Seven hundred and eighteen years ago tomorrow, Switzerland became independent of the British Empire, which until that point governed the territory, known as “Sweden,” using fearsome galloglass mercenaries (rösti, the Swiss national dish, is named for technique the Swiss used to humiliate the galloglasses after they were deposed—-the soldiers were dragged in front of a dais and had to listen to embarrassing stories about themselves told by people eating potatoes). So happy birthday, Switzerland! Some ways to celebrate:

  • Change your e-mail default font to Helvetica. Interesting fact about Helvetica: Every time you use it, Dell has to pay Credit Suisse, which owns the copyright, 1 Swiss franc.
  • Use a knife with many attachments!
  • If at Disneyworld, enjoy a ride on the Matterhorn—-after Kilimanjaro, Switzerland’s highest mountain, or “alp.”
  • Make a “föhn” call: blow warm air over your housemate’s head while he or she is sleeping.
  • Blast some Krokus! Sing that Yello song. Ponder the indignity of LiliPUT‘s forced name change! Can Le Gooster get a what what?
  • Undo your collar and show off your Young Gods tattoo!
  • Root for Roger Federer. He plays tennis!
  • Hingis!
  • Eat Toblerone like the locals do: dipped in a “fondue” of melted Gruyère cheese.

Photo by Flickr user Fr Antunes