"Oh, sole mio!" Welcome to another issue of the New England journal of medicine, "Only In Italy!"
Hey, if any one can help me regain my heritage it's you. My family is still over there and hey you never know I may need to be paying them a visit soon if things keep rolling the way they are in the good ol' USA.
I'm losing my Sicilian everything. I love your site from the recipes to the humor and little phrases I can use to keep that ancestry going. Help, only one Aunt left alive here and it's all going to die with her! I want my family :( Teresa F.
Thanks for the letter, Teresa. You want to abandon the USA to return to your Sicilian roots? This has to be the most insane request we've ever received.
By the way, we seriously doubt your Aunt is going to leave this Sicilian world and take it all with her. We're more than sure your Aunt has very distant relatives visiting her every day to check on her pulse.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy which kicked off this month and will wrap up in 2011 are a "brilliant occasion to create a new climate" in the country, he said.
"There is nothing rhetorical in celebrating Italian unity. It is a way of renewing the founding pact of the nation," said Napolitano, in an indirect criticism of some Northern League politicians who have brushed off celebratory events as a waste of money and effort.
Italian unity is "the only guarantee for our common future", said the president, speaking in the Sicilian city of Marsala, .
He also urged northern politicians to "reflect at length" on the "crucial fact" that Italy can grow only if "it does so together and if the underdeveloped resources, the potential and the energies of the southern regions can be made available".
Dear Presidente Napolitano,
It's over. It's been over for 150 years now. There will never be peace between North and South Italy. That is something we all have to realize and accept.
Why is the North so vicious to us? Believe it or not, Presidente, we don't get overwhelmed dressing ourselves and there's no need for the Northerners to act surprised when they see us wearing shoes.
You quote that "Italian unity is the only guarantee for our common future." The only future the Northern League sees for the South is a vision of hundreds of bulldozers razing everything to the ground so, they could plant more tomatoes and eggplant for lasagnas.
And it's not as if the Northerners are the most compassionate people on this planet.
If you buy a globe from the North Italy, you'll find Sicily erased from it along with the "worthless" heel (Puglia) and "irritating" boot tip (Reggio Calabria).
Northern kids come home from school and state, "We learned in school today that there are regions of Italy called Sicily, Puglia and Reggio Calabria."
And the parents respond, "I don't see them on my globe...and you'll never find them. Civilization stops below Rome!"
The janitor at the convent, an unidentified South American with alleged links to the Colombian cartels and the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia which dominates the European cocaine trade, is the suspected linchpin of the organization.
The man organized religious trips from South America to Italy in which couriers posing as pilgrims stashed cocaine in their prayer books and other hand baggage, police said. The drugs were then allegedly refined and cut in a house near Bergamo before being distributed in major northern cities.
The janitor was arrested along with 32 other people across northern Italy Wednesday.
The nuns, who were "completely unaware of what he was up to," were reportedly "amazed" when their employee was taken into custody. Other arrests were made in Milan, Bergamo, Brescia, Varese, Lecco, Lodi, all in the province of Lombardy; as well as Piacenza and Parma in Emilia Romagna; and La Spezia on the Ligurian Riviera.
Police said Wednesday's operation, codenamed Hannibal, had been three years in the making. As well as the 33 arrests, 80 people were placed under investigation and 30 kg of cocaine were seized.
Police said the drug runners also had a warehouse in Ghana which was allegedly set up using funds from the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization earmarked to boost African fisheries.
Holy "coglioni", Catholic nuns can usually sense the faintest smell of childhood joy from quite a distance but none of them noticed pilgrims nose-deep in their prayer books. How about the peculiar individuals who would show up at the convent at the wee hours of the morning to buy so-called "raffle tickets for fundraising events" from the janitor?
But this was all acceptable...just as long as they weren't Protestants.
So, how could this be possible? We have a theory (as if we wouldn't have one):
Several of us on the news staff are victims of physical and mental Catholic school nun abuse therefore, we honestly think the Mother Superior accused the convent janitor of apparently not paying enough attention to the importance of cleanliness and received a volley of abuse, perhaps calling him a lazy wetback and saying his mother had been a whore.
After suffering all the emotional distress he could take, he eventually turned to drugs.
It is rare for women over 50 to conceive, especially without undergoing in-vitro fertilization or other assisted reproductive technology therapies.
At first Giovanna Ciardi, who lives in Camaiore, near Lucca in Tuscany, thought she was experiencing the start of the menopause when she skipped a period.
"But when I went to the doctor and told him I felt nauseous and had an upset tummy, he smiled and said those symptoms had nothing to do with the menopause," Ciardi told a local newspaper.
"He told me to go and buy a pregnancy test. I was surprised. I hadn't considered the possibility of getting pregnant at my age."
Ciardi, who is 15 weeks pregnant with a baby girl, has a 23-year-old daughter from a previous marriage to that with her current husband Bruno.
There have been a few cases of women conceiving naturally later than 54, but gynecologists are still taken aback by her case.
"A natural pregnancy at the age of 54 is absolutely exceptional," said Giovanni Paolo Cima, the head of the gynecology and obstetrics department at the local hospital. "We've had two cases at 47, nothing over that."
Most pregnant women experience symptoms such as facial hair growth and sciatica, walk with a waddle and pee each time they sneeze. Most women at the age of 54 experience these symptoms...and they are not pregnant. (We would also like to add that most 54-year-old Italian women look like they're in their ninth month of pregnancy...but that's neither here nor there.)
This pregnancy will certainly bring up sensitive and annoying issues with Italian grandmothers. Without a doubt they are convinced this pregnancy did not come naturally but rather the result of some harebrained incident that occurred in the mother's (or father's) past such as a curse, revenge, whoring, missing farm animal, etc.
Nevertheless, these grandmothers will defy science and declare what sex your infant will be just by giving you a good stare at your:
- If the stomach protrudes highly, it's a female, male if it is low (65% accuracy).
- If you have pimples, it's female (0% accuracy, FAIL).
- If the infant has more than 140 beats per minute, it's female, otherwise, it's a male (85% accuracy).
- If you crave sweets, it's female, otherwise, it's a male. (Ridiculously inaccurate but some insane grandmothers swear by this.)
- If the year of conception and the mother's age is an even number, it's female. If one is even and one is odd, it is a male. (Sheer brilliance at its best. What if both numbers come up odd? You'll give birth to a chicken?)
- Drop a key and ask the pregnant woman to pick it up: If she picks it up by the round part, it's male. If she takes it by the long end, it's female. (This is the point in the pregnancy where the key should be used to lock the door to avoid unwanted relatives from visiting.)