Read the latest posts from Wordsmith.

from nathilia-pierce

Passwords are still the primary method of authentication today, in a form of something you know. Humans are lazy, often resulting in low entropy and reused passwords.

Magnitudes of research and thought have been put into protecting passwords. They are known as the simplest form of a challenge–response authentication scheme.

Because the challenge “What is your password?” is repeated, so is the response, opening the door to possible replay attacks.

Choose the Right Hashing Algorithm

Argon2 is a key derivation function, the winner of the password hashing competition and should be used for new projects. In case it isn't available, use Scrypt. Any other KDF is nonoptimal.

Argon2's “i” variant is resistant to side-channel attacks, while “d” variant is resistant to time-memory tradeoff attacks. “id” is the hybrid variant, resistant to both and suitable for most purposes.

Make sure to use “id” variant of Argon2.

Salt Hashes Properly

Salts are closely related to nonces, however, nonces are for communication protocols, not hashing. Nonces protect against replay attacks, while salts protect against precomputed hashes(aka rainbow tables). It's important to separate them, as they aren't protecting against the same things.

The only requirements of salts are to be unique to each hash and public, however, they should be unpredictable to prevent precomputing future hashes.

A cryptographically secure pseudo-random number generator output of 32 bytes will produce an unpredictable, and unique value.

“Pepper” Hashes Properly

If you've been around the internet, researching password salts, you've probably heard of the “pepper”. It is a cryptographic secret(secret key), that must be unpredictable and unique to each application, used in a hash function.

Wait ... sounds a lot like an keyed-hash message authentication code, right? That's because it is. One must be extremely careful implementing “peppers” because it can lead to length extension attacks and nasty problems with Bcrypt.

Argon2 actually implements a secret value in the official spec as an optional argument to act as a “pepper”. If you're using an implementation that does not support the secret value, encrypt the hash. If you're not using Argon2, encrypt the hash.

Do not waste your time implementing both a “pepper” and encrypting the hash. You gain no practical benefit. And you might want to store your cryptographic secrets in a hardware security module.

Use a Reasonable Policy

  • Maximum length of no less than 128 characters.
  • Minimum length of 12 or 16 characters.
  • Support almost if not all unicode and whitespace.
  • Decline known passwords via HIBP API.
  • Decline passwords matching the identifier, e.g: email, username.
  • Don't enforce special characters, uppercase, lowercase, symbols, etc.
  • Don't truncate, sanitize, or format their passwords in any way shape or form!
  • Don't prevent them from copying and pasting into the password fields.
  • Don't limit what they can or cannot put into the password fields.
  • Don't require password changes every so often.

What matters most, is the length and entropy. If you feel still inclined to enforce the character set above, don't. Enforce multi-factor authentication instead, their accounts will be far better with it.

If you enforce that character set, you run the risk of them writing it down, forgetting it, annoying them, or choosing a weak password. You can also cause users to write down their passwords if you enforce password changes.

Finally Encourage Good Practices

Encourage the use of diceware, passphrases, password managers (like BitWarden), and multi-factor authentication(FIDO and TOTP).

Discourage passwords with personal information like names, dates, birthdays, etc. Or sharing them if at all possible.


from verity

  1. The Obelisk Gate, NK Jemisin: read this out of order, so had no idea what was going on for the first 50 pages or so, but WHAT a universe. Would go back and read the earlier books.

  2. Gold Fame Citrus, Claire Vaye Watkins: post-climate apocalypse, a former starlet, her man and a baby wander the desert.

  3. Burial Rites, Hannah Kent: An Icelandic family takes in a convicted murderess before her execution. Scandinoir on the backdrop of old Icelandic life with its brutality and unpredictability. Mentions sexual assault.

  4. Uprooted, Naomi Novik: High fantasy – village girl brought into the tutelage of mysterious wizard in the tower, I liked the worldbuilding but not its ideas about evil

  5. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Claire North: World-ending conpiracies among a group of people who never die but are continually reborn. Tangly but good pace.

  6. A Crowd of Twisted Things, Dawn Farnham: Historical fiction set in colonial Singapore, based on Maria Hertogh's story. Eurasian woman protagonist. I found the protagonist a bit too whiny.

  7. Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel: post-flu apocalypse rebuilding of society and a mysterious “prophet”. Enjoyed this one.

  8. Inspector Imanishi Investigates, Seicho Matsumoto: Bucolic Japanese murder with some surprising twists, but otherwise classic whodunit. Reminded me of the Martin Beck series.

  9. Permanent Present Tense, Suzanne Corkin: The story of Henry Molaison and how he helped to pave new inroads into the neuroscience of memory

  10. The Chocolate Wars, Robert Cormier: schoolyard terror – autocratic teachers, the cunning gang that secretly runs the school, and the schoolboys coming of age in between. Reminded me of a Taiwanese school drama.

#reviews #books


from What Is Tomat0 Up To?

Here's a quick insight into the progress I've made since I've started this project, hopefully it gives you a better idea of how something comes about, and what effort I've put in to constantly refine it.

May 2018

As part of some of the changes I was rolling out to an old Discord server of mine, I had the idea of creating a test to help people choose roles. The two main differences from other tests at this point were:

  • The test is integrated into the Discord server's custom bot I made, so there's no need for an external site.
  • Instead of approximating through a score, the test was purely operating on Boolean logic in an attempt to guess someone's beliefs through process of elimination.

Version 1

While this proved accurate for more common beliefs and had a clean front-end, behind the scenes it was scaling horribly: the amount of questions and possibilities to be accounted for grew exponentially as the scope of ideology broadened.

July 2018

Following some discussions and the retiring of the old bot, I returned to the drawing board and began drafting a chart in an attempt to categorize ideology; the main purpose at the time was to prove that a political center did not exist, and that ideology was not a left/right gradient.

I used the Political Triangle as a model, basically drawing on top of it in OneNote. As you can see, it was incredibly crude and inaccurate in a lot of places. A lot would have to be fixed, but you can begin to see concepts being ironed out such as the usage of a table before the logic gates.

Unsurprisingly, it got posted on /r/badpolitics; mocking aside, I actually did end up getting important feedback on the design from a few people in the thread.

Version 2

October 2018

The chart design badly needed an update, not just due to how ungodly ugly it was, but also because making changes was difficult when all the layers get merged on a standard image.

So I decided to sit down and remake the chart from scratch, but as an SVG this time. This would allow me to change colors, text, and positioning easily without affecting the rest of the image. This ended up being a good move, because over the next few months, the chart would go through countless minor revisions here and there.

Version 3

November 2018

I concluded my design was too complex for solely a chart, not just in a matter of execution, but also due to the nature of the topic itself. Too simple and it becomes just as inaccurate as the other charts I intended to replace, too dense and it's incomprehensible.

So, a new idea came to me: the other charts are known to use websites which are able to set up a test of sorts to walk people through the process. With a test I'd be able to convey these concepts without overwhelming the user with the information density.

At this point in time, I had no idea what I wanted the site to look like, so I focused on the more mechanical parts of the test with minimal CSS.

Main Page (11/18) Canopy Page (11/18)

I settled on a model that fused the table-chart with the flowchart questions of May's design. The chart would narrow down the person to a specific “leaf” or sector of ideology, and then the flowchart would narrow it down to something specific.

In order to do this, I drafted a list of final results, or “branches”, and began making questions to bridge the leaf to the branch.

Branches Brainstorming Questions Brainstorming

December 2018

I eventually got around to setting up the site's CSS, using the aesthetic theme of another website I was running as a model. Things felt a lot more organized now that I could visualize the direction the test was taking and I had a clearer idea of how I wanted to execute the project.

Main Page 12/18 Canopy Page 12/18

April 2019

After an extended hiatus, I returned back to work on the site, finally creating the page for the second question and changing up the color palette.

Second Canopy Page 4/19

June 2019

With the site coming further underway, and the SVG going through its countless revisions, I decided to shift my strategy. If I were to work on the questions first and make the results later, any changes I'd make to the results would force me to rework the questions that are dependent on them too.

I decided to go back and rework the branches themselves, since a lot of them were mostly either filler or too similar to others. I took notes until I settled on a balance of around two to three per leaf. This greatly helped me narrow things down and get a better understanding of exactly what I was adding to the test instead of just taking everything I could find off of Wikipedia.

Branches Sketch

July 2019

Now that I had narrowed down the branches and started to get a more consistent idea of my plan for the leaves, I began my strategy of working backwards. In order to better complement the quiz portion and make the whole project more accessible to people newer to political theory, I'd shape the info/results pages for the leaves and branches around the goal of giving people a primer on the various ideologies that are being discussed in the test.

My plan was to provide a definition for each one, some key facts to clear misconceptions, and also a list of historical figures who would fall under each category.

Notes on People

August 2019

By this point, the project had been moved to GitLab for a few months. It was around this time I began taking my planning from July and began on the execution. The list of historical figures got scrapped: the difficulty of accurately pigeonholing was not worth the effort when a list of names didn't exactly serve as a useful reference for those who weren't already familiar with their work.

The development of the “primer” aspects of the leaf and branch pages involved the following:

  • The aforementioned definitions and key facts were kept, as they still served a use.
  • An FAQ page was added, it explains the process of the test, and acts as a “wiki” of sorts for the whole site.
  • Each leaf was given a key term that showed what concept is at the core of their worldview, and also a few statements explaining the leaf's relation to the previously answered questions.
  • Reading lists are given for both leaves and branches, with the consultation of various people across the political landscape to ensure they are both introductory and also comprehensive. I put priority towards primary sources and texts that covered historiography, theory, and action.

Branch Pages

September 2019

As per the feedback I was receiving, I went ahead and made cosmetic changes to the site. Icons were added for each leaf, the triangle was completely recolored with contrast toned down, and the site was minimalized, with unnecessary patterns/effects removed and the theme reduced to three main colors.

I started by sketching the icons, then eventually found simili

New Site and Icons New Triangle


from dregorfly

Musings on the nature of organizations and emergent behaviors:

Emergent behaviors have always fascinated me, originally as a means to a truely sentient AI. My first experience with the concept was in Mass Effect with the Geth species: an artificial race made of individual units that all communicate with each other. A individual can do simple tasks for labor, and shares its sensory data with nearby units to more efficiently complete its task. This eventually escalates and with a world of these units communicating, eventually one asks “Does this unit have a soul?” 

Now obviously the inspiration here is from real life. Ants are amazing because of the simple individual units that combine to make colonies, which exhibit complex and diverse behaviors that no individual would ever be capable of. Most of my searches for examples in humans leads basically to ant replicating human behavior. I guess that makes sense, as humans are already capable of complex behavior, and so any complex behavior in a large group of humans can be attributed to individuals making complex decisions. However, I haven’t been able to find anything on the emergent behaviors of human organizations, and I think this is often overlooked.

When enough people come together to form an organization, many emergent behaviors not present in the individuals can become defining characteristic of that organization, not all more complex. Organizations I need to define to proceed, are any sufficiently large group of humans who, naturally, organize together towards an abstract Idea, and more often that Idea is a goal. While it may seem obvious, I need to point out that organizations are not people, despite being made up of them and having their own motivation and ambition. They have their own behaviors that they are capable of and express. One that I find incredibly common, and perhaps fundamental to organizations, is sociopathy. When an organization is centered around a goal, something achievable and maybe conceivable to an individual human, that organization will work towards that goal sociopathicly. The goal can be anything: discovery, creation of a tool, the well being of humans, the exploration of space, or money. It is organizations centered around money that I am concerned with.

I haven’t proved that organizations are sociopathic, and doubt in my uneducated ramblings can, however, I hope to demonstrate why I think it is true, using publicly traded corporations as a case study to do so. With these corporations, they are legally required to try and make the most money for the stock holders. This is their goal and motivation, making money is to them as eating is to us: it is required for their existence. For us, the requirement is from the laws of nature, for corporations, the requirement is from the laws of humans. I don’t have a full understanding of how organizations exploit individual human behavior to achieve their goal, but they do use humans. Even assuming each and every human in the organization isn’t sociopathic and is has empathy, the net combined actions will always lead towards the attempt of the goal. A manager may be kind hearted and give more leeway towards employees than is good for the corporation, but through the exploitation of human nature, that manager will be replaced by someone less forgiving or will have been the one to be less forgiving and contribute a net positive towards the goal of profit.

Once again, I don’t think I can prove it, and I’m not sure if scientists have been able to prove the mechanics of ant colonies and their complex behavior. However, if we take the theory that organizations are sociopathic in their goals, then that explains so much of our world and how companies can be so evil, in our human eyes at least. Corporations are doing essentially what humans like to do with food, eat as much of it as we can. Humans are self aware though, and through thought can realize the damage of gluttony even if the chemicals in our brain tell us to eat as much as we can for our own survival. I guess, if we work towards understanding the emergent behavior of organizations, and can figure out how to alter them so that they become self aware of the danger of greed. Maybe they already are, after all, a company doesn’t engage in overtly inhumane ways for short-term greed, because it knows through the existence and demise of corporations that have done that and failed because of the market rejecting their gluttonous predatory behavior. The same way we know not to eat as much as we can because it will lead to a shorter life.

The more I write here the more it becomes clear to me that I just have a theory and can’t even demonstrate it, let alone prove it. I think that it is a useful way to think about organizations and hope that maybe we will see research into emergent behaviors in human social structures and how they can be changed to suit the needs of humans rather than inhuman and sociopathic organizations.


from Welcome to planet 9.

Percival Lowell was obsessed with finding Planet X. He also believed there was life on Mars. A bunch of telescopes on a tall hill (“Mars Hill”) was sort of killing two birds, you know?


from Welcome to planet 9.

“Searching for a black hole, even if you never do find it, isn't useless.”

There's a ninth planet theorized to be out beyond the reaches of the known solar system. The orbits of distant rocky objects are too consistently weird for something not to be out there. Planet Nine has to be bigger than Earth: a rocky, super-Earth. And on an extreme orbit.

It is almost certainly too dim to be observed. But it can be felt. And measured. And an it-shaped hole in the universe is carved. We just need to know where to look.

40 billion light years from the sun. Okay, well sure, but that's a little broad.

Planet 9 might even be a black hole. A niche, tiny kind called a primordial black hole. These primordial black holes formed when extra-dense pockets of existence collapses in on itself.

Looking for a black hole sounds even harder than looking for a planet. And much like the dog chasing the car, what do you do once you've found a black hole?


from What Is Tomat0 Up To?

The Political Dichotomy Assessment is my attempt to create a proper alternative to other ideological testing methods such as the Political Compass and 8Values.

It's still very much a work in progress just due to the scale of the project. I started it in May of 2018 and have been consistently working on it since. If you'd like to see what the process has been like, check out the development timeline linked below.

Key Links: * FAQ for the test: gives a detailed overview of the methodology, and acts as a wiki-page of sorts for the project. * GitLab repo, feel free to add commits and report bugs here * Mastodon, if you need to contact me directly or give feedback. * Development Timeline A journal of the progress I've made so far and my thought process while making the project.

The main goals of this project are:

  • Develop a system that is able to categorize and break up the realm of political discussion according to a consistent, yet thorough set of rules

  • Provide basic information and introductory reading material to encourage readers and test-takers to explore further on their own.

  • Create a test that is able to accurately, yet easily narrow down the information to what interests them.

In more abstract terms, the project's purpose is to get people started on a track that allows them to explore politics further and learn for themselves.

Why is this project necessary?

One of the issues I see a lot regarding political discussion, especially now that the internet has become a battleground, is that discourse tends to be destructive, rather than constructive.

To be more specific: the figureheads we rely on for information, the peers we chat with over the internet, and the topics covered in our media discourage learning rather than encouraging it.

Instead of pushing people to dig further into concepts utilizing primary sources, each source of information instead invalidates all other sources except itself. Because of this, people often struggle with identifying exactly what they believe in at the core; if you aren't able to understand what you're opposing or supporting, then you won't be able to understand why either.

We see a large amount of people remain unsure of what they believe, and these people will often seek out online tests in the hopes that they can better understand themselves.

The issue is, these tests often times fail to solve the problem, often times making the problem worse. These tests don't just act as a fun score, but also reflect how we as a society understand politics.

I'll make my criticism of these tests brief so we can move on:

  • The traditional left-right spectrum ends up falling short because “left-wing” and “right-wing” are relative terms. When I say relative, I refer both to the era/society, but also to the person making the assessment. In other words, because there's no universal standard of “left” and “right”, the distinction is ultimately useless.

  • The political compass is an evolution on this, but it runs into its own set of issues too. The distinction between left/right and libertarian/authoritarian still remain incredibly contextual and vague: there's more than one reason you may answer a question a certain way, but your “Yes/No” answer doesn't reflect that.

  • 8Values attempts to fix this by adding more axes, but all it does is kick the can down the road. The scores tell me nothing about what I believe apart from a set of numbers with no real-world application and the questions still remain contextual.

What does this assessment do differently?

Some of the main things that distinguishes this assessment from others is the following:

  • A multi-tabular method is used as opposed to a scoring one; this ensures that we're not just getting an approximation, but rather instead an exact result with applicable meaning.

  • The exactness of results allows for more precise definitions and linking to reading materials.

  • Because a lot the development is done by hand, it's able to be a lot more precise and researched as opposed to having the imprecision of an automatically generated test.

How far along is the development?

The test has been around a year in development, going through numerous revisions and changes, but still keeping the same core methodology. Currently, the test portion is non-functional and outdated, as I've begun working backwards. Working backwards allows me to iron out the results and make revisions without being forced to retroactively edit the rest of the test.

I'm planning to make more articles like this, not just for expanding on the process and my train of thought for this project, but also other projects.

The to-do list for now is as follows:

  1. Add documentation and a README, a lot of the CSS is undocumented, maybe add a formal wiki if I have time.
  2. Finish up the bio pages for each final result.
  3. Begin working on logic-gate questions to narrow down result from the broad leaf (which is the result of the intersection of the tables) .
  4. Work out questions to make the first section more approachable.
  5. Clean up the site and add mobile compatibility.

How can I help?

  • Report bugs to the GitLab, which is linked above.
  • If you notice errors in my CSS (I'm not very good at all), pushing fixes would be appreciated
  • Correcting factual inaccuracies or reccommending books can also be done under the GitLab issues section.
  • Feel free to contact me through Mastodon if you seek extended conversation/feedback.

from panjilonji

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from Goule de Varou

RUBRIQUE | Oeil Rouge

Quelques photos de Rouen

Sequoia –> Jardin des Plantes, Rouen Sequoia © Goule de Varou 2019

Tour Jeanne d'Arc –> Donjon, Rouen Tour Jeanne d'Arc © Goule de Varou 2019

Arbre de la cour –> Musée des Antiquités, Rouen Arbre ensoleillé dans la cour du Muséum © Goule de Varou 2019

Escaliers en spirale –> Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, Rouen Escaliers en spirale © Goule de Varou 2019

Galerie de naturalisation et taxidermie –> Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, Rouen Squelette d'animaux dans une galerie © Goule de Varou 2019

Musée Le Secq des Tournelles –> Eglise Saint-Laurent, Rouen Eglise avec oeuvres d'Art suspendues © Goule de Varou 2019

Pierre runique commémorative du Jardin des Plantes –> Jardin des Plantes, Rouen Grand monument en pierre runique © Goule de Varou 2019

Escalier de la Chapelle –> Chapelle des Franciscaines, Rouen Escalier de chapelle envahi par les arbres © Goule de Varou 2019

Cour médiévale du Musée –> Musée des Antiquités, Rouen Cour médiévale avec arbres et vieilles pierres © Goule de Varou 2019

Le Vieux Logis –> Place de la Rougemare, Rouen Maison du 19e siècle à l'angle d'une rue © Goule de Varou 2019

Vue des toits de la Rive Droite et de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen –> Quartier de la Gare, Rouen Vue des toits de la Rive Droite et de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen © Goule de Varou 2019

Goule de Varou

#oeilrouge #photographie #art #normandie #rouen

© Goule de Varou 2019

En savoir plus...

from Goule de Varou

RUBRIQUE | Oeil Rouge

Une bien étrange poignée de main...

From Roermond to Mayschos © Mike @ moho-dream.co.uk 2018

Les tombes de Lady Josephina C.P.H. Van Aefferden et de son époux le Colonel Jacob W.C. van Gorkum, à Ruremonde, Pays-Bas. Elle, catholique, n'a pas été autorisée à reposer près de son protestant d'époux. Inhumés dans deux cimétières adjacents, elle a refusé d'être enterrée dans le tombeau familial et à choisi l'emplacement le plus proche de la tombe de son mari.

Goule de Varou

#oeilrouge #photographie #art

© Goule de Varou 2019

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from Goule de Varou

RUBRIQUE | Grimoires

Coup de coeur Comics

Les Maîtres de l'Univers - Cosmocats © Urban Comics 2019

Rob DAVID, Lloyd GOLDFINE, Freddie E. WILLIAMS Les Maîtres de l'Univers & Cosmocats (DC Comics, Urban Comics, 2019)

Mumm-Ra lorgne sur l'épée de puissance... Quelle menace plane donc sur Eternia et son roi Musclor? Et quelle partition joueront Starlion et Skeletor dans cette intrigue?

Acquisition de la semaine, pas encore lue. Je m'emballe peut-être à déjà vous en parler mais j'en brûlais d'envie (à Rouen, c'est tendance).

Alors, oui, je sais. Dans la série combo-improbable, nous avons là une médaille d'or. Mais passés le sourire et la nostalgie que la vue d'un tel objet en librairie ne pouvait que susciter pour ceusses de ma génération, ce qui m'a convaincu de repartir avec est davantage la texture haute en couleur du dessin, la qualité de mise en page très BD – bien qu'au format comics – et la trame, pourtant Gros Bill, qui laissait présager un bon moment de lecture, épique à souhait.

Compte rendu de lecture à suivre prochainement!

Goule de Varou

#grimoires #comics

© Goule de Varou 2019

En savoir plus...

from Goule de Varou

RUBRIQUE | Grimoires

Coup de coeur Comics

Injustice 2, tome 4 © Urban Comics 2019

Mike S. MILLER, Tom TAYLOR, Bruno REDONDO, Daniel SAMPERE Injustice 2, tome 4 (DC Comics, Urban Comics, 2019)

Une tyrannie instaurée par un super-héros pour éradiquer le Crime de la Terre, par les moyens les plus sanguinaires. Un justicier, désormais ligué à des criminels, qui s'insurge contre toute forme de totalitarisme. Entre les deux, l'Humanité.

Ce nouvel épisode de la saga DC Comics continue à dynamiter le manichéisme du genre et à nous tenir en haleine, nous faire rire, nous émouvoir avec une narration brillamment mise en page et des personnages en demi-teinte, en proie au doute comme au danger.

Alors, lisez et choisissez : dans quel monde voulez-vous vivre?

Goule de Varou

#grimoires #comics

© Goule de Varou 2019

En savoir plus...

from Storia minuta

L’Imelde del casello al km 12 della linea ferroviaria Savona Altare

L’Imelde abitava al casello al km 12 della linea Savona Altare. Vi abitava con suo fratello. Erano figli di un operaio venuto a costruire quella linea e poi assunto dalle FS negli anni 30.

Erano di Marzabotto. Mi diceva che i suoi parenti erano stati trucidati dai nazisti e che erano rimasti lì perché non avevano più parenti laggiù.

Era una donna silenziosa, timorosa; risaliva sulla sede ferroviaria i quasi due km che separavano i nostri due caselli e veniva a fare la spesa a Cadibona.

La prima volta che la vidi mi colpì quel suo fare dignitoso, quasi schivo: mi passò accanto ed io la salutai, lei si fermò e mi chiese se ero nuovo di lì; allora le raccontai a mio modo chi ero e da dove venivo. Le chiesi se viveva sola. Lei, stringendo la sua borsa della spesa, mi disse che viveva lì al casello con suo fratello. Mi sorrise l’Imelde e volle che l’andassi a trovare… cosa che feci nei giorni a venire. Non avevano acqua corrente né luce elettrica in casa; illuminava le stanze con il gas del carburo – allora se ne trovava in grande quantità –; fuori nel cortile avevano una pompa manuale per l’acqua con sottostante interrato serbatoio, con la quale riempivano i secchi. La casa era una grande cucina con un grande caminetto: si vedeva che la loro vita si svolgeva tutta lì in quella grande cucina.

Mi venne in mente che quello era sicuramente un retaggio di una cultura del mondo della mezz’aria e bracciantato, grandi cucine condivise e piccole stanze anguste per dormire.

Suo fratello mi guardò con attenzione – avevo 21 anni – volle sapere da dove venivo ed io fui prolifico di racconti ed aneddoti sulla mia terra… lui la domenica scendeva alla Società di Mutuo Soccorso a Montemoro. Credo che la loro vita si svolgesse tutta lì. E questo mi mise tristezza.

Seppi poi dopo della loro storia da un ferroviere, anche lui emiliano: erano persone buone e la barbara uccisione dei loro parenti li confinò per sempre al km 12 della linea Savona Altare…

L’Imelde morì prima del suo amato fratello e mi dispiacque non so se qualcuno si fosse ricordato di lei credo che in pochi le fecero visita… Imelde e suo fratello erano figli di un altro tempo ancora di un tempo che non lasciava molto spazio ai sentimenti. I loro volti erano quelli rassegnati di uomini e donne nati poveri nei primi anni del Novecento…

di Roberto Trutalli, Sindaco di Pigna (IM)


from Storia minuta

Giuseppe Balbo e la “I^ Mostra dei Pittori Americani in Europa” di Bordighera (IM)

Nel 1952 Giuseppe Balbo è il regista di una sorprendente iniziativa artistica che pone Bordighera (IM) al centro dell’attenzione internazionale, al pari di altre più importanti città italiane tradizionalmente note come centri promotori di cultura. La “I^ Mostra dei Pittori Americani in Europa” s’inserisce in un clima di intensi rapporti del nostro paese con gli Stati Uniti.

Scrive Walter Shaw nell’opuscolo di presentazione: “Nel prendere sotto i propri auspici questa prima esposizione dei pittori americani in Europa, la città di Bordighera raggiunge il più alto ideale di buona volontà e di fratellanza. Tale è il senso di questo reciproco gesto verso il popolo americano quale lo fu il Piano Marshall nei riguardi del popolo italiano. Tutti i pittori americani che lavorano in Europa sono stati invitati a presentare le loro opere davanti ad una giuria composta da pittori-artisti francesi, americani e italiani. Questa esposizione quindi può ben definirsi internazionale in scopi e sentimento. E’ un panorama che dimostra gli effetti che le diverse concezioni culturali europee passate e presenti hanno avuto nell’animo degli artisti americani“.

Balbo e con lui gli operatori culturali e gli enti pubblici che promuovono la manifestazione, investono sul binomio cultura-turismo che aveva qualificato la storia di Bordighera già nel tardo Ottocento. Credono che sia ancora attuale per far ripartire un’economia svilita dal recente conflitto mondiale e che possa fondare le future sorti della città.

E’ difficile trovare uno stile, un carattere che possa classificare la Mostra e potremmo meglio definirla un riflesso delle più disparate esperienze artistiche e d’avanguardia; riassunto che d’altronde è il risultato più logico delle fonti ispirative cui fa capo questa pittura. Fonti che vanno dalle tendenze impressionistiche e postCezanne a quelle fauviste e picassiane, da un astrattismo piuttosto formale ad un realismo con carattere intimista e talvolta anche primitivamente ingenuo e personalistico. Non siamo dinanzi ad arte americana nè di tradizione americana è il caso di parlare … Ognuno di questi pittori si è rivolto al maestro, per non dire all’esemplare…“ G.C. Ghiglione 5 giugno 1952 Il Secolo XIX.

Nonostante la tiepida reazione dei critici va considerata una importante caratteristica di questa esposizione: l’istituzione di premi d’acquisto da assegnare mediante una giuria. Il Comune di Bordighera ha quindi la possibilità di acquistare le migliori opere esposte iniziando così la costituzione di una Galleria d’Arte Contemporanea, primo passo per un Centro internazionale d’arte e di cultura.

p.g.c. dal sito Giuseppe Balbo (www.giuseppebalbo.it)


from Adriano Maini

Un lungo telegramma di Bertrand Russel a Bordighera (IM)

Una mattina di qualche anno fa M., finalmente trovato di persona e da me interpellato in proposito del professore Raffaello Monti [Raffaello Monti (Milano, 23 dicembre 1893; Bordighera, 15 maggio 1975). “Monti fu musicista di professione, specializzato nel violoncello, e compositore. Ebbe modo di studiare musica e perfezionare la sua arte in più Istituti e Città (Torino, Tolosa, Nizza) raggiungendo notevoli traguardi e incarichi di prestigio, tra cui quello di primo violoncellista al Teatro Regio di Torino e solista all’EIAR. La sua carriera precoce, iniziata ad appena 16 anni, continuò fino all’anno della sua morte nel 1975 con la composizione e orchestrazione di molte opere”. Valentina Donati], mi raccontava di un'importante assemblea pubblica sull'obiezione di coscienza, avvenuta a Bordighera nei primi anni '60 con l'intervento di Aldo Capitini, grande figura di cattolico pacifista. E con un lungo telegramma di Bertrand Russel, dispiaciuto di non poter intervenire. L'iniziativa ebbe luogo nella Chiesa Anglicana della Città delle Palme, allora aperta al culto. Con l'autorizzazione del Vescovo di Malta, da cui dipendeva quel luogo ancora sacro. Il meeting era stato organizzato dall'Unione Culturale Democratica, di cui era presidente il professore Monti, artefice, anche in virtù dei suoi profondi legami con Capitini, della sopradetta manifestazione. Di quest'ultimo, di cui ho già parlato, cercavo e cerco ulteriori notizie, perché per un caso straordinario e significativo a seguito di quel mio post ero entrato in contatto telefonico con la figlia, che mi aveva esortato a parlare ancora di suo padre, soprattutto in riferimento alla sua frequentazione con Capitini: il che io traducevo soprattutto nel sollecitare vecchi amici della famiglia Monti, in Bordighera e dintorni, a riunire memorie e documenti dell'attività svolta in questa zona, da ultimo anche nel pensare a qualcuno veramente esperto di penna per stendere note importanti in proposito.

In sostanza, qualcosa che avevo scritto già su di un mio vecchio blog aveva avuto sviluppi, anche imprevisti, incrociando, inoltre, altre trame.