"Buon giorno, cari studenti!" Welcome to the only newsletter that cannot explain why politics make strange bedfellows, "Only In Italy!"
After years of frustration about loosing socks I learned that a solo sock has just enough strength to escape into the great beyond but lacks the energy if attached to its mate, so now I never loose socks in the hamper if I fold one into the other, they tend to take their exit while waiting in the said hamper. They never escape once in the washer and dryer. Try it, you'll never "loose" a sock again. Gian B.
Minchia, that's some story, Gian. Thanks for the song and dance!
By the way, it's "losing" and "lose". No need to thank us. We soul searched and decided to keep the jokes to ourselves.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
The new regulations were adopted after a series of accidents over the past few years, which have seen horses maimed in the line of duty.
In addition to limiting the horse's work-day to a maximum of eight hours with mandatory breaks during the hottest hours of the day, the city ordinance mandates regular check-ups by city-approved veterinarians. Carriage drivers will also be required to display license plates, that can be used to report mistreatment of the animals.
However, the buggies will continue to operate on the heavily trafficked streets of the historic center, one of the main bones of contention between the drivers and animal rights' activists. While city officials said the measure marked a clean compromise, the head of one of Italy's leading animal rights groups, Animalist Italiani, said he wasn't satisfied.
"We're not going to stop lobbying until we get them off the streets for good," said Walter Coporale.
"It simply isn't conceivable for horses to be carting people around in 2010," he said.
Coporale said the city ought to have limited the carriages to shady park trails or helped buggy drivers replace them with electric-powered vintage cars. Both ideas have been discussed by the city council, but neither one found much appeal among the carriage drivers. Failing that, he said "the important thing is to make sure horses are protected by same legal status that dogs and cats have".
At present, horses are classified under Italian law as livestock, which puts them in the same category of animal treatment as sheep and cattle. The buggy drivers, however, have argued that they treat their animals "like family" and rejected the notion that their time-honored line of work was necessarily inhumane. The dispute over tourist buggies came to a head after a pair of accidents in 2008, which saw two horses seriously injured on the job.
That summer, a horse collapsed from exhaustion on Rome's glamorous Via Veneto while hauling a carriage uphill under the sweltering summer sun. Then in the fall, a horse had to be put to sleep before a crowd of horrified onlookers after it slipped near the Colosseum and broke its leg. As a first response to the outcry over the accidents, the city council last July set up a emergency veterinary response team for injured cart horses.
The service consists of an on-call veterinarian and horse ambulance capable of transporting the animal to the ''emergency room'' at an equine clinic run by the Italian mounted police.
FACT: Not many tourists are aware the Roman horse-drawn carriages (called "Botticelle") are not a tradition of public transportation. In fact, the "Botticelli" owe their name to "barrels": the carriage pulled by animals in the 1800ís was used solely for transporting goods, or barrels in this case.
So, there was never a "tradition" of tourist transportation as misleadingly the jackass full of crap and immobile from liquor driving the carriage wants the tourist to believe.
The carriage driver who has more food caught in his teeth than the horse eats the entire day is only interested in making the most profit from this activity and therefore does not care about the well-being of the animal. He also is not subject, like other workers (rat-bastard taxi drivers, son-of-a-bitch gondoliers) to any official price list, being able to make money at will and come to ask even $300 per trip, all while not paying taxes to the state as there are no price regulations or receipts.
So, if you have to succumb to the desire of being driven around the Roman capital by carriage for an insufferable price, save the poor animal from its agony and kindly ask the driver to have it substituted with a couple of nauseating, repugnant, stinking, and obnoxious gladiators who stand all day in front of the Coliseum and berate you for that $10 photo pose with them.
Naples - February 23, 2010 - A brief blackout in central Naples on Tuesday plunged metro riders into the dark, trapped people in elevators and took out traffic lights.
The power returned after three quarters of an hour, but authorities said in the meantime emergency help lines were bombarded by calls. The power outage was limited to central areas of the city and believed to have been caused by a downed high-tension power line.
It was accompanied by scenes of panic at a number of metro stations when the lights went out and the escalators stopped. Public transport officials have not said if there were any passengers stuck on metro trains during the black out.
The power came back on at approximately 12.44 GMT.
"Porca miseria", quick, head for the volcano where it will be safe!
After an emergency it will take a good period of time before Naples will be declared a foreign country, like Afghanistan, invaded, civilized, and have international aid sent. Therefore, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your property:
1.) Evaluate your electrical wiring and gas connections to make sure your upstairs, downstairs, and next door neighbors have not drilled holes into your walls and latched on to your utilities.
2.) If you have any deep cracks in the ceiling or foundations, repair these immediately. You'd be surprised at how thin, obnoxious and nosy Napolitanos could easily slip through and get into your home.
3.) Seek to educate yourself and those in your family about the best methods to avoid Napolitanos if they are given the slightest notion that you or a member of your family, particularly female, is incapacitated and needs assistance.
4.) Confusion is the first thing that sets in after an emergency in Naples. Try to eliminate confusion by drowning out the incoherent yelling and arguing from the streets below by developing a communication plan that does not rely on mobile phones, radios, Napolitano friends and relatives.
5.) If at all possible, try to live near large mountains or Mount Vesuvius (volcano) in an insanity-prone area like Naples. Not only will the damage to your home be less severe, but it will be more likely that the 'Ben Hur'-like rioting will not spread to your vicinity.
Rome - February 2010 - In the space of a few weeks, Italy has witnessed bouts of violence involving immigrants that seem to be lifted straight from Hollywood films, starting with 'Mississippi Burning' replayed in Calabria last month and, on the streets of Milan last week, 'West Side Story'.
After hundreds of African fruit pickers were hauled out of Rosarno in Calabria in January following battles with locals, an Egyptian man was left dying in Milan after a fight between North Africans and Latin Americans.
The death of Ahmed Aziz El Saied, 19, was followed by hours of rioting by North Africans on Milan's multi-ethnic Via Padova, during which 36 cars were damaged or overturned and five businesses, mostly run by South Americans, were destroyed.
"I'm not surprised, there are brawls here every day," said a neighbor of Saied. Amid calls by Northern League politicians for round-ups of illegal immigrants and a ban on house sales to non-Europeans, Italy's first inter-ethnic-minority riots woke the country to Milan's hidden world of South American gangs with names such as the Latin Kings.
Statistics show immigrants total 4.3 million, 7.1% of Italy's population, with 45% of young Italians opposed to immigration. But government ministers from the Northern League took a surprisingly soft line.
League founder Umberto Bossi, who once said migrants arriving from Africa should be shot at, said "jobs and homes" were key to avoiding violence.
The involvement of Latinos rather than Romanians who fill Italy's crime pages may explain the muted reaction. The Dominican man arrested on suspicion of Thursday's killing was legally registered and dating an Italian woman. Calls within the government for greater integration are growing.
We saw the film footage on TV. "'Fanculo", we thought we were watching '300'. I put a mosquito net over my head because I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
"...an Egyptian man was left dying in Milan after a fight between North Africans and Latin Americans."
-> The Italian gov't isn't stopping the inflow of all these illegal aliens.
"I'm not surprised, there are brawls here every day," said a neighbor of Saied.
-> Saied is right. You can't live in a neighborhood where people say,
It's not a matter of racism (calm down, hippies). Assimilation! The point of living in Italy is assimilation (we'll save the entertaining racism for the Napolitani, Calabrese and our fellow Siciliani).
Our grandfather, the great liberal, once said, "We have to learn to live together, we can't run."
That was about the point in the discussion when we decided it was best to take our cars and circle our house like covered wagons.