"Oh, Mamma Mia!" Welcome to another issue of "Only In Italy", written by the most talented newsletter writers to ever drool on a keyboard.
"As usual, my "Only in Italy" news items are the highlights of my day. Keep up the great work! What a wonderful bunch of smart asses you are! I feel we are kindred spirits." Debbie
The smart asses thank you, Debbie!
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - September 25, 2008 - Parents must start paying for the upkeep of their children again when they quit jobs that have helped them fly the nest, Italy's highest court ruled Thursday.
The Cassation Court, whose sentences set precedents, turned down an appeal from a Modena man who said he shouldn't be obliged to pick up the tab for his adult son if he decided to leave a good job.
The court ruled that parents were obliged to support their children "as long as their aspirations were in line with their aptitudes".
David, 20, walked away from a slaughterhouse job de-boning pigs to pursue his dream of becoming a hairdresser.
The father, Salvatore, was ordered to pay 300 euros towards the upkeep of his son until he can pay his own way again."Porca l'oca", how many of you fell off your chairs when you read young Davide went from gutting pigs to cutting hair?
"Cazzo, figlio mio, what in the world happened in that slaughterhouse?"
"Ah, pay? Is that so, your honor?"
Maybe there was no fresh air in that court room and the lack of ventilation generated dizziness on these judges.
Poor Sal! What a metamorphosis! He still can't believe his son went from bringing home free pork chops and loins to shampoos and conditioners. Not only is he out 300 Euros, he has to put up with the yapping of his typical day at the salon and his newly found interest in house cleaning.
We're going to mail Sal some prosciutto and handles to put on his walls so that they'll be easier to climb.
Laura Marchesi set animal rights campaigners on husband Alessandro for putting her cat, Ivano, out on the balcony.
She contacted the Italian Animal and Environment Defense Association which found her lawyers specializing in similar cases.
Mrs Marchesi told them she had found the cat shivering with cold and hungry after spending the night trying to get back into their Parma apartment.
Now a court has ordered Mr Marchesi to pay his wife 517 Euros for vets' expenses and emotional damage.
Mrs Marchesi said: "I am so pleased with all the help from the lawyers.
"I love my cat very, very much and what happened to it affected me deeply. It is only fair that I receive some compensation."
It is unclear what effect the row has had on the couple's relationship.
"517 Euros? Oh, porca di quella figlia di puttana..."
Feline Facts for Alessandro:
- A cat's heart beats twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats per minute. Alex's heart beat 150-180 beats per minute when he received the court fine.
- If a cat is near you, and her tail is quivering, this is the greatest expression of love your cat can give you. If her tail starts thrashing, her mood has changed. Time to distance yourself from her. Alex found a funny expression of love in his briefcase. However; we're sure he'll be distancing himself as a result of his wife's tail thrashing.
- A cat loves you and can "read" your moods. If you're sad or under stress, you may also notice a difference in your cat's behavior. Cats and just about everyone who lives in Alex's building are going to change their behavior around him.
- People who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks. People who lose 517 Euros over a cat tend to live less, and provoke heart attacks to cats.
- The more cats are spoken to, the more they will speak to you. "Hey cat, fammi un piacere. Vai a 'fanculo!"
Rome - September 26, 2008 - On a hillside in Italy's Lazio region, just 25 kilometers north and west of Rome, there is a magnificent array of radio antennas. This veritable garden of electromagnetic transmission hurls short-wave and medium-wave radio signals all over the world as Vatican Radio - The Voice of the Pope.
Vatican Radio was established in 1931 by Pope Pius XI to broadcast the Christian message to any and every country possible. The Vatican was assisted in the effort by none other than Guglielmo Marconi, the renowned scientist often cited as the inventor of radio. Marconi was a celebrated figure by this time and the flipping of the Vatican Radio switch was a major news event of the day.
The current transmission facility built in the 1950s consists of six antenna clusters over a 400 hectare plateau with towers rising up to 106 meters in the air. Nearby, the towns of Cesano and Santa Maria di Galeria are mainly situated amongst verdant hills and open countryside typical of the central Italian provinces.
As the area developed and population increased, charges of environmental negligence leading to health problems began to emerge. Turns out it takes a ton of power to fling "la voce del Papa" around the planet. Some antennas were effectively transmitting at a whopping 600 kilowatts and Willer Bordon, an Italian environmental minister, took measurements that indicated the Vatican transmitters violated Italian radiation standards.
Then local doctors and residents began seeing an atypical increase in cases of childhood leukemia with incidents decreasing in frequency as studies moved away from the antennas. No longer was this just a high powered electrosmog nuisance causing intercoms and cell phones to spontaneously cackle papal missives and scripture. People were getting sick. The battle was engaged in 2000 to shut down the array.
Though much of the epidemiological data was found scientifically inconclusive - small samples, relative rarity of leukemia, difficulties measuring exposure - the Regional Health Department of Italy established a case and brought suit.
Stubbornly, whenever Vatican officials went to court they flashed the Lateran Treaty; a 1929 agreement with Benito Mussolini establishing the Holy See as fully sovereign thus exempting Vatican City from jurisdiction by Italy proper. Judges agreed, but considering electromagnetic waves with respect to borders, the ruling was appealed and Vatican Radio officials went to trial.
In 2005 Cardinal Roberto Tucci and Father Pasquale Borgomeo were ultimately found guilty of throwing dangerous things (there is no term for electromagnetic pollution in Italian law), and given suspended 10 day jail sentences as Vatican Radio worked to reduce their emissions.
This too was successfully appealed and the priests were acquitted last year, but in May of 2008 The Court of Cassation - Italy's Supreme Court if you will - reversed this ruling and will put Tucci and Borgomeo back on trial. Though The Court has yet to publish it's motivation, a scathing public health report indicates the area is still a hazardous place in which to live.
The irony is almost too much to bear. The 'Vicar of Christ', successor to St. Peter, broadcasting words and messages of The Catholic Church in a high-powered manner so as to apparently cause cancer in young children. Though Vatican Radio vehemently insists there is no danger (and vows to prove as much in court), this is a contentious and fascinating trial with subtle and profound implications.
"Hmmm...What law term can we use for electromagnetic pollution without offending the Vatican?"
36 antennas, 20 transmitters and 8 satellite channels: Transmitting at 600 kilowatts is the Vatican's way of making absolutely sure you hear the Scriptures no matter where you're hiding in the world. Much like a Sunday Mass where the Church uses the amplification system of a rock concert to discourage you from falling asleep.
When you have PCs that switch on in the middle of the night, TVs that change channels without remotes, telephones that spontaneously transmit the Rosary, residents complaining they can hear radio broadcasts through their domestic lamps and leukemia banging at the front door, then it could be time to put down the Bible for a moment and bring down the power generators a notch or two.
"Stubbornly, whenever Vatican officials went to court they flashed the Lateran Treaty; a 1929 agreement with Benito Mussolini establishing the Holy See as fully sovereign thus exempting Vatican City from jurisdiction by Italy proper." "Cacchio", that's like a reminder that your conceited and irresponsible child who's now 79 years old can do whatever he wants and you can't punish him.
They should dig up Mussolini, prop him up in front of those antennas until the 600 kilowatts bring him back to life and force the jackass to revise that treaty.