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SAN GENNARO’s MIRACLE

Published September 19, 2014 by Tony

San Gennaro’s blood is liquefied

 

As always, this morning thousands of people have flocked to the Cathedral of Naples, in the hope that the miracle of the blood of San Gennaro could repeat.

The patron saint of Naples, which today, September 19, is  celebrated. After the religious ceremony began, Cardinal Sepe has made its entry into the basilica together with the relics of the saint, waiting for the miracle. Took the ampule and showed it to the faithful and…..  the blood dissolved itself!

Also this year, the miracle took place again!

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

MUSIC LIFE

Published December 19, 2013 by Tony

– ENZO AVITABILE –

- ENZO AVITABILE -


Celebrated to the last Art Show in Venice, “Music Life” is a documentary dedicated to Enzo Avitabile and directed by acclaimed director Jonathan Demme.
The video’s exciting images that highlight the high musical level of the musician, mixed with scenes of daily life, have been projected last week in almost all Italian movies. Through the poetic music of the Neapolitan artist, the director has created a story that follows his desire to save the world, giving to the documentary a clear political significance. In perfect communion with the sensitivity of Demme, the Avitabile’s songs, always open to contamination and differences, exhibit solidarity for the oppressed and an empathy for the margins. A video to watch.


For the uninitiated, Enzo Avitabile is a famous saxophonist, musician and songwriter from Naples, perhaps best known in Italy for the song “Soul Express”, but who has had a background in all respect. He grows in the neighborhood of Naples called Marianella, studying the saxophone, and starting to perform at 7-8 years in Americans locals of Naples, and later graduating in flute at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella. In 1979 his participation in the second Pino Daniele’s self-titled album, and in 1980 he gave his contribution to another important Pino Daniele’s album called “Nero a metà”. In 1982 he released his first album, “Avitabile” , which already showed his black music style, and in which one song was dedicated to the deceased friend Mario Musella (“The Showmen”‘s singer). In 1983 he released his second album, with the song “Gospel mio” sung by Richie Havens. 1986 is the year of release of one of his best-known works, “SOS Brothers”, which contains the historic “Soul Express” and “Black Out”, whose remix version won a prize in Ibiza for the best dance song of the year. In 1988 he published “Alto Voltaggio”, in which he reiterate the presence of his love for funk, with a collaboration with Afrika Bambaataa, that will bring to the creation of the album “Street Happiness”. In devising his music the singer-songwriter has never been affected by commercial logic. In 1994 he released “Easy” where he puts in music the poem ” ‘A livella” by Toto, and where in “Leave me or love me” he sang with Randy Crawford. On that time, the record company EMI saddled him with the label of “artist unmanageable”, because he refused to participate in the Festival of Sanremo. In the same year he participated to the Pistoia Blues Festival. Since 2004, his records’ covers have been signed by the anthropologist Marino Niola. In 2009 he won the Italian Targa Tenco for the best record in Neapolitan dialect, with the album “Napoletana” released the same year.

First public exhibition

Last year, in the television show “Sottovoce ” by Gigi Marzullo , Enzo said:

<< As a boy, my dreams were simple: learn to play the saxophone and meet the artists who I listened thanks to the jukebox . >>
<< The word is already music, and I like to get there with the music where the words do not come, and vice versa. There is a mantra in our Neapolitan dialect. I hope to make music but to also say something, conveying my thoughts through the music.>>
<< Naples and Marianella are the ‘Mother home’ to me, when I am back in Naples there are certain conditions, fundamental states of consciousness, which in my opinion are to be linked to certain things, because for me the (cultural) contamination is very important, but I think it is fundamental the recovery of our cultural identity. >>
<<Mine can be defined as ‘World Music’, but I wanted to borrow from the greats artists of the past the ability to move inside any form, to go over the same shape, to create new forms, which do not really have a form… this seems to be a pun, but it is a return to pure music, one that goes beyond labels.>>
<< I can define myself a loner among people, like all of us. ‘Chi nun cunosce ‘o scuro nu po’ capì a luce, nisciuno s’ape ‘a nato, ognuno è sulo’. If loneliness is introspection and constant contact with our interior, it becomes something that you live even in the tumult of everyday life, but if it becomes marginalization, it becomes a different thing. No longer a choice but a condition. >>
<< I am a street intellectual and I like if the street generates intellectuals. I am a man of everyday, but a thinking being. >>
<< The music joins and saved the world. So many times, like John Lennon, Jim Hendrix, James Brown, Bob Marley, Giovanni Pergolesi or Stravinsky have did. >>

 together Pino Daniele

The last Avitabile’s record, released last year, is titled “Black Tarantella”, which like the previous one has won the Targa Tenco, while the song “Gerardo nuvola ‘e Povere”, won the Amnesty Award Italy. As he says, is a particular recording that gets nothing to do with the words Black or Tarantella, but wants to be a tribute to the allegorical synonymy of recent years. Tarantella is the symbol of the Made in Italy, our original sound of the south, but we Neapolitans use this term to also mean something different, as we sometimes use the term black (meaning a lack of a way out) to indicate a hope, a chance. With this record I wanted to simply explore the double meaning of words and music.

together James Brown

together Tina Turner

togehter Africa Bambaataa

(Meeting with Africa Bambaataa in the Bronx, then they came to Marianella and together they made a video for the district Scampia)

MASS CONSUMPTION

Published April 6, 2013 by Tony

POOR’S CONSUMERISM

Walking down the street an old woman sees a piece of twine on the ground, bends down, picks it up and puts it in his pocket to preserve it.
Scene of other times, times when even a rope could be useful, how to tie an old cardboard suitcase for example.
Today, anyone who needs a piece of rope buy a whole roll, then forgetting it somewhere, as cardboard suitcases do not exist anymore. Today you buy a trolley or the newest Samsonite seen on TV, even if it is for only one trip.

Adaptation? Consumerism? Progress?

Perhaps the European single currency (euro) has made things worse here, then the international crisis, but if we go further back in time, economic difficulty begins with the advertising and worse with the loss of values, in a broad sense, which over the years hit our society.
For values I also mean anything concerning the little things, like that piece of twine collected from the lady. Meantime, commercials push people to wish what they do not have, to replace, to keep up with the times.
Although because of this my relatives criticize me, I do not throw away things easily, and I like to preserve and collect useful things if I find them abandoned, even if it is just a nail or an used flowerpot.
My grandma said: “astipa che truove” (as to say preserve and you will have  at disposal), and we were a family that could not be considered poor or needy. It was our lifestyle to be different, and mainly the value you gave to things…. the shame, if there was, was not for dressing a worn cloth or for not owning a car.
Trouble shared is a trouble halved, some would say. Maybe!

Some time ago, on a sidewalk, next to the trash cans, I saw a large mirror thrown, abandoned because there was no longer useful, probably. It was a beautiful mirror-style eight-shaped and I not deny the instinctive urge to pick it up and take it away before some street urchin on duty had broken it, or that garbage collectors could take it away, but the shame prevailed together inability to carry such a burden alone.
I only can guess what that old woman or any other person lived forty years ago would say…. period when any item was not thrown with such ease, and there was a sort of family and domestic recycling. I guess if one of these people of old times had the opportunity to come back to life today, he even could live off with the use of everything (still good and usable) is thrown away and that we see down the street or in the rubbish bins.
And to think that nowadays someone is addressing a holding company in order to have a dishwasher or a plasma screen, at any cost.

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KROKODIL

Published March 19, 2013 by Tony

HEROINE OF THE POOR
DRUG KILLER

krokodil preparation

The desomorphine is an opiate derived from morphine and used in medicine for its strong analgesic effect, far superior to morphine.
This substance is coming to the fore in 2010 in Russia due to a sharp increase in its illegal production, because of its relative ease of synthesis from codeine. In fact, it can easily be obtained using codeine, iodine and red phosphorus, which give rise to a drug similar to desomorphine, but highly impure and contaminated with toxic and corrosive elements. In Russia such a “street drug” has been called Krokodil (crocodile) because it produces severe tissue damage, phlebitis and gangrene, but a cheaper alternative to the expensive and unavailable heroin.
The damage caused by krokodil is so devastating  that the life expectancy of drug addicts who use it seem to be not more than three years, bringing serious skin lesions from the first use. Liver, kidneys and heart are the first organs that are affected by the drug already after the first injections.
According to what heroin-addicts say, its effects only lasts a few hours, but three times most powerful than heroin, and causing more dependence.
Only 1 of 100 addict would be able to detoxify.
This drug easily produced at home should be injected intravenously, because if accidentally injected intramuscularly leads to the total destruction of flesh and muscle, if not even the bones. Once in the bloodstream, it causes holes on the skin, like cigarette burns, that, slowly over time, become open sores. “The flesh is burned but we bear because cannot do without it, we’re addicted“, says a young krokodil-dependent.
The first cases of use and abuse of handmade krokodil were reported in eastern Siberia in 2002, but since then its use has spread throughout Russia, in the neighboring former Soviet republics and have arrived in other countries too. Years ago a sporadic use of the Krokodil were reported in Germany, while some media reported krokodil addictabout some deaths.
In Russia is estimated that 100,000 persons die every year because of drug, with an estimated number of drug addicts 2.6000000-6000000. All are young, with an average age under 30 years, but teenagers also are involved. The city with a high rate of drug addicts is Tolyatti, in the center of Russia, which, due to economic problems, crisis, unemployment and more, has the highest rate of consumption of hard drugs in the world.
Russia is one of the central hubs of the international drug trade from the Far East and Central Asia. Its territory serves as a bridge to Europe, but very often is the main destination of the Afghan drugs. According to estimates of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, in Russia is consumed more than one-fifth of the drugs in circulation globally. Seventy tons of Afghan heroin arrive in the country each year, killing an average of 80 victims per day.
The Russian authorities have long been aware of the problem but have not yet been adopted appropriate measures to solve it because they consider drug-addicts as criminals, and because, as always, large economic interests at stake by the pharmaceutical companies that produce medications (such as codeine), from which addicts obtain the single substances to prepare the deadly mix.

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LO STRUSCIO

Published March 11, 2013 by Tony

‘Paschal struscio’
A sort of stroll

sepulcher

All over the world, the Holy Week for Catholics is the period before Easter, from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday.
In Italy, the Holy Week’s representations are numerous and often very charming, popular in almost every region, in which strictly religious elements mix with folk components.
In Naples, one of these is the “lo struscio“.
From Good Friday the Sacrifice of the Mass is no longer officiated, and therefore the Eucharist is not consecrated. In addition, the repose of the  Eucharist is a way to invite the faithful to worship, in the night between Thursday and Friday (that we called Holy Sepulchers time), the establishment of a so big mystery and meditating on the sufferings of the Passion of Christ.
It was customary to decorate every altar with buds. In the days of Lent (which lasts forty-four days, starting from Ash Wednesday), many people placed in small flowerpots or bowls, containing wet soil or cotton wool, seeds of wheat or pulses, and then placing them in the dark. After a few weeks, they germinated in the form of greenish-yellow long and thick filaments, and on Holy Thursday each person brought the vase in church. (The seed, place in the ground -sepulcher- is transformed into a new plant that will look something different in appearance from the seed, but it is essentially the same thing, and maturing generates new seeds allowing the renewal of the life cycle).


In the past, during ‘Holy Sepulchers days’ many believers went in mass in the different parishes, generally seven (like the days of the week) to pray and visit the churches (the number of visited churches had to be odd and never less than three or more than seven, otherwise it was ominous).
Keep in mind that in Naples there are a lot of churches, often not very far from each other. In the eighteenth century in Naples there were a hundred convents and monasteries and about 500 churches, so that Naples earned the nickname of “the city with 500 domes”. Naples still has a large number of churches and convents, a value that is around thousand units, which places it among the cities with the highest number of worship’s place in the world. If we consider only the historical churches, the number is very high, in fact, they even surpass the 200 units in the old town and 450 in the entire city center.

“Ce qui nous to the paru plus extraordinaire à Naples, c’est le nombre et de ses the magnificence églises; puis je vous sans exagérer say this hides surpasse the immagination”  – Maximilien Misson –

Although in many parts of Italy and in general “lo struscio” (rub) is strusciodefined the evening Sunday stroll in provincial towns, once in Naples it referred to the visit of the Sepulchers made during Holy Week, (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) in the churches. The name comes from the Neapolitan verb “strusci-are” (to rub) and stems from the fact that, in the past, so much was the persons who moved into the street for this occasion, that crowding led people to touch and “strusciate” (rubbing) each other, or it can also refer to the sound of their shoes “rubbing” on the pavement.
Over time, this custom has lost its religious significance and although many people still leave their homes for a walk on Friday or Saturday evening, the ‘Paschal struscio’ has become an opportunity to go shopping, to show off new clothes or meet friends and people.
Even today, for young people it is a good opportunity to get “panni nuovi” (new clothes) from parents. This custom originated in the postwar years, when people bought some new clothing only on special occasions such as Christmas and Easter.

Easter in Naples

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ELECTIONS 2013

Published February 24, 2013 by Tony

Was to be expected that in this Election there would be less turnout, and this absence may be regarded as a protest vote. Aside from Milan, where there was a turnout higher than that recorded during the 2008 election, in almost every city, at least until early afternoon, less people went to the ballot box. The largest decrease was recorded in Campania, where the turnout has fallen by 4 percentage points, from 14.84 in 2008 all’10, 80 today. Two points instead in Trentino Alto Adige (16.46 versus 18.37), Emilia Romagna (20.40 at 22:46) and south to Puglia to 11, 62% (was 13.21 in 2008), Basilicata to 9.71% (it was 11, 53%) and Calabria to 7.96% (compared to 10.26).
Among the various episodes that occurred at polling stations, the one that has done more headlines is the presence of some women this morning in Milan, who have waited for the arrival of Berlusconi and then undressed and protested. When the “Cavaliere” came inside the polling station to vote, the three girls are put ​bare breasts and began to shout “Enough Berlusconi, enough Berlusconi,” the same sentence they had written on their chest, and then asking Italians to “not to vote for someone who should be in prison.” The police struggled to stop and drag them away. It was later learned that they are called Inna Shevchenko, Oksana Shachko and Elvire duvelle-Charles, and activists of the Ukrainian group Femen.
Today Italians can vote up at 22, while tomorrow until 15.
We update tomorrow to know the outcome of these 2013 Italian Elections.