Dancing with Cannibals is an historical novel available as an ebook. From the Mefi Projects description page: "Never before has there been a novel about the genocide in the Congo Free State written in English by an African writer. Dancing with Cannibals would seem to have been influenced by Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (which is also set in the Congo during the Belgian regime) and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, but Dicho Ilunga has not read either of those books. Ilunga’s writing is largely absent a European context. Ilunga describes his literary training as coming from the Zairian writers that he read in school and from two novels by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho who Ilunga says has an African style." [more inside]
Machisma: How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.
Brazil's new water conservation campaign: Xixi no Banho! (slyt)
On March 18, 39 licensed amateur radio operators were apprehended throughout Brazil for clandestine activities of telecommunication. This followed six months of investigations from local officials who received information from the US Department of Defense in regards to unauthorized use of Fleet Satellite Communications System. These geosynchronous satellites, also known as FLTSAT, were used by the U.S. Navy for UHF radio communications between ships, submarines, airplanes and ground stations. These satellites are simple repeaters with no authentication or control over what they retransmit. But the illicit satellite use was not limited to those experimenting with radio systems. Truck drivers love the birds because they provide better range and sound than ham radios. Rogue loggers in the Amazon use the satellites to transmit coded warnings when authorities threaten to close in. Drug dealers and organized criminal factions use them to coordinate operations. [more inside]
Three of the giants of Brazilian guitar were Laurindo Almeida (1917-1995; wiki here), Luiz Bonfa (1922-2001; wiki here), and Baden Powell (1937-2000; wiki here). Here is Laurindo Almeida w/the MJQ playing One Note Samba; here is Luiz Bonfa playing the theme from Black Orpheus (which he composed); and here is Baden Powell playing Samba Triste. [more inside]
Os Mutantes have reunited and will be playing the Pitchfork Media Festival this summer. Archival footage of the band discussed here.
funky do morro From the ghettos of brazil comes this funky and fun music that recalls the energy and optimism of early 80's hip hop. Think Afrika Bambaataa and Malcolm McLaren. Before rap crossed over to the dark side.
I don't know why, but I can't get enough of Brazillian music (realvideo stream). Not that I can understand a word of it, but damn that's smooth. Note to self: buy more Gilberto Gil records. This person thinks this disc is one of his best, and you can even download digital versions of it from cdnow, although I wonder why each cut is $2.49. Why on earth should digital music cost more? There's no shipping, no customer service hassles, no media to stock in a warehouse. Make the entire disc $5 in digital format, and I'll buy his entire collection (and save from adding to my already loaded down cd rack at home).