Happy Weekend! Entrepreneurship, Brazil's Obama, Bienvenido Habibi + More!

Posted on 19.9.14

Hey everyone!

The weather here is getting coldish again, and so what was supposed to be a beach weekend is now up in the air. What are you all up to this weekend?

Keep an eye out for a recipe post over the weekend for us. This time, something really Brazilian. Can you guess what it would be? :-) 

If not much, here's a slew of links for you to read! This week, I came across tons of fun and interesting link to share with you. Some are more serious than others, so I tried to keep things balanced.

First, some music to accompany your reading.

- 16k+ Recipes on a beautiful website = <3 nbsp="" p="">
- Love this manifesto for female entrepreneurs! I'll be taking this course in October.

- So touching to know South Americans have been the most open to Syrian refugees as of late.

- If there's anything I love more than oogling cute kids, it's watching cute dancing kids!

- This is definitely the best way to entertain yourself and keep things light after a bad breakup

- For geography buffs, what your favorite Map Projection says about you!

- What gringo political analysts think of "Brazil's Obama"

- Great article on women in online marketing!

- Search engine uses web and social data to predict "No" outcome in Scottish elections... awesome. 


São Paulo Transportation and Politics

Posted on 18.9.14

I've talked about politics and society quite a bit on this blog. Especially Brazilian politics and my perceptions of what it's like living in São Paulo.

Living here, I've gone from being hopeful in trusting politicians, to becoming disheartened. But every once in a while, something brings my hope back. G always makes fun of me for this post on Dilma, where I say she's growing on me, after having appeared as one of the world's top thinkers. But this was 3 years ago, at the beginning of her presidency. And she eventually didn't grow on me completely, and our current economic state and tight political race shows why.

I am by no means supporting PT in the upcoming elections because I haven't found a candidate who is running, for any of the positions, to represent my values as a citizen, not because I fathom or favor any particular political party. However, there's someone else from Dilma's party, the PT, who's growing on me. I don't know if this respect will last for long, but I am happy with his initiatives in São Paulo. And that's the São Paulo mayor, Fernando Haddad.

The Glorious Bus Lane - photo by TvAberta

Haddad started off as a very contentious candidate, just barely winning the election, and facing the riots from June of last year in his first year as mayor, putting him in a very negative light not only in the city, but throughout the country and world. But all this negativity may have come as a blessing. He certainly has his faults, but we'll talk about what his government has helped with.

Over the past year or so, more bus lanes have been implemented and made my public transportation using life much easier. I'm getting places faster than I used to, and busses seem less crowded than they used to. It's far from perfection, but I thought this initiative was a great way to favor the majority of the population, which uses public transportation. He's also begun to implement permanent bike lanes where parking spots currently are, and in the middle of some of the major avenues, encouraging the use of bikes as well.

All of these initiatives have hindered the ease of those who commute in private cars, and have now been forced to sit in even more traffic. There's an article in the BrasilPost that's been circulating over the past couple of days since it was published, where the author goes on to criticize the city's elite because of their resistance to changes in infrastructure that favor pedestrians, public transports and alternative forms of transportation. I've written about this before, but it's crazy to see people who I know complain about these initiatives, are usually, as the article states,  the same ones who are praising bike and bus lanes in European cities they visit.

Bike Lanes in Utrecht - photo from wikipedia

Brazil can't use infrastructure and city planning that work in Europe? For once, I'm going to agree that this is a foremost matter of logistics and not society (although it'll help us socially as a people). We need to get over this social segregation and aristocratic view the São Paulo elite are prone to. Maybe this would have been okay 200 years ago, but certainly not in 2014. Let's evolve here for a minute and think rationally (dating an engineer has helped me to try to be more raional recently)... More people ride public transportation. More people can't afford to buy cars. For those who don't live too far from work, biking means less pollution, healthier people, and less space on the roads for cars and busses.

In short. Stop bitching, people. Stop being so selfish, and admit this all makes sense. Haddad certainly isn't a model citizen, and has been involved in his own political faults, but let's all agree what he's doing for transportation, is a step in the right direction towards ameliorating São Paulo's horrendous traffic and socio-economic gap. Ok? Thanks. 


On Scottish Independence - Yes or No?

Posted on 17.9.14

Completely unrelated to most of my posts, but I've become quite intrigued with all of the news on the Scottish Independence and the vote that'll happen tomorrow! The world may have a new independent country, tomorrow!

I just watched this John Oliver video on the topic from a few days ago, and like all of his rambling explanations on worldly things (catered towards Americans), I thought it was wonderfully witty and funny, and thought I'd share here for those who haven't seen much on what's going on with the plebiscite in Scotland.

The plebiscite is quite divided 50/50, which is pretty interesting. I feel like Scotland and England are very different culturally, but economically, it may be a bad move for both as well. If you were Scottish (if you are!), what would you vote?

I think I'd vote yes, to keep things interesting :-)