thick ice layer winter time the river is the source of all our art, architecture and design. The pure water and the steady movement of the river creates the clearest ice possible."

A Christmas Goat?

from Radio Sweden:

A town north of Stockholm is hoping this year to protect its annual giant Christmas goat from vandals.

Every year the town of Gävle sets up a 13 meter tall version of the traditional straw Yule goat. And almost every year the goat has been destroyed, usually by fire, but once run over by a car, and another year having its legs cut off.

But for the 40th anniversary of the custom Sunday, local officials had this year’s goat doused in fire-resistant chemicals usually used on airplanes.

In the past, resourceful vandals have proved ingenious in outwitting guards and security cameras. Last year two vandals disguised themselves as Santa Claus and a gingerbread man and ignited the goat by firing burning arrows at it.

external link

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Oslo gay animal show draws crowds

From BBC News:

Curators say a Norwegian exhibition on homosexuality among animals has been well received, despite initial indications of strong opposition.

The Oslo Natural History Museum opened the show last week and says it has been well attended, not least by families.

Organisers reported early criticism of the project, and being told by one opponent they would "burn in hell".

But there has been strong interest in an aspect of animal behaviour the museum says is quite common.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Renaissance masterpieces found behind bedroom door

LONDON (Reuters) - Two lost paintings by Italian Renaissance master Fra Angelico have turned up in a modest house in Oxford in a discovery hailed as one of the most exciting art finds for a generation.

The works -- two panels each painted with the standing figure of a Dominican saint in tempera on a gold background -- are expected to fetch more than 1 million pounds at auction.

They were discovered behind a bedroom door in a terraced house when art auctioneer Guy Schwinge was called in to carry out a valuation after the owner of the house. librarian Jean Preston, died in July.

rest of the article

Spanish gays blast "old-fashioned" dictionary

From Reuters UK:

MADRID (Reuters) - A gay rights group on Tuesday blasted the top authority on the Spanish language for failing to recognise same-sex marriage in its latest dictionary.

Marriage continues to be defined as a union between a man and a woman in the Real Academia Espanola's Essential Dictionary of the Spanish Language published this week, ahead of the appearance of the full version in 2013.

"Marriage now in Spain and other countries is no longer just a contract between a man and a woman ... It is a reality and the academy should include it", Beatriz Gimeno, spokeswoman for The Federation of Gays and Lesbians told Spanish radio station SER.

rest of the article

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Mugs Have Arrived!

The EuroBureau mugs (see a couple posts down) have materialized and are awaiting dispatch to your domain. All we need is a $50 pledge to KMUD.
Who would want such a mug? You could literally be the only one with a EuroBureau mug in your entire state! How's that for individualism?

KMUD certainly could use your support, and the EuroBureau crew would be happy to send you one of these mugs.

Thank you,


P.S. Have we mentioned that there are only 36 mugs total?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tomatino: The world's largest tomato fight

You heard about it on the EuroBureau:
The Tomatina -- a picture gallery from

The Royal Mail's New Christmas Stamps

The Royal Mail's 2006 X-mas Stamps
London - Santa looks like he has stopped for a toilet break on one of this year's Christmas stamps.

The collection, on sale on Tuesday, shows Santa sitting on top of a chimney.

The collection has upset the Church of England, which claims they contain no Christian message.

There are snowmen, reindeer and a Christmas tree but no Three Wise Men, no manger and no baby Jesus.

A church spokesperson told the Mirror: "We regret the Royal Mail have decided against continuing last year's welcome return to Christian-themed designs."

Royal Mail said its stamps swapped between religious and non-religious themes each year.

The EuroBureau Mug

Finally something for the closet EuroBureau fan, too shy to advertise his or her taste for the program with the bumper sticker, yet capable of sheltering their coffee cup from surprise visitors, in the intimacy of their own home, keeping their 'penchant' for the exotic private.

So how do you get one? Make a pledge for a regular membership ($50) with KMUD and this cup can be yours!
Truth is: KMUD needs your support. If you enjoy EuroBureau, and you haven't contributed to our radio station, please do so now. Call (+1) 707 923-3911, in the US you can call 1-800-568-3723.
We, JJ and Simon, had the mugs made at our cost and we give them to KMUD so you, dear Listener, can have something to sip your soup from, or to lick that latte foam off.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nice day for a cream wedding

Friday, October 13, 2006

Viktoriya Shtefano, in puffs
Valentyn Shtefano, a baker in the Ukrainian town of Uzhhorod, gave his fiancé a wedding to remember- when he made her wedding dress out of 1,500 cream puffs.

Shtefano – rapidly gaining fame for his confectionery creations, which have included a 2-foot-long 1920s-era Cadillac made out of caramel and cream puffs, and cakes shaped like a pair of breasts – made the dress for his bride-to-be Viktoriya to wear at their wedding in August.

The finished creation weighed 20lb.

After initial attempts at sewing the (empty) cream puffs together failed when the dress crumpled, he instead opted to build a wedding-dress shaped frame. He then delicately attached the individual puffs to the frame, and Viktoriya model the dress and frame every night for several hours so that he could add more puffs.

Caramelized sugar was employed to create Viktoriya's bouquet, necklace and crown.

After some initial scepticism, Viktoriya came to think the dress was great: 'At first, it was even a little embarrassing, - cameras, interviews - but after a couple of hours, I didn't even want to take it off.'

Wanted: Boobs

EuroBureau reported on this a few weeks ago. Original article from

A German plastic surgeon hunting women who never paid for their operations has produced what may be the greatest 'wanted' poster in history. He's published pictures of their enhanced breasts.

He hopes that publicising the pictures of the breasts will help police track down the women, who absconded from the clinic where the surgery took place without paying.

One of the women - who gave her name as 'Tanja' - asked to go out to get some 'fresh air' after the £5,400 (€8,000) was completed. She never came back.

Michael Koenig, the Cologne surgeon after the women, said: 'The women registered under fake names. After the operations, which lasted about an hour, they just ran away,' he told Germany's Bild newspaper.

Bild also published a very large picture of two of the breasts in question.

Voting machines too insecure for Dutch election

People in major Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, will find themselves using pencil and paper to cast their votes in the elections in three weeks time. It's emerged that around ten percent of the computerised voting machines are not secure enough and have been withdrawn.

Thirty-five cities are affected and although some may be able to find alternative voting computers, most will have to revert to more old-fashioned means of registering the voter's wishes.

According to the Minister for Electoral Affairs, Atzo Nicolai, the problem machines emit a signal, which can be intercepted and used to see how the votes are being cast. The machines to be withdrawn are made by the Dutch firm SDU - almost 1200 of them will be taken away. They were investigated by the Dutch intelligence service, the AIVD.

Minister Nicolai explained the problem.
"The AIVD found that within 20 or 30 metres of the voting machines there was a signal and that it would be possible using this to see how someone had voted".

The right to secrecy whilst voting is a legal matter and so the government took the step to remove the offending machines. The withdrawal of the machines is in fact the latest step following a remarkable campaign by a group calling themselves "We Don't Trust Voting Computers."

Read the whole article here:

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

EuroBureau July 12, 2006

Happy 200th Birthday, Liechtenstein!

Quick and dirty playlist:
The Busters Summertime Global Ska Sampler
2Raumwohnung Spiel Mit Es wird morgen
Les Matchboxx fauché comme toi
Open Season What Have I done wrong
Jovanotti Soleluna Lorenzo 1994
Marie Fredrikson Summer Meadow
Büne Huber Honigmelonemond
Banabila/Idrissi dodovoiz
Don Willard Opa Tjaka
Stephan Eicher Swim to America
Skaferlatine Louise
Spitfire Mama Mia
Adriano Celentano Dove vai, Jack?
Dr. Calypso Kaspa
Linard Bardill and Bruno Brandenberger Sar Nagliur (Beatles Nowhere Man)
Bartrek Too sad too much too soon
Renaud & Axelle Red Manhattan-Kaboul
Coralie Clement Samba de mon coeur qui bat

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Those crazy Czechs

This is from Radio Prague's "Magazine" of June 10, 2006. Karel Marek pulled a Nissan Patrol for 27 metres with his penis.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Stop the World Cup!

AMSTERDAM, May 28 (Reuters) - A group of Dutch women, fed up with their partners' obsession with soccer, have joined forces to revolt against the World Cup.

"We, the Women for Football-free Netherlands, have rebelled against the World Cup ... Get rid of the World Cup once and forever," their website ( says.

"Women are threatened with being overwhelmed with...

read more.

And check the British version:

Thursday, June 01, 2006

An alternative to watching the World Soccer Cup

The Swiss Tourist Board put out this TV ad, trying to entice the ladies who want to escape the Soccer World Cup madness to come and spend some quality time in Switzerland.

Check out the short video.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Swiss glaciers continue to melt away

Most of Switzerland's glaciers have continued to melt away, according to the latest measurements published by the Swiss Academy of Sciences.
Researchers said on Wednesday the results showed that glaciers were suffering from the effects of warmer and drier weather over the last years.

read the rest of the story on

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Playlist February 1, 2006

Mathieu Boogaerts, Kayornew, Le Pop 3
Jovanotti, La cattiva strada, Faber - Amico Fragile
Alain de la Simone, J'ai changé, Le Pop 3
Andrea Parodi, Astrolicamus, Rough Guide to Meditarranean Café Music
Duo Liebestoll, spe'l clavau (why don't we do it in the road), Lain Fabular (Los Beatles per rumantsch)
Sens Unik, Adam et Eve, Mea Culpa
Yonderboi, Riders on the Storm, Shallow and Profound
Yonderboi, Thousand Bells, Shallow and Profound
Françoiz Breut, Boîte de Nuit, Le Pop 3
Tinu Heiniger, Di vergisseni nie, Heimatland
Loyko, Djelem, Rough Guide to the Music of Russia
Frigg, Solberg,
Frigg, Return from Helsinki,
Kutti MC, That's a protest song, Jugend und Kultur

Playlist January 25, 2006

Nuova Compagnia dell Canto Popolare, Stann Arrivando, La Voce Del Grano
Thomas Fersen, Les Cravates, la Cigale des grands jours
Salsa Celtica, Fuerte, Salsa Europe
Luca Carboni, Onda, Mondo
Pflanzplätz, Chachacha Calzado de cerro, Pflanzplätz live
Jovanotti, Un po di F.U.N.K., Buon Sangue (Bonus CD)
MC Solaar, Hijo de Africa, Mach 6
Amadou & Mariam, Senegal Fast Food, Dimanche à Bamako
Nek, Tu me das, La vita è
Los Apertos, il bagasch, (ticket to ride), Lain Fabular
Les Rita Mitsouko, Melodica, La femme trombone
2Raumwohnung, wir sind die anderen, es wird morgen

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The World Economic Forum 2006 in Davos

You may have heard of it. You may know a lot about it. Did you know you can listen to some of the speeches and presentations from it on your computer, or as a podcast?
I listened to Bill Clinton's talk (he's so eloquent compared to...), and I was going to listen to Angela Merkel's presentation, except I find it extremely difficult to listen to her in German in the background while someone translates her to English in the foreground.
There are many podcasts and other forms of audio and video archives of the last week in Davos (say dav-OHs not DAH-vos). Right here:

You may wonder about who attended the WEF 2006. Here's a list.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Playlist for January 18, 2006

Element of Crime, Mittelpunkt der Welt, Mittelpunkt der Welt
Thomas Fersen, Deux Pieds, La Cigale des Grands Jours,
Roberto Ferri, La romance de Marinelle, Faber -- Amico Fragile
Fiorella Mannoia, Khorekhane, Faber -- Amico Fragile
Open Season, Time to Run
Autour de Lucie, L'autre nous, Immobile
Amadou & Mariam, La Realite, Dimanche a Bamako
Little Big Men, Kater, Extra Large
Zweiraumwohnung, Es wird Morgen, Es wird Morgen
Jolly & the Flytrap, Rain Ride, Electric Polka

Monday, January 16, 2006

Playlist January 11, 2006

Ah, the highway at Confusion Hill was open long enough for J.J. to join me again. He brought a short stack of LP's. Since we had a death in the KMUD community the previous weekend we pulled a few songs dealing with life and death.

Gemma Barra and Louis, Arragon Est-ce ainsi que les hommes vivent, by Leo Ferré
Nana Mouskouri, ?, from a Greek album
Little Big Men featuring Polo Hofer, Rote Wy, Extra Large
Charles Aznavour, Je n'oublirai jamais,
Leo Ferré, Ne chantez pas la mort,
Omala (instrumental music from Sweden)
Renaud, Mort les enfants, Mistral Gagnant
Scala & Kolacny Brothers, Clandestino (orig. by Manu Chao), Respire
Phon Roll, River of Love, Christmas special EP
Yves Montand, Les feuilles mortes,
Charles Trenet, Que reste-t-il de nos amours?
Scala & Kolacny Brothers, Smells like teen-age spirit
Jane Birkin, Comment te dire adieu, Arabesque

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Faber---Amico fragile

I'm just listening again to the two-CD tribute album to Fabrizio de
André. It's wonderful. Although Fabrizio sang his own songs better
than some of the folks in this concert (it's a matter of taste, isn't
it) there is so much emotion in this recording. Highly recommended!

You can read about it in Italian here.

Playlist January 4, 2006

Another show by myself, JJ was facing an hour wait in either direction at Confusion Hill, which could make the trip four hours total. Better to spend that time outside, where the sun was shining between the clouds, and the soggy ground was slowly draining.
So here's what I played:

2raumwohnung, Wolken ziehen vorbei, es wird morgen
Les Matchboxx fauché comme toi from a promo single
Tinu Heiniger, Gueti Zyt, Heimatland
Hamed Daye, Ne me quitte pas, L' hip-hoppée
Mellow Mark, Was geht ab mit der Liebe?, Das 5te Element
Oophoi, Samten, Bardo
Worldnews from Radio Netherlands
Jane Birkin and Caetano Veloso, O leaozinho, Rendez-vous
Lisa, da dove sei, Oceano
Hoven Droven, Norsken, Hippa
Element of Crime, Nur mit Dir, Mittelpunkt der Welt
Swedish news from Radio Sweden
Jolly and the Flytrap, Tout ce que vous voulez, Electric Polka
Autour de Lucie, La verité, immobile
Open Season, Coffee to go, Hot and Fire
Jovanotti, Soleluna, Lorenzo 1994

Playlist December 28, 2005

The last show of the year, and Simon's in the studio by himself, because US Highway 101 at Confusion Hill is closed.

So here's the music I played:

Yello, Blender, Baby
Articolo 31, Come una pietra scalciata, Masked and Anonymous
Pascal Parisot & Frédérique Dastrevigne, Tout va bien, Pop en duo
Les Rita Mitsouko, Evasion, La femme
Sigur Ròs, Takk, Takk
Sigur Ròs, Glösöli, Takk
Dzihan & Kamien, Airport, Gran Riserva
Amadou & Mariam, Djanfe, Dimanche à Bamako
Culcha Candela, Jeder Tag ist ein Comeback, Next Generation
Yonderboi, 100% Trevira, Shallow and Profound
Jovanotti, Tanto, Buon Sangue

As it turned out, this was going to be one of the wettest and stormiest weekends in years. Happy New Year, anyway!