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The Shuls with Sandy Floors

There are only five functioning Jewish synagogues with sand floors in the world, and four of them are in the Caribbean. How has the tradition been maintained for hundreds of years? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 26, 2013 - 5 comments

Nutmeg: smells of holidays from a history of battles and massacres

This unassuming, feel-good spice "has been one of the saddest stories of history," from the gruesome, grisly tale of how the Dutch tortured and massacred the people of the Banda Islands in Indonesia in an attempt to monopolize the nutmeg trade. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 30, 2012 - 40 comments

Machado de Assis

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908) is the greatest of Brazilian writers, an ironist, realist, and fabulist in the leauge of Chekhov, Flaubert, and Borges. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Sep 10, 2012 - 4 comments

In the country of blinds, the one eyed men are kings.

"English As She Is Spoke is a broken Portuguese-to-English phrasebook written by two translators, José da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino. Sort of. You see, in reality, translator Pedro Carolino wanted to create a phrasebook on his own. Not knowing English, he took José da Fonseca’s French-to-English phrasebook and then used a Portuguese-to-French phrasebook to translate that. It’s sort of like what you and your friends do on Google Translate, but with a poor, mislead Portuguese man doing it by hand in candlelight." [more inside]
posted by item on Apr 18, 2011 - 52 comments

Online Corpora

Online Corpora. In linguistics, a corpus is a collection of 'real world' writing and speech designed to facilitate research into language. These 6 searchable corpora together contain more than a billion words. The Corpus of Historical American English allows you to track changes in word use from 1810 to present; the Corpus del Español goes back to the 1200s.
posted by Paragon on Jan 24, 2011 - 11 comments

IT'S ALL PIPES!!!

Brazil's new water conservation campaign: Xixi no Banho! (slyt)
posted by Sys Rq on Aug 6, 2009 - 86 comments

And my money was on a cocka-poo...

Portuguese Water Dogs of the world, rejoice! The Obama clan has finally decided on the new breed of dog that will be roaming the halls of the White House soon. [more inside]
posted by Drainage! on Feb 25, 2009 - 58 comments

Manoel de Oliveira turns 100

Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira turned 100 yesterday. Oliveira was born 13 years after the Lumiére brothers shot the first movie ever, and he is still going strong, currently directing "Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loira" ("Idiosyncrasies of a Blonde Girl") and making plans for a project after that. Even if this is the first time you've heard of Manoel de Oliveira, or indeed if you are not a fan of his long, slow style, you have to be amazed at the remarkable condition in which he hits the 3 figures (scroll to 3:23 to see him).
posted by neblina_matinal on Dec 12, 2008 - 9 comments

I agree, my show is not very good, caller. My show is fantastic!

"I'm on Setanta Sports" with José Mourinho. Fantastic. The Special One returns to the world of football with his very own talk show. Very good. More clips inside. Be champions! [more inside]
posted by sellout on Feb 8, 2008 - 12 comments

Talking Letters

Webctionary Using typography as comic art. Portuguese version by the same creator.
posted by divabat on Dec 31, 2005 - 10 comments

A Little Light Relief - and Brush Up Your English While You're At It.

A Little Light Relief - and Brush Up Your English While You're At It. In the spirit of poking fun at one's own flesh and blood - and respecting all those who aren't - I offer the most appalling tribute to Shakespeare's and Emerson's language since time itself began. I give you, ladies and gentlemen, the great Portuguese scholar Pedro Carolino, whose "English As She Is Spoke" Mark Twain considered to be the funniest book ever written. Start with "Familiar Dialogues 1" and, if you've still been able to keep a straight face, try "Idiotisms and Proverbs" for the full effect... (Thanks to Ganz's Humor Page)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Sep 20, 2001 - 19 comments

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