A minha Lista de blogues

domingo, 30 de junho de 2013

Katharine Hepburn

Eliot Elisofon—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

On the 10th anniversary of Katharine Hepburn’s death at the age of 96 (on June 29, 2003), LIFE.com paid tribute to the four-time Best Actress Oscar winner with a series of photos — many of which never ran in LIFE magazine — offering a glimpse inside the making of The African Queen. 

New Yorker cartoon

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court ended a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. President Obama said it “treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people.” 

What do you think of the court’s decision?

A same-sex marriage cartoon by William Haefeli:

The New Yorker is a weekly American magazine. It started in 1925. Although its reviews focus on the cultural life of New York City, it has a wide audience outside of New York and abroad.

sábado, 29 de junho de 2013

President Barack Obama in South Africa

Air Force One landed at a military airbase near Pretoria on Friday evening, the second stop after Senegal, in Obama´s three-country tour of Africa. During his stay, he is scheduled to meet President Jacob Zuma. He is also expected to visit Robben Island, where Mr Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.

However President Obama said he did not expect to see former President Nelson Mandela, who is critically ill in hospital: "The last thing I want to do is to be in any way obtrusive at a time when the family is concerned with Nelson Mandela's condition…I think the main message we'll want to deliver is not directly to him, but to his family - is simply profound gratitude for his leadership all these years, and that the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with him, his family and his country."

President Obama met Mr Mandela in 2005 when he was still a US senator. Both men became the first black presidents of their nations and have received the Nobel Peace Prize.

The US president has described Mr Mandela as a "hero for the world", whose "legacy will linger on through the ages", and who had inspired his own activism as a student.

Michelle Obama met with former President Nelson Mandela at his home in Houghton, South Africa in 2011.

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton

Read her post My Return to Africa

sexta-feira, 28 de junho de 2013

Top European Destination for 2013: Oporto

After the Urban City Guides have included Lisbon on its top 10 most beautiful cities in the world, now the Lonely Planet, the world’s leading travel publisher, has named Oporto and the Douro River Valley as the Top European Destination for 2013. “Once a sleepy riverside city best known for its fortified wines, Porto has emerged as a vibrant arts capital that's rightfully getting a lot of buzz as a great value destination,” said Andy Murdock, US Digital Editor.

Photo: Rooftops of Porto and the Douro River, by Dmitry Shakin / Getty Images in ALL YOU NEED IS PORTUGAL (facebook)

The Top 10 European Destinations elected in 2013 by the editors and columnists of the Lonely Planet are:

Porto (Portugal)

Budapest (Hungary)

North Iceland

Cinque Terre (Italy)

Moravia (Czech Republic)

Bern (Switzerland)

Marseille (France)

Zagreb (Croatia)

Northern Ireland

Copenhagen (Denmark).

Read a previous post about Oporto:

quinta-feira, 27 de junho de 2013

John Lubbock

Have you ever heard of John Lubbock (1834-1913)?

It is amazing to think of the many different things he achieved in a variety of fields like politics, banking, archaeology, biology and, at the same time, remain practically unknown.

Lubbock was the son of a wealthy banker and a neighbour of Charles Darwin. He studied at the prestigious Eton College and at the age of 22 became a partner at his father´s bank.

In 1870, and in 1874, he was elected as a MP for Maidstone and had a distinguished political career: he limited the working hours for the working class; the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 established the first bank holidays in the United Kingdom; and the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882 recognized the need to protect the national heritage. Augustus Pitt Rivers, Lubbock´s father in law, was the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments (in 18 years he managed to catalog 43 monuments; nowadays there are more than 19 000).

Besides being a banker and a politician, Lubbock was also keen on archaeology: he invented the terms "Palaeolithic" and "Neolithic" to mean the Old and New Stone Ages and was a member of the British Museum.
John Lubbock was also interested in the evolutionary theory and wrote many articles supporting Darwin´s ideas. 

He still had time for science and experimenting. As an amateur biologist he studied ants, bees and wasps. 

Let´s not forget John Lubbock! 

Lubbock´s Quotes:
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." 

"A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work". 

"The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn."

The  idea for this post came from Bill Bryson´s Em Casa. Bertrand editora 2011.(pages485-489)

Michelle de Brito in Wimbledon

Read The Telegraph

"Old Court No 2 was known as the graveyard of champions. Now its replacement is living up to the reputation."

Coffee and social life

Coffeehouse in the 17th century

Coffee became popular in England thanks to Pasqua Rosee, the servant of a a british trader in Turkish goods named Daniel Edwards. When Pasqua moved to London he used to serve coffee to Edwards´s guests. This drink was so appreciated that Pasqua decided to open the first coffeehouse in London in 1652 in St Michael's Alley,Cornhill.

The Jamaica Wine House was originally London´s first coffeehouse

quarta-feira, 26 de junho de 2013

Before Midnight

A beautiful film about human relationships and love

It belongs to a trilogy

I have seen them all and I really enjoyed them very much.

terça-feira, 25 de junho de 2013

The importance of books

Library of the Convent of Mafra, Lisbon

Books have been around for centuries but they were not available to the common person for much of that time. They were very expensive and had to be copied by hand. It was not until the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg (c.1395- 1468), in 1440, that books became cheaper and more widely available.

Books increase our knowledge, and help shape our lives. Have you ever visited a house without books? I have and I must say that it conveys a certain feeling of emptiness.

Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), the main author of the Declaration of Independence of the United States and the 3rd President, loved books. Without his books he could never have been the man he was. He was lucky enough to live in a generation where books were becoming more common. When his father died in 1757 he left a library of 42 volumes, something very impressive for that time. A library of 400 books – the number John Harvard (1607–1638) donated to the university that was later named after its benefactor- was colossal for that time.

Library of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland

In August 1814, when invading British troops set fire to the Capitol Building, where the Library of the Congress was housed, and burned its contents, Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library (consisting of 6487 volumes) as a replacement. He had spent 50 years accumulating books, and his library was considered to be one of the finest in the United States, which included books in foreign languages and volumes of philosophy, science, literature, and other topics.  Nowadays the Library of the Congress is the biggest library in the world with more than 115 million books and other print materials.


domingo, 23 de junho de 2013


Hoje à noite vamos poder observar e fotografar a "Super Lua", ou seja, a Lua Cheia vai estar ainda maior e mais brilhante do que o habitual e só daqui a 18 anos se irá presenciar algo semelhante.

A "SuperLua" pode ser visível entre as 21h06, quando nasce, e as 06h14 de segunda-feira, quando se põe.

Normalmente a distância entre a Terra e Lua é de 384.400km, mas hoje, altura do perigeu, a Lua aproxima-se da Terra e a distância será menor- cerca de 363.100 quilómetros.


Olha a lua pequenina
Lá no céu a passear
E o Menino Jesus sem se lembrar
Que pegando nela e atando um cordão
Teria um lindo balão para brincar

autor desconhecido

Quartet in Hedsor House

Hedsor House is a Georgian style mansion in England. It was transformed into Quartet’s fictional Beecham House - a retirement home for musicians.

Quartet is a 2012 British comedy-drama film based on the play of the same title written by Ronald Harwood, which ran in London's West End from September 1999 until January 2000.

“Old age is not for sissies”

The film, directed by Dustin Hoffman, tells the story of the residents of Beecham House who give a concert every year to celebrate Verdi's birthday and to raise funds for their home. This year they decided to perform the Rigoletto quartet but they have to face Jean (Maggie Smith) who plays the diva part and refuses to sing in the concert…

sábado, 22 de junho de 2013

University of Coimbra on World Heritage List

University of Coimbra: Courtyard of the old Royal Palace 

Established in 1290, the university of Coimbra is one of the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world, the oldest university in Portugal. Don´t miss the Joanine Library with its rich baroque décor when you visit the site.

The World Heritage Committee, which has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List is attending its 37th session in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (17-27 June 2013).

On June 22, 2013, the university of Coimbra was added to UNESCO World Heritage List.

It is the 15th property in Portugal on the World Heritage List:


·         Alto Douro Wine Region (2001)
·         Convent of Christ in Tomar (1983)
·         Cultural Landscape of Sintra (1995)
·         Historic Centre of Évora (1986)
·         Historic Centre of Guimarães (2001)
·         Historic Centre of Oporto (1996)
·         Monastery of Alcobaça (1989)
·         Monastery of Batalha (1983)
·         University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia (2013)
·         Laurisilva of Madeira (1999)

Clam chowder and lobster roll

I´m craving for New England clam chowder and lobster roll.

The Fish and Chips plate and the tile belong to my kitchen collection.

I loved the way they used to sell Fish and Chips (fresh cod) in the streets of London, wrapped in newspaper paper. 

New England clam chowder is a milk or cream-based chowder, commonly made with potatoes, onion, and clams. Celery is frequently used. It is usually accompanied with oyster crackers. The Manhattan clam chowder or New York Style adds tomato for red colour and flavour. Many restaurants in northern Rhode Island sell both red and white chowders. The addition of tomatoes in place of milk was initially the work of Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island, as tomato-based stews were already a traditional part of Portuguese cuisine. 

For the lobster roll you will need lobster meat (cut into bite-size pieces), mayonnaise, chopped green onions and celery, salt, lemon juice. After combining these ingredients spoon the salad into hot dog buns…Hmm. delicious! 

Royal Ascot 2013

Queen's horse Estimate won the Gold Cup

The Queen celebrates with her racing manager John Warren after her horse, Estimate, won the Gold Cup on Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot, Berkshire, 20 June 2013.

The Duke of York presents his mother,The Queen, with a trophy after her horse Estimate won the Gold Cup Ascot

Ascot Racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711.

The five-day meeting starts on a Tuesday and each day begins with the Royal Procession - the arrival of The Queen and the Royal party in horse-drawn landaus, which parade along the track in front of the race- goers.

The Royal Procession passes around the Parade Ring on day two of Royal Ascot, 2013

More about the importance of sports in Britain:

sexta-feira, 21 de junho de 2013


Sommer    лято (lyato)       Léto     Verano     夏天- 

 Ljeto  Tag-araw       Été           καλοκαίρι      הקיץ
夏     Lato         Verão      vară    лето     Sommar
ฤดูร้อน     Yaz         Estate       Summer

I wonder why "Verão" reminds me of warmer and lazier days...Hmm...perhaps because of the Portuguese beaches... 

I think I´d better turn to a more universal language: music

Bom Verão 2013!

Summer is here! (2012)

quinta-feira, 20 de junho de 2013

World Refugee Day

June 20th is World Refugee Day.

World Refugee Day is an opportunity to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to flee your community due to war or natural disaster? What would you do? Stay and risk being killed? Escape and risk rape, kidnap, violence, hunger, homelessness or worse? These are the harsh options refugees face.

The UN Refugee Agency protects and assists over 34 million people around the world, forced to flee their homes due to persecution and war. Most refugees are women and children.

Happy 35th Birthday, Garfield!

Garfield is a comic strip created by the american cartoonist Jim Davis. It has been published since June 19, 1978.

The cat Garfield, the main character, was named after Davis's grandfather. His owner is Jon Arbuckle. Odie is Jon´s dog.

quarta-feira, 19 de junho de 2013

Journal of the first voyage of Vasco da Gama to India in the Memory of the World

UNESCO established the Memory of the World Programme in 1992. It came originally from a growing awareness of the disastrous state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world.

The Journal of the first voyage of Vasco da Gama to India from 1497 to 1499, attributed to Álvaro Velho, is now part of the Memory of the World. Unesco says "it provides testimony of the pioneer sea voyage to India, one of the defining moments that changed the course of history. This manuscript is the only known contemporary copy of the report of the first voyage of Vasco da Gama to India, whose journey apart from being one of the greatest pieces of European seamanship of that time, acted as a catalyst for a series of events that would change the world."

54 new inscriptions on UNESCO Memory of the World Register


Lough Erne

Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland is where the G8 summit took place (June 17-18).

The G8 is a forum that provides the opportunity for its members to co-operate in addressing global challenges.

The G8 (Group of 8) is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the USA and the UK. The EU is represented by Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council.

The Presidency of the G8 rotates each calendar year and the country holding the G8 Presidency is responsible for hosting and organising the annual summit.The UK has handed over the Presidency to Russia for 2014.

 (from left): European commission president José Manuel Barroso; Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe; German chancellor, Angela Merkel; Russian president. Vladimir Putin; British prime minister, David Cameron; US president, Barack Obama; French president, François Hollande; Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper; Italian prime minister, Enrico Letta, and European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela nasceu na aldeia de Mvezo, na região do Transkei, em 18 de julho de 1918. Rolihlahla era o nome próprio de Mandela, que significava em zulu “aquele que ergue o ramo de uma árvore”, embora para os colonos significasse “agitador”. É costume chamarem-lhe Madiba, o seu nome de clã, que significa “grande respeito”. 

Em 1925, ingressou na escola metodista de Qunu, onde teve uma educação, na qual o pensamento, a cultura e as instituições britânicas eram considerados superiores. Aqui, recebeu o nome de Nelson, em homenagem ao Almirante inglês, herói da guerra napoleónica (naquela época, era costume as crianças receberem nomes ingleses). 

Em 1927, morreu o seu pai e o jovem Mandela ficou aos cuidados do regente do povo Thembu. Frequentou o internato Clarkebury Boarding Institute, exclusivo para a elite negra. 

Em 1939, inscreveu-se na Universidade de Fort Hare, então o único estabelecimento de ensino superior para os africanos na África do Sul. Foi eleito para a Comissão de Estudantes. Ao protestar contra a falta de qualidade das cantinas teve de enfrentar a direção da universidade, que lhe deu a escolher dois caminhos: desistir ou ser expulso. Mandela fugiu para Joanesburgo. Tinha 23 anos. 

Em 1942, formou-se como advogado e adquiriu a reputação de excelente orador e de astuto estratega, o que lhe fazia merecer o respeito da parte de juízes e dos outros colegas. No final de 1952, abriu um gabinete de advocacia com Oliver Tambo, a primeira sociedade de advogados negros na África do Sul. Em 1944, ano do seu primeiro casamento com Evelyn Mase e com a qual teve 4 filhos, Mandela entrou na política ativa e fundara a Liga da Juventude do ANC (African National Congress). 

Distinguiu-se como jornalista político, escrevendo para a revista intelectual de esquerda “Liberation- A journal of democratic discussion", revelando tendências marxistas. Apesar da vida e obra de Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) na África do Sul e as suas formas de resistência pacífica terem suscitado debates internos no ANC, Nelson Mandela, após a intensificação de legislação do apartheid em 1948, optou pela utilização da força contra o governo e fundou, em 1961, o movimento Umkhonto we Siswe ( Lança do Povo), o braço armado do ANC. 

Em 31 de maio de 1961, foi proclamada a independência da África do Sul e o domínio britânico formalmente abolido. 

Mandela fala fluentemente afrikaans, uma variante do neerlandês, um idioma que os colonos, sobretudo originários dos atuais Países Baixos desenvolveram ao longo dos tempos, em contacto com as comunidades da região. Para os brancos era uma prova de emancipação nacionalista contra os ingleses, mas para a população negra tornou-se na língua “oficial” do apartheid. 

Após um período de prisões e vida na clandestinidade, Mandela ainda conseguiu ter uma vida familiar com a sua nova mulher, Winnie Madikizela, com quem se tinha casado em 1958 e com a qual teve duas filhas. 

Em 12 de junho de 1964, foi julgado no chamado Processo de Rivonia ( um subúrbio a norte de Joanesburgo) e condenado a prisão perpétua em Robben Island ( assim chamada devido às inúmeras focas- robben em holandês- que faziam daquela ilha o seu habitat). Foi acusado de recrutar elementos para receberem treino de combate de guerrilha, preparação e uso de materiais explosivos, assim como de pedir e receber fundos estrangeiros para alcançar esses objetivos e ainda de promoção do comunismo. (Hagemann 71) 

Nos primeiros anos de cativeiro teve poucos privilégios: no espaço de seis meses só podia ter uma visita (limitada aos familiares diretos), escrever uma carta e receber outra. Com o passar do tempo conseguiu melhorias no seu estatuto. No entanto, em 1968, por ocasião da morte da mãe e, em 1969, quando um filho teve um acidente fatal, as autoridades prisionais e governamentais sul-africanas recusaram-lhe as autorizações para assistir aos funerais. 

Com a eleição do presidente F. W. de Klerk, em 1989, criaram-se as condições para a libertação de Mandela, o que ocorreu em 11 de fevereiro de 1990, após 27 anos de prisão. O ANC foi legalizado e as leis do apartheid foram revogadas. Em 1993, o presidente Klerk e Nelson Mandela receberam, em conjunto, o prémio Nobel da Paz. 

“ As I finally walked through those gates to enter a car on the other side, I felt-even at the age of seventy-one-that my life was beginning anew.”

Nelson Mandela. Long Walk to Freedom. Back Bay Books. New York, 2008 page 772

Em 1994, Nelson Mandela tornou-se o primeiro presidente negro da África do Sul, após uma estrondosa vitória eleitoral do ANC, que se tem mantido no poder desde então. Mandela teve como principal objetivo da sua presidência, que durou cinco anos, a reconciliação nacional num período de transição do apartheid para um governo de democracia multicultural. 

No contexto desse objectivo político fundamental e conciliador, tornou-se símbolo o seu apadrinhamento da seleção nacional sul-africana de râguebi, o desporto dos colonos brancos, cujo tema foi abordado no excelente filme de Clint Eastwood, Invictus, com Morgan Freeman no papel de Mandela. 

Lembro-me que durante o seu mandato, o embaixador de Portugal em Pretória, Vasco Valente (1995 a 1997) ter sido considerado persona non grata, cujo significado literal é "pessoa não bem-vinda"- uma forma de "punir" membros do corpo diplomático acreditado em determinado país, o qual (naquele caso tratou-se da África do Sul) considera terem cometido infracções ou adotado comportamentos considerados inadequados. Em Portugal era presidente Jorge Sampaio, que não usou da prerrogativa de usar o mesmo direito de retaliar, como acontece na maioria dos casos conhecidos e tratados nos meios de informação. O assunto nunca ficou muito bem esclarecido. 

Voltando a Nelson Mandela…

Em 1996, divorciou-se de Winnie e, dois anos mais tarde, casou-se com Graça Machel, a viúva do presidente moçambicano Samora Machel. 

No Mundial de Futebol de 2010 na África do Sul, o capitão da selecção nacional portuguesa, Cristiano Ronaldo, visitou o presidente Mandela e ofereceu-lhe a camisola da equipa com o número 91, então a idade de Nelson Mandela. 

Apesar de ter estado muito doente recentemente, congratulo-me por saber que o estado de saúde de Madiba, com 94 anos, estará a melhorar. Figuras ímpares como Nelson Mandela viverão sempre na memória da Humanidade.

Veja o monumento a Nelson Mandela

Mandela Day

Morreu Nelson Mandela


Hagemann, A. Nelson Mandela. Expresso, 2011

terça-feira, 18 de junho de 2013

World Day to Combat Desertification

World Day to Combat Desertification is today, June 17! Did you know that desertification wipes out an area three times the size of Switzerland every year?

This year the theme is drought and water scarcity.

Of all the water on Earth, only 2.5 per cent is freshwater. When demand for water exceeds available supply, it results in water scarcity.

domingo, 16 de junho de 2013

I Love Turkey, Istambul and...Taksim Square

I lived in Turkey (Ankara) from 1989 till 1993. I visited Istambul several times with my family and friends and now I think it is a shame to read what´s happening there.

I would like to share this information that came from a friend of mine:

“Dear friends all over the world, here comes YESTERDAY's issue of Turkish news.

First of all, I sincerely apologize for filling your social network feeds so often nowadays. Unfortunately, as people of Turkey we are witnessing such an unacceptable level of injustice every day and under the heavy blackout of the media many of us don't see any other means to fight it besides creating some international awareness. I would appreciate if you think about sharing this..

The government of Turkey, in collaboration with the police and the media, staged a theater play -with terrible actors- at Taksim square of Istanbul early this morning. Aiming to dissipate the peaceful protesters in the Taksim square, who have been there for nearly two weeks to defend a small urban park against government's intention to build a shopping mall, the government has not hesitated to use, at times fatal, violence since late may 2013.

This morning, after Istanbul governor's announcement that there would be no attacks on the people at the Gezi park and Taksim, hundreds of policemen came in to collect the banners, at the same time chocking people with tear gas.

The media, which has ignored the protests so far was there from the very beginning, broadcasting (from extremely good shooting points) the screenplay between hundreds of cops and about 30 protesters (their identities still a mystery,) who were throwing Molotov cocktails to the police at the square. This act went on for more than an hour. The police, who has demonstrated its capability of breaking up thousand of people (without any provocation) within minutes with tear gas and water cannons, only circled around them, gently spraying a little water as if watering a garden. All this suggested that police provocateurs were in action to create a false image of peaceful protestors as vandals... As the police was treating softly and nicely these secret "protestors"/provocateurs, on the back streets and around Gezi park, where media was not broadcasting, the attacks against genuine protestors were, as usual, brutal.

The protests until this morning have been peaceful and it is not clear whether these unidentified provocateurs were extremists from some political groups or some others (??) as claimed. What is clear is that they do not reflect and represent the spirit of this uprising. Couple of hours ago, police attacked the biggest court house in Istanbul and arrested (this is by itself breaking the law btw) around 70 lawyers, who were only protesting against the morning attacks, probably as a response to their voluntary service for protecting the rights of the people arrested and injured during last week's protests.

Please share this information. The Turkish media has failed miserably and it is very important that the world knows what is really going on in Turkey at the moment".

June 12

"Istanbul - Last night

Violations of medical neutrality constitute crimes outlined in the GENEVA Conventions. AKP has VIOLATED this many times over tonight. Police attacked the medical treatment areas in Gezi Park, in Divan Hotel, The German Hospital and Taksim IlkYardim Hospital. yes, they actually attacked the 2 hospitals and the medical treatment areas in Gezi Park and Divan Hotel.

MEDICAL NEUTRALITY refers to a principle of noninterference with medical services in times of armed conflict and civil unrest: physicians must be allowed to care for the sick and wounded, and soldiers must receive care regardless of their political affiliations; all parties must refrain from attacking and misusing medical facilities, transport, and personnel. Concepts comprising the principles of medical neutrality derive from international human rights law, medical ethics and humanitarian law. Medical neutrality may be thought of as a kind of social contract that obligates societies to protect medical personnel in both times of war and peace, and obligates medical personnel to treat all individuals regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or political affiliation".

June 16

I also read this headline in a local newspaper:

“Police to consider protesters in Istambul´s Taksim Square terror organization members”

 This photo was taken In Istambul in 1992

A monument recently inaugurated in Lisbon, Portugal

This sculpture, by Francisco Simões, honours all diplomats and public servants who have fallen in foreign service, like the former Turkish Ambassador and his wife who were assassinated by a radical Armenian organization on 7th June 1982, in Lisbon.

Women in space

On 16th June 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to fly to space, just two years after Yuri Gagarin performed the first spaceflight ever in 1961. Tereshkova circled the Earth 48 times onboard the Vostok 6 spacecraft.

Today is the 50th anniversary of this extraordinary achievement in the history of women in space.


Global Wind Day

Wind farm in Portugal

Today is Global Wind Day, a worldwide event that started in 2009.

sábado, 15 de junho de 2013