You got to love Italians. Besides inventing Latin and the Catholic Church, Vespas and Michaelangelo, they really know how to name their food. Some of you may be familiar with Strangolapreti (ie. priest stranglers) which is a round pasta or gnocchi. But there is also a variation of this called Stringozzi, named for the leather cord once used to strangle tax collectors in Umbria.
Le Palle del Nonno (granddad's testicles) are crinkly-looking pork sausages and Coglioni di Mulo (mule's testicles) are salsicce (sausages) also from Umbria that are shaped like the private part of a mule.
Sciatt (dialect for toad) from Valtellina is a cheese-stuffed buckwheat pastry but Ossi di Morti - (bones of the dead) are sugar coated biscuits.
Brutti ma buoni (ugly, but good) are hazlenut macaroons.
We've all seen the Baci (kisses) but there are also Sospiri (sighs), Bugie (lies) and Chiacchiere (gossip). The marketing campaigns for the other ones obviously didnt take off.
There is even a variety of grape from Romagna called Pagadebit
(pay a debt). A good wine to relax the tax collector with before
whipping out the Stringozzi. Eh!
(from 'Italy,' by Matthew Evans)
Favourite Letters of the Week
Re: Joe Dolce Newsletter Deletion Problem
Don't worry Joe, leave me on. Such a gracious email! James
(Note: Folks, this little note is one of the most unusual letters I have ever received. James originally asked to be REMOVED from my newsletter list. But the email address he wrote to me from was NOT the same email address the newsletter was being sent to. (A common mistake: many people, including me, have one email address forwarding mail to another.) I asked him to please send the source email and I would delete it. He liked the way in which I asked so much he decided to REMAIN on the list! Whoa! I must have manners I don't even know I have. Aye Jimmy! May ye bairnes grow up with straight teeth.)
Subject: italian aboriginals
welcome back from your successful road trip. how fascinating to learn about the long history of italians in australia. who knew? clearly these early arrivals must have completely missed out on marco polo's interactions with the chinese. did they pass through the middle kingdom on the way to oz, or send out their own intrepid noodle-seeker at a later date? if not, what did they traditionally put their sauce on? cheers, joan
(Note: Joan, Italian Aboriginals luckily missed out on Marco Polio's decimation of the early Chinese with the disease that bears his name. While the history of the noodle is still being debated, archaeological findings in Northern Broome now point to the deeper significance behind the Mandala-like shape of the Pizza. Early Italian aboriginal pizzas are thought to have been forerunners of the contemporary Australian aboriginal dot paintings. The ancient Pizza toppings were not just randomly scattered over the dough, as once thought, but placed in specific patterns in order to pass on cultural myths such as the Anchovy Dreaming or the Mushroom-Olive Dreaming. I have begun collecting Australian Contemporary Italian Aboriginal Pizza Fragments and plan to offer them for auction on eBay, in small, medium and family-size.)
Subject: Re: Scusa!
I was interested to read of the Italian Internment Camp in Harvey, WA. If I had read of it earlier, I would have had a look in when we where over in WA . . .
My Grandfather, who came out here as a 14 year old Pommy lad, after his Dad died, was in the Australian Army in both World Wars - enlisting in Light Horse, in 1915, originally ... but they were retrained as Artillery, so he was a (heavy horse-)Driver / Artilleryman in France. He stayed in (Artillery) reserves between the Wars ... enlisted back into Regs in 1939 and was, initially posted to naval artillery on Rottnest Island. During the War he trained in a variety of ordnance ... and was posted to Prison Camps - ending up as the Senior Non-Com (Regimental Sergeant Major) at Hay Prison Camp, then holding Japanese Military prisoners.
After the Cowra breakout, authorities relocated all Japanese to more secure prison camps. Hay's contingent were marched - under close guard (loaded rifles, bayonets fixed ... &c) to the Hay Railway Station and loaded onto high-security armoured carriages ... then the Hay guard contingent awaited the train carrying their new prisoners - italian internees ... The train rolled into the station ... a bunch of blokes hanging out of the doors, clutching their capacious lunch boxes. As they hopped off the (not-yet-stationary) train they called out: "G'day-a mate ... where do we go now?" I don't think this lot had too many old-line Fascists left, by this time! Regards, Bob B.
I'm glad you've been travelling. I'm on leave from my normally worthwhile employment and spent a bit of time in Adelaide. I'm convinced the jewel in the South Australian crown has more alternatively acknowledged citizens than we do in Melbourne. Rundle Mall, Friday, I had my soul saved three times, was hit up by street people for a few dollars twice, asked for a light by Goths on six-inch (sorry, metrics have never worked for me) twice and all but ordered by the bloke in WW1 British Land Forces uniform to take a Good News Bible once. All that before lunch! And they wonder why we (Victorians) are stealing their water! Mike E.
Mobile Phones "More Dangerous Than
By Geoffrey Lean
The Independent UK
Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos,
a study by an award winning cancer expert has concluded. He says
people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments
and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps"
to reduce exposure to their radiation.
The study, by Dr Vini Khurana, is the most devastating indictment yet published of the health risks.
It draws on growing evidence - exclusively reported in the IoS in October - that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer. Cancers take at least a decade to develop, invalidating official safety assurances based on earlier studies which included few, if any, people who had used the phones for that long.
Earlier this year, the French government warned against the use of mobile phones, especially by children. Germany also advises its people to minimise handset use, and the European Environment Agency has called for exposures to be reduced.
Professor Khurana - a top neurosurgeon who has received 14 awards over the past 16 years, has published more than three dozen scientific papers - reviewed more than 100 studies on the effects of mobile phones. He has put the results on a brain surgery website, and a paper based on the research is currently being peer-reviewed for publication in a scientific journal. Site
Merkel Says She Will Not Attend Opening
of Beijing Olympics
By Ian Traynor and Jonathan Watts
The Guardian UK
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, yesterday became the
first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing.
As pressure built for concerted western protests to China over the crackdown in Tibet, EU leaders prepared to discuss the crisis for the first time today, amid a rift over whether to boycott the Olympics.
The disclosure that Germany is to stay away from the games' opening ceremonies in August could encourage President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to join in a gesture of defiance and complicate Gordon Brown's determination to attend the Olympics.
Donald Tusk, Poland's prime minister, became the first EU head of government to announce a boycott on Thursday and he was promptly joined by President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, who had previously promised to travel to Beijing. Site
Weaponizing the Pentagon's Cyborg Insects
I. A Futuristic Nightmare That Just Might Come True
By Nick Turse
Biological weapons delivered by cyborg insects. It sounds like
a nightmare scenario straight out of the wilder realms of science
fiction, but it could be a reality, if a current Pentagon project
comes to fruition.
Right now, researchers are already growing insects with electronics inside them. They're creating cyborg moths and flying beetles that can be remotely controlled. One day, the U.S. military may field squadrons of winged insect/machine hybrids with on-board audio, video or chemical sensors. These cyborg insects could conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions on distant battlefields, in far-off caves, or maybe even in cities closer to home, and transmit detailed data back to their handlers at U.S. military bases.
Today, many people fear U.S. government surveillance of email and cell phone communications. With this program, the Pentagon aims to exponentially increase the paranoia. Imagine a world in which any insect fluttering past your window may be a remote-controlled spy, packed with surveillance equipment. Even more frightening is the prospect that such creatures could be weaponized, and the possibility, according to one scientist intimately familiar with the project, that these cyborg insects might be armed with "bio weapons." Site
II. Insect Cyborg Sentinels
Brittany Raffa, Science Journalist
The insect cyborg sentinels are an innovation in the field of insect cyborgs. While prior technology attached the silicon systems to the body of the insect, the Erickson Lab places the systems inside the insect during the beginning stages of metamorphosis. This improves the healing process that occurs from one growth stage to the next and allows a dependable fixture of the system to the insect.
"We do that because its biology is rearranging at that point from caterpillar to a moth, so it's unrecognizable," Erickson explained. "So if we implant it at that stage, it then develops ... not knowing anything but having been a portion made of Silicon."
The project is funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) which has a full Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) Program. The goal of the program is to supply insects with most of the mechanical parts inside of the body to offer clandestine robots at a low cost. The Erickson project relies heavily on funding from DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office, which has given more than $2 million to the HI-MEMS program. Site
Here are some recent dvds I liked:
1. Deliver Us From Evil - stunning and well researched documentary about paedophilia in the Catholic Church, from the 4th century to present, how the unnatural and non-Scripturally based celibacy of Catholic priests makes them particularly vulnerable to this pyscho-sexual dysfunction (10%!) and how even current Pope Benedict XVI, in his previous incarnation as Cardinal Raztinger, was the key figure personally responsible for issuing a document in 2001 instructing all bishops to put the interests of the church ahead of those of law enforcement - and children. George W Bush actually had to step in and grant Raztinger immunity from child-abuse lawsuit prosecution in the US. Dubya and Pope Benedict, for your penances, say . . . . . . . . fifteen to twenty years.
2. American Cousins - light-hearted and eentertaining mafia film about a family of Scotish-Italians and their American gangster relatives hiding out with them in their fish-and-chips shop in Scotland to avoid the Russian mob. The Scottish-Italian accents are a hoot.
3. The Stone Merchant - Harvey Keitel plays a muslim jewel trader caught up with Islamic terrorists. Strange touching love story with a tragic ending but a beautiful and dynamically dramatic film. Yes, once again folks, ol' beat-up road-kill Harvey Keitel gets a sex scene with a younger woman. Great film, don't get me wrong, but just once I want to see him get in bed with someone ten years older than he is. Like Jessica Tandy. What a fox!
4. Home Room - Two teen-age girls survive a school home room shooting massacre in which just about everyone is killed but the two of them. One is a tough-mouthed street goth who rebels against everything - the other, a well-mannered young 'nice' girl who receives a severe head wound and is kept isolated in her hospital room. The two girls strike up an unlikely and deep relationship while the authorities try to find the motive for the tragedy. Very moving film with a knock-out ending.
The Smart Way Out of a Foolish War
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
The Washington Post
Both Democratic presidential candidates agree that the United
States should end its combat mission in Iraq within 12 to 16 months
of their possible inauguration. The Republican candidate has spoken
of continuing the war, even for a hundred years, until "victory."
The core issue of this campaign is thus a basic disagreement over
the merits of the war and the benefits and costs of continuing
The case for U.S. disengagement from combat is compelling in its own right. But it must be matched by a comprehensive political and diplomatic effort to mitigate the destabilizing regional consequences of a war that the outgoing Bush administration started deliberately, justified demagogically and waged badly. (I write, of course, as a Democrat; while I prefer Sen. Barack Obama, I speak here for myself.)
The contrast between the Democratic argument for ending the war and the Republican argument for continuing is sharp and dramatic. The case for terminating the war is based on its prohibitive and tangible costs, while the case for "staying the course" draws heavily on shadowy fears of the unknown and relies on worst-case scenarios. President Bush's and Sen. John McCain's forecasts of regional catastrophe are quite reminiscent of the predictions of "falling dominoes" that were used to justify continued U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Neither has provided any real evidence that ending the war would mean disaster, but their fear-mongering makes prolonging it easier. Site
Friends, are you in a spiritual vacuum? Does life suck? (boom boom!) Does even the explanation of the Universe as a Cosmic Joke originating from the Big Boom Boom! leave you with that Flat Earth-Flat Coca-Cola Douche kind o' feeling? A one egg short of a which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg mental stupor? Have you, like Sting, mastered Tantric Wankology, but still find you irritate the shite out of people? Perhaps you need some more options? Bright and sparkly alternative spiritual choices other than the Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry flavours of mainstream religious dogma currently on offer. One of the following belief systems may be the Missing Peace to your Pizzle, your Lost Kneidle in the Heystack of Your Material World Life Imprisonment Sentence With No Parole or maybe even the SHORT Way to the Top if You Want to Rock and Roll! Seek ye no further:
The First Church of Evolution
The First Church of Evolution recognizes the writings of Charles Darwin as sacred among those who believe they have descended from ape like creatures. The Church believes it is their responsibility to fabricate transitional fossils or make fakes like Lucy. Site
The Jedi Church
The Jedi Church is dedicated to the doctrines of the Jedi force religion. The Jedi religion believes there is one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together, and accepts all races and species from all over the universe as potential members of the religion. Site
The Church of JoJo Pieism
JoJo Pieism is one of the five sects of Pieism, a huge religion. JoJo Pieism's main defining feature is the believe that the Pie has come to Earth in the form of a guy who's title is JoJo. The Church is growing fast and many sects have joined the Federation of Pie, a union of Pieism. Site
The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry
Religious rights and freedoms are granted by the Creator to all of us and protected by law in every country on earth. If you would like to find out how to claim your inheritance to legal Cannabis sacrament, the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry can help. Site
Church for the Churchless
The Church for the Churchless is church for anyone who needs to belong but can't make the commitment. It is an organization for 'churchless' individuals and Ministers. Their goal is to create a common place for people of all faiths and no faith to come together. They provide serious services when required but they are not serious all the time. This Churchless Church is fun! No eternal damnation, no 'confess your sins,' no judgment of any kind. Site
The First Church of Buster
The First Church of Buster is dedicated to Buster, the crash-test dummy of 'MythBusters' fame. The One True Buster came to us in 1973... General Motors was overcome by the Light and envisioned a creation, one of supreme knowledge and power The One True Buster. These scientists worked with His hand and built the Hybrid II. Hybrid II is the name that is used by the inter sanctum during the most Holy of services to praise those that have went before him. This is celebrated around the world as the Busterian Ascension. Site
My children, for further information on any of the above: Site
Strascinate di Cascia
(the original 15th Century source of Spaghetti Carbonara)
I did a lot of home cooking during my artist-in-residency in Denmark last month. Here is a simple but classic pasta dish from the 15th century that is the forerunner of the popular carbonara. The back-flavours of lemon and nutmeg combined with the coarse hand cut pasta set this apart from the egg & bacon restaurant versions.
200 g handmade pasta: (200 g flour, 1 egg, a little water)
2 tbles olive oil
50 g guanciale or pancetta, finely diced
50 g Italian sausage (fennel is nice)
2 egg yolks
juice of half lemon
freshly grated nutmeg
parmesan or pecorina cheese, grated
finely chopped parsley for garnish
Make the pasta. This is as easy as making a chapati so don't back down yet. Mound the flour on the table, make a well in the centre, break in the egg and a little water and gradually mix to a smooth dough. Add water as needed until it holds together. Roll out into a flat sheet about 1.5 mm. Let rest for 20 minutes. Dust both sides. Roll into a cylinder on a chopstick (or something long and thin) and then slice into 3cm wide strips. (Make sure you take out the chopstick first, it makes it much easier to slice! boom boom!) Shake out the strands and dust with flour. Hang individual strands outside on a broom handle to dry for about 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Bring pot of salted water to boil.
Mix egg and egg yolks with lemon juice and some nutmeg in a small bowl.
Heat oil in pan and fry the guanciale or pancetta. Add the sausage, broken up in bits, until browned.
Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and add to the pan of sausage
(off the heat), toss and then stir in the eggs and lemon juice.
Toss well. Allow to rest a few minutes. Serve with the grated
(source recipe from Antonio Carluccio's 'Italia'.)
THE FINAL HURRAH
Bill Gates Buys God
Microsoft Corporation today announced its intent to purchase,
copyright, and upgrade God. The new product would be named, predictably
enough, "Microsoft God," and would be available to consumers
sometime in late 2009. "Too many people feel separated from
God in today's world," said Dave McCavaugh, director of Microsoft's
new Religions division. "Microsoft wants to make divinity
more accessible, this product with its easy, intuitive user interface
will make God not only easier to find, but easier to communicate
The new Microsoft Religions line will be expanded to include a multitude of add on products to Microsoft God, including:
Microsoft Crusades. This conversion product will bring all worshipper accounts and prayer files over from previous versions of God, or from competing products like Buddha or Allah.
Microsoft God for the World Wide Web: This product ties Microsoft God with Microsoft Internet Information Server, providing access to the sacred over the World Wide Web using a standard Web browser interface. It introduces several new Web technologies, including Dynamic Salvation and Active Prayer Pages (APP). Donations for the poor can be transmitted via a Secure Alms Server.
Microsoft Prayers: Using a Windows-based WYSIWYG interface, this product will allow worshippers to construct effective prayers in a minimum of time. A Secure Prayer Channel technology allows guaranteed delivery of the prayer to Microsoft God servers, and Prayer Wizards enable users to construct new types of prayers with a minimum learning curve.
Microsoft Savior: This product will allow worshippers to transfer
their sins to its internal Vice Database. After one establishes
a personal relationship with it, the product will erase these
files from the user's system and establish a clear line of secure
communications to the user's Microsoft God server.
Additionally, Microsoft is expected to announce a line of special products for the new Religions line, to facilitate niche marketing of Microsoft God These products will include denomination interfaces based on the standard religious subdivisions, allowing worshippers to interact with the God product in accordance with their customs. First to be introduced will be Microsoft God for Protestantism, Microsoft God for Catholicism, Microsoft God for Judaism (incompatible with Microsoft Savior), etc.