Switzerland: Swiss photographer wins Wiki monuments award
A photograph of a Swiss train travelling over a bridge against a snowy backdrop won this year’s annual Wiki Loves Monuments global photo competition.
The picture, taken by photographer David Gubler, shows a passenger train on the limestone Wiesen Viaduct of the Rhaetian Railway in the canton of Graubünden. It was judged the best photo from more than 365,000 submissions in the competition, organizers announced on Tuesday.
Regarded as the biggest of its kind in the world, the contest is put together by Wikimedia, the organization behind Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia. Winners were selected from freely licensed photos of monuments used to illustrate Wiki articles. …
Prices for specialty timbers are skyrocketing, prompting fears for the future of Tasmania’s boat-building and fine furniture industries.
Leading Tasmanian boat builder Andrew Denman says he is paying twice as much for specialty timber since the implementation of the Tasmanian Forests Agreement.
And fine furniture builder George Harris says his industry is also seeing significant price hikes. “Some timber is just not available,” Mr Harris said. …
Bhutan: A Public Library on Wheels
Save The Children initiative to deliver material to members’ doorsteps, as it were.
Rathina, loves reading. But with the public library located away from his home in Changedaphu, the 11-year-old’s mother doesn’t allow him to go out alone.
However, with a mobile library now in place, Rathina is thrilled. “My mother takes me to the library, whenever she’s free during weekends, but that’s once in a while,” the class III student from Changzamtog middle secondary school, said. …
South Korea: Sending off a year with a bang
The final day of the year is a big day in most cultures but Koreans take things a step further, seemingly dedicating the entire month of December to wrapping up the year. In the run up to the Dec. 31 ringing of the Boshingak bell, December is packed with year-end events that range from heavy drinking with colleagues and friends to fortune-telling.
The Korean word for end of year events “songnyeonhoe” literally means “send off for the year” and many choose to send the year off in a sea of alcohol. Drinking for work is a major part of Korean culture, so much so that “business boozing” was included on CNN’s list of “10 things South Korea does better than anywhere else.” …
The Korea Herald
Nearly three quarters of Germans are feeling optimistic about the coming year, a report released on Friday suggested. This is a significant increase on the year before.
Young people were most optimistic about 2014, with 81 percent of 14 – 34-year-olds telling think-tank Hamburg BAT that they were feeling positive about the new year.
On the whole, 72 percent of Germans said they felt optimistic about 2014, compared with 59 percent in 2013. In western Germany, this figure stood at 74 percent of the 2,000 people asked. In the east it was slightly lower at 66 percent. …
Nasal spray containing oxytocin, an empathy hormone, may lessen the severity of symptoms in people suffering from a mild form of autism, a study by researchers at the University of Tokyo has found.
The research using the nasal spray to treat adults with mild autism who do not have any other form of mental disability found improved communication skills among the subjects, the researchers said. …
The Asahi Shimbun
Deputy mayor says current building projects around the city are out of the price range of the average worker.
In just over a decade, Copenhagen has been transformed into a city for the wealthy. As wage levels and housing prices continue to soar, low-wage earners are literally getting priced out of town.
New figures from Statistics Denmark show that the number of city dwellers in the capital who earn over 400,000 kroner a year has almost tripled from seven percent in 2000 to twenty percent in 2011. …
The Copenhagen Post