"A sin concealed is half-pardoned." (Some Italian proverb)
So basically, two sins are...that's right, one full pardon! Proverb solved, next topic!
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Grosseto - October 7, 2013 - The first mate of the Costa Concordia cruise ship told a Tuscan court that he and the cartographer were resting in their cabins "playing on their Playstations" when the giant liner smashed into a rock formation on Giglio Island off the Tuscan coast on January 13, 2012.
Fifty-year-old Giovanni Iaccarino was the first of 1,040 witnesses listed to be heard in the trial against the ship's ex-captain, Francesco Schettino. Schettino is accused of multiple manslaughter and dereliction of duty for his role in the shipwreck that killed 32, forced the evacuation of thousands onboard, and caused massive economic damage to Costa Cruises and to Giglio Island, a popular Tuscan tourist destination where the massive ship crashed.
In live testimony, Iaccarino recalled that at the moment of impact, he and Canessa were resting in their cabin.
"We were playing on Playstation when we became aware of the ship hitting on the left, then on the right. Materials fell down. The sensation was like hitting aground or a collision. This was the impression I had at that moment," Iaccarino said of the moment of impact.
Iaccarino was the first person to go check and find out that the engine room and bilge pumps were flooded - 11 minutes after impact - and to communicate the irreparable damage to the control room.
Iaccarino also testified that Schettino ordered the ship to sail a half-mile from the shore of Giglio Island instead of the route's usual five-mile distance in the centre of the Argentario Canal.
Iaccarino said there was a blackout on the bridge. He reported radioing the second-in-command, Bosio, to say, "The water is continuing to rise". In the videotaped testimony Iaccarino also remembered that he heard an announcement saying things were under control at 22:04.
Iaccarino recalled returning to the control room after the impact and saw that the instruments indicated that the ship "had gone from 16 knots to nine". "I looked at the panel and it was full of red lights. Then Captain Schettino put his hands in his hair and said, 'I messed up'," Iaccarino said.
Hmmm...not only do violent video games lead to real life violence, they lead to real life shipwrecks.
One could say that this was an accident, and another could say it was negligence and irresponsibility. So many theories and explanations flying around and we're still at the beginning. "Porca di quella vacca," it's like listening to the French rewrite World War II.
However, we think two facts must be considered certain from this tragedy that will not be brought up during the trial:
1) At its inauguration, the stupid champagne bottle didn't smash across her bow during the christening (click here).
2) It's getting more and more difficult to get through to Italians.
Peppe the puppet: "Let's start off easy: right shoe on right foot..."
"Iaccarino was the first person to go check and find out that the engine room and bilge pumps were flooded - 11 minutes after impact - and to communicate the irreparable damage to the control room."
11 minutes?! "Vaffanculo!" It took 11 minutes to warn the control room because "Moe" and "Larry" had to FIRST make it to some checkpoint on their Playstation game and save it. Then, after checking the flooded engine rooms, they radioed "Curly", who was busy staring at a panel with red lights, to say the water was still rising.
"Iaccarino...heard an announcement saying things were under control at 22:04."
Assisi - October 4, 2013 - Too many priests deliver homilies that are boring, interminable and incomprehensible, Pope Francis said.
In improvised remarks during a visit to Assisi, the pope warned his clergy to think carefully about the content of their sermons.
"Enough of these kinds of homilies - endless, tedious, in which you do not understand anything," Francis said at a meeting with clergy in Assisi's Cathedral of San Rufino.
(We're not looking forward to the repeat holy criticism we're going to get after this one...and the next article)
"Grazie, Papa Francesco." It's about time...
The Pope knows. It's no surprise Catholicism has been on a downward trend for years. We're having a problem...and some of us in this room and the characters in the piazza right outside the office are trying to be constructive about it for the good of the Church.
Why can't they put more effort into the speeches and edicts? "Maria Santa," they might as well give it in Latin! Don't they realize no one knows what's going on anymore? And we have old family members and relatives battling the rain and snow to get to the sermons.
We would love to grab our local priests and take them on a faith-based trip to some of these Protestant services where they're doing healings, and people are running up and down the aisles and passing out. See? You don't see these people pacing themselves like slugs on Sunday mornings. Lord have mercy, it's supposed to be a celebration!
It all comes down to content, fellow faithful ones. Content! For example, did you know you could fast from a variety of options other than food? (I don't see why we can't discuss this next Sunday, "Padre Nino".):
1) Escapist fantasies: any material activity you rely on in order to escape from reality, like TV, movies and video games.
2) Vices and sins: alcohol abuse, smoking, sexual activity outside of marriage, etc. Other vices include less obvious behaviors like gossiping, swearing, impatience, laziness or stubbornness. (Hold on, you can't technically consider drinking your home made wine as alcohol abuse. After all, an old family recipe created with love and by your own hands is not a sin. But you can avoid all of your swearing and impatience...by simply ignoring your family's gossiping and stubbornness. Again, escaping to that friend's house can help.)
3) Leisure Time: spiritually beneficial activities to your schedule. Commit yourself to spending more time with your family or to performing new acts of kindness for your friends. Any activity you add to your day should be selfless and should replace time you might otherwise waste. You could stop wasting time at home (God knows you've done enough of that) and perform an act of kindness at that friend's house. You can't be more selfless than baking a 6 layer sausage lasagne for him and the other friends who'll escape and come over later on in the evening for dinner and a card game of "scopa". Ah, don't forget the home made wine.)
See you at Sunday Mass.
Genova - October 8, 2013 - Religion class in school is useless, said about 25% of students surveyed in a study.
In fact, an entire class at a school in Genoa asked to be exempt from taking the religious studies course, says a survey conducted by Skuola.net.
Some students also complained that the course was a waste of tax money and one in four students said they treated the hour devoted to religious class as a free period.
The study also found that three in every five students said that religious class time was usually spent discussing such ethical issues as suicide, abortion and euthanasia.
"Porca l'oca," what a coincidence! We were just saying 25% of Italian students in general are useless. "Si si," simply useless...
In (rare) defense of Italy's public school system, we're having a hard time giving an Italian crap about the complaints of Italian students. Could be because they're young and free...and we're miserable.
The problem here is not so much the waste of tax money (as if these mules knew what taxes are)...but what the one in four students are up to during that free period. But can you believe the nerve of these "rompicoglioni?" Those tax dollars are going towards property damage that constantly occurs during that religion class.
As Italy's Oscar Wilde once said (he was Italian, wasn't he?), "You can never be overdressed or overeducated." So, dress up, stay off the streets, go to religion class and accept it at face value as we did back in the old Catholic school days. If you can't then don't get offended if miserable Italians insist that Siegfried and Roy should be commissioned to clean up the Italian public school system.
On the other hand, in the defense of the students (deep breath here...), we can understand your frustrations up to a certain point. There is too much time wasted on, for example, watching movies during lesson hours. It would be logical if the films were related to the lesson's topic or if they were discussed later on. But they usually serve to kill time if, for example, there is no substitute teacher.
Furthermore, we are well aware that your reference to wasted tax money is the rhetoric result of families badgering you into selecting a political party at the age of 5.
And speaking of your families...the discussion of skipping religion class isn't going to fly at home, especially the ones where mothers are sticking coins under a statue of the Virgin Mother. After all, it's hard to express your opinions and rationale at the dinner table while avoiding getting interrupted every 8 seconds.
"...three in every five students said that religious class time was usually spent discussing such ethical issues as suicide, abortion and euthanasia."
"Mamma mia," what entertaining conversation pieces for the after school playground. We think a more educational and fascinating ethical issue would be the Vatican financing the construction of the Watergate Hotel and apartment complex in Washington DC.
"Eh, excuse me, professore. Has the Church decided when the beatification process for Nixon will begin?"