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,
“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
“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,
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
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
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
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.