Tag Archives: Switzerland



rochThe Google homepage today depicts a dapper and mustachioed man, perched on a chair in his office, pen in hand. In the center of the doodle is a series of inkblot cards, which you can cycle through by clicking the small arrow icons. The images on the cards are deliberately ambiguous. Is that a pair of wings? A face? An ascendent airplane? But then again, as the pioneering psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach would have argued.

Rorschach (not be confused with the popular “Watchmen” character of the same name, who wears an inkblot mask, in homage to the original Rorschach) was born on Nov. 8, 1884, and raised in Switzerland. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, as a kid, young Rorschach was an avid sketcher, earning him the nickname “kleck,” or inkblot.RECOMMENDED: The 20 most fascinating accidental inventions

After high school, Rorschach moved on to the Académie de Neuchâtel, where he studied geology and botany, before heading to the University of Zurich to study medicine. The Rorschach archives have him graduating from medical school in 1909 and signing on as a resident in the Thurgovian psychiatric hospital in Münsterlingen. In 1910, he married Olga Stempelin, a Russian medical student. Rorschach and Ms. Stempelin eventually had two children, a son and a daughter.

Rorschach’s work with inkblot tests was promulgated in the early 1920s, with the publication of a book called Psychodiagnostik, or Psychodiagnostics.

“It might seem obvious (at least in these psychologically informed days) that a person who repeatedly sees people fighting in a series of inkblots might have a different mindset from someone who keeps on seeing people dancing, or people performing sexual acts,” Randy Alfred of Wired has written. “Or that someone who always (or mostly) sees people would differ psychologically from someone who sees only birds, or mainly animals and rarely people, or someone persistently seeing inanimate objects rather than living things.”

But at the time, the idea that inkblot tests could reveal important truths about a subject was a breakthrough. Unfortunately, Rorschach didn’t live long enough to fully realize how influential his work would become. He died in 1922.

Over the ensuing years, his inkblot test was refined and refined again by other psychiatrists.

Today, of course, you don’t necessarily need a professional psychiatrist to test out Rorschach’s theories: all you need is a computer and an Internet connection and a few minutes of spare time to run through a few of the panels at theinkblot.com or theinkblottest.com.





Switzerland Starts Sex Drive-In

by  on August 27, 2013 in News
Waiting for customersHard to imagine that stuffy Switzerland, land of conservative bankers, would launch such a progressive project as a sex drive-in, but it’s an effort to ghettoize prostitution reports Reuters:

Greeted by a press pack rather than prostitutes, the first customer to roll up to Switzerland’s sex drive-in on opening night took one lap of the facility before making a hasty exit.

The second car, a family vehicle driven by a man in sunglasses under cloudy evening skies, broke down and needed jump starting in front of a host of photographers, sniggering into their cameras.

Zurich authorities had said they expected a modest start to the country’s first so-called “sex boxes”, a row of drive-in wooden garages on a looping track where clients in cars can visit prostitutes, shielded from prying eyes and security cameras.

With an estimated annual turnover of around 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.79 billion), prostitution has been legal in Switzerland since 1942, with sex workers in Zurich required to have a special permit, health insurance and pay tax…