My two (2) cents on viruses

The word virus comes from the Latin term for poison. I mean, that’s not a good start. Most people don’t believe that viruses are a life form. In biology, living things are divided into 5 kingdoms: bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, animals. Viruses are not included because they lack a fundamental characteristic of living beings: the ability to reproduce by themselves. Put a virus on a table and don’t let it get in contact with anyone and it stays there without moving or changing. But in contact with the right cell, there it “animates”, reproduces and spreads. Then it can be trouble. But the luck lies in the fact that viruses are extremely specialized: a given virus only attacks certain types of cells of certain living beings. And it can also be useful to human beings…

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La Terra ha un mantello fatto di uranio? Sarà per questo che fa caldo prima di un terremoto…

A friend of mine once shared me a link to a press release from the webpage of the Italian edition of Scientific American. The source was the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). The headline: “Geoneutrinos confirm that we are resting on a mantle of uranium and thorium.” I imagine any geologist would frown a bit at this statement. Why? Because the mantle is not made of uranium and thorium. Plus, this research had not found out that the mantle is composed of uranium and thorium. The research confirmed that most of the Earth’s internal heat comes from the decay of radioactive elements widespread not only in the crust (as already well known) but also in the mantle. Geoneutrinos are subatomic particles, a byproduct of radioactive decay (while neutrinos come form stars for fairly similar reasons).

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I still believe in Santa

IMG_7893I used to feel Christmas as a kid a lot. I’m not talking about the happiness of receiving gifts and phrases like “we’re all nicer to each other and merrier today”. Even then I felt that there was something special, something that I still like today. My son now keeps saying that Santa Claus doesn’t exist and that we put the presents under the tree. He’s “exposed” us a while ago, that’s normal. But my wife insists on the Santa story, she wants to keep some magic in him. And I agree, also because the “magic” of Christmas has always existed and despite the consumerism and the stereotypes, it continues to exist.

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My vintage-specs Stratocaster after 3 years

IMG_4859Fender has just released their new vintage-specific, made in Mexico, affordable Stratocasters, Telecasters, Mustangs and basses. Like the Classic Series they replace, they are made nearly like they used to do in the old days in California, namely the 1950s, the 60s, and the 70s. There are a plethora of videos on YouTube about this new MIM series and one of the most prominent stars is the Surf Green 50s – just like the one I own. After three years of playing it and fiddling with it a little bit, I came to understand and love my Classic 50s Strat. I am confident it is not a lesser guitar than the new Vintera and the changes that have been made are surely easily implemented on my specimen, too. Actually, the only think that really bothers me is my Strat not staying in tune after bendings. But I’m working on it…

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Our favorite needle retipping service

Grado-f1a-600x755I have always been convinced that the strongest reason to use only Moving Magnet cartridges was the possibility to replace the stylus. It is really a convenient thing, especially if you decide to upgrade your cartridge when the needle stone has worn out; many producers allow to install a higher spec stylus as replacement, so you can improve your cartridge’s performance with time. But sometimes even MMs can benefit from a retipping instead of buying a replacement. Why? Well, maybe the available replacements are not as good as the original stylus used to be. Sometimes the replacements are no longer available. Therefore, as Moving Coil cartridge users know well, you can turn to a capable stylus retipping and repair service to keep you cartridge alive, virtually forever.

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Solved: not Shure anymore? New shades of Grado? No – I’m back to Gold!

grado-gold-black2a-300x300Now I know what happened. Now that I am finally able to listen to a functioning Grado cart, I have understood. As soon as I started to be serious with vinyl records playback, I happened to buy a Grado cartridge. Then, many things happened and I had the chance to try out different cartridges, with different approaches to hifi music reproduction. I published some posts during this period attesting to my indecision about what I really liked to listen to. Now I have the clue to it: since a few days ago I just can’t stop spinning vinyl records. It was not happening since some time ago. And the reason why is clear to me now…

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