mercoledì, agosto 05, 2020

Pandemia e Disuguaglianza Note sullo Stato Sociale di Francesco Farina

Francesco Farina recently wrote a booklet published by Luiss  called Pandemia e Disuguaglianza Note sullo Stato Sociale. In this booklet some considerations regarding the current situation, the past and a future not too pink for the humanity.

World was absolutely unprepared at the eventuality of an influenza pandemic. In Italy but also in countries like Netherland or Sweden systematically, these past decades governments cut sanity, reducing beds, reducing hospitals! one of the most felt places in a city! Reducing the compassion and choices where to be cured.

The arrival of the pandemic flu found unprepared a sanitary system dependent by China for everything, masks, respiratories, necessary for going on with tranquillity in this big crisis.

And tranquillity, of course, didn't exist at all. We have seen desperation, a lot of losses. 

China was one of the wisest, and most richest country in the world in grade of giving proper answer and keeping efficient its sanitary system, although the advent of the influenza

pandemic, started in a city of 12 million of people, Whuan in Ubei, meant the collapse of the sanitary system in that asiatic portion of country, because the number of sick people incredibly elevated. An influenza pandemic is more infective than not a common influenza. 

European countries were not still completely healthy from the 2008 powerful crisis, but the pandemic crisis  is something more profound. It will mean to the various countries an exam of 

society and how it was thought in the past.

So, with a recession still cheerful around, the pandemic flu, where possible is putting again economy down and it will in the future. But, social discrepancies that were and are existing for example in our country, will become more strong in the future, where maybe more children will 

leave schools before the natural end and where not everyone will be in grade of accessing at good jobs. 

Not only: the frantically research for a vaccine started months ago in many countries like France with the Pasteur, UK with Oxford supported by the italian government, the Whuan one, where some people are tested with placebo and other with their human vaccine, the  USA, is laudable altough Farina remarks  that a competition for a vaccine shouldn't exist and that the vaccine should be available to everyone and every part of the world, and, of course,  completely free.

Not all the sanitary systems are OK. In the USA health system is considered a meritocratic value and so it is completely private. Well, this system, heartless, can't play a good role in this pandemic flu because the weakest part of the population can't access to the hospitals and a covid-19 test can cost also 1900 dollars!

Probably, admits Farina, we will assist at more discrepancies between south and north of the world; rich countries and countries more poor; social status means a lot in this historical moment because it can makes the difference in terms of cures and treatments. 

Liberalism promised a good existence to everyone, rich and poor, but as we have seen, adds Farina, it didn't bring anything good and so in recent years we discovered the return of  populism.

I read with pleasure this booklet and I warmly suggest it to everyone. It is written in italian.

I thank Luiss for sharing via newsletter the booklet.

Anna Maria Polidori 

You can do it! By Lois Petren

You Can Do It!

Tales of the Five Enchanted Mermaids by Lois Petren is a wonderful and colored children's books I warmly suggest to all your children.

The protagonist of this story is a little octopus. Oh, he would want to build a little castle but he is not in grade. No one wants to play with him and he is irritated because of his inability of doing anything good. Who could help him?

Walking, he thinks that the best thing to do is to trying to ask some advices to the five wise mermaids. Mermaids in this children's books are lived like enchanting and positive creatures in grade of giving great advices.

They suggested him of being a decent octopus passing through several wise and old-fashioned school of good education and self-respect. Thanks to these advices the little octopus will walk along the life with more self-confidence and will build a little castle of sand as well!

Enchanting children's book!

Warmly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori 

martedì, agosto 04, 2020

On the Prowl In Search of Big Cat Origins by Mark Hallett and John H.Harris.

If you are fascinated by tigers, pantheras, lions, animals living in exotic places, sometimes dangerous for men, and if you are fascinated by their origins, you can't miss this new book by Columbia University Pres

s On the Prow
l In Search of Big Cat Origins by Mark Hallett and John H.Harris.

The history of these animals is lost in the time; they appeared after the destruction of Dinosaurus because of the fireball 65.5 million of years ago.

This book is not just a research of these new mammals on Earth, the so-called big cats, no: this one is a paleontologic study, technical, accurate and detailed of the various parts of these mammals; a study that passes through skulls, teeth, muscles, power of the various animals, without forgetting their modality of killing; their anatomic structure is analyzed in great detail. 

A chapter will involve also the relationship of men with these big cats; we find traces in caves of the prehistoric man who had several confrontations with these animals, but respected them and added them in drawings for being remembered; later, Ancient Rome will lose the respect that other countries and cultures had developed for these animals, sometimes a real veneration; lions, tigers, became moments of show, but not only in big arenas; the massive interest of men for these animals forced them at abandoning some places where they were peacefully living in.

These mammals covered most part of the Earth.


At the beginning of the times Earth was an immense, united land, called Pangea; once that there was that terrible trauma and the extinction of dinosaurus, caused by an asteroid, the world changed composition; there wasn't anymore just a big sea and an only land, but many lands and various seas. The Earth started in that never-ending process of changements, continuing its evolution in this moment as well.

Completely and wonderfully illustrated by Mark Hallett, this book is great as a gift for children, teen-agers, adults. 

Highly recommended.

I thank Columbia University Press for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

domenica, agosto 02, 2020

Non ti dirò mai Addio by Jessica Brockmole translated by Giuseppe Maugeri

Non ti dirò mai Addio,

english title of At the Edge of Summer by Jessica Brockmole is one of the most delicate, sophisticated, erudite romantic books that I have every read.

There is a preciosity of words, terms, an expressive elegance (I read it translated by Giuseppe Maugeri, a great well done job!) that will capture all of you, like also the ability of the author in filtering feelings with extreme class, sincerity and humanity.

The story the one of Clare Moss, a girl abandoned by the mother. Being alone, a close friend of the mother, Madame Crepet decides of keeping her in her castle. Madame and Monsieur Crepet are wonderful people. In particular Monsieur Crepet is a painter and Clare finds fascinating Mille Mots, their mansion and the stunning beautiful colors and light of France. 

Being scottish, she has always seen the world under a different light, in the real sense of the word; weather in his scottish corner of the world changed "mood" constantly. France knew a stability that pleasantly shocked her. She fell in love for food, language. 

Luc, the son of the couple becomes her best friend. He is a bit more old than her, but he is a wise boy; he is intelligent, he is patient, educated, a bit shy, he is a young boy of great culture. He studied to Paris and every week-end returned home.

One day Clare's grand-father, a man of culture, and a passionate traveller and writer will ask to the Crepet of having back Clare. Clare wouldn't want to leave Mille Mots, and she wouldn't want to leave Luc, because she has always felt special feelings for him.

They will remain in contact, once separated via letters. It's a frantic and continuous exchange of letters and not just of these two teen-agers; Luc very often included also letters, long long letters, of his parents to Clare.

The war and the same fact that Clare and his grand-father will live in exotic, wonderful and sunny places, changes the cards on the table. At a certain point this correspondence ends although Luc will continue to write to Clare also when in war.

A story of betrayal during the years of war for soldier Luc will mean a real devastation: a story of false friendship the one lived by this sunny, intelligent and pacific boy will mean a profound sadness, lack of trust and a great interior pain.

Changed, once returned home, nothing will be as it was; Luc preferred to live in Paris, distant from his family and from a sunny place like Mille Mots was. His first necessity now was to re-discover the old and new Luc, to re-put the pieces of the puzzles together. 

World War I had changed the world, souls, spirits of people. 

Clare was to Paris. Once she received a touching letter from an important esponent of the American Red Cross embracing their cause.

This lady wanted to fix some of the scars left by the war in soldiers's bodies.

She accepted to work for that institution with great enthusiasm.

Clare hadn't never forgotten Luc and she didn't know his aspect. Eight years...A long time was passed by; Clare was also changed. Thanks to his grand-father she discovered the world, learnt several languages, and was a strongest person than not the shy teen-ager of Mille Mots. 

She studied art, she loved to be free and she wanted to realize firstly her life, not depending by a family or a man.

One day in that institution she will meet Luc again....

I don't want to leave you the pleasure of reading this book spoiling too much. I loved this book for its class and elegance; I loved words choosen by the author for describing, for let us know feelings of the characters; the way she describes technicals of painting gives the idea of someone in love for the matter; characters are few, centered and memorables; also the letters of Clare and Luc are elegant, sophisticated in the writing and plenty of good feelings.

Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori 

giovedì, luglio 30, 2020

Words that Matter How the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Elections

Words that Matter How

the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Campaign by Brookings Institution Press is an analysis about one of the nastiest and controvertials Presidential Campaigns of all the times: the one that would have "donated" the Usa to Donald Trump.

Analyzing the graphics, and you will meet a lot of them in this book, you'll realize that, after all, words, better, important words, in a Presidential Campaign are few, but they are crucials for the election of a candidate or another one.

Hillary Rhodam Clinton was the most accredited candidate of the democrat party, after that the socialist Bernie Sanders was defeated. 

Hillary Clinton's portrait is portrayed in one of the first chapters like the one of Trump; two facts, the story of the e-mails sent via her own private e-mail without passing through the one of the Department of State  and later her pneumonia that caused her a big weakness when she left the the commemoration of  9/11 meant two crucials moments; not only; the story of these e-mails returned periodically during the Presidential electoral campaign.

Donald Trump was known for being a sort of celebrity; he built the Trump Tower, his father left him a fortune. During the 1980's 1990's lost a fortune but his ability of appearing in the most celebrated magazines as Time, Newsweek but also Playboy remarked his being in the scenes of the American Life in many ways and sectors.

In The Apprentice, an American show long fourteen seasons, the winner won a work at the Trump Organization.

Trump was registered in the democract party although donated money to Republicans and Democrats. Then, the abrupt change and the idea of embracing the Republican party.

Trump attacked Barack Obama with an idea that "navigated" per years in the USA: Obama was born in Kenya and not in the American territory. Trump recognized that that one was a fake news spread by him per years, during his electoral campaign.

Which were the biggest problems of the USA in 2016? Military troops sent overseas, stagnation in the economic growth and climate change. 

Tensions reached the electoral campaign when Trump started to attach heavily most of the press and TV station telling to the potential electorate that they were reporting just fake news. 

But which has been the role of fake news? It was massive, like also the Russian help as the book reports but there is also to add that most of the information spread by people in social medias were of decent and respectable newsmagazines and so absolutely honest.

Probably people thought that was the moment for a change: in the book is reported that just once, after the Second World War people re-voted for the same political party the third time at a Presidential Election. The American elections are long and elaborated and people think that changing after two turns of the same political party in power is the best thing to do.

Analyzing the tweets of the Presidential Campaign you see that only dirty stuff is shared massively; in the case of Clinton the e-mail scandal, in the case of Trump his attacks on Hillary; real problems like crime and shootings, just an example, are marginals. 

In several prospects you will see which have been the words mainly used during the political campaign; Twitter "defined" thanks to its public the campaign of Hillary Clinton with these words - just some- : e-mails, but also FBI , Wikileaks, systems, foundation, people, money, scandal; the ones of Trump on Twitter: policy, president, people, deleted, black, gop, rally...

News reported other words as well. For Hillary: email, Benghazi, health, scandal, speech; in Trump's case women, speech, immigration, Mexico, scandal response...

But is it important for most people what tell candidates? Electors in most cases won't attend rallies, so they will build their ideas thanks to some suggestions.

A big scandal became the ideas of Trump regarding women and girls and his approach, behavior regarding sex because of his priviledged position. 

Brookings created this book thanks also to Gallup and their methods of elaboration.

A book  clear, linear, for everyone, in particular if you love to following a presidential campaign, if you want to discover more, if you are in the world of medias.

Highly recommended. 

I thank Brookings and Eurospan for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori


martedì, luglio 28, 2020

Il Libro dei Giorni Migliori Ritratto di un Paese ad altezza d'uomo by Mattia Feltri

Il Libro dei Giorni Migliori

Ritratto di un Paese ad altezza d'uomo by Mattia Feltri is a book where you can find all his articles published in Buongiorno a column of La Stampa one of the biggest italian newsmagazines located in Turin. The editor of La Stampa Molinari called Feltri for working on the column. Feltri is a reporter but he hasn't never been enthusiastic of going out trying to discover a news, consuming his shoes, as he says, walking along the streets. No: to him that kind of work was pretty boring. Feltri preferred a different role: his idea of journalism was the one of writing and reading. Why a person writes? For being immortal or for believing in that sense of immortality that each of us should cultivate; for being read at the end of a tiring day, more commonly. This book, adds the author is not written for the readers but just for himself. Feltri thinks that writing for others is an error: writing means writing for ourselves and for being, later, read by other ones.

You can read articles here and there, of course the book leave you a complete freedom. You will find policy, singers, articles of customs, and in a few words our Italy.

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, luglio 27, 2020

L'Ordine Nascosto La Vita Segreta dei Funghi by Merlin Sheldrake

L'Ordine Nascosto La Vita Segreta dei Funghi

by Merlin Sheldrake or if you prefer the english title  Entangled Life.How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Future is a beautiful, stunning, incredible succulent account on this topic; the world of mushrooms, fungi, is intricated, sophisticated, absolutely unique in the world. 

There is to say I remained impressed again by the author, another wonderful mind!

Fungi: they are everywhere; in our bodies, in our forests, in food thanks to the yeast, in medicine thanks to that drugs where mushrooms play a big role as ingredients, or, if you prefer, components.

Fungi don't have a brain but they are in grade of thinking, for later elaborate new paths, chosing the best strategies to them, using other animals as ants, for example, like vehicles for their own purposes. They are sly, opportunists, they try to better themselves all the time and in various measures.

An interesting chapter the one of truffles. Why white truffles' got such a persistent smell? I smiled a lot, understanding the real reason, to me absolutely unknwon. Mushrooms, the most common ones are visibles in fields, forests, and the transmission, their perpetuity is permitted because of their visibility. Truffles, white one, dark one don't have this luck, so with the time  developed a special, fragrance for being found by wild pigs and other animals, eaten for re-born thanks to the powerful vehicle of faeces somewhere else!

Merlin, went in Bologna's area years ago for assisting at the discovery of some white truffles. When found, the fragrance is absolutely wonderful but just after two days that fragrance can be lost because of a chemical reaction, so it's indispensible to act quickly for bringing truffles in New York or Japan in a short time.

White truffles writes Merlin, manifest the worsest part of the human being under many aspects.

Merlin's family was a close friend with a scientist pretty, pretty eccentric. Terence McKenna: he studied the so-called magic mushrooms, the ones in grade of presenting hallucinations and lived in a house that had to be magical.

I have always seen around sad cases of people who tried them and later had their brain devastated without any kind of possibility of recovering. I was happy to discover that differently, most people, in particular the ones suffering of terminal cancer under treatment with these kind of mushrooms, (an experiment) discovered a new identity and less pain. The self wasn't anymore important; there was an expansion of the soul in several different directions.

Magic mushrooms were studied, used during the XX century, Aldous Huxley was a great consumers of these mushrooms, but later the American government lost the patience deciding to cut funds for this research.

Merlin has tried several different substances, participated to experiments,  he also enjoyed to prepare many kind of alcoholic drinks for all his friends during his years of college, co-living in his bedroom with many boiling cointainers; it was amazing to see the variety of mushrooms and how they became once mutated in the various beverages he tried; sweet, bitter, disgusting, fabulous and so on.

It's a book this one nost just of mushrooms, but also of our relationship with them; it's a story of healing the planet passing through mushrooms. It's a book about wonderful creatures.

It's a fascinating trip that I know you will surely adore!

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori