Sal’s website. Based in Rome, Italy.

Entertainer. Content Developer.

Graphic Designer for digital and print media.

Bachelor of Science in Media Informatics.

Needs a lot of coffee.

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How to fix social media

How can we fix social media? Here’s an interesting article by Chris Walts:

The issue that needs to be addressed isn’t freedom of speech that’s we’ve had for decades, it’s freedom of reach.

As Aza Raskin explains, “We are guaranteed the right to freedom of speech. We are not guaranteed the right to freedom of reach. We need amplification liability for internet platforms.”

To fix “social media” I propose we run a test for a month or so: Let’s just get rid of all the like, dislike and follower count buttons from all social media platforms, remove most micro categories for ad targeting, show more random posts and even posts that would be considered contrary to your own believe bubble on everybody’s news feed and drastically limit the amount of posts, image and video uploads to just one per week. Require a minimum of 150 words per post.

Also, news organisations will not be allowed to report tweets as “news”.

Unless it’s some quality show such as “Fear Factor” or “Jersey Shore”. In that case reading tweets out loud is encouraged.

Then, check how quickly all the attention seekers, bored teens, bot farms and impulsive keyboard warriors will quietly disappear.

Racism (with Dr. Avery Smith) | Hey, Sal Podcast (Season 2)

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

This quote by American novelist James Baldwin couldn’t be more true today.

From the #metoo movement to #blacklivesmatter, this seems to be a time of reckoning and confronting the ghosts of the past in the U.S. and many countries around the world.

In this episode, I talked to Dr. Avery Smith, philosophy teacher at Loyola University Chicago and former communications officer at the food and agriculture organisation of the united nations.

The Tony Robbins phenomenon

Tony Robbins has a huge following and has transformed the lives of many, both on- and offline. But what is it that makes his message so appealing? What is his message after all? Is he the real thing after all or is he just a charlatan? The Hydra delves in to answer these questions and many more!

Comparing the Big Five personality traits

“The Big Five personality traits” is a model that groups personality traits.

The theory identifies five dimensions:

  • openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
  • conscientiousness (efficient/organised vs. extravagant/careless)
  • extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
  • agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/callous)
  • neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. resilient/confident)

The Three-Headed Hydra couldn’t resist to take the test and have some fun with the results.

How to debate on social media. Is civil discourse possible?

Is civil discourse possible on social media?

In this podcast episode of the Three-Headed Hydra Podcast, we debate about whether or not debating on social media makes sense. Personally, I believe there is not much value in it. Let me explain:

  1. In many instances, you do not know who the person you’re interacting with really is. It could be a well-programmed bot and you wouldn’t even notice it.
  2. There are limitations to the way you communicate on social media. Whether these limitations manifest themselves through limited characters or a inflexible, predefined format, or – more important – through the lack of non-verbal communication that allow for nuances that you would only pick up when talking face-to-face, it is not a suited format for debating in a meaningful way.
  3. Debating on social media is conditioned by algorithms that have trained us that the more we manage to be shared or “liked”, the more value we or our arguments have. This is very misleading as most debates happen within bubbles. If I enter a debate in “my adversaries” echo chamber, I will most certainly loose that debate if simply counting the likes on each side of the argument, no matter whether my arguments are better or not.

But even if we assume that every person on each side of the argument has good intentions. Let’s say everyone wants real, meaningful conversation. There is another major, unsolved problem.

Bridging the gap between mental models

While studying media informatics in Germany, part of our training covered Human-Computer-Interaction and how most software projects fail, for various reasons (budget, time constraints etc.). One huge problem was that the various people involved in a project, even if all of them are professionals, often use the same language, but don’t mean the same thing.

Every actor views the world through a personal, different mental model. It is impossible for the person sitting across to guess what I mean and which personal interpretations and assumptions I put into each word. There are methods to help gap that bridge and it is crucial in software development to get a developers mind and a customers mind aligned – not an easy task with professionals coming from completely different worlds.

But there is no such thing as bridging the gap of mental models in real-time shouting matches on the internet. At least none that I’ve come across.

Even if you talk with a person face-to-face, it can take months or years, before you really get to know that person, their motivations and their true intentions. Even if you do, I’m sure many readers here went through a breakup at some stage in their life, wondering how their partner wasn’t who we thought they were in all these years.

All I’m saying is, that talking, debating with another human being is complex. And the complexity of life is insufficiently mapped with social media in its current state.

The Wim Hof Method. What is the hype about?

The Wim Hof Method, created by Wim Hof aka “The Iceman”, is a mixture of frequent cold exposure, as well as breathing and other techniques. The correlation between these exercises and suppression of the innate immune response have been studied by scientists. In this episode the Hydra dives into the cold and tries to get to the bottom of what the hype is about.

The best tools to block ads on your computer

Do you sometimes wish you could block those ads on your computer? Video ads on Youtube and Facebook, banner ads on news websites or popup ads trying to fight for your attention. Not only are they very annoying, they also tend to drain your laptop batteries faster when you’re surfing the web.

The other day I had to turn off my ad blocking plugins for a project and forgot to turn them back on. Instantly I was bombarded by ads everywhere. Youtube video ads. Facebook ads.

All my regular websites suddenly were clustered with banners everywhere. I had gotten so used not seeing ads that I was shocked by how much garbage is out there now.

The best tools to block ads on your computer

Luckily we can do something about it. Here’s a list of a few tools that will help you block ads on your computer:

AdBlock This useful software blocks ads on most popular browser, including on mobile. It also blocks the Youtube video ads succesfully.

AdBlockPlus Unrelated to AdBlock, but does basically the same thing. Also very good, if some ads don’t get blocked with AdBlock you might want to try with AdBlockPlus.

Ghostery This tool blocks entire scripts running on website. The goal is to avoid those scripts from tracking you, which also includes ads. So if you’re looking for extra navigation speed and privacy on the internet, this tool will bring you a step closer to that goal.

These are the one’s I’ve used personally at one point or another, so I can recommend them. Tom’s Guide has a great list of other tools I have never used and that might do the job for you.

Be aware that some companies like Facebook are investing an enormous amount of money and resources to make sure that their ads are delivered to you; after all, this is where they make their money with. However, many ad blockers are quick to react and release updated filter lists, allowing you to block as many ads as possible.

I hope you found this article useful, if you’re not sure how to use an adblocker, here’s a video I made sometime last year:

 

Could Brazilian jiu-jitsu prevent fatal encounters with police?

Elliot Fuchs:

A person doesn’t need to have gone to medical school to understand the difference between influencing blood flow vs. oxygen flow with pressure to the throat. But there are other ways to learn this, and practicing jiu-jitsu is one of them.

Police officers in the U.S. are engaging in these maneuvers and not only have they not gone to medical school, they aren’t being trained in jiu-jitsu, either. Utilizing dangerous submissions is always risky for a street fighter, but it’s far more fatal if the combatants don’t understand what they are doing as they execute the tactics. Thus, both officers and communities they serve would be better equipped if police training included a basic level of martial arts-based competence.

It’s not a bad idea. Teaching cops Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) won’t prevent racist assholes from being racist assholes. But it might actually save many lives and can be a great tool that prevents cops from pulling a gun in the first place – combined with additional de-escalation and thorough psychological training.

First, having a basic understanding of BJJ will allow cops to de-escalate many situations without the need to pull a gun in the first place.

Having a basic understanding of BJJ and therefore how to control the other person will allow cops to keep a cool head (and refrain from using a gun), because they can be confident that – should the situation escalate – they will be able to handle it with martial arts. Especially if their partner participated in BJJ training as well.

Positive side effect: BJJ doesn’t require any punches or kicks, so there is less of a chance of hurting the opponent unnecessarily.

Second, once you know how to apply a choke properly, there will be no more fatal chokes applied “by mistake”. We choke each other continuously during our training sessions at Gracie Barra Rome and nobody dies.

The app to dominate Italian bureaucracy (at least, in theory) – “io”

People who know me are aware of the fact that I don’t like waiting around in queues. At all. I find that most of the time queuing up is useless, unpredictable, unproductive and it never makes me a happier person.

From requesting certificates, to renewing my public transport card, checking for the next bus, up to investing money online (affiliate link) – if it’s possible online, I will do it online.

And should I ever need to queue up because there really is no other option, then I try to make an appointment online beforehand, whether it’s because I have to send a package, go see a doctor, get something at the city hall and if that isn’t an option either – sometimes some platforms monitor wait times, allowing some sort of predictability about how much time will be wasted that day.

So here on day I read that the government announced “IO” (wish currently is in public Beta), an app promising to transfer all the Italian bureaucracy into the digital sphere, at your service around the clock, just a tap away. This sounds exactly like the kind of app I would like!

One app to rule them all. I like the concept.

IO - Servizi Pubblici

Honestly, I didn’t expect much but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway.

Installation:

Installing the app is easy. You can download it on the App Store if you use iOS, or on the Play Store if you use Android. The app itself is free and the installation process is pretty straightforward. Tap on “Get” (iOS) or “Install” (Android), insert your password or identify via Touch ID or Face ID. The app will then quickly download to your smartphone.

Authentication

Since you will receive official communications from the public administration, the developers of IO had to make sure that they can guarantee that you really are who you say you are.

There are two ways you can log into the app. Either with a SPID (Public System of Digital Identity) or via CIE3.0 (Electronic ID), which basically are credentials that you have to activate once through a “trusted provider”. Currently the trusted providers are:

  • Aruba
  • InfoCert
  • intesa
  • Namirial
  • Poste
  • Sielte
  • SpidItalia
  • TIM

Some providers allow you to verify your identity for free, by uploading your documentation (ID or passport) and some other information – in some cases this only takes a few minutes.

Getting the SPID

Personally I went for the PosteID, since I already had a simple account there. So all I had to do was to request the SPID via my existing account. However somehow the process didn’t finish as planned resulting in me being locked out from my original account – and then the SPID didn’t work either for about half an hour, which was confusing and frustrating.

Long story short, it took about an hour to get the SPID running, so I suppose there is some sort of approval process going on behind the scenes.

Since it’s also possible that the culprit was my browser cache, I won’t  blame it on the Poste this time (however, I have plenty of other complaints concerning other areas of their services – maybe for another day).

Logging in

The time had come for my first login. The app user interface is simple and clean, although it feels more like an Android app than an iOS app. There is currently no web version available:

From their website:

Potrò usare tutti i servizi di IO anche da browser web?

In una prima fase abbiamo deciso di concentrarci sulle applicazioni mobile e, in particolare, sulle piattaforme Android e IoS, che sono di gran lunga le più diffuse. Alcune funzioni saranno disponibili in futuro anche dal browser: inizieremo dalle funzioni relative alla gestione di privacy e sicurezza.

Small detail: I just can’t get over the fact how they write iOS in the FAQ: IoS.
It’s like someone tried to write those three letters in the weirdest way possible.

Moving on.

You can choose between four sections, including “messages”, “payments”, “services” and “profile”.

The “messages” section contains official documents sent to you by the public administration. However, for now you will only see emails sent by the dev team of IO, welcoming you to the app and giving you some ideas about how to use it.

The “payments” section allows you to add payment methods and if you have to pay a bill, then you can scan payments via a QR code or enter them manually. All transactions will be stored here.

In the “services” section you can choose available services that are available on a National level, or you can choose those for your city (in my case that’s Rome).

In the profile section you have your “codice fiscale” card available in digital form. It is similar to how you can add tickets or credit cards to Apple’s Wallet. That means if you need to scan the barcode of your codice fiscale card, you could also use this app for it (e.g. when scanning your card at the INPS).

So what can I actually do with this app?

In my case, selecting Rome, I can only choose between two options:

Sportello Unico per l’Edilizia and Sportello Unico per le Attività Produttive. Both services that are currently of no use for me as a citizen in Rome.

On a National level, the only service there is from ACI (Automobile Club d’Italia), so if you don’t have a car and don’t need to pay your “bollo”, or request a certificate of ownership, this will be useless to you as well.

And that’s it. Just crickets.

Conclusion

While I kind of like the minimalist style of the app, really at this stage it is completely and utterly useless for me.

It would be a dream if I could simply request any certificate, change my residency or pay any bills directly through this app. Or, heaven forbid, monitor the status of my procedures and requests to check if they have already been processed. That would be crazy efficient!

Unfortunately all this will depend on whether or not the various institutions will adopt the app and use the well documented API’s to offer their services through the app.

And since until now the very same institutions haven’t even managed to provide their most fundamental services on their own websites, in all honesty, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Until that day comes, the next time I’ll have to visit the public administration I will do the contrary of what John Lennon sang.

I try not to imagine all the people, because in case I didn’t make myself clear yet: I really, really don’t like queues.

Workshop dates for June are now available!

The first round of free online workshops in June covers:

  • An introduction to video editing with Final Cut Pro (English)
  • An introduction to audio production with Logic Pro (English)
  • Remote work applications and strategies (Italian)

All courses are free, about 45 minutes long and start at 19.30pm (CET). Maximum amount of participants: 20.
Sign up here: http://heysal.net/courses/

All you need is a web browser and an internet connection. Participants will receive the invite link on the same day the workshop is happening.

What is better? Jack of all trades vs. becoming a specialist?

What is better? Being a “Jack of all trades” vs. becoming a specialist? The Hydra wraps its three heads around yet another complex topic. If we could, we would all expand our skills and knowledge into many different fields, while also mastering each fully and in-depth. Unfortunately often a choice has to be made between exploring various topics horizontally vs. digging deep into a topic vertically. Is there a way to do both? What is better? How does it affect the way you interact with the world?

We are living in the golden age of nonsense

Good points made by Hasan Minhaj on Patriot Act about the current state of the news industry:

Think about where you get your information. Between cable news, Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. We are living in the golden age of nonsense.

The business model of “breaking the news” all the time has definitely broken the news industry. A twitter comment is now considered breaking news. This is insane. I wonder how much longer this model can sustain itself. People clearly yearn for something different, away from a 24h-cycle of non-stop sensationalism.

And when good journalism disappears, you know what’s gonna fill that vacuum? Russian bots and bullshit like this.

I think we’ve already crossed that line a while ago.

Regret – What to do about it?

The Hydra devours a big chunk of regret in this podcast episode! Yummy. Everyone has regrets. What is the right course of action? How should you cope with it? Can you turn regret into positive action? Is regret a sign that you live in the past or is it a testimony for your capability to analyse and improve your actions?

Did Joe Rogan sell out to Spotify?

The Hydra is hungry and feeds on information! What happens once Joe Rogan will become available exclusively on Spotify? What are the technical, philosophical and practical implications? Did he sell out? Will everything remain the same? Will Joe regret the deal? Should he have gotten more money?

Three heads are better than one!
If you enjoy chatting and chuckling on psychological and physiological topics, we hope you’ll enjoy this as much as we do! The Three-Headed Hydra podcast is the fruit of Sal, Den and James’ experiences and research on a given topic in each episode.

Why the hydra?
In archetypal mythology, dragons guard piles of gold; overcoming fears can bring great rewards. We won’t shy away from challenging ourselves and each other in this podcast and we’ll have a great time doing it!

Enjoy!

The government places its bets on the Immuni app. Will Italians trust it?

There’s an app developed and promoted by the Italian Ministry of Health called Immuni – but will Italians trust it?

The goal is to track and contain new COVID-19 cases.

A comment by Massimo Mantellini on Internazionale points out some concerns:

La ventilazione forzata in terapia intensiva da applicare a molte decine di pazienti contemporaneamente mal si accorderà con una meditata analisi del General data protection regulation (Gdpr) o con un interessante scontro di posizioni sul tipo di licenza open source da utilizzare per Immuni. Così come le molte ragionevoli perplessità sulla privacy dei cittadini messa a rischio non terranno conto delle ampie e ripetute lesioni di quegli stessi diritti che quei medesimi cittadini subiscono da anni nell’indifferenza generale. Improvvisamente Immuni, un’app pensata in fretta per salvarci, sarà il canestro dentro il quale osservare tutti i mali del mondo.

Of course the app is backed by the same government bringing you other “successful” apps such as IO (Just released in April. Anyone ever heard of it? It promises to digitalise all interactions with the public administration…  on paper), the same government that promises a discount for bicycles purchased after May 4th 2020 (conveniently forgetting to mention that you should also ask for an invoice, not just the receipt. No luck if the government runs out of funds first, either). All from the comfort of an app – which, by the way, the Ministry of the Environment hasn’t even developed yet.

Will Italians trust the tech side of the Immuni app?

In order for this to work, it takes a lot of trust. The app is based on contact tracing technology by one company that has a fairly good reputation regarding privacy – or at least appears to be trying hard and one that doesn’t seem to care too much about it.

But let’s assume people don’t care or understand how the data is kept private behind the scenes.

Will Italians trust the government?

They still need to trust the government. The same government that, due to a technical glitch, displayed private and sensitive data of citizens to complete strangers just weeks ago. The same government that introduced the obligatory electronic invoicing system last year, amid massive technical problems.

And I’m sure some older readers really have a special place in their hearts for a government famous for putting into action such trustworthy policies, as happend on the 10th of July 1992 when citizens woke up and wondered why they had less money on their bank account. Yes, the Italian government had the glorious idea to withdraw 6% from every bank account in Italy – the so-called “prelievo forzoso”, the forced withdrawal, over night. Just like that. Some still speculate this could happen again in the future.

So will Immuni be a success? What can possibly go wrong.

About race and discrimination in the U.S. and Italy

Yes, I parlayed the persistent rejections of society, which today might be called micro-aggressions, into reservoirs of energy to achieve. I learned that from my father, himself active in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

In a way, I am who I am precisely because countless people, by their actions or inactions, said I could never be what I am. But what if you don’t have this deep supply of fuel? What becomes of you? Who from historically disenfranchised communities, including women, LGBTQ+, and anybody of color, are missing—falling shy of their full potential because they ran out of energy and gave up trying.

This post of Neil DeGrasse Tyson made me think of my grandfather from Abruzzo who lived in a world seemingly different compared to the one we live in today.

He arrived in Germany as a guest worker in February 1960. Luckily there were many people willing to help him, but undeniably racism was still very much present in post-war Germany as well. Some of it was covert, some in the open. From what I remember from his stories, the covert racism often was worse because someone would wear a friendly mask in front of him, while plotting against him behind his back, but there was no lack of open display of racism either.

Luckily he was a tough cookie and the more he was challenged, the more his “deep supply of fuel” would motivate him to double his efforts. He mastered the German language in a record time. He always worked harder than anyone else. He always set a positive example. And he passed on his tenacity to everyone in his family.

Whenever I was called “Spaghettifresser” or “Pizzafresser” by some idiots at school in Germany or if a job interview started with a challenging: “So… you are Italian!?” I never thought much of it. But that’s probably because most of the time, if nobody knew my Italian name and if I wouldn’t dress up too “Italian” (Yes, that’s possible. Believe it or not, there was a time during my teens when I went all Jersey Shore, clothing-wise), nobody could tell or suspect or even be tempted to create an “us” vs. “them” dynamic, because nobody knew they could apply the “them” tag to me.

Of course that was only possible because I am white. So if incidents of racism and discrimination could happen to my grandfather and, in some circumstances, to my younger self while I lived abroad, what happens if you do not have the luxury to just transition into “stealth mode” and go on with your life? What if just by being a black person someone can attribute a “them” tag to you at any time, in any circumstance – and that alone can put your life at risk? Just because you’re walking down a street? Driving in your car? Going for a run? Or because you’re simply travelling home?

But don’t be fooled. While the amount of incidents in Italy don’t seem to be comparable to those in the U.S., they do exist, slavery still exists very much in plain sight and there is a history of violence, bigotry and discrimination here as well, both within the country (North vs. South) as well against other ethnicities. Some data suggest that Italy is possibly one of the most racist countries in Europe. Something you wouldn’t expect of a country known for its beaches, Mediterranean lifestyle and hospitality. Does this mean that everyone here is racist? Of course not.

Many of these problems are very complex and the solutions will be different within every country or even state, region and county. Not every act of discrimination is racism. When you choose your friends you are discriminating against other people who will not be your friends. Discrimination can also be a choice of preference in the kind of partner that you like vs. one you do not like (without any malevolence versus the other person you did not choose). When it is dark and you see a group of young males hanging around in a dark part of the street and you switch to the other side of the street, you may not be racist but applying a risk analysis.
Not every failing of the state is caused by imperialistic tendencies (in fact, if anything, the Italian system of bureaucracy has been equally inefficient and frustrating for most citizens, independent of race, age or gender). Not every person yelling at somebody of another race is racist. We all know that we Italians can be very passionate and loud, independent of who we have in front of us.

Whether it is possible to change people’s minds, either by open conversation or by shutting down fascist and racist institutions, whether more equal and more powerful laws will eliminate the problem, I don’t know.

I guess it’s a good start to just not be racist. To judge everyone individually for their actions. A good person is a good person no matter where they are from. An asshole remains an asshole, independent of the color of their skin. Simple as that.

150+ live music venues that let you perform live in Rome, Italy

So you’re looking for live music venues in Rome, Italy? The file below could be a good starting point and a useful document to organise your own venue research.

Why did I create this live music venue reference?

After my arrival in Rome, Italy almost a decade ago and while exploring this beautiful city I began to make notes about live music venues I came across. From small pubs hosting a random event to professional live music venues with a proper backline. Later, after socialising more and getting to know more people, I collected additional information about who to contact to get gigs.

I also added any complementary information I would find out about a specific venue. During this period, more often than not, I was passed on from one person to another until I finally found out who actually manages the live music in each venue. This was a very frustrating and time-consuming process (especially since it involved a lot of walking). But in the end every result has been useful to me and was added to my notes.

Download 

There are many stories to tell about those times, but I won’t bother you with these in this post. So long story short, the collection of my old notes are all now made available in the following table that includes about 180 live music venues where you can perform.

Disclaimer: Please note that this file is from 2015. I haven’t updated it since, but a new, updated version is planned. If that is something you are interested in, let me know

Obviously, since 2015 a lot of venues do no longer exist. Rome, on one hand, is a very static city and little does change over long periods of time. On the other hand, live music venues keep shutting down one after another. This happens at a greater pace than new ones are being opened.

As if things aren’t bad enough, the landscape of venues will be looking very different post Covid-19. Still, if you want to find gigs in any city i figure it’s a good idea to be organised, first gather all possible options, make your strategies about how you think is the best way to promote your work and then take it from there.

The list is provided both as a PDF for easy reference, but you can also download it as an Excel or Numbers file and of course you’re free to use it as a starting point for your own research.

I hope you find it useful!

Stay safe!
Sal

Download as  PDF (66 downloads) | Excel (20 downloads)  | Numbers (7 downloads)

P.S.: I have removed some of the more unfiltered and unflattering notes, however for your amusement I kept one comment regarding stoned staff members in one venue. Of course, this is no longer true and said staff no longer works there.

What’s next?

If you want to get involved and help me create and maintain an up-to-date list, get in touch here.

Once I have created an updated 2020 version of this file, I will publish it here. Either check back in a few weeks, or conveniently use the bell icon (in the lower right corner) to receive notifications about any new posts here!

Also, if you got a gig thanks to this list, consider getting me an espresso. ☕️

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

Hey!

Welcome to my new website, home of my podcasts, projects, thoughts and resources I like to share and who knows what else in the future! Exciting times. If you haven’t done so already, consider activating the notifications on this website, so you will be notified whenever I publish a new freebie, such as a list of over 100 venues for live music, very useful if you’re a musician (or you know one) who is looking for gigs in Italy.

 

Hey, Sal! Podcast #28 – Dave Adams

In this episode of the Hey, Sal! Podcast I talk to Dave Adam is a singer-songwriter from Georgia. He’s been working hard on his debut album release, “Why”, and has also been busy traveling and playing gigs across Europe. He’s been studying at the St. Louis music college in Italy and his influences include Clapton, Dylan, Sting, Dave Matthews, and all the old time great blues musicians of Chicago and the Delta. He reached the semi-finals of Poland’s “The Voice”.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #27 – Dominique von Rohr, James Egerton

Dominique is a journalist and content writer from Switzerland. She lives in Rome and writes “stories of living abroad’s more awkward moments” on her blog https://www.vonrome.com.

James Egerton is an athlete. He has participated at the Iron Man Race, the New York Marathon and dozens of other races and teacher at the International House Accademia Britannica in Rome.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #26 – Peter’s Farewell!

This is going to be a rather unusual episode of the Hey, Sal! Podcast. Intern Peter has been with the podcast for a few months now and been an integral part of the show eversince. In this episode we look behind the scenes and check if Peter actually enjoyed working on the team.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #25 – Fabrizio Fontanelli

Fabrizio Fontanelli is a songwriter / musician, blogger, events manager, producer and traveller. If you are in the music scene in Rome, Italy you have met him. In this episode we talk about his time in Ireland and how he got to know and became friends with personalities such as Glenn Hansard (you can see them perform together in this clip here, too):

Hey, Sal! Podcast #24 – Nino Tropiano, Grace Guzman

This week Sal had a chat with movie maker Nino Tropiano and artist Grace Guzman. Nino Tropiano’s new movie “NDOTO YA Samira” premiered in Zanzibar this summer and premiered at the RIFF Awards at the “Nuovo Cinema Aquila” in Pigneto, Rome. It tells the story of a Zanzibari woman, Samira, who aspires to have a family like all of her friends but is also determined to pursue higher education and a career. Throughout 7 years of her life, social pressure and the respect of traditions, constantly confront her to choosing one or the other. Grace Guzman began her career modelling at the age of 9, before studying music and dancing and collaborating in various projects, before reaching national recognition with her appearance in the popular Columbian music reality show “Yo me llamo”. She has been featured on “Revista SoHo” in Columbia and on the cover of “VIP” and premiered as an actress on the TV Series “Chica Vampiro” in the role of Marylin Monroe.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #22 – Elisabeth Cutler (Songwriter, Guitarist)

Singer-song-diarist Elisabeth Cutler cheekily calls her style ‘My World Music’. But it is a world of emotions every one can relate to: Heartbreak and passion, promises and fears, discovery and loss. Intimate and honest and drawing from folk, jazz and rock, her songs find unique ways of speaking of these familar places through the beauty of intense, memorable imagery. It is a fresh take on an old theme, a poetic dialogue between words and music – and certainly a lot more than 3-chords-&-the-truth.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #21 – Patrizia Di Gregorio (CEO of Expats Living in Rome)

The story of Patrizia di Gregorio is one of struggle, defeat, but also motivation, hope and victory. Patrizia Di Gregorio is the founder of Expats living in Rome, the number one international social network based in Rome – in this podcast she opens up about a side you may didn’t know about her!