Last week a man living in the outskirts of the city of Ivrea in the Piedmont realized that he had had a bit too much to drink during the afternoon. His wife was unsympathetic and still insisted she needed some items from the grocer to make dinner. The man wisely chose not to drive, so instead, he took his horse into town. Police stopped the man after the animal kept weaving from side to side on the road. He was issued a summons on the spot for driving under the influence. There is no report as to whether his horse had joined him during his drinking session.
Top Award for Math
Italy’s Alessio Figalli has been awarded the Fields Medal, which is the world’s top award for mathematics and is considered a sort of Nobel Prize for the discipline. “This prize gives me so much joy; I’m struggling to believe that I have received it!” said Figalli, after the announcement at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Born in Rome 34 years ago, he studied at Pisa’s Scuola Normale and has been a lecturer at Zurich Polytechnic since 2016. He is only the second Italian to win the prize and the first to do so in 44 years.
Italian Radar Makes Martian Discovery
The Italian radar Marsis, on the Mars Express probe, has discovered a large saltwater lake almost one mile below the ice of the Red Planet’s South Pole. Researchers say the lake extends about 12 miles across and is roughly three feet in depth. The discovery was presented by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the National Astrophysics Institute (INAF), the Universities of Roma Tre, La Sapienza and Gabriele d’Annunzio (Pescara) and the National Research Council (CNR). In what they called a “biological niche,” Italian researchers claim that the lake can support life and that it has existed for eons. Roberto Orosei, INAF’s Bologna Radio-Astronomy Institute head went as far as to say that the discovery “will tell us if we are alone in the universe. Now it’s a question of knowing whether the planet has ever been able to host life.”
New Exhibition at Pompeii Antiquarium
The Stabian Antiquarium was one of the important attractions at Pompeii through the 1970s, but it has been closed for decades due to safety concerns related to ancient structures. When Pompeii was uncovered, it was found that nearly perfect imprints of people trapped by the eruption were preserved under calcified layers of ash. Plaster casts of the men, women, children and animals of Pompeii were made in the mid-1800s. The Antiquarium, near the Forum, was where the majority of the plaster casts were displayed. The structure was damaged during Allied bombing in 1943 and has been closed since 1978 for restoration. Now, 40 years later, it has been reopened for a limited time. Between now and January 31, visitors will again be able to see the plaster casts at the site that had originally opened in 1881.
Several key Italian industry leaders have announced strong opposition to a World Health Organization report that calls for governments and national institutions to reduce citizens’ salt and sugar intake as a move towards a healthier diet, but that is not the controversial part. The WHO wants labels to be placed onto the front of packages indicating a health warning, in the same way that you will find on cigarette packs. The Italian industry fears this could affect some of Italy’s biggest gastronomic delicacies, such as Parmigiano cheese, Parma ham and olive oil. Italy was not the only food industry infuriated by the extremist view of the WHO. French cheese and Greek olives were also on the list of items targeted by the health organization.
Fake Cash, but Not Fake News
Recently, a 21-year-old French woman was kidnapped at the Hilton Milan by four armed men as she was about to scam four Indian business people. Apparently, the woman was about to conclude a real estate deal using as payment, a suitcase filled with fake money. It may sound like a surreal comedy and in many ways it was. The woman with the phony euros was kidnapped by a group of men of Albanian origin. The kidnappers got away in an old Alfa Romeo and a high-speed chase ensued through the streets of Milan’s city center, until the getaway car broke down and the assailants were apprehended. Thankfully, no one was injured. The recovered suitcase contained a top layer of €65,000 in real currency, the rest was counterfeit. It is presumed that someone informed the four kidnappers of the woman’s presence at the hotel and the amount of money she was carrying, not realizing that the bulk of the money was counterfeit. In the end, everyone went to jail. Although it may sound like fake news, it was all about fake cash.