No Kidding!

eggs and bacon1      eggs and bacon 2        On first glance these yummy eggs and bacon seem to have come straight from the pan!  In reality, this dish  is actually made out of  fondant icing — also commonly referred to simply as fondant.
I made the fondant cake topper  in less than two hours after having watched the following tutorial:
(Note: This video will show you how to make eggs and bacon from polymer clay. There is no significant difference between modeling polymer clay and modeling fondant icing. Thus, this tutorial will work well for eggs and bacon made out of fondant.)
Have fun!



Gay prisoners at Sachsenhausen, 1938


In the above image, nine men dressed in identical striped shirts seem to march or walk in a line. Beside them a man in uniform gives the back to the photographer. The expression on the men’s faces says much about what they might be thinking in this specific situation. They seem sad, scared, cold, and hungry. On their striped shirts, there is a white triangular badge and below it a white rectangular badge with a four digit number. The image is in black and white. The title of the image says, “Gay prisoners at Sachsenhausen, 1938.”

The individual items that draw my attention are the triangular badges. During World War II, gay men from Berlin were sent to the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen, near Berlin–one of the earliest concentration camp opened by the Nazi Regime. The concentration camp was primarily used for political prisoners and Jews, but it was also used as a labor camp. To identify the reason why prisoners were sent to concentration camps, the Nazi Regime created a badge coding system. Camp badges were primarily triangular pieces of fabric with different colors. Red triangles for political prisoners, green triangles for “professional criminals”, purple triangles for Jehovah‘s Witnesses, and pink triangles for gay prisoners.

This image is so powerful not just because it shows the feelings and destiny of German homosexuals, but because it documents the absolute power of the Nazi regime over German people and its nonsensical cruelty.

The image reveals a few characteristics of the Nazi period during World War II. In the year 1933, when Hitler becomes the leader of the third Reich, the Nazi Regime began to persecute not only Jews, but also all human beings considered racially inferior. German Homosexuals   whose sexual orientation was considered an interference to the expansion of the German population were also persecuted and sent to concentration camps. German homosexuals were considered weak individuals unable to fight and unwilling to create a traditional German family. During the Nazi Regime, Paragraph 175 of the German Criminal Code prohibited sexual acts between men and considered Homosexuality an immoral act. “In Nazi ideology, homosexuality was not merely immoral, nor was it simply a set of acts defined in the penal code. Rather, it was a sickness, something that had to be cured. Homosexuals were separated from other prisoners in concentration camps to prevent the spread of the “disease.” In Buchenwald, some were experimented upon with male hormones, a system of torture that yielded no medical gains. And, if the affliction couldn’t be cured, it would be erased. Castration became a kind of plea bargain, a humiliating, degrading way of avoiding the concentration camps.” (Retrieved from

Im Nebel–A Poem by Hermann Hesse ( in three languages)

I  am particularly fond of foggy days. In Treviso, my hometown, a foggy day smells of spring, wood smoke and marc; ghosts and apple pies. In Charlotte, this foggy day smells of poetry.

Since the beginning of time, the weather has inspired stories and poems. Therefore, today, I would like to propose a poem. A poem by Hermann Hesse in Italian, English, and German.  A poem in three languages that will guide you into the intricate labyrinth of foreign words, but also into the musicality and  facets that only a foreign language may create.

Im Nebel by Hermann Hesse (German version)

In The Fog by Hermann Hesse (English version)

Strano Vagare Nella Nebbia by Hermann Hesse (Italian version)

The Origins of APA Style

I am not a great admirer of rubrics or of rules that force the writer “inside the box.” Yet, I am fascinated by APA style and its long list of details, commas, periods, parentheses, and quotation marks. It would take a whole year to understand and apply its rules. The following link explains the origins of the APA style –and why there are so many rules. I thought this might be interesting to you.

The Crocodile’s Dilemma and the Snow

Today is snowing.You have to understand that in Charlotte NC, snow is considered a calamity. White dust on rooftops calls immediately for delays and closings, but not today. Today, Charlotte’s schools are open. Schools were closed last week, for three days, due to chances of ice and snow, which never happened. Today is snowing and schools are open. This is one of the paradoxes of the city in which I live. Chances of snow lead to closing the school; actual snow keeps the school open. This anecdote also leads to the word paradox—“a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.”(

Paradoxes are food for thought. Take, as an example, the Crocodile’s dilemma. Dating back to the ancient Greeks, the crocodile’s dilemma is an unsolvable problem. A crocodile captures a child and promises his father that he will release the child only if the father can tell in advance, what the crocodile is going to do. The father says that the crocodile will not give the child back. What should the crocodile do?

What is your favorite paradox?


And Could You? A Poem by Majakowskij

How many poems, narratives, and works of art are lost in translation during our daily reading? How many pieces of the soul of a poet are dispersed during the translation from one language to another? How many words are misunderstood, breaded in cultural habits, and then fried in  oily misunderstandings?

Today,  I was re-reading a poem by Majakowskij – a poet who I loved in the past and who, even after so many years, still fascinates me. I was reading the poem And Could You? in  Italian, savoring the words as if they were jelly candy. Soft words made of liquid letters that touch the heart of the reader and melt in his /her soul. Harsh and angular words shaped as a bittersweet chocolate bar.

I would  like to know the Russian language. I would like to know the original words in the poem. I would like to know if the poem was lost in translation in his journey from the Russian language to the English language; from the Russian language to the Italian language.

I wonder if the translations might have changed the meaning of the poem … as a guitar that continues to be wrongly tuned by different musicians. I wonder if a translator might be able to play the strings of the soul, as the poet does in his /her native language.

English version of the poem

I suddenly smeared the weekday map
splashing paint from a glass;
On a plate of aspic
I revealed
the ocean’s slanted cheek.
On the scales of a tin fish
I read the summons of new lips.
And you
could you perform
a nocturne on a drainpipe flute?

Italian version of the poem

Ma Voi Potreste?

Imbrattai di colpo la carta dei giorni triti,

Spruzzandovi colore di un bicchiere;

Su un piatto di gelatina mostrai

Gli zigomi sghembi dell’oceano.

Sulla squama d’un pesce di latta

Lessi gli invite di nuove labbra.

Ma voi


Suonare un notturno

Su un flauto di grondaie?

Russian version of the poem

Я сразу смазал карту будня,
плеснувши краску из стакана;
я показал на блюде студня
косые скулы океана.
На чешуе жестяной рыбы
прочел я зовы новых губ.
А вы
ноктюрн сыграть
могли бы
на флейте водосточных труб?

The Daily Writer

At the beginning of each new year, we make a promise to reduce stress, to lose weight , to exercise more, to make more money, to earn our diploma, to love and respect other people more. We make a promise to be more creative, to paint more, to read more, and to write more. We start each new year making a promise that we are afraid to fulfill. We desire to paint, but we do not paint. We desire to be more creative but we do not create. For example,  I desire to write but I do not write. I find endless excuses,

it is too difficult to write in another language…

…I don’t have anything to write…

…I don’t have time…

…I  don’t have…

…I do not…

…I DO.

I do have the time to write ,

I do have the desire to write,

I do have the courage to write in another language!

This year I make the promise to write every day for a whole year with the support of the Daily Writer by Fred White.