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London Life (!)

06 September 2007

This one will be shorter, and I won't be complaining or ranting, I promise :-D

I will just propose a small riddle, the solution of which represents something so important to me that I feel overwhelmed and dizzy every time I think about it. It definitely changed my life. Ok, enough talking, here's the riddle (solution: 1 word):

  • In arabic, لينة means a small (young, not fully grown) date-palm tree;
  • Is the first name of a famous italian opera singer and a famous italian comedy director;
  • Is the first name of the youngest confirmed mother in medical history (she gave birth at the age of 5 years, 7 months and 21 days);
  • Is a software that allows Linux binaries to run on Windows and Mac OSX with a native look and feel

The solution is not that hard... if you get it and you want to let me know, feel free to drop me an e-mail :-D .

02 August 2007
(Was: Police, Law & Order? Muahahahaha)


I was thinking about something that happened last week. Going out from my workplace in the crowded Millbank for the launch break with my colleagues, we heard a siren: after a second, a mixed white-red-yellow-blue coloured missile gunned through Millbank toward Parliament Square. Let's see if you rightly guessed what it was: a police car. 

Now, I understand it might have been an emergency, but let's just drop few observations. That corner of Millbank, from Lambeth Bridge to the pedestrian crossing in Great Peter Street, is about 200m long. We didn't even see the car passing, so my rough guess is it was running well over 100 Km/h. At 12.30, Millbank is full of employees striving to enjoy a lunch break (I am one of them), crossing the street, on a regular and well marked pedestrian crossing, to get to the park or to the tube. If we were on the street, our rough guess was that our reaction time should have been less than one second, otherwise bye bye Subsurface Group. I don't know if this is classified as "normal police driving", but Millbank doesn't really look like Imola or Indianapolis.

I can't even count how many times I have seen a police car turning on its siren just to get through the traffic, without a real emergency: just because they were annoyed in waiting for a traffic light to turn green. Or seeing unmarked (and anonymous) cars with a screaming siren in the night, but without lights, Formula-1-running over Piccadilly or Trafalgar Square. Both behaviors are illegal.

Having a mixed white-red-yellow-blue coloured Fast 'n' Furious sport car doesn't give you any more rights than the other drivers. You're just lucky that London drivers don't scream at you. You're just another guy.

Might psychology give an interpretation of this behavior? I have no idea. Let Sigmund Freud rest.


30 July 2007

The last week-end has been quite interesting. I have been living in London for 18 months, and there are still new and intriguing things to do. I have never been on the London Eye before, for example. I know what you're thinking: this guy lives in Westminster and he's never got a chance to climb on the London roof. My opinion is always the same: I think the "flight" (as they call it) on the London Eye is overpriced for what you actually experience. At least put some music in those egg-like cabins!

Together with the London Eye tour, we had a small hit and run on the British Museum: I have been there many times, and the contradiction always strikes me: it's called British Museum, but there is actually nothing British inside... In any case, it is so big and you can find so many interesting things inside that it would take a week to visit it in a proper way.

After all the walking, subway switching and sightseeing, what about a little break in Parliament Square park? I thought I would have fell asleep...

I couldnt have missed my saturday evening dinner in the nicest italian restaurant in London, the Piccolo Diavolo. I don't want to make advertisements, but it's just superb, located in the nicest area in London (to me, obviously). The only problem was the rain (what a news in England...), so getting back home has been a bit tricky: no taxis, subway stopped, bus impossibly overcrowded. But it doesn't matter, it's been a fantastic week-end.