East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

other feat

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Companions on the road: Thor Heyerdahl and Kon-Tiki (1)

41c0B1WjHhL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This is the first part of a two-part special.
catching up on my movies, I finally got around to watch the 2012 Kon-Tiki, about the 1947 Heyerdahl expedition across the Pacific Ocean, from Peru tu Polinesia.
The movie had been high on my to-view list, but had somehow slipped my memory.
What had not slipped my memory, though, was the 1950 documentary, written and produced by Heyerdahl himself, and that had caught my imagination when I was a kid .
And so I thought – why not watch the two back-to back?
And then blog about it.
It would be personal, but fun.

So, here’s the first post – tonight movie is Kon-Tiki, the 1950 documentary written, produced and filmend by Thor Heyerdahl.
The film won an Oscar for best documentary presentation in 1951. Continue reading


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Other People’s Pulps: The Spanish Master

viscontiArnaldo Visconti was probably the greatest pulp writer in the Spanish Language.
He was really Pedro Víctor Debrigode Dugi (1914-1982), but he was also known as P.V.Debrigaw, Arnold Briggs, Geo Marvik, Peter Briggs, V. Debrigaw, and Vic Peterson.
His production, published between the 1940s and the early 1970s, is simply enormous – consisting mostly of historical adventures: westerns, pirate yarns, exotic adventures and swashbucklers.
And while I am trying to get a fix on some of his works to offer an informed opinion, here’s a very small gallery of some of his covers. Continue reading

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Flash! (fiction)

I’m struggling with flash fiction.
Well, ok, it’s not a titanic struggle, but still it’s giving me problems.
Now, there is not a proper definition of flash-fiction in terms of word-count: you’ll find a wild range of figures, from below 300 to up to 1000, and beyond.


But let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that I’m working on a 1000 words story.
It’s hard.
And what makes it hard is genre. Continue reading

feature chop


Lady Luck

Luck be a lady tonight
Luck let a gentleman see
Just how nice a dame you can be
I know the way you’ve treated other guys you’ve been with
Luck be a lady with me

500-Free-InstantFast-Approval-Directory-List-2015I was roaming the web, the other night – too hot to sleep – and I chanced on a list, one of those lists that sometimes appear on blogs (I’m pretty positive I did something similar, too), about what you need to be a successful writer.
A successful writer’s list of essentials, if you will.

About one third of the way down, after inspiration and humility and don’t giving a damn about it all, the author of the list mentioned Luck as an indispensable trait for the successful writer.
And I’m not sure about that, really.

Now, it maybe comes from having been involved in statistical analysis for many years, but you see, I have a certain view of Luck.
Let me explain. Continue reading


Budgeting the Pharaohs

Just as an experiment, I’m trying to budget my trip to the Museo Egizio di Torino using various Internet resources.
As I am doing it I thought – why not write everything down and do a post on the subject.

Let’s see… I’m planning my outing for the end of this month or early the next, on a weekday to avoid the hordes of tourists. I’ll be traveling light – me, my camera, my cell-phone, a notebook and a bottle of water for the trip.


In this period Turin is also hosting the Holy Shroud exhibition, and the place will be crawling with people, while bars and eateries will touch up their prices to make more money1.

I hope for good weather – I’ll move early to spend the hottest hours of the day in the air conditioned rooms of the museum.
The idea is to travel light and spend as little as possible. Continue reading


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