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Friday, December 23, 2011

On Holiday Wishes

Ever since Time was chopped up into segments, Humanity has felt the need to apportion subjectivities, and Absolute Truths,  to various periods: the need to celebrate Wintertime; the need to celebrate Summertime; the need to celebrate sowing and harvesting;  and there was a time to kill, and a time to live.

Time, then immaterial, became objective, tangible. You can now almost touch it. Do you own It?

Many of you, i know, are unalloyed atheists and agnostics and you could not care two hoots about this or that celebration. Some of you are Spiritual. Some of you are just humans without an agenda.

Regardless of how you view Time, i thought it would be okay to wish you happy holidays and that the next segment, be It and end or a beginning, be filled with attainments and achievements, quantic and otherwise, and that you feel you have evolved a notch or two towards whatever you think is your personal Evolution.

Whatever you've been drilled into, make sure you make the most out It. Once It's gone by, It can never be retrieved.

Many cheers!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

On Puppy-Killing Human Beings

We unalloyedly hate to air our dirty laundry for all and sundry to see and talk about. It pays to turn our sight inwards now and then. Things we will dig up...

But then,  these are shocking scenes, scenes of a heartless creature killing another...

The video speaks for iself, so any words we say will only serve to cloud your judgement. This has happened recently in Goiania - Go, inland Brazil.

It just goest to show that if you ever plan on having a pet, be sure you have the emotional intelligence plus other stuff one thinks is necessary to handle anything that happens, perhaps that pee puddle on the floor, or the little thing doing its business behind the sink counter and you having to clean it up afterwards. We are just speculating.

But still... You see, just watch.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On When Interracial Couples are Banned From Churches

Astronomy Amateur tImage via Wikipedia
In this day and age, it is simply unconscionable. 

People are so enmeshed in their religious dogma that the mere thought of having something disturb the bliss that it generates is heresy. 

It's long until people have the strength to think for themselves and grow out of the mental cages in which they have been placed. 

There is much happening in the universe. There are other galaxies out there, there are other suns out there. 

Of course, mentioning the universe and Astronomy is next to criminal in societies who take their religious and philosophical beliefs to heart.

Should we counsel outcast couples to take the higher road (?) and move on to other communities where they are accepted or should they bite the bullet and stay right where they are to show folks on mainstreet that hey! the sky is not going to fall for their, in the eyes of others, perversity?

Now, were that to be the case, Latin America, and quite frankly, most of the United States of America would not exist. We are all mutts, curs, mongrels. Mixed breeds. And proud of it!

Our skies shine ever so bright, day and night.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

On When the Gays Get to Have Their Own Country Club

Well, it's true. And it's in Rio de Janeiro! Well, leave it to Rio...

The property is located on the Ligação Road, Taquara, in the Jacarepaguá neighborhood. It's called the Rainbow club. 

It's a 12 thousand square meter (or 129166.925 square ft) affair featuring a swimming pool, two barbecue grills, three bars, tennis courts, pool tables, football-tables, storage lockers and an infirmary among other things.

It's said that more facilities are on the board and they hope to get them on the ground by next year.
We promise to post the photos when we have them. 

The O Globo reports that the project is a parnership between two major organizers of the LGBT nightlife in Rio. 

If you become a member, you will have access to one-off events. They say the place holds up to 3 thousand people. 

Copacabana, Ipanema, and now, a country club. Those folks really do know how to have a good time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On When the Sweet Hand of the State is There for you

Vidigal Favela - Stunning views for dwellers

Police presence in Rio's slums brings hope to a people long inured to neglect. Carrot and stick?

Because it has not always been like this. It has always been like it was before we heard it on the news. Misery, death and destruction. And people without hope.

As of last week, the heavy hand of the State rolls in bransishing its just sticks and bringing along with it sheaves of carrots. And those with forlorn lives now breath a sigh of relief.

Some don't! Some are escorted out and carted off to be put away where they can do no harm. Some manage to break away only to blend into Rio de Janeiro's countless slums. Perhaps to perpetuate the cycle? Hopefully not.

The inhabitants of Rocinha and other slums in Rio de Janeiro should have been granted "order and progress" long ago, way back before being driven onto the hills. The State is now tasting its bitter medicine.

Mindful of the repercussions, and in preparation for two important events to happen in the country in 2014 and 2016, the governement of Rio de Janeiro was swift to implement changes on years of official neglect.

Surely they have to give those people some time to get used to what is perceived normal in other areas of town and, in fact, of the country.

We choose to believe that things will improve for those in Rio's most infamous urban territories. They've got to!
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Monday, November 14, 2011

On When There is Engagement in The Fight Against Killer Diseases

Poverty is a scourge anywhere, but it is the cause of death and disease in the United States and the rest of the world where immunological disorders are prevalent.

We've recently come across a piece in The Advocate about how a former NBA superstar, Magic Johnson, is faring well 20 years after going public with his HIV status. We've even commented on Facebook, solely by looking at Mr Johnson's plus-size physique, that "Aids is the poor man's disease". Could that be the case?

In the story, we read that instead of discouragement at the lack of progress in the discovery of a cure or a vaccine: "He instead was concerned with bringing infections down, especially in the African-American and Latino communities. The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control paint a harsh picture, especially for blacks. Though they only make up 14% of the population, African Americans account for 56% of all people in the country living with HIV. They also represent nearly half of all new Infections each year."  The Advocate

In the link, there was also the news that the sportsman had been handed a one-million dollar check for his foundation, "which provides scholarships, housing, and access to HIV testing in disadvantaged communities."

Good. It is better than nothing. Also, one would expect that those in the know ought to expand the view that education AND nutrition are important factors in bolstering people's immune systems. Especially, as we read elsewhere that: "Poverty is a major contributor to the HIV and Aids epidemic among African Americans. Poverty and a disadvantaged upbringing often cause young people to drop out of school early, preventing them from gaining access to well-paid and stable employment or causing them to lose a sense of self-worth and be drawn into illegal or socially unacceptble activities (such as drug use) that may put them at direct risk of HIV", according to Avert.Org

One might add other illnesses as well, like the monstrous heart disease, which accounted for 49,353 deaths (35%) among black American women in 2007 out of a population of 20,257,139! This is in the CDC's Deaths: Final Data for 2007, vol. 58, # 19 (May 2010). 

We are not communists in the slightest - we happen to think that there is virtue in merit - why not start collective farms where people have the chance to learn farming techniquers to apply in their own backyards? When we say farming, we mean organic farming

Surely where there is a will there is a way. In Cuba (!), pardon me, they have vegetable gardens everywhere... It's called Urban Agriculture. Meanwhile, till they get that vaccine or cure, or that farm, fresh and green, watch the video below for surprising insights.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On when Doctors Meet Celebrities

And vice versa. The result is death. Some doctors, some celebrities, that is. When doctors take their Hippocratic Oath to the letter, the result can only be kosherness and ethics.

Sadly, this is not what we have been reading about on the Internet. The recent case of the doctor who's been sent to a place where he can collect his thoughts is an example. While there are those out there willing to cater to celebrities' whims and forget that the road to riches is not in some fancy bedroom should expect to be reprimanded in the strongest terms.

The people, in this case, have decided that there has got to be responsibility and that human life is sacred. Whosoever-so's life. Surely we all know that there is much, much more than meets the eye in this so infamous trial but, still, proper consideration should be given to what has just happened. Writing prescriptions for tormented souls just because they are yapping at your feet is simply wrong. The quick bucks you make are just that: quick, swift, and transient!

On another level, legal substance abuse, locals tell us, is a way of life in that big country up to the north, more especifically in that area of the country where the tyranny and, most importantly, the pressure of the showbiz industry takes its toll on its victims. Substance abuse is big business. What is it that keeps the cogs of  the machinery well-oiled and functioning properly?

The crux of the matter is that, and we say this without being judgemental in the negative sense, when people (anyone!) resort to strong anesthetics, applied in the operating room, "to go to the valley of death and back" is simply because those people are already semi-dead. The will to live is no longer there.

What whirlwind of emotions has breathed life into that song we like? Do you know?

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

On When People Are Burned Alive

i apologize in advance for posting such horrific scenes on the blog, but can anybody confirm the authenticy of the claim? What is going on in the world? Muslims burning Christians in Nigeria? Or anywhere? Or vice-versa? No, i don't live under a rock. i  just don't know what to think.

'Christians burnt alive by Sunni Muslims in Nigeria'
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

On Book Fairs and Porto Alegre

Visitors at the Book Fair - A crowd drawer
Gay Pride Parades, beautiful parks, beautiful people, all the amenities found in the best capitals all over,  and a book fair to boot?

Yes, Porto Alegre has a book fair. An annual event held every year towards the end of October, beginning of November.

It is one of the oldest in the country. This is all because one porto-alegrean had visited one such fair in Rio de Janeiro and inspired, he came up with a similar event in Porto Alegre. That was in 1955.

What they wanted was to make books available to the masses and since they would not come to the books why not take the books to the them? That is what they did back then.

Alfândega (Customs) Square was a busy corner in Porto Alegre in the 50s and 400 thousand people inhabited the Merry Harbor. So, on November 16th, 1955, the first Porto Alegre Book Fair was set in motion with 14 wooden stalls around a monument to an important general. From then on, as you can imagine, the fair idea caught on and goes on until today.

Jane Tutikian - This year's Honoree 
With all the success, at the occasion of the eleventh book fair, the tradition of adopting one Honoree – a Guest of Honor, so to speak – to represent the scope of the fair, began. And to him or her homage is paid every year. The Honoree, more often than not a writer or an important personality connected to books or to academia, is always busy granting interviews and making clear his vision of the world.

This year’s fair will be held from October 28th to November 15th , 2011. Sold? Catch that flight and visit the fair.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On Same-sex Marriage in Brazil

A quick note just to let everyone know that The Superior Court of Justice, Brazil's highest appelate court in the country, has just ruled on a 4 - 1 vote that Same-sex marriages are now LEGAL.

Gay folks can now, well, get married. Marriage certificate and all, thus laying to rest fears of ever having to be rejected by registry offices, and this that and the other....

Bigots and such like are now left with a catch in their throat.

It all happened earlier this afternoon, October 25, 2011. Meanwhile, congrats are in order. Who's next?

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On How to Talk About Your Feelings

By Dráuzio Varella*

If you don't want to fall ill, talk about your feelings.
Pent-up emotions and feelings, when repressed, end up causing diseases such as gastritis, ulcers, back pain. Eventually, the repression of feelings, sorrow, sadness and disappointment turn into cancer.

So, let us confide in others, vent and share our deepest desires, intimacy, our sins. Talking is a powerful medicine.

If you do not want to fall ill, make up your mind.
The undecided are always in doubt, in anxiety, in anguish. Indecision accrues problems, worries, agression. Human history is made of decisions. To make up your mind, you have got to renounce, know how to miss out on advantages and values to win over the other. The undecided are victims of nervous and gastric diseases and skin problems.

If you do not want to fall ill, seek solutions
Negative people can not see solutions and make their problems bigger. They resort to lamenting, to murmurings, pessimism. It is better to light up a match than lamenting the darkness. We ARE what we THINK. Negative thinking generates negative energy that becomes disease. The smallest bee makes the sweetest honey.

If you do not want to fall ill, don't wallow in sadness
Good humor, laughter, joy, all of these bring back health and bring long life. The joyous person has the gift of lighting up their surroundings.

If you do not want to fall ill, do not live off appearances
People who conceal their reality, pretend and project the impression of being well or want to show themselves off as perfect and goody two shoes, are accummulating tons of weght... A bronze statue with feet of clay.

If you do not want to fall ill, accept yourself
The rejection of your own self, the absence of self-esteem makes us all victims of ourselves. To be YOURself is the core of a healthy life.

"Be Yourself, No matter what they think"


* Brazilian M.D. and Awareness Coach


Original text in Portuguese

Fale de Seus Sentimentos

Se não quiser adoecer - "fale de seus sentimentos".
Emoções e sentimentos que são escondidos, reprimidos, acabam em doenças como gastrite, úlcera, dores lombares, dor na coluna. Com o tempo, a repressão dos sentimentos, a mágoa, a tristeza, a decepção degenera até em câncer. 

Então, vamos confidenciar, desabafar, partilhar nossa intimidade, nossos desejos, nossos pecados.

O diálogo, a fala, a palavra é um poderoso remédio e poderosa terapia.

Se não quiser adoecer - "tome decisão".
A pessoa indecisa permanece na dúvida, na ansiedade, na angústia. A indecisão acumula problemas, preocupações, agressões.A história humana é feita de decisões. Para decidir, é preciso saber renunciar, saber perder vantagens e valores para ganhar outros. As pessoas indecisas são vítimas de doenças nervosas, gástricas e problemas de pele.

Se não quiser adoecer - "busque soluções".
Pessoas negativas não enxergam soluções e aumentam os problemas. Preferem a lamentação, a murmuração, o pessimismo. Melhor acender o fósforo que lamentar a escuridão. Somos o que pensamos. O pensamento negativo gera energia negativa que se transforma em doença. Pequena é a abelha, mas produz o que de mais doce existe.

Se não quiser adoecer - "não viva sempre triste".
O bom humor, a risada, o lazer, a alegria, recuperam a saúde e trazem a vida longa. A pessoa alegre tem o dom de alegrar o ambiente em que vive.

Se não quiser adoecer - "não viva de aparências".
Quem esconde a realidade, finge, faz pose, quer sempre dar a impressão de estar bem, quer mostrar-se perfeito, bonzinho etc. Está acumulando toneladas de peso... Uma estátua de bronze, mas com pés de barro.

Se não quiser adoecer - "aceite-se".
A rejeição de si próprio, a ausência de auto-estima faz com que sejamos algozes de nós mesmos. Ser eu mesmo é o núcleo de uma vida saudável.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On Violence Against Children

The previous post and a promo for a documentary on the abuse of children to premiere on an international news channel has triggered this blogpost.

It often goes unnoticed to us here in the Western Hemisphere, and when it happens we all go mad as hell about it, the fact that the world is chockfull of nations that treat their children like dogsbodies and disposable pack animals.

Many, to our eyes, unenlightened creatures around the world, especially as we move towards south Asia and Asia (!), Africa  seem to regard their children simply as chattel, soldiers or promissory notes for bonded labor. Many, still, favor one gender over another, which for us is horrifying.

We are not saying that things are paradisiacal here in our neck of the woods and further up across the Rio Grande. There is much room for improvement all over the Americas.

However, the video below has left us all speechless and wondering whether that was a montage or the real thing. It happened in China. A child being run over by a vehicle and then being left behind for dead...


"In the disturbing video captured on a surveillance camera, a toddler named Yueyue is hit by a white van in Foshan, China, near a busy market. The van pauses, then lurches ahead."

The child, unfortunately, has died in hospital. Food for thought.


ABC - Toddler Struck Twice by Hit-and-Run Vehicle
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

On Children Gone Missing

We all dread the disappearance of our kids from under our very eyes. Nobody likes it. It is a harrowing experience whichever way you choose to split it.

Our hearts go out to this little girl's parents. We would not to want to be in their shoes.

With that in mind, will anybody in the United States (Or perhaps on Earth?) be willing to help to locate the whereabouts of this 5-year old girl, Jahessye Shockley, from Arizona?

Photo reblogged from friends on Facebook and Missing Kids


DOB:  Apr 1, 2006
Missing:  Oct 11, 2011
Height:  3'5" (104 cm)
Eyes:  Brown
Race:  Black
Age Now:  5
Sex:  Female
Weight:  55 lbs (25 kg)
Hair:  Black
Missing From:
GLENDALE  - AZ -  United States
Jahessye was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, blue jean shorts, and pink sandals.

Thank you very much for your good deed.

Monday, October 3, 2011

On When the Sad Realities of Life Come Crashing in

Life and its paradoxes: Amanda Knox and her boyfriend, Rafaelle Sollecito, have been cleared of murder charges in the death of the British girl, Meredith Kercher on Nov. 1,  2007. 

A weight, a huge weight has been lifted from their families' shoulders. Now, another huge, huge weight has been placed on the murdered girl's family in the form of horrible doubts and disbelief. What, can anybody tell me, were the involved up to that fateful night? Sounds hollywoodian, but it is real life.

Parents are usually left in the hands of destiny when they send their children abroad to study. Or quite frankly, even in their own backyards their worst nightmares rear their ugly heads.

Parents have the best of intentions and they never expect that they children are or will be party to horrible acts, such as crime and murder. We people who have had young people under our guidance know very well the challenges involved in laying down the law and explaining to recalcitrant children that course of action A is better than course of action B. Sometimes, we do lift up our hands and say: "we give up". Understandable.

Surely, we know, children do have to fly away from the family nest and build lives of their own. Sometimes we are relieved, sometimes we have a huge weight in our hearts. We do not know what is going to happen down the road, or up in the skies.

Surely bad luck has befallen the families involved in this huge abnormality for, it is evident, they have been through hell. We cringe at the thought of ever having to go through such a horrific experience... 

Shakespeare wrote, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy". (Hamlet,  Act 1:  Sc. 5  line 166 - 167)

That explains the mystery before us, especially now that they are "back to square one", quoting one the murdered victim's family members. Or does it?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On Humankind and Inane Comments on Social Media

We would all profit by doing some research, with bona fide sources, before posting comments on Social Media. Words are like tossed stones. Once in the air, they can never be retrieved.

Also, people should focus on people's hearts and not on what they do with their lower abdomens. Humankind, scientists tells us, has been walking this Earth for a good 200 thousand years. Way, way before current monolithic philosophical ideologies came into place.  Homo Sapiens, then, must have had all sorts of experiences... 

Sad to see, in our opinion, unenlightend comments about the repeal of DADT, the long-awaited-for Equality policy signed by the American government. DADT had been "the official United States policy on homosexuals serving in the military from December 21, 1993 to September 2011. The policy prohibited military personner from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexuals or bisexual service memebers or applicants, while barring openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service."*

It's true people in this hemisphere have their relative freedoms and, especially in the United States, folks are able to express their opinions freely regardless of what you or the next person might think. That is an exercise in Democracy. Not many can say what they think, unfortunately.

It's also clear to many that the United States Army is an All-Volunteer-Force and that, apparently, people are there because they want. And are paid for it!

There is a solution, though, for those who dislike the current vanguardist shift within this specific military organization, to wit: they should brush up on their skills and move on to other jobs where, perhaps, they will find shelter for themselves and their outdated opinions.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On When There is Nothing to Rant About

We have been looking for something interesting to write about while living out our lives in slow-news days.

Some of you will beg to disagree saying that there is lots happening both here and up there and over the Oceans. Sure there is.

Now, thing is we are all so jaded with all the bomb blasts, train crashes, speculative news on the economies of Europe, the republican candidates in the United States and the possible electability of the incumbent and the mad scrabble towards the resuscitation of the American economy for you see if "them yanks ain't buying, we ain't selling" and what with them getting poorer. True!

There's more: U.S. bikers getting "unwittingly" lost in that country and then being freed and then..., the dream of statehood in the Holy Land (?) and we could go on...

There was the Miss Universe thingy going on in São Paulo and this stunningly beautiful (of course!) girl from Angola (!) taking the crown. She really does light up the blog post, does she not? Now,  THAT is a change, right?

Meanwhile, behind closed doors (who are we kidding?), "leaders" meet up to decide the fate of the world.

We grin and bear it...

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On When They Go A-rioting - Is There a Plausible Cause?

This blog's comments on the (race?) riots in England.

Why? Because: "They were al doomed to remain on the spot, like sheep in a pen, till they were sold; they have no apartment to retire to, no bed to repose on, no covering to protect them; they sit naked all day, and lie naked all night, on the bare boards, or benches, where we saw them exhibited."

(The Guardian)

That's in Brazil where an estimated 4 million Africans, yanked out of their lands and herded onto slave-ships to be paraded in "meat markets" like the Valongo Wharf in Rio de Janeiro, were subsequently fattened and carted off to work in coffee and sugar plantations "between 1550 and 1888, when slavery was officially abolished."

Obviously, those in the riots are mostly, but not exclusively, connected in some way with what might have been instead of what is.  Demographics long inured to being the "Other" and when thinking that different dreams were in store for them in the Main Island, were only too aware that no, it ain't so.

It's the same story in the United States: the sixties and the fight for black visibility did little to change what was and what is. The riots we have seen are eerily reminiscent of what happened in Los Angeles some time past. Plus,  we all have seen the Katrina Effect.

In England, one hopes, a major rethink in their sociological policies is of the essence. Hope for the future and jobs are to be materialized today and not to be left to policymakers to quarrel over in public debates on BBC. Education, education, education for their "disenfranchised youths" is what everyone expects. Now!

Lastly, but not leastly, community leaders in the worst hit areas are strongly advised to spread the message that wanton destruction is not the answer. The rule of law will have to take precedence for order's sake, for who is going to pay for the damages inflicted on businesses? The deaths? The heartbreak? And the lingering stereotypes?

Those folks and their "dysfunctional families"  have a tough row to hoe ahead of them. We feel for them.

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