Friday, 5 December 2008

Abruzzo news update

Italian Minister "hit" 36,000 times
This morning I went to the local village of Catignano to post my Xmas mail to the Uk and then stopped by for a nice Cappucino in a local bar. I was reading through "il Centro", the local Abruzzo paper when this article caught my eye. Mariastella Gelmini, the Italian Minister for Education, has set up a Youtube site at in order to create a "dialogue" between her and school pupils / university students to promote an exchange of ideas. Her reason for deciding to use Youtube was because "The Internet is what interests young people nowadays and they are more likely to pay attention to Youtube than any other form of communication." So far, 36,000 students have "hit" her site in a matter of hours since yesterday to voice their opinions! I find this is quite incredible and it is a good example of modern technology being utilised in a pro-active way.

Crucifix Furore
Another interesting story I read concerning the theme of Education is about a teacher in Terni, Abruzzo, who removed the Crucifix hanging up in the classroom during his History lesson. His students protested and went to complain to the headmaster. The Italian Ministry of Education is now looking into the matter.

Migrating Starlings
The photo below shows thousands of starlings travelling through our area on their way to hotter climes. They have recently landed in Rome and are causing havoc there with their eternal droppings. When I saw these birds flying past it was the most awesome sight as they were all flying in perfect formation.

Photo taken by KRB

"Word Cloud" article (10/12/08)
I read an article about a small village of only 2,000 inhabitants in the Abruzzo mountains called Civitella Casanova. There are 5 centenarians in this village and a lot of 80 and 90 year-olds. The secret to a long and happy life according to these elderly villagers is apart from food, water, love and air, the "aneto" (dill - herb) they put in their ravioli!

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