A revolution for electric cars, the benefits of olive oil, La Dolce Vita luxury train ride and more...

A particularly interesting news item of the last two months is the breakthrough technology - born in Italy - for the recharging of electric cars. Another item, describes how a young start-up company used its initiative to deal with a Blue crab infestation. The Orient-Express introduces a new train, La Dolce Vita and once again the health benefits of olive oil are in the headlines. Read more.
Breakthrough for recharging electric cars – Made in Italy
Source: Rai news online – 04.07.2023
Electric cars recharged from road columns that use energy from gas and oil is something of a contradiction in terms, so a new green technology born in Italy and ‘made in Italy’ is being considered something of a revolution.
“The news is that a new technology has been born in Italy that will allow us to quickly electrify our cities with sustainable energy”. Says explorer, writer and marine documentary photographer, Alberto Luca Recchi, "a revolution"
“The E-Gap/Pininfarina duo,” he continues “has created a charging station, unique in the world and entirely Made in Italy that will revolutionize the face of cities.
“It will no longer be necessary to dig kilometers to pass the energy cables to be placed under the fixed columns; cables which are then fed with fossil fuels. It will be enough to place those new, revolutionary battery chargers on the ground, and when they are discharged, they will receive a recharged battery.
“The ‘electrification’ operation of a city can be done, without excavations, in days and not in years and, here is the point that prompted me to write these lines: these chargers use solar and photovoltaic energy. Green energy, not fossil energy. What more do we want?
“From tomorrow I will look for these columns and every time I fill up my white smart car I will finally feel at peace with the environment, as well as with my conscience.
Long live technology. I think the planet will be saved by it.”
photo credit - American heart association
A spoonful of olive oil a day may lower risk of dying from dementia, research finds
Source: CNN – 27.07.2023 – Kristen Rogers
‘Including olive oil in your regular diet offers several benefits — such as protecting heart health or cognitive function.
The Mediterranean staple might also reduce your risk of dying from dementia by 28% if you eat just a spoonful every day.
This new finding is according to research presented Monday in Boston at Nutrition 2023, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.
Whether olive oil is linked with risk of dementia-related death had never been studied until now, according to the authors.
“Our study reinforces dietary guidelines recommending vegetable oils such as olive oil and suggests that these recommendations not only support heart health but potentially brain health, as well,” said Anne-Julie Tessier, a coauthor of the research and postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a news release. “Opting for olive oil, a natural product, instead of fats such as margarine and commercial mayonnaise is a safe choice and may reduce the risk of fatal dementia.”
Research participants included nearly 60,600 women who had participated in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1990 to 2018, and nearly 32,000 men who had been in the Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study during the same time period. The former study investigated risk factors for major chronic diseases among women in North America, whereas the latter is looking into the same topics but for men.
The authors of the latest research assessed the diet of the participants — who were age 56 on average at the start of the study — every four years via a questionnaire. The team also reviewed diet quality using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, which assigns ratings to foods and nutrients predictive of chronic disease. The higher people score on this index, the better.
Over a follow-up period of 28 years, regardless of diet quality, eating more than half a tablespoon of olive oil per day was associated with a 28% lower risk of dying from dementia, compared with participants who never or rarely consumed olive oil.
Additionally, replacing a daily teaspoon of mayonnaise or margarine with the same amount of olive oil was correlated with an 8% to 14% lower risk of dementia-related death, the authors found.
However, this research is early, so some experts uninvolved with it urge caution.’
Photo credit - Dimorestudio
Orient-Express introduces the new La Dolce vita train
Source - Euronews - 12.08.2023 - Savin Mattozzi
The original and legendary Orient Express ceased running in 2009, but since December 2021 the luxury Venice-Simplon Orient Express, a private venture operated by the Belmond group using the original carriages from the 1920s and 1930s, continues to run to and from various destinations in Europe, including the original route from Paris to Istanbul.
This year the Belmond group is steaming ahead with the promotion of a new train line called La Dolce Vita which will travel a collective 16,000 kilometres across Italy, all of it, as expected, in the height of luxury. Instead of the art deco interiors of the Orient Express, La Dolce Vita is styled on the fashions of the 1960’s and 70’s with what can only assume, is an aura of deliberate decadence.
“La Dolce Vita represents a legendary time. It is symbolic of a dream, a style, a deep-rooted desire, an inspiration many people share,” states the Orient-Express website, “namely a life of well-being, enjoyment and pleasure”.
Little surprise perhaps that just one night of “well-being, enjoyment and pleasure” costs an arm and a leg!
“As expected for an experience of this calibre,” writes Savin Mattozzi for Euronews, “tickets for the train service will be out of reach for most people. In addition to a €500 deposit, tickets for overnight suites for two people will range from €6,600 to a whopping €25,000 per night.
Mattozzi, of presumably Italian origin, does not seem very impressed by the Belmond group’s new enterprise: “Half of the routes planned for the train service will go through Italy’s rural south,” he writes. “Although the southern half of the country is full of stunning landmarks, history and great food, it is also home to the country’s poorest regions.”
How ethically appropriate is it, he asks, “for the super-rich to showcase their wealth in regions where people struggle to put food on the table?”.
In compensation, however, the trains are robustly marketed, as “environmentally friendly” and a “green choice of transportation”, but as Mattozzi somewhat cynically adds, “it is a way to perhaps dampen any guilt these guests might feel by taking this journey…a technique that conveniently ignores the modes of transport that the majority of guests will take to get to Italy in the first place, such as private jets and yachts”.
A particularly porcine problem
Source Euronews - ANSA – 16.08.2023
‘Italy's long-standing troubles with wild boars are far from over, despite previous efforts to curb their presence in the country's cities. A pack of wild boars was spotted making the rounds of several homes in the southern region of Calabria, Italy's news agency ANSA reports. That makes Catanzaro the latest city to face a particularly porcine problem.
The wild boars - around 20 in total - kept to the outskirts of the city and didn't actually go inside any buildings, although they were seen circling homes built next to the open countryside.
The city's environment councillor Giorgio Arcuri called on the region's authorities for "appropriate measures to stem this phenomenon," which are likely to involve the culling of the animals.
For some time now, Italy has had a problem with wild boars taking over its towns and cities in what local media and Italy's nationwide farm group Coldiretti dubbed “a full-scale invasion."
Last year, wild boars were said to have taken over Rome, where they were filmed in clips shared on social media and international television getting close to people, eating food leftovers near trash bins, and overall looking seemingly unbothered by the busy, crowded streets of Italy's capital.”’
Blue Crab infestation – from crisis to resource.
Source: Rai news online – 18.08.2023
A novel startup company in Rimini, called Mariscadoras has tackled head on, the Blue Crab crisis hitting the Emilia-Romagna, Veneto e Friuli Venezia Giulia coastal areas, by shipping them right back to where they originally came from.
The Blue crab, native to the US is thought to have been brought to Italy through shipping and international trade (inadvertently loaded onto large cargo vessels when ballast water was collected). The crustaceans which are now considered an ‘infestation’ are wreaking havoc on the marine status quo. The Po Delta is one of the hardest hit areas.
“Unfortunately, there are too many. We don't know how to deal with them. We are now disposing of around 9-10 tons of crabs a day, but it's like taking a spoon and emptying it into the sea,” says Mauro Finotello, president of the Rosa dei Venti cooperative in Goro (Ferrara). In Goro, in particular, the farming of clams is experiencing a serious crisis as the crabs feed on the molluscs.
Mariscadoras, in a paradoxical, but very smart move, has just recently exported 16 tonnes of the crabs to Miami and Florida. Apparently, consumer demand for Blue Crab is so high in the US that there is still a market for more, albeit caught in the Adriatic.
Team, 30/08/2023 09:57:27

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