Taide’s Weblog

welcome back to school

Posts Tagged ‘Italy

A Literary Summit

leave a comment »

Günter Grass and Yasar Kemal met in Istanbul last month, in the course of a project by the Goethe Institute there, European literature in Turkey, Turkish literature in Europe. Grass also talked some politics.

If people asked if Turkey should really become a member of the European member, they could apply their standards to Italy, too, Grass reportedly said. Besides, instead of paying Michael Jackson Moammar Gadhafi 5 bn Euros for organizing housing and employment projects in the refugees’ African countries of origin so they remain there, Sicily should become independent again, get a 5-bn Euros armada and take care of the refugee issue – and it would be nobody else’s business, just as it isn’t now.

OK. Only the first line of the second paragraph is actually true.

I read Kemal’s Memed, my Hawk when I was twelve. It was real schmaltz, but wonderful to read. I’m just wondering if I’d still be so captured if I read it again.


Written by taide

May 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

“Der Spiegel” and The Failable

leave a comment »

“Der Fehlbare” or “The Failable”, Der Spiegel titles this week. But then, “Der Fehlbare” was also a title of an article on the Pope in November 2006, on a different issue. And on October 16, 2003, on his predecessor John Paul II.

Journalism, about as innovative as the Vatican itself.

And “nothing seems to go right anymore for this once-celebrated pontiff”.

OMG! The pontiff isn’t celebrated any more! But Spiegel, don’t you know how collective borderline works?

Like the old Taoists said, the ox is garlanded today, to be slaughtered tomorrow. But who am I telling that, right?

Written by taide

April 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Berlusconi takes up the White Man’s Burden

leave a comment »

Berlusconi, seeking asylum in Libya

Berlusconi, seeking asylum in Libya

Q: Ma signor Berlusconi, you are no longer Italy’s prime minister?

A: No. A number of newspapers and televisions have slandered me, thus damaging Italy’s reputation. As a heroic patriot, I’m resigning.

Q: Isn’t that only because your position as prime minister doesn’t protect you from judicial inquiries any more?

A: I have nothing to hide. I’m as innocent as an orphan. I’m absolutely the most persecuted man in history. By the judiciary, that is. I’m not comparing myself to Jesus, although I’m inferior to no one in history.

Q: What are you doing on this ship now?

A: I’m leaving my beloved patria which I served so long and successfully. Not the state, but my popolo.  I’m seeking asylum in Libya to bring my perfection to perfection. I’m looking forward to living a simple life in a tent. I might serve as a child soldier in negro Africa next year.

Q: *sob* Signor Berlusconi, thank you very much.

Written by taide

October 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Olive Oil Production – some European, Syrian, and Turkish statistics

leave a comment »

Greece, Italy, Spain, Syria, and Turkey were the top olive oil producing countries in 2001 / 2002 – but with quite some differences between their respective outputs:

Season ending in 2002

Greece   358,500 tons
Italy      656,500 tons
Spain  1,411,500 tons
Syria        92,000 tons
Turkey      65,000 tons

Source: www.olivenoel-info.de

Just to give you an idea as to how volatile the outputs per country were during years from 1999 to 2003, here is a graph of three European countries:

EU Countries Olive Oil Production per Year

EU Countries Olive Oil Production per Year

In autumn 2007, fires in Greece led to substantial losses in the country’s olive oil production. Given that it takes an olive tree some seven years to grow before it becomes productive, Syrian producers, expecting a record harvest, hoped for rising prices all the same.

Olive Grove northeastern Syria

Olive Grove northeastern Syria

(The trees are skillfully bred – Jesus had to wait longer than for seven years.)

In 2007, the numbers were as follows:

Greece   394,700 tons
Italy      590,000 tons
Spain  1,326,000 tons
Syria      152,000 tons
Turkey    172,000 tons

Source: Wikipedia (German)

Syria, one of the first sites of olive trees, had increased its production substantially.

In northeastern Syria, the groves are not only in the plains. Places which are less easy to farm are also used, as labour is cheap here, and no half-automated farming is needed. A good share of the oil is used for the production of Aleppo soap. The soap producers in and around the city of Aleppo usually use the second pressing out of the olives.

According to Wikipedia (German), the 2007 ranking list of oil-producing countries (in order of their output, from biggest to smallest, reads Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Portugal, Libya, Palestinean territories (Gaza Strip, West Bank), Argentina, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon. Combined, they produced 3,107,493 tons or 99.2% of the global olive oil output. EU countries alone account for 75.8% of global olive oil production.

Written by taide

April 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Europe warmly welcomes Obama

with 2 comments

OK, not exactly everyone. Klaus Emmerich, former chief editor of Austria’s publicly-owned ORF Radio and TV station and former correspondent in the US dislikes the election result. “I don’t want to be led by a Black in the Western world. If you say that this is a racist remark, that’s correct, no question.

And in an interview with Austria’s national daily Der Standard he saw some need to elaborate: he saw a very disturbing development behind Obama’s victory, because the Blacks, “in their political-civilisational development” hadn’t got that far yet. (Der Spiegel)

Fortunately, our neighbours still further South have a prime minister who is much more considerate of minorities. Italy’s prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was full of praise for America’s president-elect:

He’s young, handsome and tanned.

Silvio, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Written by taide

November 6, 2008 at 9:46 pm