Tag Archives: Rio de Janeiro

2 million Brazilians protest against gov’t corruption, spending, and taxes

Imagine the entire population of Hawaii — every man, woman, child, and transgender — showing up for a violent protest.

How about the entire population of Hawaii (pop. in 2012: 1,392,313) AND Washington, D.C. (pop. 632,323)?

That’s how many people demonstrated last Thursday night in 80 cities across Brazil.

And yet, did you see this on the alphabet TV news?

Huge crowds of demonstrators march in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Huge crowds of demonstrators march in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Zuma/Rex Features

Jonathan Watts reports for the UK’s The Guardian, June 21, 2013:

Brazil‘s president, Dilma Rousseff, and key ministers are to hold an emergency meeting on Friday following a night of protests that saw Rio de Janeiro and dozens of other cities echo with percussion grenades and swirl with teargas as riot police scattered the biggest demonstrations in more than two decades.

The protests were sparked last week by opposition to rising bus fares, but they have spread rapidly to encompass a range of grievances, as was evident from the placards. “Stop corruption. Change Brazil”; “Halt evictions”; “Come to the street. It’s the only place we don’t pay taxes“; “Government failure to understand education will lead to revolution”.

Rousseff’s office said she had cancelled a trip to Japan next week.

A former student radical herself, Rousseff has tried to mollify the protesters by praising their peaceful and democratic spirit. Partly at her prompting, Rio, São Paulo and other cities have reversed the increase in public transport fares, but this has failed to quell the unrest.

A vast crowd – estimated by the authorities at 300,000 and more than a million by participants – filled Rio’s streets, one of a wave of huge nationwide marches against corruption, police brutality, poor public services and excessive spending on the World Cup.

A minority of protesters threw stones, torched cars and pulled down lamp-posts. Police responded by firing volleys of pepper spray and rubber bullets into the crowd and up onto overpasses where car drivers and bus passengers were stuck in traffic jams. At least 40 people were injured in the city and many more elsewhere.

Simultaneous demonstrations were reported in at least 80 cities, with a total turnout that may have been close to 2 million. An estimated 110,000 marched in São Paulo, 80,000 in Manaus, 50,000 in Recife and 20,000 in Belo Horizonte and Salvador.

Clashes were reported in the Amazon jungle city of Belem, Porto Alegre in the south, Campinas north of São Paulo and Salvador.

Thirty-five people were injured in the capital Brasilia, where 30,000 people took to the streets. In São Paulo, one man was killed when a frustrated car driver rammed into the crowd. Elsewhere countless people, including many journalists, were hit by rubber bullets.

The vast majority of those involved were peaceful. Many wore Guy Fawkes masks, emulating the global Occupy campaign. Others donned red noses – a symbol of a common complaint that people are fed up being treated as clowns.

Rio de Janeiro protests An Anonymous mask stands out in the crowd. Photograph: Pedro Koeler/Corbis

“There are no politicians who speak for us,” said Jamaime Schmitt, an engineer. “This is not just about bus fares any more. We pay high taxes and we are a rich country, but we can’t see this in our schools, hospitals and roads.” Many in the mostly young, middle class crowd were experiencing their first large protest.

Matheus Bizarria, who works for the NGO Action Aid, said people had reached the limit of their tolerance about longstanding problems that the Confederations Cup and World Cup have brought into focus because of the billions of reals spent on new stadiums rather than public services. Rio is also due to host a papal visit to World Youth Day next month, and the Olympics in 2016.

“It’s totally connected to the mega-events,” Bizarria said. “People have had enough, but last year only 100 people marched against a bus price rise. There were 1,000 last week and 100,000 on Monday. Now we hope for a million.”

Initially the mood in Rio was peaceful. When a handful of people began tearing down posters for the Confederations Cup, the rest of the crowd sat down around them and shamed them with shouts of “no violence” and “no vandalism”.

But later protesters pulled down security cameras, smashed bus stops and torched cars. Every hoarding that advertised the Confederations Cup was destroyed.

Police had increased their numbers more than 10-fold from Monday, and were quickly on the offensive.

After a confrontation near the city hall, they drove back the protesters, who fled coughing and with tears streaming down their cheeks. At least one person was hit by rubber bullets, and showed the bruise on his leg where he was hit.

Some were furious that the police action seemed indiscriminate. “Where we had been tranquil, then suddenly they started firing gas into the crowd. People were scared and appalled,” said Alessandra Sampaio, one of the protesters. “They are cowards. They wanted to disperse the crowd never mind who it was. I’m very angry. It was a real abuse of power.”

Victor Bezerra, a law student, said the police action was like something from the dictatorship era. “These are bad days for Brazil. The police were acting just like they did 30 years ago.”

The crowd were driven into side streets and back towards the central station by lines of police backed by officers carrying shotguns on horseback and motorbikes.

“Look at this. It’s hard to believe. Terrible!”, said Ellie Lopes, a 22-year-old passerby, as she surveyed the debris and flames.

Riot police eventually cleared the entire central area, but they were still dispersing gatherings in the Lapa music and bar district late into the night. As helicopters buzzed overhead, they fired teargas into the crowded square next to a concert by the band Cannibal Corpse. Hotdog kiosk vendors found themselves with sore and streaming eyes, inadvertently pushed onto a moving frontline.

Despite the crackdown, many said they would return to the streets for the next demonstration, planned for Saturday [that's today].

Political corruption. Wasteful government spending. Oppressive taxes. Public Government schools that aren’t working. A president who’s a former student radical.

Sound familiar?

I wonder when the American people finally will have had enough . . . .

H/t FOTM’s Sunny

~Eowyn

Turtle lives, after 30 years in a box

Turtles are famous for their longevity, many living for more than a hundred years.

One giant tortoise named Adwaita is said to have lived 255 years in the Calcutta Zoo. He finally died of liver failure in 2006.

How do turtles manage to be so long-lived?

This is fascinating: Researchers have recently discovered a turtle’s organs do not gradually break down or become less efficient over time, unlike most other animals. Instead, the liver, lungs, and kidneys of a centenarian (100-year-old) turtle are virtually indistinguishable from those of its younger counterparts.

But the survival skills of turtles may be even more astounding.

A turtle in Brazil managed to survive, after being trapped in a wooden box in a shed for THIRTY years.

Red-footed tortoise pictureA red-footed tortoise, like Manuela (photo by Fabio Maffei)

Richard Schiffman reports for the National Geographic, Feb. 1, 2013, that in 1982, a red-footed tortoise named Manuela mysteriously “disappeared” from the home of the Almeida family in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The family assumed that their pet escaped from the house after construction workers had left the front door ajar.

Flash forward 30 years.

Recently, Leandro Almeida was cleaning out a storage shed and was about to throw away an old wooden box he’d found in the shed: “I put the box on the pavement for the rubbish men to collect, and a neighbor said, ‘You’re not throwing out the turtle as well are you?’ I looked and saw her. At that moment, I turned white, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Inside the box was an old record player and Manuela, their long-lost tortoise, still alive after more than three decades.

Leandro’s sister, Lenita, who was given the tortoise as a childhood pet, said, “We’re all thrilled to have Manuela back. But no one can understand how she managed to survive for 30 years in there—it’s just unbelievable.”

Even the experts are stumped. Jeferson Peres, a Rio-based veterinarian, said that red-footed tortoises have been known to go without eating for two to three years in the wild—but 30 years is off the known charts. He speculated that Manuela had survived by eating termites and other small insects and licking condensation.

Turtles also have reserve fat pads that they can draw on when food is scarce, Anthony Pilny, a veterinary surgeon and specialist in birds and reptiles at the Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine in New York City, said by email.

Like snakes, turtles are able to go for long periods without eating. Wild turtles can also lower their body temperatures and other physiological processes and enter into temporary states of suspended animation from which they’re able to recover. But Pilny does not recommend that pet owners try this with their own turtles.

As for Manuela, Pilny has some advice for the family. “They should go very slowly—start by warming her up and rehydrating Manuela before feeding … Give her warm water soaks and offer a small meal after she seems stable. Then take her to a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles for a checkup and some bloodwork.”

~Eowyn

A simple quick test predicts how long you’ll live

Are you middle-aged or older?

If so, here’s a quick and simple test that can predict how long you’ll live.

The test doesn’t require any preparation or special equipment, and takes you only a few minutes to do. You can take the test in your home, in whatever you’re wearing, including pyjamas! ;)

Ready?

Here are the instructions:

  1. Sit cross-legged on the floor.
  2. Without worrying about how much time you take, try and get up from the floor with as minimum support — using your knee(s) or hand(s) — as possible.
Sitting down - but can you get up again without help?

Here’s a tip:

  • When you’re sitting on the floor, first uncross your legs.
  • Now put your legs in front of you, with the knees up.
  • Now see if you can stand up, using the strength of your legs alone.

How did you do?

  • If you got up from a sitting position on the floor without using ANY support, you get a perfect score of 10.
  • Subtract a point for each support used, e.g., subtract one point if you used a hand; two if you used a hand and a knee; four if your used both hands and both knees.

The sitting-rising test reveals a person’s level of musculoskeletal fitness, which is a strong predictor of health in the middle-aged and above. How an individual scores on the test is a predictor of his/her longevity-mortality.

Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo and colleagues at the Clinimex Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, conducted a study on 2,002 men and women, aged 51 to 80, on their ability to sit and then rise unaided from the floor.

The participants were ranked on a score of zero to 10. People who scored 10 did not use any support to sit or rise from the floor.

The study found that the ability to sit on the floor before rising to a standing position was closely linked to all causes of death.

After doing the sitting-rising test, the participants were followed for an average of about 6 years. During the follow-up period, nearly 8% of the participants died. Most of those deaths occurred among people with low test scores. Only two people who scored 10 on the test died.

Compared to those who scored 8 or higher, people who scored below 8 were twice as likely to die. Those who scored zero on the test were 5 to 6 times more likely to die, according to the study. Each one-point increase in the score was associated with a 21% reduced risk of death.

Dr. Araujo explains that a high score on the sitting-rising test might “reflect the capacity to successfully perform a wide range of activities of daily living, such as bending over to pick up a newspaper or a pair of glasses from under a table. It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and coordination are not only good for performing daily activities but have a favorable influence on life expectancy.”

Although the study found an association between ability to rise from the floor and death risk, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The study was published Dec. 13 in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention.

H/t NewsMax and Daily Mail.

If you got a low score on the test, it’s not too late to do something about it. Start doing strength exercises like squats, sit-ups, leg-lifts and lunges, to improve your musculoskeletal fitness!

We don’t want to become like that old lady in the TV commercial who fell down and can’t get up.

~Eowyn

Rio 2016 Olympic’s amazing tower of water

One of the first failures of Obama as POTUS was his lobbying efforts on behalf of his home city Chicago to be the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Chicago’s loss is Rio de Janeiro’s gain. And it sure looks like Rio is going all out to make 2016 a most memorable Olympics. Look at these pics!!!

“Solar City Tower,” built atop the island of Cotonduba, will be the welcome symbol of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It will be seen by the game visitors and participants as they arrive by air or water.

The tower captures solar energy. It will supply energy for all of the Olympic city, and also for part of Rio.

Water is pumped from the ocean to create what appears like a water fall. The water fall, in turn, stimulates turbines that produce energy during the night.

It will also hold the Olympic flame.

The Tower possesses an amphitheater, an auditorium, a cafeteria and boutiques. Elevators lead to various observatories.

It also has a retractable platform for the practice of bungee jumping.

At the summit is an observation point to appreciate the scenery of the land and ocean, as well as the water fall.

Solar City Tower will be the point of reference for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Before we get all excited, it turns out these images are still at the conceptual level.

According to Snopes.com, the Solar City Tower hasn’t yet been built, may never be built, and may not even be technically feasible. It is a proposal submitted in 2009 by RAFAA, a Zurich-based architecture and design studio.

You can read more about the proposed tower on RAFAA’s website.

H/t beloved fellow Terry.

~Eowyn

Breaking News – Building collapsed IN RIO DE JANEIRO – 25 / 01 / 12

We need someone who speaks Portugese to translate this video.

TWO BUILDINGS, ONE OF 20 AND A TEN-STORY, fall in the HEART OF THE CITY OF RIO DE JANEIRO, THIS DAY WEDNESDAY 25 JANUARY 2012. These buildings were behind the Municipal Theatre.

Building collapses in center of Rio de Janeiro

 RIO DE JANEIRO — A multistory building collapsed in Rio’s center Wednesday evening, leaving rubble strewn over a wide area but confusion about the number of possible victims and the cause.

Thick layers of debris covered cars and motorcycles. A neighboring building sustained serious damage, and television showed at least two people on its roof apparently awaiting help from firefighters.

There were differing reports about possible deaths.

A spokeswoman from the city’s Civil Defense department said two people were confirmed dead, but officials from City Hall and the municipal health department later disputed that, saying no deaths had been confirmed by early Thursday. It was not clear how many people were injured.
Full Story Here

LTG

Psalm 55:22

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” – Psalm 55:22

Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die.

I barely managed to coast, cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn’t even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the “quickie mart” building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay.

When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen. She was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying “don’t want my kids to see me crying,” so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, “And you were praying?” That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, “He heard you, and He sent me.”

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald’s and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn’t have money to pay rent Jan 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They live in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.

I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, “So, are you like an angel or something?”

This definitely made me cry. I said, “Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.”

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else’s miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I’ll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won’t find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings. Friends are God’s way of taking care of us. Be a friend in need for someone today!

H/t Doc’s Wife.

~Eowyn

What the US Media Won’t Report

They don’t want him either….

Photo published in China's Xinhua News

Residents display a banner during a protest against the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 18, 2011.

This is not being reported in the US mainstream media. See DCG’s post,SRM Doing Their Job.”

~Eowyn