Most all Americans have heard about shopping malls called The Galleria. I don’t know a large city in the U.S. that doesn’t have one. But what hardly any Americans know is that this concept dates back to an original Galleria, in the north Italian city of Milano. If you go there, you will not just be impressed – if you are an American and not accustomed to sights like this, there is a danger your eyeballs might explode:
Officially it’s known as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and it is actually quite a recent building, dating back to around 1867. Inside, its filled with very high priced boutiques. But the real tourist attraction is a tile inlay of the Bull of Turin in the middle of the mall, shown here:
It is widely believed that if you spin around the bull with your heel three times, you’ll receive good luck.
Around 20 years ago, when struggling to decide if I should shift from a career as a research physicist to a career in IT, I was impressed with the idea that IT changed faster than physics – so I expected a more dynamic, exciting field. What little did I know!
In 1973 my father was editor of the world’s first IT magazine, and he wrote an article entitled “To rollout successful systems, first debug the people problem.” I’m still trying to find a copy to post. It was all about management of change when introducing new IT systems, and the article is 100% valid today.
A few years later in 1975 an IBM engineer, Fred Brooks, wrote a fabulous book entitled “The Mythical Man Month” containing his wisdom and advice for software engineering projects:
After nearly 45 years, hardly any of the most important core principles has changed. The author himself writes in his newest addition:
“In preparing my update, I was struck by how few of the propositions have been critiqued, proven, or disproven by ongoing software research and experience.”
So I guess IT has the best of both worlds: new technologies are cool (I was impressed how my Apple MacBook actually logged into my FitBit scale – not the other way around!), new methodologies are exciting (even Agile is now ancient!), but just like in physics, the core principles don’t change.
A view of the castle from below:
I’ve written many blogs about storks, and this is my latest snap, taken at the Franciscan cloister of Hegne just across from the Southern German village of Allensbach:
This little fellow is not an unusual sight in Southern Germany; I took this snap in the tiny hamlet of Hegne next to the village of Allensbach:
There are some people who would refer to this little guy incorrectly as a Blindschleich, or blind worm – but you can see from his fine peeper’s that he’s anything but blind.