Number 24 and counting — The new Karo Diary has arrived.
1 December 2017 — Hip hip hurray! The 24th edition of our Karo Diary has arrived and is ready for shipping. If you would like to personally pick up your own copy, please stop in on our release party this Friday, 8 December, from 6 pm until 10 pm.
We are pleased to welcome special guests Gustav Gurke & Peter Paprika, Bohemian songsmiths playing whimsical ballads on Real Guitar and Casio Supermini E-Piano. In addition, our favorite local singer-songwriter Marco Naef will be performing new songs from his upcoming debut album King of the Bees. Don’t miss this chance to see some great performers in an intimate atmosphere!
Release Party: Friday, 8 December 2017, 6 pm until 10 pm, St. Johanns-Vorstadt 15, Basel.
24th Edition. The old school diary features the Port of Basel-Kleinhüningen. 148 x 180 mm, 128 pp., hardcover with exposed, robust, linen-covered spine and sewn binding, in English and German. Spiffy new price: CHF 34, Euro 29 plus shipping.
Still going strong — The 2018 Karo Diary.
3 November 2017 — The new edition of our Karo Diary will be out soon. Please check back here for further details.
24th Edition. The old school diary features the Port of Basel-Kleinhüningen. 148 x 180 mm, 128 pp., hardcover with exposed, robust, linen-covered spine and sewn binding, in English and German. Spiffy new price: CHF 34, Euro 29 plus shipping.
Last call for support — Marco Naef’s crowdfunding campaign ending soon.
Marco Naef in the studio with music producer Alain Meyer, as featured in his crowdfunding video.
28 September 2017 — It has been a pretty exciting month, watching the Swiss franks trickle in on Marco Naef’s crowdfunding campaign. On the first day alone Marco took in 10% of his goal of CHF 12,500. And now with just five days to go, we’re hoping to surpass that amount. So if you haven’t already taken part, or if you already have donated and still have a hole burning in your pocket, please chip in before October 3rd. Every drop in the bucket is greatly appreciated, plus there are some great rewards to be had!
> We Make It crowdfunding
> Marco’s crowdfunding video on YouTube
> Sample from the title track of the album
> Nicolas Heitz, Film maker
In the pipeline and ready for the crowd — Marco Naef’s new solo LP.
“If you want to create something unique, it requires passion, endurance, patience and discipline.” — M.N.
14 August 2017 — Marco Naef, bass player of the now defunct Basel-based rock band Navel, will release his first album with his solo project The Night Is Still Young. The album cover will be designed by us and will appear in a limited edition of 500 pieces. Each album will be hand-numbered and signed and will include nine songs which Marco Naef has written over the past ten years.
The tracks are being mixed and now he is putting on the finishing touches and doing a lot of paperwork.
Since you rarely find a musician with loads of money bursting from their pockets, we will be starting a crowdfunding campaign very soon to help cover the production costs. Stay tuned for more information.
> The Night Is Still Young — official website
> The Night Is Still Young — FB
> Our article on Marco Naef, December 2013
Basel’s absolutely best brunch — Zum Onkel.
Good news at the breakfast table — Basel will soon have a new music fanzine called Overdrive.
12 August 2017 — If you haven’t already been to Zum Onkel in Kleinbasel, you’ve been missing out on the best brunch in town. Be sure to try the tortilla española and the delicious guacamole which — according to the chef — has a few secret ingredients such as good quality olive oil and basil.
Brunch à discretion is available only on weekends from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The price of 29 francs per person may seem a bit high for just brunch, but that includes cappuccino, juice, a fine selection of sliced meats including Swiss Bündnerfleisch and Rohschinken, cheeses, bread and Gipfeli from local Bäckerei Kult, homemade marmalades, three minute eggs, savory vegetable salad, not too sweet cakes and fresh fruit salad.
Considering the amount of TLC put into the buffet, and the fact it is à discretion (all-you-can-eat), you won’t be disappointed.
> Zum Onkel, Mörsbergerstrasse 2
> Bäckerei Kult, Riehentorstrasse 18
> Overdrive music fanzine
Cindy Sherman — One of the greatest goes Instagram.
Cindy Sherman, And the more innocent version…, 2017, Instagram.
7 August 2017 — Cindy Sherman’s print Untitled #96 was auctioned in 2011 for $3.9 million, the highest amount ever paid for a photograph at that time. Just a year and a half ago she expressed her distain for the superficialities of social media, claiming it seems so vulgar to me. But just recently, she has jumped on the bandwagon and has made her public debut on Instagram.
Untitled #96, Self-portrait, 1981.
Untitled (Self-portrait with Mr. Frieda, a 26-year-old macaw), 2017, Instagram.
On the mend and Am I cured doctor?, 2017, Instagram.
Cindy Sherman has been making self-portraits way before the term selfie became popular around 2005. Self-portraits — a representation of an artist that is either drawn, painted, photographed, or sculpted by that artist — date back to at least 1433, with Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man.
Jan van Eyck: Portrait of a Man, 1433, National Gallery, London.
Cindy Sherman: Untitled #402, 2000, Astrup Fearnley Collection, Oslo.
Untitled and Back from the gym, 2017, Instagram.
Cindy Sherman is best known for her series Untitled Film Stills from the late 1970s. Over the years she has transformed herself into medieval portrait sitters, patients of plastic surgery botches, and, more recently, clowns and aging women. Her work has been influential over the past three decades of her career, and her exploration of subjectivity and identity continues to inform a growing generation of artists.
> Cindy Sherman on Instagram
> NY Times article on Cindy Sherman, 6 August 2017
And here is our own personal list of Top 10 Contemporary Photographers:
> Diane Arbus
> Richard Avedon
> Kevin Cummins
> Nan Goldin
> Richard Kern
> Vivian Maier
> Sally Mann
> Cindy Sherman
> Jürgen Teller
> Joel Peter Witkin
Capitalization in Titles — American-Style.
All caps typography can appear elegant on album covers, but in emails it is considered to be internet code for YELLING.
3 July 2017 — If you have been paying attention to the labelling on digital music files over the past few decades, you may have noticed that very few people know which English words in a title should be capitalized. Back in the olden days, many bands relied on all caps for their handwritten artwork. Once we entered the Digital Age, song titles and even entire emails were being typed in all lower-case letters. Somehow this notion was derived from the fact that you didn’t need to use capital letters with search engines, and it became sort of a cool, designy way to publish what you wanted to say.
The general trend these days in using capitalization in song titles is to Capitalize Every Word, regardless of what kind of word it is (not to be confused with the latest fad of A. Period. After. Each. Word.). This can be rather annoying, as Shadow of a Doubt looks much nicer than Shadow Of A Doubt.
UK-style: Note the track listing here differs from the original album cover.
Lazy-Style: Note The Track Listing Here Differs From The Original Album Cover.
Chicago Manual of Style: Note the Track Listing Here Differs from the Original Album Cover.
In German there are very clear rules for capitalization and basically the first letter of a sentence and all nouns are capitalized, plus a few exceptions. German adjectives — including those of nationality — are not capitalized. This explains common capitalization errors from the German to English: swiss language is written instead of Swiss language or subtitles in english should read subtitles in English.
During the Reform der deutschen Rechtschreibung von 1996 (German Orthography Reform of 1996) it actually came into question whether or not to remove the capitalization of all German nouns, but fortunately this idea was deterred by large media organizations including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
One way of dealing with capitalization is to implement a manual caps lock with your writing instrument.
Even native English speakers make mistakes with capitalization in titles, as it is a very tricky part of the language. There are a few ways people tend to deal with the problem: they either capitalize every word, or capitalize words which contain three or more letters. In the UK, people tend to only capitalize the first letter in a sentence and proper nouns. As mentioned, in Switzerland the problem is handled in an even more drastic manner. More often than not, capitalization is completely ignored and all words — including the first letter of sentences or phrases — are written in lower case. Not. Very. Professional.
But in the US, the rules are more complex:
What to Capitalize in a Title
1. Always capitalize the first and last word of a title (no matter what kind of word it is);
2. Always capitalize the following five word categories: Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs;
3. Always capitalize words of five or more letters, regardless of whether the word falls into one of the above five categories;
-- Examples of prepositions with five or more letters: Within, About, Among, Between;
-- Examples of conjunctions/subordinating conjunctions with five or more letters: While, Where, Until, Because, Although.
What not to Capitalize in Titles
1. Do not capitalize prepositions and conjunctions of four or fewer letters;
-- Examples of prepositions not to be capitalized (four or fewer letters): at, by, down, for, from, in, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, over, past, to, upon, with;
-- Examples of conjunctions not to be capitalized (four or fewer letters): and, as, but, for, if, nor, once, or, so, than, that, till, when, yet;
2. Never capitalize the particle to, even when used as an infinitive (meaning with a verb).
For example: to See, to Read, to Write, etc.
3. Never capitalize articles: a, an, the.
Do capitalize these words in a title: About, Above, Across, After, Against, Along, Although, Among, Around, Because, Before, Behind, Below, Beneath, Beside, Between, During, Except, Inside, Outside, Since, Through, Toward, Under, Underneath, Unless, Until, Whenever, Where, Whereas, Wherever, While, Within, Without.
Do not capitalize these words in a title: and, as, as if, as long as, at, but, buy, even if, for, from, if, if only, in, into, like, near, now that, nor, of, off, on, on top of, once, onto, or, out of, over, past, so, so that, than, that, till, to, up, upon, with, when, yet.
And finally, here is a list of difficult word groupings:
in Front of
in Order that
For those who cannot seem to make heads or tails of this, there is a handy online tool called TitleCap which helps with capitalization and explains the rules pertinant to your specific title.
> TitleCap — online capitalization tool
> Read more from Jennifer Frost on her blog Grammar Check
K’Werk Art & Design School — The new schedule is out now.
1 July 2017 — The brand new schedule for K’Werk Bildschule is fresh off the press. The school offers a total of 21 weekly classes and 5 workshops for children and young adults between the ages of 6 to 16. The next set of classes begins on Monday, August 28th and will run until the end of December 2017.
Be sure to register early if you want to attend, as Film and Video, Game Design, Experimental Workshop, Animation, Cloth & Thread and Painting are already fully booked. The new schedule also features short biographies of the 19 instructors who work as either art educators, artists, artisans or designers in their respective fields — giving students a better idea what is possible when working in a creative profession.
> K’Werk class schedule
> More about the graphic design and printing
Go Local! Part IX: — Rapperswil, one big bed of roses.
7 June 2017 — It is pretty clear why Rapperswil is known as the town of roses. Not only does its coat of arms display roses, but if you stroll around the narrow medieval streets, practically every nook and cranny is bursting with rosebushes.
There is a beautiful rose garden at the Capuchin Monastary (Kapuzinerkloster) and the Antoniusgrotte (St. Anthony’s Grotto) is dedicated to Anthony of Padua (1195–1231), a Franciscan friar from Portugal. Be sure to visit the Schloss Rapperswil which is perched atop the rocky hill on the banks of the Lake of Zurich – the castle was first mentioned in documents dating back to 1229.
The garden is made up of around 3000 plants from 150 varieties of roses.
View overlooking the gardens on Lindenhof Hill and in the distance, the longest wooden bridge in Switzerland.
> Official town website (in German)
> Rapperswil on Wiki
Go Local! Part VIII: — Oberwil’s Mini-Airport.
15 May 2017 — Out in the middle of a big field in Oberwil near Basel, one might stumble across this miniature airport, complete with authentic tarmac and groomed lawns surrounding the 80 meter long runway. The term tarmac is a type of road surfacing material patented in 1902 by English inventor Edgar Purnell Hooley. Tarmac can be interchanged with words for an airport apron, taxiway or runway, regardless of the surface.
No helicopters are allowed to land here and only members are allowed to use the field, but the surrounding views are worth the visit, even if you are not a pilot.
Stormy clouds on the horizons, looking towards the Alsace in France and the Black Forest of southern Germany.
> Swiss Model Airplane Club (in German)
> Oberwil, Baselland
Go Local! Part VII: — Ittingen Charterhouse.
25 April 2017 — The Ittingen Charterhouse is a former Carthusian monastery with over 850 years of history. It is one of the most important cultural sites in the Thurgau region of northeastern Switerland. Today it continues to promote traditional monastic values such as hospitality, caring for one another, self-sufficiency, spirituality, and the nurturing of culture and education, among others.
The monastery hop field is ready for the new season. The hop plant is a perennial, growing back every year without having to replant. There are hundreds of varieties, most commonly grown for the female flowers used for flavoring in beer.
Visitors can learn about the lives of the Carthusian monks at the Ittingen Museum, or take in the contemporary art at the Thurgau Art Museum. There are gardens and a labyrinth to explore, as well as a restaurant offering terrific local cuisine made from many of the products that are produced on the grounds. Be sure to try a fresh glass of Ittingen Amber beer, made with the monastery’s own hops or stop in the gift shop for some cheese, smoked sausage, nettle tea or potted herbs from the garten.
The monastary first opened around 1150. A charterhouse is usually made up of a small community of hermits. The focus of Carthusian life is contemplation with emphasis on solitude and silence.
Stinging nettles have been cultivated mainly in monastic gardens to be used for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages or longer. The healing properties of the plant include anti-inflammation, blood-purification, metabolic-stimulation (useful in weight reduction) and detox. The nettle and its healing effects are included in the writings of Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179), a Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher and visionary from Germany.
> Ittingen Charterhouse
> Hildegard of Bingen
Up in the Swiss Alps — Alpetta Restaurant.
The Alpetta is a rustic stone ski lodge in the Engadin Alps. With a cozy restaurant and large sun terrace, the Alpetta bravely stands out among other gentrified (the Swiss would say chici-mici) taverns. They offer traditional, freshly cooked local dishes, including delicious polenta with Bergkäse (cheese made up in the Alps) and white truffles, authentic Swiss fondue and Raclette and game specialties which Dorigo the owner hunts down himself, such as stag and venison, chamois (alpine goat-antelope) and Murmeltier (something like a groundhog).
For those who are less adventurous, there are also excellent dishes and desserts such as Tafelspitz, a slowly cooked filet of beef, Bündnerfleisch (air-dried meat), grilled sausages, salads, and Swiss-style fruit pies. You will not leave feeling hungry!
The Alpetta is located at 2,272 meters on the Corvatsch mountain, halfway down the ski slope between the Alp Surlej middle station and the valley chairlift station. The restaurant is easily accessible by ski or snowboard, unfortunately there are no winter hiking trails to the restaurant, so dress properly and follow the ski run if you are crazy enough to go by foot.
> Alpette Mountain Restaurant, Corvatsch
> Alpette’s webcam
> the Chamois
> the Marmot
> Swiss Raclette
Part I: The Erasmus Writings — A Modern Translation.
Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami: Colloquia familiaria, originally published in 1518 (this edition was published in 1747 in Ulm).
21 February 2017 — It seems appropriate to look back into history in search of some insight to help us cope with the difficult times the world faces today. This is the first part in a series highlighting the writings of Gerhardus Gerhardi, better known as Erasmus von Rotterdam, the humanist born around 1466/69 in the Netherlands.
The Colloquia familiaria (literally dialogue of acquaintances) is a collection of written works on a wide variety of subjects. It was first published in November 1518 without Erasmus’ knowledge or consent by Johann Froben, a well-established printer and publisher in Basel. His print shop was located at Totengässlein 1/3 in the Haus zum Sessel, where the Pharmacy Museum is located today.
Erasmus’ work remains an inspiration to this day and — in his spirit — we have taken the liberty to modernize the English translation of this work, using both English and German sources. This might help non-native speakers understand Erasmus’ strong opinion on war, something that one does not necessarily take into consideration today. But first, check out the beautiful book design!
This edition begins with a four page biography of Erasmus.
In German, you could call this a Bleiwüste — a desert of lead (type).
The epitaph which is found on Erasmus’ tomb at the Basel Minster is also included:
Christo Servatori S.
Des. Erasmo Roterodamo, viro omnibus modis maximo, cuius incomparabilem in omni disciplinarum genere eruditionem pari coniunctam prudentia posteri et admirabuntur et praedicabunt, Bonifacius Amerbachius, Hier. Frobenius, Nic. Episcopius, haeres et nuncupati supremae suae voluntatis vindices, patrono optimo, non memoriae, quam immortalem sibi editis lucubrationibus comparavit, iis tantisper, dum orbis terrarum stabit, superfuturo ac eruditis ubique gentium colloquuturo, sed corporis mortalis, quo reconditum sit, ergo hoc saxum posuere. Mortuus est IIII. Eidus Julii iam septuagenarius anno a Christo nato MDXXXVI.
Christ consecrated to the savior
Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, a splendid man in every respect, whose unparalleled education in all forms of science (combined with equivalent wisdom), will be admired and praised for future generations to come, Bonifacius Amerbach(ius), Hieronymus Froben(ius), and Nic. Bischoff as heirs and executors of his last will to him, the distinguished patron, not for his memory, which he himself has made immortal through the publication of his intellectual labors, by which he will continue to live as long as the world is, and will speak with all educated people, but for this mortal body, so that it may be buried, set this stone. He died on the fourth day before the Ides of July (= 12 July), already 70, in 1536.
Hanno. Thrasymachus. — A Soldier’s Confession.
The discussion. The immoral life of soldiers is criticized and shown to be quite miserable. War is a place of confusion, corruption and all types of evil habits. During war there is no distinction made between things that are sacred and things that are vulgar. The desire to plunder others’ belongings attracts many men to becoming soldiers. The lack of any proper respect in military life is illustrated by the confession of a soldier and just how youth may be enticed into joining the army.
Hanno — How does it come about that you went away as a Mercury and came back a Vulcan?
Thrasymachus — Why do you talk to me about your Mercuries and your Vulcans?
Hanno — Because you looked like you were ready to fly when leaving, but you’ve returned home limping.
Thrasymachus — That is usually how soldiers return.
Hanno — Why are you a soldier at war, you run away quicker than a deer when the enemy is at your heels.
Thrasymachus — The hopes of filling my pockets made me courageous.
Hanno — Well then, have you brought home a big pile of plundered goods?
Thrasymachus — Just the opposite, my pockets are empty.
Hanno — Then you’re traveling with a light load.
Thrasymachus — Instead I am carrying the heavy burden of sin.
Hanno — That’s heavy baggage indeed, if the prophet is correct in saying that sin is like lead.
Thrasymachus — I have seen and taken part in more crimes than those in the course of my entire life beforehand.
Hanno — How do you like the life of a soldier?
Thrasymachus — There is nothing more sinister or disastrous.
Hanno — Then what are those people thinking, for such little money, or some do it out of curiosity, running with great haste into battle as if it were a banquet?
Thrasymachus — I cannot explain it other than that they are possessed by demons, a pact with the devil, where they then experience the misery of hell on earth.
Hanno — So one would think. They cannot be talked into doing an honest business, if there is no money involved. But tell me, how did the battle go? Who is getting closer to becoming the winner?
Thrasymachus — There was such an uproar and confusion — trumpets blaring and the thundering of horns, whinnying of horses, men shouting —, I couldn’t see what was going on, I hardly knew where I was.
Hanno — Why do others come home and are able to recall all of the details, what they did and what they said, as if they were just casually drifting along during the actual battle?
Thrasymachus — In my opinion they must be lying through their teeth. I can tell you what happened in my tent, but as to what happened during the battle, I have absolutely no idea.
Hanno — So you don’t know how you injured your leg?
Thrasymachus — I honestly can’t say. I suppose it was hurt either by a flying object or the hoof of a horse or something.
Hanno — I know how it happened.
Thrasymachus — Really? Did somebody tell you?
Hanno — No, but I am guessing.
Thrasymachus — Then tell me!
Hanno — When you were running away in a panic, you fell down and hit your knee on a stone.
Thrasymachus — Send me to hell if you haven’t hit the nail on the head!
Hanno — Go, get yourself home now and tell your wife of your triumphs!
Thrasymachus — She won’t be singing a friendly song of praise when I come home in such a mess.
Hanno — But how will you repay what you have stolen?
Thrasymachus — I’ve already done that.
Hanno — To whom?
Thrasymachus — To the whores, the barkeepers and those who beat me playing dice.
Hanno — That’s like a true soldier. Win nasty, lose even more disgustingly. This holds true, but you certainly didn’t disgrace the church, did you?
Thrasymachus — Nothing is sacred in war, we did not spare private homes nor churches.
Hanno — How will you make up for this?
Thrasymachus — They say one must not repent for what happened. Everything is lawful in war.
Hanno — You mean by the law of arms, I suppose?
Thrasymachus — You guessed it.
Hanno — But that law is the highest of injustice. It was not the love for your country, but the desire to plunder that made you become a soldier.
Thrasymachus — I confess, but I believe very few go to war with better intentions.
Hanno — That is indeed some excuse to go mad with the greater part of mankind.
Thrasymachus — I once heard a preacher in his pulpit say that war was lawful.
Hanno — Pulpits indeed are the oracles of truth. But war may be lawful for a Prince, and yet not so for you.
Thrasymachus — I have heard that every man must live by his trade.
Hanno — A very honourable trade indeed! Burning houses, robbing churches, raping nuns, plundering the poor and murdering the innocent!
Thrasymachus — Butchers are hired to kill animals, so why is our trade wrong because we are hired to kill men?
Hanno — But didn’t you ever worry what would happen to your soul if you were killed at battle?
Thrasymachus — Not really! I hoped for the best and I entrusted myself to St. Barbara (the patron saint of artillerymen).
Hanno — And did she protect you?
Thrasymachus — I guess so, as I got the impression she gave me a little nod.
Hanno — What time was it? In the morning?
Thrasymachus — No, no, it was after supper.
Hanno — And at that time of day I suppose the trees seemed to go for a stroll too?
Thrasymachus — How this man guesses everything! But St. Christopher (the patron saint of travelers) was the one I depended on most, whose picture was always on my mind.
Hanno — What, in your tent? How do the saints get there?
Thrasymachus — We had drawn him with charcoal on a piece of cloth.
Hanno — Then obviously that Christopher of coal was a real trusting soul? No joke, but I don’t see how you can expect to be forgiven for all of these villainous acts, unless you make a pilgrimage to Rome.
Thrasymachus — Yes I can, I know a quicker way than that.
Hanno — Which way is that?
Thrasymachus — I’ll go to the Black Friars and make a trade off.
Hanno — What? For your sacrilegious acts?
Thrasymachus — Yes, if I had robbed Christ himself and beaten him off afterwards, they have generous pardons that would take care of things and they have the power to forgive.
Hanno — That is well indeed, if God should reconcile your acts.
Thrasymachus — No, I am rather afraid the devil should not agree; but God has a forgiving nature.
Hanno — Which priest will you go to?
Thrasymachus — One I know who has little reasoning or conscience.
Hanno — Sounds like the green fodder has found the appropriate mouth. And when it’s over, you’ll go straight off to receive communion, just like a good Christian, won’t you?
Thrasymachus — Why shouldn’t I? Once I have unloaded my burden into his cap, I’ll be free again. Then we’ll see how he deals with it.
Hanno — But how can you be certain that he really absolves you of your sins?
Thrasymachus — I know he will.
Hanno — How do you can you be sure?
Thrasymachus — Because he lays his hand on my head and mutters something. I’m not exactly sure what.
Hanno — What if he gives you back all your sins when he lays his hand on your head and mumbles something like, “I release you from all those good deeds, of which I find few or none; I restore you back to just how I found you.”
Thrasymachus — Let him say what he wants, it is enough for me to believe that I am absolved.
Hanno — But you run a great hazard in believing that, for maybe that will not be good enough to God, to whom you are indebted.
Thrasymachus — Why of all people did you have to cross my path, fueling a bad conscience, which was at peace before?
Hanno — No, I think it was a very lucky encounter, meeting a friend with some good advice.
Thrasymachus — I can’t tell how good it is, in any case, it was not very pleasant.
Militis confessio, a soldier’s confession. The main characters’ names were abbreviated to save time and space on the page.
> Erasmus’ tombstone in the Basel Minster (in German)
Go Local! Part VI: The Zurich Succulent Collection.
The collection is made up of around 4,500 different species of succulent plants from 70 botanical families and has a total of approximately 25,000 individual plants.
13 February 2017 — In the late 1920s, retiring professional cactus nursery owner Jakob Gasser tried to sell his private collection of cacti to the City of Zurich, which turned down his offer. In 1929, department store owner Julius Brann ultimately acquired the collection of 1,516 plants and donated it to the city two years later. In 1931, the Municipal Cactus Collection (Städtische Kakteensammlung), as it was then called, opened to the public on the former site of the city garden.
The Succulent Collection now includes seven greenhouses, 16 heatable cold frames and an outdoor rock garden with winter-hardy succulents. The collection owes its distinguished reputation mainly to the herbarium, a plant archive with some 30,000 preserved specimens and a meticulously updated database, which has become a vital source for research and conservation. Since 2004 the collection is supported by the Swiss Unesco Commission.
Euphorbia cereiformis is native to South Africa.
Creating such a collection from scratch would be an impossible feat today. Apart from not being able to match the sheer diversity and the size of the plants – mostly only seedlings would be available today – there are strict rules on what can be brought into Switzerland under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITAS).
Succulents have the ability to store water which enables them to survive in regions with periodic droughts. They have developed amazing morphological adaptations for this purpose. Commonly known succulents are cacti, agaves and aloes. They are native to semi-deserts, steppes and extreme rocky areas in mountainous regions. A succulent plant fills its water reserve during a usually short rainy season, when growth, flowering and the bearing of fruit takes place.
Quite impressively, roughly one third to one half of all known succulent plants are cultivated at the ‘Sukki’.
Myrtillocactus geometrizans, with a special ‘crested’ or ‘cockscomb’ formation.
Admission to the collection is free of charge and it is open 365 days a year, from 9 am until 4:30 pm.
If you have questions about your own plants, you may talk to an expert on Wednesdays from 2 to 4 pm. And if you are feeling adventurous, you may purchace small potted cacti or even seeds to start your very own collection, and the yearly Cactus Market will be held on June 1oth, from 11 am until 5 pm.
Zurich Succulent Collection, Mythenquai 88, 8002 Zurich, Telephone +41 44 412 12 80.
Directions: Take tram 7 to Brunaustrasse or bus 161/165 to the Sukkulenten-Sammlung stop.
> The Zurich Succulent Collection (in German)
> Friends of the Collection (in German)
Go Local! Part V: Tropical Greenhouse at the Botanical Garden.
The tropical greenhouse contains over 700 plants and a few animals, such as these turtles hiding out in the jungle.
5 February 2017 — There is no better way to tank up on some dazzling green foliage durings Basel’s dreary winter months. The Botanical Garden is free to the public and is open 365 days a year, from 8:00 until 5 pm from November to March, and until 6 pm from April until October. Not only is it well worth the visit, your eyeballs will be thanking you!
The Aloe ferox is indigenous to southern Africa.
Greenovia aurea, commonly known as Green Rose Buds, are native to the Canary Islands.
The Cycas is a very ancient genus of trees, with over 113 various species. Here is the Cycas rumphii.
The spiny Ceiba pentandra, kapok or white silk-cotton tree is native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, northern South America, and west Africa. The name refers to the cotton-like fluff which is found in its seed pods.
Echinocactus grusonii, known as the golden barrel cactus or mother-in-law’s cushion, is native to Central Mexico.
And for real plant freaks, the yearly membership to the University garden club costs only CHF 10. Not only will you receive information about special projects, tours, exhibitions and publications, you can also get professional advice on your own garden.
> Botanischer Garten der Universität Basel (in German).
Pictures say more than a thousand words.
The inauguration crowds for Donald Trump at 11:04 in 2017 (left) and Barack Obama at 11:30 in 2009.
(Photos: Emily Barnes, Getty and Lucas Jackson, Reuters)
Women’s March on Washington DC (Photo: Chang Lee, NY Times).
22 January 2017 — In addition to the Women’s March yesterday in Washington DC, solidarity marches took place in other US cities, as well as in many other countries. In the USA alone, approximately 3.2 million people took part in the rallies.
Karl Gerstner: er and distinguished authority on Swiss typography has passed on.
3 January 2017 — Swiss painter, draftsman, sculptor, er and art theorist Karl Gerstner passed away on New Year’s Day at the University Hospital (Universitätsspital) in Basel at the age of 86.
Born in Basel in 1930, Karl Gerstner studied with Emil Ruder at the Basel General Trade School (Allgemeine Gewerbeschule) in the 1960s.
Swissair corporate identity, 1978
Auch Du bist Liberal poster, 1959, offset lithography, 127.6 x 90.1 cm
He founded an advertising agency with Markus Kutter in 1959, which became the GGK when Paul Gredinger joined the team in 1962. The agency produced commercial graphics for companies such as Geigy, Langenscheidt, Ringier and Swissair and later, they also focused on editorial design.
Mr. Gerstner wrote extensively on and typography theory, some of which have become standard works. In the 1960s he was active as an artist and took part in major exhibitions, including the documenta in Kassel/Deutschland.
Gerstner’s work lives from the richness of forms and colors.
One of his concerns was to make art more available to larger groups of individuals, and in the 1950s, he offered art reproductions at reasonable prices and took part in the first edition of Multiples, the MAT edition, created by Daniel Spoerri. Karl Gerstner was also a passionate art collector. In 2006, his archive was donated to the Swiss National Library (Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek) in Bern.
> A portion of this article is from the Basler Zeitung.
No introductions necessary: 2017.
2 January 2017 — According to Iggy Pop, more than all of the other rock musicians, David Bowie was interested in people — really interested, especially in other people in the arts. He would say something like, “OK, who are you and what are you thinking about? How do you do what you do?” And he appreciated oddballs — people who looked different and spoke in a certain way.
David Bowie had a strong curiosity and very absolute aesthetic values. He also had a certain rigor. If he saw something in another artist he admired, if they didn’t pick up that ball and run with it, he didn’t have any problem saying, “Well, if you’re not going to do it, I will. I’ll do this thing you should have done.” And that was very valid.
So, in memory of Mr. Bowie, let’s get on with this new year and make the most of it!