304’2022 (2022-10-31) – Halloween

Today, I learned about:

As you read in my post of 240’2022 (2022-08-28) , although Brazil does not have the natural conditions to be a country involved in winter sports, there are two Brazilian confederations, CBDG (sports on ice) and CBDN (sports on snow). For the former part, there is of course the possibility of building an ice arena, which you also saw in that post. But what do you do to create good conditions to practice on snow in a country with mainly tropical and sub-tropical climate?

CBDN has found a way! There is another sport which mimics cross country skiing, but without snow. It is called roller skiing, for details see reference #1 below.

I had the pleasure of attending a roller skiing competition in São Carlos, SP, Brazil two weeks ago. Today’s header photo shows me testing the winners’ podium, and yes if it could hold me, then the athletes would have no problems to be receiving their well-earned medals.

Here you can see two pictures from the competition on 287’2022 (2022-10-14), when the topic was a 1,4 km sprint with qualifications, semi-finals and finals, as well as the top trio in both the women’s and the men’s competition. Reference # 2 below gives all the details about the competition.

In this photo can be seen the finish in the women’s 1, 4 km sprint. It is also very clear to see how the skis used by the athletes are.
A photo showing the finish in the men’s 1,4 km sprint
A video clip showing the fascinating finish of the men’s 1,4 km sprint
The winning trio in the women’s 1,4 km sprint: 1) Eduarda Ribera (only 17 years old!); 2) Gabriela Neres; 3) Mirlene Picin. All three from Brazil.
The winning trio in the men’s 1,4 km sprint, 1) Claudio Oliveira, Brazil; 2) Victor Santos, Brazil; 3) Yonathan Fernandez, Chile.

Next month, I will give more details about the roller skiing organization within CBDN.

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Roller skiing

2: Circuito brasileiro de rollerski etapa III

273’2022 (2022-09-30) – Friday

Hoje, eu aprendi que:

Brasil pode não ser o país mais rico financeiramente, mas quando se pensa em riqueza cultural está definitivamentemente no topo.

Tive o prazer de assistir um show com o sambista Paulinho da Viola e sua família no Sesc em São Carlos na semana passada. A foto do cabeçalho mostra Paulinho flanqueados por Beatriz e João. Paulinho toca seu cavaquinho com mestria, Beatriz canta e João toca o violão, e ainda há um trio acompanhando por piano, bateria e guitarra.

Paulinho é uma homem muito carismâtico. Possui 79 anos, mas da maneira que ele age parece mais como um jovem artista de 29 anos, impressionante! No show foram apresentadas várias músicas conhecidas dele, de uma carreira com mais de 50 anos. Para quem quer conhecer as músicas, há amplas possibilidades pela internet, mas quero somentar acrescentar uma estória que ele contou.

Paulinho está muito ligado à escola de samba carioca Portela, mas uns atrás participou, sem querer, numa competição de canções de samba em São Paulo e ganhou um prêmio. Isso não foi recebido bem na Portela. Em compensação, Paulinho escreveu “Foi um rio que passou em minha vida”. A estória completa segue aqui, mas infelizmente a qualidade do som não está muito boa:

Paulinho da Viola conta a estória que fez ele compensar a Portela com a bela canção “Foi um rio que passou em minha vida”.

Mais sobre Paulinho na referência 1, abaixo.

Paulinho da Viola with daughter Beatriz, son João e and a trio performing at Sesc in São Carlos on 263’2022 (2022-09-20).

(The story above in Portuguese is about a show that the samba legend Paulinho da Viola held in São Carlos last week. The header photo shows him together with his daughter Beatriz and son João, as well as an accompanying trio. More about Paulinho da Viola can be found in reference #2 below.)

And, finally, soon there will be some photos from my May visit to Ouro Preto. In my blogs from 151’2022 (2022-05-31) and 181’2022 (2022-06-30) I already showed you some pictures, and during the month of November there are more to come.

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Paulinho da Viola (em português)

2: Paulinho da Viola (in English)

240’2022 (2022-08-28) – Sunday

Today, I learned about:

I recently moved 650 km (400 miles) from the state of Paraná to the state of São Paulo, making this the first post from my new location in São Carlos. And it also means that I am now sufficiently close to the city of São Paulo to go there, meet old friends and experience exciting things on a regular basis.

And since there is no time to get wasted, I just came back home from such a trip to São Paulo over the last, extended weekend, and do I have interesting things to report:

Brazilian winter sports

With its warm, mostly tropical climate, Brazil is of course not the most natural place to practice what many people call winter sports, which typically use snow or ice as the setting. But that does not mean that Brazilians are abstaining themselves from winter sports. Between Saturday 246’2022 (2022-09-03) and Saturday 253’2022 (2022-09-10) the Brazilian Open will be held in alpine skiing and snowboard. But the lack of sufficient amount of snow in Brazil makes it necessary to organize it in Corralco, Chile. The responsibility for the event lies with CBDN (Confederação Brasileira de Desportos na Neve), i.e. the Brazilian Confederation for Sports on Snow. More about CBDN and their activities can be found in reference #1 below.

Furthermore, there is also CBDG (Confederação Brasileira de Desportos no Gelo), i.e. the Brazilian Confederation for Sports on Ice, reference #2 below. Last Thursday, on 237’22 (2022-08-25), I had the pleasure of meeting with the Presidents of CBDG, Matheus Figueiredo, and CBDN, Anders Pettersson, in the CBDG headquarters in Brazil, the so called Arena Ice. Besides an iceskating rink for figure skating and 3×3 ice hockey, the arena hosts three official sized ice sheets for curling, sometimes thought of as chess on ice. If you do not know what curling is, then I suggest you take a look at my earlier posts in the matter, such as 83’2018 (2018-03-24), 124’2018 (2018-05-24), and 91’2019 (2019-04-01) .

The following photo gives you a view of the curling ice sheets, and furthermore, below are also two more photos taken during my visit to Arena Ice:

This photo shows the three ice sheets of official size that are available in Brazilian Ice Sport´s stadium Arena Ice. Photo taken by Anders Pettersson on 237’22 (2022-08-25).
In the photo to the left, from left to right, we see the two gentlemen who are the official leaders of winter sport in Brazil, Matheus Figueiredo, president of the Brazilian Confederation for Sports on Ice (CBDG), and Anders Pettersson, president of the Brazilian Confederation for Sports on Snow (CDBN), discussing over a delicious cup of Brazilian coffee in Arena Ice´s cafeteria. In the photo to the right, Matheus and I, posing while taking very much care to not fall on the slippery ice on the curling sheet. Both photos taken on 237’2022 (2022-08-25) in Arena Ice, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Swedcham Friday Fika

Then on Friday, 238’22 (2022-08-26), I went to the Swedish-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (Swedcham) to assist an interview in the series that they call Friday Fika, in which the executive director of Swedcham, Jonas Lindström, has held many interesting interviews with people of various trades. It used to be exclusively online, but since the Covid pandemic is showing strong signs to decay, before this event they had already experienced the first interview IRL, combined with online transmisson for those who for some reason could not go there in person. Reference #3 gives all the details, with links to the various events, hosted on Youtube.

The interviewee this time was Christopher Podgorski, CEO of Scania Latin America, a business leader known for his way of leading and incentivating people to work together in order to reach the business goals. In reference #4 is a direct link to the interview.

Below are some photos I took of the event:

A photo of the event where Christopher Podgorski, CEO of Scania Latin America, to the left, is interviewed by Jonas Lindström, Executive Director of Swedcham Brazil.
Two photos from behind the stage: The left one showing the light atmosphere during the event, with the public enjoying both the interview and the delicious snacks. The right photo shows the last minute setup that had to be made in order to put the video feed online. Manoel Alberto and his daughter Gabriele Los Angeles were able to help Jonas with that task.

In my next post I hope to be able to show you the pictures taken in Ouro Preto during my visit there in May 2022.

That’s what I learned in school today!




3: Friday Fika

4: Friday Fika with Christopher Podgorski

*: What did you learn in school today ?

212’2022 (2022-07-31) – Sunday

Today, I learned about:

The World Athletics Championships, held in Eugene, OR, USA, just ended last Sunday after 10 interesting days full of exciting competitions. And as a Swede, once more I had to admit that “Patience is a virtue”. After two bronze medals in the race walk 20 km and 35 km by Perseus Karlström, we had to wait to the final competition, the male pole vault, to see a Swede (albeit dual American and Swedish citizen), Armand Duplantis, finish on top of the podium. And what a fantastic result, 6,21 m, new world record! As you can see from the screenshots below, if the bar had been placed on 6,29 m, in principle he would have made it at that height, as well!

Here it is, the new world record in male pole vault. Armand Duplantis closed the World Athletic Championships in Eugene in the best possible way. If he had continued, would he have made it even higher, such as 6,29 m ??? I think he will show that to us later on.

And there was another thing, that few people noticed, that also made me very content. You may remember that in my post of 212’2021 (2021-07-31) , I complained about the distorted names for all competitors who did not conform to the basic ASCII code, but had their names made almost illegible. Well, the organizers of the World Athletics Championships must have read that post, because they made a fantastic job in writing all names the way nature created them. As you can see below, the aformementioned medallist, race walker Perseus Karlström, finally obtained what he deserves.

This is only one example of all the correct spellings of the athletes participating in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

But there was one, tiny detail that failed in that context. The German heptathlon athlete Sophie Weißenberg got a dual personality!

In German, there is an old letter ß, which nowadays often is spelled ss. As you can see in this sequence of screenshots, the pentathlon athlete Sophie Weißenberg seems to be treated by the organizers as a transition between the old and the new style way of writing. Even though the old style is really the most correct way, the new style is normally accepted now. However, may we ask that next time Sophie appears in the World Athletics Championships, only one way would be used in all writing of her name? If you want to know more about these fantastic sports and their athletes, see reference # 1 below.

And, finally, here are some pictures from my tour in Minas Gerais. All of them below are from the town of Tiradentes.

Photos taken in the town of Tiradentes, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, on 143-144’2022 (2022-05-23–24). This is one of the historical places in this state that is being conserved to look like in the 18th century, when Brazil was a Portuguese colony. The name Tiradentes literally means a person who withdraws teeth, which in many cases were what the dentists then had to do. And Tiradentes is mainly connected with such person, whose real name was Joaquim José da Silva Xavier and who was leading a rebellion against the Portuguese reign over Brazil. He was condemned and hanged on April 21, 1792. April 21 is now a national holiday in Brazil, Tiradentes Day. The object in the middle of the lower row is a speciality of the town of Tiradentes. It is a hearth in which alcohol is burnt to produce a warm and cosy atmosphere, the same principle as the one used in the rechaud of a fondue equipment. More about Tiradentes can be found in reference #2 below.

And one more thing, I took today’s header photo, an ordinary street view with an extraordinary sunset, yesterday 211’2022 (2022-07-30) in Paranavaí, PR, Brazil:

An amazing sunset in Paranavaí, PR, Brazil, a photo I took on 211’2022 (2022-07-30).

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: World Athletics Championships 2022

2: Tiradentes

*: What did you learn in school today ?

181’2022 (2022-06-30) – Halftime

Today, I learned about:

They say that time flies and nothing seems to be more true than that these days. One month ago I promised you some nice pictures from my visit to Minas Gerais, unfortunately I have not had sufficient time to complete them. But do not worry, here in Brazil they say “Promessa é dívida”, meaning that a promise is a debt, and I owe it you! In July, they will appear here! In Sweden they say “Den som väntar på något gott kan inte vänta för länge”, i.e. whoever waits for anything good cannot wait too long!

In the meantime, the photo you see below is yet another one from Ouro Preto, taken by Graziela Gabrielli on 146’2022 (2022-05-26) in the gardens of the Church Nossa Senhora do Carmo. That is what I call a tranquil view!

Photo taken in Ouro Preto on 146’2022 (2022-05-26) by Graziela Gabrielli in the gardens of the Church Nossa Senhora do Carmo.

While you are waiting for the next photos to appear, I do have a teaser for you, and it is also from the state of Minas Gerais. One week ago, the world knew that a Brazilian cheese, from Serra da Canastra in the Southeastern corner of the state, was selected as the very best in the world by the American culinary guide Taste Atlas:

If you want to learn more about the cheese from Canastra, see reference #1 below.

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Canastra cheese

*: What did you learn in school today ?

151’2022 (2022-05-31) – Monday

Today, I learned about:

What a fantastic world we live in! Last week I travelled to the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais (which means General mines) on invitation from my student of Swedish, Adriana Bizzotto, together with her colleague Graziela Gabrielli. Thank you both for a very interesting week!

The trip started in the state capital, Belo Horizonte, where we had some marvellous meals. Then on Monday, we travelled south to visit Tiradentes, a town named after the Brazilian revolutionary who is known to be the person who started the upheaval against the Portugese colonizers at the end of the 18th century. The town is always crowded with visitors who want to see more of this well preserved town. On Wednesday, we continued north to Ouro Preto, a well known town in the Unesco World Heritage Program. And there were even more tourists there.

During the coming months, I will publish some interesting photos from the trip. To start with, the following photo was taken by Adriana on 147’2022 (2022-05-27) in the center of Ouro Preto and it shows the church of Saint Francis in the middle and other interesting buildings to the right.

Photo taken in Ouro Preto on 147’2022 (2022-05-27) by Adriana Bizzotto showing the Church of Saint Francis in the middle and other historical buildings to the right.

Stay connected to see the other photos, coming soon!

That’s what I learned in school today!


*: What did you learn in school today ?

120’2022 (2022-04-30) – Sköna maj välkommen, mer än någonsin på mycket länge!

Today, I learned about:

In my earlier post of 122’2020 (2020-05-01), I talked about the importance of this day in Sweden. It is then that the Swedes celebrate the arrival of Spring in many festive ways. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has now been three years since that could be done in the traditional way. I am therefore very happy that today represents going back to the traditions, and as an alumni of Chalmers University of Technology, the most important thing is of course the parade of trucks disguised as settings for various events during the preceding year, the so-called Cortege.

In my earlier post of 365’2019 (2019-12-31), I also mentioned the result of a scientific activity on Chalmers that looked utterly interesting, how to capture and store solar energy up to 18 years. Now I am pleased to show you the developments after that. As you can see in reference #1 below, Chalmers together with mainly researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, are now proceding with a system that does all that.

Today’s header photo, sent to me by my good old friend Dina Giltinan, shows the Grand Harbour in Valletta, Malta. Thank you, Dina, for yet another contribution to my blog ! (I earlier showed another photo from Malta in my blog of 247’2016 (2016-09-03).

A view of Tthe Grand harbour of Valletta, the capital of Malta. Photo taken by Dina Giltinan on 110’22 (2022-04-20).

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Converting solar energy to electricity on demand

*: What did you learn in school today ?

60’2022 (2022-03-01) – Hidden secrets

Today, I learned about:

Over a decade ago, the leading manufacturer of mobile phones in the world was a Finnish company, Nokia. At that time, they made a worldwide survey asking people one simple question: You are out in town having fun and when you leave the bar you forget to take one of the following things with you: your wallet or your mobile phone. Which one can you not afford to lose? Already at that time, the big majority of respondents said that they would opt for the mobile phone. And if the same survey was conducted today, I have no doubt that the outcome would be the same, but in even bigger majority for the phone.

I remembered that survey some months ago when I watched a movie on Netflix, a French film named Le jeu (“The game”), in which three married couples and a bachelor friend of theirs meet for dinner during a total eclipse of the Moon, when strange things are said to happen. The central objects during this dinner are, you guessed it, the seven mobile phones belonging to each one of the participants. They start to play a game where all phones are placed in the middle of the dinner table, and when a call or message enters, everyone is allowed to listen in on the contents, because supposedly, no one has anything to hide, right? I will not spoil what happens next, but urge you to look at it yourself, see reference #1 below. It is well worth your while!

Then in January, while listening to Radio Sweden, their news correspondent in the Middle East, Cecilia Uddén, reported about a film with a similar story. This time it was making a big scandal with its contents in Egypt and there was even a parlamentary member who wanted to forbid Netflix to act in Egypt. One detail that made him furious was the lack of a particular item of female clothing, can you guess which? See also references # 2 and 3 below.

In her report, Cecilia also mentions that the film was an Arabic remake of an originally Italian film from 2016, named Perfetti Sconosciuti, which made a big success and won the Italian counterpart to the Oscar, David di Donatello, for the best Italian film of the year. You can read more about and of its 18 remakes in different languages which was inserted in the Guinness Book of Records in 2019 as being the film with the largest quantity of remakes, in reference #4 below.

Now I got really curious, so I asked a friend of mine, a real cinephile, about it. Of course, he did not only know it, but also had his own copy on DVD, something that I had searched for in vain over to the internet. Here is a photo from the Italian version:

A picture of the seven actors in Perfetti Sconosciuti, originally published by IMDB, taking a selfie while out on the balcony in Rome, watching the Eclipse of the Moon. Then suddenly something unexpected happens, can you guess what?

Then I also found a Spanish version from 2017 on Netflix, reference #5.

Unfortunately I have only seen these four versions, but I must say that I enjoyed all of them very much, being very similar in almost everything, but adapted to local names, types of food etc. But If I had to vote for only one of them, I would definitely go with the original, Italian version, which seems more genuine and complete. What do you think? Please leave a comment and I will tally the answers and let you know in a future post.

Today’s photo, sent to me by a faithful follower, shows Plaça de Catalunya i Barcelona, Spain, the city’s biggest square and a natural meeting place in the center. Thank you for your contribution once more!

Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Photo taken on 68’2022 (2022-03-09).

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Le jeu

2: Egyptisk parlamentsledamot vill förbjuda Netflix

3: Perfect strangers

4: Perfetti Sconosciuti

5: Perfectos desconocidos

*: What did you learn in school today ?

58’2022 (2022-02-27) – More Aurora

Today, I learned about:

In my post of 16’2022 (2022-01-16) I talked about the Northern lights that had been seen over most parts of Sweden. Approximately 28 days later, when the Sun’s corona hole once more was directed towards Earth, it was more restricted to Northern latitudes. The photo below was taken on 41’2022 (2022-02-10) outside of Sälen, Dalarna, Sweden, and I hope you agree with me that it is marvellous to see such wonders of Nature. The further north you go, the bigger the chance of experiencing it.

This amazing picture of aurora borealis was taken outside of Sälen, Dalarna, Sweden on Thursday 41’2022 (2022-02-10).

That’s what I learned in school today!


*: What did you learn in school today ?

16’2022 (2022-01-16) – Aurora

Today, I learned about:

This time of the year in the Northern hemisphere, there can appear an interesting phenomenon in the sky. It is called aurora borealis (Northern lights) and the further north you go, the bigger the chance of experiencing it. When it is winter season in the Southern hemisphere, six months from now, there is also the same phenomenon there, called aurora australis (Southern lights).

When I lived in Sweden during the 1970s and 1980s, I was lucky to have that view twice. The first was in September 1973 in Ystad on the extreme Southern coast and the second time was in Stockholm in mid-winter in 1982. And now I am informed that most parts of Sweden have had the chance to see “norrsken”, the Swedish denomination, during this weekend. The following photo was shot by my friend Arthur in Stockholm shortly after midnight on Saturday 15’2022 (2022-01-15). It was taken from Södermalm towards Strandvägen and Djurgården. Thank you, Arthur, for this Swedish (de)light!

It was one of those rare occasions when also the southern parts of Sweden could see the phenomenon of aurora borealis. Arthur Ribas took this photo from Södermalm in Stockholm, looking out over Djurgården, shortly after midnight on Saturday 22’2022 (2022-01-15).

If you want to discover what Northern lights really are, take a look in reference #1 below.

Another thing that I heard of these days is that in the USA, on 7’2022 (2022-01-07), man for the first time received a heart from a genetically altered pig. You can read more about it reference #2 below.

And today, in the morning radio news show Godmorgon, världen on Radio Sweden was discussed more about that heart transplant, if the patient’s body will accept it and not reject it, which ethical aspects we can apply to this case, if it will be possible to start using transplanted organs from animals, etc. If you understand Swedish, I urge you to listen to the interesting conversation in reference #3.

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Aurora

2: In a First, Man Receives a Heart From a Genetically Altered Pig

3: Så kan vi påverkas när djurens organ blir våra reservdelar

*: What did you learn in school today ?