2016-10-08 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

The United Arab Emirates, especially through the emirate Dubai, continues to expands its offerings for tourism in this interesting part of the world. In my post of 2016-06-21, I wrote about the technological advances in Dubai, and now I learned that further to the earlier 16 languages, their Ministry of Tourism has now also added Swedish as a language to a complete subsite, see reference # 1 below. The photo below, courtesy of my friend Chiara Anzalone, shows the Arabian Gulf at Dubai, with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, considered the world’s must luxurious hotel in the foreground, and the artificial Palm Jumeirah islands towards the horizon. How about meeting me there?

chiara3

Photo from Dubai, taken by Chiara Anzalone, showing the Arabian Gulf, with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, considered the world’s must luxurious hotel in the foreground, and the Palm Jumeirah islands towards the horizon.

The past week revealed the laureates of the scientific Nobel Prizes 2016, where among other things we learned that the term ‘topology’ means totally different things in physics and chemistry. Radio Sweden made a fantastic job to compress the reasons for awarding exactly these scientists into three 1-minute video clips. References #2, #3, #4 below carry the links. The language is Swedish, but who knows besides learning more about medicine, physics, and chemistry, you may also pick up some words in the “language of honor and heroes”?

I had planned to discuss the advancement of machines into our lives today, but since it is a subject that cannot be dealt with on a coffee break, I will return to it any day soon. Instead, I would like to show how one of the world’s technology giants are once more dismantling their acquired heritage. The company is called Microsoft, and after turning Nokia and Skype into dust, now it seems that LinkedIn will be their next victim. I received this e-mail the other day:

desempregado

The once excellent social business network LinkedIn was recently bought by Microsoft. Looking at this network update, how they want me to congratulate a friend who recently got unemployed (“Desempregado”) is just one more sign of their continuing “King Midas in reverse”. (Name and image have been altered for security reasons.) See and listen also to reference # 5 below.

And, there is one more thing …

temers

Brazil’s First Lady, Marcela Temer, presents the new social program Criança feliz (“Happy child”), with her husband, president Michel Temer, behind her, on 2016-10-05, photo by Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress. The same newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo, published today 2016-10-08 a cartoon by Montanaro, in which an admirer says “My, does Marcela speak well!” and Michel responds “Of course, who do you think taught her to speak her first words?” (This kind of political gossip is common due to the large age difference between the two, 76 vs. 33 years.)

… That’s what I learned in school !

byran

Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE, and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH / DANISH / NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” here !!!

Refs.:

1: Besök Dubai – Upptäck Dubais alla möjligheter!

2: Nobelpriset i medicin 2016

3: Nobelpriset i fysik 2016

4: Nobelpriset i kemi 2016

5: The Hollies “King Midas In Reverse”

+: What did you learn in school today ?

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2016-10-02 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

Once more, it is municipal election day in the pseudo democracy called Brazil. I say so, because voting is not only a right for Brazilian citizens, but also a duty! The result is obvious beforehand: A conservation of the ruling class, which has the financial means to control the situation. Everyone declared capable, aged from 18 to 70 years, must vote. Although there are some other democracies in the world where it is also mandatory to vote, what comes to my mind right now is Belgium, a country that stayed without a government during almost three years after a general election. My conviction is that elections should be open to everyone who is qualified to vote, but nobody should be obligated to do so! But since it is the proper politicians who must decide on such a measure which would go against their interests, unfortunately I do not see such a change coming ever.

titulos

Two opposite sides of the Brazilian society: To the left, the well-off citizen with all his titles and investment bonds, and to the right, the poor person, whose only right (and obligation!) is the document which identifies him as an elector. Drawn by Jean Galvão and published in Folha de S. Paulo today.

I feel very honored to have so many friends spread out all over the world, and when they travel they often send me pictures to show their destinations, and today is not at all different. My friend Barbara, who has lived in Sweden for decades, went back home to her native city, Świnoujście in Poland, last month for an important family celebration. And here you can see some of the pictures she sent me. Dzięki, Barbara!

Below are some more pictures from this sea-side city in the extreme north-west corner of Poland, bordering Germany and with a daily ferry to Ystad in Sweden. See also reference # 1 below.

swinoujscie
swinoujcie2

Six photos from Świnoujście, all taken by Barbara Sigurdsson in September, 2016. The main photo shows the post office to the left, and the two photos in landscape mode of the next front row show scenes from the seaside promenade. The leftmost one pictures the German town Ahlbeck in the distance and the second one is a typical one from this neighborhood. In the second row, to the left, is a former Soviet military base that now has been transformed into a civic center, including sports arena, theater, tax authority and a music school. The next photo shows typical residental buildings today, in bright contrast to the rightmost photo of a skyscraper built during the communist regime.

Last Friday, 2016-09-30, was International Translation Day. When I was a teenager, I did not know which career I would follow, since I liked both technology and languages. My uncle, who had a high position in Ericsson, advised me to study technology and include as many languages as possible in my curriculum. Of course, I followed his advice, and today I am proud to say that I am very fond of making translations, in particular those involving technology, in the language pairs SwedishEnglish, SwedishPortuguese, and EnglishPortuguese. If you need to have any document translated in those languages, or including Danish and Norwegian, contact me or my fellow translators of the Taskforce, see link in reference # 2 below, and click on the appropriate flag in the upper right corner.

Finally, if you live close to an airport and are disturbed by the noise of aircraft while arriving at the airport, here comes good news for you. A study performed at KTH in Stockholm, confirmed at Heathrow airport, shows that if the landing aircraft forms an angle of 3,5 degrees to the ground instead of the current 3 degrees, then the generated noise can be reduced by 2 decibel, which is quite a lot! See references #3 and 4 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Świnoujście

2: Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, PORTUGUESE and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH, DANISH, NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” through this link !!!

3: Brantare landning minskar bullret

4: Slutrapport Förstudie Brantare

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-09-15 (Jueves/Thursday)

Hoy en día, aprendí:

Hace 195 años, 1821-09-15, se crearon los Estados Unidos de América Central cuando la colonia española, sobre todo entre los actuales México y Panamá, se declararon independiente de España. Estos son los países de El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua, así como Costa Rica. Aunque este último fue incluido en el proceso de independencia, el pueblo costariqueño lo supo al mes siguiente. En aquel tiempo no habia internet!

El artículo de referencia 1, en la continuación, escrito exactamente hace cinco años, explica todos los pasos antes, durante y después de esta declaración.

cr

Y la foto principal es de Costa Rica. Este es el Volcán Arenal, que es actualmente inactivo después de un perîodo de 42 años de actividad, iniciado en 1968. Ver más información en la referencia 2 en la continuación.

¡Gracias, Carmen, por tu ayuda con el texto!

(The text above in Spanish talks about the 195 years of independence today of 5 Central American countries. The photo shows a volcano in Costa Rica. See also references #1 and 2 below, both in English.)

How about reading one of those very rare, fragile books from centuries ago? Many books have been scanned so far, so that a digital copy can easily be retrieved by anyone wanting to read it, but what if the book is so precious and fragile that the mere handling of the book would jeopardize its entire existence? MIT has the answer, to scan the book while still being closed. The secret lies in using terahertz radiation, see more in reference # 3 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Celebrate Independence Day in Central America – September 15th!

2: Volcán Arenal

3: MIT uses radiation to read closed books

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-03-17 (Thursday)

Today, I learned that:

Although we are used to all the facilities connected with international travel, primilarily on the Northern hemisphere, there are still people who suffer a lot when the they change their physical location. An example of this is in a report made by Radio Sweden’s correspondent in Africa, Richard Myrenberg, based in Kigali, Rwanda. He needed to travel to Yaoundé, capital of Cameroon, and for that purpose had to obtain a visa at the Cameroonian embassy in the neighboring Kinshasa, Congo. So he travelled to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, where he boarded another flight to Kinshasa. He finally got his visa and could take one of the only 7 international flights leaving the brand new airport of N’Djili Airport in Kinshasa to his final destination in Yaoundé. If you think that sounds complicated, then you should know that not many years ago, for a person to travel from East Africa to West Africa or vice-versa, s/he had to make a stopover in Frankfurt, Germany or Amsterdam, the Netherlands!

But here follows two good pieces of news if you are exchanging flights in Keflavik, Iceland or Schiphol, the Netherlands:

Iceland, reference #2 below
When you fly Icelandair across the Atlantic, you can stop over in Iceland for up to seven nights at no additional airfare. And once on Iceland, the employees of Icelandair offer to be your travel partner and explore all the interesting things one can do on the island.

The Netherlands, reference #3 below
If your starting point lies in Canada, USA or Italy, and you have at least 6 hours between planes at Schiphol, then you can benefit from a new mobile app from KLM. It lets you connect with a local resident in Amsterdam for a brief sight-seeing. KLM pays the train round trip from the airport and even the first round of drinks for you and your local guide to enjoy.

Limerickctr

An unusually fine day in Limerick, photo taken by Dina Videman on 2016-02-22

There once was a family in Limerick
Who from all the rain got pretty sick
So they went to meet the Sun
In the Canaries, oh what fun
And as a bonus they cheered for St. Patrick

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Richard Myrenbergs mödosamma resa till Yaoundé

2: Travel in Iceland with a stopover buddy

3: Layover with a Local

4: Saint Patrick’s Day

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-02-26 (Friday)

Today, I learned that:

When I talk with people in Sweden about the weather we have here in Brazil most of the year, many times I receive comments about how they envy me when I tell them about the temperature outside, the shining sun and the climate in general. I understand them perfectly, because to me it is much easier to get used to a hot climate than a cold one.

But nevertheless, can you imagine that there are people that pay big money to travel across the world to arrive in the North of Scandinavia during the coldest and darkest months? You have probably heard about the ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi, which is rebuilt every year so that tourists can go there and enjoy (???) some days in the ice box. If that thrills you, look at reference #1 below.

northern lights

Northern lights by Icehotel Jukkasjärvi

However, there is also another type of tourism that is having a great time right now, in the depth of the winter season, namely the people who use the harsh climate up in the North to squeezee out every little drop of excitement by driving a fabuolous car under the most stringent conditions. It started out some years ago, when the automotive manufacturers set up their test tracks in Arvidsjaur, and now this sort of activity is expanding to also invite motor enthusiasts to experience something very different. And for that purpose, there are companies that promote complete packages with lodging, food and of course tough winter driving. References #2 and #3 is about such a company.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Icehotel Jukkasjärvi

2: Exclusive car events

3: De flesta bileventföretagen är fullbokade

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-02-16 (Terça-feira)

Hoje, eu aprendi que:

Há muitos passatempos e hobbies interessantes no mundo, mas talvez o mais excitante de todos seria de viajar para todos os cantos do globo.

O Estado de S. Paulo mantém uma coluna semanal, intitulada “Mr. Miles”, em que o colunista conta acontecimentos das suas viagens e responde a dúvidas dos leitores. O texto em português é brilhante, salpicado com expressões tipicamente inglêses.

Hoje fomos informados que “MR. MILES É O HOMEM MAIS VIAJADO DO MUNDO. ELE ESTEVE EM 183 PAÍSES E 16 TERRITÓRIOS ULTRAMARINOS.”

Estadão normalmente publica verdades, mas essa afirmação não procede! Veja este recorte do jornal sueco Aftonbladet de 2010-10-07, que mostra o viajante profissional sueco, Peter Grip, que acabou de chegar no último dos 194 países independentes da época. Além disso, tinha visitado 40 territórios dos 130 existentes:

petergrip

O homem mais viajado, Peter Grip, mostra o passaporte após ter chegado ao país 194 em 2010-10-07. Artigo no jornal sueco Aftonbladet.

… Por hoje é so!

(This article in Portuguese and Swedish presents the world’s greatest traveller.)

Refs.:

1: http://viagem.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,comunicar-se-ou-nao-eis-a-questao,10000016090

2: https://www.aftonbladet.se/resa/article12580105.ab

+: What did you learn in school today ?