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25 Jun 07:00

Guerra às drogas tira peso político de visita de Dilma à Casa Branca

Nos últimos anos, Brasil e Estados Unidos tiveram cooperação estreita no combate às drogas. Essa cooperação tem sido fundamental para o Brasil, principal entreposto comercial da cocaína sul-americana e segundo consumidor mundial da droga, depois dos Estados Unidos.

Como afirma um relatório do Departamento de Estado, o Brasil não tem "capacidade necessária para conter o fluxo de narcóticos que atravessam suas fronteiras", uma área três vezes maior que a divisa entre México e Estados Unidos. Afinal, temos fronteira com os maiores produtores da droga: Colômbia, Peru e Bolívia.

A cooperação brasileiro-americana evoluiu nos últimos anos. Quando os americanos pediram, o Brasil aprovou uma lei sobre crime organizado e abriu 19 postos da Polícia Federal em regiões fronteiriças. Em troca, o Tesouro americano desembolsou milhões de dólares em cooperação.

Como era de se esperar, quando o Brasil não coopera, os americanos jogam duro. Por exemplo, eles usaram sanções à indústria aeronáutica e suspensão de créditos do Eximbank até quebrar a resistência de Brasília à chamada "Lei do Abate" (que autoriza o abate de aviões considerados suspeitos de transportar drogas).

Agora, esse quadro está em transformação. Obama começou a denunciar a guerra às drogas como uma política cara, ineficaz e contraproducente, reformando a maneira como o resto do planeta lida com o tema.

A cooperação de que o Brasil necessita para lidar com esse problema em suas fronteiras acaba de ficar mais cara e difícil.

Dilma não dirá nada sobre o assunto durante a visita oficial, mas Obama tem razão.

Em 40 anos de política repressiva, as drogas no mundo, em vez de encarecerem, ficaram mais baratas. Sua qualidade aumentou.

A repressão ainda criou um mercado negro que alimenta corrupção entre narcotraficantes, forças de segurança e políticos mundo afora. Em países como Brasil e Estados Unidos, produziu encarceramento em massa, muitas vezes por crimes não violentos.

O hemisfério ocidental está se ajustando à nova realidade. Guatemala, Uruguai e alguns Estados americanos estão descriminalizando o consumo de drogas. Na Colômbia, país onde a guerra às drogas enfraqueceu a guerrilha, mas manteve a força dos cartéis, o governo vê a velha política como "fracassada".

Obama e seu sucessor vão forçar a criação de novas regras internacionais para gerir o tráfico de drogas. Alheia ao processo, a diplomacia de Brasília não terá espaço para moldar o jogo.

Dilma, que poderia ser líder regional no assunto, não será.

Os otimistas depositam esperança na Justiça brasileira. Em janeiro, por exemplo, liberou-se a substância ativa da maconha para uso médico contra doenças como a epilepsia.

Em geral, porém, o governo continua preso ao paradigma de ontem. A descriminalização do consumo não tem apoio do Congresso Nacional nem da maioria da população.

E assim, enquanto o mundo anda, nós ficamos para trás.

25 Jun 11:55

A ofensiva contra as “pedaladas fiscais”

by João Villaverde

Nos últimos posts cá do blog, apresentamos uma entrevista exclusiva com o Advogado-Geral da União (AGU), Luís Inácio Adams, que explicou a defesa do governo Dilma Rousseff no processo das “pedaladas fiscais” e na análise das contas de 2014 do governo. Apresentamos também a defesa formal do ex-secretário do Tesouro Nacional, Arno Augustin, um dos principais responsáveis pelas pedaladas fiscais.

Agora é a hora de discutirmos o outro lado.

O Estadão publica hoje os principais trechos da entrevista concedida pelo procurador Júlio Marcelo de Oliveira, do Ministério Público de Contas, que atua no Tribunal de Contas da União (TCU) justamente nos dois casos mais espinhosos para o governo Dilma neste momento: as pedaladas fiscais e a análise das contas do governo.

Abaixo, a entrevista completa concedida por Oliveira ao blog ontem de seu gabinete no TCU:

Júlio Marcelo de Oliveira, procurador do Ministério Público de Contas

Júlio Marcelo de Oliveira, procurador do Ministério Público de Contas

Em sua defesa formal ao TCU, Arno Augustin se isentou da responsabilidade pelos pagamentos dos bancos com recursos próprios, deixando claro que não cabia a ele decidir isso, como secretário do Tesouro. Os bancos afirmam que não tinham como não pagar os benefícios sociais obrigatórios, mesmo sem o dinheiro do Tesouro. E o governo, como um todo, nega que haja um crime de responsabilidade fiscal em tudo isso, as pedaladas, porque eram contratos de prestação de serviço e não uma operação de crédito. Como o sr. vê essa defesa?
Júlio Marcelo de Oliveira: 
Na minha opinião, a culpa é compartilhada. Os bancos aceitaram fazer esse papel, certamente não foi por vontade e iniciativa própria, e isso trouxe um ônus inesperado que eles tiveram que suportar pagamentos com recursos próprios. O Tesouro tem participação direta porque deixou de repassar os recursos. Se houve discussão entre os ministérios setoriais e os bancos é porque o Tesouro foi omisso no repasse dos recursos que estavam programados e eram necessários. Também não se trata de um mero contrato de prestação de serviço. Foi uma situação atípica que ocorreu a partir de 2013 e ao longo de 2014, que atingiu um volume importante, não foi nada residual ou marginal. Isso permitiu ao governo gastar em 2014 como se tivesse tendo aumento de receita, mas estava tendo perda de argumentação. Essa linha de defesa a mim não convence.

O governo também nega que as pedaladas fiscais tinham como objetivo a melhora artificial das contas públicos. Qual era o objetivo então, na avaliação do sr.?
OLIVEIRA: O objetivo era esse mesmo, o de apresentar uma situação fiscal melhor do que a real, permitir gastos não obrigatórios, valores ampliados e dar maior performance em ano eleitoral. E a Lei de Responsabilidade Fiscal (LRF) existe para evitar justamente isso. A LRF está aí para dar uma disciplina fiscal todos os anos e, em especial, no ano eleitoral. O Brasil tinha farra fiscal em anos eleitorais e a LRF entrou para impedir isso. Mas em 2014 ela não foi seguida.

A LRF, aliás, completa agora 15 anos. Como o sr. vê o debate sobre a lei nesses dois casos no TCU?
OLIVEIRA: Há um amadurecimento da sociedade, que passou a entender que não há governo grátis. A ação do governo precisa de um financiamento, ele não pode ser uma fábrica de promessas. Tudo o que ele pretende fazer precisa sair de algum lugar, seja com imposto ou com endividamento. Estamos agora em situação de desajuste fiscal, é por isso que precisamos hoje de um ajuste fiscal. O desajuste de 2013 e 2014 começa a ser pago agora e é por isso que devemos insistir na discussão sobre o que aconteceu nas contas públicas.

E quanto a eventuais punições, como procurador, o que o sr. defende?
OLIVEIRA: As consequências… elas são fundamentais. As falhas que ocorreram não foram periféricas na LRF. Foram falhas centrais, nos pilares da lei. Você tem uma meta fixada numa lei, que é o superávit primário, e a LRF, para evitar que o governo vá executando o orçamento de qualquer maneira, com o mecanismo dos decretos de programação financeira, feitos a cada dois meses para ir controlando e ajustando. Tudo isso foi ignorado em 2014: a meta fiscal, a LRF e os decretos de programação orçamentária e financeira, que não refletiam a situação real das contas públicas. Se a programação financeira puder ser fantasiosa, todo o resto perde o sentido. Aí a meta no final do ano perde a importância. Isso tem que ter consequência. No caso das contas do governo, a consequência é clara: a rejeição das contas, com desdobramentos posteriores no Congresso, a quem cabe a definição. Nas pedaladas cabe a responsabilização individual.

Como será isso?
OLIVEIRA: Sempre, tanto em processo penal quanto em administrativo, é importante individualizar as condutas para definir para cada agente qual é o grau de participação, se foi mentor ou executor, se havia mais ou menos influência, se houve resistência para cumprir ou não determinada ordem. Ao final, alguns podem ser punidos e outros não, claro.

O governo entrou com recurso no TCU para não ter que corrigir os R$ 24,5 bilhões que continuam pendurados no BB e no BNDES por conta dos subsídios. Como o sr. vê o mérito deste recurso?
OLIVEIRA: Se eu tiver a oportunidade de opinar nesse recurso vou opinar pelo desprovimento. Essa prática é ilegal, um flagrante descumprimento legal, o artigo 36 da LRF veda peremptoriamente que um banco público financie seu controlador. Não pode prolongar no tempo essa situação. Tem que fazer o ajuste que é necessário fazer e fazer isso logo. O governo precisa se encaixar dentro das normas. Se existe a norma, ele precisa cumprir. Não consigo ver espaço para ele postergar esses pagamentos devidos. Assim vai abrir o precedente e a partir daí todos os governos estaduais poderão buscar bancos regionais e sair pendurando dívidas. Hoje as portarias preveem dois anos, mas podem ser alongadas a 4, a oito. A norma precisa ser cumprida.

No caso das contas de 2014, a reprovação seria uma forma de “colocar o governo nas normas”?
OLIVEIRA:  É o que eu penso. Há questões que são graves e centrais, não são detalhes que podem ser consideradas ressalvas. São centrais, condizem com o eixo da execução orçamentária e financeira. Se a programação orçamentária foi feita infringindo normas e leis, violando a própria lei orçamentária e os números ainda por cima são maquiados, como que o TCU pode aprovar essas contas? 

O governo afirma que atrasos pontuais nos repasses do Tesouro existem desde 2001 e que nem por isso o TCU deixou de aprovar as contas federais.
OLIVEIRA: Acho que as contas de 2013 já deveriam ter sido rejeitadas, quando as pedaladas começaram. Mas naquele momento ninguém sabia. A história começou a ser revelada em 2014 e nós entramos no caso no fim do ano passado. A dimensão das pedaladas fiscais também foi outra em 2014, muito maior. Houve intenção de fraudar a execução orçamentária e financeira para fingir que estava buscando a meta quando se sabia que a meta era inatingível. Em 2014 tivemos uma situação inédita, de descumprimento frontal da LRF e da Lei Orçamentária, algo que não houve nos anos anteriores. Então é natural que a reação do TCU em relação as contas de 2014 seja muito diferente dos anos anteriores.

O que o sr. achou dessa inédita decisão dos ministros do TCU de conceder 30 dias para a presidente esclarecer distorções nas contas de 2014?
OLIVEIRA: Achei acertada. Poderiam ter concedido esse prazo logo que as contas chegaram aqui no TCU, para que o tribunal pudesse cumprir os 60 dias do prazo constitucional de análise das contas. Mas dado o ineditismo da situação, o fato de historicamente não ter tido nenhuma rejeição das contas nos últimos 78 anos, o TCU entendeu que não estava preparado para a rejeição das contas sem antes permitir o contraditório. Embora seja só um parecer, porque o julgamento cabe ao Congresso, o TCU decidiu pela prudência.

O presidente do Senado, Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL), afirmou nessa semana que estuda criar uma espécie de Autoridade Fiscal Independente. O que o sr. acha disso?
OLIVEIRA: Pelo que vi de notícias, não vi o texto da PEC nem sua justificativa, mas de tudo o que vi, inclusive declarações do presidente do Senado, me parece que tudo o que essa Autoridade Fiscal Independente faria o TCU já faz. Se hoje estamos discutindo pedaladas fiscais é porque, diante das revelações, o TCU conseguiu comprovar e condenar a prática. O TCU aponta para a sociedade brasileira que isso foi um problema. Talvez esteja faltando uma interação entre o TCU e o Congresso Nacional, uma ação mais próxima do TCU com o Congresso, algo que seja mais formalmente definido. Semestralmente o presidente do TCU apresentar ao Congresso um relatório com a situação fiscal do País, não sei. Num momento de austeridade fiscal, criar mais um órgão, com um conjunto de técnicos, de analistas, vai ter uma sede… o TCU já oferece isso, o custo já está colocado. Falta eventualmente uma interação maior entre o TCU e o Congresso Nacional.

O sr. já começou a sofrer pressões. Foi dito nos últimos dias nas redes sociais que o sr. teria convocado manifestações de movimentos sociais que acompanharam o TCU no julgamento das contas e que teria participado de passeatas pelo impeachment da presidente Dilma Rousseff.
OLIVEIRA: Não vejo cobrança da sociedade e da imprensa como uma pressão equivocada. É legítima, faz parte do jogo democrático. Agora que fique claro: eu não convoquei nenhuma manifestação, apenas disse que considero muito saudável que tivessem movimentos sociais preocupados com o julgamento das contas do governo no TCU. Acho isso realmente muito bom e vou apoiar sempre. Mas eu não convoquei ato nenhum e também não participei de manifestação pelo impeachment. Esse tipo de questionamento, por mais que possa ser de mau gosto, faz parte da democracia. Quem tem atuação pública tem que conviver. No Ministério Público, quando uma ilegalidade no governo é apontada, sempre a oposição vai aplaudir e a situação vai ficar incomodada. Se um dia mudar os atores aqui no plano federal, os papeis serão invertidos. Antes quem que procurava o MP, anos atrás? Os partidos que hoje estão no governo. Então sempre o MP vai ser aplaudido pela oposição e vai incomodar a situação.

****

Os últimos posts do blog:

A defesa do governo Dilma no TCU – uma entrevista exclusiva com o Advogado-Geral da União (AGU).

O que diz Arno Augustin sobre as “pedaladas fiscais”

****

Aproveito para convidar o leitor a conferir o especial multimídia (textos, animações e linha do tempo com fotos e links) sobre as pedaladas fiscais. Há explicações simplificadas sobre todo o processo, uma animação e uma linha do tempo com todas as 56 reportagens do Estadão sobre o assunto, entre dezembro de 2013 e agora, junho de 2015. A cronologia das pedaladas é sempre atualizada.

Visite clicando aqui -> As Pedaladas Fiscais do governo Dilma

24 Jun 06:32

Photo



25 Jun 16:54

Art of War

Appear strong when you are weak, and weak when you are strong; Sun Tzu on strong vs. weak type systems. |
Treat your men as you would your beloved sons, and they will follow you into the deepest valley; Sun Tzu on dragging your team to Silicon Valley for a funding round. |
In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity; Sun Tzu on PHP.
164

Art of War - June 25, 2015, 9 a.m.

If I had less self control, this comic would be 100% ripping on PHP. php

Share Url: http://cube-drone.com/comics/c/art-of-war

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25 Jun 07:23

Jair Avarento

25 Jun 09:11

At my dad’s work. www.simonstalenhag.se











At my dad’s work. 


www.simonstalenhag.se

25 Jun 14:50

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Conspiracy Theorists

by admin@smbc-comics.com
25 Jun 07:01

Uncool

by Doug
24 Jun 01:07

tale motif

Summary
Whether glass, ruby red, or furry slippers; winged boots or glowing-hot iron shoes; footwear is a recurrent fairy-tale motif. Why?

from telegraph.co.uk

Made to dance: ballet shoes worn by Victoria Page (Moira Shearer) in Powell and Pressburger’s 'The Red Shoes’ (1948), currently on display at the V&A
Made to dance: ballet shoes worn by Victoria Page (Moira Shearer) in Powell and Pressburger’s 'The Red Shoes’ (1948), currently on display at the V&A  Photo: John Roan Photography

What is it about shoes that makes them such a recurrent motif in myths and fairy tales? “Fairy tales have their roots in social reality,” says Philip Pullman, who retold 50 stories in his Grimm Tales. “And in Northern Europe you needed boots. That’s why they appear more often than, say, hats or gloves.” In stories, shoes have often become magical objects, expressing freedom and punishment, loss and status, and, in psychoanalytic readings, sexuality. Their connotations are powerful, as is demonstrated by a new anthology, In Their Shoes: Fairy Tales and Folktales, which presents nine stories with footwear in their plots, ranging from a Greek myth to a French fairy tale from the Sixties, and embraces Perrault, Grimm, Andersen and Brer Rabbit.

Two hundred years ago, when the Brothers Grimm collected their stories, work and travel for the poor required adequate shoes. “After the 30 Years War,” Pullman says, citing Hansel and Gretel, “poverty and starvation were widespread in Europe. You couldn’t do anything without shoes.” Hop O’My Thumb, in the new anthology, is a version of the same tale embedded in grim reality, in which parents are driven by hunger to sacrifice their children.

Few people actually went barefoot in the 19th century, but passable shoes could make all the difference. It is not surprising that they were used by storytellers to represent escape, advancement, liberty, hope. So, Cinderella escapes her drudgery in glass slippers – possibly mistranslated from the French of Charles Perrault whose “vair” (fur) became “verre” (glass). Magical, journey-crunching seven-league boots help the hero of Hop O’My Thumb (and its variation Jack the Giant Killer) to vanquish the giant he stole them from and secure the ogre’s riches.

The shoes the elves make liberate the shoemaker from poverty, and they are set free from the slavery of shoemaking with tiny shoes of their own – rather like Dobby the house-elf in Harry Potter, who is freed with a sock. And in Greek mythology, winged sandals borrowed from Hermes enable Perseus to defeat Medusa and rescue Andromeda.

The new V&A exhibition, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, suggests that the symbolism of shoes has changed little over centuries – so, for instance, contemporary advertising for trainers implies powers of flight and speed akin to winged sandals and seven-league boots. And shoes in modern children’s literature also convey some of these ideas.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at the V&A

Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books, in which modern-day youngsters are the children of Greek gods and mortals, show Percy (son of Poseidon) fighting Luke (son of Hermes); Luke wears winged baseball boots. Magic shoes as a means of escape appear in L Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy’s silver slippers (ruby in the film) are her passport home. Seven-league boots feature in Terry Pratchett, C S Lewis and John Masefield. Jonathan Stroud in his Bartimaeus Trilogy gives them back to a giant, the huge mercenary Verroq who travels scarily fast; and in Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle the boots take you seven leagues in whichever direction you step. And it is not, perhaps, a coincidence that the first “portkey” Harry Potter encounters (an object that looks like rubbish, and which transports you magically to far destinations) is an old boot.

Shoes may give you freedom, but sometimes they represent the opposite. Bare feet can be innocence, and shoes experience. Gerda in Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen surrenders her favourite red shoes (prefiguring his story of that name) to the river in order to save Kai: “How well she has got through the world, barefooted as she is.

She cannot receive any power… greater than she now has, which consists in her own purity and innocence of heart.” Tom Sawyer envies Huck Finn the freedom of not having to wear shoes. Given some by the Widow Douglas, he can’t stand to wear them all the time. School shoes and shoes for Sunday best are often constraining, and symbolise the rules that go with them. It is only a step from this to shoes as punishment, also a recurrent fairy-tale motif. In the Grimm version of Snow White the stepmother’s punishment is to wear a pair of glowing-hot iron shoes and dance until she drops dead.

• Review: An erudite, passionate dictionary of children’s literature

Andersen, with his punitive notions of virtue and endurance, reprised the idea of shoes that force you to keep moving. In his The Red Shoes Karen is punished for the vanity of wearing red shoes to church by being cursed by perpetual dancing, in shoes that never come off. She chooses to have her feet chopped off, but even then her penance is incomplete. The Powell and Pressburger film (1948) makes loose use of Andersen, though the heroine is punished again for presumption – in this case wanting to practise her dancing skills and also be married.

Compulsive dancing resurfaces in Harry Potter, in the form of the Tarantallegra spell, which Draco casts on Harry in the Duelling Club. Harry Potter also contains a reference to a patient at St Mungo’s Hospital whose shoes take bites out of his feet. This harks back to those punishing shoes – and to the Ugly Sisters, who chop their toes off in order to fit the slipper and win the Prince. Roald Dahl’s Witches echo this. They have no toes, but hide their square-ended feet in pointed shoes.

But there is more still to the symbolism than these recurrent notions of escape and punishment. Fairy tales often express truths about growing up, including the transition to sexual maturity. In early versions, Rapunzel’s visits from the prince are revealed by her pregnancy. Some variations of Sleeping Beauty suggest that her “awakening” is not just a kiss. The psychiatrist Valerie Sinason points out that Freud equates the shoe with the vagina. This creates whole new possibilities for what Cinderella loses at the ball, as well as for the worn shoes that reveal that the Dancing Princesses have been with their princes. It also gives another dimension to red shoes, or shoes that have blood in them – as Karen’s abrasive clogs do before she acquires her new shoes. Sinason says that shoes also keep us above the muck. They are a protection from squalor, terror, disgust, decay and death. At the same time they symbolise loss, because a shoe implies its missing occupant; it suggests absences and ghosts.

"Disney has whitewashed fairytales"

'You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.” So runs a passage from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, which is the epigraph to In Their Shoes. Empty shoes stand in for people. Which is why shoe fetishes, says Sinason, “make up for the terror that something is missing”. Pippi Longstocking wears her absent father’s shoes, which are too big, so they give “wiggle room” for her toes. Her choice of shoes is symbolic of her need to parent herself, standing in for her father. Similarly the prince fetishises Cinderella’s shoe in her absence.

Shoes also express status, elevating us with their platforms and heels. Cinderella’s shoes are so fine her stepfamily doesn’t recognise her when she wears them. A cat in superior boots can convince everyone its master is the Marquis of Carabas.

And of course size matters when it comes to fairy-tale shoes. “A small foot is a sign of refinement,” says Pullman. “It is like the sensitivity of the princess to the pea.” And it resonates with the Chinese tradition of foot-binding, which expressed status but incapacitated women so they could not wander. Surprise, surprise, one of the earliest versions of Cinderella comes from ninth-century China.

In Their Shoes: Fairy Tales and Folktales edited by Lucie Arnoux is published by Pushkin Press at £6.99. Call 0844 871 1515 or see books.telegraph.co.uk

24 Jun 13:31

How Different Cultures Understand Time - Business Insider

Adam Victor Brandizzi

A bit too much anecdotal and self-help-prone, yet instructive. The Malagasy buses are probably the most interesting part.

big ben clockOil Scarff/Getty Images

Time is seen in a particularly different light by Eastern and Western cultures, and even within these groupings assumes quite dissimilar aspects from country to country.

In the Western Hemisphere, the United States and Mexico employ time in such diametrically opposing manners that it causes intense friction between the two peoples.

In Western Europe, the Swiss attitude to time bears little relation to that of neighboring Italy.

Thais do not evaluate the passing of time in the same way that the Japanese do. In Britain the future stretches out in front of you. In Madagascar it flows into the back of your head from behind.

Linear Time

Let us begin with the American concept of time, for theirs is the most expensive, as anyone who has had to deal with American doctors, dentists or lawyers will tell you.

For an American, time is truly money. In a profit-oriented society, time is a precious, even scarce, commodity. It flows fast, like a mountain river in the spring, and if you want to benefit from its passing, you have to move fast with it. Americans are people of action; they cannot bear to be idle. The past is over, but the present you can seize, parcel and package and make it work for you in the immediate future. Figure 4.1 illustrates how Americans view time, and Figure 4.2 shows how they use it.

lewis chart 01Richard LewisFigure 4.1: American flow of time.

lewis chart 02Richard LewisFigure 4.2: Carving up American time.

In the U.S. you have to make money, otherwise you are nobody. If you have 40 years of earning capacity and you want to make $4 million, that means $100,000 per annum. If you can achieve this in 250 working days, that comes to $400 a day or $50 an hour. With this orientation Americans can say that their time costs $50 an hour. Americans also talk about wasting, spending, budgeting and saving time.

This seems logical enough, until one begins to apply the idea to other cultures. Has the Portuguese fisherman, who failed to hook a fish in two hours, wasted his time? Has the Sicilian priest, failing to make a convert on Thursday, lost ground? Have the German composer, the French poet, the Spanish painter, devoid of ideas last week, missed opportunities that can be qualified in monetary terms?

The Americans are not the only ones who sanctify timekeeping, for it is practically a religion in Switzerland and Germany, too. These countries, along with Britain, the Anglo-Saxon world in general, the Netherlands, Austria and Scandinavia, have a linear vision of time and action. They suspect, like the Americans, that time is passing (being wasted) without decisions being made or actions being performed.

These groups are also monochronic; that is, they prefer to do only one thing at a time, to concentrate on it and do it within a fixed schedule. They think that in this way they get more things done — and more efficiently. Furthermore, being imbued with the Protestant work ethic, they equate working time with success: the harder you work — the more hours, that is — the more successful you will be and the more money you will make. This idea makes perfect sense to American ears, would carry less weight in class-conscious Britain, and would be viewed as entirely unrealistic in Southern European countries, where authority, privilege and birthright negate the theory at every turn. In a society such as existed in the Soviet Union, one could postulate that those who achieved substantial remuneration by working little (or not at all) were the most successful of all.

Multi-Active Time

Southern Europeans are multi-active, rather than linear-active [read Lewis's analysis of cultures as multi-active, linear-active, and reactive]. The more things they can do at the same time, the happier and the more fulfilled they feel. They organize their time (and lives) in an entirely different way from Americans, Germans and the Swiss. Multi-active peoples are not very interested in schedules or punctuality. They pretend to observe them, especially if a linear-active partner or colleague insists on it, but they consider the present reality to be more important than appointments. In their ordering of things, priority is given to the relative thrill or significance of each meeting.

Spaniards, Italians and Arabs will ignore the passing of time if it means that conversations will be left unfinished. For them, completing a human transaction is the best way they can invest their time. For an Italian, time considerations will usually be subjected to human feelings. “Why are you so angry because I came at 9:30?” he asks his German colleague. “Because it says 9:00 in my diary,” says the German. “Then why don’t you write 9:30 and then we’ll both be happy?” is a logical Italian response. The business we have to do and our close relations are so important that it is irrelevant at what time we meet. The meeting is what counts. Germans and Swiss cannot swallow this, as it offends their sense of order, of tidiness, of planning.

A Spaniard would take the side of the Italian. There is a reason for the Spaniard’s lax adherence to punctuality. The German believes in a simple truth — scientific truth. The Spaniard, in contrast, is always conscious of the double truth — that of immediate reality as well as that of the poetic whole. The German thinks they see eye to eye, as in Figure 4.3, while the Spaniard, with the consciousness of double truth, sees it as in Figure 4.4.

lewis chart 03Richard LewisFigure 4.3: What Germans and Spaniards think they see. As far as meetings are concerned, it is better not to turn up strictly on time for Spanish appointments. In Spain, punctuality messes up schedules, as illustrated in Figure 4.5.

lewis chart 04Richard LewisFigure 4.4: How the Spaniard actually sees.richard lewis chart 05Richard LewisFigure 4.5: Spanish schedules: In theory, in reality. Few Northern Europeans or North Americans can reconcile themselves to the multi-active use of time. Germans and Swiss, unless they reach an understanding of the underlying psychology, will be driven to distraction. Germans see compartmentalization of programs, schedules, procedures and production as the surest route to efficiency. The Swiss, even more time and regulation dominated, have made precision a national symbol. This applies to their watch industry, their optical instruments, their pharmaceutical products, their banking. Planes, buses and trains leave on the dot. Accordingly, everything can be exactly calculated and predicted.

In countries inhabited by linear-active people, time is clock- and calendar- related, segmented in an abstract manner for our convenience, measurement, and disposal. In multi-active cultures like the Arab and Latin spheres, time is event- or personality-related, a subjective commodity which can be manipulated, molded, stretched, or dispensed with, irrespective of what the clock says.

“I have to rush,” says the American, “my time is up.” The Spaniard or Arab, scornful of this submissive attitude to schedules, would only use this expression if death were imminent.

Cyclic Time

Both the linear-active northerner and the multi-active Latin think that they manage time in the best way possible. In some Eastern cultures, however, the adaptation of humans to time is seen as a viable alternative. In these cultures, time is viewed neither as linear nor event–relationship related, but as cyclic. Each day the sun rises and sets, the seasons follow one another, the heavenly bodies revolve around us, people grow old and die, but their children reconstitute the process. We know this cycle has gone on for 100,000 years and more. Cyclical time is not a scarce commodity. There seems always to be an unlimited supply of it just around the next bend. As they say in the East, when God made time, He made plenty of it.

It’s not surprising, then, that business decisions are arrived at in a different way from in the West. Westerners often expect an Asian to make a quick decision or to treat a current deal on its present merits, irrespective of what has happened in the past. Asians cannot do this. The past formulates the contextual back- ground to the present decision, about which in any case, as Asians, they must think long term—their hands are tied in many ways. Americans see time passing without decisions being made or actions performed as having been “wasted.” Asians do not see time as racing away unutilized in a linear future, but coming around again in a circle, where the same opportunities, risks and dangers will re- present themselves when people are so many days, weeks or months wiser. As proof of the veracity of the cyclical nature of time, how often do we (in the West) say, “If I had known then what I know now, I would never have done what I did?”

Figure 4.6 compares the speed of Western action chains with Asian reflection. The American, German and Swiss go home satisfied that all tasks have been completed. The French or Italian might leave some “mopping up” for the following day. John Paul Fieg, author of A Common Core: Thais and Americans, describing the Thai attitude toward time, saw it as a pool one could gradually walk around. This metaphor applies to most Asians, who, instead of tackling problems immediately in sequential fashion, circle around them for a few days or weeks before committing themselves. After a suitable period of reflection, tasks A, D and F may indeed seem worthy of pursuing (refer to Figure 4.6). Tasks B, C and E may be quietly dropped. Contemplation of the whole scene has indicated, however, that task G, perhaps not even envisaged at all earlier on, might be the most significant of all.

In a Buddhist culture (e.g., Thailand, Tibet), not only time but also life itself goes around in a circle. Whatever we plan, however we organize our particular world, generation follows generation; governments and rulers will succeed each other; crops will be harvested; monsoons, earthquakes and other catastrophes will recur; taxes will be paid; the sun and moon will rise and set; stocks and shares will rise and fall. Even the Americans will not change such events, certainly not by rushing things.

richard lewis chart 06Richard LewisFigure 4.6: Western action chains/Asian reflection. Chinese

The Chinese, like most Asians, “walk around the pool” in order to make well- considered decisions, but they also have a keen sense of the value of time. This can be noticed especially in their attitude toward taking up other people’s time, for which they frequently apologize. At the end of a meeting in China, it is customary to thank the participants for contributing their valuable time. Punctuality on arrival is also considered important—more so than in many other Asian

countries. Indeed, when meetings are scheduled between two people, it is not unusual for a Chinese to arrive 15 to 30 minutes early “in order to finish the business before the time appointed for its discussion,” so not stealing any of the other person’s time! It is also considered polite in China to announce, 10 or 15 minutes after a meeting has begun, that one will soon have to be going. Again, the worthy aim involved is to economize on their use of your time. The Chinese will not go, of course, until the transaction has been completed, but the point has been made.

This is indeed a double standard. The Chinese penchant for humility demands that the other person’s time be seen as precious; on the other hand, the Chinese expect a liberal amount of time to be allocated for repeated considera- tion of the details of a transaction and to the careful nurturing of personal relationships surrounding the deal. They frequently complain that Americans, in China to do business, often have to catch their plane back to the U.S. “in the middle of the discussion.” The American sees the facts as having been ade- quately discussed; the Chinese feel that they have not yet attained that degree of closeness—that satisfying sense of common trust and intent—that is for the Chinese the bedrock of the deal and of other transactions in the future.

Japanese

The Japanese have a keen sense of the unfolding or unwrapping of time — this is well described by Joy Hendry in her book Wrapping Culture. People familiar with Japan are well aware of the contrast between the breakneck pace maintained by the Japanese factory worker on the one hand, and the unhurried contemplation to be observed in Japanese gardens or the agonizingly slow tempo of a Noh play on the other. What Hendry emphasizes, however, is the meticulous, resolute manner in which the Japanese segment time. This segmentation does not follow the American or German pattern, where tasks are assigned in a logical sequence aimed at maximum efficiency and speed in implementation. The Japanese are more concerned not with how long something takes to happen, but with how time is divided up in the interests of properness, courtesy and tradition.

For instance, in most Japanese social gatherings, there are various phases and layers — marked beginnings and endings — for retirement parties, weddings, parent — teacher association meetings and so on.

In Japan’s conformist and carefully regulated society, people like to know at all times where they stand and where they are at: this applies both to social and business situations. The mandatory, two-minute exchange of business cards between executives meeting each other for the first time is one of the clearest examples of a time activity segment being used to mark the beginning of a relationship. Another example is the start and finish of all types of classes in Japan, where the lesson cannot begin without being preceded by a formal request on the part of the students for the teacher to start. Similarly, they must offer a ritualistic expression of appreciation at the end of the class.

Other events that require not only clearly defined beginnings and endings but also unambiguous phase-switching signals are the tea ceremony, New Year routines, annual cleaning of the house, cherry blossom viewing, spring “offensives” (strikes), midsummer festivities, gift-giving routines, company picnics, sake-drinking sessions, even the peripheral rituals surrounding judo, karate and kendo sessions. A Japanese person cannot enter any of the above activities in the casual, direct manner a Westerner might adopt. The American or Northern European has a natural tendency to make a quick approach to the heart of things. The Japanese, in direct contrast, must experience an unfolding or unwrapping of the significant phases of the event. It has to do with Asian indirectness, but in Japan it also involves love of compartmentalization of procedure, of tradition, of the beauty of ritual.

To summarize, when dealing with the Japanese, you can assume that they will be generous in their allocation of time to you or your particular transaction. In return, you are advised to try to do the “right thing at the right time.” In Japan, form and symbols are more important than content.

Back to the Future

In the linear-active, industrialized Western cultures time is seen as a road along which we proceed. Life is sometimes referred to as a “journey”; death is often referred to as the “end of the road.” We imagine ourselves as having traveled along the part of the road that is behind us (the past) and we see the untrodden path of the future stretching out in front of us.

Linear-oriented people do not regard the future as entirely unknowable for they have already nudged it along certain channels by meticulous planning. American executives, with their quarterly forecasts, will tell you how much money they are going to make in the next three months. The Swiss stationmaster will assure you, without any hesitation, that the train from Zurich to Luzern will leave at 9:03 tomorrow morning and arrive at exactly 10:05. He is probably right, too. Watches, calendars and computers are devices that not only encourage punctuality but also get us into the habit of working toward targets and deadlines. In a sense, we are “making the future happen.” We cannot know everything(it would be disastrous for horse racing and detective stories), but we eliminate future unknowns to the best of our ability. Our personal programming tells us that over the next year we are going to get up at certain times, work so many hours, take vacations for designated periods, play tennis on Saturday mornings and pay our taxes on fixed dates.

Cyclic time is not seen as a straight road leading from our feet to the horizon, but as a curved one which in one year’s time will lead us through “scenery” and conditions very similar to what we experience at the present moment. Observers of cyclic time are less disciplined in their planning of the future, since they believe that it cannot be managed and that humans make life easier for themselves by “harmonizing” with the laws and cyclic events of nature. Yet in such cultures a general form of planning is still possible, for many things are fairly regular and well understood.

Cultures observing both linear and cyclic concepts of time see the past as something we have put behind us and the future as something that lies before us. In Madagascar, the opposite is the case (see Figure 4.7). The Malagasy imagine the future as flowing into the back of their heads, or passing them from behind, then becoming the past as it stretches out in front of them. The past is in front of their eyes because it is visible, known and influential. They can look at it, enjoy it, learn from it, even “play” with it. The Malagasy people spend an inordinate amount of time consulting their ancestors, exhuming their bones, even partying with them.

By contrast, the Malagasy consider the future unknowable. It is behind their head where they do not have eyes. Their plans for this unknown area will be far from meticulous, for what can they be based on? Buses in Madagascar leave, not

according to a predetermined timetable, but when the bus is full. The situation triggers the event. Not only does this make economic sense, but it is also the time that most passengers have chosen to leave. Consequently, in Madagascar stocks are not replenished until shelves are empty, filling stations order gas only when they run dry, and hordes of would-be passengers at the airport find that, in spite of their tickets, in reality everybody is wait-listed. The actual assignation of seats takes place between the opening of the check-in desk and the (eventual) departure of the plane.

richard lewis chart 07Richard LewisFigure 4.7: Malagasy concept of time. Validity of Time Concepts

The Malagasy, Thais, Japanese, Spaniards and many others will continue to use time in ways that will conflict with linear-oriented cultures in social and business spheres.

The objective view of time and its sequential effects is, however, favorable to historicity and to everything connected with industrialized organization. Just as we conceive of our objectified time as extending in the future in the same way that it extends in the past, we mirror our records of the past in our estimates, budgets, and schedules. We build up a commercial structure based on time pro rata values: time wages, rent, credit, interest, depreciation charges, and insurance premiums.

In general we are confident (in North America and Northern Europe) that we have approached the optimum management of time. Many cultures (including powerful economies of the future, such as China, Japan and Southeast Asia) will only allow the linear-oriented concept of time to dictate their behavior to a limited extent. Industrial organization demands a certain degree of synchronization of schedules and targets, but the underlying philosophies concerning the best and most efficient use of time — and the manner in which it should be spent — may remain radically different.

This anecdote was provided by linguist and cross-culture studies expert Richard Lewis. Read his work in detail in "When Cultures Collide" and check out his services for businesses and individuals at Richard Lewis Communications.

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15 Apr 11:00

List: Postmodern Zen Koans by Elisa Abatsis

If you see a Buddha in the road, ask which gender pronouns they prefer and then kill them.

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One day Atticus lay down in the snow, and called out, “Help me up! Help me up!” His mother came and gave him some cold-pressed juice. Atticus got up and went away because that’s how unschooling works.

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What is your original personal brand before you were born?

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If a minimalist curates a ten-item fall capsule wardrobe but doesn’t blog the experience and doesn’t count her Acne Pistol Boots as one of the ten items, has she really edited her closet?

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A conceptual sculptor asked Tobias when he was weighing some flax at Whole Foods, “What is Buddha?” Tobias said: “Flax helped me lose three pounds. It’s also my daughter’s name.”

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If a performance artist self-flagellates at MoMa while it’s closed and there are no guards or cameras there, does it still leave a laceration in the shape of a pentagram?

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As the roof was leaking, a yoga instructor told two students to bring something to catch the water. One brought the landlord, the other a bucket with ice. The first was severely reprimanded, the second highly retweeted.

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What is the sound of a pop star rapping?

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A MFA student asked her professor, “How does an enlightened one return to the ordinary world?” The professor reminded her that he was only an adjunct but alerted her to the fact that Starbucks does offer health insurance to part-time employees.

24 Jun 21:26

Brazilian football and (corrupt) politics - a brief history

by frombrazil

medici

Brazilians’ love for soccer has been exploited by crooks, dictators, and dirty politicians for decades. Above, dictator Emilio Médici celebrates after his country’s 1970 World Cup victory.

By Mauricio Savarese

When former Brazilian soccer boss José Maria Marin was arrested in Switzerland at the end of May, most fans here just knew him as the old guy that stole a medal from a teenage player in 2012. His predecessor, Ricardo Teixeira, was a much more famous figure, famously involved in various corruption scandals. But as the media dug deeper into the 83-year-old Marin’s career, it became clear that the frail man who chaired Brazil’s football confederation (the CBF) during last year’s World Cup was one more example of how politics and football work hand in hand in Brazil.

But it’s been that way for a long time. Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

Rocky start

Brazilian politicians didn’t fall in love with soccer at first sight. Soccer and politics became entwined here just weeks before the 1950 World Cup, as Brazilians took to the streets in protest.

They didn’t demonstrate against high costs in the construction of Maracanã stadium, but small protests before the first World Cup in Brazil did have something in common with protests here in 2013 and 2014. They started against a rise in transportation costs, and then the tournament served to put a spotlight on the demonstrations and the issues they raised, such as economic policy changes undertaken by President Eurico Gaspar Dutra (1946-1951), the man who brought the tournament to Brazil. One year later, former dictator Getulio Vargas would channel that frustration and win a democratic election.

With only 13 participants, the first World Cup in Brazil, seen by many as a test event for the country after World War II (1939-1945) was an organizational success. But the shocking loss to Uruguay in the final was felt as a failure of the country itself. Many politicians decided to stay away from football as a result, with the exception of some that were fans first and public figures second – such as São Paulo mayor Porfirio da Paz, a founder of São Paulo FC.

The rise of Brazilian football, and the rise of Brazil

When Brazil won the 1958 World Cup, however, politicians changed their minds. President Juscelino Kubitschek (1956-1961), a former player at América in Minas Gerais, used the iconic players as a symbol of the modernization of the country – as he also used bossa-nova music and the construction of the new capital, Brasília. Brazilian soccer was moving past the shame of the 1950 loss and the country now actually had high hopes for the future.

That sentiment only grew after a second title was won in Chile, in 1962. But then the military dictatorship came, and took soccer with it.

In the first years of the regime, which began in 1964, it wasn’t clear what would happen with soccer, or indeed with politics.

Brazil had its worst World Cup campaign ever in England 1966, where the country failed to even advance past the group stage. Pelé, the national hero, was injured by Portugal’s constant kicks.

In Brasília, the capital, military leaders couldn’t decide whether they would remain in office. Their excuse for the coup was always that they would free Brazil from alleged communist influence and President João Goulart (1961-1964) and hold new elections, but they were holding on to power. Football club executives were lost: they didn’t know whether to be friends with the generals or hold on to old ties.

The dictatorship takes control of the pitch

Generals sent mixed messages by keeping Congress and a functioning Supreme Court open while also interfering. But when they decided to remain in power definitively and issued the dictatorial decrees of 1968, they also took hold of Brazilian soccer as a propaganda tool.

CBF chairman João Havelange, a cheerleader of military administrations, was watching. Although he named communist journalist João Saldanha as coach Brazil in 1969 (a move to calm the press after a number of bad results), Havelange was dying to please dictator Emilio Médici (1969-1974).

Opportunity knocked. Médici wanted “Fearless João” to take clumsy centerforward Dadá Maravilha to the Mexico World Cup in 1970.

Coach Saldanha wouldn’t have it. “I don’t pick his ministers and he doesn’t pick my players.” As a replacement, Havelange chose Mario Zagallo, a two-time World Cup champion who was present in the 1950 tragedy as a young Army recruit. The dictator Médici, a violent man that the Flamengo crowd loved seeing in the Maracanã every now and then, got even more attention from the CBF – military personnel dominated Brazil’s preparation for the tournament: fitness coaches, junior executives, and travel organizers, were all linked to the Armed Forces.

The dictatorship supported that Seleção, or national team, so much that Brazil’s leftist and liberal militants promised to cheer against it. But those people, unlike Médici, were only human…they ended up cheering anyways. The 1970 team was so fantastic that dictatorship propaganda is now the last thing most Brazilians think of it. Upon their return, friends of the armed forces were all over the players – São Paulo’s appointed mayor Paulo Maluf even gave them Volkswagens.

And Medici remained popular for a while, but the dictators would soon find out that you can’t win a World Cup every day.

White elephants to prop up the military, and the fall

There were two political parties in Brazil’s fake democracy in those days: Arena (the National Renewal Alliance) to support the military and MDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement), which brought together all kinds of opposition parties, from socialists to free-market liberals. They competed for seats in Congress and for a few mayoral positions – but never in large capitals, of course.

Wherever friends of the dictatorship couldn’t gather much popular support, soccer was the solution: a new stadium would pop up and a local team would be included in national tournaments. Many white elephants were inaugurated at the time, such as the Castelão in Fortaleza (1973) and the Mané Garrincha in Brasilia (1974). They would be later renovated to become brand new white elephants for the 2014 World Cup.

It was during the dictatorship that now-disgraced Marin first appears in Brazilian soccer as an executive. Formerly a mediocre player for São Paulo FC, he used a position in the club as a ladder to his political aspirations. In 1975, as a very conservative state congressman in São Paulo, he started a campaign against journalist Vladimir Herzog, a key editor at Cultura, the state-owned TV channel. Weeks later Herzog, was killed by those who tortured him in prison. Herzog’s family holds Marin responsible, among others, for the assassination to this day.

This was the beginning of the end for dictators Ernesto Geisel (1974-1979) and João Figueiredo (1979-1985). Geisel didn’t profit much from soccer, but he did try hard. Brazil was defeated in the 1974 World Cup by Holland and in 1978 by Argentina, then ruled by an even more violent dictatorship. Brazil’s economic miracle was proving to be a farce and the regime decided to inflate soccer’s first division to maintain some of its popularity.

That move would lead stars like Zico, Falcão and Socrates travel to small towns to please crowds. The number of clubs playing in the Brazilian championship from 1975 to 1979 rose year after year: 44, 54, 62, 74 and then an astonishing 94. And though generals stayed in control of the CBF, Brazil without Pelé wasn’t as big of a propaganda machine. When the Seleção became great again, in 1982 already under Figueiredo, it was filled with pro-democratic players and captained by activist Socrates.

The end of Marin

After his time as a São Paulo legislator that pushed against allegedly communist journalists, Marin took another job he didn’t get a single vote for: he became governor of São Paulo between 1982 and 1983, appointed by the dictatorship, at the same time he was the president of São Paulo’s soccer association. But when Brazil became a democracy again, in 1985, he had no trouble adapting: he spearheaded the Seleção organization for the Mexico World Cup. When Ricardo Teixeira took over the CBF in 1989, he was one of his vice-presidents. In 2012, after his tutor got in trouble with Swiss courts, he rose to the top, since he was the oldest on the job.

In the 13 years he spent as CBF vice-president, in a more and more democratic Brazil, Marin was very discreet; to Brazilian ears he sounded like a politician from the sixties. Yes, he is a man of soccer and politics, but he wasn’t nearly as popular as club officials that got to Congress to get better kickbacks from sponsors, or businessmen that bought clubs to launder money for political campaigns. He was surely no Teixeira, who managed to turn President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva from a critic into a whiskey buddy on lazy Brasília Saturday afternoons.

Marin is one of the survivors that used old political ties to remain connected to soccer — ties that stopped former guerrilla and now President Dilma Rousseff from taking pictures near him. In prison, he must be thinking of all the favors he made to connect his successor and right arm at CBF, new president Marco Polo del Nero, to the main leaders of the opposition, such as defeated presidential hopeful Aécio Neves. Too bad his long experience with Brazilian politics and soccer won’t be of much use with the FBI.

Mauricio Savarese is a freelance journalist based in São Paulo and co-author of A to Zico: an Alphabet of Brazilian Football

23 Jun 20:30

Photo



24 Jun 09:49

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24 Jun 16:46

A Norwegian Alcohol PSA Demonstrates How to Dock a Boat Like a Boss

by Glen Tickle

A new public service announcement by Norwegian NGO AV-OG-TIL demonstrates how to dock a boat like a boss. The video is meant to demonstrate that operating a boat is an activity that’s best done sober, but doing it with sweet sideburns and a mustache certainly looks like it helps.

Thanks, Brad Jennings!

24 Jun 02:32

Lost in The Outback

Lost in The OutbackMad Max Fury Road is awesome, and you're doing yourself a serious disservices if you don't watch it in theaters.

It has become quite a popular joke that Mad Max takes place in our time and is really just what happens when Australians get lost in the outback.
23 Jun 15:58

{Bichos} Manul, o gato mais expressivo do rolê

by Damaris de Angelo

pallas-cat-manul-2__880

Gatos Manul são uma espécie selvagem, de existência quase ameaçada, encontrados nas pradarias e estepes montanhosas da Ásia Central.

Mais conhecido como gatos Pallas, eles têm pupilas redondinhas, pernas curtas e um grande ar expressivo.

O bicho é tão engraçado que virou alvo diversas vezes de memes da internet.

 

pallas-cat-manul-17__880
Que se f#da! Tô melhor sozinho mesmo.

 

pallas-cat-manul-14__880
Queimaaaaaa!

 

pallas-cat-manul-9__880
Véi, como é mesmo aquela música?

 

pallas-cat-manul-7__880
Queimaaaaaaaa!

 

pallas-cat-manul-6__880
Merda de dieta!

 

pallas-cat-manul-5__880
Queimaaaaa

 

pallas-cat-manul-1__880

 

manul-cat-25__880
Como assim “acabou o café”?

 

manul-cat-24__880
No inferno, Queimaaa!

 

pallas-cat-manul-30__880
Só queria essa fatia que está na sua mão.

 

pallas-cat-manul-23__880
Dafuuuuuuck, chega de foto.

 

pallas-cat-manul-22__880
Sim, estou te julgando.

|via

The post {Bichos} Manul, o gato mais expressivo do rolê appeared first on IdeaFixa.

24 Jun 11:31

just spider things

by kris

20150623-spider

classic spider faux pas — boy was there egg on my face

also i was on a man’s face, and i was crushed by his hand immediately after

24 Jun 13:38

Reflection

by Grant

24 Jun 06:32

Viva Intensamente # 213

24 Jun 14:23

proteus7: (via tumblr_np6n8zBXLw1r46foao5_400.jpg (400×593))

24 Jun 12:23

The ultimate victory.image | twitter | facebook





The ultimate victory.

image | twitter | facebook

24 Jun 13:06

nom-food: Bacon wrapped cheesy stuffed jalapenos

24 Jun 16:41

Hidden leopard-skin G-string exposed

Source: Alamy

Quelle horreur: ‘your mother in a leopard-skin G-string’ is a renowned French insult

News that a group of Swedish scientists had been planting Bob Dylan song titles into papers had other academics emailing each other with similar challenges. That was until it transpired that one Swiss-French professor had already gone far further – with a reference to mothers in leopard-print G-strings.

Denis Duboule, professor in developmental genomics at the University of Geneva and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, told Times Higher Education that the story began in the mid 1990s when a French postdoc in his lab discovered a new genetic technique.

“As usual when you end up with a nice technique you think people will use, we started to think of an acronym. You have to visualise these French postdocs thinking about it over a Friday beer,” Professor Duboule said. An unspecified number of bottles later they settled on TAMERE, which supposedly stands for “targeted meiotic recombination”. But, in popular French parlance, ta mère is shorthand for nique ta mère (fuck your mother), a phrase also associated at the time with French rap group NTM.

“When I am in the US listening to talks and I hear people saying they have used the technique TAMERE it is hilarious. But I would never dare say it in front of a French-speaking audience,” said Professor Duboule. Popular slang use of ta mère later became more elaborate, the most insulting version being “ta mère en string panthere” (your mother in a leopard-skin G-string).

So some years later, when another publishable genetic technique was invented, a French postdoc was determined to call it STRING –which supposedly stood for “sequential targeted recombination-induced genomic approach”. Then a third postdoc called a technique PANTHERE, which was deemed to signify “pangenomic translocation for heterologous enhancer reshuffling”.

Professor Duboule’s “one regret” is that, unlike the first two, the last technique was rejected by the high-profile journal Nature Genetics: “I couldn’t explain to the editor why I really wanted it to be there!”

However, the techniques were united in July in a paper he co-authored called “The genetics of murine Hox loci: TAMERE, STRING, and PANTHERE to engineer chromosome variants” that appeared in Methods in Molecular Biology.

Professor Duboule said that he had also inserted other jokes in his papers, partly as a reaction to his sense that science was becoming over-policed by committees deciding “what is interesting and not interesting. And at some point you think: ‘Nique ta mère!’ Let us do what we enjoy doing – having fun.”

paul.jump@tesglobal.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

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24 Jun 14:58

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Math Translations

by admin@smbc-comics.com
23 Jun 17:58

One day, you'll fine-tune hearing aids yourself

by Jon Fingas
Adam Victor Brandizzi

Confesso que li o título e pensei "Ok, às vezes gostaria de ouvir menos sobre Aids do que meu interlocutor quer falar, mas para que investir tanto nisso?"

Hearing aids are supposed to help you resume a normal life, but they sometimes make things worse -- and when most clinics aren't prepared to calibrate the devices, it's tempting to ditch them altogether. Norwegian scientists might give you an incenti...
22 Jun 01:00

by ManEggs

Adam Victor Brandizzi

Estes dinossauros NÃO TEM IDEIA do que estão fazendo.



by ManEggs

23 Jun 18:10

obviousplant: New forms of payment.





obviousplant:

New forms of payment.

23 Jun 10:10

historicaltimes: Assassination of Japanese Socialist party...



historicaltimes:

Assassination of Japanese Socialist party leader, Inejiro Asanuma by teenager Otoya Yamaguchi and his sword October 12, 1960

Keep reading

21 Jun 21:31

squishyandiknowit: hermionemollycharliepond: cybercitrus: pixe...



squishyandiknowit:

hermionemollycharliepond:

cybercitrus:

pixelavender:

adriofthedead:

vicemag:

A quick tip for your elevator ride up to the office: grab a piping hot cuppa joe at the corner store and stick an egg in it to make a hard boiled morning snack.

just stick your hands in boiling hot coffee. go on. do it. just shove your fingers on in that blistering hot cuppa joe. throw an egg in there. who gives a shit. eat your god damn coffee eggs like the stupid slobbering idiot that you are

thIS WHOLE FUCKING ARTICLE

imageimageimageimageimage

????????????????????????????

convert your office into a horrible disaster

This should be what nsfw means