Category: Brazil

Rio Goes Ooooops!

By , July 31, 2015 8:46 pm

As readers of this blog know, I’m a fan of Rio de Janeiro. A promoter, almost. So I’m not too excited about this news. Nope.

Sadly, Brazil’s economy is not in such good shape either.

There Goes the Neighborhood

By , September 26, 2013 9:54 am

Found this at The Economist. Apparently, Brazil has problems.


What Happens in Las Vegas May Stay in Las Vegas . . .

By , January 21, 2013 5:26 pm

But if it happens elsewhere in the United States, expect it to make the front pages worldwide.

Barack Obama and Manti Te’o share the front page of Brazil’s



The Hits Just Keep on Coming!

By , December 6, 2012 2:00 pm

Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, or Oscar Niemeyer as most of us know him, died today. He was 104 years old.

The great Brazilian architect apparently kept alive by keeping busy. He’s largely responsible for the design of Brasilia as well as literally hundreds of other buildings throughout the world, including the United Nations complex on Turtle Bay in New York City. You might recognize its similarity to the buildings that house Brazil’s national congress.

But for me, the treat of all of Niemeyer’s buildings is the Museum of Contemporary Art that sits in Niteroi, across Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janeiro. It sits like a space-age flower on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the Bay.

You enter the museum by walking up a gentle curving ramp that sports a bright red paint job in contrast to the otherwise white exterior.

Once inside, you can wander around–literally around–the circular interior and look at the collection of modern art. Frankly, Janet and I were disappointed in the collection until we turned from the museum’s walls and looked out its windows instead. Wow! There, framed by window after window, hung one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world: Rio de Janeiro.

I’m not sure if we ever turned back to look at the contemporary art.

Growing Old Without Growing Stodgy

By , May 25, 2012 11:15 am

I just finished reading a blog post by Eric Samuelson that may have changed my life for the better. I grew up in the 60s, a particularly great decade for music, what with the Beatles, Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, Stones, and Cream, and that’s just in the world of rock ‘n roll. Sadly, I’ve held my nose high ever since, especially during the Disco beat of the horrible 70s. Though Disco had a great beat and was easy to dance to, I chose instead to follow the careers of Neil Young and Van Morrison. My musical tastes were and have continued to be stuck on repeat. That’s not to say that I don’t listen to other music. My father exposed me to jazz, a music I love. I can probably name as many jazz artists as I can rock or folk. I also love classical music, including opera. I listen to a lot of Brazilian and French music. But even there I tend to stay stuck in the past.

Just yesterday I was thinking how little I knew about the current music scene–and I felt a sense of pride in that, if you can imagine. Samuelson’s post slapped me awake. In fact, I just created a new Pandora station for Arcade Fire, a group he mentioned. So far I’ve listened to Keep the Car Running and Black Mirror from their album Neon Bible. I don’t know that I find them so interesting as Samuelson does, but at least I know who they are, and frankly, they’re not bad–and I’m not so stodgy anymore.

The First Two Chords from Eroica, Again and Again and Again

By , March 4, 2012 8:05 pm

Found this at Ann Althouse’s. Thought I’d preserve it on my site. My introduction to Eroica came in Rio de Janeiro, when James Thatcher–then a missionary with me, now a studio musician in LA–helped me pick out some good classical music to listen to. Eroica was his first selection for me.

Update: For those unfamiliar with Eroica, here’s the entire first movement, first two chords and all.

Update #2: By the way, I could put all I know about classical music in a small thimble, and there would still be enough room for a big couch.

Well, At Least He Didn’t Tweet Photos of Himself in His Underwear

By , June 3, 2011 6:46 pm

Dilma’s Chief of Staff, Antonio Palocci, may be on the way out, apparently for making a little too much money a little too fast. In fact, he somehow increased his wealth by $R10 million in one month. Not bad for government work.

Interestingly, as with Timothy Geitner, or TurboTax fame, claim to fame is that he’s indispensable. Or not.

Dois to Watch

By , May 24, 2011 10:15 am

Two (dois) Brazilian businessmen are on Fast Company’s list of the 100 most creative business people: Nizan Guanaes, an advertising executive and president of Grupo ABC , and Eike Batista, number 8 on Forbes Magazine’s list of the richest people in the world.

At Least It’s in the Right Direction

By , May 16, 2011 12:02 pm

Only 374 people were murdered in Rio in March 2011, down from 492 during the same month the year before. Compare that with New York City, where in November 2010, the murder count for the entire year to that point was 464.

Interestingly, if we go back to 1990, New York saw 2,245 of its citizens murdered, a rate of 187 a month. Thus, things are much better in NYC. Maybe there’s hope for Rio.

Let’s Hope So

By , May 11, 2011 5:58 pm

According to Henrique Meirelles, president of Brazil’s Olympic committee, preparation of the Rio Games will result in a new model of public administration by promoting more coordination between all levels of government, municipal, state, and federal.

I’ve interviewed more than a couple of people involved in those preparations, two of them government officials, and Meirelles has his work cut out for him. It’s not an impossible job, and he’s right, the Games will focus attention on the need to work together. Whether he’s up to the task remains to be seen.

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