Archives for posts with tag: Italy

I rarely care for anniversaries: I barely remember my own birthday and I find weird to party on December 31st. But there are some dates that I hold dear: April 25th, Piazza Fontana … and the day I moved to the US.

il museo/presepe di pentema

La valigia di cartone — photo credits: maudanros

of places long gone and of places discovered



Don’t you ever miss Bushisms now that Obama is in the third year of his first term? Italy is here to help!

You may have already heard of the OPERA experiment that claims to have found neutrinos traveling faster than light; it would be a pretty serious headache for particle physics, were the experiment confirmed. (I personally doubt it will, and suspect some systematic was not accounted for; in the next days, I will try to find time to read the “official” paper which is freely available on the arXiv.)
This morning the Italian social media was in a frenzy for the official press release (the cowards purged it from their site) from the Italian Minister of Education, Universities and Research, Mariastella Gelmini, wherein they call for epochal victories and claim a tunnel was built between the CERN in Geneva and Gran Sasso near Rome. The experiment has to be confirmed and reproduced elsewhere before calling for victories and the bit about the tunnel being built is so laughable — neutrinos travel through solid rock like light through a clear glass, actually even better — that it would have been a shame to to leave the press release in Italian and to not share it with the world at large: here’s my translation (the original is written in the affected formal Italian which is difficult to render in English)

I would like to applaud and to communicate my most sincere congratulations to the authors of a historical experiment. I am profoundly grateful to all the Italian researchers who had contributed to an event that will change the shape of modern physics.
The crossing of the speed of light limit is a momentous victory for the scientific research on Earth.

To the construction of the tunnel between the CERN and the Gran Sasso laboratories, through which the experiment has taken place, Italy contributed with an appropriation of around 45 millions euro.

Moreover, today Italy supports CERN with absolute conviction, with an allocation of more than 80 millions euro a year and the events we are living confirm to us that this is a wise and far-sighted choice.

To infinity ... and beyond! - ©Disney

in italiano


The World Championships in Daegu closed with a new world record in the men 4x100m relay set by Jamaica who, if anyone was still doubting, firmly sits as one of the best nations in the world for sprinting in a way parallel to Kenya in distance running.
It was the only WR set in Daegu but that didn’t mean the World Champs weren’t full of emotions and some controversies: Bolt’s false-start in the final 100m, Robles disqualified for (accidentally) hitting Liu in the 110m hurdles, or the beautiful victory of Jennie Barringer Simpson and the performance of Lauren Fleshman (by the way, read her report of the day leading to the 5,000m final). For me, it was probably the first time I realized I didn’t care about Italian athletes and I was almost in disbelief when the commentators were mentioning some of them, like Antonietta di Martino, bronze in the high jump, or Daniele Meucci, who finished 10th in the final 10,000m, or Ruggero Pertile, whose 8th place in the marathon was the first among Western athletes. True, I was watching it in the US so the focus was on American athletes, and moreover following the sport here made me familiar with American runners while knowing close to nothing about European runners. Still, it was a somewhat weird feeling, mostly because I was naturally unconcerned about Italians medaling or participating in the events. It’s sad but natural: the more I’m living abroad, the more foreign my home-country, Italy, will become — already today I have (mild) culture shocks when back to Milan which and whose people I am recognizing less and less.

Jennie Barringer Simpson winning the 1500m title took everybody by surprise, including herself.

in italiano