Water Cooler 6/5/2016 – OPEN THREAD – Swiss #FightFor15; EU Floods; Battle of the Five Armies; Feeding Time at the Zoo


Basic Wage Initiative in Switzerland

We aren’t the only ones engaged in a #FightFor15 wage battle. Taking things a step further, Swiss citizens voted on a national initiative to ensure a basic annual income of 30,000 swiss francs ($30,788) for every citizen, regardless of their actual income.


The Swiss people were poised to reject the basic income proposal, which asked if all residents should receive a monthly income of as much as 2,500 Swiss francs (£1,764) regardless of their job. An exit poll from gfs.bern showed as many as 78% had voted against the measure.

While the attempt failed this time, they aren’t giving up.

A spokesman for Basic Income Switzerland, the group that brought the question to the ballot, said: “Basic income is the first visionary idea of the 21st century. It’s only a matter of time before this will be a real discussion.”

Flooding in Western Europe

France is now cleaning up after extensive flooding of the river Seine in Paris. Damages estimates are over a billion euros ($1.14B).

There is also an agricultural calamity,” Hollande said. “Many farmers have lost either their livestock or their vines.

The damage to the wine crop will be unfortunate, however,

German authorities on Sunday pulled the plug on one of the country’s most popular open-air rock festivals – whose lineup included Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Sabbath – after dozens were injured there in lightning strikes.

others were spared some pretty terrible music.

Battle of the Five Armies

The annual reenactment of Battle of the Five Armies from Tolkien’s The Hobbit was held in the Czech Republic this weekend.

Participants dressed as characters from ‘The Hobbit’ book by J. R. R. Tolkien take part in the reenactment of the ‘Battle of Five Armies’ in a forest on June 4, 2016 near Doksy village, Czech Republic. Hundreds of Czech enthusiasts re-enacted the battle of men, elves and dwarves against goblins and wargs.


Pictures from Getty Images are also available.

Animal Attack in Zoo Thwarted

Wild animals do wild animal things, as we found out earlier this week in Cincinnati. In an example of a proper way to secure a wile animal enclosure, a boy was saved from a lion attack in Chiba, Japan.

Thankfully for all parties concerned, the lunging lion ends up harmlessly face-planting into its glass enclosure, unable to get to the boy in the yellow raincoat.

A similar thing actually happened to me once. My family was visiting the Santa Barbara zoo. My young toddler son appeared to want to get a better look at a 21-foot-long anaconda in a glass enclosure. I took him out of the stroller and held him up near the glass. The snake apparently hadn’t eaten in a while and must’ve thought that was his lunch. The snake hit the glass hard with his nose trying to reach out and grab my son. A solemn reminder that zoo animals are not pets.

That’s it for today’s Water Cooler. Mingle amongst yourselves in the comments.


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