Gene Cernan

The day the Lunar Rover got a parking ticket

Gene’s Lunar Rover has been parked on the moon for 42 years without any particular administrative problems, but Milan is a whole different kettle of fish. On 28 October 2014, Cernan was driving the electrically-powered Lunar Rover – the one that he had driven for 35 km on the moon in 1972 – in Via…

Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at Palazzo Reale, Milan

If you’re hoping to see the Mona Lisa or the Virgin of the Rocks, you’ll be disappointed, but there are a lot of good reasons why you shouldn’t miss this show. As there are not many Leonardo paintings anyway – about 15 – but lots of drawings, the organisers gave the exhibition the theme of…

10 buoni motivi per mangiare tanta frutta e verdura fresca

Non c’è più tempo. E’ ora che tutti sappiano che mangiare tanti prodotti animali fa male alla salute e al mondo, mentre il consumo di frutta e verdura fresca e cruda fa bene. C’è anche la questione etica, ma in questo articolo voglio parlare soprattutto della questione della salute. 1. Si può sopravvivere senza la…

10 reasons why cycling is good for you

It has its down sides. When you get to the office, you need to freshen up and perhaps put on the fresh shirt that you’ve brought with you in your bag. Your bag has to be a backpack. You’ll get a few bumps and grazes over the years. But all considered, you’re better off cycling.…

Officialdom in Italy

This is the true story of how I applied for a place at an Italian academy of fine arts, quite a long time ago: 1980, when I was 19. Things have changed a lot in Italy since then – well, a bit – but it is an example of the way in which a certain…

Judee Sill – The Kiss

“The Kiss” is a song by Judee Sill, second track on her second album Heart Food released in 1973. I heard it on a BBC Radio 4 programme dedicated to the singer and songwriter, whose work was influenced by her difficult youth and her drug habits, as well as Bach, gospel and country music. After…

Brahms and Deep Purple

Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, soloist Hilary Hahn, at the Semperoper, Dresden with the HR Sinfonieorchester, 4 June 2014. The concert celebrated Hahn’s victory in the Glashütte Original Festival Music Award. The Brahms Concerto seemed to me very close to Deep Purple, or at least a 19th-century Deep Purple. Hilary Hahn’s fingers raced on…

The intelligence of trees

The natural world is full of surprises. Trees, for example. At the end of its first year’s growth, an apple tree has already made 17 million root hairs, with a total length of about 2 kilometres. These root hairs are not just passive filaments absorbing water and minerals. They react to the environment; they have…