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Saturday, January 29, 2011

What if Rio de Janeiro residents face more of the same next year?

People in the state of Rio de Janeiro have seen their share of heartache and witnessed their labours washed down with the mudslides. They have been left with nothing but the clothes they have on. (Digital Journal)




Will Rio de Janeiro residents face more of the same next year?  The opinion piece on  Digital Journal  (follow the link) asks?

Yes, they will. Sounds gruesome, i know, but it is the plain truth. Surely, the worst can be avoided if those in power recognize that they have a huge problem in their hands and rush to solve it. How? By removing people in high risk areas and relocating them off the slippery rocks where they build their makeshift homes.

Also by educating people as to the imminent risks they face when they build their illegal homes on nature's path.

As to the rest of us, we can help by donating our time, effort and money to see that the situation is never repeated. It's 850 dead, and counting!


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

On When They Kill Gay Rights Activists

Art: Alexandre Spadari
Update: It has now been publicized that Kato was murder over a "personal disagreement"...
Feb 8, 2011.

 The Guardian

Uganda be kidding me!

Ugandan gay activist, David Kato, killed savagely. Life cut short at 43. 



Disgusting and unconscionable. In this day and age, people still act out of sheer sadism and brainwashery. They must have no idea/notion of their deeds.


Urgent action is needed to address hate crimes in those "fragile" nations.


RIP!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is Ophiuchus a New Zodiac Sign?

The confusion seems to be a result of Eastern vs. Western astrology. Most of us are familiar with tropical zodiac (Western), based on the seasons, which has not changed, though sidereal zodiac (Eastern), based on constellations, has different signs including a 13th. Is there a correct system? That's up for debate. 

The Huffington Post

We have now learned that the Zodiac signs are not what we thought they were. There is Ophiuchus up there wreaking havoc in our old way of, literally, seeing things...

Actually it had been bypassing, some say, our field of vision but now it is very much there.

All right, all right, so i'm not a Pisces anymore. i'm an Aquarius.  So what! Well, i've got to get used to the idea that what i thought was is no more.

Here are the new celestial alignments on the new claim for you:

Capricorn:                        Jan. 20-Feb. 16.
Aquarius:                          Feb. 16-March 11.
Pisces:                              March 11-April 18.
Aries:                               April 18-May 13.
Taurus:                             May 13-June 21.
Gemini:                             June 21-July 20.
Cancer:                            July 20-Aug. 10.
Leo:                                Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
Virgo:                             Sept. 16-Oct. 30.
Libra:                             Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
Scorpio:                         Nov. 23-29.
Ophiuchus:                     Nov. 29-Dec. 17.

Sagittarius:                     Dec 17 - Jan 20


Bottom line is: Is Astronomy debunking Astrology? So much for your watercooler discussions.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is it Going to Happen This Time?

It's now official. The Brazilian top court - Supremo Tribunal Federal - is to decide next February, in a plenary session, whether gay unions are legally binding. Gay people are ecstatic in that if this miracle should ever happen, their lives will become a lot easier.

Judges' lives as well.

Our magistrates find themselves having to resort to acrobatics to recognize same-sex unions and they have a particular hard time when it comes to the division of assets, inheritance, plus this, that and the other.

Same-sex relationships are a fact of life and there is no denying that gay folks need all the help they can get if push comes to shove and they find themselves in legal problems.

There are state courts all over the country, already on the forefront, which have given same-sex couples the support they need.

Writing for the STF, Justice Carlos Ayres Britto - in response to one such case brought to the court by the governor of Rio de Janeiro - has recently told the
O Globo newspaper that we are in for a nice surprise.

Ain't that something?



Sunday, January 16, 2011

On Humanitarian Aid Flowing In

On being Thankful.


Note to self: counteract the effect of the previous post by writing something positive about the humanitarian aid on display on tv screeens all over the country and how ordinary Brazilians are pulling themselves together to pitch in.




Let everyone know that donations are (pardon!) pouring in to help the victims of the landslides and flash floods in Rio de Janeiro.


Have a cup of coffee and toast and hope that the help finds its way to the right hands, cupped that they are, in these painful times. Do not in anyway criticize people's belief in the Divinity even if you think Divine Providence saw it  fit to save some and **** others...


Of course i know She, All Powerful, in Her superiority, does not care two bricks about Who i address my prayers to... Geologists tend to agree with me...


Do not dare to speak your mind lest you provoke those who believe.




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Thursday, January 13, 2011

On the Driving Rains in Rio de Janeiro

Panoram Cristo Redentor, Bahia de Guanabara, P...Image via Wikipedia
Update: About 809 dead and counting. Most of the deaths occurred in Nova Friburgo (391). There are also deaths in Teresópolis (327), Petrópolis (66), Sumidouro (22), São José do Vale do Rio Preto (2) and Bom Jardim (1).  Primeira Edição on
24/01/2011 09:30




It is now a yearly occurence in Brazil, especially in the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the driving rains that have little shacks crumble down from the rocky slopes where the little man thought was a safe haven to build his abode.

It is useless to turn in anger to Mother Nature.

The flimsy layer of topsoil that covers that rocks are no foundation for the tiny houses they erect out of makeshift construction materials.

This time the mudslides anf flash floods have taken their toll most forcibly on the populations at the foot of the hills. Heaping mud and debris.

One would have thought that the "Powers That Be" would be somewhat the wiser and by now have reached a consensus as to the relocation of those dislocated families. Naively, that is not the case!

Sharp contrast, though, when one juxtaposes images on international television and sees that even though the pain and heartbreak are the same, the surroundings are different. We mean Brisbane, Australia.

What to say of the monsoons in Sri Lanka?

Surely, one hopes, governments mindful that they are of the tragedies that are apt to happen when the skies open wide, would by now have a contingent plan for the dispossed. Sadly not the reality here in our neck of the world.

Will they just stop photo-opping and quit mouthing off platitudes and move to change the status quo?


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Monday, January 10, 2011

On Gun Ownership North of the Rio Grande

The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at su...Image via Wikipedia
"After Tucson: Why Are the Mentally ill Still Bearing Arms?" goes the title in Time. Because it is easier to buy a gun in the States than it is to buy fresh vegetables.

"This time, the price for bureaucratic torpor was too high."





Indeed. It is too high. How many lives to be reaped by the grim statistics coming out of the U.S.? Many more.

Unless a complete rethink in the way they conduct their political business and discourse is in the works and given utmost attention, there is a strong probability that we will be seeing many more tragedies akin to the one in Arizona.

It is now proven, crystal-clearly, that the deranged influenced by the inflammatory rhetoric spewing from the mouths of smart (rogue?) politicians and ratings-minded media outlets, will take up their arms and take to the streets gunning down those they think are responsible for their country's woes.

The little man, often, has little or no access to real facts and ignores that the real cause/effect of their ills lies in the hands of a few plutocrats that run the country.

It is imperative that the country recalibrates (pardon the word!) its educational (spiritual?) system and bring about a shift in paradigm. Let this be a warning to politicians, Left, Right and Center, to tone down their political discourse, mindful that they are, surely, of the effects on the recipients of their messages.

Hopefully (and ironically), Representative Gabrielle Giffords, victim of the of this senseless attack will now, upon recovery, revisit her previous pride in gun ownership in hers and other states in the nation.

Oy vey!

As a post scriptum, it is obvious that banning guns will not deflect violence. People will resort to other lethal appendages to carry out their evil intents. We know, however, it is worth trying.




Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On When it Rains on Your Vacation in Rio

Leblon and Ipanema. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Image via Wikipedia
I'm enjoying the rainy weather in Rio de Janeiro. I will be back writing as soon as I get back. Meanwhile, I've been learning new street slang.You see, Portuguese can be lots of fun, too.


I have seen the fires as well. Really something. I have renewed my resolutions. They've been the same for ever but then again it does pay to drill them into your Mind.





Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city. You should come when possible. Remember to ask me for "pointers"...


Many cheers!



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