"Buon Giorno tutti!" Welcome to another Sicilian Pulitzer Prize issue of "Only In Italy!"
"Love them, love them, love them!" Linda S.
Grazie, Grazie e Grazie!
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - October 31, 2007 - A growing number of Italian cocaine users are putting themselves on the waiting list for surgery to redo their noses and getting taxpayers to pay for the procedure, according to findings by doctors.
As cocaine abuse can result in permanent "structural damage" to the nose, the operation is covered by the public health care system, though there is a waiting list of at least a year and a half. The surgery would cost about $14,400 in a private clinic after a five-month wait.
"The problem is serious and on the rise," Claudio Leonardi, the coordinator of the Association of Services for Diagnosis and Treatment of Drug Addiction, or Federserd, told participants at a three-day congress in Sorrento that ends today, according to a transcript on the group's Web site.
"Very young people are now going in for surgery."
Until recently, only one in 100 cocaine addicts resorted to rhinoplasty. It's now become more prevalent, especially among young female users, according to Federserd. While eight out of 10 addicts are men, 40% of users among teenagers and people in their twenties are women, according to Federserd. Prolonged cocaine use can cause damage to the septum and nasal cavity, and may require surgery to repair broken vessels, torn mucous membranes, or perforation. Federserd did not quantify how many cocaine users are now seeking the surgery.
Cocaine use among girls between 14 and 24 years old doubled between 2003 and 2006, according to a parliamentary study presented in July. Cocaine use among Italian males between the ages of 25 and 34 rose 62% over the three years.
Traces of the white powder have also been found in the air in Rome. Parts of the Italian capital have a pulverized cocaine concentration of as much as 0.1 nanograms a cubic meter, according to the Italian National Research Council.
Cocaine is the fourth most-tried drug with 14.3 million users worldwide, according to the United Nations' 2007 World Drug report. In Italy alone, the costs of treating ailments related to drug abuse eat up about $14.5 billion of the welfare and health system's budget, or 0.7% of Italy's gross domestic product, the government predicts.
"Sniff-sniff...porca di quella troja!"
Are we insane?
Cazzo, the chuckle faced minister who approved this must have nostrils big enough to park a Vespa scooter.
The Italian public health system is our version of "Stonehenge"; created by prehistoric ministers for mysterious reasons and with no clear explanation to its functions or use.
Our tax money can be better spent on Italians who:
- have humorous feet fungus,
There's no shame anymore. I can't believe I'll have to move to Greenland!
Messina - October 29, 2007 - Aliens were responsible for a series of unexplained fires in fridges, TV's and mobile phones in an Italian village, according to an Italian government report.
Canneto di Caronia, in northern Sicily, drew attention three years ago after residents reported everyday household objects bursting into flames.
TV news footage at the time showed electrical appliances as well as cookers, a pile of wedding presents and furniture smoldering.
Dozens of experts including scientists, electrical engineers and military boffins, arrived in the village 60 miles east of Palermo to investigate the phenomenon.
Arson was quickly ruled out and at one stage an amazed scientist was interviewed after he described how he saw an unplugged electrical cable burst into flames.
Locals were quick to blame supernatural forces and at the time the Vatican's chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth backed up their fears and said: "I've seen things like this before. Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods. Let's not forget that Satan and his followers have immense powers."
Now in an interim leaked report published by several Italian newspapers it has emerged that the Civil Protection Department has concluded the most likely cause was "aliens".
The report was ordered by the Italian government and brought together dozens of experts including a NASA scientist. Their two year investigation has cost an estimated 2 million US Dollars.
According to the report the fires were "caused by a high power electro magnetic emissions which were not man made and reached a power of between 12 and 15 gigawatts."
The report also detailed a possible UFO landing close to the village, citing "burnt imprints which have not been explained were found in a field."
Francesco Mantegna Venerando, Sicily's Civil Protection chief who coordinated the report, said: "This is not the final report. We are still working on our conclusions and this has been leaked.
"We are not saying that little green men from Mars started the fires but that unnatural forces capable of creating a large amount of electromagnetic energy were responsible.
"This is just one possibility we are also looking at another one which involves the testing of top secret weapons by an unknown power which are also capable of producing an enormous amount of energy.""Aliens?! Ma vaffanculo!"
It's hard to believe a mountain village with 3500 "caronesi", 3 sheep and a nervous cow in the province of nowhere, Sicily, would force the incredibly entertaining Sicilian government to call in the "Italian Ghostbusters". Almost gives a good reason for those people to get out of bed and change the expressions on their monotone faces.
"Aliens were responsible for a series of unexplained fires in fridges, TV's and mobile phones in an Italian village, according to an Italian government report." Elvis sightings are more credible.
Father Gabriele Amorth: "Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods. Let's not forget that Satan and his followers have immense powers." Either Satan has an immense sense of humor or Father Amorth is in need of a holiday.
"The report also detailed a possible UFO landing close to the village, citing burnt imprints which have not been explained were found in a field." It could also be the UFO took a wrong turn off Calabria and thought it landed at beautiful Taormina.
"This is just one possibility we are also looking at another one which involves the testing of top secret weapons by an unknown power..." Now we're making sense. Terrorists are testing top secret weapons by the mule sheds and bocce court.
On the bright side, the only Sicilian smiling through all this is the local shop owner selling electronics and appliances without extended warranties.
Milan - October 19, 2007 - Inmates from a prison just outside Milan will help Italy fight global warming by making environment-friendly ice cream from local milk and berries and fruits, Italian farmers' group Coldiretti said on Thursday.
Ice cream lovers will be able to taste a gelato fresh from behind the bars in February when a small group of inmates from a high security wing of the prison in Opera, a few km south of Milan, start their in-house production.
"We will make an experimental, artisan product, using fresh local raw materials which are not genetically modified," Marco Molinelli and Roberto Saini from Jobinside company which is running the project, were quoted by Coldiretti as saying.
Every such effort counts in Italy which lags far behind targets set under the Kyoto Protocol for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) output.
Coldiretti, which is spearheading a "zero kilometer" campaign, has been urging Italians to produce and buy food made from local products in order to cut emissions of heat-trapping CO2 linked to transporting goods.
"Gelato al cioccolato, Signore criminale."
Making gelato in jail: Whatever happened to the definition of jail? You're not supposed to enjoy yourself in jail. You're supposed to get hassled and have your freedoms inhibited. Italian prisoners want to contribute to the fight against global warming. Vaffanculo, who is going to believe that?
The objective of the Kyoto Protocol is to achieve "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." The objective of jail is to achieve the "stabilization of criminal jackass minds at uncomfortable levels that would prevent future criminal interference with so-called civil society."
Please be aware Italians do care about the environment (or, at least, pretend to) therefore, we will be happy to take our children and bike over to the local jailhouse and purchase peculiar ice cream from inmates. And it doesn't matter what flavor is available just as long that everyone stays calm.
Besides, only a criminal mind would produce and sell gelato in February.