Sunday, May 31, 2015

100 people: an infographic of the world

Here is a piece of general knowledge info: there are 7.2 billion people in this world. It is a bit difficult trying to visualize that number but if it were reduced to a mere 100, would that help?

The project “100 People: A World Portrait” was created to help people conceptualize the world’s staggering population. By using information from the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the census, the United Nations, and others, the project used the world’s population statistics and scaled them to just 100 people.

"When I was a boy in the '90s, my mother had a printout of a chain email pinned to the wall in our kitchen. It was called 'The World as 100 People,' and it was just a simple list. I never forgot it because it was a simple but clever idea—a child could understand it without knowing the concept of percentages. One day, I didn't have any other work to do and I was sitting in my studio. The idea and the method came to me very quickly. I knew that I wanted to make it round, like the world. I wanted to use colors that might remind people of flags. I made the first draft in the morning and it was on the Internet by the afternoon" Jack Hagley, graphic designer, London.

Here is what the world would look like if there were only 100 people:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

How fast can you climb the Matterhorn?

Here's a little bit of Swiss general knowledge to make you smile or watch in awe or both.

Swiss Mountaineer Dani Arnold breaks the record for the quickest ascent of the north face of the Matterhorn mountain in the Alps. The 1,100 meter-high climb usually takes mountain climbers between 8 and 10 hours to complete. Arnold, 31, reached the top in just 1 hour and 46 minutes, breaking the previous record by 10 minutes.

Guess he didn't have much time to enjoy the view until he got to the top?!?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Julia Roberts has a message for you!

When Mother Nature speaks using her natural forces, humans usually only respond after the fact. Rather than work harder to prevent flooding caused by global warming, we organize relief efforts to rebuild entire communities washed away by hurricane. Instead of passing laws for stronger offshore oil drilling regulations, we use dishwashing detergent to clean off soiled shorebirds.

Well, the creators of the video below are hoping that since we don't listen to the way earth's natural forces beg for change, we might listen to the personified voice of Mother Nature. Of course, the effect of her voice is heightened when it's actually Julia Roberts.

Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton, Penélope Cruz, Robert Redford and Ian Somerhalder all join forces to give nature a voice. Watch the films and take action at


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

La Spada nella Rocca in Bellinzona

Every once in a while it is worth driving up the valley to for a special occasion. This is an event your kids will adore ... and even the adults can set their imagination free!

The Medieval Festival "La Spada nella Rocca" takes place every year in the picturesque Alpine setting of the Montebello Castle, one of three Unesco Heritage sites in Bellinzona. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere and enjoy medieval performances with various guest groups. Revive scenes from medieval live, discover swords and archery tournaments, watch falconers shows, flag flyers and hirelings.

Venue: Spada nella rocca,
Where: Castelgrande, 6500 Bellinzona
When: Saturday, May 30th & Sunday May 31st, 2015
Time: click here for the detailed programme:

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ticino's top 10 running songs tracks

There is nothing like listening to the right playlist when you need to burn calories. There are more and more Swiss runners (almost 2 million), and many use the streaming service Spotify. That's how Ticino online established the most popular songs in the different cantons. From Bellinzona to Basel from Zurich to Bern, from Chur to Geneva, they explored the Swiss joggers' preferences.

Starting with the Ticino: Bellinzona's runners like hip hop: there are 6 tracks of this kind in the top ten lead by the Black Eyed Peas.

But the music tastes are not the same everywhere: in fact Zurich's joggers like basking in Latin beats which even include merengue and reggaeton.

The more rhythmic are the Bernese with an average frequency of 142 beats per minute (bpm). The Ticinesi average at 131 bpm. In Basel, they are more relaxed with 122 bpm and their playlist says it all, where they go from Lilly Wood & The Prick' Afro-pop to the rock of Florence and the Machine.

Here is Ticino's Top Ten runners playlist 2015:

Shut Up - The Black Eyed Peas (113 bpm)

What Them Girls Like - Ludacris (170pm)

Westside Story - The Game 115 (bpm)

Furious - Ja Rule 94 (bpm)

Skydive - Chuckie 128 (bpm)

Mozart’s House - Clean Bandit 125 (bpm)

Tom Ford - Jay Z 154 (bpm)

Lights On - Wiley 127 (bpm)

Dirt Off Your Shoulder - Jay Z 160 (bpm)

Locked Out Of Heaven - B. Mars 128 (bpm)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mad about Lego

Are your kids mad about Lego? Are you? Did you know there is a Swiss Italian association of Lego fans called SILUG (Swiss Italian LEGO® Users Group) with its own Facebook group?

Why not discover the creations of Lugano's Lego aficionados for yourself this weekend? SILUG is holding Ticino's first Lego exhibit with over 450 m2 of toy building bricks.

Lego began manufacturing interlocking toy bricks in 1949. Since then a global Lego subculture has developed, supporting movies, games, competitions, and six themed amusement parks. As of 2013, around 560 billion Lego parts have been produced and in February 2015, Lego replaced Ferrari as the "World's most powerful brand." Now, that in itself is a feat worth blogging.

Venue: Ticino Brick
Where: Capannone delle Feste, Via Ceresio 25, 6963 Pregassona
When: Saturday, May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th, 2015
Time: 11.00-18.00 (Saturday)
Sonntag 10.00-17.00 (Sunday)
For more info contact:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

International Street Artists Festival in Ascona

Have you ever heard of the International Street Artists Festival? Well, it takes place in the Ticino! It's time to take a trip to Ascona this weekend.

During the four days of the festival, individual artists as well as professional groups from all over the world present their street performances. Set within the picturesque setting of Ascona the artists offer a colourful programme: enjoy pantomimes, stage plays and dance performances. Jugglers, tightrope walkers, fire eaters, musicians and clowns will entertain you and your children. Over a hundred of free entry performances fill the numerous small settings along the lakeside with a joyful atmosphere. At the end of every show the artists go around with a hat and the generous audience can thank them for the entertainment with a voluntary contribution. Let's just hope the weather gives its contribution of sunshine as well!

Venue: International Street Artists Festival
Where: Ascona, Ticino
When: Friday, May 22nd to Monday 25th, 2015
Time: Download the program of the festival
For more info click the following link:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Where is home?

The most difficult question to answer for my kids is: "Where is home?"

These are some of Lugano's expats answers that I have collected. Which is your definition?

"Home is where and when I am at peace with myself."

"Home is wherever I leave or have left behind parts of me. Home is anywhere I feel varying degrees of being complete. To come home is to come back for whatever or to whomever you've left there."

"Home to me is a kind of mindset (helped by place, certain people, certain conditions, circumstances) that one is used to starting from and returning to, day in and day out. It doesn't have to be external, or even something you like all the time, though consistency/predictability is key. Home's important because one needs an anchor in a world, even if it's an anchor you can carry around. You forget who you are and lose stability without this default point of start/return."

"Home is the space I create for myself and my family but not in any country, it is just that space and is recreated each time we move. I find that there are some key objects that I place around me that I have collected from all the places I have lived that help to create that space. It is important to me because that is the only place to be truly me, accepted, and free from judgement."

"Home is wherever my children are, where our laughter resides and where new memories can be made."

"Home are people who you can always come back to. Home is not only one place but places where I left my heart."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution 2015

In line with yesterday's post about Neapolitan cooking, today I am posting a video that has been making the rounds on the net. Yes, it's him! He's back: Jamie Oliver. This time with a new petition called "Food Revolution Day"!

Can you imagine what he is up to!?!

Well, he urgently needs your help to make a real difference. We are currently facing a global obesity epidemic, with 42 million children under the age of five either overweight or obese across the world. The bottom line is the next generation will live shorter lives than their parents if nothing is done to rectify these alarming stats.

So Jamie is asking that you do two simple things – first, please sign this petition to show your support for compulsory practical food education in schools across the world, then, most importantly, share it via your social networks.

The utterly brilliant Ed Sheeran has written us a Food Revolution Day song! Incredibly talented artists on the music track include Sir Paul McCartney, Alesha Dixon, Jazzie B, Professor Green, Jamie Cullum, George The Poet, Us The Duo, Che'nelle, DJ MK, Mr Hudson, The London Youth Choir and Hugh Jackman!

Over a million people have joined our Food Revolution, to try and make sure every child gets the basic skills they need to lead healthier, happier lives through food education in schools.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lugano's Neapolitan lunch delivery

Have you met Marina Schisa, a Neapolitan who transferred to Lugano many years ago? We all know the Neapolitan cuisine is one of the best in the world... I can vouch for that, my mother-in-law is from Naples! 2010 Marina started a business from her passion and founded the "Chef School Lugano". Marina's mission is to share her secrets and passion of Neapolitan cuisine with her dinner guests.

Apart from her catering service, you can now order lunch or buy typical Neapolitan homemade dishes. She even organises Kids' cooking courses! What are you waiting for? Contact Marina at: or call directly Tel: 079/887'63'62. 

Buon Appetito!!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

How Switzerland prepares for the summer

Switzerland is known as a country of water, which is hardly surprising with over 7,000 lakes, waterfalls and rivers. And now it's time to smarten them up for all the tourists who are looking to spend their summer in Switzerland. They are all perfectly accessible on foot - in Switzerland you are never far away from a body of water. Find out everything you need to know about vacations in and around Switzerland's wonderful clean water on there site:

Here is how Switzerland gets ready for the summer. Watch this fun video produced by the tourist office a few years ago....

Friday, May 1, 2015

May 1st at the Lido di Lugano

Today, May 1st, is when the Lido of Lugano officially inaugurates its season. It is a Lugano tradition to head down to the lake - no matter what the weather is like - to have the first ice cream of season!

Unfortunately today's weather Gods were not on our side. Maybe tomorrow will be better and we can dip our toes in the water and have a drink on their lovely terrasse while the kids have a run along the sandy beach.

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