The Museu do Azulejo in Lisbon has an amazing panorama (video) of the city painted shortly before the historic earthquake of 1755 (image, here are some sections). Azulejo is a traditional form of Portuguese painted tiles -- the "azul" does NOT come from the blue color, a fairly recent development, but from the much older Arabic word "zellige" meaning "polished stones". This panorama comes from an age before photography and provides a look at the old city in a characteristic Portuguese art form, providing a fascinating glimpse into the old city before it was virtually destroyed. [more inside]
Regina Pessoa is a Portuguese animator. «I lived in the countryside in a small village near Coimbra until I was 17 years old. My entire universe was rural. We didn’t have television, which was very boring… but in retrospect, thinking things over, maybe it saved me. We read and listened to our elders telling stories. My uncle used to draw on the walls and on the doors of my grandmother’s home, with pieces of coal. Seeing my uncle drawing on the walls gave us a sense of freedom because we didn’t have paper and pencils but we always had walls and doors – maybe this stayed with me unconsciously because now, much later, it’s already the second film that I’m making in engraving technique…» [more inside]
On the 2nd of April 2015, 106-year old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira died at his hometown, Porto. Obituaries: The Guardian, Time. [more inside]
There exists a trilogy of complete Portguese live-action Pokemon fanfilms. That is all. (Subtitles available, and not the automatically generated kind; click the Subtitles/CC button on the video's lower right.) Playlist links: The Mysterious Virus. Destiny of a Hero. The Light of Hope Part 1, Part 2. (MLYT) [more inside]
Banco Espírito Santo, Portugal's second largest bank by assets held, was nationalized "through the back door" several days ago after the shocking revelations of money laundering and tax evasion by the bank's founding family which had become public over the past few months caused the bank to post a recordbreaking loss of 3.6 billion euros. [more inside]
"And looks like an almost goal. If that whole goal system would have been moved over maybe thirty more feet, we would have been looking at a goal." -- MeFi favorite Reggie Watts (previously) doing World Cup commentary alongside MeFi favorite Peter Serafinowicz (previously) on his Mixlr account, where Serafinowicz has been providing comedic commentary for the games for the last week. [via]
Today at 6 PM Eastern, the United States plays Portugal in the World Cup. The United States has never been very successful in World Cup soccer (football), but it has come close. The United States shocked the world by coming in third in 1930 and again by defeating England in 1950. In 2002, the U.S. had an upset against Portugal, but could it happen again? Playing for Portugal is Cristiano Ronaldo, possibly the best player in the world, whose fancy footwork is legendary.
"Maybe Angola will colonise us now," says Vasco Lourenço, the head of Associação 25 de Abril, an organisation that is trying to preserve the spirit of the 1974 revolution. Forty years ago he was one of the young army officers who took up arms to end the Salazar dictatorship and colonial wars.While Portugal is still in the throws of recession, Angola is booming and investing heavily in its old colonial ruler. Now Portugal is struggling with the effects of this investment and the implications it brings with it.
Icy weather getting you down? How about a nice relaxing beach holiday? The same weather pattern bringing Antarctic temperatures to America is pushing Himalayan surf towards Europe. With storm swell battering coastlines from Portugal to Cornwall, big-wave specialists from around the world are flocking to the unlikely surf mecca of Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, Ireland. Apparently it's been pretty intense... "Down there was living repeatedly rabbit punched while diving in the deep!" [more inside]
The Portuguese footballer Eusébio, considered one of the greatest of all time, died today. The first great footballer to come out of Africa, Eusébio was above all an humble man who would congratulate a keeper who had just made a difficult save and for whom the greatest joy after winning the European Cup (now named UEFA Champions League) was in getting to trade jerseys with his idol, Real Madrid's star di Stéfano. (The goals of the final.) [more inside]
Twenty-five years ago, in the pre-dawn of August 25, 1988, a fire started in downtown Lisbon's Carmo Street and quickly spread to Garrett Street and others, destroying a total of 18 buildings of the Chiado. Two people were killed, and 73 were injured (60 of them firemen). Between 200 and 300 people lost their homes. Several of the historical shops were lost. In terms of the extent of the city affected and number of destroyed buildings, the Chiado fire is considered the worst disaster to strike the city since the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. A rebuilding project directed by Portuguese architect Siza Vieira has, to a great extent, returned the area to its former glory. The exterior look of the buildings were restored, while the interiors have been completely renovated. [more inside]
You may remember the 7.5 hour documentary released in 2009 which allowed you to travel the journey between Bergen to Oslo from the comfort of your home. If your wanderlust was fired up watching that video, then you may enjoy some of the other trips you can take. Switzerland:
- Zermatt to Gornergrat in Summer (50m)
- Zermatt to Gornergrat in Winter Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 (30m)
- Le Train de Vignes (11m)
Lee Buchheit, fairy godmother to finance ministers in distress
Lee Buchheit, a lawyer at US firm Cleary Gottlieb, has been present at all the major debt crises of the past three decades. His reputation among investors is as a fearsome and aggressive litigator, but finance ministers in distress see him as something of a fairy godmother.[more inside]
Fado is a Portuguese musical genre which originated in the 1820’s in Lisbon. It has been enjoying a revival over the last twenty years, one of the most prominent recent voices being that of Mariza. In 2006 Simon Broughton did a documentary exploring the roots of the music. Via youtube, here is Mariza and the Story of Fado. [more inside]
"Twelve years ago, Portugal eliminated criminal penalties for drug users. Since then, those caught with small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or heroin go unindicted and possession is a misdemeanor on par with illegal parking. Experts are pleased with the results." [more inside]
Be it the United States or the European Union, most Western countries are so highly indebted today that the markets have a greater say in their policies than the people. Why are democratic countries so pathetic when it comes to managing their money sustainably? This clear, well-written essay in Der Speigel lays out the current debt crisis - along with current, proposed solutions - in an understandable manner. Not included among the so-far-proposed solutions is one other that has opened up a veritable financial market and debt Pandora's Box - i.e. a central bank debt jubilee.
78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
In 1875, the Portuguese cartoonist and caricaturist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro invented an “everyman” to express the opinion of “Zé Povinho” – “ José of the People”, or “John Doe". His most famous “opinion” is the “manguito”, a universally-recognizable symbolic affront to the status quo, with the slogan “Toma!”, or “take that!” In the wake of the downgrade of Portugal’s sovereign debt to “junk” by Moody’s, the Portuguese were outraged. They reportedly jammed up the Moody's site. Zé Povinho responded with his usual aplomb. The figurines are made by hand and the anti-Moodys one went on sale this week. [Last link in Portuguese; some NSFW language and rude gestures in some of the links]
Portugal, in the throes of an IMF / EU bailout that Finland could block, sends a video letter to convince Finland to support the rescue effort. Finland responds. Bonus: crisis the focus of Portugal's Eurovision entry this year.
Protests spread to Portugal. As of posting, two hundred to three hundred thousand people are currently protesting the current government in Lisbon. The majority of the complaints come from the "desperate generation", 20 to 30 year olds who, although educated, cannot find a job, while facing increasing austerity measures, amidst rumors of an Ireland style bailout. The spark that set off the protests was a youtube video of a song by the popular band Deolinda (Portugese) (myspace). [more inside]
The Digital Version Of The Nativity Story, told through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail, Foursquare, Amazon and more. [more inside]
Portuguese writer and 1998's Nobel Prize for Literature recipient José Saramago has died, age 87. [News link in Portuguese] He died in Lanzarote, Spain, where he had lived since a bust-up in the early 1990s with Portugal's government over his controversial book, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. Saramago wrote nearly 30 books, and was cited for the Nobel as a writer "who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality." No holiday for death, after all.
The Portugal experiment. On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Under the new legal framework, all drugs were “decriminalized,” not “legalized.” Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm.... The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success. Within this success lie self-evident lessons that should guide drug policy debates around the world. (pdf of complete paper) [more inside]
Lucy Pepper is an English artist living in Portugal. Her illustrations, animations, and cheeky blog, illuminate the cult of the bata, Portuguese beach culture, just how weird British tourists can look, and what it's like to have one's daughters humiliated by your very presence in public. [more inside]
"Upon receiving news of her passing, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres ordered three days of national mourning, declaring her "the Voice of Portugal." [more inside]
What is a Spaniard?: Forcibly Crossing the Cross, the Crescent, and the Star
"The conversions came at the end of one of the most successful Jewish periods in human history... Their success led them to call their land Sepharad, a name from the book of Obadiah that implied that Spanish Jews were the successors to the Jews of Israel. This world ended in 1391."
"At the appointed time, those children who were not presented voluntarily were seized by the officials and forced to the font.... In many cases, parents smothered their offspring in their farewell embrace. In others, they threw them into wells in order to save them from the disgrace of apostasy, and then killed themselves. Sometimes, even old men were dragged to the churches and forcibly baptized by over-zealous fanatics,... In all other cases, the unwilling neophytes, some mere babies, were distributed throughout the country, as far as possible from home, to be brought up in Christian surroundings."[more inside]
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).
There was a time when it seemed that groups like Frederic Galliano presents Kuduro Sound System and Buraka Som Sistema would do for kuduro what groups like Diplo and Bonde do Role did for Funk Carioca: make it popular with hipsters in the United States. But it hasn't happened yet. Why?
The Quinta de Regaleira, completed in 1910, was the dream palace of the Portuguese millionaire Antonio Agusto de Carvalho Monteiro who was a devotee of mysticism and lost arts. The enormous gardens include a Templar initiation well,underground labyrinths, hidden doorways, fantastic grottos, lookout towers, and of course the palace itself (hunting room, outside detail, gargoyles) More photos here and here.
Sorry, But Only One Of These Countries Can Win The World Cup. But which one will it be? And what are the odds? The Guardian's Fiver can be as funny about it as it likes, but this is no laughing matter, not anymore, as we will soon be surrounded by 31 unmistakable, irredeemable, inconsolable losers. Anyway, whatever happens, I'm sure everyone here at MetaFilter will join me in wishing it's one of the countries that speak Portuguese.
THE EVOLUTION OF GLOBAL POLITICS. University of Washington Professor George Modelski is credited with developing the concept of world leadership. There have been five world leaders: Portugal, the Netherlands, Great Britain I, Great Britain II, and currently the USA. Some scholars in political science and history are pointing towards U.S. decline and a takeover by a United States of Europe...
"Alcohol makes fans fight. But cannabis smokers will be shaking hands and singing along together.” Confronted with the dangers of English soccer hooligans, Portugese police have found an incredibly pragmatic way to reduce crowd violence: crack down on booze and encourage the fans to smoke out. It's not some crazy new-fangled idea - it's been used successfully in the Netherlands. How does this reflect on US drug policy? More importantly, how does it reflect on the state of English soccer hooliganism?
Clinton believes Iraq had weapons of mass destruction: Portugal PM Ok. The Dems and the GOP. But what did Ralph Nader say about WMD?
Portugal: Officially the greediest, laziest and most drunken country in the West. What dubious, highly debatable sources of pride do you attribute to your own country?
Fernando Pessoa was a Portuguese poet and mastermind. He created and maintained several heteronyms who each had their own distinct writings, went on to lead interesting lives, and even interacted with each other. All in the public eye.
The truth about their existence was only discovered after the death of Pessoa and the subsequent discovery of a trunk containing writings from all of them.
The truth about their existence was only discovered after the death of Pessoa and the subsequent discovery of a trunk containing writings from all of them.
Too Much, Too Young Or Too Good To Be True? Fingers crossed! Cristiano Ronaldo is a charming and talented 18-year-old Portuguese football player, from a very poor family, who has just been bought by Manchester United for almost 20 million dollars/euros, a record amount. Given the No.7 shirt previously worn by the likes of George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham, his first game at Old Trafford has earned him rave reviews in the British press. Forgetting the football for a moment, how difficult is it for a teenager to deal with expectations this high and success this early in career and life?
Feeling Wistful, Lovelorn And Sort Of Somewhere Else Where You Shouldn't Be? Be Damned And Listen To A Few Fados
You Are Cordially Invited To A Night Of Fados. It's Saturday night; you're hidden deep down in one of Lisbon's fado houses; so pour yourself another glass of thick, blood-red wine; cast your mind back to loves lost and the memory of joys that will never return; take out your most tear-absorbent handkerchief and prepare to indulge in the most melancholy, poetical and maudlin of all urban songs: Lisbon's Fado... [More inside.]
Which Country Has The Most Beautiful Women? The best quality of life? The most divorces? The most mobile phones? The highest cost of living? Which one is the most visited? Rank the bastards! After browsing through this website, I'm sure the conclusion that we're all living in the wrong one is inescapable. The statistics and sources may be questionable, but there sure are a lot of interesting lists here! Meanwhile my own country, Portugal, has just been denounced as the the laziest in Europe and the booziest in the world. They lie! They lie! [Actually, it's a fair cop, guv. And it was nice to drag down the Brits with us.]
Perhaps This Public Image/Persona Thing Has Gone Just A Little Too Far: Luís Campos Lopes, the manager of the Portuguese football team Vitoria de Setúbal has just been sacked for "projecting a negative image of the club". [Link in Portuguese, but please read on.] The reason? Just watch the photo-sequence in the main link. Luís Lopes had trouble putting on his Setúbal vest during a crucial game with Benfica! I.e. the powerful sports media in Portugal and Brazil have had a riot with the photographs and the poor widdle proprietors were embarrassed. So? He may not be a brilliant manager - but isn't this blatant lookism? Isn't "image" becoming much too big for its boots, as it were, in professional sports? [Here is the only English language reference I could find. Please scroll down to "Luís Campos".]
Where To Stay In Portugal And Spain: You could do worse than try Secret Places, an ambitious and delightful website that has the advantage of emphasizing unusual and charming accommodation. I don't know about Spain, but the places they recommend in Portugal, the Azores and Madeira are top notch and not at all touristy. These are the fairly priced rural inns, private homes and hotels we Portuguese repair to when our batteries need recharging. Although Portugal is a big tourist destination and there are loads of accommodation websites, I'm sorry to say that this is the first I've seen that's any good. I'm not so sure about the other hotel chain websites highly praised in a New York Times article [ registration required; with pop-ups], although the Ian Schrager Hotels [with pop-ups] one is quite attractive (in an early Nineties way) and very efficient reservation-wise.
So Exactly Why Doesn't Nicole Kidman Want This Commercial To Be Shown In The U.S.? Here in Portugal, for instance, you can't blink without seeing the ruddy thing. Movie stars increasingly have a very profitable but extremely embarrassing advertising life which they're understandbly keen to keep secret from the American market. Wonderful websites like Japander (do check out Jodie Foster's endorsements of the Honda Civic Ferio and Keri Cosmetics, won't you?) conspire to keep them deservedly humble. So why does this double standard exist? Do these movie stars really think that globalization (not to mention the Internet) is just a myth?
Very Rude, Very Unsafe For Work, But Charming And Just About OK For Friday Night...Perhaps! Whatever: There's still no excuse for this kind of thing. It's number one E-mail forwardista in Portugal and 9 out of 10 female Iberian bloggers recommend it. So please don't click if you're a prude or dislike pseudo-country music. Is all I'm saying...[Shockwave required]
Psychiatrists Not Against AIDS In Portugal and other European countries, although the State provides free needles, free medically-assisted clinics where addicts can shoot up in a safe environment, it's the medical establishment's attitudes that are holding up the fight against AIDS. A very recent case: despite free, no-questions-asked methadone(a well-known heroin replacement)most psychiatrists refuse to prescribe it. Is this just a European problem?