Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Friday, December 10, 2021

End Of Year Update

It's been over a year since my last post. I have not had time to keep up with this blog. In any event, now is not the time to explore such things.

There's a malaise in the West that needs tending. I warned we must not let fear set in so as to permit the virus to control us. Over 20 months on and we're clearly slaves to both our fears and the virus.

I'm afraid we're at a crossroads in the West where our freedoms are now under direct assault from the pharma, medical and political establishments. I never thought I'd see the day where people would be coerced and forced into a mediocre experimental medical procedure like they have. Both Canada and Italy have been supremely disappointing in their incompetence and ineptitude. Now we must produce 'passports' to live.

This is an unacceptable, unethical and untenable situation. 

Hopefully I'll restart this at some point in 2022 but I'm not optimistic. I am involved in action to challenge not just the government in court but people's hearts and minds as well.

I wish you all the best for the Holidays.

Fight. Your freedom matters.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

A Word From Our Sponsors: Me

I haven't been up to running this blog lately. I will definitely be resuming once all this hysteria passes.

It's very sad what's happening.

And by sad, I don't mean the virus. Rather I point to our inhumane, incompetent and incoherent response.

I've been too busy doing research for a group valiantly trying to bring context and perspective to the measures and the overall facts about Covid-19.

Let's pray the damage imposed on us will be limited. But we must all do or part.

No. Not by buying into their futile measures and propaganda.

But by remaining vigilant and informed. This means turning off MSM and public officials under the full trance of medical bureaucrats. 

The information is out there.

A presto.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

MC20 Maserati

As if the 'casedemic' hasn't already impacted activities, now I decided to buy a house. And as I've devoted my time to researching and following the science and data this blog has been temporarily neglected.

But here's a bon-bon. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Itaipu Dam And Italian Engineering

Was watching a brief clip about Paraguay the other day on the Internet and learned about the Itaipu dam.

One of the largest hydro-electric powered dams in the world, it borders Brazil and Paraguay.

When I saw images of it, I thought to myself wouldn't surprise me if Italian companies were involved in its construction and sure enough I was right.

It was a joint project with Electroconsult of Italy and IECO in the United States.

Thus continuing Italy's enormous cultural and engineering imprint on world achievements and affairs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Italy's Role In Sparking Ford And La Roja

I watched Ford v. Ferrari the other day and ranter enjoyed it. Two iconic automobile manufactures in one movie? Sign me up.

Of course, the movie took some liberty with the facts but from what I gather nothing galling or inappropriate. Although I could have done with the 'greasy wop' bit. Not sure why they thought this was good dramatic effect in this day and age of sanitized political correctness. Apparently you can still call Italians 'wops' on film as a non-protected community not part of the victim class mafia I suppose.

They also made sure to make the Italian driver look swarthy and menacing. Ah Hollywood. When they want to play up the usual stereotypes they play it up. It seems so cliched and stale.

I couldn't care less but just making a point that in today's climate of hyper-outrage I found it interesting is all.

I digress.

The other part I observed was Lee Iacocca's character, despite being of Italian heritage, couldn't speak Italian. I would have thought, as a 1st generation Italian, he could at least speak on some rudimentary level with Enzo Ferrari to establish a common bond. I know. I'm looking way into this more than I should.

Tell you what though. I think the film went out of its way to pay homage to Ken Miles and if indeed he was treated that way by Ford, he deserves it. A true, free spirit and race car purist and genius.

The move did a great job stirring anger in me regarding his mistreatment.

Ford should damn well kiss his feet and put up a statue of the guy if they haven't already.

But all this is not the point of this post.

The point is how Ferrari was the lightning rod that sparked Ford's racing car legacy.

It took the Italians and their single-mindedness and win at all cost mentality - which really is why Ferrari is the greatest and most mystical of all race car brands - to galvanize the Americans at Ford.

Greatness spawns greatness. Ford was wise to look at how Ferrari did things in order to learn.

The rest is history.

The same patten I observed in soccer at Euro 2008 during a quarter-final match between Italy-Spain. Up until that point Spanish soccer was a series of spectacular failures where as Italian soccer sat comfortably next to Brazil and Germany as a mighty titan in the sport. Head to head, Spain hadn't beaten Italy for over 80 years and it's something that clearly caused great angst, if not anger, among Spanish fans and media.

Those demons were finally exercised after Spain narrowly beat Italy on penalties after a 0-0 draw. How close to losing was Spain? I still recall Camoranesi missing from close range to put Italy up 1-0.

After the victory, the was a Spanish journalist who basically unleashed on Italy with a rather unsporting rant. So much for winning with grace. That's how deep the pent-up frustration ran. Reminds me of Boston Bruins fans who had to endure utter dominance by the Montreal Canadiens from 1943 to 1989.

In any event, that win sparked a golden age of Spanish soccer who then went on to win the 2010 World Cup beating perennial bridesmaids Holland 1-0 and then achieving a back to back triumph at the 2012 Euros crushing (a shorthanded) Italy 4-0 in the final.

Italy then managed to beat Spain at the 2016 Euro in the quarters only to finish second in the 2018 World Cup qualifying group to Spain who again smothered Italy 3-0 in a crucial match for the group. A match where manager Ventura mind-bogglingly set Italy up with a formation the players weren't comfortable with.

In short, Italy unleashed La Roja as they overran international soccer for 10 years or so.

So in defeat Italians could take solace that they were the root of two great organizations and countries  catapulting themselves much deserved success.

Staying on top, of course, is another matter.

Now they know what it's like to perform when everyone guns for you.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Italy Enters Oil And Gas Game

And is already a big player. 

Puts into perspective just how leaderless and foolish Canada is. Unacceptable what the Liberals and their coalition are doing.

"...In 2018, the PSV obtained a score of 16.5 out of 20 in the European Federation of Energy Traders (Efet) annual review, which rates hub maturity based on criteria such as transparency, market access, price reliability and concentration. That places PSV on the same level as the Austrian VTP, and just behind Germany's NCG/Gaspool and the French PEG. In 2014, PSV had only been rated 10.5 by EFET.
The arrival of new players in Italy, from large oil and gas companies to smaller trading houses, has been an important driver of growth, according to Heather. The number of market participants registered to trade on the PSV reached 195 in 2017, of which 160 were actively trading, nearly three times the number seen a decade earlier, Italian energy authority ARERA reported."

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Contradictory Narratives Define Italy: Well Positioned To Lead In The 4.0 Digital Revolution, Poorly Served By A Lethargic Economic and Education Model

First post for 2020.

I may have posted this article from MIT in the past but will do so again here in case. Italy has lagged its competitors in the field of technology (and historically while the county has contributed invaluable technological inventions it has not kept pace with France, Germany and the UK in Europe for the most part) but seems poised to become a 'hotbed' once again.

Italy can't seem to take a good thing and make it greater. The talent is obviously available but classic macro- economic conditions that has become a dark cloud in Italian affairs particularly since the 1980s threatens a good thing and turning it into nothing. A state of affairs that the country can't seem to dig itself out of.

So how exactly is Italy progressing? Italy is clearly advancing in the digital revolution but still don't get enough government and private sector support in terms of investment as well as the education system not training enough students to enter into the advanced technologies field.

According to Deloitte:

"AT present, Italy preoccupies both the EU and financial markets. There are unquestionably serious economic concerns. However, within the 28 EU member states, Italy is the second-largest manufacturer, behind Germany.1 And as revealed by our survey of around 100 Italian executives, which builds on Deloitte Global’s survey of 19 leading Asian, European and American countries, Italy is at the global forefront in many aspects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the digital revolution.2

With approximately 5,400 high-tech manufacturing companies, according to Eurostat, Italy is one of the top four countries (along with Germany, the UK and Poland) in Europe, which has about 46,000 high-tech companies in total. If all sectors are included – services, as well as manufacturing – Italy remains one of the foremost countries in Europe, with more than 105,000 high-tech companies. Italy is also above the European average in terms of the production and use of industrial robots, and in the adoption of 4.0 technologies such as the cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication..."

Italian companies also invest heavily in scientific and technological research. According to the European Commission, the average annual research and development (R&D) expenditure of Italy’s top R&D spending enterprises, at €185.4 million, is higher than the equivalent EU average of €165.8 million....'

"...Although the industrial robotics sector is dominated by China, South Korea, Japan and the United States, Italy is in seventh place worldwide. The country’s annual production of 6,500 units (see Figure 1) is expected to rise to about 8,500 units by the end of 2020. Although production is well behind that of Germany, which manufactures about 20,000 robots annually, Italy is in second place in Europe; France and Spain trail behind with 4,200 and 3,900 units, respectively...."

"....In addition, Italy is in the global top ten in terms of robotic intensity: the number of industrial robots compared to the size of the workforce. According to the International Federation of Robotics, Italy has 185 robots per 10,000 manufacturing employees, placing it far ahead of Spain (160), France (132) and the United Kingdom (71)6 (see Figure 1).

Italy ranks sixth worldwide in terms of M2M communication, which is fundamental to Industry 4.0. This technology permits the automatic, real- time exchange of data within a network of systems, machines, sensors and industrial robots. SIM cards, used in machines and sensors to permit the transmission of M2M data, number 16.4 for every 100residents: a figure equivalent to such countries as China and Germany, and ahead of Japan (12.7) and South Korea (8.3)..."

Despite this, executives surveyed are pessimistic:
"...Deloitte’s 2018 global survey showed Italy to be in quite an advanced position with regard to digital technology. However, perhaps reflecting the country’s generally less-than-optimistic mood, Italian executives indicated that they feel their country lags behind. They feel much less confident than their global peers about implementing new digital technologies. They also see the likely social impact of the digital revolution as problematic, rather than beneficial."

It goes on to discuss the usual political and economic challenges in Italy including high debt and low growth on a macro-economic level.

Talk about two faces of a nation. The county is on the right side of the 4.0 revolution but continues to struggle on the old 'bricks and mortar' metrics used to measure and define a nation-state.

Read for yourself. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Happy Holidays

It's a little late for Merry Christmas so let's just go with a blanket merry happy holidays.

And now for a non-sequitur piece of humour.

Lost In The Shuffle: Trucks

Sports cars, motor cycles, bicycles, planes and even boats get a lot of luck here but trucks not so much despite its own long and rich history on the Italian engineering landscape.

Not surprisingly, the principal manufacturer of trucks in Italy is Fiat (including this one) but there are others including Astra, Tortonesi and Officine Meccaniche and believe it or not Alfa-Romeo with the 430 pictured below:

Alfa-Romeo also built a maxi-yacht.

Lancia is another car maker (they of rally racing fame) who manufactured trucks (and buses and jollybuses). Their first was the Jota in 1915. Lancia dabbled in military vehicles, tractors, boats and concept bikes. One of their chasis was the Esagamma last built in 1973:

For its part, Iveco (owned - including Astra mentioned above - by CNH with headquarters in the UK and Holland) based in Turin is an innovative major manufacture of engines. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Bizzarrini Masterpiece: 5300 GT Strada

Giotto Bizzarrini designed this beaut. You can pick one up for about 538 000 EUROS (or about  $800 000 CDN).

Check out the Lancia's in the video. Such a severely under rated car: And criminally under appreciated for their innovations.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Italian Civil Engineering Tested By Venice

Genius went into building Venice and it will take genius to save it.

Although, a good start would be to stop allowing Cruise ships into the Lagoon.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Forgotten People: Michele Besso

Albert Einstein's closest friend and confidante was a compatriot and Swiss/Italian engineer named Michele Besso.

Besso was the only person Einstein worked with when  made his famous discovery.  Besso stood alongside as a capable and competent sounding board for Einstein as he developed the Theory of Relativity. As such, he represented a tremendous help to Einstein. They died one month apart with Einstein passing after.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fiat Chrysler And Peugeot Merge

Fiat Chrysler merges with Peugeot forming the 4th largest company in the world.

But what does it mean for Italian brands under the Fiat banner - Maserati and Alfa Romeo - in North America?

Time will tell.

Hope those customers who purchased the Stelvio or Giulia don't get, well, screwed.

I myself wanted to join the ranks with an Italian car but feared exactly this possibility of 'cut and run'.

Dario Pegoretti's Art Form

Inside the Bottega of bicycle creativity. 

It's been rumoured the Pinarello Miguel Indurain rode to five Tour de France titles was actually made by Pegoretti.

Shorter Pegoretti:

Am I artist? Maybe. Maybe not? Who knows? Boh.


/Begins welding. Splashes paint. 

Italians are mad geniuses. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Ford V. Ferrari: Lemans

With Ford V. Ferrari out here's a story between the two rivals from the 1965 LeMans race.