Sporting Times

As rule of law the regional governors have been admitting just 1,000 people at a time to attend at major sporting events in Italy. Many Italian fans are turning into homely TV viewers. Meanwhile many others will wisely intensify their physical activity.
"You'd better be a doctor when you grow up". I'm not really quoting my Dad but it seemed what he thought at the close of his evident opposition to my playing football. I was a kid with a feeling for sports, maybe too many of them, and at twenty I found myself no specialized in one sport to be continuing it as professional. Meantime I was studying at university for the economy degree. But I could write a book around the passion for the sporting competitions and the towering influence by a couple of sports. Here I'm trying to give an earliest idea of the multitasking of more than one sport I went on during my school years and over. The list of the sports I have been training is far long: football, swimming, cycling, skiing, volleyball, handball, tennis, and (possibly) pentathlon. Maybe one time I will tell something about each sport as well as they have appeared during my life and in the manner I performed them.
PS. Will the #OlympicGames be held in 2021?


In Presence...

The Italian school re-opens. In presence! With distancing between the seats. The students wearing face masks when they are entering the school building, but not obliged to keep the masks inside the classroom. Subtle distinctions.
I went school from 1965 to 1978, all levels considered. Always in presence—later at the university I could decide to attend the lectures or not. The oldest pictures, taken in first and second classes, show a thick male group in black apron and blue bow tie or ribbon—in the 1960s the genders were not mixed up. On those class pictures one might count up to forty children (someone could even be absent the photograph's day), for we were baby-boomers living in popular quarters of an industrial city. Going back to my schools as institutions, they had been named after: Gabrio Casati, politician and minister, Cesare Battisti, patriot, Vittorio Alfieri, poet and dramatist, and Alessandro Tassoni, man of letters.
Since the first name could say nothing to you I would state further that he was important player in the process for the unification of Italy and called up as education minister to establish the school system of the former Reign of Italy.
As for me as a schoolboy, according to family legend, I was known by the neighbouring households because I whistled while getting downstairs before the school. Soon I began to go out alone, I mean without Mom. 9-year-old I covered the fair distance to school by walking on the pavements smelling of dog shits. My school bag was plain green, carried simply by hand, for I refused to bring it on the shoulder like a rucksack. My morning stroll was important to think and concentrate on the schoolworks. Sometimes I worried that I was happy for going school while some schoolmates loathed the pressure of that commitment... Meanwhile I was to arrive at the school and the end-of-entrance bell began to ring. A new school day was under way!

PS. #TuttiAScuola Happy schoolyear to everyone!
(Just follow the guidance at www.istruzione.it).


Grande Boucle!

One week ago the Tour de France has started off from Nice with an oddity, strangely not in July as tradition would like. The cyclists are running around Pyrenees these days—for the sake of chronicle the stage of Col de Peyresourde is en route. There is a great absence this Tour edition: Gianni Mura won't follow it. This "ecrivain" journalist wrote about the Tour de France as well as all over the country, from sunflower fields to vineyard hills. Among the two-wheelers characters he defended the poorly considered players (by fame) and the persecuted competitors (by misfortune). His best quality of writing was the absolute lack of rhetoric.
My passion for cycling, primarily the Tour de France, comes from the old times of #Jacques Anquetil  the first champion I remember to have heard of as a child. Indeed 1966 I attended the passage of the Tour de France that day running out of border to Italy, for my father brought me up to the crowd in Turin. I just saw a multicolored group of cyclists passing me over. I tried to detect and recognize Anquetil at time on team Ford: maybe this, not that, but the peloton was gone in a hurry. It was getting enough for fixing the legend into the memoir of my childhood.

PS. Here my previous homage to the Tour de France.


Go Digital!

Today September 4th back in 1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded #Google . What the f*** was I to do with it? I was already a digital editor having set up the project named as Direct Marketing Linked Resources—first acronym D.M.L.R. then dmlr.org—dedicated to answering the questions around the upcoming Web Marketing and located under the domain offered to their Internet users by TIN as service provider (http://space.tin.it/economia/rdondi). When exactly did Google enter into the contents of DMLR? There are actually 32 pages working out Google as result from searching on Dmlr.org, the first one dated December 2003 refers to the Newsletter Lite no.8. Thus five years after Google got out on magazine covers like Forbes.
Curiosity wants another appearance of Google that same year was on the crossword puzzle I set up as a game that you may face off and try to solve if you can... (the first term to write vertically is just 'GOOGLE').
1998 to be concluded by the December DMLR*Newsletter available in Italian only and now stored on the vintage section of Dmlr.org! Among those articles and references to external resources you will find active even nowadays that link to an interesting site of the digital publisher Reference by Ask Media Group (www.reference.com). This fact is teaching us that information and search-oriented web sites have probably the longest life span on the Internet. So some locations and projects surivive after more than twenty years passed in the twinkling of an eye...


Road to Germany (pt. II)

...In May 1973 I was thirteen when Barbara Klemm, accredited photographer for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, shot some rolls of film and reported about the sensitive meeting between West-German Chancellor and the Soviet Communist Party Secretary in Bonn—the storytelling of that photograph is available on "Photo Icons Vol. 2" published by #Taschen  (www.taschen.com).
The following years were an age of clumsy, careful knowledge of German language throughout the high school. My teacher was a humble woman with ruffled hair and grey-fitting suits. That time a group of delegates from DDR came around for a visit, the principal entered the classroom and asked our teacher to suspend the lesson and join the town council as interpreter. We were joyful for that. As former students we actually have to give her credit for introducing us to Heinrich Böll—one year she had picked up as digest of reading a collection of humourous and satirical stories by that author. So far Germany on my mind was mainly shaped around the facts and characters I had been reading in Böll's novels: the heavy heritage of World War II; the unlikely living together of two neighbours obliged and bounded by their opposite political systems; the impossible coexistence of Christian values and consumerism. Finally the 1980s. Since I explored Germany for real, with no parents, by train. Namely I greeted the Munich Oktoberfest, a must for draft beer lovers. For once to the rainy Hamburg, three days of wet and chill in summertime, and the finance-shaped Frankfurt. The ultimate and longest stay was in Berlin shortly after the fall of the Wall, am Augustfeiertag. The reunited city still smelled of the Cold War!

PS. Searching for 'deutsch' on Dmlr.org... Find the whole subject from the advanced search box!


Road to Germany (pt. I)

...So fifty years ago I began a second life attending the secondary school. My enrolment came on late in the summer because of the move to the new town. When I went with Dad to the school office for registration, it was awaiting me out of eight sections merely the 1st H-section class. In that one class German was taught as foreign language. And I would have learnt German! It randomly started a new experience, das deutsche Erlebnis—which lasted as long as a decade including later on high school (5 yrs) and university (2 yrs).
My Italian-German dictionary was a grey-covered #Langenscheidt , one could go into today on line at www.langenscheidt.de. The first time I could practise German was during a couple of Easter trips with my parents, in Austria then in Germany, just in the middle of 1970s. I viewed Munich and its Olympiapark as the most interesting symbol for me. The parents going proud when I spoke some words to a petrol pump attendant or a guest house owner, for they had prime evidence that their efforts to make me studying would turn to advantage for the family, such a return on investment (ROI). Meanwhile on the road to Germany I felt an European above all. And certainly Willy Brandt had planned to make Germany a better place for everyone.

PS. Searching for 'deutsch' on Dmlr.org, you'll find 40 items containing that word. Try the experience from the advanced search box!


The 1970!

The 1970 marks the passing to a new life experience as well as the boundary between my childhood and the adolescence. These days of 50 years ago I left my birthplace to follow my parents who had taken the decision to come back home. For they emigrated 15 years before to get a job where the employment was an ordinary purpose to achieve—I mean within the so called Italian Industrial Triangle. My parents were not coming from Southern Italy and have been smoothly tolerated by the neighbours even though they could talk to each other in their dialect, so scarcely understood, if they would have liked to. After all my father was a blue-collar worker in a city counting over a million inhabitans which he never took part in. We left a day in August, 300 Km. to go on our own car, the 600-model with that number plate #TO•382283 , I had memorized soon because it was the same in reverse! For me as a child it could apparently be a seasonal journey to my grandparents' town like many I had lived in the past summers... but that time it would have been no return—except my father for arranging the removal. In the end the highway and its bridge-type autogrills were waiting for me and passing me by from the rear window of the car while my parents went loose into their dialectal mood.
PS. Would you read about the Economic Miracle as Once Upon A Time In Italy?

 [est. 1910]

In Fighting Shape

My summer T-shirt reads "equipment and apparel...EVERLAST® Est. 1910...worldwide incorporated". Dark grey types on orange background. The training livery is completed by a pair of black shorts and socks both branded Everlast. Wheter I do exercises to keep fit or I cycle up to sweating, Everlast is a good garment. Somehow I'm a fighter too since Everlast is a boxing-born equipment brand first established in the Bronx, NYC. This acknowledgment starts from the Muhammad Ali era: that legendary boxer's style of fight and speech signed in our history—during the 1970s many athletes practiced with no separation between sport and politics and, in Ali's case, a match on the ring could introduce a struggle for human rights or dissent from the war. The late Ali moved groggy around the ring as for cheating, leaving the impression he would like to talk to his opponent but no really challenge him. Until Ali's fighting shape came up again and reveal the end of the quiet.
For me the Everlast confidence comes from there.

PS. Fight the growth of bacteria and microbes with gloves + EverFresh!


My Selection

Even McDonald's has become posh. Three times so far Joe Bastianich has signed on a selection of #Mcdonald's  hamburgers made with Italian meat and other premium ingredients. In place of vague complements, that gourmet line has been turning to DOP and IGP food sites. What does it mean? For example, the BBQ item holds back two IGPs like red onion of Tropea and balsamic vinegar of Modena to revise the traditional ensemble—180g round patty and gouda cheese, colesaw and sauce, salad and crispy bacon. All in one loaf of sesame seed bread! I have added fries and draught beer on my way. The whole 824 DOP/IGP products represent 9 billion euro for the Italian export, about 5.4 by wine and 3.6 by food. Some DOP brands feature on parmigiano reggiano, grana padano, prosciutto di Parma, and mozzarella di bufala, posted here in order of turnover. While the most valued IGP brand is mortadella di Bologna. Those initials exhibit the most appetising products from the so called polycentric food and agriculture sector of the peninsula. Now it's mealtime!
PS. Joebastianich.com to go into My Selection?


Mural Manifesto

The 1980s are widely known as an era of nostalgia with some dangerous or hilarious effects in lifestyle and business, in politics as well in economy. The times were changing! Finally the "Reagan's edonism" was the right ticket chosen and attached to the post-Vietnam American way of life. In Europe the governments privatized a number of nationalized industries—air companies, telecoms, energy utilities. Meanwhile in #China ... how did the other half live? After the Third Plenum of the PCC Central Committee that had established a tolerant policy toward the private entreprise, the transfer was apparently going on from revolution to capitalism. The baogan daohu system increased responsibilities and earnings for the families living in the countries. While in the cities the geti jingji launched China's urban individual economy to support trade, transportation and various services. For example, a Chinese man could sell guazi (roasted seeds of melon) and keep the net revenue after tax return—and so Mr. Deng Xiaoping would be pictured as Chinese president with a Texas-styled hat on the magazines circulating throughout the Western world. In the 1980's all was in harmony under the same sky!
PS. Follow other ancient China's stories here...


In A Sentimental Mood

The big spenders in advertising have gone sentimental during the crisis due to the Covid-19. Their commercials have been sending heartfelt messages of gratitude to heart-broken consumers. The Italian society has been spidered by a host of hashtags like #StayHome  as findings on many advertiser's institutional TV campaigns. The filmed contents send images recalling, more than a brand promotion, useful guidelines aiming to help a whole society whose needs were quickly reverting to physycal safety and taking care of health. This is certainly a right and proper approach used by socially responsible market leaders and distributors all in the world. Even the Mexican Merca 2.0—revista de mercadotecnia, publicidad y medios— remarks it on a Twitter post: "en medio de una crisis mundial de salud, las marcas se han ubicado como algo más proveedoras de bienes y servicios". (Claro que sì!)
Aware of the tough times that are expected for the economies before restoring the markets along with their previous levels of consumes, the Italian-made products have been held up as the actual big push to spur the consumers and restart as fast as possible. An evident protagonist of this branded patriotism is the pasta-maker Barilla which has used the hashatg #italiacheresiste . On the deck it doesn't wave a white flag but a three-colour instead.
Flagging the national symbol is a must now to many brands even tough they are not properly Italian, I quote here the Head&Shoulders commercial featuring the Italian swimming champion Federica Pellegrini. Rumours say she's back to the pool. Resilience!



I walk in the book store after months of complete absence from the shops—except for the supermarket and foodstuff. The idea buzzing in my head is to nurture the soul at once by making a political choice while I will pick up. Since I am driven by the evidence of guilt because I have not read from a female writer for years, I'm going to the shelves with an unconscious need to redeem myself soon. The Englsh book department is waiting for me with a few of new titles but my eyeball goes down the side rack where a great number of classics and modern authors are standing out with no promotion. The first book on the low corner is "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013). I think that #BlackLivesMatter , so simply take this one with me and don't inspect the other books. You call this an impulse buying with a premonition. On the train to home I start reading the Chapter 1. The central character is a Nigerian-born blogger and I am straightaway grappling with what it means to be black by the diverse stand of a Non-American black woman. And that's just what I need to know this June, 2020 that signed the time when the racial prejudices have turned into a contagious agent to hold mortally the breath of George Floyd. RIP.

PS. Meanwhile the U.S. government has banned the immigration from many countries, among which Nigeria as well.

 [phase 2]

Business Models

I sat down at my #MacOS9  computer desk and began to compose this report—yeah, it's the old PowerBook G3. But today I won't talk about brands...
Social distancing: to manage the flows of people as consumers, users, visitors, in a dynamic and fixed way. With a lockdown over our shoulders (really) the most anticipated problem of these days will be how to keep people safely distant from one another. Meanwhile to help one another it basically works the system of the individual protective devices. The face mask has been resulting fundamental to put a stop to the droplets spreading the viruses. Their range varies widely, either the 3M-branded white mask or the handmade colorful mask sewn in different shapes just to confirm the Italian creativity on everything. In the middle it stands out and I prefer the anonymous and workaday surgical mask made in China. It's sky-blue.
Now the markets are going to reopen—for they are the real flywheel of the modern economies that are named after them "free market economies", opposite to... what?
Markets that in fact are shops, stalls, platforms, offices, desks, where every day buying and selling are performed as well as free exactly! Now the tape measure has made its appearance among the small businessmen and women, so they are truly asking if the post-virus restrictions for social distancing hide a form of control on their free market affairs. A return of the planned economy? So the problems are arising for the owners and managers of bars, seaside resorts, pharmacies, bookshops... but not for the large businesses whose organizations have been prepared for the smart working by now. Because they have to calculate the right social distancing with no mistake, my tip is to rethink the business model, give up the old measurement tools and trust the technology. For example taking on those algorithms useful to line people up and down, right and left. By the way 'algorithm' is a fashionable term but derived from the Arab mathematician al-Kuwarizmi (VIII-IX century). Some menace from this one too?


A Lockdown Diary

"Aren't you scared?" ... "I am, a bit". The elderly racked with anxiety, the younger virtually on their own. I sat on a folding wooden chair and took out my notebook. I wrote abbreviated reminders of everything I had felt or guessed. The fragments of each story have been becoming a rather short #Haiku !
virus on the run
but no thing will be the same
for this stone-age man.

pandemic that is
big data analysis
to pooling the risk.

a world at high risk
her devil-may-care approach
stretched out to stay home.

when I disappear
for a bit on the wild side
never say goodbye.

over the next May
encourage the fairy tale
from your hideaway.

let me far off you
not one meter but a year
in all likelihood.

while quarantines quit
waiting for upswing or ease
a mosquito sting.

PS. Digitally produced after the decree DPCM issued on 03.04.2020.


To be continued...

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