October 9, 1963.
The town of Longarone slowly drifts off to sleep. It's twenty to 11pm, and it's been raining for a while now.
Longarone lies at the end of the Vajont valley, which is barred by a newly-constructed dam - one of the tallest in the world. In 1960 and 1961, landslides and small earthquakes had been reported, and a larger landslide led to the construction of an overflow tunnel; calculations showed that a landslide could have catastrophic effects if the water level came within 20 metres from the brim, and thus the water was kept under the -25m mark.
Throughout 1963, signs of a future landslide became visible on the side of Mount Toc, and engineers resolved to lower the water mark, in order to accommodate the extra volume.
In the night of October 9, the landslide proved to be much more massive than predicted. And very, very fast.
260 million cubic metres (more than 9 billion cubic feet) plunged into the basin at speeds up to 110 km/h (70mph).
The resulting wave spread on the other side of the basin, wiping away a few small villages, and towards the dam itself.
A tsunami-like wave, 200 metres tall, topped the dam and roared towards Longarone. In the town itself, no buildings in line with the mouth of the valley were left standing.
In the image above, the wave would have pretty much obscured the visible sky.
1910 people lost their lives.
The dam itself was, and still is, intact. Only the top metre of masonry and infrastructure was blown away.
 Toc comes from the Friulian "patoc", which means "rotten". Guess why.
EDIT: more pictures: http://www.corriere.it/foto-gallery/reportage/cronache/13_ottobre_04/vajont-foto-evaristo-fusar-30724ea4-2cfe-11e3-bdb2-af0e27e54db3.shtml#1 - the first caption contains the sentence "Primary school pupils numbered 226: 186 died."
So I had a doctor's appointment yesterday, because I tolerate less and less the brightness during the day, especially while driving.
He visits me, and says "well, there's little you can do; it'll get brighter and brighter, until everything will be a whited-out blob, and you'll need welder's goggles to see."
He takes a brief look at my terrified face, and bursts into laughter, saying "just kidding, it's just your hypersensitivity and probably the motorbike's windshield refracting light: check back in two months to be sure."
I have the best doctor ever
(it's the same doctor that, two years ago when I went to the hospital for a check-up, said "well, it's a routine examination. Though my mother happened to undergo a routine surgical procedure and died.")
That awesome moment when you plan out a route ( http://goo.gl/maps/uovxL ) to keep track of your training, in order to motivate yourself to walk at least 500 km at a sustained pace this year
That awkward moment when you realise that it's just what Albert Speer did to pass the time in Spandau prison
Ladies and gentlemen, the only person that managed to invoke Godwin's Law on his training! *curtsy*
(note to self: inspect ALL rollercoasters before using them, to make sure the Philadelphia Toboggan Company wasn't involved in its building)
There was a protest in front of a Hollister store in Texas protesting the fact that a mother was shown off the premises for nursing her child (oh noes) (story: http://www.khou.com/news/local/Mothers-protest-Hollister-store-over-nursing-incident-185765782.html )
Amid said protest, I present you the classiest sneaky asshat in a long time:
(source: http://www.churchofe...ensus-2011.aspx )
What they seem to omit (or admit very, very reluctantly) is that in 2001 71.7% of the population identified as Christian.
WAR IS PEACE, GUYS
"ermahgerd muslim invasion": from 3 to 4.8%
No religion: from 14 to 25% :o
Jedi knights are about 175,000, more than halved since 2001, damn the Empire
(6,242 put "Heavy Metal" as their religion, which is comforting)
Yesterday the Italian parliament passed a law equiparating children out of wedlock to 'legitimate' children with regard to succession rights, recognisation of "illegitimate" children (born from extramarital affairs), adoption (until now, 'illegitimate' children had legal relationship only with his mother and father, Had these two died or gotten permanently impaired, the child wouldn't be entrusted to other relatives, but put up for adoption. Idiotic? Ask the Vatican.), etc.
Members of the 'catholic wing' of right-wing parties protested the law, saying that it will lead to "a complete recognisation of incest" (wait what).
My opinion about these people: go die in a fire, you medieval pieces of fascist shizzle