I must say the most exciting part of the day was our visit to EMPA. There are many very innovative and fascinating things being done there. An acoustic curtain with numerous holes of varying lengths and sizes which put echoes to shame stopping them dead in their tracks. Can you imagine socks that are so incredibly smooth that friction no longer exists and therefore blisters stay right out of the neighborhood of your tootsies! They are already being used by the Swiss military who I suppose decided it would be a cheaper investment then the constant re supplying of band-aids. A this point this writer put a question forward to do with the socks in connection with the acoustic curtain….I’m going to keep this to myself, mwa ha ha ha simply because our guide through this wonderful tour liked the idea. And then there is a sheet to be used in hospitals to alleviate the problems of decubitus. In fact, the decubitus never even gets a chance with this particular material because it warns the nurse to turn the patient.
There is even something for violinists! Having a fungus among us in our violins is actually a good thing. Why? In the days of the Stradivarius it seems that a particular fungus attacked the trees used to construct the Strads giving the violins their particularly rich sound. In the contemporary construction of violins one misses this richness of sound. EMPA has found a way to introduce the fungus to the wood and constructed a violin which was then compared to a Strad and the sound was the same!!!! How about that!!!! Fascinating!!!! From fungi and Strads we were shown the breakdown of a mobile phone right down to the nano particles explaining they had as yet no way to save those np’s from going to waste simply because they could not be “caught.” This writer came up with yet another question/idea and the young lady was then told by our guide she should be writing this down. No, I’m going to keep that under my belt as well;-) Our guide continued telling about bullet proof vests that would actually keep the wearer cool which in itself is pretty cool unless your the cop or maybe the perp who is caught because the cop is cooled! The last thing had to do with orthopedic implants and then we went downstairs, took a test and had something to drink and off we went to the following place. EMPA, you need to think about cross over between labs to find more novel solutions to problems. In other words cooperation between differing labs. Or just call me….
We arrived in Gossau where we would have lunch. The was something for the vegetarians like myself but unfortunately it was disappointing. However, a woman witnessed me kick a bollard in frustration and sheer hunger and walked over asking what the trouble was. Gordon and I explained and she took us on a whirlwind run to a small restaurant that had closed, brought us round the back, walked in and asked if they could throw a couple of salads to take away for us. The owner of the restaurant, after hearing the explanation from Helena, immediately did the deed where upon Helena led us back to the WAVE area and off we drove. Helena, you are our hero of the day and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!!!
Baden was our next and final stop of the day at the APP, the company that develops and builds the Chademo chargers for electric vehicles. The mayor spoke and he has a full plate what with the greening in all its facets of Baden. A brave and determined man and I wish him strength and determination in his endeavor to further green his city. It’s been another long day and now we are in the youth hostel by the river listening to its flow of white noise in the night. An early morning will bring us to the Zurich Festival. Tomorrow will also bring that report.