Our world today

A browse through the list of events of 20 years ago will undoubtedly conjure up unique memories as we each add our own ‘history’ to the list. Is today any better than yesterday, one might ask? It seems as if wars simply change boarders, world population continues to increase. But is this really fundamentally different than at any other period in history? Hopefully we’ve become more civilized – or have we? But one thing is certain: our global communications have dramatically and irrevocably altered. Although the Web's conception began as a tool to aid physicists in answering questions about the Universe (CERN, Geneva, Switzerland), today ‘its usage applies to the global community and affects our daily lives. There are now hundreds of millions of users. If households nowadays want a computer, it is not to compute, but to go on the Web.2 Instant connections, instant questions and answers, instant awareness, instant community. As of January 2012, the Indexed Web contained at least 8.15 billion pages.3

Communications

  • A text-based Web browser is made available to the public (January 1992) and within a few years millions of people become regular users of the World Wide Web

Music & Film

  • Hip-hop, rap and grunge secure an established audience, displacing the love affair with the 1980’s megastars Bruce Springstein, Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson
  • Aladdin is the top grossing film of the year

Science / Space Exploration

  • The discovery of several terrestrial-mass planets orbiting the pulsar PSR B1257+12 (located roughly 2000 light-years from the Sun), is considered the first officially confirmed detection of planets outside the solar system (as of January 2012, a total of 729 extrasolar planets have since been identified)
  • NASA’s Space Shuttle STS-42 (Discovery 15) launches into space with the first international microgravity laboratory on board (January 1992)
  • The United Nations designates 1992 as International Space Year (August)

Environment

Politics

People / Trivia

  • U.S. PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush faints after vomiting into the lap of the Prime Minister of Japan (January 8)
  • The separation ofPrince Charles and Princess Diana, married in 1981, is officially announced by the British Prime Minister (December 9)

 

 The New Stork Times chronology

The New Stork Times first came to life 20 years ago when midwife Cheryl Nick began linking participants in her childbirth preparation classes via a monthly “newsletter”. Remember, communications were very different back then, and so was life in Switzerland:
  • Kids attended school on Saturday mornings,
  • Sunday shopping was an absolute no-no, and
  • Pizza deliveries were unheard of.
  • Foreign citizens accounted for approximately 17.0% of Switzerland’s total permanent resident population of 6,815,000 in 1992, as compared to 1,766,300 persons or 22.4% of the total population of 7,870,100 inhabitants in 2010 (data for 2011 is not yet conclusive).
  • In 1992, some 11,133 foreign citizens were naturalised; in 2009, the number of persons who acquired a Swiss passport was 43,440. Nearly half of them (47.3%) were under 30.Yes, times have changed!
The NST became a ‘life-line’ for many of the Expats living here. With Cheryl’s heartfelt commitment and enjoyment of creating, communicating ideas, supporting parents and linking people, it grew step by step over the years, increasing from a simple four-page newsletter to a 40 page magazine.
When Cheryl planned her move to the USA in 1996, the magazine was interimly taken over by Kelly Keller, and Christina Mahler and myself trained to qualify for presenting childbirth education courses.

Life change

How many of us have been on the brink of making a major life change – letting go of a current career choice – challenged over and over again by the mantra, ‘What could possibly be next’?
When I was asked if I wanted to take over Cheryl’s business (The Stork Knows), I was precisely at this point in my life. Astonished, I heard a resounding ‘yes’ slip forth from my belly – which began a succession of years that continue to be filled with meeting outstanding people from all walks of life. The ‘search’ for my next steps was complete. I gave up thinking that I was the only person on the planet who had been skipped over when ‘life missions’ were handed out!
When Kelly Keller left Switzerland in 1998, a 16-page black-and-white New Stork Times landed back in the Stork’s nest. From thenceforth it became my passion. The planting of the cultural “seed” by Cheryl Nick in 1992 landed on very fertile ground.
Empowered by an inspiring team of volunteers, the principles on which it was founded have continued to carry the New Stork Times forth with the same fervour over the last 20 years. Our goals have naturally expanded over the years to include, among other topics, honouring the environment, celebrating entrepreneurial women, exploring electronic media and the creation / evolution of our website: www.TheNewStorkTimes.com
As we all experience, communications via electronic media flourish and publications thrive there – read even by those of us who still love to hold a printed magazine or newspaper in our hands. It’s become evident that a growing New Stork Times readership can only be sustained if we rise to the challenge and catch up with the “future” that we met 20 years ago. It’s an exciting challenge to say the least.

An invitation

I realise that I feel as if it’s “my baby” and have become very attached. Nonetheless, I have chosen to set it free and move on to the digital world - without print.
 Yes, it is a difficult “letting go” process.
 
Information sources:
http://blogcritics.org/music/article/1992-year-of-music-in-review/ 1
http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/about/WebStory-en.html2
www.worldwidewebsize.com 3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992
www.bfs.admin.ch
http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Excel-Data/population.htm