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Flashback 2021

George Orwell and Cesare Pavese -literary pieces fall into public domain

The books "1984", "Animals Farm" and all other works by the English writer George Orwell entered the public domain. Brazil, the European Union, and the United States signed the Berne Convention which establishes that the copyright of works expires after 70 years from the 1st of January following the author's death. Orwell lived until 1950, a year after the release of "1984". Translated to over sixty countries, "1984" is Orwell's most famous book and has been turned into comedies, movies, and comic books. George Orwell was born in India in 1903 and died in London on January 21, 1950.

Like Orwell's novels, Italian writer Cesare Pavese's works also lost their copyright. Among Pavese's most popular works are "La casa in collina" and "La luna e i falò" (The House on the Hill and The Moon and the Bonfires, respectively). Cesare Pavese is also recognized for the Italian translation of "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville and "Of mice and men" (Uomini and topi in Italian) by John Steinbeck. Pavese was born in September 1908 and died in Turin on August 27, 1950.

Space technology
Brazil takes off. "To infinity... and beyound!"

Brazil launched the first satellite produced with 100% national technology: Amazônia 1. According to Agência Brasil, the launch took place on February 28 through the Satish Dhawan Space Center, in India. The purpose of the satellite is to provide remote sensing data to observe and monitor deforestation, mainly in the Amazon region, as well as to monitor the country's agriculture. "The launch marked two technological advances in the country: the total mastery of the development cycle of a satellite, knowledge dominated by only twenty countries in the world, and the validation of the Multimission Platform (PMM) that works as an adaptable modular system that can be configured from different ways to achieve different goals”, noted the deputy director of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Mônica Rocha. The launch of the satellite is the result of collaboration between the Brazilian space program and India. Amazônia-1 was developed by INPE and the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), both linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation.

Other space missions marked this month. Landed on Mars: the Hope mission, from the United Arab Emirates, which aims to observe and study the atmosphere and weather events on the Red Planet; the Chinese Tianwen-1 mission, tasked with carrying out scientific observations of the surface and atmosphere of Mars; and NASA's Mars 2020 mission, which includes the Perseverance spacecraft and the Ingenuity helicopter-drone. Perseverance's aims are to look for possible signs of life on the planet, study the geology of the soil and collect rock samples. Ingenuity was the first drone to fly over the planet. For 2022, the plans come from Virgin Galactic, which intends to launch a commercial spaceflight service. "To infinity and beyond!"

World heritage
Venice, 1600 years between beauty and resilience

Between beginnings and new beginnings, resilience marked the history of Venice, which turned 1600 years old on March 25th. History tells us that on that day in AD 421, in Rivo Alto (Rialto) the first settlement in Venice took place, followed by the consecration of the church of San Giacomo. The birth of Venice appears to have been a slow process. In fact, the entire city is built on water. Under the stone foundations, wooden logs support the weight of the buildings, as if they were stilts, and are preserved thanks to the mud in which they are immersed. Venice's palaces and churches float.

History also tells us that Venice managed to survive wars, conflicts, battles, and various crises. In 1797, it was occupied by the French troops of Napoleon Bonaparte. The palaces, houses, and churches of Venice were sacked by the French, who shot anyone who dared to protest. Works of art were stolen, and churches were destroyed. But Venice was also one of the finest cities in Europe, with a strong influence on art, architecture, and literature. Between good and evil, prosperity and the plague, beauty and "high water", often caused by the alternating tides peaks, Venice resists and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Automotive industry
Vespa - reaching the age of 75 with style

19 million units sold worldwide. 19 million stories to tell and retell. This is Vespa that turned 75 in April. In all these decades, Vespa has kept its appearance intact and still maintaining its essence, it has never ceased to be contemporary. The first Vespa was patented on April 23, 1946, by the Italian group Piaggio. World War II had just ended, and Italy was a country to be rebuilt, full of ideas and hope. The Vespa was born in this scenario as an affordable and economical vehicle and soon became a sales success, placing Italy at the center of the post-war movement.

The small motorcycle crossed borders, in 1950 it began to be produced in Germany; in 1951, in the United Kingdom, and in 1954, it arrived in Brazil. Icon of Italian design, the Vespa appeared in classic films such as "Roman Holiday" (1953), in which Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck strolled through the streets of Rome, and "A Sweet Life" (1960), by Federico Fellini, becoming a symbol of the freedom and youth of the time. Since its creation, the Vespa has been continuously produced at the Pontedera factory, between Florence and Pisa.

World heritage
Coliseum has project for reconstruction of arena

The Coliseum, in the heart of Rome, will have its arena back. This was certainly the best news for all those who appreciate close contact with history. As part of the "Major Cultural Heritage Projects", after numerous studies and research to define how the works would be carried out, Italy presented the project to rebuild the arena. The works will start in the first months of 2022 with completion scheduled for 2023.

Dating back to the opening years (AD 80), the arena floor was a wooden plank covered with sand where men and beasts were forced to climb. Years later, the masonry underground was built, and later the construction of the complex that can be seen today in the center of the monument, much more complex and highly technological. The new design will be sustainable, resistant, and highly durable and will restore the public to the same vision that the monument could have enjoyed in antiquity.

World heritage
Padua, city of the saint

Padua is the city of "the 3 -less": the nameless saint, the doorless café and the grassless park, as its inhabitants define it, and June 13 is an important day for Padovanos (people born in Padua) because they celebrate "The Saint", without ever needing to specify your name. The unnamed saint is St. Anthony, the patron saint of Padua, beloved throughout the Catholic world, but the Basilica dedicated to him was simply called the Pontifical Basilica of the Saint. The Basilica, which receives millions of faithful every year, preserves the relics of St. Anthony and, this year, also celebrated the return to Padua, for the first time since 1652, of the relic of Anthony's forearm, in the custody of the Basilica della Salute (Basilica of Health) in Venice. The Saint's forearm was the reason for a pilgrimage that ratified the link between Venice and Padua.

The second icon of the city of the Saint is the "doorless café", alluding to Caffè Pedrocchi, which turned 190 this month. Until 1916, the spot remained open day and night, hence the name "Café without a door". The closure in the evening was because the interior lights could easily be a reference for the Austrians during the bombings of the First World War. In fact, in 1848, from a shot fired by Austrian soldiers, a bullet hit one of the inner walls of the café. The hole left by the projectile and a plaque in memory of what happened still keep memories of that day. Finally, the "grassless park", one of the largest squares in Europe, refers to the Prato della Valle which, in its origins, was a swampy land and not the beautiful park with its 78 statues that we know today.

"It's coming Rome", the winning phrase

"It's coming Rome" is the winning phrase. Italy beat England at Wembley and is the champion of EURO 2020, and the phrase above is the answer given by "Squadra Azzurra" to the confident English choir "It's coming home", repeated tirelessly before and during the match held in London. But that day it all went wrong for the Brits, and in front of about 65,000 people at Wembley, it was Italy that brought home the coveted trophy.

The match was one of the most beautiful and emotional for the Italian team. England took the lead, scoring the first goal just two minutes from the start of the game. Italy managed to tie in the 67th minute of the second half, with a goal by Leonardo Bonucci (1x1). The match extended until the penalty shootout and after two and a half hours Italy won 3 x 2, winning the European champion title for the second time in its history. The first title was won in 1968. The 16th edition of the European Football Championship 2020, or EURO 2020, organized by UEFA, was officially postponed for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, UEFA decided to keep the name of the competition unchanged.


Who stole the Mona Lisa?

140 years ago, on August 21st, the Mona Lisa went missing. At the Louvre in Paris, where Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece had been on exhibition since 1797, everyone was stunned. No one had moved it. Nobody knew where it would have ended up. The Mona Lisa was just gone, and no one was able to answer the question "Who stole the Mona Lisa?" Two years passed among doubts, uncertainties and hypotheses about the disappearance of Gioconda and without any trace of what really happened that day. What nobody knew is that Mona Lisa was hidden in the room where lived Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian who, upon emigrating to France, went to work at the Louvre and, one day, decided to steal her.

With Mona Lisa hidden under a jacket, Peruggia caught a bus and took her home, returning normally for work. Peruggia wanted to return to Italy the painting he thought had been stolen by Napoleon Bonaparte. In a book, he had read that Napoleon had stolen many works of art from Italy, thus deducing that among the stolen works was Gioconda, the one he saw every day in the Museum. He didn't know the Mona Lisa had been sold to the King of Paris. Returning to Italy, Peruggia asked an antiquarian in Florence to return Gioconda to an Italian museum and, who knows, as a kind of reward, he could have a steady job. The antiquarian, seeming himself in front of the authentic Mona Lisa, warned the police, and Peruggia was arrested. Gioconda returned to the Louvre by train and Peruggia was sentenced to one year in prison, subsequently obtaining a reduction in his sentence.

7 centuries of Dante - the Supreme Poet father of the Italian language

Seven centuries have passed since Dante's death, however, he is still with us, present in our daily lives. This is because he, the Supreme Poet, left us as a legacy the Italian language, the one we speak today, which was born from his poetry and which united Italy from a communicative point of view. Although he knew Latin well, Dante was convinced that the vernacular, spoken by people on the street, should become the cultured language. “The noblest of these two languages ​​is the vernacular (...) because it is natural to us, while the other (referring to Latin) is very artificial”, he wrote in “De Vulgari Eloquentia”.

Among the most important legacies of Dante Alighieri, we find one of the masterpieces of literature, the Divine Comedy, considered the greatest work written in Italian. The entire Comedy is composed of three singular canticas that include a total of 100 chants. The first one (Hell) is composed of 33 chants plus the Introductory one, and the other two (Purgatory and Paradise) are also 33 chants each. Each chant varies from a minimum of 115 to a maximum of 160 verses, for a total of 14,333, all written in linked triplets of hendecasyllable verses. Dante was born in Florence in 1265 and died in exile in Ravenna on the night between September 13 and 14, 1321. On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of his death, the Ministry of Culture proposed considering 2021 the year of Dante, including the 25th of March, National Day already dedicated to him, called Dantedì (Dante's Day).

Air transport
After the last flight, Alitalia is gone for good

Since October 14, after 74 years Alitalia is gone for good. The date was marked by its last flight, and the sky lost a bit of color. In 2006, it had already lost one of its stars, that of Varig, the Brazilian airline that went extinct after 79 years. No correlation between the two of them, except that both were the apple of their countries' eyes, and the images of their last flights, in a way, left marks on aviation enthusiasts. On another occasion, these same lovers watched with sorrow the last flight of the legendary Concorde. Who among fans has never dreamed of flying, at least once, aboard the Concorde? The objective here is not to go into the merits or reasons for the decline of these companies, but to record the disappearance of the planes that once lived their Golden Years.

Alitalia, the biggest Italian airline, was a global transport giant, a true benchmark until its inevitable decline. Varig also had strengths of excellence led by its aircraft maintenance, and crew training centers recognized among the best in the world. Each of the aforementioned aircraft left its mark, whether for its design and supersonic speed, for coloring the sky with its tricolor singularity, or for making another star shine in the infinite blue. Alitalia's last flight, AZ 1586 Cagliari-Roma, operated by an A321, put an end to another long history in the aviation sector.

Half a century that changed our lives - story of shrinking things

"The Intel 4004 microprocessor set the foundation for computing – and touched every life on the planet." This is the phrase highlighted at the top of Intel the website which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first microprocessor placed on the market. The microprocessor that made information technology take-off was invented by Italian physicist Federico Faggin, who is turning 80 years old this December. Born in Vicenza, after having worked with computers at Olivetti, once one of the most important companies in the world in the field of typewriters and calculators, Faggin enrolled in the Physics course at the University of Padua, where he graduated. The key moment in his life, however, was when he decided to establish himself in the United States and, in 1970, he was hired by Intel, an American company that at that time was starting to operate in the market. A year later, Faggin's task was to make some integrated circuits for a prototype calculator, and it was when he developed the silicon-gate MOS technology. The Intel 4004 was born packing 2,300 transistors into a tiny piece of silicon, a lot for the time but insignificant compared to the billions used today on a single chip.

A significant advance that took just half a century to bring us to modern information technology. We went from the first electronic computer, built in 1946, which took up an entire room to our personal computers, laptops, smartphones, and many other chip-based technologies that we use in everyday life, such as the cloud and artificial intelligence. Microprocessors have changed the world. Intel on its website says: “It's a story of shrinking things. And as you shrink them, you increase the potential of the places that they can go and the things that they can pass."

The world still suffers from the Covid-19 pandemic

By then, we are immersed in a crisis that affects us at all levels. For two years now, we've been in a health emergency triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic which, if we're lucky, will only extend into the first few months of 2022. After... Who can tell us? In newspaper headlines, the Covid subject is being exhaustively treated, although in an unsatisfactory way. The real function of the press, which would be to inform, ended up being lost in the multitude of facts, inconsistent information, and contradictions and has only served to confuse even more. Are this data being handled within their convenience? Maybe so, but who can tell us? What is known is that 2021 was also a year of trauma, defeat, and loss. A year that changed our lives and changed our essence. We're just learning to move forward, trying to start over. For stubbornness or obstinacy, I don't know, we still want to believe that 2022 can be different, and can offer us a little more hope, new expectations, and some dreams that come true because dreams sometimes come true. However, for now, the world still suffers from Covid-19. For now, the world is in Reanimation. We hope for the best!


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