Boy sells teddy bear to get something to eat

Blumudus insisted that I should comment on this piece of news.

It’s actually from last summer, but I kept postponing it. Then Christmas Time comes and Blumudus goes: “Now you’ve got no excuses, do it.” In fact it’s a fitting story for the holiday season, when the media keep pushing feel-good stories and/or tear-jerker stuff, possibly with a child as the protagonist. He’s right, of course. Let’s do this.


In the small town of Franklin, Ohio, a police patrol found a 7-year-old boy wandering around alone, trying to sell his teddy bear to be able to buy food. He hadn’t eaten in several days.

This episode was reported by Officer Steve …

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Why problems are either very easy or very hard

Natural hurdles, human hurdles.


Did you notice? It’s quite uncommon to face medium difficulty problems.

In your everyday life you are sometimes tasked to solve issues that seem impossible to come to grips with. There are mysteries that seem way bigger than our puny minds.

We often get to comment on issues that on the contrary appear quite easy to deal with, and you are left wondering why people are still struggling with them.

But you rarely seem to encounter intermediate level problems.

How come?


Let’s put down some examples (I’ll alienate some readers in the process).


  • Producing a new vaccine requires an excellent research team and years of work, …

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Don’t do as I did

Dice thrown over a stairwell

Bragging about betting on Trump: setting a bad example


As you may already know, in 2015 I bet on Donald Trump.

I feel uneasy about my telling the entire world that I did. Of course that’s how I can boast that I understood the Trump phenomenon long before the vast majority of observers.

But I’m also sending a disturbing signal in favor of gambling: placing bets on an event, then imagining yourself enjoying an unexpected, resounding victory.

The thing is, you hear a lot about the rare success stories, not so much about the countless losses.

The House in the end is the only winner. But many people …

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When your wife is so into you that she wants you to live with her!

The destruction of the very concept of family, transformed into a sort of tacky, creaky old hat, is facilitated by a thousand bureaucrats who were just following orders.

Freshly married, starting a new life, I’m waiting for an opportunity to sell my former home. In order to obtain a simple change of legal residence I’m asked to return a second time to the Ufficio Comunale (Municipal Office), bringing with me a written declaration signed by my wife: she must give an explicit assent to include me in her stato di famiglia (record of family status, a document listing family members living together).

After all it’s the very same Municipal Office …

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Airplane meals and decadence

Signs of the times.

We are going to fly Qantas. On the airline website you have the opportunity to file any special meal request. Having no peculiar needs, I had never considered this option before.

I expected to find a list of meal types aimed at people with health problems and related dietary restrictions, including allergies/intolerances (nickel, crustaceans, nuts…), low sodium meals… But I failed to anticipate that problems come mostly from the mind, not from the body.

Of course you get at least the diabetic and coeliac options, plus, unexplicably, babies from 0 to 11 months and from 2 to 11 years (sounds like toddlers between 11 and 24 …

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From abortion to chemtrails, it’s only a small step

OK, let’s complain about idiotic, fake news memes making the rounds on social networks.

I bet you too got a good excuse to lose your temper when you faced a scenario like the following one. An excited/indignant friend sharing on Facebook the n-th conspiracy theory/sensational fishy news bite/”anti-establishment” petition.
Showing no self-awareness whatsoever. Spewing answers without ever seriously asking questions.

Like saying that next week Mars will appear in the sky as big as the Moon, or that Facebook is becoming a pay service, or that you should rail against the Parliament for a new outrageous law that turns out to be imaginary, drafted by …

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White trash. When life gives you no excuses.

Today I had a conversation with a semi-pro panhandler.
It all started in a desert and sun soaked Via Di San Martino, a steep sloping street in Genoa, my hometown. This guy oddly decided to ask me, a complete stranger he just ran into, for advice about good places for begging.

An interesting man in his own way.
50 years old, he lost his job more than a couple of years ago, meanwhile relatives that could lend him a hand passed away.
He talks a lot; it’s hard to tell where his real life story fades into a more endearing, conveniently altered version.
He insists that …

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Those dreaded Catholics, reproducing like rabbits…


A conversation I couldn’t help but overhear this morning.
I was providing technical support to an office that will remain unidentifiable for obvious reasons.
Two women who work there, chatting freely in front of me (not minding my presence). Topic of conversation: a kindergarten year-end performance.

The younger one is describing a detail she felt indignant about.
She got to notice it, she elaborates, because she has no daughters. (?)
The girls attending her son’s class were all wearing miniskirts for the occasion. Or better: short denim skirts, ostensibly following some instruction from the teachers.
But there was also this tiny lady donning a long …

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Discovering who we are (Section: Humans)

nature, barb wire

One of the most easily misunderstood expressions: “human nature”.

If you didn’t live under a rock in the last 25 years, you know there’s a new (old) deity in town: Mother Nature.

Therefore it’s normal that, with this obsession for ecologism besieging our minds since school age, when we catch a phrase containing “nature”, our vision turns green.

But human nature is something else. It’s how we are made. What we really are, inside, as human beings.

It’s our psychology that is at stake. We must explore our inner self to avoid self-deception. Just to pick up a random example: it’s pointless to put forward a social experiment like the …

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