Freddie Mercury

concert freddie

By Michela Jotti, Switzerland

Farrokh Bulsara is the real name of Freddie Mercury. Even his official passport read “Frederick Mercury.” He was born on September 5, 1946 on the East African Island of Zanzibar. He spent his childhood in India, where he attended the St. Peter’s boarding school. Then in 1964 his family moved to London where he studied graphic design at the Ealing College of Art and it’s there that he started using the name “Freddie.”

So he spent his childhood in India, where he started piano lessons at the age of seven. Everybody recognized his talent, but nobody could know he would become so important to rock history. During his life he never thought he was a great pianist. In fact, he was always afraid to play “Bohemian Rhapsody” at concerts, so he started playing the piano less and he danced more. While he was studying graphic design he joined a blues band: The Wreckage. In 1970, he joined the rock band: Smile with Brian May and Roger Taylor, but when he joined the band they changed name to “Queen.”  The last member who joined the band was John Deacon.

In 1973, their debut album “Queen” was released and it was an evolution of rock music! After that, it was history: “Bohemian queen freddieRhapsody” (1975), “Somebody to Love” (1976), “We Will Rock You”, “We Are the Champions” (1977), “Don’t Stop Me Now” (1978), “Under Pressure” (1982). Mercury revealed that three years after they began, they nearly disbanded. Brian May and Roger Taylor argued about everything and Mercury was the peacemaker. They kept going and they learned from their experiences.

During his concerts and videos he seemed like a crazy man, but in his real life he was shy and he didn’t really talk to people who he didn’t know well. People who had the opportunity to know him said that he was the kindest person they had ever known.

In 1970, he met Mary Austin and they lived together for some years, but in 1976, Mercury told her that he liked men. They always remained friends. He said she was his best friend and he often refered to her as his only true friend. In 1985, he began a long-term relationshicrazy freddiep with Jim Hutton, hairdresser. During his many relationships he did extreme things. For example, once he was on a US tour and he found out that the man he was seeing, Tony Bastin, had been seen out with another man. So he paid for a flight for Bastin saying he wanted to see him. When he arrived, Mercury told him it was over and put him on the next plane back to London. He also kept Bastin’s cat.

Hutton was HIV – positive. In fact, he infected Mercury who found out in 1987. He knew that he was dying and you can feel it in the Queen’s last album, for example, in the song “The Show Must Go On”, which describes Mercury’s effort to continue to perform despite approaching the end of his life. Hutton lived with him for his last six years and he was present at Mercury’s bedside when he died in November 24, 1991.

All around the world

Dana Lazzaro, Switzerland

Travelling is a way to see new places, learn new things and different cultures. It is a way to see different points of view and to grow up as a person. Every trip changes you a little bit, and when you come back home you’re a different person in some way.

floridaLately, I had the chance to go to lots of places with my family, because they like travelling as much as I do. Last summer we went to Florida for two weeks and we travelled around Florida so that we could see all the different cities. We saw “small” cities, like Fort Myers and Daytona, and also big cities, like Orlando and Miami. I could see the differences between those cities, the small neighborhoods with a lot of lovely houses in Fort Myers and the big ones in Miami with a lot of mansions, the small and empty beaches and the crowded ones.

I liked everything about this trip, I had the chance to see a lot and to see how real life is in the USA. I live in Switzerland and I always watch American movies or tv series, and I’ve always dreamt about going there. So this trip was a kind of dream that became true.

This year I also went to London and Amsterdam for a few days.

I had the chance to see a lot of history and museums and they were really interesting but it was also interesting to see some characteristics of the countries.

For example, did you know that in Britain all the people always stay in line on the escalators on the right side? Because in this way the people that are in a hurry can go on the left side. I was really impressed about that! I’ve also been to Italy and to the seaside of Greece , but that’s more of a relaxing holiday than a real

I would really like to go far away like in Asia or Africa to see some real different cultures.

Another way to see new places and new cultures is going abroad to learn a language.

You can learn a new language and you can actually live like a native of the place. You can change your life style for a period and I think that this is really a great experience!

I study a lot of languages at school, and I like to travel in the summer and improve my additional languages. I’ve already been to Germany a couple of times to study German and I really liked that experience. So this summer I’m in Santa Barbara for a month to improve my English.

I think that this has been a really great experience, an experience that I will remember forever!

You live for a month away from your home and you are away from your everyday problems. You live a different life and you learn new things. When you come back home you will be an improved person, and maybe you will see things in a transformed way.SB

In conclusion, travelling is a way to change your personality and it is an experience that you won’t   live again, and you will always have it in your heart, because it’s going to become a part of you. This experience is going to become something that you’ll never forget.



Alternative Rock

by Sofia Rossi, Switzerland

The alternative rock is a genre of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s in United States and in United Kingdom. It’s also called “alternative music”, “alt-rock” or simply “alternative.” The alternative term consisting of music types that differ in terms of sound and social context. Despite being a genre that belongs to rock music alternative rock has many influences from other genres like folk, raggae, electronic and jazz. Today it’s more difficult to describe what alternative music is. Alternative can be described as music that challenges the status quo and that is anti-commercial, and anti-mainstream. However, alternative rock has paradoxically become just as commercial and marketable as rock.R.E.M

Alternative music didn’t become popular immediately. In fact, it became popular in the early 90s. In the 1980s, it was defined by it’s rejection of the commercialism of mainstream culture. Despite this there were a lot of famous bands like R.E.M, The Dream Syndicate, The Feelies and Violent Femmes. These bands were influenced by folk music.


In the 1990s alternauntitledtive rock started to become very popular. The music industry was enticed by alternative rock’s commercial possibilities. The most popular bands were Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dinosaur Jr. and Firehose. Nirvana’s second album, Nevermind, became a real commercial success and it marked the start of the grunge music phenomenon.

Today alternative rock is very popular. After almost a decade of domination by rap-rock and new-metal bands, alternative rock is finally innovative again. Most references to modern alternative rock music in the United States are to the Indie Rock genre. There are a lot of bands who play alternative rock and some of thuntitled2em are Coldplay, U2, Green Day and Bastille.

Alternative music is a varied genre. Over the years the music has changed and it’s constantly progressing. It’s an important genre for the story of the music.

How to Start a Healthy and Happy Lifestyle

Leslie Ruys, the Netherlands

A lot of people think of a healthy lifestyle as a task, something that makes life harder then it already is.You always have to watch what you’re eating, can’t have a dessert, no chocolate, no sweets, always a structured diet you have to follow. But nothing can be more wrong. A healthy lifestyle is indeed about healthy foods like vegetables, salads, fruit, fresh meat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a sweet or chocolate from time to time. Of course, if you want to lose weight or are training for a special competition you have to watch more than others what you eat. But a healthy lifestyle is about eating fresh and no processed foods.


First of all, for me it is easy to follow a healthy lifestyle because eating fast food or a lot of chocolate makes me feel dirty. Fast food especially is produced in a unhealthy, disgusting way with products that shouldn’t be allowed in your body. Of course I like a hamburger from In and Out sometimes.  You have cravings for something fried or something that is bad for you, that is okay, you can eat it. A healthy lifestyle isn’t about torturing and forbidding yourself to eat something ‘bad.’ It is meant to make you feel happy and good about yourself. If a hamburger once a month makes you happy, then eat that hamburger.


Some people that start a healthy lifestyle begin to diet to an extreme level. They forbid all foods that can make you fat and eat less and less. They feel good but also miserable because in their heads they can’t go out to have a hamburger or pizza with friends, no ice cream in the summer and don’t get me started about chocolate.


A healthy lifestyle is about being happy and feeling good and energised about yourself, having a lot of energy and eating what you love. You can eat vegetables and fruits, fresh food as much as you like. 400 calories from risotto with vegetables is much better for your body then 400 calories from a Mars bar. After a while you feel heatlhier in your body, you will be happier and have a lot more energy.


Make Time For Yourself

By Maria Paula Volker, from Argentina.



Have you ever thought in make a time for you in the day to relax, to think about you? Just imagine what things would you like to do in this time and imagine how would you feel after doing this. It is amazing believe that with a simple time we can feel really harmonized.

The greatest of people spend of lot of their time living on the run, trying to get on time all the activities, work, home and satisfy others but hardly ever make time to be alone and do the things that we indeed enjoy.


The first thing that you have to do, is to book in you schedule a time during the day and think the place where you would like to go and the things that you would like to be doing, regardless of what timetables of the gym or any sport. I consider that, although , this is something that improve the health and that it cause welfare state but make a time for you to doing nothing you feel good the mind and spirit.

Then you only have to relax and enjoy the moment and have on hand something to write about the things, wishes and projects that came to mind.

It seems to me that all people should make time for themselves because I think that this way, you get to know yourself and will have a more clear mind to continue your routine, make good decisions and love yourself.


Tropical Deforestation

Pierina Staub, Switzerland

Tropical deforestation and its impacts

We all know about the problems with the deforestation in our world. It reduces the amount of produced oxygen in the atmosphere through plants and due to this our earth, along with other factors, becomes more and more polluted. But in the tropical rainforests we face another, totally different problem.

Because of the high precipitation and humidity around the equator, the nutrients in the soil get continuously washed away. That means that most nutrients, which are essential for new growing plants, are found in the biomass like plants, dead animals and decomposing organisms. So if we cut down all the trees and plants in the tropical rainforests, nothing will be able to exist because the nutrients were cut out of the cycle. Contrary to the environment for example in Europe, the organisms can’t rehabilitate and the whole forest dies off.

The market for palm oil is booming right now. You can find the oil in any product like Nutella, usually convenience food, lipsticks and far more. These palms are planted in huge areas in the tropical rainforest and their planting area is increasing exponentially . In Malaysia alone 4.917 million hectares are planted and 20,000,000 tons of palm oil get exported every year. Of course all farmers and owners of these plantations want to earn as much money as possible and don’t care about the problems they need to face. The most dangerous thing is the slash-and-burn agriculture.  Huge areas are burnt down and very often the fire rages out of control. The social, climatic and environmental impacts are immense; species die out, people have to leave their homes, thousands of orangutans get killed every year and the entire ecosystem is destroyed.

But how can we stop this process? The first thing for us would be to stop buying products which contain palm oil and for all governments to push through laws to forbid slash-and-burn or to protect new integral nature reserves. It is very important that all humans become informed about these problems so that we can act all together against the destruction of our earth’s forests and wildlife.


10 Things To Do In Montreal

by Melodie Sanscartier

from Canada

1. Climb up the Mont-Royale: It’s a beautiful little mountain. It’s free and it gives you an amazing view of Montreal city. On the top of the mountain there’s the Mountain Royal Cross and it’s an historic monument. The mountain hosts on its slopes important institutions such as l’Oratoire St-Joseph (the biggest church in Canada) and 2 big universities (The University of Montreal and the University of McGill).

mont royale

2. Eat a national meal call Poutine: This meal is very popular in Montreal and many restaurants are offering it. The meal is made with fries, cheese and brown gravy. Here are the top 5 places to eat it in the city: 1. La Banquise 2. Au Pied de Cochon 3. Frite Alors 4. The Green Spot 5. Garde Manger 6. Poutineville


3. Visit Basilique Notre-Dame: It’s a pretty church with lots of gothics ornate facades. Its interior is big and colorful. It’s an unusual church but it is really impressive and beautiful. That’s also where Celine Dion got married J. It’s the mother church of Montreal. The basilica is now charging visitors for admission unless they are there to attend the mass, its $5 CAD. There is also a show about the history of the basilica presented. Tuesday through Saturday, tickets are $10 for adults (18+), $9 for seniors and $5 for young adults and children.

basilique n-d

4. Old Port of Montreal: It’s a popular complex with shops, restaurants and activities with a beautiful view. It’s today a recreational and historical area. It offers a variety of events like the Montreal Center of Science with an IMAX Theater, a place where every 2 years the Cirque du Soleil is performing, festivals, etc.

port de mtl

5. Montreal’s Casino: Canada’s largest casino, an iconic space. It’s located on Notre-Dame Island in Montreal. It opened on October 9, 1993. The Casino is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to people that are 18 or older. The Casino contains four restaurants, three bars, a cabaret, and meeting and banquet facilities. It’s a non-smoking place since July 2003.


6. La Ronde: Amusement park that presents fireworks once a week in the summer. It has a lot of roller coasters. It’s the largest in Quebec and it’s located on Saint-Helen’s Island. The entrance cost $44.99 CAD for people measuring 1.37 m or more and $32.50 CAD for people measuring less than 1.37 m. Someone under the age of 2 has a free admission. Family rides require a height of 0.91m, intermediate rides require a height of minimum 1.12m and high-thrill rides require a height of 1.32-1.37m

la ronde

7. Centre Bell: It’s a sport and entertainment complex. It opened on March 16, 1996. The big stadium is also known as the home of the Canadian hockey league, the Montreal’s Canadian. It’s also a place where music events and shows are presented.

centre bell

8. Musée Grévin: it is a museum filled with known characters made of wax.It’s a really fun activity to do. It opened July 17th, 2013. It’s located at the 5th floor of the Eaton Center in Montreal. There are more than 120 wax characters like Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson and more.

musee grevin

9. Rue Saint-Catherine:It’s a street full of energy with shops everywhere. It’s located in Downtown Montreal. It’s an open air shopping area.

rue st-cath

10. The Olympics Stadium:It’s where the 1976 Olympics took place. It’s an historic place that is now use by everybody for sports and activity like Color Me Rad (a 5K run where volunteers throw paint on you every 1K). His nickname is the “Big O”.

stade olympic

6 Things to do in Santa Barbara

by : Juliette Asselin
from : Canada

Santa Barbara is a small city but we can do a lot’s of things. In this article I will write about 6 things you can do in Santa Barbara.

  1. Santa Barbara Zoozoo1

The Santa Barbara Zoo is small but has a lot of animals and beautiful gardens. The zoo is open between 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The prices are $17 for the adults (13-64), $13 for the seniors (65+), $10 for children (2-12) and free for the children under 2. The parking cost just $7 for a day. The zoo is perfect for the kids because they have a play area for them. You can spend the day at the zoo but it takes one and half hours to do the tour of the zoo


  1. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Ty Warner Sea Center seacenter

In the museum you can enjoy informative exhibit halls about birds, insects, mammals, marine life, fossils, and Native Americans. The museum is open between 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The prices are $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors (65+), $7.50 for teens (13-17), $6.00 for children (2-12) and free for the kids under 2. The museum is perfect for the kids because they can touch see animals and they have also activities for them.


  1. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden     botanic garden

In the botanic gardens you can see many varieties of flowers and plants. The Gardens are open between 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The prices for is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), $8 for teens (13-17), $6 for children and free for the kids under 2. The botanic garden is perfect for people who love gardening or watching beautiful gardens.


  1. Stearns wharfstearns whalf

The Stearns Wharf is open all the time and all the year too. You can eat at many seafood restaurants, visit the Museum of Natural History and lots of little shops. Also, you can go fishing and take beautiful pictures of the ocean.


  1. Santa Barbara Museum of Artmuseum of art

In the Santa Barbara Museum of Art you can see a lot of artworks and sculptures. The museum is open between 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The prices are $10 for adults, $6 for seniors (65+), students and children (6+) and free under 2. The museum is perfect for people who love art.


  1. East and West Beacheast beach

In Santa Barbara we have two beaches. The first one is East beach and the second one is West beach. On the beach you can get a tan, relax and go swimming in the ocean. The beaches are perfect for people who want to have a great and relaxing day.

City tour of Santa Barbara:

west beach


Zero Waste Lifestyle – Why and how to reduce your waste

By Luara Garcia

Understand the importance of reducing waste

First thing: waste doesn’t start in your trash can. It starts before arriving at your home: at the markets, stores, shops, wherever you are shopping.

We are using too much stuff and to have all of these things we are using many resources and quickly running out of them. In the past five decades, more than 1/3 of the planet’s resource base has been consumed. 80% of the world’s original forests are gone.


The United States takes up 5% of the world’s population, and uses 30% of the world’s resources and also produces 30% of the world’s waste. If everybody consumed at the U.S. rates, we would need 3 to 5 planets.


In the production process, industries mix toxic chemicals to make our products, and also create a lot of pollution. When we discard our trash, it is dumped in a landfill, which is a big hole in the ground, and most of the time, it is burned and then dumped in a landfill.


When toxics chemicals (contained in the trash products) are burned, they turn into new toxics, like dioxin, the most toxic man-made substance known to science. Both of the discard processes pollute the air, land, water and change the climate.

A funny thing to think about is that about 1% of total materials we buy are still in use 6 months after the date of sale. That means that 99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within 6 months.

Each person in the United States produces 41/2 pounds of garbage a day.

These are just some of the reasons why we should stop producing so much waste.


Zero waste life style

Zero waste means not producing any trash, not sending anything to landfills, not throwing anything in a trash can.


This girl in the picture is Lauren Singer. She lives a Zero Waste life in New York. That jar in her hand is all the trash she produced in 3 years.


She decided to start living like this when she was an Environmental Studies major in college, where she saw this girl taking all her food in a lot of plastic bags and trashing it every day, which made Lauren feel frustrated. Then one day when she got home, she opened her refrigerator and looked at all that plastic. She felt like she was that girl and so decided to cut out plastic from her life.

This was the beginning. Today she composts and recycles; she produces her own tooth paste and other products. She goes into organic markets and places where you can use your own jars and bags to “package” things.


Kamikatsu, Japan, is a Zero Waste town. Is it possible?

Well, they are nearly.

Kamikatsu has no garbage trucks, so residents need to compost their kitchen scraps at home. They also have to wash and sort the rest of their trash into 34 different categories, and bring it to the recycling center themselves where workers make sure that the waste goes into the correct bins.


The town has a store where people can leave their old clothing and stuff and exchange them for others that other people have left.

They also have a factory where women make products from discarded products, like teddy bears from old kimonos, or new kimonos from old flags.

With a population just over 1,700, Kamikatsu recycles about 80 percent of its trash and only 20 percent goes to landfills.

The residents of this city take recycling very seriously. They started in 2003 and actually hope to become the nation’s first zero-waste community by 2020.



Tips to start reducing your waste

(These tips are not to become a zero waste lifestyle person; they are little things you can do that will make a big difference, but it is not that hard to change your lifestyle. There will be some links at the end of the article where you can find out more about how to become a zero waste lifestyle person)


  • Have your own reusable water bottle; bring it with you everywhere so your not going to need to buy one which you are going to trash after the water is gone.
  • Have your own reusable bag for shopping; use it in the markets, stores, so you’re not going to need a plastic or paper one.
  • Only buy things you really need, try to use them until they can’t do their job any longer.23
  • Choose to buy things with less packaging.
  • Recycle.18
  • Reutilize as much as you can.19
  • Prefer to buy organic products when you can; they don’t harm the environment to be produced and you have less to be discarded.
  • Remember: you awlays can do something more.22


To know more about Lauren Singer and her lifestyle, here are some links that you might like:

To know more about Kamikatisu and its plans:

To know more about the world’s situation and production process (all 21 minutes worth it):

Interview with Jana Odermatt

 By Maria Paula Volker,  Agentina


Jana is 19 years old. She is from Swizerland and lives with her family, but in this moment she is staying in Santa Barbara because she loves studying English.

Her family consists of her sister Lena and her parents Martin and Tatjana.

She has got a nice cat called Vanessa.

She is in secondary school and her favorite subject is Art.

She would like to be an Actress.

She speaks German, a bit French and English.

Her favorite food is the pizza.

She enjoys going shopping and the best shop for her is Brandy Melville.

She doesn’t have preference with any film but she likes funny movies.

She doesn’t have a boyfriend but I think that soon she will have one.emossimages

She would like to know the city Los Angeles.

She told me that in her city there aren’t a lot of interesting places to visit but if I went there, I could go to the disco and go shopping.

I think that Jana is a very funny girl! cara feliz2