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2013 IN REVIEW

Published December 29, 2013 by Tony

– Major World Events in 2013 –

Another year has passed, and although this 2013 fortunately will not go down in history as the year of the worst disasters, many important events have occurred, and it is appropriate to summarize them (news are not given in a chronological order).

Historical Events for Year 2013

Obama’s victory – re-elected to the White House
Election of Pope Francis, after Pope Benedict’s resignation
Hollande new French President
Samaras double voting and the government in Greece
Xi Jinping at the head of the Chinese Communist Party
Aung San Suu Kyi was elected in Burma and withdraw the Nobel
The robot Curiosity arrives on Mars
Croatia becomes the 28th member of the European Union as Lithuania takes over the presidency
Scientists successfully cloned human stem cells
Detroit files for bankruptcy
Iran Nuclear Deal
China Moon Rover Lands on Moon.
Death of Nelson Mandela

DISASTERS

Cyclone Cleopatra
Train accident in Lac-Mégantic
Train accident in Santiago de Compostela
Chelyabinsk Meteor
Earthquake in Bushehr
Earthquake in Ya’an
Typhoon Haiyan
Lao Airlines Flight 301
Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363
Boeing 777 crashes at San Francisco Airport
Boston Marathon’s Blasts
Hurricane Sandy

Golden Globes 2013
Best Drama: Argo , directed by Ben Affleck
Best Musical or Comedy: Les Misérables , directed by Tom Hooper

Grammy Awards 2013
Record of the Year : Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know
Song of the Year : Fun – We Are Young
Album of the Year : Mumford & Sons – Babel
Best Rock Album: The Black Keys – El Camino

Emmy Award 2013
Breaking Bad
Behind the Candelabra
The Colbert Report
Modern Family
The Voice

Oscars 2013


Argo by Ben Affleck
Ang Lee – Life of Pi
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook

Sport Events
London Marathon
Moscow Athletics World Championships
Rugby League World Cup final
UEFA Champions League final
Aviva Premiership Rugby Final

Miss Universe 2013
María Gabriela Isler

Nobel Prizes in 2013


François Englert
Eugene Fama
Lars Peter Hansen
Peter Higgs
Martin Karplus
Michael Levitt
Alice Munro
James Rothman
Randy Schekman
Robert Shiller
Thomas Südhof
Arieh Warshel
European Union

Celestial Bodies discovered in 2013
2013 ET
C/2013 A1 Siding Spring
C/2013 F1 Boattini
Kepler- 62 c
Kepler- 62 and
Kepler- 69 c
Kepler- 78 b
S/2004 N 1

International Crisis


Syria and Lebanon, Sudan, Turkey/PKK, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sahel, Mali, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Central Asia, Iraq, Colombia, Philippines, Myanmar.

According to some ” TIME” ‘ s surveys , here’s a list of the top Arts & Entertainment events of the past 12 months.

Best Movies
Gravity
The Great Beauty / Big Beauty
American Hustle
her
The Grandmaster

Best Songs
“Get Lucky,” Daft Punk
“The Wire ,” Haim
“Control,” Big Sean feat. Jay Electronica & Kendrick Lamar
“Ohm,” Yo La Tengo
“I Got a Boy,” Girls ‘ Generation

Best Books


Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
Tenth of December, George Saunders
The flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner
Book of Ages, Jill Lepore
Command and Control, Erik Schlosser
The Bully Pulpit, Doris Kearns Goodwin

NEAPOLITAN CHRISTMAS GAME

Published December 16, 2013 by Tony

THE TOMBOLA

Let’s put aside Baseball or Playstation and take the opportunity that relatives and friends are at home to play all together with a board game.

The board  games are a phenomenon quite common in Western countries as a moment of aggregation, although their importance in social life also depends on national traditions. In Germany and the German-speaking countries, for example, the culture of the table game is much more widespread than in Italy. This kind of games is important as entertainment for family, especially for those suitable for all ages.
Christmas, being a celebration that usually unites the whole family, also becomes an opportunity to play together, a way to spend a happy afternoon or evening with a board game.

And in Naples, the oldest and widespread game played during the holiday season is the ” TOMBOLA“.
It is a traditional board game just created in Naples in the eighteenth century. A home game as an alternative to the game of the LOTTO (lot), and often accompanied by a system of association between numbers and their meanings, usually humorous, deriving from “The SMORFIA“.
The Smorfia is like the dream book, used to obtain the corresponding numbers from the various dreams to play the “Lotto”, along the lines of the Jewish Kabbalistic tradition (Kabbalah). For the Smorfia, a word, an event, a person, or an object, is transformed into one or more numbers, even through a fairly accurate coding that provides a different number depending on the context. For example, the verb (action) “to play” is represented by the number 79, but it changes if you meant to play football (50), cards (17), chess (22), and so on. For The Smorfia, the number 1 represents “Italy”, while the last number, 90, represents the “fear”, as well as the number five the “hands” and 18 the “blood”.

smorfia

For the uninitiated, the Lotto is a gambling game (like lottery), the most popular game in Italy managed by the State. The word “lotto” is derived from the French ” lot ,” which means both ” portion” and “fate.” The term, arrived in the Iberian Peninsula, is documented as “lote” in Spanish and “loto” in Portuguese. The French verb “lotir ” also means “to divide the lot” or “assign the lot”. But similar term can be found in the old English “hlot” (“a thing allotted”), which correspond to “Los” in modern German.

The game consists of three weekly draws, conducted in eleven cities called “ruote” (wheels), in which are drawn 5 numbers between 1 and 90 without replacement, meaning that a number once selected is not put back in the urn. The game is to bet on one or more numbers (double, triplet, quadruplet, quintet), in the hope that they are selected in the “wheels” you had gambled. In fact, you can bet in a single wheel, multi-wheel or all-wheel.
Neapolitans are very superstitious and often bet the numbers (arising from Smorfia) corresponding to particular events or situations, or resulting from some dream. Even the numbers that are part of a just bought car’s license plate, are among those that a Neapolitan can play to The Lotto.

Lotto: extracted numbers

According to tradition, the Tombola game would be created in 1734 by a discussion between King Charles of Bourbon and father Gregorio Maria Rocco about the lottery. The first wanted it under public control, as the second considered it immoral on religious grounds. The compromise was found by banning the game during the holiday season, during which families organized themselves with a home version of the game, which soon became a custom in those days of the year.

Basically the game of Bingo is similar to Tombola, in which participants are required to pay a sum of money which is then redistributed as prizes to the winners.
The players have one or more rectangular “cards” previously “bought”, consisting of 3 lines, each with five numbers, from 1 to 90, printed on. Each time one number is drawn and it is present on one or more of the player’s cards, the player gotta cover it. In the traditional version of Tombola, the cards are simple paper cards and the numbers are can be covered with beans, chickpeas, lentils, pasta, or other materials available after the Christmas dinners, like hazelnuts’ shells. The Tombola’s cards are made in groups of six, so that in each group the numbers from 1 to 90 are present once only. A collecting box is part of the game, typically a small cone-shaped basket, filled with 90 numbers of wood. In turn, each player draws, at random, one number a time from the container, and go on until one of the players has covered all the numbers marked on one of his card. In such cases it is said that he made “Tombola”, and is the winner. Once put back in place the numbers and emptied the cards, the game resumes and another player can extract the numbers from the bowl. Depending on the amount of the prize money, players can decide to put at stake the double, the triplet, the quadruplet and the quintet, although it is the one who gets tombola to earn the top prize.

Tombola

Since Neapolitan tombola is normally played in a familiar context (as mentioned it is the traditional Christmas game), the amounts committed and won are usually small, and often have a purely symbolic value (you can “buy” three folders for 1 euro, for example). I like to buy 6 cards and to tell the truth, I’m not very lucky in this game, and although I only pay 2 Euros per session, after a couple of hours I could lose 15-20 euro! But as we say, more to comfort than anything else, “unlucky in the game, lucky in love”?
As mentioned, it is mainly a way to get together and have fun, which children may also take part, who know the numbers, at least from 1 to 90!

tombola