What Dolce Vita?
The New York Times’ Earl Wilson ponders the disorganisation and chaos of beautiful Italy as he attempts to board an airplane from an airport that looks the same as it did in 1944.
The New York Times’ Earl Wilson ponders the disorganisation and chaos of beautiful Italy as he attempts to board an airplane from an airport that looks the same as it did in 1944. " I actually got nostalgic for U.S. air travel. I did. It felt weird, like pining for root-canal treatment, and it happened right here in the city of Michelangelo," he remarks. He describes Florence airport as "a few boxy pre-fabricated units [that] were offloaded from a truck a few decades ago and thrown together" as if a temporary measure has been fossilized in time. Anyone who has lived or visited the beautiful cities of Italy will know that while bureaucratic and heavily regulated (a hangover from Mussolini perhaps?), finding a way of getting anything done (big or small; infrastructure or broken window) takes about five times as long here as it would anywhere else. Why? Wilson says: "When I lived in Rome there was also much discussion about building a bridge to connect Sicily to the mainland. Plans were drawn up. But then what would have happened to the guys who operate the ferries? End of story. Creative churn, America’s staple diet (unless you’re too big to fail), is not the Italian way. Sensual stasis is."
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A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
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