Bests and Worsts

A random list of people and things I like


Favorite books read by just 3 other people in the world: The Boz, My War Memories by Erich Ludendorff, The Super-Athletes

Favorite movie since August 2013*Memories of Murder. (*the listed movie is changed when I watch a movie that is better than the one listed. December 2013: still my favorite). I liked a lot "The Wolf of Wall Street" too. And Shutter Island. But I still recommend Memories of Murder if you haven't watched it.

Favorite newspaper series: Lunch with the FT (Financial Times). Donald Keene's interview by David Pilling sits right among my favorites. How abut this amazing ending? "Keene’s eyes are moist. He is staring past me or through me. The restaurant is still quite empty but Keene has flooded it with the memories of people, mostly long dead. He stands to leave and is helped up the narrow stairs to the city above. Down in the basement, I am left at the empty table. There is nothing, not even the wind in the pines."

Favorite tv shows: Game of Thrones, Newsroom, True Detective (1st season, I happen to have liked the 2nd too). Peaky Blinders, Rome, Mad Men, The Americans, Narcos.

Favorite movies: Queimada, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Apocalypse now.

Favorite (and best) actors: Gian Maria Volonte, Marlon Brando.

Favorite books (fiction): Heart of Darkness, Shibumi, Berlin Noir, The Boys of Paul Street, Divine Comedy, All Quiet on the Western Front, all Sherlock Holmes, L.A. Confidential, all Captain Alatriste.

Favorite books (nonfiction): The Missing of the Somme, The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, Handbuch des autogenen trainings (I am working on a translation – well, I was).

Favorite sports biography: Speed trap.

Favorite football (soccer) players: Franco Baresi (leader of leaders), Daniel Passarella (134 goals in 451 matches as a defender), Paul Breitner (kicking the penalty at the 1974 World Cup final Germany-Netherlands when you are 23 years old and it is Germany 0 - Netherlands 1 at the Olympiastadion in Munich, well...), Ruud Gullit (a giant among kids at the time).

Favorite sports moment: Yuri Chechi winning the rings in gymnastics at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Favorite Greco-Roman wrestlers: Aleksandr Karelin. Karam Gaber, arguably the most spectacular wrestler ever.

Favorite Freestyle wrestler: Buvaisar Saitiev.

Favorite weightlifter: Pyrros Dimas. He is everybody's favorite anyway.

Favorite coach (individual sport): Charlie Francis

Favorite coach (team sport): Arrigo Sacchi. Rinus Michels invented modern football, Sacchi made it better. 

Favorite equation: Taylor expansion. If you make the domain small enough, non-linear becomes linear.

Favorite monuments: First World War Memorial of Redipuglia, First World War Memorial to the Fallen of the 4th Regiment of the Italian Alpine Troopers in Tolmin.

Favorite species: marble trout Salmo marmoratus. It made me travel the world.

Favorite statistics book: Regression Modeling Strategies by Frank Harrell.

Favorite game: Trivial Pursuit. Anything with questions.

Best tv program ever: Rischiatutto.

Favorite war movies: Captain Conan. What happens after the war. Paths of Glory, for the assault of the 'Ant Hill'. La Grande Guerra by Monicelli.

Favorite western movies: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, For a Few Dollars More, A Fistful of Dollars, Duck, You Sucker (all right, all Sergio Leone's movies), The Magnificent Seven.

Best bookstore: Strand (New York). El Ateneo Grand Splendid (Buenos Aires).

Favorite memoir: Se questo e' un uomo, by Primo Levi. Curiously, it was rejected by Einaudi (the publishing company, not the second President of the Italian Republic) in 1947.

Favorite bodybuilder: Dave Draper. Draper and I in 2012.