food / travel

Grape Pulp And Snow Plows: Swiss Firm Clears Winter Roads With Winemaking Waste

Alcohol, apples and seashells… Swiss authorities have tried almost everything to clear snow off roads and sidewalks. This time, a Geneva-based startup claims it can cut down the use of salt by 70% by replacing it with 'Snowfree', a produ

(graybee)
(graybee)

*NEWSBITES

Why does snow melt so much faster in vineyards than elsewhere? This remark got a Swiss perfumer thinking and ultimately led to the creation of Snowfree: small pellets made of grape "waste" – seeds and pulp remaining after the fruit has been pressed into wine — each containing a small quantity of salt.

The startup company that sells Snowfree claims that the product is considerably more environmentally friendly than pure salt, which tends to damage roads and buildings over the long haul. The product also offers a good way to recycle agricultural waste, and could lead Swiss authorities to use 70% less salt for snow removal.

The product, already tested in France, is 15 to 20% more expensive than regular salt, but the Swiss company claims that it lasts significantly longer.

Read the full story in French by Marie-Laure Chapatte

Photo – graybee

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Society

"You Ass Tulip!" - What Turkey's Creative Swearing Culture Can Teach Us

Profanity is a kind of national sport in Turkey. But it can also be risky business, sometimes leading to lawsuits or even death. One political scientist researching Turkey’s unique way of conjuring curse words explains what the country's inventive slurs reveal about its fears and prejudices.

Street scene in Istanbul

Marion Sendker

ISTANBUL — “Take your mother and get lost!” That’s the literal translation of what Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the authoritarian Turkish president, once said to a farmer 15 years ago when the man complained about economic problems.

The Turkish people were shocked by his choice of words, but it was the farmer who was led away by police and later forced to make a televised apology. As he recently explained in a newspaper interview, he is still dealing with legal proceedings as a result of the incident because he is accused of insulting the president, not the other way round.

Erdogan’s behavior was certainly unusual for a head of state, but many Turks also saw it as honest and authentic. “In Turkey, working-class people often use rude words, which are seen as more straightforward and sincere,” explains Ahmet Özcan, a political scientist at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University, who is currently working on a research project about Turkish slang.

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