This is a Google Map that I have been working for many years now. It contains information of all the places I have been during my travels. I find pins the most honest way to create visited countries maps: feels a bit like cheating going to Moscow and having a visited countries maps with the whole Russia colored. Pins are more precise and they don’t really care about borders. I like that.
This is a collection of quotes that I like or that inspired me in some way.
Where available, I will indicate the source of these quotes.
There is no order.
- “Brand is the refuge of the ignorant.” From the book ”Samsung Rising” by one of the interviewed.
- “Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic.” Norman Cousins
- “It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.” Rollo May
- “It’s better to make your kids competent, rather than safe.”
- “Buy experiences, not things.”
- “In my opinion, the best thing you can do is to find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person will still think that the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.” from the movie Juno (2007)
Electric, lightweight, 2-wheeled vehicles should be the god-tier of the small to medium mobility. While it is good to talk about electric cars, I wanted to prove that there are literally no reasons to buy a new noisy, stinky petrol scooter in 2020.
My electric scooter was probably one of the best purchases I made in the last five years. This is something I do not say lightly. After only 7 months of ownership, math is telling me this was one of the most sound financial decisions I made in my adult life.
Summer is coming and the perfect conditions to try out an EV (electric vehicle) finally hit Sicily: light to no wind, 22-25 °C (72-77 °F).
Lithium batteries are influenced by cold weather. I was getting good mileage this winter with my N-GT, but I wanted to wait for the perfect conditions to make precise range and cost estimates.
This electric scooter has 3 different modes in which energy is supplied to the Bosch engine that moves the main back wheel:
- E-save: a energy saving mode that caps the maximum speed around 50 km/h (31 mph) and supposedly limits the engine to around 50% of it’s total power. Torque and acceleration are reduced yet it feels ”chilled” more than slow. I would re-name e-save as chill mode. I think it’s more appropriate;
- Dynamic: a balanced setting that should give you the best of both worlds: lively torque and balanced range. The speed is capped at around 67 km/h (41 mph);
- Sport: as it says on the tin, supposedly gives you the best torque and acceleration possible without really caring about energy consumption. Speed reaches 85 km/h (53 mph). While is fun to try it out the first few times, I tend to avoid to use it.
In the last 2 days I drove a total of 168 km (104 miles). The first day I used the scooter without a care in the world, using the Dynamic mode. The second day I really wanted to break records and I drove the same length with E-save mode.
Day one, Dynamic mode
I started the day at 100%. I drove 85 km (52 miles). When I got home, the % remaining was 28%. Which means I spent 72% of battery to ride for 85 km.
Doing a simple calculation tells us that the ”fuel” efficiency was around 0,85% per km (1.38% per mile) .
So if with 0,85% I can drive 1 km, with a full charge I can realistically expect to drive for 117 km (72 miles) in Dynamic mode, before battery runs out. That is great mileage.
At my house, I pay around 0.25€ per kW (0,27 USD per kW). The 2 batteries of the N-GT are in total 4,2 kWh. Meaning than fully charging my scooter costs me 1,05€. Let’s consider some energy loss and let’s round it up. Let’s say I spend 1,20€ for a full ”tank” (1,30 USD).
Considering the fuel efficiency that we already calculated, we now learn that the N-GT runs at 0,01€ per km (0,017 USD per mile). And we are using the normal, speedy, mode.
We are talking about a vehicle that brings you to work, to school, to the beach, to the city that emits 0 stinky polluting gas, emits 0 annoying and loud noises and that runs at 0,01€ per km while riding at 65 km/h.
Day two, E-save mode
The results of day one were unbelievable by themselves, but there was another test to be done. The Sunday, chilled riding test, which brought me even more ridiculous results.
I started the day at 100%. I drove 83 km (51 miles). When I got home, the % remaining was 46%. Which means I spent 54% of battery to ride for 83 km.
The ”fuel” efficiency was around 0,65% per km (1.06% per mile) .
So if with 0,65% I can drive 1 km, with a full charge I can realistically expect to drive for 154 km (95 miles) in E-save mode, before battery runs out. That is crazy town mileage.
Considering this, riding a N-GT in E-save costs me 0,007€ (0,013 USD per mile). That figure is so little, we should multiply by 10 to make our brain register the information. Riding 10 km in E-save drains 0,07€ from my wallet (0,13 USD per 10 miles).
Going electric is more expensive that getting an ICE vehicle, for now, and really just slightly. But you NEED to consider the long term saving and the running costs. The running costs alone should really make you think. Also put things in prospective. Scooters do not have the same gap cars have. We are not talking about choosing between a cheap shitty plastic FIAT Tipo that costs 14000€ and a 48500€ Tesla Model 3, three and a half times more.
We are talking 2-wheeled scooters. The gap between a 125cc petrol scooter and my electric scooter with government incentives is 1.5x, worst case scenario (considering the Kymco Like 125i). Some petrol scooters are even more expensive that my N-GT, like the Vespa Primavera 125cc.
This is crazy. There are literally zero excuses to not choose electric if you are in the market for a medium size scooter. The Vespas, the Kymcos, the Yamaha, those polluting noisy expensive scooters have to evolve.
I love maps and I love movies.
I am a bit ashamed to say how many hours this little post took me, but I am satisfied on how it turned out nonetheless.
I collected the data on IMDb Advanced Search by ”hand”. I got the list of countries from Wikipedia. I then created an Excel to collect all the infos regarding the films, the year of production, rating, number of rating and links to these films.
I tried to have reasonable criterias, yet in some cases I was forced to go around it or I had to make exceptions.
However, these were the criterias:
- Only features films allowed. No TV Movies, no Documentaries, no Movies of a musical recorded in a theater;
- An animated movie is acceptable in some circumstances;
- Minimum 60 minutes runtime;
- Minimum 200 ratings;
- Country of production had to be at most the 2nd country of production in the list E.g.:
✔️ Production country: France | Monaco
❌ Production country: Germany | Austria | Monaco
- The same movie can’t be assigned to two different countries.
The maps of the results:
Some things I learned along the way:
- Turkey is the winner, with the highest rated movie at 9.3. The movie is called Hababam Sinifi and it’s from 1975. Friends who live in Turkey confirmed this is a classic. It is available on YouTube, restored in full HD and with english subtitles;
- Unsurprisingly the Vatican City has never made any movie. Yet, I was a bit surprised to discover the same about San Marino;
- Andorra has few movies that could not qualify because of rule 5 and it’s the only country that has a sub-6 movie;
- In general, all the small states of Europe had to be allowed some exeptions or wiggle room since the movie scene is in general tiny or non-existing. Liechtenstein best movie is called “Paris I love you”. I said enough.
- Selecting the russian movie was extremely difficult because of the Soviet Union. There were a lot of supposedly acceptable russian movies in russian language done before the end of the Soviet Union but they were mostly movies made nowadays Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, etc. For a russian movie I needed it to be made in russian soil. Eventually, I found the one that is on the list;
- I had a similar problem with Croatia. The croatian movie of the list was made in Yugoslavia, a country that does not exists anymore. Yet, it was made on croatian soil and it’s in croatian language. For me, it qualified.
- Moldova’s best movie was also difficult for the similarities this country shares with Romania, in culture and language. In theory, the no 1 movie was some flick filmed in Bucharest with romanian actors in what it seemed proper romanian language. It did not felt right. I found the same exact difficulties with Albania and Kosovo, for the same exact reasons.
- Scandinavia had some overlapping issues. The Icelandic movie technically qualified also for Finland, since it was an Icelandic/Finnish production. Yet the movie is in Icelandic and a movie can not be double on this list (rule 6). Eventually, I had to go back to 1955 to find a Finnish movie made in Finland with finnish actors in finnish language;
- The Norwegian best movie is an animated movie from 1975. At first glance, it seems some B-rated animation (jeg beklager Norge), yet it has a ton of ratings, it’s in norwegian language, it’s made by a Norwegian director born in Norway (even if his name could seriously mislead you). It qualifies;
- Spain was kinda tricky as well. Loads of Mexican movies and Argentinian movies at the first spots. I used common sense and as usual removed movies filmed in these locations by mexican or argentinian directors. The winner that came out is actually a great movie I suggest to everyone.
- Extremely hard to navigate around the United Kingdom results. Suprisingly, putting as criteria UK as a country and English as a language gives you a lot of results. The fist 15-ish movies were american movies with american directors, american actors, filmed in the USA. I had to scroll down to 1917 to find a movie that qualified: british actors, playing british people, filmed in britain, with a british director. Bullseye;
- Switzerland has an almost non-existing movie scene, which is weird considering it’s population and size.
The table of all the data I collected is here:
|Country||Title||Rating||Year||N of ratings|
|Albania||Velikiy voin Albanii Skanderbeg||8.0||1953||582|
|Belarus||Fortress of War||7.5||2010||8500|
|Belgium||The Blue Villa||8.4||1994||335|
|B&H||The Perfect Circle||8.1||1997||1888|
|Croatia||For good old times||8.4||2018||1341|
|Estonia||Truth and Justice||8.6||2019||2267|
|France||You Go to my head||9.0||2017||514|
|Germany||Das kletze Mahl||8.8||2018||418|
|Greece||World Gone Mad||8.8||1963||2061|
|Iceland||Let Me Fall||8.0||2018||647|
|Ireland||In the name of the father||8.1||1993||150000|
|Italy||The Good The Bad The Ugly||8.8||1966||662000|
|Latvia||The Foundation of Criminal Excellence||8.2||2018||1113|
|Liechtenstein||Paris, je t’aime||7.2||2006||69000|
|Moldova||Bed of Procust||7.4||2002||315|
|Monaco||Bay of angels||7.4||1963||2621|
|Montenegro||The Books of Knjige: Cases of Justice||7.4||2017||579|
|North Macedonia||Across the lake||8.5||1997||386|
|Norway||The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix||8.5||1975||12164|
|Poland||A Short Film About Love||8.2||1988||18000|
|Portugal||The Tyrannical Father||7.9||1941||649|
|Serbia||When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Kangaroo||8.4||2004||9200|
|Spain||The Invisible Guest||8.1||2016||117000|
|Sweden||Scenes from a Marriage||8.5||1974||3215|
|Turkey||The Chaos Class||9.3||1975||35000|
|Ukraine||My Thoughts Are Silent||8.5||2019||1000|
A list of books that I plan to read. And past ones.
- The Intelligent Investor;
- Common Sense on Mutual Funds;
- Your Money and Your Brain;
- Irrational Exhuberance;
- Devil Take the Hindmost;
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street.
- Automate the Boring Stuff with Python – I will learn Python, I promise! This book is long due since a good friend of mine suggested it. However, I find very hard to learn from books. I found that my brain react better to interactive courses. Yet, I will give it a try;
- Screaming, Sharing, Stealing – big data and the future of entertainment;
- That Will Never Work – the story of the birth of Netflix.
- What if? a book that poses absurd scientific questions that are answered by the author, which is an engineer.
Finished books since I opened this blog
This book supposedly will teach us to think different about money and how the handle and invest them. I already read few chapters and it seems really interesting. Mostly because it does not gives you a solution on a silver plate, rather teach you concepts and invite you to use your brain to digest them. Good read.
My life-long passion for Korea drove me to this book. I have been very interested to the Korean peninsula situation from the very first moment I visited Korea the first time back in 2012. As I wait and hope for this DMZ to finally chease to exists, hopefully in my lifetime, I put my hands on any NK-related book I can find. North Korea is definitely on my travel wishlist.
Can you really consider a comic a book? Not really, but it’s a read nonetheless. I have never consumed many comics, none to be precise but I always liked the idea behind it. Upon watching The Umbrella Academy TV Show by Netflix, I got really curious about the original work behind that story so here we are.
This comic book has few volumes:
- Volume 1: Apocalypse Suite ✔️
- Volume 2: Dallas ✔️
- Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion
In this page I will collect pictures from around the world that I personally think everybody should see or at the very least know the context of.
These pictures will be ordered by date.
Tank Man of Tianmen Square
This man is worldwide famous to have stood in front of Chinese Tanks leaving Tianmen Square right after the Chinese Military suppressed with violence the protests of that day. The fate or identity of the man is unknown. KNOW MORE.