Saturday, April 30, 2011

Luiz health update

It has been a while.  That’s a good thing. Things will be going poorly for Luiz when things start to change quickly. Nothing has changed much for Luiz in several years. Graças a Deus.
Our last visit to the National Cancer Institute in Rio (INCA) was remarkable only in that we now have another in a series of interns looking after Luiz’s case.  Our last doctor, whom we loved, has been reassigned. The new doctor is a bit shy and made less than a top-notch impression.  Her supervising physician was in the room the whole time – and frankly, I spoke with him, not her, when I had questions.
I’m sure she will be fine.  Luiz is, after all, attended to by the TEAM at INCA, not the physician in training who meets with him during this period of his care.
His blood count numbers remain stable and some have even improved.  Luiz is a remarkable Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia patient who has refused, over these past three years, to decline into mortal combat.  For now he is staying above the fray.
If you know Luiz you know that his secret weapon is his joyfulness and remarkable ability to live life every day to its fullest.  No bit of daily happiness slips past him.
Thank you to everyone who keeps Luiz in your thoughts and well wishes.  It means a lot to us.

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The 30 ROCK Condoleezza Rice and Alec Baldwin Comedy Duel

From Gotcha Media: When Avery gets captured by Kim Jong-Il (perfectly portrayed by Margaret Cho), Jack has to call in a favor from his ex-girlfriend Condoleezza Rice. 

This is totally hilarious!!!

Pakistani Bridal Styles(Pakistani Brides Pictures) 2011

Pakistani Bridal Styles(Pakistani Brides Pictures) 2011
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The good the bad and the ugly of Brazilian freedoms

One of the love hate relationships I have with Brazilian society is the lack of regulation or oversight or restriction imposed by the government.  I should say the lack of enforcement of these things.  Laws may exist and rules may have been drawn up, but seldom do you see any enforcement of same.

One example that reminds me of the vast gulf between the USA and Brazil in this regard is the simple fact that for the past several decades in Niteroi there has been a paved/mosaic waterfront promenade in Icaraí that goes all along the beach and rocky shoreline.  This promenade is sometimes at the same level as the sandy beach and at times it is 5 meters above a rocky shoreline.  At no place along this popular, crowded and open promenade is there a protective railing to prevent people from falling off the “cliff” (in places) and injuring themselves on the rocks below.
[I should say that just last year the city installed a railing, but as I say, it was not there for many, many years. My example holds.]
In the States there would be a railing or there would be a slew of law suits. Here, you are expected to take responsibility for your own safety and NOT GET TOO CLOSE TO THE EDGE – thank you very much.  If you fall over – well, it was not the City’s fault now was it?
So that’s the “love” side of my experience.  No government controlling your every move. But here is the “hate” side.
There is a successful and ever-expanding restaurant located directly across the street from our apartment.  As it has grown in popularity it has needed to expand in any of a number of ways: more storage, more water capacity, more seating space, etc.  This “construction” work has clearly been done in an informal way, sans any engineer or permits from the City.  The owner just hires some workers and oversees their work doing what he wants done.
Over time the restaurant owner has added two huge water tanks up on the hillside behind the restaurant. (Water systems in Brazil are generally gravity-based, so water is pumped to a tank higher up than where it is needed and gravity moves it down to faucets below.) In order to keep the restaurant supplied in water, a water tank truck arrives every morning to pump water up into the tanks above.
Here’s the problem. A restaurant employee must scramble up the rocks to the platform where the water tanks are located to facilitate their filling.  There is a small walking trail now worn into the hillside, but it is not terribly safe. (Cue dark sound effects.)
A couple of weeks ago the employee who was assisting the water company in filling the tanks slipped on the hillside, hit his head on the rocks – and died.
So the “freedom” to build your restaurant without pesky city permits or construction designed by engineers is now paid for by a dead employee.

The restaurant closed for three days – and is now back open for business.  But what to our wondering eyes should appear – but an engineer-designed metal stairway and rails around the water tanks.  Duh!
The personal liberty that is so palpable here in Brazil does not come without risk or consequences.  I’m prepared to take some of those risks, but employers should not be able to put their workers at risk in the service of saving themselves a few bucks. Some government oversight and enforcement can be a good (and life-saving) thing.

John Bolton at NRA Convention, Says Obama is "Following the Mexican Line"

John Bolton is spot on! The Obama administration is simply out to lunch and doesn't get *it* when it comes to the Mexican violence which is now spilling over the border into the United States.  If anything, their plan is one which violates our constitutional right to bear arms.  But is that really surprising with this administration's track record of trampling all over the constitution?

Open Letter: “In Honour Of Slain NYSC Members”

Fashola: Lagos State Governor
Your Excellency Sir,
Spaces for Change(S4C)welcomes your recent dedication of your victory at the just-concluded gubernatorial polls to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who lost their lives in the service of this nation during the post-presidential election violence that broke out in the northern part of the

Shahid Khan Afridi Pakistani Cricketer Wedding Pictures

Shahid Khan Afridi Pakistani Cricketer Wedding Pictures

In year 2000 and month was October and Shahid Afridi got married with his cousin


Baby Pictures

Baby | Pictures | Sweet | Cute Kids | Pictures | Baby pics | Cute Babies

 Beautiful Baby

 Happy Kid
 Funny Kids

Friday, April 29, 2011

Herman Cain Speaks to the NRA Convention

Royal Wedding Photos: Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding Photos: Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 
29 April 2011
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LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Their Royal Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge greet well-wishers from the balcony at Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Royal Wedding: William and Kate Leave as Prince and Princess

 A view from inside Westminster Abbey as Prince William and Catherine Middleton marry on April 29, 2011.

Catherine Middleton waves as she arrives for the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. 

Royal Wedding: William and Kate at the Altar

Special Report: Bukola Saraki; The Man Who May Be Senate President

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki
When the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on Monday 17th April, 2011 declared Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, incumbent governor of Kwara State and scion of the Saraki political dynasty as the elected Senator for Kwara central district in the national assembly election held on Saturday 16th April, 2011, the incumbent Senate President, Rtd. Brigadier-general

Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding: Music Pays Tribute to Princess Diana

From Mirror:
"PRINCE William and Kate Middleton will pay a touching tribute to Princess Diana today – when their wedding service will feature a hymn played at her funeral.
The couple have selected the final hymn from Diana’s 1997 funeral to be the first sung in Westminster Abbey by their 1,900 guests.Two billion people worldwide will witness how William’s late mother remained at the forefront of his and Kate’s thoughts as they planned their special day.
The rousing Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer was also chosen by William and brother Harry in the Guards Chapel on the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic death in a Paris car crash.
Friends and family will join the royal couple to sing the emotional and inspiring words to the Welsh tune just before they say their vows in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
And in another tribute, bride Kate will make her three-and-a-half minute walk down the aisle to the dramatic sounds of Sir Hubert Parry’s anthem I was Glad, which was played at Charles and Diana’s 1981 wedding.
William has told close friends and royals he is sure his mother will be there in spirit today, wishing him and Kate happiness.
Along with brother Harry he has publicly vowed never to forget her."

This music in this video is better and a lot clearer but wasn't embeddable.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Superman Renounces United States Citizenship?

What? Oh No! This sounds like bad news... Or not? 

From Comics Alliance:
After recently undertaking a journey to walk -- not fly -- across the United States in the "Grounded" storyline and reconnect with the country and everyday Americans, Superman appears to be taking another step that could have major implications for his national identity: in Action Comics #900...

...Superman announces that he is going to give up his U.S. citizenship. Despite very literally being an alien immigrant, Superman has long been seen as a patriotic symbol of "truth, justice, and the American way," from his embrace of traditional American ideals to the iconic red and blue of his costume. What it means to stand for the "American way" is an increasingly complicated thing, however, both in the real world and in superhero comics, whose storylines have increasingly seemed to mirror current events and deal with moral and political complexities rather than simple black and white morality.

Superman is from Krypton ya know

The key scene takes place in "The Incident," a short story in Action Comics #900 written by David S. Goyer with art by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman consults with the President's national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime, no doubt an analogue for the recent real-life protests in the Middle East. However, since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government has construed his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war.

Superman replies that it was foolish to think that his actions would not reflect politically on the American government, and that he therefore plans to renounce his American citizenship at the United Nations the next day -- and to continue working as a superhero from a more global than national perspective. From a "realistic" standpoint it makes sense; it would indeed be impossible for a nigh-omnipotent being ideologically aligned with America to intercede against injustice beyond American borders without creating enormous political fallout for the U.S. government.

While this wouldn't be this first time a profoundly American comic book icon disassociated himself from his national identity -- remember when Captain America became Nomad? -- this could be a very significant turning point for Superman if its implications carry over into other storylines. Indeed, simply saying that "truth, justice and the American way [is] not enough anymore" is a pretty startling statement from the one man who has always represented those values the most.

It doesn't seem that he's abandoning those values, however, only trying to implement them on a larger scale and divorce himself from the political complexities of nationalism. Superman also says that he believes he has been thinking "too small," that the world is "too connected" for him to limit himself with a purely national identity. As an alien born on another planet, after all, he "can't help but see the bigger picture."

Do you think the shift to a more global role makes sense for Superman? If he really is going to renounce his U.S. citizenship in order to function as a more international figure, how do you think it will affect the character?

News Report: Showdown Imminent In Nigeria's Imo State Between Youths And Election Commission

A showdown appears imminent in Nigeria's Imo State between youths and the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), if there is any attempt to manipulate the result of the yet to be concluded Imo State governorship election in favour of the governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, who is the candidate of the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP).

As at Wednesday when the election commission declared the

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News Report: Verified 2011 Governorship Election Results

Click Here To Read Results

Maria Gadú singing "Lanterna dos Afogados"

Time for a little calming enjoyment separate from politics or the daily grind.  Close your eyes and just take it in.

Afterbirthers demand to see President Obama's placenta

This just in from The Onion. [Off topic, I know, but I couldn't help myself!]

WASHINGTON–In the continuing controversy surrounding the president's U.S. citizenship, a new fringe group informally known as "Afterbirthers" demanded Monday the authentication of Barack Obama's placenta from his time inside his mother's womb. "All we are asking is that the president produce a sample of his fetal membranes and vessels—preferably along with a photo of the crowning and delivery—and this will all be over," said former presidential candidate and Afterbirthers spokesman Alan Keyes, later adding that his organization would be willing to settle for a half-liter of maternal cord plasma. "To this day, the American people have not seen a cervical mucus plug, let alone one that has been signed and notarized by a state-certified Hawaiian health official. If the president was indeed born in the manner in which he claims, then where is his gestation sac?" Keyes said that if Obama did not soon produce at least a bloody bedsheet from his conception, Afterbirthers would push forward with efforts to exhume the president's deceased mother and inspect the corpse's pelvic bone and birth canal

Google Sandals Picture

Google Sandals Picture
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