Mon Feb 8th, 2010 at 10:15:10 AM EST
Ha, looks like not everything Swiss is Swiss. For example the Swiss Army Knife.
Swiss Army knife - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Swiss Army knife (French: Couteau suisse, German: Schweizer Offiziersmesser, Italian: Coltellino svizzero) is a brand of multi-function pocket knife or multi-tool. It originated in Ibach Schwyz, Switzerland in 1897. The term "Swiss Army knife" is a registered trademark owned by Wenger S.A. and Victorinox A.G., longtime suppliers of knives to the Swiss Armed Forces. Generally speaking, a Swiss Army knife has a blade as well as various tools, such as screwdrivers and can openers. These attachments are stowed inside the handle of the knife through a pivot point mechanism. The handle is usually red, and features a Victorinox or Wenger "cross" logo or for military issue knives the coat of arms of Switzerland.
The term "Swiss Army knife" is sometimes used metaphorically to describe usefulness, such as a software tool that is a collection of special-purpose tools. The term "Swiss Army knife" was coined by US soldiers after World War II, presumably because they had trouble pronouncing its original name, "Offiziersmesser". The "Swiss Army knife" has been added to the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Munich's State Museum of Applied Art for its design.
Well, it looks like it a Roman predecessor - the Roman Army Knife.
And as the Daily Mail reports, it s is approximately 1800 years older than the Swiss Army knife. The Roman Army Knife: Or how the ingenuity of the Swiss was beaten by 1,800 years | Mail Online
The world's first Swiss Army knife' has been revealed - made 1,800 years before its modern counterpart.
An intricately designed Roman implement, which dates back to 200AD, it is made from silver but has an iron blade.
It features a spoon, fork as well as a retractable spike, spatula and small tooth-pick.
Experts believe the spike may have been used by the Romans to extract meat from snails.
You can find additional pictures here.
Bulgarian women seem to be on the rise again.
The Female Factor - Women Achieving Influence in Bulgarian Public Life - Series - NYTimes.com
SOFIA -- Prime Minister Boiko M. Borisov of Bulgaria, a thick-necked former karate instructor, bodyguard and onetime fireman, may seem an unlikely feminist. But the former tough guy mayor of Sofia has in recent months promoted a legion of women, heralding what some are calling a sexual revolution in the politics of this abidingly macho Balkan country.
When you google about Bulgarian women, you come primarely across links for marriage agencies for Bulgarian women seeking Western Husbands. Or about women that were successful is sports. At least this is what we can see mostly looking from the west.
The 'the echo' a newspaper from Sofia picks up the topic from the NYT.
New York Times: Borissov favours women for high office - Bulgaria - The Sofia Echo
An article in the New York Times by Dan Bilefsky comments on the ascendancy of women in Bulgaria under the leadership of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, noting that although the "thick-necked former karate instructor, bodyguard and onetime fireman may seem an unlikely feminist" many women have been appointed to high office since his ruling party GERB came to power in July 2009.
The newspaper quotes Borissov as saying that "women are more diligent than men, and they don't take long lunches or go to the bar". The article also notes that Borissov's role models are his mother and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
"Women have stronger characters than men because when they say no they mean no, and they are less corruptible," Borissov is quoted as saying.
Bilefsky notes that Bulgarian women in high places include the Justice Minister (Margarita Popova), the mayor of Sofia (Yordanka Fandukova), the speaker of Parliament (Tsetska Tsacheva) and the nominee to lead the European Union's humanitarian aid (Kristalina Georgieva).
And the last topic for today is the "Narrenzeit" or loosely translated "the season of the fools" - meaning Carnival and Fastnacht is approaching now, in many places of Europe.
On of the earliest in the season is the Carnevale di Venezia, which is often considered one of the most beautiful ones.
Wiki has more on the history of the Carnevale.
Carnival of Venice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Though it probably had much earlier roots, the Carnival in Venice was supposedly first recorded in 1296, when the Senate of the Republic issued an edict declaring the day before Lent as a public holiday. Much as in other cities, Medieval and Renaissance Venetians appear to have celebrated Carnival in several guises. On the one hand, it was an official festival, for the most part staged in Piazza San Marco, the Piazzetta, in the courtyard of the Ducal Palace, or out in the Bacino of San Marco - the basin adjoining the Molo. These events, especially during and after the sixteenth century, celebrated the founding and governing myths of the state - its tranquility, durability, prosperity, fairness, and piety. Some of these official festivities were violent - oxen and pigs were let loose in the Palace courtyard and then slaughtered - but they still conveyed the overarching theme of civic unity. On the other hand, a good deal of popular energy during Carnival was directed into group rivalries, between parishes or between large geographic factions that divided the city. These could be extremely violent at times, involving bull fights, the running of oxen or pigs down the streets, or mass brawls with sticks or fists, often on bridges.
The Telegraph has more pictures.