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Glittering Rio

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This is a picture of a slum in Rio. It glitters like stars, through its lights and the shining souls of those who live there.

 

“The imperfect eye beholds imperfections.”
“If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, to look at the ten and forget the one; and if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, to look at the one and forget the ten.”

- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Electrostatic Street Fighter

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This is really a good, geeky text! Keep calm and carry on in the text and you won’t regret!

Who says an education should be done boringly? Who says videogames are good for nothing?

A teacher in a Brazilian Technology Institute has come up with an amazing question for a physics exam using hadouken (do you remember it?). Here’s the scanned question and below it you have my modest (and probably grammatically poor) attempt of translating it for you.

CEFET-MG-HADOUKEN

1st Question:

Hadouken” (waving fist) first appeared in the electronic game series calles Street Fighter. It was first used by the characters Ryu Hoshi and Ken Masters. Later it could be seen being used by many other characters, such as Akuma, Sakura Kasugano, and Gouken Ryu (see image) is the character who has mastered such technique, his special hadouken hitting the opponent multiple times.

hadouken

This blast normally consists in canalising one’s spiritual energy towards one’s hands, then bringing one’s fists together and tossing it forward. The energy’s appearance is of a blue plasma ball or, in some cases, fire. This technique is well-known for being performed without any sort of weapon.

hadouken-schematics

The image above shows the sequence of this fictional technique.

As the energy ball produced by such technique is plasma (ionised gas), then one can infer that the so-called “sprititual energy” (???) presented in this question’s text is of electric nature.

a) Considering that it were possible (it is NOT! This is merely fictional! Do not walk around CEFET-MG traying to hadouken!!!), describe would be possibly happening (IF it WERE possible) in the moments A, B and C (Hadouken’s main sequence), using the basic concepts of electrostatics.

b) Using the same arguments you used in (a) (basic concepts of electrostatics), outline a (also fictional) technique to protect oneself from the hadouken.

Now, tell me, ain’t it great? I wish I had seen a question like that in my SAT! Don’t you?

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Vitória-ES: ’cause Rio’s not the only one

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Vitória is the capital of the state of Espírito Santo (Holy Spirit in English), to the north of the state of Rio de Janeiro, and one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been to in Brazil.

I’ll write a bit more about Vitória at some point. I’m focusing more in Rio and Niterói just because I live here…

If anyone would like me to write something or take picures/videos or whatever, just drop me a line. I’ll post it here and you can always use the content! =)

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Sorrow prepares you for joy

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Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

― Rumi

The wailing sirens of Israel

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It’s 10 am on a sunny April day, it’s almost springtime and nature is regaining its colour. The cars are driving by and the people go about their lives as they normally do. Then the sirens go off, the same sirens used to announce to the people they are under missile attack, the doom’s trumpet.

The sirens sounded for two minutes. It did not announce any attack, but a more dreadful thing. The sirens annouced a memory powerful and painful enough to cause everyone who walked to halt, to make the workers suspend their daily activities and the drivers to stop in the middle of the streets and leave their cars.

Dachau-Holocaust

All stood silent, some gazing at the sky, some looking down to the ground. Some said prayers, some cried. All remembered. The sirens did not sound, they wailed. They wailed profoundly for six million souls who left this Earth before their time, six million lives taken by the hands of stupidity, six million dead heroes, six million saints.

This was Israel this morning, at 10 am. Everyone stopped silently for two minutes while the sirens wailed in remembrance of an abomination which should have never happened.

Today is Yom HaSoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day in which every single person in Israel stops for two minutes and…

…REMEMBER.

Nie-wieder

Renato-Guilarducci-nie-wiederSave the date next year: April, 28.
Stop for two minutes at 10 am you too.

Renting Game of Thrones in Rio

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From the series Things that happen in Rio.

I got my brother-in-law addicted to Game of Thrones. I watched the first season with him two weeks ago (in preparation for the third, which is coming with the winter), and by the last episode he was so into it, that he wanted to get season two right away.

wallpaper-iron-throne-1600The thing about living in Brazil, though, is that things such as this one may take longer to become available. Maybe for some commercial strategy reasons (which I can’t understand, not in the internet age), maybe it’s because nearly no one speaks English in this country and it takes time to translate the whole thing and make the subtitles.

Regardless of why, the fact was that he couldn’t find it in the video rental store then. Now, going to a video rental store in the Netflix-and-the-such age is something that only my brother-in-law can explain.

This morning he went for a walk by the beach (because that’s what people do in Rio) and he stopped at one of the stores of this chain he’s client to. He was delighted when he found that they had just received a few copies of his long-waited season two, but his joy lived shortly. All copies in that store had just been rented.

Then my brother-in-law, who is a very good example of a true carioca*, with his out- and easy- goingness, asked the clerk to call the other store, the one he usually goes to, and ask them if they still had any copies available.

“Hi, Mike!* Do you still have any Game of Thrones, season two?”

Mike answered something like: “yes, we do, but we’re out of DVD cases. So we can’t rent them.”

“And you won’t rent it because you’re out of cases?” The clerk asked.

My brother-in-law added to the clerk’s remark that he did not at all mind DVD cases and that he would take an oath to return the discs in perfect conditions, should he be allowed to rent them regardless. The clerk laughed and said they had DVD cases in the store and my obliging brother-in-law offered to bring the cases to the other store.

Niteroi

The Contemporary Art Museum (in Niterói) and the Christ statue in the background

Now, I can hardly picture this conversation happening anywhere else in the world, and certainly I would never be the one negotiating with the clerk. Thoug I love Rio, I’m not a carioca whatsoever. I generally stop the interaction at “all the copies have been rented.” But not my carioca brother-in-law. And the clerk apparently liked it. He gave the DVD-cases to my brother-in-law, who resumed his morning walk and delivered the parcel entrusted to him at the other store.

As a reward for his trustworthiness and diligent service, the staff there let him be the first one to rent season two and even better, they allowed him to take the discs in their original box, still wrapped in plastic.

The season has been watched and, according to his oath, sir my-brother-in-law shall return the discs in perfect conditions.

*Carioca: Strictly speaking, people who were born in Rio. Broadly speaking, anyone who decides to take on the city’s attitude and accent.

I get by with a little help from my friends

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We all have dreams and some of us are “crazy” enough to set out to fulfil them. And I believe this blogosphere is made of people who try, of people who pursue their dreams and dare to dream even more!

You know what is even crazier than go for one’s dreams? It’s when other dreamers join hands with you and help you get there! And this is what I’m asking all of you who are visiting my blog right now.

My friend Mea may have a life-changing opportunity to perform on stage with a very famous band in Finland (where she lives), if she gets enough “Likes” on a local newspaper website. So, here is my humble request to all of you:

Please, go to this newspaper’s page and click the yellow button that says “Äänestä!” below my friend’s video (if you play it, you’ll see she’s really good!) and, a HUGE plus would be if you could spread the word and share the link too.

Please, click on the image to go to the website, or you can access http://featfest.fi/mea-karvonen-its-a-mans-world/

Please, click on the image to go to the website, or you can access http://featfest.fi/mea-karvonen-its-a-mans-world/

We can make a difference in someone’s life by just taking a few seconds to click a button. As for me, I don’t have thousands of visits every day, but I promise to write a post about something that’s on the blog of everyone who clicks that yellow button full of umlauts (of course, the post will have links to your blog). Just click the yellow button and let me know you did it through a comment, and I will reciprocate your kindness by spreading the word about your art/blog too!

Let’s get her on stage!

Thank y’all!

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