Bests and Worsts

A random list of people and things I like


Favorite not-widely-known books: 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.". I also read frequently the Economist, Financial Times, The New Yorker, Esquire. Well, I skim a lot.

Favorite tv shows: Game of Thrones, True Detective, Peaky Blinders, Rome, Mad Men, The Americans, Narcos.

Favorite movies: Queimada (and all Gillo Pontecorvo's), Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Apocalypse now, Barry Lyndon, La Notte, L'Eclisse (the unforgettable ending).

Favorite actors: Gian Maria Volonte, Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Marcello Mastroianni.

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

Favorite books (nonfiction): The Missing of the Somme, The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, Handbuch des autogenen trainings.

Favorite sports biography: Speed trap.

Favorite football (soccer) players: Franco Baresi, Daniel Passarella, Paul Breitner, Ruud Gullit.

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

Favorite Greco-Roman wrestlers: Karam Gaber.

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 approximately 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.

Favorite TV show: Rischiatutto.

Favorite war movies: Captain Conan (what happens after the war). Paths of Glory. 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.

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

Favorite memoir: Se questo e' un uomo, by Primo Levi.

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