2017-10-15 (Summertime)

Today, I learned that:

On the Southern hemisphere, we are moving on towards the brightest season of the year. One of the signs of that is the adoption of daylight saving time, a.k.a. summer time, when the clock advances one hour instantaneously. However, the Brazilian government continues to make that happen at midnight, moving ahead to 01:00. Although this might not be a big obstacle right now, when moving back to standard time in February, 2018, it will occur once more at midnight, jumping back to 23:00. I think that the European model, where the change occurs at a time when much less people are active, involving 02:00 and 03:00, is much better, and its also does not involve two different dates. References #1 and 2 remembers that wonderful time of the year, seen through the hands and voice of George Gershwin and Janis Joplin.

And for the following people, in jail because of corruption, summer time may be some sort of relief:


Cartoon from Folha de S. Paulo today:
“-We managed to reduce your stay! -How much? -One hour. Summer time is about to start.”

In my post of 2017-09-29, I mentioned the word infinitesimal used in a broadcast from Radio National, Australia. In the same interview is also remembered the old commercial from Esso, “Put a tiger in your tank”, which can be answered by “What is the use of a tiger in tank, if there is a jackass at the steering wheel?” (See also the transcript in reference #3 below).

As a parallel, watch the two videos in references #4 and 5 below. So what is the use of high speed automated routing system for packages when they are treated so badly at the destination?

But everything in Brazil is not as pessimistic as it may seem from the examples above. The Swedish-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (Swedcham) just published its annual survey of the business climate in Brazil for 70 Swedish companies. Despite the Brazilian recession, 36% of the companies say that they are satisfied with the present business climate. You can read the complete report in reference # 6 below.

Finally, here are two interesting examples of how AI (artificial intelligence) is helping out in the fields of health and beauty:

  • In an eye clinic in the Aravind hospital in Madurai, India, AI is examining photos taken of the eyes of diabetic patients. If they are not treated in time, there is a risk that they may go blind. So together with Google, the hospital has developed a computer program to examine the photos of the retinal fundus of the eye. Tests have shown that the program has the same accuracy as the professional ophthalmologist, up to 90 %, and in much less time. See references # 7 and 8 below.
  • Intel has developed a mobile application (named Face It) that uses computer vision to acquire data about a user’s facial structure as well as machine learning to determine the user’s face shape. This information is then combined with manually inputted information to give the user a personalized set of hair and beard styles that are guaranteed to make the user look his best. A personalized list of tips are also generated for the user to take into account when getting a haircut. See the screenshot and reference # 9 below.

Example of tips generated by Face It

That’s what I learned in school !


1: Summertime

2: Janis Joplin – Summertime, Live 1969

3: Micropayments could amount to large sums for conservation

4: Shipping Warehouse Robots

5: Flagra de funcionário dos Correios jogando encomendas

6: Swedish business climate in Brazil 2017

7: AI räddar synen för diabetiker

8: Ophthalmoscopy

9: Face It – The Artificially Intelligent Hairstylist

*: What did you learn in school today ?


2017-09-23 (Primavera)

Today, I learned that:

Since yesterday was the day of the equinox, when day and night have the same duration all over the world, today on the Southern hemisphere is the first day of Primavera, a word used in e.g. the Portuguese language to denote the season of Spring. It originated in ancient Rome, where it meant the beginning of Summer. Nowadays, it is Spring, but nevertheless I think the word is so graceful!

The photo below shows Rio Tietê, a very important waterway in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. It starts in the east, only 22 km from the South Atlantic ocean, but instead of taking the easiest route, it crosses all of the state to finally merge with Rio Paraná 1 150 km to the West. Se reference #1 below for more interesting information.



A photo taken on 2017-07-23 of Rio Tietê, a very important river in the North of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. It starts in the East, only 22 km from the South Atlantic ocean, but does not flow there. Instead it continues 1 100 km to the West, where it finally ends up merging with Rio Paraná. This bridge of highway SP-333 over the river is more than 2 km long.

In my latest post I invited you to a technical seminar in São Paulo on 2017-09-12. I was fortunate enough to start the seminar with my presentation of “A walk down the memory lane of electronics”. The seminar was a huge success, thanks everyone who showed up! In case you could not make it, do not worry, here is a photo from the presentation:

Swedcham 20170912

A photo from my speech. My daughter Karina shows the actual phone while I present it on the screen.


Photo taken by Jonas Lindström. I express my views on the future of gadgets, on my shirt is written ” I’m not always right – but I’m never wrong!”. Behind me are also two of the other speakers at the event, Guilherme Maciel and Johan Åhlund.

In reference # 2 below is the complete presentation and reference #3 is how Nordic Light reported the event. Enjoy!

That’s what I learned in school !


1: Rio Tietê

2: A walk down the memory lane of electronics

3: Swedcham news, from the past into the future

*: What did you learn in school today ?