How Italians have reduced their smoking habits. Did they ask Siri?

Apparently, if you are looking to quit your bad habit you may very much rely on Google searches rather than Siri.

A recent study from Eurobarometer for the World No Tobacco day, said that the percentage of smokers in Europe wasn’t declining overall, strong in the South and East of Europe, less in the North of the continent.

For Italy results were bit more positive as lower than the average.

lonely smoker

Greece was on top with 37% of population smoking, Bulgaria and France 36%, Croatia with 35%. Italy was instead 24%, lower but still far from the brilliant Sweden with only 7%.

And here we are. With the most classic and less properly executed among all the New Year’s resolutions. I’ll quit smoking. 

If you have ever been a smoker, or you are right now, the first of the year has always sounded as the perfect moment to change your bad habits and start a new you, with a new healthy life.  

A lot of studies have suggested methods to quit to smoke, and also here technology seem could be playing a growing. Artificial intelligence in particular is becoming key to anything we are doing and help ensuring we complete our goals. From sending a payment to walk to a square. And what about more challenging and difficulty tasks. Like stop to smoke.

A group of researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong has spent time on it and published their conclusion in March 2018 on PloS. 
What is the best approach to quitting smoking and is Siri reliable or is Google? Well, the conclusions were in the title. Don’t ask Siri. Just ask Google. Or better, Google it. 

The article in fact concludes that Google internet searches and Google Assistant [..] significantly superior to the Siri digital assistant for smoking cessation information. While expert content was returned over half the time, there is still substantial room for improvement in how these software systems deliver smoking cessation advice.

So we are not there, yet. But getting there, for now may still rely on patches

cigarette

Apparently, if you are looking to quit your bad habit you may very much rely on Google searches than Siri.

And there’s an easy and intriguing answer to why this happens. And is not that Siri is a smoker herself. Find out directly from the scientist words: LINK TO COPY OF THE ARTICLE 

Copyright: © 2018 Boyd, Wilson. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Just ask Siri? A pilot study comparing smartphone digital assistants and laptop Google searches for smoking cessation advice from Matt Boyd, Nick Wilson

Winter Olympics 2026: a dancing-duo is ready to be the host

Milano-Cortina running to be the host of the Olympics. In good shape, but what’s with the other runners?

Milano-Cortina 2026, this is the final couple of city that together run to host the Winter Olympic Games of 2026.

The only other competitor remaining today is Stockholm, with all the support of the Scandinavian countries.

Stockholm and its majestic nature

Very unsure hosts lost on the way

During the last months we lost on the way a few candidates, and mainly for internal review that brought to the withdraw of the candidacy to host the Games. Calgary, Canada withdrew on November 2018), Japan Sapporo, Japan withdrew on September 2018), Graz, Austria withdrew on July 2018) Sion, Switzerland (withdrew on June 2018).

Only Erzurum, Turkey was not invited to candidature stage on 4 October 2018.

Milan-Cortina after Turin?

Italy has already hosted the Winter games quite recently, with Turin in 2006. Turin itself was already somewhat joined by a satellite of smaller mountain cities that were covering the alpine disciplines. Most notable probably the ”via Lattea” with Sestriere.

In this case, given the distance from the city (Milan) and the important heritage of who has already hosted winter games in the past, Cortina will be well present among the names of the hosts. Cortina was the host of 1956 Winter Olympic games and it would be an important showcase to the world with strong promotion opportunities.

Milan, tram in the night

Milan would continue the growth from Expo 2015 with the booming fashion capital taking ground also as a pure touristic destinations.

The final decision for the host of the 2026 Winter Olympics, between Milano-Cortina and Stockholm will be taken during June 2019 in Lausanne (Switzerland).

Pasta, dove sei? (Pasta, where are you?)

Pasta. Is it really and truly an Italian food?

Pasta. Nothing that sounds more Italian. Maybe just pizza, but we already spoke about that.

As everything that seems pure Italian, as in the reality foreign origins and has afterwards been adopted and also in old times marketed as Italian specific delicacy.

spaghetti as made in Italy

A population of travelers can get inspired

Think about Cappuccino and its origin, which seems to be more Austrian than from the boot shaped country.

Pasta isn’t different to this, and although everyone has now recognized that Marco Polo story wasn’t that real, pasta has still roots elsewhere.

Noodles as made in China

2 countries seems to be the real starting points. China and Greece, and its probably from the latter that whole get started.

Greeks had invaded the south of Italy before Romans came up and Etrurians (a pre-roman population too, a quite strong albeit unknown one) were known to eat pasta or similar one.

And how is doing now?

Over the years pasta has evolved, gaining more and more the status of an healthy, basic food. New types emerged and among them one which has quite good success. Gluten free legume pasta.

If you have tried it already or you haven’t yet. Well this article HERE, will reveal you something that may really surprise you. For good.

Play and let pray, as applied in an Italian church seems to work

In the small church of San Giulio d’Orta, a municipality just outside Turin, the local priest has installed a small playground full of toys at the entrance of the church.

Kids in church. A very difficult combination. The place which more require silence and calm isn’t the best place to host toddlers and pre-schoolers, who may have still hard time understanding the priest and even less on why having to sit for almost an hour straight.

Parents can’t leave the kids at home alone or at relatives, so there you go. Someone must find a solution.

In the small church of San Giulio d’Orta, a municipality just outside Turin, the local priest has installed a small playground full of toys at the entrance of the church. A simple act that had two immediate positive effects.

Adults finally able to follow the celebrations in the church and kids, well, finally having fun and starting to appreciate even more this Sunday routine.

2019 Events in Italy, the calendar

2019 full events!
Here’s a selection of main ones, which will be constantly updated, also with monthly summaries.

2019 Events in Italy, the calendar

A 2019 full events that will ensure that no one will get bored while in Italy.

Scroll down to the see the events for each month, and stay tuned as there will be constant updates!

January

February

  • 3rd of February the Good Charlotte are in concert at Alcatraz, in Milan
  • 3rd of February of evening football with A.S. Roma Vs. A.C. Milan, at Stadio Olimpico in Rome
  • From the 5th to the 9th of February is time for Festival di Sanremo: the legendary music festival, not at its 69th edition
  • 6th of February with the Massive Attack at Mediolanum Forum in Milan
  • On the 8th and 9th of February, you can taste great wine at Buy wine & anteprime di Toscana in Fortezza da Basso, on Florence outskirt
  • From the 6th to the 9th of February, there’s Torino Digital Days, digital media conference, in Turin
  • On the 9th of February at 5:45pm, there’s Italy versus Wales, from Stadio Flaminio in Rome, for the 6 Nations cup of rugby
  • From the 10th to 12th of February, there’s BIT (Borsa Internazionale del Turismo), the international fair of tourism and travel, in Milano
  • 11th of February are the Snow Patrol on stage at Fabrique in Milan
  • From the 16th of February till March 5th there’s the Carnival in Venice and its incredible masks through city and channels.
  • On the 16th and 17th of February, there’s the Men and Women World Cup of Cross Country in Cogne (Aosta Valley)
  • From the 19th to the 25th of February is time for Milano Fashion week with the Autumn/Winter collection
  • On the 24th February is election day in Sardinia, with the Election for the regional government
  • On the 24th of February there’s Italy v Ireland of rugby, for the 6 Nations cup 2019. From Stadio Flaminio in Rome.

March

  • 1 March Ozzy Osbourne in concert in Casalecchio di Reno (Bo),

April

  • 1 April ABBA DREAM – The Ultimate Abba Tribute Show from Milano, Teatro Nazionale CheBanca
  • 5 April Amy McDonald in concert from Milano, Teatro Dal Verme
  • 9-14 April: Salone del Mobile: in Milano, 5 days furniture design expo with parties across the city.
  • 30 April: Rita Ora in concert in Milano, Fabrique

May

  • 4 May: ABBA DREAM – The Ultimate Abba Tribute Show in Montecatini, Teatro Verdi Montecatini –
  • 7 May: Tokio Hotel in concert in Milano, Fabrique
  • 8 May: Dido in concert in Milano, Teatro degli Arcimboldi
  • 8 May: Metallica in concert in Milano, Ippodromo Snai San Siro – Milano Summer Festival –
  • 9 May: Tokio Hotel in concert in Roma, Atlantico
  • 10 May: Tokio Hotel in concert in Bologna, Estragon
  • 11 May: Lenny Kravitz in concert in Assago (Mi), Mediolanum Forum
  • 12 May: Lenny Kravitz in concert in Casalecchio di Reno (Bo), Unipol Arena
  • 11.May to the 24.November: Biennale in Venice,
  • 15 May: Backstreet Boys concert in Milano
  • 26 May: Regional Election in Piemonte and Basilicate. Election for European Parliament.
  • 29 e 30 May: 2019 Elton John in concert in Verona, Arena
  • 31 May: – 2 June MotoGP race in Mugello

June

  • 2 June: Imagine Dragons in concert in Firenze, Visarno Arena
  • 13-16 June – Firenze Rocks: 2019 rock music festival in Firenze with Ed Sheeran, The Cure, i Tool and Smashing Pumpkins
  • 14 June Ed Sheeran in concert in Firenze, Visarno Arena – Firenze Rocks
  • 15-18 June: Milano Fashion Week (man) Spring/Summer 2020
  • 16 June Ed Sheeran in concert in Roma, Stadio Olimpico
  • 16 June The Cure in concert in Firenze, Ippodromo del Visarno
  • 19 June Ed Sheeran in concert in Milano, Stadio San Siro
  • 27 June Slipknot in concert in Bologna, Parco Nord – Bologna Sonic Park
  • 28 June Take That in concert in Lucca, Piazza Napoleone – Lucca Summer Festival
  • 29 June Take That in concert in Roma, Cavea Auditorium Parco della Musica

July

  • 3 July 30 Seconds to Mars in concert in Roma, Cavea dell’Auditorium Parco della Musica
  • 4 July 30 Seconds to Mars in concert in Padova, Gran Teatro Geox
  • 6 July 30 Seconds to Mars in concert in Pistoia, Pistoia Blues Festival
  • 7 July 30 Seconds to Mars in concert in Barolo, Collisioni festival
  • 7 July 2019 Elton John in concert in Lucca, Piazza Napoleone – Lucca Summer Festival – ELTON JOHN
  • 7 July Slayer in concert in Villafranca di Verona, Castello Scaligero – Rock The Castle –
  • 7 July James Morrison in concert in Gardone Riviera, Anfiteatro del Vittoriale – Tener-a-mente Festival
  • 9 July Macklemore in concert in Lucca, Piazza Napoleone – Lucca Summer Festival
  • 10 July Macklemore in concert in Barolo, Piazza Colbert – Collisioni Festival –
  • 12 July Muse in concert in Milano, Stadio San Siro
  • 13 July Muse in concert in Milano, Stadio San Siro
  • 20 July Muse in concert in Roma, Stadio Olimpico
Elton John in concert in Italy this summer

August

  • 29 August to 7 September: Venice Film Festival

September

  • 8th September.: Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monza (MB)
  • 13-15 September: MotoGP race in Misano (San Marino GP)
  • 17-23 September 2019: Milano Fashion Week (woman): Spring/Summer 2020
  • 23 September: Michael Buble in concert in Assago, Mediolanum Forum
  • 24 September: Michael Buble in concert in Assago, Mediolanum Forum

October

  • TBD – EuroChocolate in Perugia
  • 17-27 October – Rome Movie Festival

November

  • TBD – EuroChocolate in Perugia
  • 17-27 October – Rome Movie Festival

December

  • TBD

Italian car market, not only Ferrari (& who’s in the lead?)

The status of the car market in Italy, the directions and the top 10 of 2018.

Fiat 500

2018 has been a mild year for the Italian car market with slight grow, just above 4% on 2017 and with a strong decrease towards the end of the year.

Decrease becoming strong in particular for the car powered by diesel, as restrictions and limitations to circulate are getting tougher in several Italian cities due to anti-pollution regulations.

Still solid instead the second hand market, justified by a decrease in recent years of purchase power and to a improved reliability of the vehicles offered in this segment of the car market.

The government is coming in help of the industry, thinking of new economical support to who purchases a new car, in particular electric ones. There’s a long debate around this, and in particular why electric cars haven’t started kicking in yet, in the country where a liter of gasoline costs more than in any other European country, with the exception at times of the Netherlands.

In any case, here below the top 10 most sold car in Italy in 2018. Number 1 may not surprise you though.

  • 10 – VOLKSWAGEN POLO 
  • 9 – VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 
  • 8 – LANCIA YPSILON 
  • 7 – CITROEN C3 
  • 6 – RENAULT CLIO 
  • 5 – FORD FIESTA
  • 4 – FIAT TIPO 
  • 3 – FIAT 500X
  • 2 – FIAT 500
  • 1 – FIAT PANDA 
fiat panda

Reference, some of the data used are published by the prestigious Italian news agency ansa.it at the following link

The Science of Pizza

Here’s why pizza is really the most eaten food. And why it’s not always a good thing having so many varieties.

Pizza, probably the most loved food in the world. Definitely one with more varieties anyone could think of.

Surprisingly, also quite a topic when it comes to science. Several publications about pizza  with over 420.000 results when searching pizza in GoogleScholar, the Google scientific portal.

In this first article it’s debated if Is it really good to have so many types of Pizza?

A study published on PlosOne, So Many Brands and Varieties to Choose from: Does This Compromise the Control of Food Intake in Humans?
(more info in the references)

The effects of dietary variability in pepperoni pizza on two key outcome variables; i) compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) expectations about the satiating properties of pepperoni pizza (expected satiation). We reasoned that dietary variability might generate uncertainty about the postingestive effects of a food.

How long an acceptable menu could be…..

An internet-based questionnaire was completed by 199 adults. This revealed substantial variation in exposure to different varieties of pepperoni pizza. In a follow-up study (n= 66; 65% female), high pizza variability was associated with i) poorer compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) lower expected satiation for pepperoni pizza.

So, next time you are in front of a menu and are celebrating for the great variety of choice… well, think twice!

Here’s why pizza is really the most eaten food

As part of a survey, for the scientific article: Lifestyle and Dietary Behaviors among Saudi Preschool Children Attending Primary Health Care Centers, Eastern Saudi Arabia (with more info and links at in the reference at the bottom of the page) researchers ran a survey with 300 kids and those were the shocking results..Unsatisfactory areas include smoking fathers (32%), smoking in front of children (11.3%), overweight and obesity among mothers (60.3%), noncompliance using seat belts for both parents (56.3%) and children (68%), children watching television (T.V) more than 2 hours (50%), adherence to exclusive breast feeding (only 20.7%), and late solid food introduction (65.3%).

Think what you eat and think as you eat

Frequent intake of unhealthy food items was 26%, 25%, and 24% for pizza, burger, and soft drinks. Unfortunately frequent intake of the following unhealthy food items was high: biscuits, deserts/chocolates, and chips which was 78%, 67%, and 72%, respectively. 
Conclusion. This study provides benchmark about the current situation. It provides health care workers and decision makers with important information that may help to improve health services.

favorite food ever pizza sweet soda and chip - paint from kids

What more impresses is the combination of unhealthy behavior and how they reflect on children approach to food!

Want to know what scientists think about? look up here

References:
• Wiktionary, the free dictionary: https://en.wiktionary.org with Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)
• Hindawi publishing: Lifestyle and Dietary Behaviors among Saudi Preschool Children Attending Primary Health Care Centers, Eastern Saudi Arabia, Magdy A. Darwish, Ghadeer Al-Saif, Suha Albahrani, and Amr A. Sabra – International Journal of Family Medicine, with Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
• PlosOne publishing: So Many Brands and Varieties to Choose from: Does This Compromise the Control of Food Intake in Humans? Charlotte A. Hardman, Danielle Ferriday, Lesley Kyle, Peter J. Rogers, Jeffrey M. Brunstrom – with Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)