|Hermine Speier at work in the Vatican Museum|
In 1934, Hermine Speier became the first female employee in the Vatican in the modern sense of employee with a salary and a pension plan. She wasn’t a nun, and more surprisingly, she wasn’t even Catholic.
Indian President Prathibha Patil has been on a two days state visit in Switzerland. She started the official program of her visit in Bern (seat of the Swiss federal government) and continued through Lausanne to Geneva from where she left for a state visit to Austria.
|Prathibha Patil and Micheline Calmy-Rey|
Many might think that having a Royal Duchess as a daughter must be like a dream come true. The reality is far from that. That being related to a member of the Royal Family resembles more to a nightmare is mainly due to the press and the media.
|Carole Middleton, family matriarch|
Roman Polanski will return to Zurich to receive a prize for his life work. While the paedophile filmmaker will be holding court to lap up public adulation from fellow paedophiles, Switzerland is powerless to hinder him due to a malfunction in the American legal system.
|Roman Polanski, paedophile film director|
Dr James Barry studied at Edinburgh and qualified with a Medical Doctorate. He entered the army and had a sterling career there. But not all things were as they seemed at the time. Who was Dr James Barry?
|Dr James Barry and servant|
Circus artist Freddy Nock had to break off his latest attempt at a further world record on the rope. The planned record should have been completed in Bern by driving a bicycle over a tight rope 150 m (492 ft) in length and 50 m (164 ft) from the ground. The disappointment was obviously great.
|Freddy Nock, circus artist|
James Greenwood started out as a printer. Later, he began writing adventure tales before entering journalism. As a journalist, he was the first to go undercover and to invent investigative journalism in the process. His subsequent writing was nothing short of revolutionary.
Circus artist Freddy Nock did it again. Only two days after completing a Guinness worthy world record on the Zugspitze in Germany, he completed another world record attempt successfully on the Feuerkogel Mountain in Austria, this time on a slack rope with a steady incline.
|Freddy Nock, circus artist|
Fancy a little walk? How about doing it on the cable of a cable car in the Alps with 150 metres (500 ft) of air between you and the ground? How about doing it over a kilometre, a mile, or more? That’s what a real Skywalker does for a living and currently to set some records.
|Freddy Nock, circus artist|
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is remembered for his stories of Sherlock Holmes and the Lost World. A new biography tries to reconcile these seemingly highly logical writings with his unshakeable belief in fairies and the supernatural.
|Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle skiing|
Michael Phelps and Daley Thompson moved to London on May 18th, 2011, coming from Edinburgh by way of Weymouth. A press release stated that it is hoped they will be able and willing to incubate eggs from unreliable heterosexual couples.
|Michael Phelps in speedo|
This must be the new dream team: The Bieb and The Bum have joined forces to conquer the universe. In a right Royal salute, the Middletons and the Biebers have hooked up their common interests to gain supremacy over the World Wide Web’s tat market.
|Justin Bieber undressing trial|
Watch out, London, Xenia Tchoumitcheva will make you her new headquarters in June. The Elite Model has announced that she will move to London despite the fact that she hasn’t yet found an appropriate apartment. Most importantly, she moves for career reasons, not love. Men, keep your eyes open!
Following the state visit of their Obamishnesses to the United Kingdom, it emerged that the United States after all their protests of eternal friendship cheated again and in a backhanded vicious attack condemned the United Kingdom to face the final punishment.
Oscar presenter James Franco will host his after Oscar party at the Supperclub in the converted Vogue Theatre just 100 yards from the Kodak Theatre. The owners of the Supperclub on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are Jerry Garcia, Abdi Manavi, and Max Loong.
Solar Impulse has successfully completed the first international flight on solar power alone in flying history. The historical flight took it from Switzerland to Belgium where the airplane will be on display during the Green Week in Brussels.
|Solar Impulse in flight|
The FIS Alpine Ski World Championships have been running for 80 years. There were a few curious instances in that time. They include time differences between winners and runners up of almost 30 seconds, the championship that never was, one without snow, and the man who became women’s world champion.
When flying was all new and shiny, it was also still in paradise. There were no permits to get and no exams to pass; you just got into your flying machine and took off. But paradise ended when the snake came in; this snake took the form of an international body which started to issue permits.
Andy Murray is following in Roger Federer’s and Rafael Nadal’s footsteps. He just broke the first long standing tennis record. He is the first player to have lost his first three appearances in a grand slam final without winning a single set. That is not the kind of record to inspire confidence in his ability to win one.
|Andy Murray, tennis boy|
They are dead and earn millions every year. Celebrities from the recent and not so recent past are still generating huge income. Meet the ten corpses who earn more in a year than you will in a lifetime. Some of their names you will easily recognize, some of them maybe not.
The Man With The Golden Touch: How The Bond Films Conquered The World by Sinclair McKay was published by Aurum. Just one more writer jumping on the marketing train of Quantum of Solace? Not quite.
Jörg Haider’s funeral brings 30,000 people to Klagenfurth, many of them Nazis. The press ignores this and concentrates instead on defamation of gays and gay lifestyle.
A summary compiled on the interview given by Roger Federer on Swiss Television on October 19, 2008. Roger Federer comments on the season, on press, on marriage, on Stanislas Wawrinka, and his plans for the Davis Cup.
|Roger Federer tennis|
Royal Mail has issued the portraits of six women of distinction (?) as a new stamp series. The inclusion of a Nazi has provoked heavy criticism. The other five faces on these stamps are also controversial.
|Royal Mail stamp collection|
Jörg Haider, the well known Austrian Nazi spokesman, died in a car crash breaking one law too many. He brought brown politics back into fashion while living it up in a £25 million estate seized from a Jew during the War.
|Jörg Haider skinny dipping|
Adam Boulton, Sky’s former political editor, tried to write a book on the Blair (blah) years at 10 Downing Street: Tony’s Ten Years: Memoirs of the Blair Administration published by Simon & Schuster. Boulton is married to Anji Hunter, the longstanding personal assistant to the Prime Minister; with so much inside information available one would have expected more than what resulted. On the other hand, one is not surprised that the book is one sided and boring while missing out on all major points of interest.
|Tony Blair and Pope Benedict XVI|
James Bond is back. I mean the real James Bond 007, not some washed up replica from the eighties trundling around with his gadgets. I got news to share on the film to come: Quantum of Solace.
|Daniel Craig as James Bond 007|
Random House republished Dame Barbara Cartland’s Etiquette Handbook. But why?
Sometimes, writers, and not only second class writers like Dame Barbara Cartland, just go off in a tangent from what they normally write, and thereby produce what can be best titled as literary fraud. Obviously, there can be extremely funny frauds. One of my favourites, gladly brought back to mind by the Daily Mail, is Barbara Cartland’s Etiquette Handbook published by Random House.