Saturday, December 31, 2011

Benelli firearms from Marche

Type...............Firearms manufacturer
Founder(s).......Giovanni Benelli
Headquarters...Urbino, Italy
Key people......Bruno Civolani (inventor of the intertia-driven system)
Products..........Shotguns, rifles
Divisions.........Benelli USA (international), (USA)

Benelli Armi SpA is an Italian firearm manufacturer founded in 1967, located in Urbino, Italy, best known for high quality shotguns used by military, law enforcement and civilians all over the world. Particularly famous is the Benelli M3 12 gauge, used extensively by American SWAT teams. Benelli recently introduced the Benelli M4 Super 90, an unusual gas operated semi-automatic shotgun intended for military use in urban warfare. Benelli and Benelli USA have been owned by Pietro Beretta since 2000.

Benelli Armi was founded in 1967 as an offshoot of the Benelli motorcycle factory who sold motorcycles through Montgomery Wards.

Many Benelli shotguns utilize a unique inertia operating system developed by Bruno Civolani.

The Benelli Super Black Eagle, a favorite of waterfowlers, was one of the first semi-automatic shotguns capable of firing the 2.75, 3, and 3.5 inch shotgun shells. The Benelli Nova (pump action), M1 Super 90, and a customized M2 Field are used by Tom Knapp during his shooting exhibitions wherein he will frequently shoot down several hand-thrown clay targets while they're all still in mid-air, setting a world record in October 2004 when he destroyed 10 such targets with 10 shots in 2.0 seconds, with all the targets still airborne.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Masters of Venice" at the de Young Museum

Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

October 29, 2011 - February 12, 2012

Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power is a worldwide exclusive presentation of 50 paintings by Venetian painters Titian, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto, Mantegna, and more, primarily from the sixteenth century, all on loan from the Gemäldegalerie of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Featured are outstanding examples of the work of these artists that were collected by the archdukes and emperors of the Habsburg family, which are among the most celebrated holdings in the collections of the Gemäldegalerie.

Key works include Titian’s sumptuous Danáe (1560s), Mantegna’s tortured Saint Sebastian (1457–1459) and four rare paintings by Giorgione, including The Three Philosophers (ca. 1508–1509) and Portrait of a Young Woman (Laura) (1506). The exhibition also includes works by Palma, Bordone, Bassano, and more. Together, these examples represent the range of Venetian accomplishment in Renaissance-era painting.

Educational Resources (link for further study)
This exhibition, featuring works that were once part of the collection of the Habsburg family, offers you and your students a unique opportunity study works from the Renaissance. Highlighting artists such as Titian, Giorgione, Tintoretto and Veronese, the exhibition traces the Renaissance, High Renaissance and Venetian Mannerism through these artist’s paintings—many never before seen in San Francisco. The exhibition also provides a rich opportunity for Bay Area teachers to expand their curriculum by utilizing the show to look at literary, aesthetic, social and economic differences and similarities when comparing 16th-century Venice and its artistic output with San Francisco and the FAMSF collections.

The resources assembled here may provide you and your students with ideas for viewing the exhibition and for conducting follow-up activities to expand the experience.

Ticket Information

Admission prices: adults $20, seniors 65+ $17, students with current ID $16, youths 6–17 $10, members and children 5 and under free.

Groups of 10 or more have access to priority booking and discounted rates. For additional information please contact the group sales office at or by calling 415.750.3620.

Reserve your tickets now

Member tickets

Exhibition catalogue available

Related Lectures & Events

Tuesday December 6, 2011

Docent Lecture: "Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power from the Kunsthistorisches, Vienna," Rita Dunlay

1:00 pm

Today's Docent Tours

11:00 am

1:00 pm

Press Release
Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power From the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Credit Line
This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in collaboration with the Gemäldegalerie of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Major Patron
Penny and James George Coulter
San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums

Athena and Timothy Blackburn
William G. Irwin Charity Foundation

T. Robert and Katherine Burke
Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Mrs. James K. McWilliams
Greta R. Pofcher

Education programs presented in conjunction with the exhibition are sponsored by Wells Fargo and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pasta Is Not Originally from Italy

Pasta Is Not Originally from Italy

By Julia - - June 3, 2011

Myth: Pasta originally comes from Italy.

Worldwide, pasta has become synonymous with Italian cuisine. Italian immigrants themselves brought pasta everywhere they went. While it is true that the most famous varieties and recipes of cooking pasta really do come from Italy, surprisingly, the actual origin of pasta lies elsewhere!

So how did pasta make its way to Italy? One of the more popular theories was published in the ‘Macaroni Journal’ by the Association of Food Industries. It states that pasta was brought to Italy by Marco Polo via China.  Polo ventured to China in the time of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and the Chinese had been consuming noodles as early as 3000 B.C. in the Qinghai province. There is even some evidence there of 4,000-year-old noodles made from foxtail and broomcorn millet.

Unfortunately, there are problems with this theory, least of which is that the noodles they were making in China aren’t technically considered pasta.  Polo also described Chinese noodles as being like “lagana”, which implies he was possibly already familiar with a pasta-like food before going to China.  Further, in 1279, there was a Genoese soldier that listed in the inventory of his estate a basket of dried pasta.  Polo didn’t come back from China until 1295.  For those who don’t know, Genoa is a sea port in Italy.  Further, the modern pasta like we know it was first described in 1154 by an Arab geographer, Idrisi, as being common in Sicily. So Marco Polo could not have brought pasta to Italy via China.  It was already in Italy at that time.

So how did it get there?  Most food historians believe that Arabs (specifically from Libya) are to be credited for bringing pasta, along with spinach, eggplant and sugar cane, to the Mediterranean basin. In the Talmud, written in Aramaic in the 5th century AD, there is a reference to pasta being cooked by boiling. It is thought, then, that pasta was introduced to Italy during the Arab conquests of Sicily in the 9th century AD, which had the interesting side effect of drastically influencing the region’s cuisine. It also known that by the 12th century, the Italians had learned from the Arabs methods for drying pasta to preserve it while traveling. Further support for this theory can be found by the fact that, in many old Sicilian pasta recipes, there are Arab gastronomic introductions.

Bonus Factoids:

An alternative theory that has fallen out of favor is that pasta came to Italy via Greece, given that the origins of the name “pasta” seems to be Greek.  The word ‘pasta’ itself comes from the Latin ‘pasta’ meaning ‘dough, pastry cake’ which probably came from the Greek word ‘pastos’ – ‘sprinkled with salt’, ‘salted’. Also, in ancient Greek mythology, there is a tale about the god Vulcan pushing dough through a device that converts it into thin, edible threads.

The first documented case of a ‘macaroni’ machine being brought to the U.S. is believed to have been brought by Thomas Jefferson in 1789 when he came back to the U.S. after serving as an ambassador to France. Later, Jefferson also invented his own pasta machine.

Dried pasta is shaped in a variety of ways to fit various types of sauces. Thin and long pasta suits oily, more liquid sauces, and more complicated shapes are better for thicker, chunkier sauces.

The modern word ‘macaroni’ derives from the Sicilian term for making dough forcefully. At that time, pasta dough was often kneaded with the feet for a significant amount of time.

Italian pasta enthusiasts organized a World Pasta Conference in 1995, they celebrate Word Pasta Day every year in October, since 1998.  There is also an Italian Pasta Association and a Pasta Museum in Rome.

Pasta is a term for foods made from an unleavened dough of wheat or buckwheat flour and water. There are two main groups of pasta – fresh and dried. Dry pasta is typically made from durum wheat flour or durum wheat semolina which has high levels of gluten, which gives it the yellow color and also makes the dough easier to work with.

The first industrial pasta factory in the US was built in Brooklyn in 1848 by a Frenchman.


History of pasta

Pasta recipes

National Pasta Association

Did Marco Polo bring pasta from China?

History and Origin of Pasta


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

'Don Giovanni' - San Francisco Opera

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte


Mozart’s bold, beguiling blend of comedy and drama tells the tale of a proud, predatory nobleman and the women who are drawn to him. Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts a cast of exciting young singers led by Lucas Meachem, whose baritone is “sweet, dark-grained and supple, and insinuating enough to make any woman give at the knees” (Santa Fe New Mexican). The enticing cast also features Ellie Dehn, who mixes “a stunning voice” with “real dramatic authority” (Opera News); Serena Farnocchia, who is “nothing short of spectacular” (Toronto Star); Kate Lindsey, "a powerhouse Zerlina" (Dallas Morning News) and Topi Lehtipuu, “one of the most elegant and musical young lyric tenors to have emerged in a decade” (London Daily Telegraph). Noted Italian film and theater director Gabriele Lavia makes his San Francisco Opera directorial debut.

Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Approximate running time: 3 hours, 30 minutes including one intermission

Pre-Opera Talks are free to ticketholders and take place in the main theater in the Orchestra section, 55 minutes prior to curtain.

San Francisco Opera production

Don Giovanni: Lucas Meachem
Donna Anna: Ellie Dehn
Donna Elvira: Serena Farnocchia *
Leporello: Marco Vinco *
Don Ottavio: Topi Lehtipuu *
Zerlina: Kate Lindsey *
Masetto: Ryan Kuster
The Commendatore: Morris Robinson *

Production Credits

Conductor: Nicola Luisotti
Director: Gabriele Lavia *
Set Designer: Alessandro Camera *
Costume Designer: Andrea Viotti *
Lighting Designer: Christopher Maravich
Chorus Director: Ian Robertson

* San Francisco Opera Debut

The action, which spans twenty-four hours, takes place in Seville

Late at night, Leporello, the servant of Don Giovanni, is keeping watch while his master attempts to rape the daughter of the Com­mendatore, Donna Anna. She escapes and gives chase, trying to discover the identity of the intruder. The Commendatore rushes to her defense as Don Giovanni slays the old man and flees. Anna returns with Don Ottavio, her fiancé, and the two swear revenge. In the early morning, Donna Elvira, a young woman from Burgos, searches for Don Giovanni; she is one of his jilted lovers. Servant and master spy on her and when they all meet, Don Giovanni talks his way out of trouble and escapes, leaving Leporello to explain his master’s philandering ways. He shows her Don Giovanni’s “little black book.” Around midday, Don Giovanni and Leporello hap­pen upon the rustic nuptial celebration of Masetto and Zerlina. The latter excites Giovanni’s fancy, and he invites everyone to his villa—the better to snare the young girl. The seduction is inter­rupted by Elvira, who denounces him and sweeps Zerlina away. Anna and Ottavio arrive, not yet recognizing Don Giovanni as the murderer. When Elvira interrupts again, Giovanni attempts to pass off her hysterics as madness, but the suspicion is planted. After he leaves to “help” Elvira in her distress, Anna realizes the truth, recounts the events preceding her father’s death, and concludes with a call for vengeance. Ottavio is then left alone to contemplate his love for Anna. Meanwhile, not in the least deterred, Don Gio­vanni orders Leporello to prepare a lavish party for all the neigh­bors. He is reminded to add more names to his famous list—Zerlina’s among them. The guests begin to arrive as daylight wanes. Zerlina vainly tries to soothe a worried, jealous Masetto. Don Giovanni renews his wooing of Zerlina, but her sharp-eyed fiancé intervenes. As Giovanni leads the young couple into the villa, Anna, Ottavio, and Elvira enter wearing masks. They are quickly invited by the master to join the festivities. With the party in full swing, Don Giovanni leads Zerlina into an adjoining room. Her cries, however, bring everyone to her assistance. Don Giovanni tries to make Leporello seem like the offending villain, but no one is taken in. The three guests unmask, and the tone of the party suddenly turns accusatory. Surrounded and condemned, Don Gio­vanni’s adventures seem at an end, but by a sudden intervention he once again escapes his accusers.

Later that evening Don Giovanni, after soothing a disgruntled Lep­orello with some coins, hatches his latest plot, this one aimed at Elvira’s maid; it requires master and servant to exchange clothes. Elvira is lured away by the man she thinks is her beloved and the real Giovanni is left to serenade the maid. Just then an armed Masetto and his followers arrive in search of the fugitive. The supposed Lep­orello sends them off in all directions, personally disarms Masetto, and beats him. Zerlina finds Masetto crestfallen and aching, and she tries to comfort him by offering her own personal remedy. Leporello, still disguised as Don Giovanni, is trying to escape the deceived of Elvira when Anna and Ottavio and, a few moments later, Masetto and Zerlina converge upon him. Believing they have found Don Gio­vanni, they threaten him with a speedy death. Leporello reveals his identity and everyone is dumbfounded; Anna retires. With profuse apologies, Leporello manages to escape. Ottavio asks that Anna be informed of his determination to punish Don Giovanni. Elvira finds that in spite of her outrage, she still feels pity for Don Giovanni.

Later that night Don Giovanni and Leporello have sought refuge in a cemetery. The raucous conversation is interrupted by a ghostly voice from the statue over the Commendatore’s grave. In response to a doomful warning, Don Giovanni invites the statue, through Leporello’s terrified mediation, to come to Don Giovanni’s villa for a pre-dawn supper. To the servant’s horror, the invitation is accepted. The two return to the villa to prepare. Ottavio seeks to console Anna, suggesting marriage. Temporar­ily rejected, he charges Anna with cruelty. Anna protests her love and begs for patience. Don Giovanni eats supper while a wind band serenades him with popular operatic tunes of the day (including a snippet from Figaro). Elvira rushes in resolved to for­give Don Giovanni and tries to persuade him to change his ways. He cruelly taunts her, and she leaves in despair. Moments later, her terrified scream is heard and Leporello rushes out to see what is wrong. He too screams in terror and returns shaken, announcing the arrival of the statue of the Commendatore. In deadly jest, the Commendatore asks if Don Giovanni will dine with him according to the rules of hospitality. Arrogant to the end, Giovanni accepts. Pressing further, the Commendatore demands repeatedly that Don Giovanni repent his sins, but he is refused again and again. Finally, Don Giovanni meets his death.

The other characters return searching for Giovanni, and Lep­orello tells them what has happened. They all point out the moral of the opera:
This is the evil-doer’s end.
And sinners will die just as they have lived.

October 15, 2011 to November 10, 2011


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Federico Faggin

Intel YouTube Channel - September 27, 2011

Federico Faggin visited Intel headquarters in late summer of 2011 to share memories from 40 years ago, when teamed up with Ted Hoff and Stan Mazur to create Intel's 4004 chip, which became the world's first single chip microprocessor.

Faggin talks about the day in January 1971, when he first tested the chip and it worked flawlessly. That was the day the microprocessor was born, he says, and today it is at the heart of the Internet revolution. He says the microprocessor has become the tiny speck of intelligence that converges communication, computing and control capabilities, connecting all of our devices from computers to small smartphones.

He has his eye on quantum computing as the next frontier of computing because of potential is beyond what capable with today's mechanical microprocessors. Yet he believes computing will never rival the complexity and capabilities on human intelligence.

Born in Vicenza, Federico Faggin received a Laurea Degree in physics, summa cum laude, at the University of Padua, Italy. At age 19, after his graduation from technical high school A. Rossi (Vicenza), he took a job at Olivetti, in Italy, where he co-designed and led the implementation of a small computer. After obtaining his university degree he worked at SGS Fairchild in Italy, where he developed SGS's first MOS process technology and designed its first integrated circuits. In 1968 he moved to Palo Alto and worked at Fairchild Semiconductor, where he created the MOS Silicon Gate technology with self-aligned gate, the basis of all modern CMOS computer chips. At Fairchild he produced the world's first commercial integrated circuit using Silicon Gate Technology with self aligned MOS transistors: the Fairchild 3708.

In 1970 he joined Intel where Marcian (Ted) Hoff, with Stanley Mazor and Intel's customer Masatoshi Shima, had formulated a new architecture for a family of Busicom calculators in 1969. Federico Faggin was hired as project leader to implement such architecture, which had been idling for many months. He created a new methodology for random logic chip design using silicon gate technology, and several design innovations that made it possible to fit the microprocessor in one chip. He developed the chip and logic design together with the layout of all the chips of the 4004 family (MCS-4). He built the tester to prove that the 4004 could be used for applications different from calculators, and successfully transferred the first microprocessor to production (1970–1971). During the project development he was assisted only by Masatoshi Shima, who had come from Japan to check on the progress and stayed-on to help, and a couple of technicians. Faggin also convinced Bob Noyce to negotiate the exclusivity clause, in order to open the marketing of the 4004 which originally was a custom design for Busicom.

The design methodology created by Faggin was utilized for the implementation of all Intel’s early microprocessors and later also for Zilog's Z80. The 8008 development was originally assigned to Hal Feeney in March 1970 but was suspended until the 4004 was completed. It was resumed in January 1971 and Hal Feeney did the detailed design under Faggin’s direction and following his new methodology. Faggin developed the architectures and led the development of the 8080 and the 4040 microprocessors. When Faggin left Intel at the end of 1974 to found Zilog with Ralph Ungermann, he was department manager for MOS Research and Development with almost 80 engineers reporting to him and more than a dozen products under development.

Zilog was the first company entirely dedicated to microprocessors while Intel was principally dedicated to memories. At Zilog, Faggin conceived the architecture of the Z80 microprocessor and helped Shima, who had joined the new company, in its design. He was Zilog's President and CEO until the end of 1980. In 1982, he co-founded Cygnet Technologies, Inc., maker of the Cygnet CoSystem personal telecommunications device, and was President and CEO of the company until 1986. In 1986 he co-founded and was CEO of Synaptics a company which produces the most widely used touchpad in the industry. He is presently CEO of Foveon Inc., a company making image sensors with a novel technology.


Apple says the company's co-founder Steve Jobs has died. He was 56. In a brief statement the company said Jobs died Wednesday. He had been battling pancreatic cancer.

San Francisco Chronicle - October 6, 2011

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. fans worldwide mourned the death of co-founder Steve Jobs, paying tribute to the man who changed the way they listen to music, use their mobile phones and play on their computers.

At Apple's headquarters -- located at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California -- flags flew at half-staff and bagpipes sounded to the tune of "Amazing Grace" as people placed flowers around a white iPad with a picture of Jobs, who died yesterday at 56, after a battle with cancer. Mourners flocked to Apple stores from New York to Hong Kong, while a crowd gathered in San Francisco's Mission Dolores Park for an iPhone-lit vigil.

"Part of the narrative that made Apple what it is today goes out with Steve Jobs," said Christopher Smith, 40, a former business development manager in San Francisco who joined the vigil. "I came out to honor the fact that one man with vision, courage and unwavering dedication can still change the world. The way that I communicate and the way that I interact with the world is through things that Steve jobs has created."

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and Sony Corp. Chairman Howard Stringer were among business leaders who expressed admiration for the man who built the world's most valuable technology company. President Barack Obama also issued statements of sympathy and remembrance.

"Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs," Obama said in a statement. "Steve was among the greatest of American innovators -- brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it."

Jobs's Home

Teary-eyed mourners left flowers in front of Jobs's modest home at the corner of Waverly Street and Santa Rita Avenue in Palo Alto, California. Neighborhood children drew hearts with markers and left them on the ground for others to leave messages. Policemen stood watch, barricading the street.

"Here's a guy who's a billionaire and lives in a regular neighborhood, not behind a gated estate with all the security guards," said Bruce Gee, a former Apple employee who drove up to the house from his home a couple miles away. "On Halloween, people go trick or treating there like everyone else."

At the San Francisco Apple store near Union Square, Steve Streza, 24, stood holding an iPad displaying Apple's homepage image of Jobs and the words "Steve Jobs: 1955-2011."

'Regular Guy'

"Macs were the reason I got into product development," said Streza, a developer at who grew up with Mac computers. "If it weren't for Steve Jobs and Macs, my life would probably be in a completely different place right now."

Steve Somerstein, who says he met Jobs several times since 1986, recalled the time when he bumped into Jobs while apartment hunting in Palo Alto.

"He was just a regular guy," said Somerstein, who was at the Palo Alto store. "I congratulated him on the company and hoped it was going to do well. I didn't even own an Apple at that point. He was about 10 years younger than me and just a nice kid."

Ron Kent, a food-truck owner who was at the Palo Alto store, likened Jobs to Michelangelo, the renaissance-era artist who painted the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

"He's the visionary of our time," Kent said.

'RIP Steve Jobs'

Some mourned via social media sites. More than 20 "RIP Steve Jobs" pages sprung up on Facebook within hours of the announced passing of Jobs. News of Jobs's death slowed the mobile websites of CNN and the Washington Post, according to Keynote Systems Inc., which tracks website performance.

"Steve Jobs," the biography written by former Time magazine editor Walter Isaacson, scheduled for release Nov. 21, was the best seller on Inc.'s website.

In New York, Jared and Alexi Roth, 33 and 31, left two red apples by the wall outside the Apple store on Broadway in the Upper West Side.

"We were literally walking by a market on Broadway when Jared got a text saying Steve Jobs died," Alexi said. "We saw the apples and just thought it would be appropriate."

Across the ocean, Charanis Chiu, walked in front of the Apple store in Hong Kong to place a sunflower, the logo of the photo-viewing application on the iPhone.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Mussolini/Fascist issue

Our folk have been historically known for political extremism. Fascism, Communism, Anarchism, etc. These concerns have been successful because they are correct on a handful of issues. I usually don't like the term "extremism," because anyone can use the word to belittle anyone they wish; even while supporting types of extremism themselves. However, Fascism was basically a dictatorship in which the state oversaw and largely controlled industry. It is the opposite, or "opposame," of Fabianism in which transnational financial and economic concerns largely control, or at least have undo influence upon, the governmental apparatus of nations; sort've like "International Socialism."

Benito Mussolini was of Emilian descent, which means that he was a member of our folk. However, he was an "Italian nationalist" who cared very little about common people. For example, he, in an apparent attempt to show off his power to the National Socialists, got his country involved in wars of which they were ill-prepared for. This was done in the name of a modern type of "Roman Imperialism." Although the Italian Fascists had limited success, conquering Libya and Ethiopia, the plan was brutal and disastrous even for their own country and people.

The plan was for neo-Rome to conquer the Balkans, North Africa, and other places; and set up a Roman-style imperialist system. In the Balkans, they actually tried to change people's family surnames. For example, a family with the name "Bradovich" would be forced to take a name like "Columbo," even though they didn't not speak Italian at all. They wanted to colonize most of the Mediterranean region with people from Italy, and it was mostly people from the north who colonized North Africa. Italians in general would have some type of high racial status in these colonies. For example, I recall reading once that in colonial Libya, where was a law, with a penalty of eight years in prison, for "touching a white woman." Of course, I don't believe that they should have been in Libya at all. It was almost like Mussolini was showing off for Hitler. At least that's the impression that I always had. Small populations of Jews and Black Africans in Libya were more-or-less forced to go away, and the common Libyans were to be given some type of status as long as they went along with the Fascist dictatorship.

[Left: Libyan resistors being taken to a concentration camp; on the left of the image, two Libyan colonial soldiers, traitors to their people; unfortunately, treason is part of the human character]

Ethnic and linguistic differences, within the Italian peninsula, were even more repressed then before. The Italian Fascists force-migrated people from Southern Italy into the ethnic-German South Tyrol. Also, they were trying to force the Tyroleans to speak standard Italian and change their names. Mussolini, though his own statements, believed that the Langobards were everywhere in the peninsula and that it somehow meant that every Italian was an Aryan-Italian. No regionalism. All were to take the identity of Fascist Lombardo-Romans. From any type of Padanian/Cisalpine folkish way of thinking, Mussolini was a traitor to his own people.

Like the Communists and Fabianists, theirs was a dark world view. Although they defeated the Italian Communists, the results were just as bad as what may have occurred otherwise. Both denied our people freedom, or even a self-identity, as does the Fabianist EU Plutocracy today. We need to finally break away from this right-left Hegelian dialectic, and make our own way. I call this paradigm "the grinder." Throw in a legitimate issue or concern, and out it comes, stripped of all truth or worth. Neatly packaged under a false right or left label; to be put back up on the shelf with all of the other dead issues that the Fabianist power structure doesn't want to trouble itself with.

The fact that we are forced to the right, is a direct consequence of the rise of Fabian Socialist Plutocracy and it's Monopoly Capitalist and Social Marxist minions who today have almost the entire globe in a political straitjacket. I can't see how anyone of our concern could really consider Mussolini or the Fascists as any type of political ideal or icon. The Romans destroyed the Etruscans and Gauls, and the process keeps being recycled over and over again. Remember that bully in the sixth grade? He just absolutely would not stop... until someone literally, physically STOPPED him. We are all still subject to the "law of the jungle."

A very important point to remember. "All wars" were not fought over nationalism or religion; "All wars" were started by bankers, industrialists, and dictators who merely USED nationalism or religion as effective propaganda tools.

[10-25-12 ADDITION

Reader/Contributor Etrusco-Umbro-Gallic pointed out the following:

Speaking of the Rumagnols, you erred once in calling Mussolini an Emilian. He was a Forlivese Rumagnol. Rumagnols are a different folk, culturally and genetically. There are perhaps analogous to Bresans, being more masculine, robust and better built, while Emilians are more like Western Lombards.]


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brennus of the 4th century BC

Brennus (or Brennos) was a chieftain of the Senones, a Gallic tribe originating from the modern areas of France known as Seine-et-Marne, Loiret, and Yonne, but which had expanded to occupy northern Italy.

More important historically was a branch of the above (called Senones, by Polybius), who about 400 B.C. made their way over the Alps and, having driven out the Umbrians, settled on the east coast of Italy from Ariminum to Ancona, in the so-called ager Gallicus, and founded the town of Sena Gallica (Sinigaglia), which became their capital.

In 391 they invaded Etruria and besieged Clusium. The Clusines appealed to Rome, whose intervention, accompanied by a violation of the law of nations, led to war, the defeat of the Romans at the Allia (18 July 390) and the capture of Rome. In 387 BC he led an army of Cisalpine Gauls in their attack on Rome. It has been theorized that Brennus is actually a title rather than a name. This is because "Brennus" also appears as the name of a Gallic leader 100 years later. It is also possible that Brennus refers to a god, his name taken by the leader before battle in order to invoke the god's favor and powers.

In the Battle of the Allia, Brennus defeated the Romans, and entered the city itself. The Senones captured the entire city of Rome except for the Capitoline Hill, which was successfully held against them. However, seeing their city devastated, the Romans attempted to buy their salvation from Brennus. The Romans agreed to pay one thousand pounds weight of gold. According to Livy, during a dispute over the weights used to measure the gold (the Gauls had brought their own, heavier-than-standard) Brennus threw his sword onto the scales and uttered the famous words "Vae victis!", which translates to "Woe to the vanquished!"

The argument about the weights had so delayed matters that the exiled dictator Marcus Furius Camillus had extra time to muster an army, return to Rome and expel the Gauls, saving both the city and the treasury. Following initial combat through Rome's streets, the Gauls were first ejected from the city, then utterly annihilated in a regular engagement eight miles outside of town on the road to Gabbi. Camillus was hailed by his troops as another Romulus, father of his country 'Pater Patriae' and second founder of Rome.

Some historical accounts say that the Senones besieging the Capitoline Hill were afflicted with an illness and thus were in a weakened state when they took the ransom for Rome. This is plausible as dysentery and other sanitation issues have incapacitated and killed large numbers of combat soldiers up until and including modern times.

It has been theorized that Brennus was working in concert with Dionysius of Syracuse, who sought to control all of Sicily. Rome had strong allegiances with Messana, a small city state in north east Sicily, which Dionysius wanted to control. With Rome's army pinned down by Brennus' efforts Dionysius led a campaign which ultimately failed. Brennus may have been paid twice to sack Rome.

However, the more accepted history (usually citing Livy and Plutarch) finds that Senones marched to Rome to exact retribution for three Roman ambassadors breaking the law of nations (oath of neutrality) in hostilities outside of Clusium. According to this history, the Senones marched to Rome, ignoring the surrounding countryside; once there, they sacked the city for 7 months, and then withdrew. For more information, see the Battle of Allia.

A famous depiction is the academic painting Le Brenn et sa part de butin (1893) by Paul Jamin that shows Brennus viewing his share of spoils (predominantly naked captive women) after the looting of Rome.

In popular culture

Brennus was played by Gordon Mitchell in the 1963 film 'Brennus, Enemy of Rome'.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Liguria Region

Ligury Region - Italy

Liguria borders France to the west, Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east. It lies on the Ligurian Sea. Liguria is a narrow strip of land, enclosed between the sea and the Alps and the Apennines mountains, it is a winding arched extension from Ventimiglia to La Spezia and is one of the smallest regions in Italy. Its surface area is 5,416.03 square Kilometres, corresponding to 1.18% of the whole national surface area, with the following subdivision: 3524.08 kilometres mountain (65% of the total) and 891.95 square kilometres hill (35% of the total).

Its shape is that of a thin strip of land, from 7 to 35 km (4.35 to 21.75 mi) wide (respectively above Voltri and in the high mountain area around Imperia), on average about 240 km (149.13 mi) long, lying in a semicircle around the Ligurian Sea and with convexity facing north; comprised between the sea and the watershed line of the Maritime Alps and the northern Apennines, which at some points it crosses (for example in the Savona and Genoa mountains). Some mountains rise above 2,000 m (6,561.68 ft); the watershed line runs at an average altitude of about 1,000 metres (3,280.84 ft).

The continental shelf, which is very narrow, is so steep it goes down almost immediately to considerable marine depths. The coastline is 315 km long. Except for the Portovenere and Portofino promontories, it is generally not very jagged, and is often high. At the mouths of the biggest watercourses there are small beaches, but there are no deep bays and natural harbours except for those of Genoa and La Spezia.

The hydrographic system is made up of the short watercourses of a torrential kind. In the coastal part the most important are the Roja (in its lower course), the Nervia, and the Magra. On the inland side we find some tributaries of the Po: the two branches of the Bormida, the Scrivia and the Trebbia; there is not much water in these rivers, though the quantity increases greatly in rainy periods.

The ring of hills, lying immediately beyond the coast, together with the beneficial influence of the sea, account for the mild climate the whole year round (with average winter temperatures of 7-10° and summer temperatures of 23°-24°) which makes for a pleasant stay even in the heart of winter.

Rainfall can be very abundant at times; mountains very close to the coast create an orographic effect, so Genoa can see up to 2000 mm of rain in a year; other areas instead show the normal values of the Mediterranean area (500--800 mm). Despite the high population density, woods cover half of the total area. Liguria's Natural Reserves cover 12% of the entire Region, i.e. around 60,000 hectares of land, and they are made up of one National Reserve, six large parks, two smaller parks and three nature reserves.


Traces of Neanderthal Man were discovered in the region of Loano, whereas in Ventimiglia, in the grotto of "Balzi Rossi", numerous remains were found which recall those of Cro-Magnon Man. According to the written sources we have about the settlements of the Ligurians (Ligures), the presence of this people of Mediterranean origin dates back to the first millennium B.C. on a vast territory including most of north-western Italy. This people, divided into several tribes, numbered less than two hundred thousand.

During the first Punic War, the ancient Ligurians were divided, some of them siding with Carthage and a minority with Rome, whose allies included the future Genoese. After the Roman conquest of the region, the so-called X regio, named Liguria, was created in the reign of Emperor Augustus, when Liguria was expanded from the coast to the banks of Po River. The great Roman roads (Aurelia and Julia Augusta on the coast, Postumia and Aemilia Scauri towards the inland) helped strengthen the territorial unity and increase exchanges and trade. Important towns developed on the coast, of which evidences are left in the ruins of Albenga, Ventimiglia and Luni. Between the 4th and the 10th centuries Liguria was dominated by the Byzantine, the Lombards of King Rothari (about 641) and the Franks (about 774) and it was later invaded by the Saracens and the Normans. In the 10th century, once the danger of pirates decreased, the Ligurian territory was divided into three marches: Obertenga (east), Arduinica (west) and Aleramica (centre). In the 11th and 12th centuries the marches were split into fees, and then with the strengthening of the bishops' power, the feudal structure began to partially weaken. The main Ligurian towns, especially on the coast, became city-states, over which Genoa soon extended its rule. Inland, however, fees belonging to noble families survived for a very long time.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Matrimonio Etrusco Celtico

Etruscan-Celtic Marriage

Reconstruction of a marriage between a Celtic nobleman and an Etruscan princess, in ancient Etruria or Cisalpine Gaul.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Dan Pastorini

Dan Pastorini

Dante "Dan" Anthony Pastorini (born May 26, 1949 in Sonora, California) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League for the Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, and the Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL career

Pastorini was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the first round (third overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft out of Santa Clara University. The draft was dubbed "The Year of the Quarterback" with Pastorini taken third behind Jim Plunkett (first) and Archie Manning (second).

Pastorini was known as a tough quarterback throughout his career.[citation needed] From 1971 through 1979, Pastorini missed only five regular season games, playing through the pain of broken ribs and even a punctured lung at times. He was the first player to wear the now ubiquitous "flack jacket" under his uniform to protect broken ribs. He did not play behind what would be considered a quality offensive line until 1977 when the Oilers hired Joe Bugel as offensive line coach and brought in players like Greg Sampson and, later Leon Gray. By 1978, the Oilers had a running game with the drafting of future Hall-of-Famer Earl Campbell.

Pastorini was also named to the 1975 AFC Pro Bowl Team.

Pastorini's best season came in 1978 when he threw for a career high 2,473 yards and 16 touchdowns. In the 1978 playoffs, Pastorini fared very well, helping lead the Oilers to wins over the Miami Dolphins and AFC East division champion New England Patriots.

Pastorini's last game as a Houston Oiler was the 1979 AFC championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game which many Oilers fans contended was decided when, in their opinion, the officials blew a call on a Mike Renfro TD reception. Instant replay rules, in any form, were not in effect at the time, so the play could not be reviewed, as it would be in the present day. The best replay angles NBC could provide of the play show Renfro clearly catching the ball and getting both feet in the endzone with no juggling. It was not clear to the referees but was very clear to all viewers of the game that Renfro had complete control of the ball when he hit the ground. His feet according to the replays were both inbounds when he had possession of the ball. The play was a major turning point in the momentum of the game, which resulted in a Steeler triumph.

Later in 1980, Oilers owner, Bud Adams, traded Pastorini to the Oakland Raiders, in exchange for an aging Ken Stabler, who was 3 years Pastorini's senior.

Five weeks into the 1980 season with Oakland, after posting a 2-2 record, Pastorini broke his leg against the Kansas City Chiefs. The fans, who had been unhappy with his performance and wanted to see backup Jim Plunkett, cheered when they realized he was hurt. Plunkett, a Heisman Trophy winner out of Stanford, and former starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, had been with the Raiders as a backup quarterback since 1978. He took over and led the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in January 1981.

Outside of football

Pastorini raced hydroplanes, drag-raced cars, judged wet T-shirt contests, and starred in a 1974 B-movie called Weed: The Florida Connection and then co-starred in a 1979 Lee Majors movie called Killer Fish. He married glamour model June Wilkinson, who appeared in Playboy Magazine. She is British and 9 years older. They had one child, a daughter, and later divorced.

Dan Pastorini drove a Top Fuel Dragster as part of the NHRA Full Throttle (Winston) Drag Racing Series in the mid 1980s. He collected several national event victories. His first came in Atlanta at the NHRA Southern Nationals in 1986.

Pastorini currently lives and works in Houston. His highly anticipated autobiography -- Taking Flak: My life in the fast lane -- is scheduled for release in November of 2011. He currently is launching a new line of food products.

No. 7

Personal information
Date of birth: May 26, 1949 (age 62)
Place of birth: Sonora, California
High School: Bellarmine College Prep
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 208 lb (94 kg)

Career information
College: Santa Clara
NFL Draft: 1971 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Debuted in 1971 for the Houston Oilers
Last played in 1983 for the Philadelphia Eagles

Career history
Houston Oilers (1971-1979)
Oakland Raiders (1980)
Los Angeles Rams (1981)
Philadelphia Eagles (1982-1983)

Career highlights and awards
1× Pro Bowl selection (1975)
1× Super Bowl champion (XV)

Career NFL statistics as of 1981
Pass attempts: 3,055
Pass completions: 1,556
Percentage: 50.9
TD-INT: 103-161
Passing Yards: 18,515
QB Rating: 59.1


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friulan Bilingual Signs

Friulan Bilingual Signs
See also: - Some bilingual road signs in Italian & Friulian. Derivatives of images from wikimedia Commons (authors listed in the last frame of the video).

Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5; accordingly, we explicitely state that the authors of the original photos do not necessarily endorse the use we have done of them.

Some images have been driven beyond their natural resolution limits so they are now of low quality; however the primary goal of this video is documentary and educational. No audio.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Titan May Have Water Ocean Under The Surface

Titan May Have Water Ocean Under The Surface

By Jesse Emspak - International Business Times - May 6, 2011

NASA's Cassini probe, in orbit around Saturn, may have discovered evidence for a liquid ocean under the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

The data comes from radar observations of the surface that measure Titan's rotation and tell how it is oriented relative to the plane of its orbit - its axial tilt. According to a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the new data showed that the many of the planet's surface features were in the wrong place, sometimes off by as much as 30 kilometers (19 miles).

Titan always presents the same face toward Saturn, just like the Moon does to Earth. But in those situations one expects that the moon will be in the "Cassini state," which means that the axial tilt will have a certain value. In Titan's case, the axial tilt was measured at 0.3 degrees. That seemed too high if one assumed Titan was a solid body.

A team at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, led by Rose-Marie Baland, proposed that the tilt matches what one would see if Titan had a liquid ocean just under the surface. Given the measured mass of Titan and its density it looks like the ocean is made of water.

The researchers proposed a four-layer model for Titan, involving an icy shell, followed by the ocean, with a mantle of ice underneath that followed by core of rock and ice.

Most small worlds are solid all the way through because they cool fast enough that the insides don't stay molten. Titan is bigger than Mercury but still a good deal smaller than the Earth, which led many to believe it was probably a solid mass of ice and rock on the inside.

The presence of an ocean on Titan has important implications for the search for alien life. As far as anyone on Earth knows, liquid water is essential for life as we know it. If Baland and her team are correct there will be another place to look for it. Currently many scientists see Mars and Europa as two possible abodes for aliens (even if they are only bacteria) because both worlds have had liquid water in the past (Mars) or have it now (Europa, under the surface ice layer).

Baland and her co-authors say that there are some other possibilities besides a liquid ocean. One is the outer layers being denser than the interior. But that seems unlikely because one would ordinarily expect denser material to end up in the core. Another is that Titan was hit by something in the recent past. More observations will be needed to test those hypotheses.


We have followed the Cassini-Huygens Mission for some years now. The mission is now over seven years, and the projected termination date is sometime in 2017. The project is a joint effort of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency), and the ASI (Italian Space Agency). The ASI is a government-led effort, but the allied space agencies are all from the Cisalpine homeland. Most of the components of the spacecraft were constructed at these locations.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The problems with definition in our folk-family: Part 2


It should be clarified that there are many layers of "identity," from the individual, family, clan, close associations, district, province, nation, and so forth. Naturally this is in reference to our "folk family." Apart from the individual or family, pride of your heritage is partly based on living up to the best of what your ancestors accomplished or stood for, and it should evolve within the individual over time.

When thinking about our Cisalpine folk identity, from an American point of view, we should see that we are very much a small "numerical minority," especially for being descended from a people who dramatically affected the world in so many ways over time. When looking at the book 'Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 BC to 1950' (Murray; 2003), it's quite evident what the Cisalpine people are one of the greatest, if not THE greatest people in world history. Certain peoples were great for one period of time, but our people have been at the very top in every area of human endeavor for about six hundred years. I remember once as a child, I saw a coffee mug which had the words "Italian Mug" on it, in which the handle was on the inside. I know, big joke. "Can't you take a joke?" Yes, but it's only funny if there is at least one single ounce of realism attached to it. The mug joke simply wouldn't apply to the Cisalpines. Being able to laugh at oneself is a good thing individually, or in a group-concept, but it must be PURE.

Getting back to the Charlie Sheen roast, which was very funny, I was reminded of another more minor problem area as far as "definition" goes for our people. I wasn't really familiar with Kate Walsh. I was momentarily mesmerized by her combination of beauty, manner, wit, and humor. By today's standards as far as entertainment personalities go, she is a pretty upstanding women. Upon viewing her Wikipedia page, she is from San Jose, California, and she is of part "Italian" ancestry. In other words, she is very likely partly descended from Cisalpines. There are many examples of famous people who we are not certain of this fact.

I had originally wanted to place some entry on this blog, based on articles over many years, about what is usually referred to as "famous Italian baseball players from San Francisco." Of course today, there isn't a whole lot that is "Italian" in San Francisco anymore, but it is a part of our heritage. I'm guessing that many of those players were Sicilian or Southern Italian. For example, Joe DiMaggio was of Sicilian ancestry. I recall, not too long ago, seeing a mural in the Crocker-Amazon Park in San Francisco, of a baseball player from that era named Marino Pieretti. I have no idea of his family genealogy. He could be Genoese, Lucchesi, or Calabrian. I gave the example on the other blog of how common Italian suffixes had been added to local surnames, over the centuries, in regions in the north; and, of course, with so many common Italian first names, can make at least make many names sound so ambiguous.

Another individual, who fits this issue for us, is Mike Colalilo. He received the Medal of Honor in World War II, and seems to be very well-known even as far as the recipients of the medal are concerned, based on his bravery in battle. He is from Duluth, an area which had many immigrants from Lombardy, and is very likely a Cisalpine, but we're not 100% certain of that. Jon Volpe was a big star running back in the Canadian Football League. I can recall that he went to college at Stanford. Originally from Upper Michigan, and having a Lombardian/Tri-Veneto surname, is almost certainly a Cisalpine, but we really are not positive. Author and researcher Michael Cremo is someone whom I am familiar with. He co-authored the book 'Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race' (Cremo & Thompson; 1994). The surname "Cremo" is very rare, but seems to have origins in Piedmont, but again, we are not certain. Unless an individual is actually from "the homeland," we can only guess. Sometimes it's just obvious, sometimes not. These are just a few of the individual examples.

Now, again, as far as the history of famous Italian baseball players from San Francisco, there are articles which can be easily found online, including a new book on the larger subject of famous Italian-American baseball players. However, these resources are ripe with socialogical references which simply do not apply to our people. We are, comparatively, a very distinct people with very distinct inherent ways. We are certainly not some "transitional group" between Southern Italy and central Europe. Culturally yes, there is an element, from the era of Romanization, of being somewhat "culturally transitional." However, we are not "ethnically transitional." There is no basis for that. Even hard science can prove that now.

This paradigm just is what it is. From our standpoint, it has to be dealt with. I have a cousin, and a few years ago she learned standard Italian. She was likely the first member in the history of my family to speak Italian, which is distinctly the Tuscan language. They were from rural Alpine villages and spoke the Lombard language. This language is part of the Romance family of languages, but it is not a dialect of Italian. There is really no "Italian." That language is intrinsically Tuscan! It did gain a certain status in the Middle Ages, almost like Latin; and did migrate, among the better educated segment of society, into cities in places like Lombardy. To be Cisalpine is to have a genuine connection to the related cultures of the "northern nations" as they existed. There is little negative about the Cisalpines. There was some bad politics for a time, the Venetians had pushed a few people around, the traffic certainly isn't great. What else?

Many Italian-American organizations have complained about the MTV program 'Jersey Shore'. It's a fair enough grievance, but from our point of view, nobody from that program even looks or acts like a Cisalpine anyway. It's not our fight. However, I say that with acknowledgement that there are people whom we would consider "Padanian-Americans" who are partly Southern Italian or Sicilian. There is a point where you have to examine where your heart lies.


Monday, September 19, 2011

The problems with definition in our folk-family: Part 1

Last evening, I was viewing the Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen. It's what I would consider an acceptable swim in the waters of modern America's "trash culture." Certainly a roast is no place for thin skin; and the "thin-skin issue" is one of debate. My general definition of acceptable disagreement is when someone says something that is either entirely out of proportion, or is simply not true. It's somewhat rare that a stereotype simply IS NOT TRUE, but it does happen.

One of the roasters was Anthony Jeselnik. His surname, although sort've Polish-sounding, might be of Prussian/Silesian (north German) origin. His appearance and demeanor were somewhat of what some would occasionally perceive as a negative German stereotype: tall, lean, muscular, strong blue eyes, a touch of seriousness or self-importance, short brown/blonde hair not quite short enough to call a crew cut; all of which mixed with the playful "chop-busting" attack-mode of the roast, only added to this concept. Of course, sometimes a comedian cultivates a certain persona for their act, and this could be misinterpreted. Later, Amy Schumer, who seemed to be a German-American, playfully poked fun at Jeselnik, saying that he looked like "Hitler Youth," and he responded with a Roman salute. All in good fun, no one or nothing got a break, etc., etc. However, it occurred to me that, although funny, the lines of a politic and the general character of a "folk-group" were certainly blurred.
For whatever it's worth, there were as could be expected, certain jokes of Charlie Sheen's real name of "Carlos Estevez"; and while funny, if really looked at, were based on the fact that he had a grandfather from Spain. He was even called "a Mexican." Too thin skinned? Well, if one was of literal Spanish heritage, would endless false-perceptions and misidentifications with people of a different racial and/or ethnic background always be such a laughing matter? I mean it's almost to the point, in some areas, where a people are denied an identity as a people. In a world where these false-perceptions didn't exist, and someone lets say made fun of me for "being a Fascist" or "being a Anarchist," or even if they disliked me personally and stated it in a more negative way; well, at least it would be based on some fact, as opposed to "organized crime," which would be entirely based on falsehood. I suppose, since I'm a "white person," then "my people were slave owners." I mean, it can just get wilder and wilder. There's a lot of this type of thing around. I remember a certain fast-food restaurant that I frequented at one time. Working there was a very young women with a Spanish accent. Much more of a authentic Spanish accent. She was beautiful, maybe 5'4", somewhat slight of build, somewhat long dark hair, basic brown eyes, a straight nose, ivory skin, with a certain energy and charm, like a Barcelonian! What I'm driving at is that if someone considered her a "non-white" based on her accent, that would be almost.... evil. I would venture to guess that she was probably from the cone of South America. I recall a young woman that I took a college course with who was from Argentina. She might not have even been a Spaniard, but maybe German or French, with blonde hair and blue eyes, but she had the thickest accent of anyone of any language that I ever met I think. Yet, despite that, she was part of our Western family of people.

Although German-Americans are very rarely discriminated against, specifically, there exists at least subtle prejudice against them. I recall working for a company which was owned by two Jewish guys who were very easy to get along with. However, I remember a young guy, the same age as myself at that time, who was hired out've a temp agency. He was a hard worker, and a positive addition to the company. He said that he was a rugby player, although I never got to know him very well. He, I suppose, had a very distinct "north German look"; somewhat tall, lean, muscular, short light blonde hair, and just generally a very north German face (distinctly not Anglo or Scandinavian), although he said that he was "German-Irish." The point is that he was "let go" for no apparent reason. I know, the sword cuts both ways, we all have our problems in life, subtle unfair treatment, blah, blah, blah. I honestly believe that he "looked too German" for them. They did have a guy with a very German-sounding name in a high position, a tall blonde fellow, but he somehow didn't exemplify that stereotype.

"German heritage" pays a certain price today for the past existence of "National Socialism"; while, for example, "Italian heritage" today pays no price whatsoever for "Fascism." Fascism, in its original form, was not invented by Southern Italians, it was invented by some our Cisalpine people. Mussolini was an Emilian. Also, "Jewish heritage" only very marginally pays a price for Communism, which was the invention, originally, of "some Jewish people," although they seemed to have been atheists. Communism murdered, very literally, tens times as many people as National Socialism. Okay, I don't want to got off too much on all that now, but the "subtle prejudice" against "us"---the Cisalpines---in America, is the same basic idea at what might be aimed at Germans. That being: we are tied to a negative concept of organized crime. However, unlike the Germans, who largely (at that time in Germany) went along with National Socialism, we have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do whatsoever with organized crime as it has existed in communities of Southern Italians, Irish, Jews, Russians, or Albanians in the European world.

Black market activity exists in all societies. Always has, always will, but what I am referring to is gangland on a massive scale; and which could never possibly be merely chalked up to "a few bad guys." The fact that these crime figures represent only a very small percentage of those communities doesn't quite always erase the PR damage. There is a subtle overlap between the negative and the positive. So, as with the negative political milieus, there exists this overlap. If anything, some of the bad politics could be somewhat of a blight on our heritage (Fascism, Communism, Anarchism). These negatives, as always, overlap some positive areas... I'm aware of that. It should also be noted that there were regions of Europe where the poverty was more extreme than what existed in Southern Italy, Ireland, Albania, etc. Poverty was as bad, or worse, in Andalucia or Greece, than it was in Sicily or Ireland; yet, there has never been any gangland problem on those places, and many other areas of Europe or elsewhere.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Ghost of Cortina d'Ampezzo

The Ghost of Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo (Ladin: Anpëz, German: Hayden) is a town and comune in the southern (Dolomitic) Alps and the province of Belluno, Veneto, northern Italy. Located in the heart of the Dolomites in an alpine valley, it is a popular winter sport resort known for its ski-ranges, scenery, accommodations, shops and après-ski scene. After the scheduled 1944 Olympics had been cancelled because of WWII, it hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics as well as various world cup events and motion pictures. Much of 1963 classic The Pink Panther, the progenitor of the series, was filmed in Cortina. One of the memorable James Bond stunt sequences in 1981's For Your Eyes Only, gunners on spike-wheeled motorcycles chasing Roger Moore on skis, was filmed on its slopes, as were several scenes in the film Cliffhanger.

Celebrity Ghost Stories DVD available September 20, 2011


Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Ladin People: Part 1

Who are the Ladini people who live in the Dolomites?

from DreamOfItaly channel on YouTube

Kathy McCabe of talks to Karen Pizzolini about the Ladini or Ladins of the Dolomites, an ethnic minority who have their own culture and language and have lived in these valleys for thousands of years. Recorded on September 13, 2009 using a Flip Video camcorder.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Queen Gambara: Part 1

Queen Gambara was, as we have covered before, the Winnili Queen who led (with her two sons) the faction which left Scandinavia some sixteen or seventeen hundred years ago due to overpopulation (more attributed to limited resources at that time). I thought that I would attempt to put information about Gambara over time, as it's hard to dig up information on her, and she was an important figure who ultimately gave the command to migrate away from Scandinavia, which of course dramatically affected history and eventually led to the rise of the Langbard Cisalpine Kingdom. She never saw Langbard, but was a founder of it before the fact.

We can put more of a biography later, as it becomes available, but I wanted to just place here a couple of examples of her legacy in terms of surnames and place names. This is remarkable, because she was long gone when the Langobards invaded the Cisalpine territory, which was then under Byzantine Roman control. It should be noted that the female first name of "Gambara" was likely common among Langobard women, which could have contributed to these names as well. However, the legend of the Winnili queen was very much part of the folklore of the Langobards.

"Gàmbara" is a town and comune in the province of Brescia. Brescia is located in Lombardy, which was the hub of the Langobard government. It's not surprising that a location in Lombardy was probably named after Queen Gambara.

The surname Gambara is present today around the region of Lombardy and Emilia. For some reason, offshoots, such as "Gambarini" or "Gambaro," are much more common, and present throughout the north. For centuries, one particular "Gambara family" sat on the Brescian Council, which was the oligarchy who ruled the province. Perhaps that might explain why other families in the region did not take the surname of Gambara.

I have felt a strong connection to Queen Gambara. I almost look to her as one of the Norse gods and goddesses. She was known as a "wise woman" who was trusted by many. They must have held great trust in her after she gave the command to "Go Forth" as the legend has it, and migrate south into the unknown.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Death of Gaulish: Part 3

Language and Identity in the Roman Empire

[from Ancient Web]

The most detailed records we have of ancient Europeans come to us from early Greek historians who describe the various tribes and peoples that lived at the periphery of their known world. A common thread that runs though these narratives is a a distinct sense of otherness, for the peoples being described that were not of Hellenic or Greek stock. These “Barbarians”, a term coined by the later Romans because of the beards they wore, were bereft of any value and systematic forms of civilizations that existed in the Greek world. They were alien to them, useful perhaps as slaves or hired mercenaries, but not a part of the “polis”, the citizen city state that differentiated the perceived noble races form those who still maintained the attributes of the archaic and uncivilized past.

The Romans thoroughly adopted this belief system, and used it as a moral objective to justify their conquest of first the Latin tribes. In the 2nd century BCE , when they quickly expanded from the Italian peninsula , they encountered those same Indo-European peoples as the Greeks had a few centuries earlier. The concept of Roman versus Barbarian become adopted in the social consciousness of every a citizen of the emerging Roman Empire. It was done for political reasons, but also because it had been formulated as a strategic survival myth of origin their earliest tribal history when the Romans were just a confederacy of hill tribes fighting for survival among the various established cultures of Italy. These native inhabitants of the Italian peninsula were part of the earliest migrations to italy, and were predominately made up of Etruscan, Oscan, Samnian, and Umbrian speaking peoples. The Etruscans first controlled the early Latin tribes but were then overthrown by the Romans when they rebelled against their tyrannical kings. Although much of this early history is steeped in legend, one thing is for certain – when the Romans finally overcame their Etruscan overlords, they wanted to establish an identity that was uniquely their own. Those who were seen as not sharing the egalitarian principles of the Romans, and the citizen state republic they had founded, were meant to be conquered and subjugated.

In the first century BCE, the Italian mainland having already been unified under a single banner, the Romans encountered the Celtic tribes of the Po river valley. These Celtic people were the ancestral enemies of the Italians, and started meeting with resistance from Romans as they began encroaching on the northern fringes of Italy. The area south of the Alps was a fertile plain that for centuries had been settled by the Celtic descendants of the first La Tene cultures to inhabit central Europe. These people were not only fundamentally different the the Italic tribes, but were also being pushed upon the Italian borders from the pressure of Germanic tribes moving west. These tribes in turn were being pressured to migrate due to the existence of Slavic tribes that were leaving the steppes of Asia. All these people shared several things in common, in that they represented an earlier warrior centric society that was much different then the "civitas" that the Romans had exemplified. To the Romans, they were all simply "Barbieri", the apotheosis to civilized clean shaven roman centurion. As the Romans conquered and expanded their Empire, they brutally suppressed many of these ancestral cultures of Europe and it is though the Roman conquerors that we have the most detailed narratives of Gauls, Celts, Britains, Germans, Slavs and many other groups of people they conquered. All these depictions have a fundamental flaw that obscures our visibility into the distant reality of theses ancient lives. And although the Roman historians speak of them as heroic warriors worthy of confrontation, they consistently reject them as uncivilized and undeserving of the culture the Romans could share with them.

Later, the Romans carved out provinces out of their lands, and ordered these based on what they perceived to be the cultural and linguistic groupings of these people. These provinces were somewhat artificial as the languages and regional differences of the tribes within each cultural area was tremendous,There was also not a clear distinct division between tribes that formulated the border zones of one cultural sphere to another. In the province of Hispania for example, the hinterland between the Celtic late comers, and the original Iberian inhabitants, was populated by hybrid Celti-Iberian tribes that possessed qualities of both these peoples. In the province of Gaul, the Celts were in fact part of a larger cultural entity primarily based on a the notion that they shared the same Brythonic Celtic language. But pockets of pre-Celtic people still existed in the peripheries, some disappearing from the record completely, while others existing to this day like the Vacones (Basques) and Rheatian speaking peoples of Switzerland. On the borders of the empire things were even more transient with Celto-Germanic tribes mixing with Germanic or Slavic speaking peoples. The Belgae, inhabiting roughly the same region as their namesake today, were actually various tribes with varying degrees of Celtic and Germanic influences. In the 1st century CE as the Romans began conquering lands further east they encountered various mountain tribes and nomadic tribes of the Pannonian plains, whom they simply grouped as Dacians despite the ethno-linguistic differences in their region. Over time the Romanization of these regions created a new ethnic commonality. In a sense, the Romans helped create new and more homogenous groups of people based on provincial boundaries they created. Even Greece itself did not achieve political unity until the Romans declared her a possession. Their conquest hastened the dissolution of the regional dialects of Ionic or Doric peoples, but helped preserve the development of a Greek nation state based on a common language.

But who were these people through their own eyes? Where they the blue painted Celts that had sacked Rome, only to be driven back north to their cold northern forests? Where they the Germanic barbarians that later invaded the crumbling empire destroying all that remained of civilization? Or were they the ancestors of the people that inhabit those regions today?


This article is very illuminating. For one thing, it shows how the Romans were usurpers in the central peninsula. The Etruscans and Umbrians were extremely advanced, and I believe did not need the Romans and/or an imperial superpower to influence the less technologically advanced regions. If Etruria was like the United States, then the Romans were like today's Globalists.

The first part of the third paragraph (italicized in red) absolutely hits the nail right on the head as far as the Cisalpine Gauls were concerned, and how they were perceived by the central Italic tribes in a historical, cultural, and ethnic context. "These Celtic people were the ancestral enemies of the Italians...." Okay, the wording of that is in an ancient context, but it still accurately sums up the situation which existed.

The Roman's carved out borders which changed even the identity of various peoples. It's interesting to note that Greece, like the southern Italian peninsula, was made up of different cultures with different languages and customs; and only later under the Roman provincial administration, did they become unified. Of course, they were probably pretty similar to start with and had a common history.

Lastly, and this is extremely interesting, there were pre-Celtic tribes existing in Gaul itself. Perhaps very ancient Alpine tribes, just like existed in Cisalpine Gaul. Also in Hispania, with Alpine tribes like the Vacones (Basques) living side-by-side with Celtiberian tribes. I don't believe that these tribes were of Mediterranean stock, but were the descendants of some of the very first Europeans.