Loredana Valenzano's BLOG

Something about me, my daily life, science, music, news, curiosities and so on...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Catching up

For the happiness of the readers, it is time to catch up with some pictures taken in the last week.
Emanuele discovered how to smile. He started smiling to me a week ago, then to his dad. Yesterday he showed he can smile also to strangers... especially cute girls on the tram!

In the picture below, Emanuele is ready to start his new adventure on the tram with his new baby carriage: on Friday I made a general test to see how we could get to Chemistry Department alone with the public transportation. Test passed: we started last Monday to go to work!

The BIG Sleep :)

Here I am after some days of silence. At this time you know that sometimes it happens with me. To start, the big news of the day; what I would call "THE BIG SLEEP". At last, it happened! Emanuele slept all the night through. He had the last milk yesterday evening at 23:00, he felt asleep and he woke up this morning at 6:30 (6:32 to be precise) begging for his breakfast... even though I should call it "breakslow". I am not sure that this will be already the new (very welcome!) definitive habit of our little one, but I guess we can hope that from now on we can expect this timetable to become a real habit. Useless to say that mom (especially) and dad thank Emanuele for his effort to become a big boy quikly. At the moment I am writing, he is sleeping after arranging himself on the right side of his body. He is sweeter and sweeter!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Emanuele's movie #9

Click on the picture to watch Emanuele.
Title: Playing Alone.
Where: in the bedroom.
When: last Monday morning.
Comments: in the last week, Emanuele started to enjoy playing with some toys. He menages now to stay alone in a room for 20-30 minutes. When he starts asking for company, if he still is in a good mood, it starts to be enough to say something from another room to calm him down for a while... not much, to be fair, but it is already an improvement. Besides, he uses now a new "word" to show his happiness and satisfaction: EN'GUUUUU.

From Mom & Dad

For his 2 months, Emanuele received yesterday a new baby carriage from mom & dad: a gift that he appreciated a lot during his first ride to the supermarket yesterday evening. Emanuele was awake all the way, enjoying the panorama as a big boy.

Weight checking

We went today for the weekly (not really actually) Emanuele's weight checking. He is now 5 kg, 59 cm long with 39 cm head's circonference. This means that he is perfectly on average and actually 1 cm longer than the average... maybe he wants to become as tall as zio Enrico! The Doctor was happy about the situation and gave me some advices on how to fight tireness due to the natural feeding: simply assume vitamines. In the picture: a satisfied Emanuele after lunch, a few days ago.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

2 months!

Today Emanuele is 2 months old!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday's Faces #3

Sunday's Faces #2

Sunday's Faces #1

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Going around

Waiting for the tram.

On the tram.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Picture of the week

Today Emanuele is 8 weeks old!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Science: our "new" Solar System

From Science (16 August 2006)

Our solar system has at least twelve planets, not nine as asserted in school books all over the world. That is the implication of a draft resolution for the definition of a planet, presented today by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). If the resolution is accepted, the solar system will gain three planets overnight: Ceres, formerly known as the biggest asteroid; Charon, formerly known as the largest satellite of Pluto; and 2003 UB313 (nicknamed Xena), a Pluto-like object that was discovered last year.
After the discovery of Xena, which is slightly larger than Pluto, the IAU asked a special committee to come up with a clear-cut definition of a planet. The committee, chaired by astronomer and historian Owen Gingerich of Harvard University, now proposes to define a planet as a nonstellar spherical body orbiting a star. The object must be large and massive enough to have become spherical under its own gravity. Pluto certainly fits the bill. So do the others.
The committee also proposes to officially classify Pluto and its large moon Charon as a double planet, because their common center of gravity lies somewhere in the empty space between the two bodies. Consequently, Charon itself must also be a planet, even though it is considerably smaller than our own moon. Jim Christy, who discovered Charon in 1978, says, "Thinking of myself as the discoverer of a planet is a new concept. It would be an honor."
The committee also suggests labels for different types of planets, recommending that those smaller than Mercury could be called "dwarf planets," while the eight big ones (from Mercury through Neptune) might be called "classical planets." Moreover, the small, frozen planets beyond Neptune, which take more than 200 years to orbit the sun, would officially be labeled as "plutons," to set them apart from the big ones.
Over the next few days, the draft resolution will be discussed and possibly altered at the 26th General Assembly of the IAU in Prague, Czech Republic. On 24 August, some 2500 astronomers from all over the world will be asked to vote "yes" or "no." [...]

Autumn Approaching

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Ciccio Bello"

I am presenting to you the last and most sophisticated version of the famous doll "Ciccio Bello". This model, unique on the market, can act as a real baby-boy. Among the other features: he can cry with different level of volume and in many different ways according to his needs (eating, being changed, caring, belly pain, boring). He can also produce very realistic body-liquids both from the mouth and from his cute bottom. Not to mention the possibility to pee everywhere (also on his own head!) while you have almost finished to change him. Last but not least, his skin is as soft as silk, his body is as warm as a heater, his smell is as sweet as talcum and he can give you back all the love you are able to give to him, only with a smiling look!

A quiet Sunday afternoon

Close Up

Group photo

Nature: simply wonderful

Arctic, Canada
Photograph by Norbert Rosing
A polar bear cub hangs on to its mother.

Namibia, Africa
Photograph by Chris Johns
Still just a prince, a rare king cheetah is the result of a recessive gene. Except for darker elongated spots, king cheetahs are generally identical to other cheetahs.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Playing with Emanuele

This morning we woke up around 10:00. We were supposed to go to the post office to open an account for Emanuele's future. On the other hand, after I fed and changed him, we started playing with him and when we decided to leave the bed... it was already 12:00!!! Well... we will act as responsible parents on Monday!

Science: above Antarctica

It's not just another pretty sunset for scientists working in one of the coldest places on Earth. Renae Baker, a scientist with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, snapped this picture of a rare nacreous cloud on July 25 at the country's Antarctic Mawson station. Nacreous clouds form when the fading light at sunset passes through tiny ice crystals blown along by a strong jet of stratospheric air. The clouds form only in polar latitudes and at extremely cold temperatures. "Our weather balloon measured temperatures down to minus 87 degrees Celsius in the vicinity of the cloud layer," said Baker on the Web site of the Australian Antarctic Division, a bureau of Australia's environmental department. "That's about as cold as the lowest temperatures ever recorded on the surface of the Earth. Amazingly, the winds at this height were blowing at nearly 230 kilometers per hour." The cloud formed at a height of 20 kilometers above the ground and was more than twice as tall as clouds normally seen in polar regions. The ice-cold phenomenon could help scientists understand more about atmospheric conditions and climate change. Nacreous clouds—also known as polar stratospheric clouds—contribute to the formation of the polar ozone holes. The clouds form surfaces where chemical reactions can take place that produce ozone-destroying molecules. "These clouds are more than just a curiosity," added Andrew Klekociuk, an atmospheric scientist with the Australian Antarctic Division. "They reveal extreme conditions in the atmosphere and promote chemical changes that lead to destruction of vital stratospheric ozone."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Picture of the week

Today Emanuele is 7 weeks old!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Emanuele's movie #8

Click on the picture to watch Emanuele.
Title: Sweet dreams are made of this!
Where: on the sofa in the kitchen.
When: this afternoon
Soundtrack: Hypocrysy - The Arrival (2004)
Comments: after falling asleep with the history of hard rock (Black Sabbath), we went on with Hypocrisy from Sweden.

Discovering new metal music

A few days ago Maurizio, Emanuele and I bought this cd by Wintersun (see pic), a one-man band from Finland. For those who know about Scandinavian metal music, Wintersun's music is in between Children of Bodom, Finntroll and Ensiferum. Pleasant music indeed, even though nicer to be listened in winter and foggy days :)

"So mysterious is your world,
Concealed beyond the stars
Far away from the earth,
It flows one with time and dark as the night
Million shapes and colours
Are storming inside your mind
Creating endless dimensions
Forming universes without walls"

except from the track "Starchild" (Wintersun - 2004)

Variuos things

Yesterday we went to the weekly weight checking at the public health system of our zone. Emanuele is now 4.5 kg. We also used for the first time the "passeggino" much more confortable, light and fresh than the baby carriage! Yesterday Emanuele received the visit of Prof. Roetti, one of my boss. There are no pictures of the event... obviouly, as everyone who knows Carla Roetti can imagine :) We had some nice chatting while Emanuele was sometimes awake, sometimes asleep, sometimes crying, sometimes eating. Thanks for coming to visit Emanuele, for following daily our blogs and for the kindness during the nine months of pregnancy!

Bath time!!!

And here we are... at last!!! Emanuele and his first real "public" bath!!! It was a great success. He enjoyed it a lot, moving his feet and hands in the warm water until I decided to wash his head... first with my hand, and that was ok. Then, I started dropping some water directly on his head and that was it. Anyway, we were happy of the result! We will of course repeat soon the experience.

Hard workers

Monday morning Emanuele and I went with Maurizio to his part-time job, to zio Francesco's (prozio for Emanuele) company close to Nichelino. In the picture below, we are in the office, chatting with the secretary Angela and with Deborah, zio Francesco's partner. We woke up at 7:00 with Maurizio. Emanuele was hungry and since it took no much time to feed him, we decided to go. He slept most of time, waking up only at 11:00 for his "brunch". It was a nice and different morning!

Back home... hard workers are taking some rest after lunch.