Bugiardo !

Non capita spesso che qualcuno mi dia del bugiardo, anche perché – lo confesso – reagisco male.

Ieri lo ha fatto il signor Marco Bergaglio, mettendo in dubbio la veridicità di alcuni dati che avevo condiviso, in risposta a dubbi che, però, mi sembravano in buona fede, cosa che invece non mi pare si possa dire in questo caso.

I dati che secondo il signor Bergaglio non sarebbero del tutto esatti sono quelli contenuti nella tabella che ho pubblicato nell’ormai illeggibile stringa di commenti scatenati da questo post su LinkedIn, che sta ormai raggiungendo le 30.000 impressions.

Cosa non piace al signor Bergaglio lo lascio dire a lui stesso:

Le critiche sono sostanzialmente quattro (mi par di capire), e cioè

  1. non ho tenuto conto delle perdite di ricarica
  2. il mio contratto di fornitura di EE è “privilegiato” (=non rappresentativo)
  3. il prezzo del kWh che riferisco non è vero
  4. il consumo a gasolio preso a confronto non è veritiero

Perdite di ricarica

In tutti i miei calcoli, i consumi sono SEMPRE indicati al lordo delle perdite di ricarica (su cui ho scritto a più riprese sul mio blog professionale)

Fornitura privilegiata + prezzi “sinceri”

Nello slideshow ho riportato le intestazioni delle mie fatture di EE del 2022: come si può vedere, si tratta di normalissimi contratti di fornitura su cui (questo è vero) opero una attenta vigilanza ma sui quali, quando non riesco a stipulare contratti a prezzo fisso come avevo fino ad Aprile, subisco le variazioni di mercato, come tutti.

La tabella dunque può essere espansa per includere anche gli altri dati:

Il prezzo “a casa” di gennaio e febbraio (nella tabella €0,14, mentre dalle bollette sarebbe €0,11) risente di una piccola promozione di cui, nel calcolo del costo “normale”, ho preferito non tenere conto.

Il prezzo “fuori casa” invece, varia in funzione sia dei prezzi di listino, sia dell’uso variabile che faccio delle flat disponibili sul mercato (si veda in tal senso l’esempio di Agosto, rifornito in gran parte fuori casa dove ho pagato MENO il kWh fuori casa di quello a casa).

Il consumo a gasolio infine è quello storico dell’auto a gasolio che tuttora posseggo: sicuramente ci sono auto più moderne ed efficienti, e sicuramente ce ne sono di più piccole, ma questa è quella che ho io e il prezzo lo rilevo alle pompe che vedo (anche se per fortuna ormai uso pochissimo) dalle mie parti.

Tutto il confronto, dunque, è sul MIO caso: non ha la pretesa di generalizzare, ma dimostra che risparmiare anche cifre importanti sul carburante grazie all’elettrificazione SI PUÒ.

In conclusione, il signor Bergaglio (che, giova ricordare, di lavoro produce materie plastiche, presumibilmente derivate dal petrolio)

avvelena la conversazione con affermazioni prive di fondamento nei confronti di chi non conosce. Lui dà del bugiardo a me senza ragione, io preferisco lasciare che il suo comportamento venga giudicato da chi legge.

Is doubt good?

Being fairly active on LinkedIn, I have had my share of agreements and disagreements. Let me show you the analytics page of three posts from last year; I selected them because they are in three different orders of magnitude when it comes to popularity.

It should be noted that I stick to a relatively narrow focus for my content: energy transition and electric mobility, seldom venturing outside the comfort zone of my expertise.

Wind power provides over 100% of electricity consumption in Denmark.

(June, 2022 Link)

Only a handful of my posts make the 100k+ category; this did, probably pushed by the unusually many likes it received, though nobody re-posted it.

Many of the comments were positive, but not all (say perhaps two-thirds).

The influence of Big Oil over selected world economies.

(September, 2022 – Link)

The “tens of thousands” group is much more numerous: in comparison to the previous one, it achieved a fifth of the readership with a tenth of likes and a 25th of the comments, but it was reposted 5 times.

It received no negative comments and it also had a more interesting visual, IMHO.

A new study over 88,000 Climate Science papers confirms over 99.9% of them think Climate Change is human-driven.

(January, 2023) – Link)

This post did not achieve a particularly wide reach (even though it might grow in the coming days), but it’s remarkable for its likes-to-comments ratio.

A large majority of comments were negative: as far as I can remember, I have never written a post that attracted so much negative commentary over so little views as this.

Yet the topic of the last post does not strike me as particularly controversial or new: in fact, it’s simply a confirmation (and reinforcement) of something we already knew, i.e. the overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed papers by Climate Science researchers and scholars agree that Climate Change is human-driven.

So what are all these negativa commenters taking issue at, and who are they?

Ignoring the simple ad hominem attacks and insults, and a small group of haters who simply dislike anything I say (for reasons unknown, I have never met any of them), none of the negative comments was from someone who had ANY credentials in Climate Science, and very few had anything to do professionally with the energy sector altogether.

They are therefore nothing more than your average Joe Sixpack doubting Science, probably in the same broad category as flat-earthers or moon-landing deniers: “I don’t understand this, but I am scared by the sound of it, so I’ll just refuse to believe it.”

A couple however raised an interesting, epistemological point worthy of some additional commentary, i.e. the value of doubt.

Human knowledge – they argue – advances because someone challenges the statu quo of scientific consensus.

This could be a valid argument, but it’s poorly applied: scientific breakthroughs happen, yes, because Albert Einstein challenges Isaac Newton, but he does so within the accepted frame of the scientific method, i.e. by stating a different theory with adequate mathematical backing and proposing an experimental verification which will either prove or disprove the new theory. Tycho Brahe’s planetary motion observations needed the backing of Kepler’s laws, before elliptical instead of circular orbits were accepted.

The theory and its mathematical foundation must be reviewable by peer scientists, until they are gradually accepted and become the new consensus. Sadly for foaming-at-the-mouth doubters (but luckily for humanity), this process is reserved to the initiated: no popular vote is ever cast to accept a new scientific theory.

The fact that the proposed experiment might not be possible at the time of proposal is irrelevant: Einstein suggested that gravity could bend the path of light back in his 1936 paper on General Relativity, yet the phenomenon was not directly observed until 2017.

In other words, no, simple doubt is not enough.

100 movies

Like many other people, I am an avid consumer of cultural products (movies, books and music): I hoard them, I collect them, I consume them several times over.

I remember my late Dad raising his eyebrows in disbelief whenever I confessed I hadn’t read some book he considered important, a favor I returned by lending him some of my Physics textbooks, a subject he always felt he hadn’t given enough attention during Uni.

So today I decided I will write down a list of the most important 100 movies my kids should see, lest I fail my parental duties: my two older kids have families of their own, so it’ll be to them to actually tick every box in this list, but Aurora still lives with us, so I can make sure HER column is ticked. Also the list is not ranked in any way, so don’t look for criteria, the movies are listed in whatever order they come to mind.

Finally, I have not listed many movies that are contemporary for them (like Star Wars or Jurassic Park or Harry Potter) because they are already part of their cultural backgrounds.

The criterion is totally subjective, obviously, and I do not expect my kids (or anybody else) to agree.

12001, a space odyssey
2The Godfather
3Apocalypse now
5The deer hunter
6The silence of the lambs
8The Warriors
10The Blues Brothers
11dr. Strangelove
12Easy Rider
13The hunt for Red October
14Jacob’s ladder
16Full Metal Jacket
17Una pura formalità
18La decima vittima
19One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
23Reservoir dogs
24From dusk ’til dawn
25A clockwork orange
27Big wednesday
28The Shining
29Vanishing point
30The sixth sense
31Animal House
32Three days of the condor
34The untouchables
35Play it again, Sam!
37Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
38Taxi driver
39The big Lebowsky
40The sting
41The apartment
42The odd couple
43Love and Death
44The usual suspects
45Forrest Gump
48To kill a mockingbird
49Fight club
50Zabriskie Point
51Good morning, Vietnam!
52Junior Frankenstein
54The Truman show
55Marathon man
56La donna della domenica
57Jesus Christ Superstar
59American graffiti
60The conversation
61The hustler
62Rear window
63The long goodbye
64Mystic river
65A new leaf
66Schindler’s list
68The killers
69Apollo 13
71Escape from Alcatraz
72The Rocky Horror Picture Show
73Amici miei
74All the President’s men
75Un sacco bello
77Blade runner
78Master and Commander
79The gladiator
81The longest yard
83The imitation game
84Ricomincio da tre
85Gorky Park
86The big chill
87Midnight cowboy
91The hitcher
92The name of the rose
94Murder by death
96The man who shot Liberty Valance
97The big short
98Angel Heart
99Little miss Marker
100The front page

The true reason for the birth of the Internal Combustion Engine

My current business life deals with the painful transition from the internal combustion engine to the electric powertrain.

Advocates of the statu quo cry buckets of tears over the lost jobs, the threatened competitivity of the western automotive industry, the diminishing prospects of cherished industrial skills, the industrial threat of China to mention but a few of the current, querulous lamentations.

Historically speaking, however, this is not the first time this industry underwent such a profound transformation – and for exactly the same reasons, as we will demonstrate.

At the end of the nineteenth century, London was the largest metropolis in the world, its population of over 4 million dwarfing New York and Beijing.

As it turns out, there were over 300,000 horse carriages in the city of London, needing therefore over 300,000 horses.

As the father (and longtime sponsor) of a youngster who spent 20 years competing in show jumping, I have a clear memory of what it takes to look after horses: feeding them, shoeing them but most of all … dealing with manure!

Horse Manure In The Grass Next To A Farm Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty  Free Image. Image 82607100.

A beautiful 400-kilo horse will gift its owner with about 25 kg of manure PER DAY! This means that the over 300,000-strong London equine population deposited about 7,500 tons of the product on its streets every day, making manure a 2,7 million tons-per-year problem!

I am sure the roads in Mayfair were spotless, but the rest of the city lived with walls of the stuff piling up to waist height. The situation had gotten so bad the well-off had started to leave London, until technology came to the rescue.

As we all know, the first “horseless carriages” were electric, but the immaturity of the electricity transport network and the immediacy of the gasoline proposition made sure mr. Benz’ invention (the internal combustion engine, or ICE, patented in 1887) prevailed instead, to the point in 1910 the number of “horseless” already equated “horsed” in New York.

The rest, as they say, it’s history.

So the first technology transition in automotive was driven by the need to resolve a rather mundane issue which made life miserable for everybody:

the incumbent techhorsesICE cars
drops too much refusemanureGHG gases
in a common resourcecity streetsthe atmosphere

Sounds familiar?


di Mirella Facchin


  • 35g burro morbido
  • 180ml latte a temperatura ambiente
  • 410g farina tipo 00
  • 55g zucchero
  • 15g lievito madre disidratato
  • 1 uovo piccolo + 1 tuorlo
  • 1/4 cucchiaino estratto di vaniglia
  • 1/4 cucchiaino di sale


Sciogliere il lievito con metà del latte e 2 cucchiai di farina e lasciarlo riposare coperto al caldo per un’oretta.

Nel frattempo sciogliere il burro nel latte restante. In una ciotola mescolare farina e zucchero e, a parte, mescolare uovo, tuorlo e vaniglia.

Quando il lievito si sarà attivato (si formano bolle sulla superficie) aggiungerlo alla farina + zucchero e impastare. Aggiungere burro e latte e poi il composto di uovo e vaniglia a cui solo all’ultimo momento si aggiunge il sale. Il composto va impastato a lungo: 10 min. nell’impastatrice o 20 min. a mano.

Formare un panetto, metterlo in una ciotola e porre in luogo tiepido a lievitare per 90 min. e comunque fino al raddoppio. Coprire la ciotola con la pellicola e mettere in frigo per almeno 3 ore.

Riportare l’impasto a temperatura ambiente, stenderlo all’altezza di 1cm e con due coppapasta formare le ciambelle. Disporre ben distanziate su una placca foderata da carta da forno leggermente infarinata, coprire con un canovaccio e porre in luogo tiepido a lievitare per circa un’ora o fino al raddoppio di volume.

Friggere in abbondante olio di semi di arachide ben caldo fino a doratura, scolare su carta assorbente e passare nello zucchero semolato. Servire immediatamente.

Diario – 2^6

Today it’s my birthday: I received wishes from so many of my friends and family and I have done my best to respond to each individually, but in case I have missed you, apologies and many, many thanks.

It is also a birthday with very important musical reminiscences: when John & Paul wrote “When I’m sixty-four” they chose this number to indicate an unfathomably remote old age, so far from their present to be alien; in fact only Paul and Ringo would live to see their 64th birthday.

I was 11 when Sgt. Pepper’s was released, and to be honest, my musical tastes at the time did not include the Fab Four: an uncle of mine was a sales rep for RCA Records and he fed me unusual music for an 11yo such as Eric Burdon and Frank Zappa; they would be soon followed by Jimi, the Zep and the Dead and only later it encompassed more pop.

I have no memories of what could have been my expectations for such a distant future like my 64th birthday, but here I am: this will be my last power-of-two-birthday, and I am definitely fond of the Beatles, even though I still like the Mothers of Invention and the Animals.

Secrets of pizza-making

by Mirella Facchin

Disclaimer: I have no familiarity with groceries abroad, so some denominations may make no sense at all: I tried, wherever possible, to describe what I meant to allow readers to source the right product, whatever it might be called.

Pizza is a deceivingly simple dish which dates back to the Roman era: Virgil writes in the Aeneid of a threat by the Arpie (evil winged monsters) whereby Aeneas would suffer so much hunger to eat even their “mensae” which were the dough discs distributed instead of plates; once finished and being soaked with sauces and condiments dripping from food, they would be given as food to servants: according to some historian, this is the origin of the pizza we know today.

I had my share of discussions with American friends who genuinely though pizza was invented in the States, but there are XVIII century Italian authors who wrote about pizza as an established, well-known Neapolitan dish.

Finally, the word itself comes from the same germanic roots as “pezzo” and “piece” as well as “bissen” and its English equivalent “to bite” in all likelihood dating back to the Longobardian Kingdom (around VIII Century).

Naples or Rome?

Although the pizza Napoletana is more well-known (thin central disc with a fat border which could also be ricotta-stuffed), there is a very old variant called Romana which is thicker all around and usually sold in rectangular rather than circular servings. Given the tradition goes back to Rome (and not Naples) one should not discount the Romana.

Whatever your preference, the dough is the heart of any pizza, but it so happens the two doughs are very different in preparation and ingredients, so you got to decide which one you will prepare from the get-go.

The two other ingredients that require careful selection are the mozzarella and the tomato, where obviously the adherence to the standard may be limited by their commercial availability.

Flours come in many varieties, but lately a trend is emerging whereby they are classified according to Refinement (from totally refined to whole wheat: Type 00, 0, 1, 2 and WW) and Strength (representing its ability to withstand long leavening, i.e. the gluten level, from below W180 to W360 and above).

Neapolitan dough requires a medium strength flour, while the Romana dough uses the much stronger Manitoba flour (W350+).

Pizza napoletana

Pizza napoletana: trucchi e consigli per farla in casa
  • 750g of T1 W260 flour (if you can’t find Type1, you can use the more common Type0, replacing some with an equivalent amount of whole-wheat)
  • 450ml of water (20-22 °C)
  • 100g of whole-wheat flour
  • 10g of powdered malt or a tablespoon of acacia’s honey (or other not flavored honey)
  • 15g of dried mother yeast
  • 40ml of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20g of salt
  • 300g of tomato pulp (this is bought in cans, the difference with sauce being it’s a little thicker)
  • 400g of mozzarella filone (regular mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella have too much water in it; despite its processed aspect, this is actually the most appropriate kind)

In a big bowl mix the malt, yeast, whole-wheat flour and all the water; stir with your hands until the mixture is homogeneous; cover with a towel and let it rest for 1 hour in a warm oven (pre-heat to 30°C and turn off). When you take it out, the surface of the mix should be uneven, indicating that the leavening agent has been properly activated.

Add the flour and use your kneader to incorporate (yes, this can also be done by hand, but…); after 5 mins or so at speed 1, add the oil and AT THE VERY END, the salt (should be the very last ingredient you add); continue kneading at speed 2 for another 10 minutes or so until the mix is “incordato” (no idea what’s the English for it, the meaning is that the bowl is completely clean and all the dough is on the kneading hook).

Grease the inside of the bowl with a little oil, make up your dough in a ball and put it at the bottom, cover with the towel and put again to rest in the warm oven (see above) for 2 hours.

Remove the towel, cover the bowl with film and let it rest in your fridge for 24 hours.

Take it out of the fridge and let it reach ambient temperature for another hour, then divide it in as many pieces as you have pans (this amount of dough is enough for two 24x36cm pans).

For a rectangular shape (I have included this shape even though not very popular as it’s a bit easier to manipulate):

  • Grease generously the pans with oil and spread the dough WITH YOUR FINGERS (don’t use a rolling pin !) until it fills the pan leaving about half an inch of space all around; the dough being rather elastic, you may have to do this twice, waiting 5-10 minutes between the two.
  • While the dough rests another fifteen minutes, you prepare the toppings: put the tomato in a small pot, season with salt, pepper one teaspoonful of sugar and a tablespoon of oil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Spread evenly on the dough, two or three tablespoons per pan should suffice, but this is according to taste. Cut finely the filone and spread it according to taste.

If you’d rather have the classical round shape:

  • flour your pastry board, cut away some dough (this amount should make three pies) spread it with your fingers, then add the tomato, minced filone and other toppings according to your taste. (*)
  • Place the pizza shovel flush with the dough; have someone hold it still for you, or use your belly; grab the borders and with a swift continuous movement, slide it on the shovel (it will deform when you pull, but the dough is elastic enough to easily regain its cirular shape); open the hot oven, place the shovel at its center, then jerk it back to leave the pizza inside.

Pre-heat the oven to 220 °C (more if you use a stone slab base), place your pizzas as low as possible; cooking should not take more than 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Pizza Romana

Pinsa romana con la ricetta originale: ecco come prepararla
  • 1kg Manitoba flour
  • 800ml of warm (20-22°C) water
  • 25g (one block) of fresh brewer’s yeast
  • 20g of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • enough durum wheat flour to flour the pastry board

Put the Manitoba in a very large bowl, melt the yeast in the water and pour it all on the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until you get a sticky, semi-liquid batter: this is right, resist the temptation to add more flour !

Add the oil and only when everything else is perfectly mixed up, the last ingredient, salt. Mix until absorbed.

The compound will NOT look homogeneous or dough-like, but that’s the way it should be, don’t worry. Cover with a towel and leave it to rest for 15-20 minutes (avoid cold drafts).

Grease your hands (the mix is sticky!), spread the mix on the floured pastry board, then fold it: this means folding it in half (the mix is very soft at this stage, you might help yourself with a large spatula), then turn it around 90° and fold it again. The dough should be folded 5 times in total – this is very important as it’s the equivalent of kneading.

Put the mix back in its bowl which should be large enough to contain at least twice the amount, cover with film and put in the lowest shelf of your fridge for 24 hours.

When you take it out the next day, the surface should show big bubbles; spread it in the two well-greased pans WITH YOUR FINGERS (not a rolling pin) leaving half an inch all around, and let it rest another hour.

The official protocol allows for almost any conceivable topping on the Romana: tomato, cheese, anchovies, vegetables, anything (bar the pineapple!) remember that ham or salami is best added AFTER cooking. If you use tomato and mozzarella, see my notes above for the Napoletana

True pizza Romana is rarely done in round pies, and is often sold “al trancio” (in slices); it will be about 3/4 of an inch thick and therefore should bake as described for the Napoletana, only longer (10-15 mins). Serve immediately.

(*) Note on toppings: it’s pointless to argue which is best, but there is one which is the Queen of all pizza toppings: tradition goes that the “Margherita” was so named in 1889 to honour of HRH Margherita di Savoia, then Queen of Italy, with the three colours of the Italian flag: red (tomato), white (mozzarella) and green (basil). Now you know.

Pyramid puzzle

Many will be familiar with this puzzle which exists also as an online game; its rules are simple: you can only move one disc at a time and cannot place a disc over a smaller one. The objective is to move all discs from the C to the A position.

The entertainment value of such puzzles lies in the utter uselessness of the objective, and while it is deceivingly simple, attempting to solve it without a method leads to failure; I found an extremely elegant, recursive way to solve it and to calculate the number of moves it will take.

Obviously, moving the topmost disc from C to anywhere requires one move; moving the top two involves three moves:

  1. move the smallest disc to B
  2. move the second-smallest disc to A
  3. move the smallest disc from B to A

Since we know this, we can immediately determine that moving the top THREE discs requires 7 moves:

In fact, moving the top “n” discs always requires 2n-1 moves, allowing us to say that moving all 8 discs can be achieved in 28-1=255 moves.

The things I HAVEN’T demonstrated are WHY the number of moves is always a power of 2 minus 1 and whether this is the MINIMUM number of moves to achieve the solution.

[Guest post] La ricetta della focaccia genovese

by Mirella Facchin


  • 187g acqua
  • 19g olio
  • 7g sale
  • 3g malto
  • 299g farina (che regga una lievitazione media, tipo W260)
  • 16g lievito di birra
  • olio e acqua per cottura


500g di pasta riempiono una teglia 25×40

  1. Sciogliere acqua, sale, malto ed olio
  2. Aggiungere metà della farina fino ad ottenere una pasta densa, ma ancora liquida
  3. Aggiungere il lievito ben sbriciolato, eventualmente sciolto in un po’ dell’acqua tiepida sottratta da quella iniziale
  4. Lavorare la pasta aggiungendo la farina restante, fino ad ottenere un impasto compatto ma non duro
  5. Lasciar riposare per 10/15 minuti su un’asse di legno coperta da un telo per evitare che si formi la crosta: la pasta diventerà più asciutta e più facile da gestire
  6. Piegare la pasta in 2 (o in 4 a seconda della forza della farina) per rinforzarla
  7. Dare alla pasta una forma che ricalchi la forma della teglia dove verrà cotta, senza però stirare l’impasto
  8. Versare sul centro della teglia un po’ d’olio e deporci sopra la pasta
  9. Cospargere di olio la superficie della pasta con un pennello (sempre per evitare la crosta)
  10. Mettere a lievitare nel forno spento (30°) per circa 1 ora (raddoppio del volume)
  11. Stendere la pasta nella teglia schiacciandola e non tirandola fino ad occuparla tutta
  12. Cospargere la superficie con un velo abbondante di sale sempre per evitare la crosta
  13. Lasciar riposare circa 30 minuti
  14. Versare un po’ di acqua tiepida e poi un po’ di olio evo
  15. Formare i buchi nella pasta, usando la punta delle dita
  16. Lasciar lievitare altri 75 minuti (anche 2 ore se serve) ATTENZIONE A NON SBATTERE LA TEGLIA METTENDOLA IN FORNO
  17. *** A questo punto è possibile bloccare la lievitazione mettendola in frigo ed estraendola circa 90 minuti prima della cottura ***
  18. Infornare nel forno già caldo (220°) e cuocere per 15-20 minuti ATTENZIONE A NON FARE MOVIMENTI BRUSCHI NELL’INFORNARE
  19. Quando sarà cotta sfornare e rovesciare la focaccia per far passare l’aria anche sotto
  20. Dare una pennellata di olio sulla superficie